April 14, 2016
Revving up the heart of the home
BY KATHLEEN FREIMOND
Sleek and glossy with chrome accents. That’s not a review of a new car — it’s the description of a kitchen in Richmond, albeit one with a strong connection to the auto industry.
The cabinet doors in this open-plan kitchen are hand-sprayed with automotive-grade white paint and buffed to boost the glossy finish, says Nancy Vornbrock, lead designer at millwork supplier Troico.
Carol Faan, owner of Carol Faan Interiors, designed the kitchen to fit the modern esthetic the homeowner envisaged for the open-plan space, part of a whole-home renovation.
The custom kitchen cabinets set the tone for the area, which is 16½ by 21 feet (5 by 6.3 metres) and opens to the dining room and living area on one side and the mudroom at the back. With the exception of the integrated panels covering appliances, all the upper cabinets are placed horizontally instead of the more usual vertical installation.
“All the uppers are visually linked by the horizontal cabinet doors, emphasizing the linear look,” says Faan. Also contributing to the modern, uncluttered presentation is the seamless backsplash of back-painted glass.
The upper cabinets have a Blum Aventos bi-fold lift system to easily open the doors and provide a soft, silent close. The lift system also maximizes the space in the cabinets, says Faan, allowing the doors to fold up and out of the way. That enables easy access to the lower shelves, while the higher shelves can be used for storage of less frequently used items.
There is also additional storage in the island, a focal point in the kitchen with its 5¾ by 8 foot (1.7 by 2.4 metre) quartz countertop. The engineered wood veneer used for the island’s base is repeated in the integrated panels that conceal the fridge and freezer. The quarter-sawn white oak veneer is used in other rooms too, contributing to the home’s unified modern design.
The island’s quartz countertop is the same light grey stone used on the other countertops in this kitchen. “We wanted something very functional that fit the design,” says Faan. “The children enjoy sitting at the island while their mom is cooking, so we had to have a strong, durable and easy-to-clean countertop where the children could eat or do homework and projects.”
Lighting in the kitchen is both functional and decorative. The light fixture above the island with 24 glass pendants is the jewellery in the space, while pot lights and under-cabinet illumination provide the necessary task lighting and the lights in the coving enhance the ambience.