With two of her three adult children still at home, Linda Gill, an Executive Assistant to a publisher, and her banker husband, needed to optimize available space in their kitchen. “I wanted maximum storage and better use of my breakfast nook,” Linda comments.
“The kitchen and nook,” designer Jane Lockhart notes, “is used for cooking, working, lounging and gatherings.” Age was an issue for the 80 year-old kitchen tucked into the back of the North Toronto home. “Everything was falling apart,” Jane says. Extra space was added by utilizing part of the home’s back porch.
Blending the talents of many craftspeople, the kitchen and nook showcases tumbled natural stone tiles, wood sourced from Mennonites, and custom cabinets. “The quality of workmanship was beyond what I expected,” Linda notes. Hand-painted garden details on the back-splashes were “inspired by Linda’s love of florals and English country paintings,” according to Jane. The craftspeople’s combined skills created an English, countryside kitchen in this Tudor-style home.
All of the kitchen’s special features are based on Linda’s wish list — “I had been saving magazine photos for years. I now have everything I have ever wanted.” The kitchen has wine storage, a built-in bread basket, a spice drawer, and appliances hidden behind cabinetry. The bronze faucets were ordered from England. Antique-style cabinet handles, leaded glass inserts, and floral plates all enhance the kitchen’s country ambiance. Jane chose the quartz counter tops because they are “highly durable and reminded me of old English porcelain.”
Cerise ribbons and accent pillows bring a kiss of colour to the nook. Providing both storage and seating, the banquette seats four. “But we have squeezed in five,” Linda comments. Custom made, the oak and maple table was designed to look like a family heirloom. “When choosing a dining table for a small space, select one that is round as it creates better circulation. Ensure it has a pedestal base as this is easier to push chairs up to,” Jane advises.
Overhead, the crystal chandelier lends a spritz of sparkle. Its bronzed metal matches the kitchen’s faucets and cabinet hardware. Jane suggests that the height of a chandelier should always be “20 inches from the top of the table to the bottom of the fixture.” Oak paneling replaces the old vinyl flooring original to the rooms. The new flooring was given a finish that blends it with flooring in the rest of the home.
“Some people come over and want to stay in the breakfast area, it is so cozy,” Linda states. Part of Linda’s wish list for the renovation was a niche of her own to work in. Jane designed a tall, slim workstation to house Linda’s cookbooks while providing a work space. Her ‘office’ chair can also be used at the breakfast nook’s table. Incorporated into the breakfast nook’s walls is a blackboard, that can be seen from the kitchen, allowing this busy family to leave messages. Crown moulding unites the architecture of both rooms.
“This is absolutely my favourite room in the house,” Linda exclaims. “Everyone thinks it is amazing.”
- Space Designed by Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D, intern ARIDO, Principal Designer of Jane Lockhart Interior Design, www.janelockhart.com
- Photography, Brandon Barré, www.brandonbarre.com
- Cook Top, Wolf, www.subzero-wolf.com
- Dishwasher, Miele Advantage, www.miele.ca
- Microwave Oven, Wolf, www.subzero-wolf.com
- Range/Oven, Wolf Electric, www.subzero-wolf.com
- Refrigerators, Sub Zero, www.subzero-wolf.com
- Ventilation, Sirius, www.siriuscappe.com/canada
- Custom Cabinetry, Brice’s Furniture, www.bricesfurniture.com
- Counter tops,Cambria, www.cambriacanada.com
- Faucets/Fittings, Perrin & Rowe, www.perrinandrowe.co.uk
- Sinks, Kindred, www.frankekindred.com
- Back splash, Cercan Tile, www.cercantile.com
- Wall/Ceiling, Benjamin Moore, www.benjaminmoore.ca