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.
Once a floorplan for the sitting area was developed -- one
that focused less on the fireplace -- we set about to select
the furniture. Given that our client expressed no particular
preferences, we decided to kickstart the process by taking her
for a visit to a manufacturer's showroom. Having settled on a
sofa style, we were able to zero in on two complementary chairs.
A contemporary version of a wingchair was designated to nestle
in beside the fireplace and window, offering a cozy corner for
reading or TV viewing. A small clubchair would sit near the family
room entrance. Working with the supplier's samples, the client
then selected a soft fabric the colour of driftwood for the sofa
and wingchair which we 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.
Our upholstered pieces, while comtemporary with simple straight
lines, are classic and marry well with the client's heirloom
drum table and antique sewing box. 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 esthetically. 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 rejigging 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
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.