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LOGICALLY ECO A FORT LANGLEY HOME THAT’S ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

FINE FURNITURE A guide to kitchen furnishings TWO PLACES TO COOK A home gets two new kitchens:

FAMILY-FRIENDLY Kitchens that are designed to welcome everyone

THE WELLEQUIPPED CHEF

Get cooking with these culinary aids

one indoors, one outside

THE ART OF SHAWN O’KEEFE

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EDITOR’S LETTER

I THINK OF IT AS the perfect strand of pearls on the perfect little black dress. I am referring to the perfect kitchen accessory, be it a pendant light above an island, a stunning range hood, or counter stools that seem to urge guests to “sit a spell.” In any kitchen renovation, there are big decisions to be made. Quartz countertops or marble? Lacquered cabinetry or wood laminate? Porcelain flooring or hardwood? But we’ve observed that designers and homeowners are dedicating as much thought to those little added touches that enhance the space as they are to materials, volume and shape. These are the touches that become the wow factor, the metaphorical perfect string of pearls. A case in point is the kitchen designed by Tanya Schoenroth for Vancouverites Sara Ferguson and David Barnett. The couple wanted an open-plan space with a Californian vibe. The wow factors they chose – three Tom Dixon copper pendant lights above the island – are serious head-turners. So are the Eames counter stools. When designer Victoria McKenney designed the kitchen in her own home, she, too, gave a lot of thought to the elements that would enhance the space. The special details in her kitchen include a coffered ceiling, woven-resin counter stools and two black pendant lights that she found in a consignment shop. She painted the inside of the pendants a glorious gold. Instant wow factor.

If you’re wondering how to choose items that will enhance your own kitchen, look no further than two special features we’ve included in this issue. Our guide to the best in kitchen furnishings will help you find the right chairs, counter stools and light fixtures that will add a zap of “wow” to your space. And if you love cooking as much as I do, you’ll want to consult our guide to the latest culinary aids on the market. Whether you go big with a bells-and-whistles cappuccino machine for your counter, or discreet with a single crystal pendant over your dining table, it’s these extra touches that make a beautifully designed kitchen spectacular. Just like the perfect pearls on that little black dress.

STEPHANIE WHITTAKER Editor-in-Chief stephanie@movatohome.com

There are several ways you can stay in touch with us: @movatohome @movatohome @movatohome

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CONTRIBUTORS

JULIE GEDEON Seasoned writer Julie Gedeon appreciated the way the designers on both of the projects she profiled for this issue took the outdoor properties to heart. In one renovation, a newly built house was designed so that it would feel spacious on a large but still relatively narrow lot. In another project, the indoor/outdoor kitchen renovations focused on integrating key elements of a newly landscaped backyard to expand the home’s traditional boundaries.

Volume 6, number 1, Kitchens Issue 2018 Date of Issue: February 2018

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BRENDA O’FARRELL Writer, editor and journalist Brenda O’Farrell loves a good story. But perhaps more important, she is fascinated by how it is told. For this issue, Brenda frames the stories of two very different kitchens. One is the work of a designer who created a new space for herself. The other looks at a Vancouver home that was to get a small facelift, but ended up with a major you-won’t-recognize-this-home makeover.

PUBLISHER Dr. Sharon Azrieli CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Stanley Kirsh

TRACEY AYTON A successful photographer for more than 25 years, Tracey Ayton shot weddings and portraits for 15 years before going on to interiors, food and lifestyles. Her work has been published in online articles and in national and international magazines, including Martha Stewart, Domain Home, Rue, Kinfolk, Style At Home and the Globe and Mail. She is a fourth-generation Vancouverite, and much of her inspiration is drawn from the beach just steps from her home where she lives with her husband and their dog, Frankie.

TRACEY M ac KENZIE Tracey MacKenzie says she likes kitchen gadgets, “especially the ones that make my life easier.” Two of her favorites are Breville’s custom bread maker, which allows for the addition of nuts and fruit to homemade bread, and the Tri-Blade spiral vegetable slicer by World Cuisine, which makes spirals of carrots, zucchini and beets. “And when it comes to furniture, I love the trend of adding a banquette to a dining table. I first did this in my home in 2001 with an armless, high-backed chaise, and everyone thought I was crazy. I’m thankful the trend has moved to more streamlined versions.” For this issue, Tracey wrote a guide to kitchen furnishings and one that highlights the hottest kitchen gadgets on the market.

SUSAN KELLY Susan Kelly likes to think that as a writer, she wears many hats. But she doffs them all to the multitasking master she profiles in this issue, Victoria artist Shawn O’Keefe. She was fascinated to explore the complexity of thought and technique behind the tranquil surfaces of his exquisite landscape paintings “Calling him and his work ‘multidimensional’ is to understate the case,” she says. “Yet somehow, he fuses his many facets into something wonderful.” Susan is a frequent contributor who specializes in style and decor.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stephanie Whittaker ART DIRECTOR Randy Laybourne EDITORIAL MANAGER Tracey MacKenzie ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Carmen Lefebvre CONTRIBUTORS Julie Gedeon

CONTROLLER Jenny Marques DIRECTOR OF SALES - NATIONAL Kelly Chicoine ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Trudy Kerman

LEGAL DEPOSIT

2292-0870 Vancouver Home Magazine Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Any copying or reproduction of content without the written permission of Vancouver Home magazine is strictly prohibited. Publication # 41959020 issn

PHOTOGRAPHY Tracey Ayton David Kimber Martin Knowles Reuben Krabbe Janis Nicolay Ema Peter STYLING Paulie Dhillon Jamie Hamilton Victoria McKenney Carly Mens Greer Nelson Kelly Reynolds

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PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Wendy Loper

Susan Kelly Brenda O’Farrell

Morgan Weldrick

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CONTENTS

16 ON THE COVER LOGICALLY ECOLOGICAL

A Fort Langley home is designed and built to be environmentally respectful

LIGHT-FILLED

Windows on two walls give this Sunshine Coast kitchen 180-degree views of the water

26 34 VERY VERSATILE

Artist Shawn O’Keefe’s work reveals the broad sweep of his talent

60 FAMILY-FRIENDLY

Two designers create a kitchen that perfectly serves its owners’ busy lives

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CONTENTS

EXPANDING THE SCOPE

A project to renovate four bathrooms is expanded to overhaul the whole house

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6 EDITOR’S LETTER 14 THIS JUST IN A selection of new products for your home

44 GOOD DESIGN STARTS AT HOME A designer faces the challenge of creating a new kitchen in her own home

52 THE BEST OF EVERYTHING Our annual guide on how to find the best furnishings for your kitchen

68 CHIC AND RUSTIC Elegance and rusticity are successfully combined in this Kerrisdale kitchen

74 L.A. AMBIENCE

A couple have their kitchen redesigned to reflect a Californian aesthetic

80 THE WELL-EQUIPPED KITCHEN Cook your most creative meals ever with these helpful kitchen gadgets

94 THE RIGHT STUFF A kitchen is created for a potential buyer in mind

106 INDOORS AND OUT A renovation features both the indoor kitchen and its outdoor counterpart

SLEEK ITALIAN DESIGN

Scavolini’s new Caraterre line offers homeowners the perfect dream kitchen

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DESIGN

1. WIRE-BRUSHED WONDER “Elegance” is the name of this wire-brushed engineered oak hardwood flooring. It can be installed floating, nailed or directly glued. Each plank is six feet long and six inches wide, and has mild colour variations.  Available in seven colours. Casa Madera Hardwood Floors Inc. 3744 Hastings St., Burnaby 604- 294-WOOD (9663) www.casamaderafloors.com

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2. PLANET-FRIENDLY Trend Recycled Glass Surfaces are composed of up to 78 per cent recycled glass. These surfaces are non-porous and never require sealants or special cleaners. They are heat-, stain-, scratch-, chip-, impact-, and microbe-resistant. Available in more than a dozen colours. We show them here as countertops in Copper White, paired with Liberty Red tiles. Granite Transformations 6-91 Golden Dr., Coquitlam 604-695-7711 www.granitetransformations.com/vancouver

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DESIGN

ECO-CONSCIOUS FROM THE GROUND UP A West Coast Contemporary home in Fort Langley is built to respect the environment PHOTOGRAPHY: REUBEN KRABBE • STYLING: MORGAN WELDRICK

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BY NOW, BUILDING AN ECO-CONSCIOUS HOUSE should no longer be an unusual event. It simply makes sense that that’s the way to go. It also makes sense that the companies that design and build such dwellings should practise what they metaphorically preach. My House Design/Build/Team, responsible for this home in Fort Langley, is an exemplar. “The most important part of what we do was what we did before starting the house,” says Graeme Huguet, founder of My House Design/Build/Team. “Before starting the house” means not only the planning and design process but also the overall operation of My House Design /Build / Team. It’s an award-winning Built Green Canada-certified company whose internal operations are run on eco-friendly principles. •

Nelson lights and a fireplace with a basalt surround are focal points in the living area. The gas flames flicker above basalt tiles. The walnut-cased television is off centre to let the bas-relief panels by ModularArts to shine.

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“Being green is part of our everyday process,” Huguet says. “For 10 years, we’ve been making that part of our system in terms of how we build, how we design, how we plan.” That ethos guided every step in designing this house outside and in. It was built according to British Columbia’s building code for 2025 – yes, 2025. The province has a step code, a plan of action that lays out increasingly stringent regulations for years to come.

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“We make sure we meet energy efficiency requirements that will be in place in 2025,” Huguet says. The result is a home that is Energy-Star-rated and is certified Platinum by Built Green Canada. It has been nominated by the B.C. Georgie Awards for Best Custom Home valued between $900,000 and $1,299,999. My House Design/Build/Team is also nominated for a Georgie for Custom Home Builder of the Year. •

A triptych by Lone Tratt in the dining area pulls in the kitchen’s accent colour and hints at the pool beyond the sliding door.


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The kitchen design plays off warm walnut accents and flooring against white cabinetry and white countertops in Torquay quartz by Cambria. An objective in the kitchen was to avoid creating overhead storage. The only cabinet is above the coffee bar; it holds mugs and other accessories. The microwave oven is nestled within the island directly opposite the Wolf gas range.

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DESIGN

All this expertise has produced a modest but elegant example of West Coast Contemporary style suited to a one-child family. Within the home’s nearly 3,000 square feet are the open-concept great room (kitchen, dining, and living areas) and three bedrooms. Most of the home is single storey, with a smaller, centrally placed second storey that houses the child’s suite (bedroom, bathroom, and small den) and the upper portion of the doubleheight living room.

A platform bed in the master bedroom features integrated side tables of the homeowners’ design. A large sliding door gives on to the poolside patio.

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The master suite is on the main floor, as are the powder room, laundry room, and a small gym. An additional 1,648 square feet in the basement encompass a recreation room with bar, a guest bedroom, a full bathroom, and storage space. There were two particular client specifications that drove the plan devised by the company’s architectural designer Ignacio Lara-Faure: an open-concept living area and a swimming pool. “The swimming pool was important to the whole design and how to set the house out on the lot,” says Lara-Faure. “We also played with sunlight and getting as much light as possible in the house.” The result is an L-shaped building embracing a rectangular heated pool on two sides. The master bedroom and the dining and living areas of the great room all open onto the pool. The lighted pool has a southern exposure and provides a glistening effect both day and night, upping the light quotient in the home. •

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The clients also wanted natural-looking exterior finishes that are low maintenance. Lara-Faure clad the home in two materials: Longboard (by Mayne Coatings in Langley) with a natural cedar look, and HardiePlank, a fibre-cement product with a stucco look. The fascia and gutters are wrapped in aluminum. “The house is nicely finished and simple,” says Lara-Faure. “My favourite aspect of this project is how it balances itself out with the property.” Indoors was the purview of the design lead, Morgan Weldrick, a designer with My House Design/Build/Team. Weldrick finds the home suited to a lifestyle for three. “There’s open, inviting space and also the rec room where they can collect together, but also each has his own space,” she says. Weldrick categorizes the project as “fairly seamless from start to finish” because her clients had given her a clear idea of what to look for. Their design tastes do vary, she says: “He has a true Mid-century Modern sensibility; she has a modern-industrial taste.” But these two tastes marry well. “It was just a matter of how to put it all together,” she says. “The wife has a very strong design sense. She knew what she wanted. I was not so much a guide as rather someone to bounce ideas around with, to help solidify what to look for.” Weldrick chose large artworks to define spaces in the great room and the master suite. She introduced walnut furniture throughout for a warm aesthetic. The clients brought their Mid-century Modern dining set into the new home, but nearly all other furnishings are new. “What I love about this project is the overall cohesive look it has,” says Weldrick. “On lots of projects I work with clients’ old possessions. I feel the look of this home is completely seamless.” •

Window and door frames are black both inside and out, contributing sharp accents in the cohesive look of the home. Longboard horizontal siding and HardiePlanks stucco-look panels are a stylish response to the clients’ request for low-maintenance finishes.

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DESIGN

SUNNY SIDE UP A sun-filled kitchen on the Sunshine Coast offers its owners sweeping views BY BRENDA O’FARRELL PHOTOGRAPHY: EMA PETER STYLING: KELLY REYNOLDS

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“I love the openness of it. The windows added a sense of spaciousness.�

A major part of the redesign of the kitchen included the installation of larger windows on two walls to provide a panoramic view of the water.

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ANDREW AND LAURA BARNES LOVE to look out at Merry Island. Located off the shores of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, the island lays claim to one of the few remaining manned lighthouses in the province, which is well within view through the couple’s newly expanded kitchen windows. Since renovating their two-storey home in the Halfmoon Bay area north of Vancouver, Andrew and Laura and their two children have sweeping 180-degree views of the waters of Georgia Strait. “It’s a huge hub of activity,” Andrew says, explaining how the Coast Guard regularly conducts exercises in the area.

Andrew and Laura have owned the house for about a decade, using it as a weekend and summer getaway place. Then, about three and a half years ago, they decided to make it their full-time residence. With that move came the decision to update the home, which was built in the 1980s. “The house was very dated,” Andrew explains. “The kitchen was sort of old-person style.” Not anymore. •

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DESIGN

Two stainless-steel ovens are built into a column of cabinets that also features a custom-built floor-to-ceiling spice cabinet.

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Now, it’s open and light, with an understated air of sophistication – and, of course, that mesmerizing view. But to get the view – or, more precisely, the large windows – to be able to fully appreciate it, the owners had to give up almost all of their upper cabinets. It was a move that Andrew admits made him a little nervous. He was concerned they would not have enough storage space in what is not a large kitchen in a 2,200-square-foot home. “I love the openness of it. I love how the designer made the kitchen feel spacious, both in terms of space and storage. The windows added a sense of spaciousness.”

Andrew also admits he wasn’t too keen about working with designers, either. “I was hesitant to do the job using a designer. I thought it would be a waste of money,” he says. Today, he admits, he was wrong about that, too. “Our experience with these guys was just phenomenal,” he says, referring to the designers at Falken Reynolds Interiors, which included Kelly Reynolds. “Kelly knew how to work with space, work with the materials. We certainly would not have got the results we got if not for the work of the designers.” •


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The cabinet handles are all custom-made of teak, as are the cabinets that run along the back wall of the kitchen. White ceramic tiles create an extended backsplash.

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DESIGN

Reynolds redesigned the entire home, but for Andrew, who modestly says he loves to cook, the kitchen needed to be just right. “The kitchen, for me, is a real highlight,” he says before beginning to list the features he likes the most. “I love the teak,” he begins, referring to the natural wood highlights in the cabinets, and the custom-made handles. “It gives it a vintage look without the actual vintage.” He loves how the refrigerator is incorporated into the cabinetry, how Reynolds opted to run the ceramic tile high on the walls, to the level that is even with the top of the windows in some areas and to the ceiling in another. He loves the detailing, such as the edging of the peninsula’s Caesarstone quartz counter and a thin line of teak that runs the length of the counter a few inches from the floor. And he especially appreciates the large, shallow floor-to-ceiling spice cupboard that is incorporated into a column of cabinets. “It gives you such great access,” he says, explaining how, while he’s cooking, it offers him a complete visual of all his spices. “It really is a fabulous feature.” The end result is summed up by Andrew: “It takes all these simple but good-quality materials and puts them together in an interesting way.” “Nothing was really over-designed or over-decorated,” Reynolds says, as he explains the concept behind the kitchen. He used the family’s Scandinavian-style furniture as an inspiration for the overall look, and spent about 10 hours with them at the beginning of the process to see how they lived and to familiarize himself with what they were looking for. “On a sunny day, this house just shines,” Reynolds says. “It’s so welcoming when you walk through the door.” •

The setting sun shines into the kitchen, glistening off the engineered European white oak floors and filling the space with warmth.

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ART

KEEPING BUSY

Artist Shawn O’Keefe creates his landscape paintings after his workday is done BY SUSAN KELLY

VICTORIA ARTIST SHAWN O’KEEFE is best known for his paintings of exquisitely tranquil landscapes that depict the many moods of Vancouver Island’s forests and coastline. But their serene surfaces belie the frenetic pace of the artist’s work life. By day, O’Keefe oversees art direction and graphic design for a craft brewery in Victoria. He also owns his own graphic design firm, Artificial Flavour Graphic Engineering, which handles projects ranging from magazine illustration and logo design to designing skateboard and surf graphics for a variety of lifestyle brands. And he’s part of an art collective that produces experimental artworks. “I’m a little all over the place,” he says with a self-deprecating laugh, “but it keeps both life and my work exciting.” •

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ART

Through it all, over the past 15 years he has developed his own focused approach to painting. A search for manmade structures or people in these works is in vain; the artist intentionally omits them. Freed from the limitations of any pre-set narrative, viewers are freer to evoke their own memories or be open to new experiences.

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O’Keefe reduces forms to their essential geometry, using big colour blocks to reference their essential shapes. He also injects a more freeform and improvisatory style that features a bold use of colour. “I’m always impressed when I see painting that can capture the essence with only a few strokes,” he says. “In my own work, I try to get the most I can out of the least number of strokes.” •


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ART

Canada’s legendary Group of Seven painters were “definitely a huge influence.” Having studied graphic design at Malaspina College, now Vancouver Island University, O’Keefe says he feels an affinity with founding member Tom Thomson and colleagues. The Group of Seven painters also worked as graphic artists early in their careers. O’Keefe credits this background for his use of strong, spare lines.

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The artist grew up in the 1970s on a little farm in the Cowichan Valley with parents who encouraged his artistic leanings. He was surrounded by art. His mother ran a hairdressing business inside the family home. Between appointments, she would work on a painting or drawing, and encourage her son to do the same. Inspired by Mad magazine, O’Keefe dabbled in cartooning, too. And he was exposed to the “hippie arts-crafts movement” by his parents’ friends from the San Francisco Bay area, who would bring books and magazines when visiting. •

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By the late 1990s, he was experimenting with graffiti art, and learned to use spray paint. He continues to use it today along with the more traditional acrylic paints he generally works with. He occasionally executes landscapes on canvas, but prefers twoby-three-foot maple or birch-wood panels. And although he likes the idea of painting en plein air, he finds it more practical to make sketches and studies while on hiking or camping trips with his family. “My wife Susan is more into outdoor activities, such as mountaineering, rock-climbing and surfing, than I am,” he says, “but I do love being out, immersed in nature.” The sketches are turned into paintings at night and on weekends after his day jobs. He has carved a light-filled studio out of a converted carport in the couple’s Maplewood-area home. A collection of guitars, electronic equipment, and a drum kit are also stored there. In the rare moments he gets to unwind, he likes to sit in on jam sessions with the couple’s two sons, Graeme, 16, and Ian, 14. Two or three evenings per week, the artist also can be found in a separate studio space above a record store in downtown Victoria. There, he and two other artists, Blythe Hailey and Sean McLaughlin, stretch their own canvasses and work on large collaborative paintings. Known as the Woodpile Collective, they have developed a process since 2003 in which they sometimes work together; at other times, they each tackle a work in sequence. •

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“It’s a very crazy, free approach, and lots of fun,” O’Keefe says. “We start with no sketches, no concept. We just paint.” Colour palettes tend to be on the wild side and very little is held sacred when it comes to creating these works. Often one artist will take the work in one direction only to have another take it in a new one — even painting over a previous effort. Some of this improvisational style carries over into O’Keefe’s solo landscape paintings. In them, he sometimes becomes quite aggressive with the spray paint and purposely leaves evidence of its use. He believes this crossover approach has widened the appeal of his work. Often the younger crowd who view the Woodpile Collective’s quirky graffiti-filled canvasses linger to view O’Keefe’s landscapes. His works have been shown in a number of shows, both big and small, over the years. These days, he also occasionally holds pop-up exhibits in local coffee shops or other venues. He sells his paintings mainly online through his website, www.Trust36.com, and can be reached directly for sales and commissioned works at shawnokeefeart@mail.com. O’Keefe’s plans for 2018 include some forays with his family, deep into British Columbia’s interior, sketchbook in hand. “And I’m hoping my schedule will allow more time for painting, which I really love,” he says. •

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DOING IT HER WAY

An interior designer creates a kitchen in her own home that’s perfect for entertaining BY BRENDA O’FARRELL PHOTOGRAPHY: TRACEY AYTON STYLING: VICTORIA MCKENNEY

WE’VE ALL HEARD the old professional standards. A surgeon should never operate on a family member; or a lawyer who represents himself or herself in a courtroom has a fool for a client. But what is the rule for interior designers? If you ask Victoria McKenney, she may not offer you a hard and fast rule, but she will be quick to say that designing a kitchen in her own home was much more challenging than working on behalf of a client. McKenney is the principal designer and owner of Vancouver-based Enviable Designs. She and her husband, Adrian Stevens, are also the owners of a duplex in Kitsilano.

“We lived in our home for about two years before deciding to renovate the kitchen,” she says. “This timeframe allowed us to inhabit the space and realize what worked and what didn’t work for us. We also lived in the house while the kitchen was being renovated, by using a makeshift kitchen.” The old kitchen was an enclosed space that, as she puts it, “was tucked away,” very separate from the living room area. Wanting a more open and inviting space that would accommodate social interaction, she changed the location of the kitchen, putting it where the family room had been. •

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The island has a quartz countertop, which measures three feet wide by 5.5 feet long. McKenney found the two black metal pendant light fixtures in a consignment shop, and spray-painted the interior of the shades a metallic gold.

One of the most noticeable elements in the exquisitely styled space now is the luxurious coffered ceiling. But the detailed work on the ceiling was not part of McKenney’s original concept. “Originally, we were going to have a simple ceiling,” she says. But reconfiguring the space meant removing a load-bearing wall, which required the installation of a 20-foot steel beam that runs across the ceiling. The beam descended a full eight inches from the ceiling, creating an obvious visual distraction. Designing the coffered ceiling “was a way to disguise the beam,” McKenney explains.

And although it added to the cost of the project, McKenney says, given the final effect, she would do it all over again, even if she didn’t have to disguise a beam. The look adds a refined and elegant finish to a room that has an 11-foot-high ceiling. But the ceiling is not her favourite part of her new kitchen. Actually, she cannot pick just one favourite aspect of this space. She has two: the new layout and the craftsmanship of the cabinets. “I love having an island,” partly because she has never had one, she says. “That is where we eat every night.” •

The Shaker-style cabinets are made of MDF, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. They have polished nickel hand pulls, beaded detailing, and a 1.5-inch frame that is flush with the door, providing an elegant and refined look.

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The south-facing window over the sink provides a lot of natural light; the counter here is three feet deep.

But she also loves the look of the cabinetry. Made of MDF that is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, the Shaker-style cabinet doors have beaded detailing and a 1.5inch face frame. This frame is flush with the doors, providing an elegant and refined look that is not often seen because of its expense and the fact that it requires all of the cabinets to be completely custom-made. Although she designs interior spaces for a living, McKenney admits that getting the kitchen she is thrilled with was not an easy process. And this is where the old professional adages come in. You would think that an interior designer could easily plan her own kitchen. “It’s much harder designing for yourself,” she confesses, because of the emotion invested in one’s own space. “It took a lot of time to get it right.” • Woven resin stools with upholstered seats: Palecek.

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The backsplash provides an element of sophistication with its Carrara marble tiles. The floor is a natural stained oak.

McKenney found herself fussing over every detail: a pull-out recycling centre, storage space for serving trays, what the pantry should be like. “I was measuring all my pans and dishes,” she says. “I needed a junk drawer, but then I was questioning what to put in it and how much room I really needed.” One unexpected result, she says, came after living through the five-month renovation process: She now has a greater empathy for what her clients go through.

Despite all the meticulous work that was involved, she loves her new kitchen. “It’s a lovely space to spend time in,” McKenney says, describing the room as “classic and timeless with a little urban farmhouse feel.” “A well-designed kitchen can be lifechanging in how you spend time with your family and friends,” she says. “We see our friends and family more because we now have the space to do that. “It has had an impact on how we live and use our home.” •

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BY TRACEY MACKENZIE

T

Photo courtesy of Bouclair

oday’s kitchens have relatively few pieces of furniture in them. Central islands have assumed the starring role once played by tables. That’s why it’s important to carefully select the few pieces furniture that we do add to our kitchens. Read on for guidance on where to find fabulous chairs, counter stools, benches, lighting fixtures and drinks cabinets to enhance your kitchen.

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HAVE A SEAT The Vig barstool with its Scandinavian design will add a streamlined look to your kitchen. Angled walnut legs combined with a black lacquered seat make eating at the counter a pleasure. $349. Available at BoConcept. www.boconcept.com

BENCHED The Linea bench, crafted of suar wood, is unique because each piece of wood differs from the others. It’s perfect alone or teamed up with a dining table as seating. $799. Available at Artemano. www.artemano.com

LIGHT LINES Be the perfect host by serving your guests drinks from the Line wine bar, designed by Singaporean designer Nathan Yong. It has space for 24 bottles of wine along with two storage racks for stemware, an open cubby, and two drawers with leather pulls. Available from Design Within Reach. www.dwr.com

HEAVENLY CONSTELLATION Like a cluster of stars, the Ellio pendant lamp’s glass globes seem to float above their metallic frame, casting a soft glow. $699. Available at Mobilia. www.mobilia.ca

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AROUND THE GLOBE The Globe pendant light from BoConcept is a Modernist’s dream. With its acrylic globe and futuristic design, it’s an eye-catcher and a conversation piece. $3,619. Available at BoConcept. www.boconcept.com

CURVACEOUS COMFORT The Caddell dining room chair, shown here in Cinnamon, is available in a multitude of colours and fabrics. Its barrel seat and dipped arms make it ideal for long evenings at the table with friends. Available at Anthropologie. www.anthropologie.ca

TIMELESS TROLLEY Designed in 1952, the iconic Møller Trolley has been brought back into production. Made of hand-polished walnut, it doubles as a bar or serving table. It’s all about timeless design, combined with superior craftsmanship. Available at Design Within Reach. www.dwr.com

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VELVET VOGUE The Zolna chair is available in many colours and fabrics. Shown here in turquoise velvet, it’s a comfortable addition to the kitchen or dining room. Available at Anthropologie. www.anthropologie.ca

BOLD AND BRASSY A wire-brushed wood finish in black, combined with brass legs, make the Oscuro cabinet a must-have. This modern cabinet features two swinging doors and a removable wine rack for added space. Available at Article.

ETERNALLY EAMES

www.article.com

The Eames stool by Herman Miller is part of the Eames molded shell collection (19502015) that was originally designed nearly seven decades ago. Still a favourite today, this stool bestows a touch of Modernist elegance to a kitchen island. Available at Design Within Reach. www.dwr.com

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COOL CREDENZA The Envelo sideboard is encased in brilliant white lacquer. Its walnut doors and drawers are equipped with stylish leather pulls. Available at Article. www.article.com

GREAT SHADE OF GREY A sculptural forged-iron look, combined with a wooden seat, gives this adjustable stool an industrial look of yesteryear. Available at Bouclair. www.bouclair.com

PENDANT POWER The Grain pendant is hand-turned, making it unique. Crafted from solid wood, its natural look comes from an oil finish. It’s powered by a LED light bulb for energy-efficiency. Available at Room & Board. www.roomandboard.com

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GILDED GEOMETRY The Neiva pendant is a study in intricate geometry. It boasts a complex design and bronze tones, and requires one 150-watt halogen bulb. $359. Available at Mobilia. www.mobilia.ca

RED ALERT The Caprice dining chair adds a wow factor to the kitchen or dining room. Reminiscent of the best of 1960s design, its shape is enhanced by its bold colour and glossy, durable seat. Choose from a chrome, white, grey or matching painted steel base. These chairs are also stackable. Available at Room & Board www.roomandboard.com

MARBLE MUST-HAVE The Seaford pedestal dining table is as simple as it is lovely. A white marble top is inset into a polished brass ring, which sits on a brass-plated stainless-steel base. Perfect for a kitchen alcove or small dining room, it comfortably seats four but fits up to six. Available at Anthropologie. www.anthropologie.ca

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SWIVEL AND SWIRL Its simplicity gives this wood and metal bar stool a vintage look that puts it right at home in a log cabin or contemporary home. It boasts an adjustable steel base, footrest and smooth wooden seat. Available at Bouclair. www.bouclair.com

DIVINE DIVAN FOR DINING The Ava leather bench makes an interesting change from dining chairs. Plush upholstery, combined with tapered legs, makes this seating elegant enough for the dining room. Also at home in an entryway or foyer, it’s available in a variety of colours and can also be custom-made. Available at Room & Board. www.roomandboard.com

SPACE AGE More than just a pendant light, the Astra chandelier is a strong conversation piece. Available in both silver and brass finishes, this Mid-century Modern-style fixture has a ’60s vibe. Available at Anthropologie. www.anthropologie.ca

RETRO REVIVAL The Sareen buffet is the perfect blend of Mid-century Modern hipness and modern, sleek design. A walnut veneer frame surrounds a matte grey body, making it perfect for the living room, dining room, or office. $899. Available at Mobilia. www.mobilia.ca

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BANKING ON BANQUETTE BEAUTY

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COOL STOOL

The Elowen banquette is upholstered in plush velvet, and has brass legs that are reminiscent of an Italian classic. Use it in the dining room for comfy seating. It also features two brass handles for easy lifting. Available at Anthropologie.

The Collins stool with its leather seat is versatile and functional. The seat is available in white, grey or black leather but the base is available in a multitude of colours for those who want to make a statement or add a touch of whimsy to their decor. Available in counter, bar and low heights. Available at Room & Board.

www.anthropologie.ca

www.roomandboard.com

FORM AND FUNCTION The Pike chair is not only functional and stylish, but comfortable too. Its molded plywood seat offers comfort and support during lengthy conversations, and the tapered legs make it attractive enough for both kitchen and dining room. Available at Room & Board www.roomandboard.com

SPIN CYCLE The Jamaica barstool from Knoll was designed by renowned Spanish designer Pepe Cortes. The contoured seat, which spins 360 degrees, rests atop tapered tubular legs. The perfect perch for a kitchen island. Available at Knoll. www.knoll.com

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WARM CONTEMPORARY A sleek and streamlined kitchen is given cozy elements BY BRENDA O’FARRELL • PHOTOGRAPHY: TRACEY AYTON • STYLING: GREER NELSON AND JAMIE HAMILTON

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SOME HOMES HAVE WHAT ARE COMMONLY referred to as good bones. These dwellings are sturdy, structurally appealing, and have not merely stood the test of time; they have almost improved with the years. But Greer Nelson and Jamie Hamilton look beyond the bones when they design a home’s interior, especially in a new home. They focus on what they call “the heart”: The kitchen. This space pumps the life and energy into a family’s day, they explain. It is the room that filters all the activity – from meals to homework, and casual conversations to entertaining. The kitchen is the home’s most vital organ. “Making it cozy and comfortable, and still functional is important,” says Nelson. And almost in rhythm, Hamilton adds: “It’s the heartbeat of a home.”

Three black metal dome pendant lights provide both lighting and visual contrast.

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These two designers are co-owners of Oliver Simon Design, an interior design studio that specializes in residential spaces. They put together the plan for this kitchen in a new three-level home, built in Vancouver. It started with the homeowners’ desire for a contemporary look. “We put together a complete design package,” Nelson says, which included two phases: the specifications that cover such basics as tile selections, flooring, surface materials and colours; and then the furnishings.

The dining room chairs, which complement the island’s stools and the table were purchased at CB2.

Part of the process includes extensive consultations with the owners, Hamilton says. This is when she and Nelson get to know the owners’ likes and dislikes. It is a procedure that involves spending time with the clients and pouring over images and styles so that the designers can also develop a sense of how the family lives. “We needed to make sure it would work for them,” says Hamilton. And in this case, the need for a lot of storage along with practical and easy-to-maintain surfaces were key for this busy family. • The stainless-steel appliances coordinate well with the warm-grey lower cabinets and natural oak floors.

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The matte black single-handle faucet by Brizo adds contrast in this almost-all-white kitchen.

“For me, the important thing about a kitchen is to have organic elements – wood, flowers, plants, fruit,” says designer Jamie Hamilton.

“What we wanted to make sure of in a very modern home is to bring in some warmth,” Nelson says. To do that, they introduced elements to soften the bright white features that anchored the crisp, modern tone. This meant incorporating highlights, such as the natural-wood cubbies in the upper cabinetry, designing the lighting, and adding small elements of colour. Th e c ubbi e s o f f e r a n i n t e r e s t i n g visual as the wood closely matches the natural oak floors. “It’s also a place you can display something meaningful and beautiful,” Nelson says. •

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The Roman shade at the window in front of the sink is another softening element. The light pastels in the fabric add a dash of colour that can easily be updated and changed if desired. Hamilton also points to the use of a light grey on the lower cabinets as another way of keeping the contemporary vibe, while at the same time softening the stark whiteness of the room. “It makes it more interesting than pure white,” she says, while at the same time making the surface a bit more forgiving when confronted with children’s sticky hands. Hamilton’s favourite feature of this design is the black domed pendant lights. The three metal fixtures above the island add contrast that is immediately noticeable. This contrast, she says, “is like punctuation in a sentence.” The designers also suggested the matte black faucet for the same reason. “It’s dramatic. It pops out and makes it feel like a custom-designed kitchen,” Nelson says. As for her favourite feature, she points to the European stools that line the outside of the island. “They are practical for kids and still look cool,” she says, adding that they have the added bonus of being “very comfortable.” The overall effect is stunningly crisp. Or, as Nelson puts it: “It’s clean and modern, but still warm and inviting.” Just what you want for a kitchen. Or, as Hamilton adds, this room “gets all the attention because it is open to the living room,” making it, indeed, the heart of this home. •

The contemporary look the owners wanted was made possible with the combination of white elements in this kitchen:t the quartz countertops, the white upper cabinets and the four-by-four-inch porcelain wall tiles. The softer elements, including the light-grey lower cabinets, the soft pastels of the Roman shade, and the natural wood cubbies offer a touch of warmth.

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CHIC AND RUSTIC A Kerrisdale kitchen is designed with a mélange of beautiful elements

BY BRENDA O’FARRELL PHOTOGRAPHY: TRACEY AYTON STYLING: PAULIE DHILLON

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION DOES NOT need to be loud. Just as beauty need not be bold. But effective and beautiful design should be purposeful; and it should be scripted using subtlety, lighting and layers. This is the philosophy Paulie Dhillon employed to design the look for the kitchen in this two-storey house in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood on Vancouver’s west side. “I like to layer details and see how the design progresses,” she explains. Dhillon is the owner of Design Therapy, the firm hired by the contractor who built this new home. “This house was built by a developer specifically to be put on the market. I got involved in the project very early in, on the floor plan,” she says. •

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Not having a specific client to cater the look and functionality of the space to, Dhillon had to improvise. “I created a client in my mind based on a demographic.” She also relied on her experience of having completed other successful turnkey projects.

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She describes the final result as being “modern-chic with rustic elements.” But the words – “chic,” “modern” and “rustic” – are not just descriptors. They are parts of a distinctive whole. They come together magically to create an exponential factor, making this kitchen greater than the sum of its three elements.

The Shaker-style cabinets, which are grey-taupe, feature curvaceous metal pulls.


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Oriental White subway tiles are used on the backsplash from counter to ceiling. Their iridescence accentuates the height of the 11-foot ceilings and adds a timeless chic style to the space.

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Take Dhillon’s favourite feature of the kitchen, the window wall, as an example. The window was imported from Europe and features divided panes. It is set in a white frame at the centre of a wall clad in iridescent Oriental White subway tiles in a stacked pattern. “By stacking the tile, it really adds to the quality of the height in that kitchen,” Dhillon says, pointing to the 11-foot ceilings.

The silvery pearl finish of the tiles, combined with the tiered setting play off the styling of the sconces on each side, which, in turn, complement the large chrome pendant lights above the island. The combination is the definition of chic. The detailing on the ceiling above the island and the added elements attached to the crown moldings add a sophisticated flair. •

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Two large drum pendants by Crystorama Lighting hang above the marble-topped island. The fixtures are in the same style as the sconces, one on each side of the window.

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The island and the cabinetry provide the contemporary element. The Shaker-style cabinets have a subtle detailed profile. The upper and lower cabinets are finished in a soft grey-taupe. This colour scheme provides a hint of warmth, she adds. The countertops are a resilient quartz, also in a tonal grey-taupe, while the island top is finished in marble above a darker shade of cabinetry to provide contrast and interest. The same marble is used in the adjoining living room space to give the fireplace surround an upscale finish.


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The engineered oak floor with its cerused finish, the turned posts supporting the island, and the squareseat stools combine to add rusticity to the kitchen.

Look no further than the floors for the rustic. The engineered oak planks have been given a hint of a whitewashed finish in the crevices to accentuate the grain and produce a vintage look. The turned posts that support one end of the island, which are painted in the same hue as the lower cabinets, and the square-seated stools add to the rustic theme. These elements give the space the feel of “a well-done renovation,” Dhillon says. They add what she calls a sense of history and they minimize the new-build feel. “The modern elements carry the home,” she says. “It’s not trend-driven. I prefer using trends in other forms, through throw pillows and accessories. This kitchen very much has a timeless quality to it.”

So what is the secret to drawing three distinctive looks together? “The reason it works in this kitchen is because no one particular element was overused,” Dhillon explains. It’s effective, beautiful, subtle and layered – all by design. •

The arches between the kitchen and the dining and living room areas are an interesting architectural element with molded detailing.

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A HAPPY MARRIAGE OF MATERIALS AND DESIGN Metals, concrete, porcelain and wood come together for balanced beauty in this open-plan kitchen BY JULIE GEDEON PHOTOGRAPHY AND STYLING: JANIS NICOLAY

SARA FERGUSON AND DAVID BARNETT KNEW they would be able to build their dream home when they found the right parcel of land in Vancouver. But to counterbalance the lot’s narrow and long dimensions, they sought to create as much openness as possible in the house’s interiors. “People are surprised at how wide-open the space is when they step inside,” Sara says. Having worked in real estate, she had a good idea of the look she wanted. “Our place has an L.A. feel that’s great for entertaining, while being spacious, functional and durable for our three young children,” Sara says. •

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Sleek lines with earthy accents define the kitchen created by Tanya Schoenroth Design. “The architectural design was already open and bright, but we made it warm and inviting with quite a bit of light wood cabinetry,” Tanya Schoenroth says. “And, of course, the showstopper lighting.”

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Tom Dixon copper pendants over the island immediately draw the eye with their warm metallic sheen that relates to the home’s other industrial touches. “I long loved Tom Dixon “Beat” pendant lights with a black exterior and copper interior that we bought for the new house,” Sara says. “So, when we saw these copper ones, I had to have them, too.”


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A custom-made stainless-steel hood connects to the home’s other industrial accents, while complementing the gas range’s sleekness. The homeowners chose a marble-style porcelain for the countertops and backsplash. “It’s an incredibly thin porcelain so it has to be fabricated and installed with great care, but it provides a beautiful non-porous surface,” Schoenroth says. •

The copper pendant lights with their warm and reflective quality are the kitchen’s showstopping elements. Porcelain that mimics Calacatta marble, white cabinetry, and Eames chairs brighten the light wood finish. Emma water pitcher from Stelton, folded vase from Menu, 12-inch crosscut board, and Japanese linen towel: all from Walrus.

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The homeowner saw the porcelain, which the designer used on the counters and backsplash, at a friend’s home and wanted it for her own. She also asked designer Tanya Schoenroth to give the appliance garage a side door to maintain the cabinetry’s wood surface, as well as make it easy to slide a mixer or blender onto the counter. Porcelain: Bordignon Marble & Granite; faucets: Riobel.

Craig Pearce of Union Wood Co. built the table at the end of the island where the couple and their three children – aged seven, four and two – gather for meals. “We also do a lot of arts and crafts there,” Sara says. “And it’s great how the table keeps both the kids and adult guests away from the stove and prep area.” Sara chose Eames chairs by Herman Miller for their modern practicality. “I chose dark grey for the table area just to break up the lightness a bit,” she says.

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Opening to a large family room, the space keeps the youngsters in view. It’s also ideal for the charitable fundraisers the couple hold for their organization, Music Heals, and for the other large social gatherings they host. Unique storage elements include cabinetry that doubles as a buffet and partial wall between the kitchen and dining room. “The kitchen was really fun to design because we had the space to be creative,” Schoenroth says. The hidden gems include an appliance garage with a door that opens sideways to the main counter, a recycling bin centre, several pullout drawers with storage baskets, and two panelled dishwashers, one on each side of the main sink.

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(Opposite) Designer Tanya Schoenroth designed the cabinetry to form a partial but functional separation between the kitchen and dining room. The engineered wood is stained for a white-washed oak appearance.

Having two dishwashers is practical for party cleanups, as well as after the children’s friends visit. “I highly recommend this if you have a young family and the space,” Sara says. She likewise adores the steam oven. “I don’t miss having a microwave at all,” she says. •

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THE WELL-EQUIPPED KITCHEN A wide range of gadgets on the market makes food preparation a joy for foodies BY TRACEY MacKENZIE

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ooks will attest to the delight that comes from creating magical meals. And when a kitchen is well-endowed with the right cookware and appliances, the cooking process is even more joyful. Get cooking. Our annual guide shows you where to find the perfect gadgets for your kitchen.

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T H E 2 018 K I T C H E N G A D G E T G U I D E

C OOL T R E AT S The fast-freezing Zoku Quick Pop Maker freezes liquids in as little as seven minutes. Store the base in the freezer to create ice-pops fast. It’s also BPA- and phthalate-free. Available at Zoku Home. $49.99. www.zokuhome.com

WAT C HF UL W I T C H Boil, boil, bubble and brew. The Agatha spoon holder and steam releaser will help you brew a stew. Agatha, who is made of silicone, holds a spoon and by propping open a lid, allows steam to escape from a bubbling pot. Free shipping worldwide. Available from Animi Causa. $13.99. www.animicausa.com

M A R IN AT E IN MINU T E S Vacu Vin’s instant marinating container marinates food in minutes. It comes with a secure-fitting lid and a large pump to extract air. The 2.5-quart container may also be used for food storage. Dishwasher safe. $42.59. Available at Amazon.ca. www.amazon.ca

C L E A R A S GL A S S Cuisinart’s CookFresh digital glass steamer delivers steam from the top down to cook food fast and evenly. The glass pot is also oven-safe at temperatures up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The five-litre cooking pot is dishwasher-safe, and its glass lid features a steel rim and handle. Available at Hudson’s Bay. $299. www.thebay.com

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S L IC E D A N D D IC E D Amco’s Dial-A-Slice adjustable apple corer and slicer cuts apples into either eight thick or 16 thin slices, making it perfect for snacks and baking pies. It’s easy to use and its blades are stainless steel. $28. Available from Amazon.ca. www.amazon.ca

M A K ING T HE C U T Perfect for the cyclist in your life, the TOUR de PIZZA bicycle-shaped pizza cutter will cut your pie with ease. Both front and back wheels are made of stainless steel, and it comes with a stand for easy display. Money-back guarantee. Available at Amazon.com. Ships to Canada. $19.95. www.amazon.com

UN D E R P R E S S UR E The PC8-Precision stovetop pressure cooker by All-Clad features a two-part cooking process with four programmable settings (including ones for grains and seafood) to maximize texture and flavour. The easy-to-set smart timer lets you know with audible sounds when the right pressure has been achieved and released. Available at Amazon.ca. $349.99. www.amazon.ca

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R IG H T T O T HE C OR E OF T HE M AT T E R Simple Living’s stainless-steel pineapple peel ‘n’ core cutter makes quick work of peeling a pineapple. Its ergonomic grip and detachable handle, combined with a sharp serrated blade, cores and cuts with ease. Bonus: serve pina coladas in the leftover pineapple hull. Rum not included. Available at Amazon.com. Ships to Canada. www.amazon.com

C U S T OM C U T T ING BO A R D Create your own custom cutting board at Words with Boards. Personalize with your name, a symbol, or both. Each board is made of sustainably forested American hard maple. Available in various sizes from Words with Boards. $149USD. www.wordswithboards.com

M A IN S QUE E Z E Smeg’s CJF01 Citrus Juicer has a retro look and comes in funky colours. But this juicer is also high on functionality. Insert oranges and the machine automatically starts to work its magic, creating O.J. within seconds. Available at Amazon.ca. $199. www.amazon.ca

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C H IL L OU T

F E A R L E S S F R Y ING The Frywall by Gowanus Kitchen Lab offers ultimate splatter protection. The BPA-free silicone cone acts as a splatter guard so you may cook bacon and french fries without splashing oil on your stovetop, counters or you. Comes in red, lime green, black and orange. Available from Frywall. $28.08. www.frywall.com

K I T C HE N HE L P For consistent baking results, the Drop Scale and Recipe App is your personal kitchen helper. It rescales quantities, substitutes ingredients, offers tips and shares recipes and photos online. It’s the virtual baking assistant we’ve always wanted. Available at Amazon.ca. $153.64. www.amazon.ca

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Insert the Ravi Solution Instant Wine Chiller into a wine bottle’s neck and pour. Wine is instantly chilled as it passes through the inner frozen tube. A valve controls the rate of flow to regulate the temperature of the wine. Store in freezer when not in use. Available at Amazon.ca. $138.27. www.amazon.ca


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MULT I - C OL OUR E D MI X E R S Perfect for those who love large mixers but who don’t have a lot of space, KitchenAid has launched the Artisan Mini 3.5-quart stand mixer in a variety of colours. Space-saving and powerful, this mixer has a tilt-head design and 10-speed settings to ensure recipes come out right. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond. $399.99. www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

S MOK E - F R E E S UC C UL E NC E Miss barbecuing in the winter? Get the taste of outdoor cooking with the Philips smokeless indoor grill. Using infrared heat technology, it cooks with constant heat for perfect browning, and reduces smoke by 80 per cent. Sear meat with minimal splattering without setting a foot outdoors. The non-stick grid provides barbecue grill marks. Available at Hudson’s Bay. $379.99. www.thebay.com

M Y T Y P E OF WA F F L E Workaholics will appreciate this one-of-a-kind Keyboard Waffle Iron from Uncommon Goods. Sure to start your day on a positive note, this waffle maker is an unusual gift item. Available online at UncommonGoods and Amazon.com. www.uncommongoods.com www.amazon.com

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T HE HE AT I S ON Cooking meat to perfection is easy, thanks to the iGrill2 Bluetooth thermometer. It can track more than one temperature at a time and can use pre-set or custom temperature alarms. Added features include a 200-hour battery life with a 150-foot Bluetooth range, and a magnetic mounting system with illuminated display, for quick viewing of the temperature progression. Available at Amazon.ca. $125.70. www.amazon.ca

L O A F ING A R OUN D Forget tiresome kneading. Breville’s custom-loaf bread maker allows you to add fruit, seeds and nuts to bread. You can also program it to have fresh bread when you want it. Available from Breville online and at Hudson’s Bay. www.breville.ca www.thebay.com

M AY T HE T O A S T BE W I T H Y OU The Darth Vader Cool Wall two-slice toaster will please Star Wars fans. Comes in Storm Trooper and Death Star motifs. Toast not included. Available at Best Buy. $39.99. www.bestbuy.ca

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C HU R N I T OU T Make your own dairy-fresh butter in minutes with the Kilner Butter Churner. Just add heavy cream and start churning. Great project for kids who want to help out in the kitchen. Available from Kilner online.

HE A R T Y BR E A K F A S T

www.kilnerjar.co.uk

Make a breakfast sandwich in five minutes or less with Hamilton Beach’s Digital Breakfast Sandwich Maker. It includes two griddle pans for stacking ingredients, is dishwasher-safe, and is available as a dual sandwich maker. Available at Hudson’s Bay. $39.99. www.thebay.com

GOOD G A R N I S HE S Put away the kitchen knives. The World Cuisine Tri-blade spiral vegetable slicer makes quick work of slicing and dicing vegetables. It also transforms ordinary vegetables into beautiful garnishes or salad toppings in minutes. Make curly fries or create carb-free pasta by “spiralizing” zucchini. Available at Amazon.ca. $51.56. www.amazon.ca

K E E P E R OF T HE S E C R E T S The Astro Fruit and Veggie keeper from Ototo Design keeps produce fresh while adding a touch of whimsy to a fridge. Dishwasher safe, it comes in red, green or blue-gray. Available from Ototo. $16. www.ototodesign.com

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IT STARTED OUT SMALL

Homeowners who plan to upgrade bathrooms end up renovating the whole house BY BRENDA O’FARRELL PHOTOGRAPHY: MARTIN KNOWLES STYLING: CARLY MENS

ANYONE WHO HAS EVER been involved in a home renovation project can relate to the notion that sometimes, the job ends up being somewhat bigger than originally planned. It is understandable, really. If you are in the midst of tearing down walls and living with the dust and disturbance of workers redoing your kitchen, why not just get the adjoining laundry room done at the same time? Or the powder room? It happens, right? After all, it would really just bring everything together. It just makes sense. Welcome to Jennifer Taylor’s world. Jennifer and her husband Mike own a two-storey home in West Vancouver. They bought the house, which was built in 1988, in 2007. Much of it had been renovated over the years, except for the bathrooms. And this is how their story begins. •

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“The original idea was: just do the bathrooms,” Jennifer says. “And then, ‘let’s do the kitchen.’ The kitchen had been renovated 15 years before, and we decided we might as well update it at the same time. And then, it ended up we were doing everything.” As she puts it: “We added scope. It started out small and became a much larger project.” By the time they were finished, the whole house had been renovated, including the basement, the main and the upper f loors, four bedrooms, the bathroom, and the stairs. There were also extensions added to the house on the front, side and back, enlarging the building’s footprint. And, oh, the deck was redone as well.

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The long horizontal window runs the length of the counter under the upper cabinets behind the sink. It is one of the homeowner’s favourite features in the kitchen.


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But the kitchen, that is where a little dash of drama can be found. That is Jennifer’s little piece of heaven, done up in a clean, contemporary style, as she had always wanted. The contemporary look is bolstered by a singular, prominent statement piece – the backsplash behind the range that reaches all

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the way to the ceiling. The large dark slab, which has the appearance of rich granite – with vivid veins of grey and white – is actually a five-by-seven-foot plate of thin porcelain, imported from Italy. “It’s so dramatic. It has a natural look and movement to it,” Jennifer says. •

The large backsplash behind the range makes a dramatic statement. Made of a thin piece of porcelain, it resembles deeply veined granite.

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Her favourite feature in her new kitchen, though, is on the adjoining wall. It’s the long, horizontal window that runs the length of the area under the upper cabinets. “I love that window,” she says. “It goes right down to the counter.” It fills the space with light, while adding a unique design element that reminds her of an infinity pool. The window is also contractor Jerome Mens’s favourite feature of the kitchen. Mens, the owner of Rembrandt Renovations, worked with architect Ian McLean to reconceptualize the interior of the house. He describes the new kitchen as “clean, light, bright and contemporary.”

Described as “one of the most effective architectural features of the house,” this screen, made of two-by-three-inch American walnut slats, frames the dining room area and echoes the finishings in the kitchen.

The staircase features a steel stringer with floating European white oak treads and a stainless-steel banister. It is framed with a tempered glass guard. The look is contemporary and helps maintain the openness of the space.

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The kitchen island looks out at a small sitting area, the dining room table, and one of two new panelled glass doors that open onto the deck.

Mens explains how the walls that separated the kitchen and dining room were removed, significantly transforming the entire main floor into an open, light-filled space. And is it surprising that Jennifer, who kept adding to the scope of the project, could not limit herself to listing just one favourite feature? Also on her list of favourite things: the wooden screen by the dining room table. “It’s one of the most effective architectural features of the house,” she says. “It creates such a sense of openness, and from the wood, you get a sense of warmth.” Formed by two-by-three-inch floor-to-ceiling pieces of American walnut framing the stairs that lead to the second storey, the screen is made of the same material that is featured in some of the lower cabinets in the kitchen, giving the space a cohesive style and look. And to think, they were just going to renovate the bathrooms. •

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BRIGHT, LIGHT, AND RIGHT A designer creates a kitchen for prospective buyers STYLING: ALEXANDRA HRISTOVA

WHEN A KITCHEN HASN’T BEEN designed for a specific homeowner but should appeal to as many people as possible, what’s a designer to do? Like Alexandra Hristova, she balances functionality and looks for the most appealing space possible. Hristova, the principal of A2H Design Studio, was hired by Infinity Living, a developer specializing in custom-home building, to design this house in Richmond. The house backs onto a golf course, and many of its vantage points offer a view of the lush green spaces and the pond separating it from the property. •

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The entire house is built on feng shui principles, and a compact but highly efficient spice kitchen is tucked away behind the main kitchen. It’s easily accessed through a door next to the cooktop counter.

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The door to the formal dining room is situated between two espresso-brown cabinetry towers that house pantry, coffeemaker, fridge and freezer, microwave, and ovens.

“I basically use the whole backyard as part of the house,” Hristova says. “The Eclipse doors open 15 feet wide so the interior becomes the exterior.” Thus the barbecue on the covered deck is easily accessible for anyone preparing a meal in the kitchen. The kitchen proper is a combination of high-end finishes and practicality, presented in a neutral colour scheme. Neutral doesn’t have to mean bland. Hristova punched up the basically white aesthetic with graphic espresso-brown trim around upper cabinetry, on the stiles and rails on glass-panelled doors leading to the spice kitchen and the formal dining area, on the lower cabinetry, and on the towers housing pantry, fridges, and wall ovens. She used boldly veined marble with crystalline inclusions, called “Crystal Onyx Glassy,” for counter and island surfaces and for the backsplash. This is not an especially large kitchen, but several design tricks help to make it feel spacious: it opens to the family room, where the ceiling rises to 16 feet, four inches; it’s laid out for easy movement among work surfaces and appliances; the lighting – both task and ambient – is generously layered; the clean lines of the cabinetry prevent visual clutter. •

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The cabinetry was made by Ranjit Basra of All Stains & Lacquers. Hristova used a white acrylic finish on the upper cabinetry to create a sense of space. The lower is in a wood-espresso finish. Easy maintenance is a feature of Hristova kitchens. For instance, “I’m not a fan of mosaics because, when things splash on them, you have to clean the grout,” she says. The cabinetry is fitted with top-of-the-line Blum hardware so doors and drawers operate smoothly and silently. Upper cabinets have lift-up doors for easy access. The kitchen offers plenty of storage space, including inside the island with its generous footprint of nine feet by five feet. Functionality is further highlighted by all the high-end Gaggenau appliances in the kitchen, and the spice kitchen tucked behind it is fitted with a Gaggenau gas cooktop. A Gaggenau commercial-strength fan is unobtrusively integrated into the cabinetry above the cooktop. The design and the many features packed into this relatively modest kitchen mean that, “whether you like to entertain or to have a cozy family dinner, it suits both purposes,” says Hristova. •

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Huge windows and Eclipse doors provide views to the

The kitchen’s island offers an informal dining spot, but the adjacent

pond and golf course at the end of the property.

dining room strikes the right note for more formal occasions.

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THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT DREAM KITCHEN

This Italian manufacturer is on the cutting edge of kitchen design

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IF YOU LOVE TO COOK and create with food, you have probably found yourself dreaming of the perfect luxurious custom kitchen. Even if you are not a chef, and instead have earned a reputation as a take-out champion, a dream kitchen might still be something you long for. Regardless of the category you find yourself in, here is a word you should know: Scavolini.

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It is the name in designer kitchens. When you take the step from dreaming of the perfect luxurious kitchen to planning it, look into Scavolini’s Carattere line. It gives a kitchen a distinctive designer look, with sleek lines and elegant sophistication. And it will up your game by providing more functionality than you could even imagine.

Caraterre’s signature look is the framed cabinet door. It combines classic lines with clean-cut form. It is the essence of contemporary styling. And the doors come with a choice of handles: pulls that highlight the size of the frame or built-in grips that are as refined as they are architecturally innovative. •


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Caraterre’s modular design allows a maximization of space, where space is at a premium; it also enhances larger areas. The Caraterre line includes a choice of range hoods, a feature that adds a wow factor. Then, there are the personalized options …. because when it comes to designing, who doesn’t want options? Let’s start with colour. Scavolini’s Caraterre line features matte-lacquered cabinets in a range of colours, including Prestige White, Dove Grey and Iron Grey. Veneered cabinets have an alternative range of hues, including Cotton Ash, the distinctive Ashes Ash and three shades of Walnut. There are also countertop options. The signature Stoneware tops are available in a series of colours, including Extra White, Amber Avenue, London Grey, Blanc Breeze quartz, Pearl Breeze quartz, and Steel.

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And don’t forget the accessories – such as steel shelves supported by tie-rods fixed to the ceiling, illuminated magnetic wall panels and switch cupboards, a unit that will help keep a kitchen organized. Think of it as a container – equipped with shelves, drawers and space – that will hold everything: utensils, plates,

accessories, books and appliances, all out of the way, neatly tucked out of view. Models come with retractable doors and can contain up to four appliances, including ovens, a dishwasher and a wine fridge. It’s for those who dream of having a luxurious kitchen. •

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ONE HOUSE, TWO KITCHENS While building an outdoor kitchen, a family redesigns their indoor one, too. BY JULIE GEDEON PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVID KIMBER

WE OFTEN SPEAK OF THINGS being indoor/outdoor, but perhaps it’s time to reverse that order of thinking. That’s what a Maple Ridge family did when renovating their property; they created a seamless cohesion between their cuisine-equipped backyard deck and their indoor kitchen/family room. “People are spending more time outdoors, using their yard as an extension of their home,” says Denise McIntosh, founder and owner of Genesis Kitchens & Design. “With Vancouver-area property costs, you want to use every square inch of your space.” •

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The homeowners initially hired landscape architect Reinier Van de Poll to convert their unused yard into a haven, complete with deck, gazebo, fireplace and infinity pool. He brought Genesis aboard to design the outdoor kitchen. PVC/resin-based cabinetry in a Weathered Graphite tone not only resembles wood, but has a similar texture. Stainless-steel hinges, full-extension pulls, cutlery drawers, along with recycling and waste bins take this outdoor kitchen a long way from the stainless-steel boxes in vogue for years.

The deck, pergola and fencing, along with the elaborate stonework, inspired the designer’s choices for the interior kitchen and family room.

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“A gas barbecue, side burners, fridge and sink ensure the homeowners can stay outside once they start cooking,” says Ben McIntosh, who oversees outdoor kitchens at Genesis. “This outdoor setup has really changed how these homeowners entertain family and friends.” His Genesis colleague, Julie Dinnissen, originally dropped by to help with the exterior colour scheme, but her ideas prompted the homeowners to hire the interior designer to conceptualize their indoor kitchen/family room to complement the outdoors. “I loved the auburn stain on the deck, gazebo and fencing, so I chose a cherry wood in a sesame stain for the island’s inset that invitingly says, ‘Come sit down and enjoy some wine,’ ” Dinnissen says. “I also incorporated those warm elements into the fireplace shelving and the lit glass cabinetry for cohesiveness.” •

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Clean-lined Shaker cabinetry has backlit upper sections with glass-front doors and cherry wood interiors.

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A black trough sink offers up farmhouse style, complementing the dark elements in the kitchen. The vinyl flooring was selected for its wood-like appearance; while making indoor/outdoor life simpler in a household with two dogs.

The outdoor rockwork and exterior cabinetry prompted the sand-grey colour of the indoor cabinets. “We again warmed up this cool tone with the antiqued brass fixtures, rustic lighting and leathered stools for a touch of masculinity,” Dinnissen says. Double-framed Shaker cabinetry and a black farm-style sink are rustic but still in keeping with the home’s contemporary neighbourhood. Timeless marble countertops with a gold vein relate to the rockwork along with the marble tile on the backsplash in a chevron pattern.

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The design features the convenience of modern appliances but they are softened with the grey tones and patterns that echo the outdoor stonework.

Warm lighting gives the backsplash a golden glow while its grey tones soften the stainless appliances that the homeowners already had. “I was a bit overwhelmed at first by the 60-inch fridge-freezer, but we made it work by framing it within pantry storage,” Dinnissen says. “We made the island almost 150 inches long to counterbalance that pantry wall, but it doesn’t seem that large because of the wooden inset.” The project illustrates how renovations can be done in stages. “The space will feel so much larger and brighter once 20 feet of the existing wall are removed to install NanaWall doors,” Ben McIntosh says. “And the homeowners will be able to use the outdoor space almost year-round once an overhead shelter is built onto the deck.” •

The island was made purposely long to counterbalance the height and heft of the fridge-freezer within the pantry wall. The stone used on the fireplace surround is also used outdoors.

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IN OUR NEXT ISSUE

AD LIST

It’s time to throw open windows and allow the warm spring air to fill our homes. And while we’re at it, we may want to declutter and reorganize our spaces. The Spring issue of Vancouver Home shows you how to clean and clear winter-weary rooms, so you can spend plenty of time enjoying the warm weather ahead. Don’t miss it. On sale in March.

BUYERS’ GUIDE KEEPING BUSY Artist Shawn O’Keefe www.Trust36.com shawnokeefeart@mail.com.

ONE HOUSE, TWO KITCHENS Genesis Kitchens & Design www.genesiskitchens.ca 604-937-7336

WARM CONTEMPORARY Oliver Simon Design www.oliversimondesign.com 604-889-0546 ~ 604-626-2164

SUNNY SIDE UP Falken Reynolds Interiors www.falkenreynolds.com 604-568-9487

BRIGHT, LIGHT, AND RIGHT A2H Interior Design www.a2hinteriordesign.com 604-910-6546

THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT DREAM KITCHEN Scavolini www.siema.ca/scavolini 604-569-1530

IT STARTED OUT SMALL Rembrandt Renovations Ltd. www.rembrandtrenovations.com 604-802-6256

CHIC AND RUSTIC Design Therapy www.idtherapy.ca 604-838-4311

Ian McLean Architecture www.ianmclean.net

DOING IT HER WAY Enviable Designs www.enviabledesigns.com 604-440-8996

ECO-CONSCIOUS FROM THE GROUND UP My House Design/Build/Team www.myhousedesignbuild.com 604-694-6873

A HAPPY MARRIAGE OF MATERIALS AND DESIGN Tanya Schoenroth Design www.tanyaschoenroth.com Walrus www.shop.walrushome.com 604-874-9770

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Casa Madera Euro-Line Appliances Genesis Kitchens Granite Transformations My House Design Room8 Window Works


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Vancouver Home - Kitchens 2018  
Vancouver Home - Kitchens 2018