OF PAINT AND PAINT’S ABIL­ITY

How an up­cy­cling pro cre­ated a new-look­ing kitchen for a lot less than you’d ever ex­pect.

Style at Home - - News - TEXT BETHANY LYTTLE | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY DONNA GRIF­FITH | STYLING MOR­GAN LIND­SAY

How an up­cy­cling pro cre­ated a newlook­ing kitchen for a lot less than you’d ever ex­pect

There goes the neigh­bour­hood! Or so it seemed when Janet Hamil­ton and her 15-year-old son, Josh (now 17), pulled into the drive­way of their newly pur­chased 1960s brick bun­ga­low in Burling­ton, Ont., – in a 30-foot-long RV. For 10 days and nights, the beast, crammed with home fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories, just sat there in the drive­way. No­body had said any­thing, but every­one was def­i­nitely think­ing:

Who ARE these peo­ple?!

“Our last house had sold, but this one was still be­ing ren­o­vated. So, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!” says Janet with a laugh. Look­ing back, she can’t be­lieve she drove the mam­moth RV at all. “I had zero ex­pe­ri­ence!” she re­mem­bers, recounting how she nav­i­gated the quiet, nar­row res­i­den­tial streets at a crawl. “I still don’t know how I pulled it off!”

But liv­ing on-site turned out to be a ben­e­fit. “I could hop out of the RV and into the house to look in on the ren­o­va­tions. Over­see­ing a project is im­por­tant,” says Janet. “As a woman, it can be hard to speak up, but you’ll be liv­ing there long af­ter the project is done and the work­men have left, so it’s no time to be quiet.”

Cre­at­ing a fam­ily-friendly kitchen that still felt cool was Janet’s big­gest pri­or­ity. Walls were re­moved be­tween the for­mer cramped pink kitchen and the tight din­ing room to trans­form the area into an open-con­cept liv­ing space.

From there, Janet pur­chased maple cab­i­nets com­plete with stor­age draw­ers at Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Re­Store for $2,500. They were an eye­sore, but as the owner of Paint It Like New!, a fur­ni­ture-paint­ing com­pany, Janet knew she could give them new life. She coated them in a warm mush­room grey at her shop and then retro­fit­ted them into a cook-friendly ar­range­ment. “Brand new, this would have cost $50,000,” she says.

For tex­ture, Janet pan­elled the is­land with greystained cedar planks. “Af­ter I fin­ished, the con­trac­tor told me I needed to be able to ac­cess the plumb­ing. Uh-oh!” But then she got in­ven­tive: She cut a square hole and made a match­ing panel that could eas­ily be re­moved. “It’s held on with mag­nets!” she says with a triumphant grin. It’s that kind of in­ge­nu­ity – along with her tal­ent for re­ju­ve­nat­ing sec­ond­hand finds – that helped Janet get the kitchen of her dreams, with no com­pro­mises nec­es­sary.

You’d never know the cab­i­netry in this space isn’t brand new, but thanks to a pro paint job, home­owner Janet Hamil­ton now has a high-end kitchen for thou­sands of dol­lars less than a new one would have cost. The 9-by-3-foot is­land is wrapped in cedar planks that she stained grey. This is where she hangs with her part­ner, and the four kids they have be­tween them.

BE­FORE

BE­LOW The nat­u­ral mush­room browns and silt greys in the quartzite coun­ter­top blend with any hue. So earth-toned ac­cents, such as a serene bowl filled with ar­ti­chokes, look just as won­der­ful here as a ma­genta dish filled with oranges would.

BOT­TOM “A clut­ter-free kitchen makes me feel at peace,” says Janet. “I only keep the things I re­ally need. All those books about or­ga­niz­ing are right!” A large is­land with stools makes this the per­fect kitchen for hav­ing com­pany while cook­ing. And if wine is de­sired, the bar area is nearby. “It makes the room feel like there’s al­ways a party about to hap­pen,” says Janet.

LEFT Janet did the back­splash tile work her­self. “It’s easy to do a brick pat­tern like this,” she says. “But for pro-look­ing re­sults, splurge on a qual­ity tile cut­ter.” White walls and herb pots off­set the muted grey cab­i­netry and the warm tones in the coun­ter­top. “White makes a grey kitchen look bright and clean,” says Janet.

What used to be a linen closet is now the bar area, which adds a def­i­nite cool fac­tor to the kitchen. Here, friends and fam­ily can pour a glass of wine as Janet (pic­tured be­low) cooks. The up­per cab­i­net was refaced with glass doors.

RIGHT Janet’s com­pany, Paint It Like New!, is her pas­sion. “Fresh paint is a fresh start,” she says. “It lets you spend ev­ery day in a room that makes you and your peo­ple happy. What’s bet­ter than that?” CON­TRACT­ING, Elite Sig­na­ture Homes; Ex­tra White SW7006 WALL PAINT, Sum­mit Gray SW7669 CAB­I­NETRY PAINT, Sher­win-Wil­liams; CAB­I­NETRY PAINT­ING, STOOLS, Paint It Like New!; CAB­I­NETRY, Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Re­Store; quartzite COUNTERTOPS, Cus­tom Gran­ite & Mar­ble; BACK­SPLASH TILES, The Home De­pot; RE­FRIG­ER­A­TOR, RANGE, RANGE HOOD, Goe­mans Ap­pli­ances; bam­boo FLOOR­ING, Lum­ber Liq­uida­tors; black BOWL, RUG, Elte.

Set out to let its new coat of paint dry, the up­cy­cled cab­i­netry looks like more of an art in­stal­la­tion than a kitchen in progress. BE­FORE

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