A new contemporary renovation cleverly balances a minimalistic aesthetic and cutting-edge appliances with just the right amount of warmth and functionality.
Inspired by the simple, clean lines of Scandinavian design, the owners of this newly renovated house high up on a hill in Spanish Point had always wanted a white, open kitchen. Installed in 1992, the original kitchen was about half the size of the new, with Corian countertops and particleboard cabinets partially blocking their spectacular view of both the North Shore on one side and the Great Sound on the other.
The owners, who bought the house in 2006, began renovations last August. Working with CTX Limited, the entire house was stripped and gutted, rewired and replumbed; all ceilings were opened up, several rooms were added and much of the existing perimeter wall in the main living area was removed and replaced with glass folding walls to bring the view back into the house. As the design of the house came together, the kitchen concept evolved from a more traditional style to a contemporary, minimalistic aesthetic with cutting-edge appliances and mechanical details.
“At first, we favoured cabinets with simple hardware and farmhouse sinks, but over time we changed our minds to a more contemporary layout with no hardware and an undermount Kohler Stages sink,” says the homeowner. A young couple with a keen interest in technology, they turned to Pinterest and home-remodeling website Houzz.com for inspiration, then called CTX to bring their ideas to fruition.
“The clients’ priority was to have full-height, wall-to-wall windows in the kitchen,” says interior designer Lauren Grayston of CTX, “but in order to meet building-code requirements, we needed to incorporate GFCI receptacles. We came up with the idea of the pop-up receptacles carefully placed in the corners of the countertop to allow us to maintain the functionality of the workspace while hiding the nuts and bolts beneath the beautiful white-quartz countertops.”
Other compromises were made. With windows taking priority over cabinetry, providing adequate storage was a challenge, so the designers created a functional butler’s pantry with a display cabinet and rollout shelving for fine china. A plan for a double oven was scrapped in favour of open shelving over the countertop to access everyday china easily.
In keeping with the sleek look, the designers and owners chose appliances – such as the glass-front SubZero refrigerator – that fit their minimalist, open-plan concept while providing functionality for their lifestyle. The custom-paneled Bosch dishwasher is fully integrated and whisper quiet. The Wolf sealed-burner gas cooktop is a joy to cook on and a cinch to clean up. The Wolf L-series electric oven is as beautiful as it is functional. The Wolf micro-convection oven provides twice the cooking power in half the space, and the stainless-steel Wolf hood not only provides great air ventilation but also perfect task lighting over the cooktop.
Considering the owners’ love for cooking and entertaining, they also included a 46-bottle SubZero wine fridge and a Wolf warming drawer.
Creating a contemporary all-white and stainless-steel kitchen that feels inviting rather than cold and stark can be a challenge. CTX chose to correct the balance by using a variety of wood and glass elements in the space and allowing the view to take center stage.
“The wood components are key to keeping the otherwise white kitchen from feeling clinically white,” explains Grayston. “Wooden doors, window frames, flooring and countertops in light and mid-tones add warmth and textural interest. Also, the full-height, wall-to-wall windows and folding glass walls provide spectacular views from every angle. The clean lines and look of the cabinets are a good balance to the brilliant blues and greens of the waters of the Great Sound on one side and North Shore on the other.
“The indoor-outdoor open-concept space along with the white-on-white combination create a light and airy feeling that is grounded by the use of wood components and high-end, stainless-steel appliances and lighting,” continues Grayston. “Overall, I love how the kitchen feels well-balanced, and the entire space has a great energy.”
The owners agree. “Our kitchen is a great space for us. We wanted it to feel open, light and bright, and I think we have achieved that,” they conclude.
General Contractor: SJ Construction
Kitchen Designer: CTX Interiors
Kitchen Installer: SJ Carpentry
Plumbing Contractor: Shirley Ming
Electrician: MP Electrical
Flooring: Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring
SubZero glass-door fridge: Joshua Bate Trading
Wolf warming drawer: Joshua Bate Trading
Wolf micro-convection oven: Joshua Bate Trading
Wolf cooktop, oven & vent hood: Joshua Bate Trading
Bosch dishwasher: Joshua Bate Trading
SubZero wine fridge: Joshua Bate Trading
Kohler Stages sink: BAC
Plumbing fixtures: BAC
Windows/Doors: PVC Windows and Doors
Painting: SJ Construction
Paint: Rowe Spurling
Tiling: SJ Construction
Air Conditioning: Climate Services
Millwork: SJ Carpentry
Recessed and cabinet lighting: ESC/CTX Interiors
Cabinetry: Christiana Cabinetry