TREND­SET­TER

A PR maven up­dates her Toronto kitchen to cre­ate a chic space with stay­ing power.

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A PR maven up­dates her Toronto kitchen to cre­ate a chic space with stay­ing power

CHRISTINE FAULHABER IS NO STRANGER TO TRENDS. “It’s my job to be on the pulse of what’s new and now,” says the head of Faulhaber Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a PR and mar­ket­ing firm in Toronto. When this in-the-know gal’s kitchen got an up­date last year, it was des­tined to have a cov­etable cur­rent look. But first, the 420-square-foot space – which hadn’t seen more than a coat of paint since the ’80s – needed to be brought into this decade.

Seek­ing help to gut the room and start over, the well-con­nected home­owner pulled out her loaded Rolodex and called in de­signer Amy Dil­lon of AyA Kitchens and Baths. “For the most part, we kept the lay­out pretty sim­i­lar,” says Amy. “But we tweaked things to im­prove us­abil­ity.” The up­grades in­cluded re­plac­ing cab­i­nets with space-sav­ing pull­outs, swap­ping bulky ap­pli­ances for sleek, well-in­te­grated op­tions and sup­plant­ing the old is­land with a longer nar­rower one that ac­com­mo­dates seat­ing with­out im­ped­ing flow.

With func­tion taken care of, Amy fo­cused on the fin­ishes, opt­ing for el­e­ments be­fit­ting this fash­ion-for­ward pro­fes­sional. She cites the sleek two-tone cab­i­netry, open stor­age and a fea­ture wall sans up­pers as ex­am­ples. “Trends can date them­selves down the line,” says Amy, “so I in­cor­po­rated them in a sub­tle way, us­ing a neu­tral pal­ette.” The über­pop­u­lar en­caus­tic-look back­splash tiles are case in point. “The slew of

prints is a bit ag­gres­sive,” ad­mits Christine. “But they’re mono­tone, so it’s a safe choice.” Time-tested ad­di­tions, such as Mid-Cen­tury Mod­ern-style seat­ing, grass­cloth ac­cent wall­pa­per and cop­per ac­ces­sories round out the room, ce­ment­ing its stay­ing power.

The space is now both to­tally trendy and taste­fully time­less – a far cry from its ’80s days. We don’t ex­pect it will re­quire an­other up­date any time soon!

OP­PO­SITE Though they’re all the rage, Eames chairs have held iconic sta­tus since the ’50s. That’s why home­owner Christine Faulhaber didn’t hes­i­tate to buy a few for her eat­ing area six months be­fore the project even be­gan. “I love their dur- abil­ity,” she says. “My kids won’t break them, the cat won’t scratch them – they’re ge­nius.” ABOVE Though Amy chose min­i­mal mod­ern flat-pan­elled cab­i­netry, she var­ied the look by in­cor­po­rat­ing some open stor­age. “Dis­play space is im­por­tant to me,” says Christine (pic­tured), who show­cases cook­books and col­lectibles, such as her grand­mother’s porce­lain teacups. “These types of pieces give the space char­ac­ter and make it feel more like the rest of the rooms in the house.” TIME­LESS TREND Con­trast­ing cab­i­netry and open stor­age en­er­gize a white kitchen.

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