February 10, 2017

Big, bold & beautiful


Going grand keeps everything in scale in this west side reno workable kitchens

By Kathleen Freimond

Everything in this kitchen is big and bold—and it needs to be to fit the grand scale of this recently renovated 450-square-foot kitchen on Vancouver’s west side.

Part of an eight-month whole-house renovation, the only reminder of the once gloomy kitchen is the Brazilian teak floor. Now refinished with a slightly darker, stain the hardwood floor grounds the space and contrasts against the all-white cabinetry, says Felipe Freig, CEO of Versa Homes, who designed the kitchen with the home owner.

Freig says the homeowner wanted the space to be bright and “everything on a large scale.” He started by making the perimeter countertops 2½ inches (6.5 centimetres) deeper than the typical 24 inches (60 cm)and designing floor-to-ceiling cabinets. The top cabinets have an X design on the doors and were custom-made in Toronto. Instead of a clear glass door the X is backed by a mirror.

“The kitchen is always bright and cheerful—it seems like the sun is always shining! The east-west windows and the sliding doors that open onto the deck let in so much light. ”
Felipe Freig

“The mirror adds some sparkle to the kitchen and also makes it easier to maximize that storage space. If you have clear glass, you have to use the space as a showcase. With an opaque door it’s the perfect storage place for china that is only brought out for very special guests,” he says.

The backsplash, countertops on the perimeter cabinets and the two islands are porcelain from Bordignon Marble & Granite. The porcelain slabs on the islands are book matched to create a more substantial countertop, in keeping with the room’s big dimensions. The backsplash is also a single slab of porcelain showing the marble-inspired pattern. One of the most prominent features in the kitchen is the custom range hood above the six-burner Wolf gas range.

“The homeowner wanted the hood to have a traditional look and it works with all the other elements in the kitchen to give it a transitional esthetic,” says Freig. “The whole house is transitional with a perfect mix of traditional and contemporary features. It makes the home feel very warm and welcoming.”

The two islands, each eight by five feet (2.4 by 1.5 metres), contribute to the kitchen’s functionality, says Freig. One features a double-bowl Franke farmhouse sink, an under-counter microwave and two beverage centres and is primarily used for food preparation, while the other provides a convenient place for guests to gather and enjoy pre-dinner snacks.

The hefty legs of this second island replaced the first set that was installed, says Freig.

“The first legs were too delicate for the scale of the room so we replaced them with these, which also add to the grandness of the space,” he says.

Lucite and chrome chairs tuck under the island countertop and contribute to the overall airiness of the space, which also features a table and chairs for informal meals.

The homeowner wanted two light fixtures in the space and the islands provided the perfect balance for the impressive 24-inch diameter polished nickel pendants from Restoration Hardware’s Victorian Hotel Collection.

All the cabinetry and the walls are painted in the homeowner’s favourite colour, Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White. “She was very particular about the colour—Cloud White is used on all the cabinets and walls throughout the house,” says Freig.

The design of this large kitchen evolved during the course of the renovation and Freig says he and the homeowner made a good team, ensuring the completed project met all her expectations.

It also met the expectations of the judging panel for the Georgie Awards and is a finalist in the Best Kitchen Reno under $125,000 category.



Versa Homes CEO Felipe Freig

Why it Works

Power-play: The appliance garage hides the countertop appliances when they are not in use. Power to the appliances automatically switches off when the door closes.

Double-up: This large kitchen has two sinks. The farmhouse sink in the island is convenient for the food prep area while the larger commercial-style stainless steel sink below the window has a Kohler ProMaster faucet, bringing professional level functionality to the space.

Form and function: The two Sub-Zero fridges and freezer drawers bookend the appliance garage and the built-in coffee machine. “They are so conveniently located next to each island—it really balances the space,” says Freig.

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