A SKILLFUL BLEND OF OLD AND NEW
By Margaret Anne Fehr | Photography by Chronic Creative
RIVER HEIGHTS character homes require special consideration when it comes to major home renovations. Wood trims, high ceilings and often wonky out-of-square walls are worth their weight in charming, well-lived character and most homeowners wouldn’t have it any other way. Brian and Nancy, who have lived in their River Heights home for nearly 40 years, mulled the ‘move or stay’ question and came to the conclusion that they weren’t in a hurry to move. “We love our house and its location, says Nancy. We have eight grandchildren and when we get together can it can easily be 18 to 20 of us to gather for a meal and it’s the perfect house to do that in. That’s when we decided that renovating was our best option.”
“We love our house and its location, says Nancy. We have eight grandchildren and when we get together can it can easily be 18 to 20 of us to gather for a meal and it’s the perfect house to do that in. That’s when we decided that renovating was our best option.”
The couple knew that an up-dated kitchen would need to harmonize with the abundant oak finishes that defined their century old home, but also add a touch of modernity and luxury features that they could both enjoy. The couple had worked with Sergey of Accord Cabinets previously when they decided to renovate their bathroom, so valuing his expertise and craftsmanship, the job was his.
Sergey and his team got to work, creating a number of different design proposals that took into consideration the inherent features of the kitchen. “We didn’t want to go too contemporary because they have all the wood trim from the ceiling beams, windows and doors. Providing for a television and phone centre was also important within the overall plan.” “The 3D computer program we use almost looks like a photo shot of the proposed kitchen, so Nancy and Brian got a really good sense of what the final product would look like. There’s no need to try to visualize the final result because it’s near-photo quality.”
The solution in bridging the gap between character and modern was a contrast between the upper and lower cabinets that together struck the perfect note. Shaker-style fibreboard uppers are painted in Mayonnaise, a soft white, while the lower cabinets are white oak with a clear lacquer finish that brings out the rich woodgrain and refers to the abundance of wood trim on doors, windows and staircase.
With the higher ceilings and oak beams, Sergey determined there was no need to extend the cabinet uppers. Instead, a simple crown moulding adds the finishing touch.
Handsome stainless steel hardware, a German product, presents a profile both angular and rounded on all doors and drawers. Blu-motion soft closure mechanisms provide for easy fingertip access and mute the racket of opening and closing typical cupboard doors.
“The drawers are the best, says Nancy. “Sergey has put in these lovely pull-out drawers in the pantry beside the fridge. Now I can get exactly what I want without rummaging around. Every day I feel like I’ve gone to heaven.” Caeserstone quartz countertops in Atlantic Salt and a glass mosaic backsplash tile from the Ames collection add sparkle to the colour palette. Nancy especially loves how the kitchen layout took advantage of an empty wall space. “It’s the best thing ever. It used to be a blank wall before and now we have an abundance of storage space, both uppers and lowers and extended countertop. My kitchen has never been so tidy!” Nancy is effusive in her praise. “The sun rises and sets on Sergey as far as I’m concerned.
He wants the job to be done so well. He goes 12 extra miles to make sure it is what we wanted. He’s a craftsman for sure. He cares a lot about his product and making people happy.” The couple’s grandchildren love the kitchen too and is ‘kid-approved’ according to Nancy. “They all came in and went ‘wow! And for sure, they know where the snack drawer is!”