In 2003, when a couple with two small children bought a 1980’s west coast style home in a rural community by the sea, they knew immediately that a kitchen renovation was in their future. Drawn to the home’s open concept layout and large windows with forest views, the couple’s enthusiasm was dampened by the kitchen’s harvest gold colour scheme and inefficient design. After a few cosmetic changes, the couple waited over a decade to tackle a full-scale kitchen reno. Equipped with years of design inspiration, the owners hired Harbour City Kitchens to breathe new life into the dated space by embracing the Scandinavian principles of natural light, warmth and minimalism.
The original u-shaped kitchen included a narrow butcher block in the centre of the kitchen that acted as the room’s anchor for the young family. However, the island’s central position in the kitchen’s workspace caused congestion when entertaining. “Our original butcher block inspired the woodblock counter in the new kitchen which we love for its ability to let guests congregate in the kitchen without infringing on the chef’s space.”
Deriving inspiration from two years spent in Scandinavia, the couple returned with a penchant for a ‘less is more’ design approach. Their plan was to apply a clean-lined minimalism to the kitchen that would visually communicate with their existing cedar lined house. From their restaurant days as a server and a cook, the owners had a clear vision of how to bring the just the right elements of function and fun together. “From the kitchen sink to the recycling drawer and mood lighting, we feel like we’ve achieved our goals. Not to mention the various ‘kitchen envy’ comments we’ve heard from friends,” say the homeowners.
Choosing a wall oven and separate cooktop allowed the owners to consider a variety of layout options. “Megan McKeage, Interior Designer at Harbour City Kitchens did a great job guiding us through the process and coming up with the most efficient and effective design. With her suggestions, we decided to install the wall ovens opposite the cooktop leaving ample room for two people to cook at the same time.”
Now with growing teenagers in the house, the fridge is strategically placed so it can be accessed by both cooks and ‘consumers’ at the same time. For convenience and health, the family chose a steam oven which created technical considerations like electrical and air flow. To add to the reno challenge, the height of the floor was raised by an inch to accommodate a new in-floor heating system and porcelain tile throughout.
The cabinets are MDF slab painted in a frosty white lacquer. The oil-finished maple butcher block echoes the natural feel of the house. Caesarstone Quartz countertops in Nougat keep things modern with a square wrap edge.
The subway tile backsplash in white preserves the classic feel of the home while keeping the kitchen simple and streamlined. Sherwin Williams paint in Indigo Batik around the window offers a splash of colour and warmth to the pale palette.
“Our new space has a much better flow; it is easier to keep clean and was built for entertaining. We find it is much more efficient for daily use — it’s healthy, inviting and fun. People often reference ‘renovation hell’ when taking on a project like this, but our experience was far from it. With the help of great people, this was a positive experience we will enjoy for many years to come.”
- Design and Install: Harbour City Kitchens
- Home Builder: Seawaters Construction
- General Contractor: Birds Eye Solutions (demo, design, finishing, backsplash
- install, sound, lighting install, bathroom install)
- Appliances: Miele by Trail Appliances (except for the fridge, existing).
- Floor tile and heating install: Real Rock Design
- Quartz Countertops: King’s Granite
- Backsplash tile: Decora Ceramic Tile and Natural Stone
- Kitchen sink and bathroom fixtures: Kitchen and Bath Classics
- Flooring: Slegg Lumber
- Lighting: Mclaren Lighting
- Doors: Windsor Plywood
- Stools: Mobler Furniture
- Paint: Cantex Painting