stand the Test of Time
By Margaret Anne Fehr, photography by Michael Roberts
Two houses, one in River Heights and the other in the Wolseley area, have undergone some distinctive kitchen cabinetry changes thanks to the considerable skills of Sergey and Dmitry, co-owners of Accord Cabinets. While the overall look in each kitchen appears to contrast, a closer look at the cabinet style shows they have something in common. Both kitchens have been outfitted with Shaker-style cabinetry which is becoming an increasingly popular option for those who are renovating homes in Winnipeg’s older neighborhoods. The Shaker style was first crafted in the late 1700’s by the Shakers, a Christian denomination that valued beliefs of simplicity and efficiency. The resulting designs were functional, well built, and beautiful in their
understatement and have translated well within today’s kitchen décors.
Dmitry says that Shaker style cabinets are today’s modern choice and are very popular. “In the two years that we’ve been in business, basically, all the kitchens that we’ve done have been Shaker style. People like it, they buy it. It’s more modern and less expensive.” Dmitry explains that Shaker style is actually a wooden frame with plywood panel on the inside, but sometimes it’s an inside raised panel that’s reversed for variation.
“Basically it’s just a plywood veneer panel inside. The frame can vary in width. For example, for the River Heights kitchen, the frame is a 2 ¾ inch panel frame and the white cupboards in Wolseley are 3 ¼ inch panels. The frames can be wider or narrower, but the bigger the kitchen, the wider
the frame and a smaller kitchen would be best suited with a narrower frame.”
Both these kitchen cupboards have profiles that use a bevel and v-groove. But, adds Dmitry, it can be any profile. For a more modern touch, a regular Shaker style without any profile on the inside or outside is the perfect choice. A pleasant surprise also for homeowners is that Shaker style cabinets tend to cost about 20 % less than a raised panel option. Shaker style cabinetry adapts well to variations as evidenced by the glass panel option in the River Heights home that opens up the display potential of the cupboards over the kitchen breakfast bar. ?Many houses here in Winnipeg are older so installing ultramodern European slab doors, for example, is not a good fit, explains Dmitry. “Shaker-style cabinets provide that good middle choice between new and old elements. It’s a great choice for the Canadian market.” Jonathan is the owner of a 100 year old Wolseley home and chose to have the kitchen, which was wearing its years heavily, outfitted with Shaker cabinetry. “The idea was to have something that was fairly timeless. We wanted to modernize the kitchen a bit but not do something that was so contemporary that it wouldn’t maintain the integrity of the character of the house.”
T he cabinets are constructed of solid maple and have been painted to an exact Benjamin Moore designer colour. “They’re more than plain white,” says Jonathan. Accord Cabinets did some structural camouflage within the kitchen’s new pantry to hide a chimney behind six inch deep shelves that accommodate oils and spices, while the other side of the pantry is full size and offers maximum storage. Jonathan points out that the upper cabinet doors open upward. “They are on pistons so they open really slowly. You
just have to lift them up about an inch and they open up on their own and stay up by themselves so you can look in there as long as you need.” A kitchen garage is set within a corner for out of sight storage of small counter appliances and to further the fluid, uncluttered aspect of the space. Geometric pulls in oil rubbed bronze offer an understated contrast. The cabinets are topped with crown moulding with a very uncomplicated profile that follows the clean lines of the Shaker essence. “We wanted to stop short of the ceiling, “says Jonathan, “because we wanted the colour of the walls to show through; it’s so distinctive.”The age of the kitchen with lots of crooked and non-true walls certainly presents a challenge in terms of cabinetry installation, but Jonathan who has worked with Accord Cabinets before, says “The results are always gorgeous.”