Kitchen interior: Fresh traditional
When it came time to gut the dated kitchen, the couple called on designer Aly Velji, whom they met when they needed help picking paint colours for their former home. Five years and several room renos later, they knew they could trust Aly to help realize their vision. “We wanted to make the kitchen kid-friendly but also make it look current and really fresh,” says Aly, “so that’s the approach we took.”
The brown-stained oak floors and dark grey quartz countertop add warmth and depth. “Plus, quartz is a nice feature because it’s very durable,” says Sarah. Designed with function in mind, the cabinetry houses elements like a pullout wine rack, spice rack and garbage drawer.
From dark to light
Creating a bright, family-friendly space had been a top priority since Sarah and Aaron Smith, both engineers, moved into this Calgary home about three years ago. (They now share the house with their two sons, Bennett, 3, and Connor, 1.) Originally, the room, with its overbearing cabinetry, felt very dark and confined. Flow between the kitchen and dining room was awkward, and features like an ineffectual pass-through on one side and low-hanging cabinetry on another didn’t help. “If people were standing on the other side of the counter, they had to duck down below the cabinets to see you,” says Sarah.
To create a bright, fresh kitchen space with better flow, walls were taken down and the space was decorated in a light palette.
Storage and functionality
First things first: the walls enclosing the kitchen came down and the dining room’s vaulted ceiling was evened out, streamlining the resulting 16-by-21-foot space. With functionality an enormous consideration, the new traditional cabinetry – the homeowners didn’t want to go too modern in their 1960s house – was packed with handy custom storage solutions.
A wall of cabinetry surrounding the fridge and double ovens includes a pantry with handy pullout shelves.
The mix of modern and traditional elements creates a timeless aesthetic, and some eclectic decorative touches, such as a row of glass globe pendant lights and Roman shades with a modern trellis pattern, work to elevate the kitchen’s inviting charm. “I’m always looking to do something a little bit differen and unexpected,” says Aly.
The dark grey quartz countertop helps to ground the all-white cabinetry and allows for home accessories to really stand out.
The stacked pale blue glass subway tiles and stainless steel appliances, which were chosen for their function and sleek modern look, says Sarah, juxtaposes the kitchen’s traditional cabinetry.
But it seems the most unexpected thing about this undeniably sophisticated space is just how kid-friendly it really is: The glass kitchen backsplash is easy to clean, the stools are covered in stain-resistant microsuede and the ample marble-topped island offers the perfect spot for casual meals. “In the end, we were able to create a kitchen interior that doesn’t look ‘kiddish’ but in fact can be used by a family,” says Sarah.