When you do a renovation, it’s easy to throw shade at the room that you’re replacing—but even though Swift Current, Saskatchewan designer Kelsey Grose of Farmer’s Daughter Interiors gave this kitchen in Swift Current’s Chinook neighbourhood a total overhaul, she still bestows some kind words to the designer that came before. “The original kitchen was well done at the time, but it was just feeling dated and ready for a refresh,” says Grose. Prairie manners: they’re hard to shake.

As great as it may have been for previous homeowners, the truth is this, for the current couple living there, the kitchen left something to be desired. Two large corner cabinet units that were taking up a significant amount of counter space and large peninsula separated the dining room access from the kitchen. All in all, the room was bulky and closed in—not exactly an ideal situation for the current homeowners, a couple who loves to entertain and bake. So Grose stepped in (politely, natch) to open up the kitchen to the dining area and build a roomy new island to act as a hub for both lazy baking-project days and lively dinner party prep.

BEFORE: A Dark, Dated Kitchen

a photo of a dated 90s-era kitchen

a photo of a dated 90s-era kitchen

a photo of a dated 90s-era kitchen

a photo of a dated 90s-era kitchen

a photo of a dated 90s-era kitchen

To expedite the renovation process, Grose left the appliances in their original location and the new cabinet plan was built around them, with millwork by Son Woodcraft. “The layout was already quite efficient so we felt good about working with what was there,” she says.

Another leftover element from the original kitchen? These black floors. Leaving them in, though, gave Grose a creative challenge: how do you create a warm, inviting feel with such dark flooring? The answer lay in the materials, selected with balance in mind. Caesarstone’s Cloudburst Concrete quartz was the pick for the countertops; on the wall, Morrocan zellige is both soft and textural. “We needed something subtle but interesting and the zellige is the perfect balance of both, in my opinion,” says Grose.

AFTER: A Bright, Beautiful Kitchen Renovation

kitchen with light cabinets and dark floor

a new countertop from caesarstone

white oak cabinets brighten up a kitchen

a close-up of the prep sink

Just one cabinet colour was used throughout (whitewashed oak), and one countertop for the perimeter cabinets, the island, and the coffee bar. One backsplash tile lines the wall throughout. “Simplicity and clean modern lines can still feel warm and inviting,” says Grose. “We chose to add warmth and interest with the texture of the tile and warm-toned metals in the hardware and lighting.” Beautiful Clay McLaurin drapery over the windows adds another layer of softness here; a Tech Lighting pendant illuminates the island.

a blurred woman in a bright beautiful kitchen

Thoughtful details abound. A hidden cutting board stows away over the garbage can on the island, while a built-in knife block slides out of sight and a hidden drawer-within-a-drawer were installed to keep door-panel heights looking the same across the kitchen. A very slim crown profile on the cabinets keeps the focus on the woodwork itself and contributes to a modern feeling in the room.

a kitchen cabinet detail shot

blueberries on a countrop

a close-up shot of the sink and window

a modern light fixture hangs above the new kitchen island

And to the left of the sink, Grose designed a “baking cabinet.” The counter-to-ceiling cabinet and has retractable doors to give the homeowner easy access to all her baking supplies and appliances. “I just talked with her the other day and she’s had many days of baking with the grandkids and making recipe books together… just what she was envisioning when she decided to embark on this project.”

Additional Credits: Faucet by Brizo; accessories by The Home Quarter