Cheer­ful kitchen high­lights el­e­gant colour choices and qual­ity crafts­man­ship

Ottawa Magazine - - GREAT SPACES -

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

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