Architecture decor

An all-white palette, glass backsplash, traditional architecture and contemporary furnishings create a chic cuisine.

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Image: Stacey Brandford / Styling: Ann Marie Favot

An all-white palette, glass backsplash, traditional architecture and contemporary furnishings create a chic cuisine.

As far as design overhauls go, this kitchen takes the cake. Once dark, narrow and tired, with basic fittings and worn-down finishes, it’s now light, bright and expansive – a contemporary design with serious wow factor, thanks to designer Shirley Meisels of MHouse. After living in this midtown Toronto Georgian-style house for 31 years, the homeowners were ready for a change. They wanted something youthful, fresh and modern, with ample room to host large family gatherings for their kids and grandchildren. Inspired by the European trend of marrying traditional architecture with modern design, the couple chose a mix of ultra-sleek details, such as minimalistic all-white cabinetry and a glass backsplash, and old-world elements like a coffered ceiling and sash windows. The result is not only a fresh youthful space where the family loves to hang out when they visit, but also one of the homeowners’ favourite spots in the house when they’re solo.

This kitchen overhaul included reconfiguring rooms (the laundry space was moved to the second floor and the powder room was relocated on the first) and adding an extension that replaced a covered porch at the back of the house. The resulting 22-by-20-foot kitchen is bright, expansive and full of character.

With practicality in mind, designer Shirley Meisels outfitted the kitchen with two types of countertop material. “Marble can be a little temperamental,” she says. “So we chose more durable composite quartz for the cooking areas and used marble on the island, which has no sink and won’t be used as a prep station.”

The uber-modern brass pendant lights, with their simple geometric design, as well as the iconic Louis Ghost stools, are sculptural focal points that add modern edge. The light oak floors were a happy accident. “Originally, they were going to be re-stained in a dark finish,” says Shirley. “But when the existing stain was stripped from the floor, the homeowners loved the lighter look and decided to keep it.”

Defined by a mix of old and new, the eat-in area features a Mid-Century Modern Saarinen dining table surrounded by Louis XVI-style dining chairs with wipeable white vinyl seats. “Those chairs used to be in my dining room,” says one of the homeowners. “They’re probably 36 years old and have been re-covered several times.” The windows and French doors lead to the backyard and let in lots of natural light.

Small hits of brass and a touch of colour bring this sleek modern white kitchen to life. 

Perchoir pendant light in Brass, 18″, Lambert & Fils, $945. 

MDF 2-door Luna sideboard in White, Structube, $299.

Philippe Starck for Kartell polycarbonate One More stool in Clear, Design Within Reach, $585.

Safavieh glazed ceramic Tao garden stool, O.co, $126.

Stoneware Cambria dinner plate in Turquoise, Pottery Barn, $40 US per set of 4.

Oval marble-topped Marcel dining table, Elte Market, $2,975.

 

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