No ordinary family kitchen
By Margaret Anne Fehr
When Vanessa and Tim began consulting with their interior designer about launching into a full-scale renovation of the family kitchen, Vanessa recalls how close they came to traveling down the well-trodden path to traditional dark-stained shaker style cabinetry and all the usual décor elements that go along with.
“I’m more conservative by nature,” says Vanessa, “but our designer said that it was time to catch the new wave in kitchen design and create a space that was lighter and more contemporary. She recommended bamboo cabinets and with that suggestion we moved in an entirely different direction.”
The previous kitchen was a 90’s update to the nearly 40 year old home and the floor plan; a kitchen/family room amalgam didn’t meet the needs of this family of four with two school-age children. “We didn’t really have a place to eat in the kitchen. The kids came home from school, but there was no place for them. So we decided to make it all kitchen.” The couple called on Accord Cabinets to create their new family-oriented space.
One of the strongest elements of the layout is the L-shaped counter fashioned from two pieces of Caesar stone in Nougat. Set in the middle of the room, the spacious island is a multi-tasker’s dream. Smooth-rolling drawers for cutlery and dinner plates are easy to reach, kids included, and the easy pull-up lazy Susan shelving maximizes corner storage. The dishwasher is optimally positioned for easy loading and the two kitchen sinks, his and hers, complete this command centre of efficiency.
Vanessa especially appreciates subtle details within the drawers and cabinets. “The cabinetry is finished inside with a silver melamine instead of the usual stark white,” she says.Transformed into a bona fide social hub, the extended counter is illuminated with 6 pendant lights from the ‘Trista’ collection that evoke a multi-colour hand-blown glass effect.A unique element, the light box feature divider at the junction of the L, when-lit provides a random-style colour light show while acting as the foil to any meal time preparation evidence that might be spied from the front door entrance directly opposite. ” It acts as a transition into the room so you don’t see this huge island,” says Vanessa.
An entire wall of the kitchen is devoted to a floor to ceiling array of cabinets that surround the stainless steel fridge and built-in microwave. The uppermost cabinets provide a soft contrast of aluminum-framed doors with frosted glass inserts and exceptionally deep storage capacity.
The central cooking area occupies its own station complete with stainless steel hood fan and flanking cabinets with under mount task lighting. The backsplash further defines the space with horizontal slate.
“I really like the lockers with drawers underneath,” says Vanessa, referring to the kitchen entry where her children deposit their backpacks and outerwear after school. “It really makes my life easier.”
For Sergey and Dmitry of Accord Cabinets, this project was highly interesting and gave them a chance to engage their engineering and technical skills in building a kitchen with special challenges like the long counter that needed very strong support.
“All our boxes were built from aluminum and melamine that are very strong materials,” says Sergey. “The quartz countertop and sink probably weighed around 800 lbs so we had to make our boxes very strong to support it. The seam line for the two pieces of quartz were joined with a new style epoxy glue that, once dried and polished, is practically invisible.”
In line with today’s ‘green’ philosophy, the cabinets are made of 3-ply bamboo with the brand name, O2 Bamboo. “It’s made like plywood, says Sergey. “It’s constructed of 3 plies of bamboo glued together so it’s very strong and won’t warp. This bamboo is FSC certified and uses 100 per cent NAUF glue, a friendly environment material that means there are no off-gases emitted.”
Vanessa, Tim and family, have been happily using their new kitchen since last October, and are so glad they entrusted their project to Accord Cabinets. “Sergey and Dmytri were just great! They came in on time and did what they promised. They are true professionals!”.