April 14, 2016

Evoking a bygone era


A Kelowna kitchen takes its design cues from an old-world villa


The natural stone floor in this Kelowna kitchen — travertine with chiseled edges — sets the tone for the design of the custom-built home reminiscent of an old-world European villa.


Hamid Khajavi

The tiles, ordered directly from a quarry in Turkey, were custom cut to 18 by 26 inches (45 by 66 centimetres) and laid in a random pattern to underscore the aged-in-place design. The tiles, in ivory and pearl with brown and beige veining, provide a warm foundation for the kitchen.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off the floor once it was installed,” says Hamid Khajavi, vice-president and lead designer for Pars Construction, which built the home. “This is likely the only floor of its kind in Canada with this size, style and finish of travertine tiles.”

The millwork was also designed to enhance the look of a bygone era. The cabinets feature custom doors, traditional mortise and tenon joints and raised solid centre panels. They were painted an antique white and finished with a dragged glaze, deliberately leaving visible brush strokes.

The upper cabinets are finished with crown mouldings that are enhanced by the floating drop ceiling, one of Khajavi’s favourite features in the home.

The 48-inch commercial gas range with double oven and grill is at the centre of the homeowner’s favourite part of the kitchen.


The island is topped with a single slab of Brazilian granite.

“The copper hood and the wood beams make this space feel very cosy. It’s as if you are in a different part of the world. It also makes you feel that you had better be a good cook to cook there,” she says.

While she considers herself a good cook, she adds, “a real chef would love to cook there.” The stone columns, finished by a stonemason, serve a dual purpose, adding another layer of texture to the space in addition to holding up the solid fir beams that support the hood.

The jumbo-size island provides another working surface in the sometimes busy kitchen. Topped with a single slab of Brazilian granite 10 feet (three metres) long, it also provides plenty of storage and accommodates a wine fridge and a dishwasher.

While the kitchen is intended to reflect the elegance of past centuries, its functionality relies on high-end Thermador appliances and high-tech mechanical systems. Cabinetry conceals the freezer and refrigerator that connect to a water osmosis tank in the mechanical room below the kitchen. The practical features continue with the Blanco granite-composite main sink in the island with faucets that deliver filtered and on-demand hot water.

Pars Construction won a Georgie award for the Best Single Family Kitchen over $100,000 for the project.

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