When a kitchen has its own custom cabinetry for the four-legged member of the family, you know that no detail has been overlooked and every aspect of the most important room in the house has been carefully, and in the case of Bonnie Brae, imaginatively thought through.
The owners turned to the artistic expertise of Patti Crouch and Jill Henneberger, design directors at ByDesign Ltd., for their renovation, asking them to create a big working kitchen in an open-plan, family home. They also wanted a friendly atmosphere for house guests and visitors, and to take advantage of the magnificent view across Mid Ocean.
The result is a light, bright, stylish and expansive kitchen that spills out onto a new covered patio which has dining for ten, a relaxed seating area, a built-in hearth style barbeque and stunning views. “The client wanted to have a modern open-concept cooking environment, but with a classic yet elegant coastal styling,” explain the designers. It was also important to the owners that their kitchen look clean and free of appliances.
Extensive custom cabinetry made by Andy Chiappa and a large pantry hidden behind the panelled fridge make the kitchen a cooking enthusiast’s dream, while at the same time completely clutter-free. In addition to shelving and drawers, the pantry also serves as a mini breakfast or beverage preparation area with toaster, kettle, coffee machine, small sink and even a tile backsplash which matches the main kitchen. “When you go in there, on the right there’s a sink so you can do your coffee, clean your dishes and not be in the way,” explains Henneberger.
There is a serene, coastal feel to the kitchen, created through the choice of colour and materials. The light stone tile floor, ice blue cabinets, blue-grey backsplash tile, matching chair and blind fabrics, white quartz countertops, high tray ceiling, polished nickel accents and elegant nickel and glass pendant lights above the large kitchen island all combine to achieve this. Wide, floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead out to the patio where an outdoor version of the indoor floor tile has been used to bring the two areas together and ensure the new patio feels very much like a part of the kitchen. “The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it’s also where the party ends up,” continues Henneberger. Space was therefore crucial along with lots of comfortable seating and entertaining areas.
With both indoor and outdoor entertaining in mind, a wine fridge and drinks area has been strategically placed on the inside of the sliding doors, and at the other end of the doors is the aforementioned pet cabinetry, which stylishly hides the dog flap that allows its owner to get in from and out to the patio. The canine of the house is picky about who he likes, so Bonnie Brae’s owners wanted to make sure he could come and go as he pleased. If someone comes to the house he isn’t too sure of, they can lock him either inside or outside as required. While the patio flows easily from the kitchen, it also has a distinct feeling of its own. Darker, more striking tiling has been used behind the barbeque, and this outdoor cooking area has its own spot lighting above. Wall lighting on either side of the hearth, along with wooden cabinets and a wooden patio ceiling are interesting and warm. Hidden in the wooden ceiling are more spot lights.
A separate, self-contained laundry area was added off the kitchen with matching cabinetry and flooring so even when the sliding pocket doors that separate the two rooms are open, the area still looks sleek and elegant. The doors can, of course, be closed to keep the room hidden—particularly useful when entertaining guests.
“The interior design shone bright,” say the judges, who particularly loved the “awesome pantry,” the inside-outside aspect to the kitchen, the “great” barbeque area, the way the coastal colours were “carried through beautifully” and the flow of the whole area. “The dog hatch won it for me,” adds one.