Penny Charette of North Bay, Ont., hated her '70s-style kitchen, so she and her husband, Donald, embarked on a four-month renovation to bring it into the 21st century. "My goal was to create an atmosphere that visually enlarged the kitchen," she says, "as the space isn't very big and we didn't have any options as far as removing walls."
The kitchen was only part of their reno -- they also updated a laundry room, two bathrooms and a living/dining room, all of which had retained the original '70s-style decorating. But Penny feels that the change was most dramatic in the kitchen -- the replacement of the wood tones of the original plywood cabinet doors with a clean white colour scheme has made the room significantly brighter and airier.
"We gutted the entire kitchen," Penny says. "We removed existing bulkheads but were able to keep original walls. We painted all the walls and added wall panels behind the kitchen table. We replaced the flooring with a black vinyl (it is to die for!) and replaced the kitchen door and all trim and mouldings." New custom-created cabinets from Dowdal Cabinets in North Bay were installed, and they added a peninsula and a beautiful honed black countertop.
What does Penny like most about her new kitchen? "I love the way it makes me feel -- peaceful, calm, with not a worry in the world! I can't wait to get up every morning and go to the kitchen to sit at the table and have a cup of a coffee with my husband. I have never been very good at cooking -- but with this kitchen, all I want to do is cook!"