Welcome to the JUST the THING website! Portfolio: Condo Kitchen
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As for any condo, there are challenges in renovating a kitchen, since fixed elements such as plumbing and wiring usually cannot be moved more than a few inches. With this project, opening up the space was out of the question. Our mission became to maximize function with a minimal renovation budget, as this retired couple prefers to spend money on travel rather than furnishings. As per their request, we worked with existing appliances to help control costs.

The general layout of the pre-existing kitchen was an L-shape, with scant room to squeeze in a small breakfast table and extra storage cabinet against a blank wall. This wall became the focus of our redesign, as it permitted us to create a more functional galley layout. Anchored by a tall pantry equipped with rollout shelves, a deep granite counter at standard table height now serves as a casual dining table, occasional desk, and extra serving/prep surface. Supporting the counter are standard upper cabinets, which offer loads of extra storage space for seldom-used items. Above the counter is a mix of open and closed shelving to display some of the client's extensive collection of handcrafted dishware and glassware.

While the rest of the kitchen basically retained its original configuration, we converted standard lower cabinets to deep drawer units, which make much more efficient use of space. For safety considerations and easier cooking, we shifted the stove away from the wall and fitted a narrow cabinet into the gap. Other simple but effective space savers are the addition of a deep cabinet above the fridge and a microwave-hood above the range. By using a single extra large sink, we were able to minimize the size of the cabinet it required and free up space for more useful storage.

We chose materials to get the most bang for the buck. Simple natural maple flat-panel fronts offer a clean contemporary look, while keeping the price down. Having them cut from continuous sheets of veneer gives them a custom look. The unusual crown detail at the ceiling was simply constructed from flat boards. Inexpensive ground tiles for the backsplash were accented with high-end glass mosaic tile. Granite counters were a splurge, but their durability makes this a worthwhile expense. The original plain tile floor -- which is continuous with the entry hall -- was retained as the clients requested, resulting in huge savings. Glass doors on selected upper cabinets let the clients' colourful collectibles shine through for high impact at little additional cost.

We invite you to continue exploring our site for design inspiration, then contact us to find out how we can provide 'just the thing' for you!

Also in this Portfolio:

VIEW | A 'NY-Style' Apartment
A Case of Scope Creep
VIEW | Jewel Box Condo
VIEW | A Very Personal Home
Entertaining Adults
VIEW | The Art of Compromise
VIEW | Pulling It Together
VIEW | Classic Modernism
Executive Townhouse
To the Next Level
VIEW | Calm, Cool, and Collected
VIEW | Home Sweet Home
VIEW | Going with the Flow
VIEW | Making it Work
Room with a View
Curated Downsize
VIEW | Downtown Pied-a-Terre
Designed to Sell
VIEW | Condo Kitchen

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JUST the THING specialises in makeovers of fine homes -- large and small -- throughout Toronto and the GTA.
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