Before & after: Reno success
When Rachelle Lalonde and Edward Lounsbury bought their house in Toronto's Little Italy, they knew they would have to do something about the kitchen. "It was severely dated," Rachelle says, "and had no counter space -- there was literally about one-and-a-half feet of countertop. Also, the oven didn't work."
What they hated, says Rachelle, was "the lack of functionality and the fact that it was ugly." The kitchen also had several problems that needed fixing, including white ceramic tile leading from the front door through to the kitchen that was both damaged and difficult to clean, and bad lighting. "We used to live in a loft with a beautiful kitchen," Rachelle says, "and I thought I could live with this kitchen, but it turned into a daily reminder of how nice we had it in the loft."
Their goals for the reno included adding more working space and creating an attractive kitchen that they would enjoy spending time in. They also wanted a kitchen that would fit with the age of the house, built in 1924: "We wanted it to be modern but not look it," Rachelle says. So they installed a new gas stove and other appliances, replaced the ceramic floors with hardwood, put in new cabinets and countertops and replaced the double stainless steel sink with a large single ceramic one. By moving the stove and fridge and reducing the sink size, they added about five feet in counter room, increasing the efficiency of the space.
Rachelle and Edward now have a kitchen with room to move. What do they like best? "It's beautiful and functional," says Rachelle, "and looks like it belongs with our 82-year-old house."