Like many renovations, the design of this beachy coastal  home in beautiful Oak Bay started in the kitchen. For Jenny Martin of Jenny Martin Design, making this modern build feel timeless meant using natural materials like brass and marble for an old-world charm that, over time, would take on a life of its own. “We picked a lot of the materials that had a more handmade feel and were imperfect by nature,” says Martin.

For a traditional kitchen design that’s still very functional, Martin turned to clever cabinetry and custom panelling. “We do the panel for the appliances so a lot of that more industrial feel is avoided and it feels a lot more like custom millwork,” says the designer. The cabinet framing serves as elegant camouflage for busy lives, and adds a classic feel. Photo: Dasha Armstrong

By adding materials that age gracefully—like the unlacquered brass handles on the cabinets that will darken and patina over time, or the marble countertops that will stain and scratch—the designer brings in an imperfection that gives a home its own characteristic beauty.

Like the cabinet pulls, the faucet that pairs with the kitchen’s farmhouse sink is unlacquered brass, meaning it will age naturally over time. “It gives it kind of an old European feel—which I think is charming and endearing and adds to the character of the whole home,” says the designer. Photo: Dasha Armstrong

“Every one of those little stains or marks is a story; it gives your house memories,” says Martin. “You go to Europe and you see a baker’s counter that they’ve been using for hundreds of years and it might have divots from all the work that has happened on it. But the patinas that it has are exactly what makes it so beautiful.” 

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