February 10, 2017

Bright modern flair

A Kerrisdale update blends modern with traditional and a few surprises

By Kathleen Freimond   

Warm tones from the refinished hardwood floor combined with high-gloss cabinetry and custom leaded-glass cupboard doors give this kitchen its transitional esthetic, perfectly blending modern flair with traditional elements to make it a stylish and comfortable space.

Interior designer Janie Hungerford transformed the kitchen as part of a main floor renovation of this once-dated home in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood. All that remains from the original kitchen, with its dark wood cabinets and black granite countertops, is the floor.

“The cherry hardwood floors were in good shape—and it would have been expensive to replace them—so we wanted to keep them. European Touch Flooring sanded and took out as much of the red as possible and then stained the existing floors with a more modern finish,” says Hungerford.

One of the major changes to the layout was to incorporate the walk-in pantry into the kitchen.

“I wasn’t on board to begin with,” admits the homeowner. The pantry was one of the features she loved about the house, which the family lived in for a year prior to the five-month renovation. “Now I am happy Janie convinced me. The walk-in was replaced with pantry cupboards, which are much more efficient.”

The millwork is custom and the simple profile of the cupboard doors, with a traditional beaded detail, enhances the transitional design of the 355-square-foot kitchen. The white cabinets are complemented by the Caesarstone quartz countertop (Frosty Carrina), a soft ivory-white with light grey veining. The same quartz tops the substantial four-by-12-foot (1.2-by-3.7-metre) island; however, a closer look reveals that the edges are different. Hungerford says stone on the island has an ogee edge and the countertop on the perimeter cabinets features an eased edge.

“The blue colour on the island cabinets really makes the space unique. It contrasts against the white in the rest of the kitchen and simultaneously complements the very light blue details of the backsplash.”
Janie Hungerford

The ogee edge is a subtle design element, but the colour of the island base is not.

“One of the homeowner’s favourite colours is blue, so we found this lovely shade . . . and painted the cabinets in the island to add some colour to the space,” says Hungerford.

The high-gloss paint also complements the light blue edges of the white hexagonal tiles in the backsplash. Hungerford says the Hive tiles from the Savoy collection by Ann Sacks add a three-dimensional effect to the wall.

In turn, the shape of the tiles inspired the doors on the top cabinets, designed and made by Eyco Building Group. Soft lighting enhances the custom 12-by-12-inch (30-by-30-cm) doors, showcasing both the leaded-glass pattern and the items in the cupboards. These cupboards provide convenient storage for valued, but seldom-used, kitchen-related possessions.

High-end appliances enhance the sophisticated design. A Sub-Zero refrigerator with French doors and bottom-drawer freezer and two Bosch dishwashers are concealed with integrated panels, while a six-burner gas Wolf cooktop and wall ovens fulfil the functional needs of a busy family kitchen.

Alongside the wall ovens, large cupboard doors open to reveal a hutch with an appliance garage that keeps small appliances accessible, but out of sight.

On the other wall, a painting of fruits and vegetables by Vancouver Island artist Jan Smart adds unexpected colour to the area that was formerly the walk-in pantry.

“The kitchen is big and it needed something on that wall. We considered options like a chalkboard, but the family owned the painting and it brought their personality into the room,” says Hungerford.



Interior Designer Janie Hungerford

Why it Works

Light lessons: The Harper glass pendants above the kitchen island provide task lighting and are “pretty but not too decorative,” says Hungerford. Handmade by Tech Lighting, the classic bulb shape also adds texture and sparkle to the space. 

Finishing touch: Crown moulding in open-concept spaces can be challenging because it’s often difficult to decide where to start and end it. However, in this kitchen it successfully defines the area and elegantly finishes the top of the cabinets.

White-on-white: Different shades of white complement one another in this kitchen. Hungerford says when using different shades of white it’s important that the hues are not too creamy or too stark. “They need to be in the same colour family.”

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