How three seasoned architecture firms spice up the black and white kitchen palette
Three architectural studios serve up different takes on black and white kitchen renos
230 square metres in Trinity Bellwoods
THE Brief: A couple who paired off later in life enlisted Wanda Ely Architect to convert one of their houses from its two-apartment setup into a home fit for their blended family. Merging the property’s divided spaces allowed for the removal of a narrow tenant’s stairwell in the rear half of the house and provided an opportunity to expand the kitchen. One detail that had to survive the reno: the first floor’s tin ceiling, which appealed to the owners’ love of bistro-style cafes.
THE solution: Ely’s vision blends together sleek appliances with time-worn texture. First, that tin ceiling. Now painted black, it picks up where the kitchen island ends to visually separate cooking area from dining zone, giving the latter an added sense of occasion. It’s also a distinguished complement to the dark lowers and dapper black trimmings that pop against the room’s white millwork and subway tile. Ely’s materialmixing continues with the flooring. A high-traffic corridor between the side entrance and back patio door is clad in durable patterned tile that continues up onto the walls to better define the mudroom. Walnut cabinets keep coats orderly while harmonizing with the open shelving at the other end of the room. WANDAELYARCHITECT.COM
250 square metres in Wychwood Park
THE BRIEF: A young family seeking new digs made an exciting find in the form of a century-old house. Unfortunately, it hadn’t been refreshed since the ’70s. Having relocated from a loft downtown, the first-time homeowners wanted a more open-concept floor plan for the dated property – but debated about just how much modernity the house would embrace. They presented their conflicting visions to Studioac, which proposed relocating the kitchen to the rear addition’s mudroom and replacing it with something a little more simpatico.
THE SOLUTION: A total gut job created a free-flowing first floor culminating in a kitchen that acts as both family hub and visual focal point. The navy and ivory cookery’s toned-down take on a high-impact palette effectively marries modern and traditional. Further fusions of styles are found in the details: face-frame cabinetry adds period charm, and a sleek wooden shelf showcases minimalist serving ware. The 2.4-metre peninsula is ready for work and casual meals, while a back door off the side mudroom connects the kitchen to the cedar-clad patio. ARCHCOLLAB.COM
185 square metres in Oakwood Village
THE BRIEF: Two frequent globetrotters set out to demolish their home in the old city of York and erect something more eclectic. Reigo & Bauer – known for putting their own signature twists on modern style – devised a monolithic black residence that juxtaposes its minimal form with fun flourishes, like an inset alcove decked in bold hot pink. The next step: carrying that mash-up of austerity and attitude inside to create a kitchen that delivers its own surprises.
THE SOLUTION: Whimsical furnishings and storied materials counterbalance the space’s clean, simple architecture. Set on playfully regal legs, the custom island by Filo Timo looks like it was lifted straight out of a fantasyland. Further character comes courtesy of textural melamine cabinetry and marble countertops, which will document the passage of time with their chips and marks. An oven hood and backsplash clad in an oil-rubbed steel echo the coppery sheen of the nearby pendants. In a nod to the pink entrance cut-out outside, the fridge and walk-in pantry are tucked into an angular nook. REIGOANDBAUER.COM
1 Bistrostyle IKEA CABINETRY; SHELVES BY COLETECH; CAESARSTONE COUNTERS; OLYMPIA TILE BACKSPLASH; PENDANTS FROM SESCOLITE; APPLIANCE LOVE RANGE AND FRIDGE; METTRO SOURCE TILE; FLOORING BY INVISION HARDWOOD.
2 GOURMET CHIC WHITE OAK FLOORING FROM NORTHERN WIDE PLANK; STUDIO ITALIA DESIGN PENDANTS FROM LIGHTFORM; WINDOWS AND SKYLIGHT FROM JELD-WEN.
COUNTERTOPS BY MARBLE AND MARBLE; MILLWORK BY O’SULLIVAN; RAKKS SHELVING SYSTEM; REJUVENATION PENDANTS; OAK FLOORING FROM MONCER.