Homeowners and designer collaborate using natural elements and custom features to create a warm and inviting family kitchen.
Regardless of size or location, the kitchen is always the heart of any home: the place where family and friends regularly congregate to share food, love and laughter. When the owners of this Smith’s Parish home first bought it, they knew the kitchen was terribly outdated with pressed-wood cupboards and barely usable appliances, little counter space and not enough storage. It was also oddly located in the middle of the house with little natural light due to the previous owners’ additions.
Despite its shortcomings, the original kitchen was still the main area where guests congregated at every family gathering and the route through which the family passed to access the rest of the house. After much consideration and several rejected designs over the years, the family finally turned to Westport Architecture.
“After many proposals and designs that just didn’t appeal to us for various reasons, we recalled a conversation we had had with an interior designer friend who had given us some ideas about our home interior decor, and she had recommended Westport because they specialized in older-home renovations,” says the owner. “So we gave them a call – some 11 years later.”
“We proposed to relocate the kitchen so that it would have lots of natural light, and we rebuilt a new roof to create a better sense of volume,” said Tripp West of Westport Architecture. “The footprint of the kitchen is not any larger than normal, but having the high ceilings makes it feel spacious.”
Spacious, yes, but also warm and inviting. Natural elements like wood (stained maple cabinets custom-made by CW Construction), stone (Desert Sand granite countertops from Surface Trends), glass (a raised glass top for the island) and metal (stainless-steel appliances from Electrolux) give the room an appealing earthy vibe.
“We love light and bright colours,” says the owner. “However, we were moving away from the lighter woods and decided on a richer, darker look, so when we took that into consideration, we decided to keep the kitchen in the lighter tones. Granite was a must, but we didn’t want the traditional darker stones. The piece that we found tied everything in nicely. We also love the natural wood look and decided not to paint but to stain and varnish, and this was accentuated by keeping the wood beams in the ceiling natural.
“The other thing we wanted was glass tiles on the backsplash, and we needed to find a way to integrate that desire. Finally, we didn’t want to overdo the wood look, so we decided on tile flooring. However, we didn’t want small tiles and instead adopted the subway pattern both on the floor and the backsplash.”
Great collaboration between the homeowners and architectural designer resulted in special features the owners are pleased with, such as the raised-glass-top island around which the entire kitchen flows. On first draft, there wasn’t an island in the plans, but the owners insisted and had to sacrifice wall ovens to make it fit.
“I wasn’t prepared to go without the island,” says the owner. “We wanted it functional as well as a conversation piece. So after they completed the design and we decided how we wanted to use it, we agreed that we didn’t want a granite top – we were afraid it would be too much.
“I spotted this concept from an Australian magazine. They had integrated glass tops into their kitchen counter and eating area. I knew right then and there that was it! We both loved the idea. It was our wow factor and must have. I presented it to the contractor, and then proceeded to see who on the island could assist with making my concept a reality. Bermuda Glass was very helpful and in fact had a contact overseas that worked with glass designs for this type of use. We love the outcome. It’s different and for us it pops!”
Other custom details, such as a cohesive bar area for family functions, glass-fronted display cabinets, elegant chamfered edges on the cabinet doors, crown moldings and less-obvious magic-corner cabinets and integrated trash and recycling bins, make this kitchen both beautiful and highly functional.
“We helped them transform the space, but it’s very much their taste,” says West. “We helped create the space, but they made it a home.”
General Contractor: CW Construction/Westport Architecture
Kitchen Designer: Westport Architecture
Plumbing Contractor: After Hours Plumbing
Flooring: Pembroke Tile and Stone
Electrolux stove: Bermuda Supply
Electrolux fridge: Bermuda Supply
Tiling: Surface Trends
Air Conditioning: Air Pro
Millwork: CW Construction
Glass for island top: Bermuda Glass
Painting: CW Construction
Windows/doors: Tree Con
Stained maple cabinetry: Custom-made in Bermuda by CW Construction
Desert Sand granite countertops: Surface Trends