At our first consultation, the client identified the family
room area as more in need of a change, with only minor adjustments
requested for the kitchen. The sitting area was to be a more
restful space, with muted, monochromatic tones. The fireplace
was identified as a particular problem area: the client felt
the detailing was too busy and disliked the look of the white
mantle and limestone surround. We, however, felt the fireplace
would work with the proper decor, and decided to deal with this
later in the project.
By placing a sofa in front of the window and occasional seating
opposite, we created a conversational grouping that focused less
on the fireplace. A contemporary wingchair was
designated to nestle in beside the fireplace and window, offering
a cozy corner for reading or TV viewing, while a small clubchair
sits near the family room entrance. A soft fabric the colour
of driftwood for the sofa and wingchair was teamed with a muted
pattern for the clubchair. We drew on this latter fabric's soft
green tone as the basis of our colour scheme, painting the walls
in a slightly bluer hue and the millwork in a warm white. We
mixed our contemporary but classic seating pieces with an heirloom
drum table and antique sewing box from the client's collection.
The client's desire to hide the TV led her to find a traditional-looking
wood cabinet that houses a hydraulic lift.
A dark bulls-eye mirror above the fireplace contributes to the
rhythm established by the room's dark elements. At the centre
of this area, a round glass and steel coffee table disappears
into the silvery Tibetan rug and echoes its contemporary loop
motif. Set against its new surroundings, the repainted fireplace
fits right in -- no further modifications required.
Once the major decisions for the seating area were made, we
turned our attention to the kitchen portion of the great room.
The more we discussed the issue,
the more it became apparent that more extensive work would be
required. While the general layout of the former kitchen suited
the clients quite well, its detailed millwork, glazed finish,
and busy granite did not appeal to them aesthetically. Our first
option was to reface the kitchen and replace the granite. Upon
further review we identified the need for more storage for these
avid cooks, and replacing the kitchen made more sense than re-jigging
the old one. We helped to contain renovation costs by working
within the original footprint, keeping appliances and plumbing
in or near their original positions. Functional improvements
were achieved by adding pot drawers and pullouts, taking the
cabinets to the ceiling, and squeezing a bookcase into a dead
space on the island. We also ramped up the lighting by installing
more recessed ceiling fixtures and under-cabinet illumination.
We selected simple Shaker doors for their timeless style that
works well with both traditional and contemporary furnishings
and partners perfectly with the sitting area's decor. The warm
white finish of the main cabinetry brightens the space, while
mottled black granite countertops provide bold counterpoint and
a backsplash mosaic of grey-veined marble softens the contrast.
The island's dark brown stain lends it a furniture feel, and
unifies the separate portions of the great room. Dark walnut
barstools upholstered in a soft blue-grey are elegant gracenotes.
The resulting space looks cool, calm, and serene while our
clients cook up a storm!