Cheerful kitchen highlights elegant colour choices and quality craftsmanship
You live with a kitchen for years and years it’s dull but functional, and you know in your heart that one day you’ll make it so much more. And so it was for Maureen*, who inherited a very basic closed-in kitchen when she and her husband moved into a comfortable 1930s house with their young family 22 years ago. “We didn’t have much time to plan or much money,” says Maureen with a laugh, noting that they immediately knocked out the wall between the kitchen and dining room and installed some basic Ikea cabinetry. It was a quick solution that they would live with for the next two decades. “When your kids are growing up, you don’t expect everything to be beautiful, but I’d often think about how I might change things once life slowed down.”
Those vague plans crystallized into action after Maureen invited Janise Saikaley to stop by for a visit. Maureen had gotten to know the owner of Uproar Interiors over six years of browsing in her retail store, occasionally buying Farrow and Ball paints to enliven her walls. One day she asked the designer to come over to give colour advice on her living room. “That’s where it all started,” says Maureen, before explaining that it wasn’t until a few years after that first visit that she got around to renovating her kitchen. “Janise’s response was ‘Finally!’ ”
The two revelled in working together to reimagine the small space, knowing that they wanted to preserve the originality of the room while making it feel brighter and more generous. The birch floor, sanded down to near nothingness over the decades, was replaced by a graphic tile that is dramatic without being overwhelming. Cabinet and furniture maker Gregor Bruhn of Handwerk was enlisted to build smart kitchen storage, including a pullout pantry, while cleverly hiding a compact dishwasher and fridge. Floating upper cabinetry is glass-fronted, making it feel airy while allowing Maureen to show off her dishware.
Saikaley paired the gravitas of Farrow and Ball’s rich Inchyra Blue on the cabinets with the refreshing creaminess of Tunsgate Green on walls that, on sunny days, seem to glow. A classic marble counter and backsplash complete the look, with warmer accents provided by floating maple shelves and a butcher-block counter facing the dining room.
Amazingly, the entire project came together in just one month, and Maureen couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. “I appreciate beauty, but in a non-elegant way,” she says. “Now that it’s finished, my kitchen feels warm — put-together, but not too polished.” * Last name withheld at owner’s request.
Glass fronts give the floating cabinetry a light feel and allow Maureen to showcase her kitchenware
Part of what attracted Maureen to a natural marble backsplash and countertop is that it will show signs of wear over time. “I like the look of marble and the idea that it will someday show its age”
While the tile floor and custom cabinetry have a traditional feel to them in keeping with the age of the house, the stove is resolutely modern