April 8, 2016
Vintage style modern function
BY KATHLEEN FREIMOND
Jillian Harris likes white kitchens almost to a fault. Combine that with her well-known penchant for all things vintage and it’s easy to see why her legions of fans will enjoy this makeover, recently featured on Love It or List It Vancouver. The vintage esthetic of the kitchen is a nod to the age of the house, says Harris, co-host of the W Network show. Owners Debora Sutherland and Paul Fuoco describe the architecture of the house, built in 1936, as “Hollywood Regency,” the design style that recalls the era from the 1920s through the 1950s.
“The house itself had a lot of character so we wanted to make sure we reflected that ambience in the kitchen renovation,” says Harris. The counter-to-ceiling mosaic backsplash is worthy of its own close-up. The mosaic tiles from World Mosaic Tile are manufactured by Oceanside Glasstile and incorporate recycled post-consumer glass.
Harris says the durable eco-friendly tiles add elegance and a timeless quality to the space. Tiling to the ceiling minimizes the number of transitions between materials and contributes to a cleaner look, she adds. Sutherland is equally enamoured with the backsplash and says the tiles shimmer and change colour according to the light. “We get many compliments from guests who often gather at the peninsula,” she says.
The dishwasher and microwave are housed in the kitchen side of the peninsula, while the other side features wainscoting. Two simple corbels support the Silestone countertop, a soft grey with subtle veining. The grey countertop is used throughout the kitchen, defining the warm-white painted cabinets and the Kohler enameled cast-iron undermount farmhouse sink. “It’s one of my favourites — I have one in my own kitchen,” says Harris.
The custom cabinetry enabled her to include the appliance barn that provides a place for often-used equipment such as the toaster and a few favourite cookbooks. “Double doors make it easier to access the appliances and put them away; it keeps the space looking fresh and clean,” Harris says. “We want it to be functional, not just look functional.”
The glass-front cabinet doors just above the appliance barn bring some sparkle to the space and also provide shelving to showcase favourite dishware. The cafe-style weathered oak Madeleine stools from Restoration Hardware complement the relaxed but elegant space, and the blue cushions provide an all-important pop of colour.
“We are very happy with the kitchen,” says Sutherland. “We would not have been able to build in the functionality that Jillian brought to it.”