After suffering years of neglect, this 1911 character home is brought back to life by Chris Lacey, owner of Bowcey Construction with a contemporary new look to reflect its young, professional owners. “The original kitchen was host to a dysfunctional layout,” says, Lacey, who adds that for a character home, it had great bones but very little charm. The kitchen was a cramped u-shape and closed off from the rest of the house.
Lacey began the reno process by exploring the residents’ functional needs where it was established that the most important changes would be to open up the compartmentalized, century-old floor plan, enhance the connections between living spaces, and redesign the dated kitchen. Previously damaged by fire, the 2400-square-foot home needed extensive structural work including a new foundation while also being lifted to add a full height basement with a secondary suite.
For the kitchen redesign, Lacey worked closely with the owners on a layout that would accommodate their Scandinavian-inspired minimalistic aesthetic. Working within the existing footprint meant that they had to maximize storage opportunities and create an ease of flow with access to the kitchen from multiple areas. “Good design can happen in small spaces; we just had to get creative to bring functionality and simplicity to the compact room,” says Lacey, who adds that access to the newly renovated back deck became an extension of their kitchen while the wide black-framed pocket doors lead to the home’s living room.
The kitchen redesign juxtaposes light and dark elements with horizontal-grain matched walnut paired with the high-gloss white cabinetry while black-framed windows contrast gallery white walls. The Silestone quartz-topped waterfall island is the most practical feature in the kitchen offering abundant storage like built-in plate organizers and angled spice compartments, a microwave, room to prep, and the kitchen’s only sink.
“We maintained the location of the original windows and placed the stove and walnut clad hood fan in the centre of the counter,” says Lacey, who states that the kitchen’s functionality was improved with the majority of the storage housed behind the high-gloss flat panel wall with an integrated fridge. In collaboration with the owners, Bowcey Construction made a modern statement on the interior while keeping the exterior’s traditional architecture in step with the other turn-of-the-century homes in the neighbourhood. The updated kitchen provides a high dose of contrast for a clean minimalist aesthetic with all the functional elements for modern life.