As this new townhouse was purchased just a few months before
its scheduled completion, most of the finish selections were
already in place. Our contribution really all started with the
kitchen backsplash . . .
At the rear of the first floor is the great room -- a kitchen
combined with a family room. The clients decided that instead
of having a TV area here they would use this space as their formal
dining area. This demanded that we add some glam to the open
kitchen. Among the few changes possible was the backsplash: instead
of the marble tiles originally specified, we selected an irridescent
glass mosaic. Against this sparkling backdrop, the stainless
steel range and hood look positively elegant! We chose taupe
quartz countertops to quietly complete the look.
Inspired by the kitchen mosaic's spectrum of taupe, pink,
green, and turquoise, we developed several fabric/colour schemes
for the client to choose from. Of course, she liked ALL of them,
and so we used these as the departure point for our designs in
various parts of the house.
In the kitchen/dining room, we worked with a palette of taupes
and mauvey-pink. The clients wished to use parts of a dining
suite inherited from her parents. Although we nixed the suite's
matching buffet and hutch in favour of a large new curio cabinet
with a graphic fretwork front, the oval table was a perfect fit
for the room's long narrow proportions. Refinishing it and the
matching chairs in a coffee bean stain brought these pieces back
to life. Chair seats were re-covered in mauve and taupe stripes.
To mix up the seating, we brought in the Parsons chairs purchased
for their former place; with white leather upholstery replaced
by taupe textured chenille, and stripped of tufting details,
these chairs have taken on a whole new understated personality.
Definitely NOT understated are the new barstools at the island,
covered in pink faux crocodile. Windows are simply dressed with
embroidered linen drapery. Over the island, a contemporary pendant
shaped like an open globe adds a sculptural element, while a
pair of simple crystal sconces add sparkle to the dining area.
Walls are painted in a toasty taupe shade (aptly named "Simmering
pots", Para Paints) that blends with the soft furnishings,
while a warm cream on the bulkheads and ceiling blurs the line
between cabinetry and architecture. A thin line of taupe outlines
the ceiling just inside the crown moulding, emphasizing the volume
of the room and unifying its component spaces. In an opposite
vein, we tore out the hardwood flooring in the kitchen portion
(too high maintenance for a serious cook) and replaced it with
a creamy porcelain tile that mimics planks. Its light tone blends
with the main kitchen cabinetry, lightens the work area, and
lends the island a "floating" quality. While the sharp
contrast in floor colour separates the two areas, the dark wood
tone of the contrasting border ties in with the remaining hardwood.