A white kitchen with dark-coloured countertops and hardware.
Equipped with function and style, this casual kitchen was made to be used by its owners – a couple that loves to cook and entertain.
Twelve years have passed since Gail Dignam, her husband, Michael, and their three daughters made this Tudor-style stone house their home. They’ve always loved the heritage of the century-old house, but the 1980s addition? Not so much. Cramped and dark, it served as a dysfunctional kitchen with a tiny kitchen island, an insufficient cooktop and no room for guests. The family made the best of it, but for Gail, an avid cook and entertainer, it was a constant source of frustration.
Then along came Carol Reed. Looking beyond the kitchen’s poor layout, the Toronto-based interior designer noted the two-storey addition’s vertical potential. “It had a catwalk that blocked the light and a pantry that made the kitchen’s footprint smaller,” she says. So, beginning with the removal of these structural details, she embarked on a nine-month transformation. The outcome? An East-Coast-meets- farmhouse-style kitchen filled with light and all the modern amenities.
Click on the image to see this gorgeous kitchen renovation.
DIY bulletin board
Accessorize with the things you love. Carol did this for Gail by creating a bulletin board from her wine cork collection. And knowing Gail’s love of all things beachy, Carol included touches of seaside colour, such as the watery blue-green hue of the bar stools.
Use a Lazy Susan to hold a collection of oft-used culinary essentials, such as oils, vinegars and spices. Attractive bottles and dishes double as a chef-inspired display when they’re not in use, making it a counter-worthy kitchen accessory either way.
A cozy kitchen
To keep a white kitchen feeling cozy, not cold, layer in dark-coloured countertops and hardware, light woods, aged-looking metal accents and soft colour, such as the watery blue colour used in this room.
If you have the space, use multiple seating areas to accommodate different types of gatherings. Here, a long harvest-style dining table is perfect for sit-down meals, while the kitchen island is better suited for casual cocktails and afternoon snacks.
They may seem like extras you don’t need, but convenient kitchen gadgets like a pot filler, wine fridge and prep sink dramatically improve cooking and entertaining ease. Maximize space by installing an under-counter microwave drawer.
Light toned hardwood floors
If you want floors that look reclaimed but are actually new, consider a light tone in character-grade oak. Its knots and imperfections won’t show wear as much as “clear” wood, making it ideal for high-traffic areas – and it’ll look like it’s been there for years.
Opt for low-maintenance surfaces. Quartz countertops, as opposed to marble, are easier to care for – bonus if you choose a darker colour, such as black, which is better at hiding stains and imperfections.
Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean a pantry has to be drab. Silver serveware, a fancy faucet and fresh flowers make this one as attractive as it is utilitarian. Beadboard panelling was added for a farmhouse-style backdrop.
Updating kitchen cabinetry
Update basic white cabinetry with attractive millwork to lend it a high-end, custom look. Use elements like corbels, toe-kick corner blocks, crown moulding and baseboards. The result? Cabinets with the feeling of always-been-there furniture.
The antique focal point
Usher in an antique to make a new kitchen look old. Designer Carol Reed kept homeowner Gail Dignam’s well-worn monk’s table in the kitchen. Surrounded by dark brown country-style chairs, the table serves as a focal point in the farmhouse-inspired room.
Get the look: Fresh farmhouse