Western Living Magazine
East Van Escape
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Before it was renovated, the kitchen in this home had one memorable feature: the refrigerator was right in front of the window, annoyingly blocking the view to the yard. The easy solution was to wall over the view altogether and keep the large appliance put—easy, but not ideal for a homeowner who loves to cook and spend quality time in the kitchen.
Instead, designer Kevin Mitchell gave the whole space a rethink, and installed more than a few dream kitchen accessories in the process. He doubled down on the view to the garden, expanding it with larger windows (take that, fridge!), and covering the wall with a sparkling stainless tile backsplash. To match, Mitchell retained a metalworker to fabricate a stainless steel frame around the windows to dramatic effect.
The island—waterfalled to the floor in Lagos Blue Caesarstone—is home to plenty of storage, including a dedicated cabinet for the stand mixer (complete with its own Richelieu lift for ease of access), and a cleverly hidden liquor cabinet.
And that refrigerator? It’s now a side-by-side Sub-Zero, hidden behind cabinetry in close range to the prep island, which also hosts a pair of refrigerator drawers for juice boxes and other frequently accessed items.
1. Incorporate the stainless steel of a wall oven into the larger design. Instead of isolating the stainless Wolf wall oven and steaming/convection oven above it, Mitchell embraced the look: panels of stainless steel above them create anintentional design element in the cabinetry.
2. Tuck the liquor cabinet into the island. Beside the four bar stools is a purpose-built liquor cabinet. It’s cleverly designed to be hidden from view (great for a home with teen-agers), complete with a concealed lock.
3. Ditch the china cabinet. Built-in design tends to be more efficient than stand-alone units in its storage capacity—and time-saving, too. This drawer in the island is lined with anti-tarnish felt, perfect for keeping heirloom silver collections.
4. Treat overhead lighting like jewellery—make it elegant. These pendant lights by Jonathan Adler are designed with a chrome cage around a glass cylinder, adding just the right amount of sparkle.
5. Go deep with storage. Pull-out pantries, backed in stainless steel, ensure nothing gets lost to the back of cabinet again.
Originally published March 2013.
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