Photography valerie wilcox
Careful colour choices and function-friendly design merge for a mix that’s neat and natural.
Mere blocks from Lake Ontario in Pickering, the kitchen in this 1960s home was closed off from the rest of the house and cramped. Designer Orsi Panos removed a wall and dispensed with upper cabinetry, creating an airier space that’s open to the adjacent family room and entryway. Her use of clean lines, warm textures and saturated hues makes this room a magnet for family and friends.
“The kitchen is visible from the front door,” says designer Orsi Panos, “so, it needs to make a welcoming first impression.” A wall of handmade artisanal tile draws the eye inward. “Its shimmer contrasts with the monolithic black range hood, which is the kitchen’s focal point.” The lack of upper cabinetry accentuates the large window. Transparent Lucite counter stools keep the wood grain of the white oak island on show.
“I love saturated hues,” says Orsi, of the blue cabinetry. “I painted a lot of different blues on Bristol board to observe at various times of day before choosing this one.” The colour alludes to nearby Lake Ontario. She added brass hardware because its warm tone complements the wood. Orsi opted for boxed-in cubbies instead of open shelves. “They balance the heft of the cabinetry, and have hidden outlets for small appliances.”
A wall of storage and large drawers compensate for the lack of upper cabinetry. The end of the island has a reeded wood finish with a striated appearance that’s echoed in the washable cotton striped rug.