February 9, 2018
Kitchen Issue: The smooth with the rough
By Kathleen Freimond
Industrial meets urban farmhouse in this unique Tsawwassen kitchen, testament to the homeowners’ aversion to white kitchens.
“I love the contrast between smooth and rough, old and new—contrast is what gives a space energy,” says the homeowner, who was adamant she did not want a white kitchen.
With long-term plans to keep the home in the family, she says they were free to renovate the kitchen to reflect their own style without being concerned about resale.
The kitchen was designed by Sarah Gallop Design for home renovation company New Vision Projects.
Interior designers Sarah Gallop and Amber Wilson began the transformation by removing walls between the kitchen, dining and living rooms to create an open-plan space. Gallop and Wilson originally planned to recess a girder truss into the ceiling to provide the necessary structural support for the large space, but later opted for a steel i-beam.
“It adds another industrial element to the space. We left the beam in its natural state and it will continue to age and acquire its own patina over time,” says Gallop.
One of the major design choices—and one of the homeowner’s favourite features—is the brick-look wall and backsplash. “I love the character of brick; it gives a space warmth and texture,” the homeowner says. But instead of using bulky bricks with their porous and rough surface, Gallop achieved the same effect by using porcelain tile.
The homeowners weren’t afraid to be adventurous, she says, and they were keen to mix new elements in the space with items they already owned.
Among them was a piece of marble originally from a family home in England. “We were able to use it in the lounge as a buffet countertop and it helped influence the rest of the material choices,” Gallop says. “The age and character of the marble inspired the steel and pipe in the floating shelves and the lighting fixtures.”
The three light fixtures above the island with their distinctive 20-inch-diameter shades complement several other choices in the space. “The brass inner shade marries well with the brass handles on the island drawers and provides a soft glow when used as accent lighting in the evening,” says Gallop. The shades also work well with the two wall sconces above the open pipe-and-plank shelves.
With a different countertop (marble-look quartz), cabinetry (a walnut woodgrain) and hardware (brushed brass) the one-by-three-metre island is a transition between the 275-square-foot kitchen and the other living areas in the open-plan space. “The walnut grain on the island cabinetry introduces a softer ambience to the space and balances the harder material like the pipe and metal,” says Gallop.
While the wood grain is book-matched to give the island cabinetry a seamless appearance, the sturdy legs supporting the marble-look quartz countertop conceal a secret.
“The children made a time capsule and put it into one of the legs before they were closed up—they’ll open the capsule in 50 years,” reveals the homeowner. It’s all part of her plan to see the home pass from one generation to the next.
+ This kitchen is a 2018 Georgie Award finalist in the category Best Kitchen Renovation Under $125,000.
Why it Works
Planks and porcelain: The flooring is an easy-to-maintain porcelain tile that replicates a rustic wood plank. Laying the tile in a herringbone pattern gives the open space visual interest.
Fancy faucet: The soft curves of the Brizo faucet and its 90-degree spout repeat the look of the pipe used in the open shelves and elsewhere in the kitchen.
Farmhouse favourite: Complementing the white quartz countertop the farmhouse sink mimics a seamless integrated sink while also providing visual balance for other features in the kitchen.
Favourite feature? “My favourite part of the kitchen is the use of brick and the pipe-and-plank shelving. These are two materials that are not commonly used in kitchens. Allowing us to be adventurous with colours and materials really brought the space to life,” says Gallop.