24Cheryl Butters dreamed of a space big enough to bake to her heart’s content. After five years of rubbing elbows in her small kitchen, she sought out the help of designer extraordinaire, Jil Sonia McDonald to open up her kitchen and transform it into a baker’s dream!

Sports fans Cheryl and Gord Butters love to entertain in their Maple Ridge B.C. home. After five years, and with two grown sons (Eric, 20, and Jay, 24), they felt their kitchen was too tiny. Cheryl and Gord asked designer Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors to help create a gracious, spacious kitchen that would bring their family and friends together.

“I have always loved the French farmhouse look for kitchens with an edgier element,” Cheryl notes. The kitchen’s fireplace, original to the home, brings authenticity to the country theme. Painted dove grey, the fireplace’s moulding is original and matches the cabinetry. McDonald found tile that looked like “old stacked bricks”, completing the fireplace’s cultured country look.


14“To me, good design is functional,” says McDonald. She uses a checklist to determine a design’s function, feel, and finishes. “I price out those finishes and have a back-up option in case the budget comes in too high.” Being prepared for the unexpected is also important. “I also have ten percent of the budget for ‘Oopsies’!” Uneven floor joists meant additional funds were needed to even out the supporting joists for the Butters’ kitchen.

The island’s oak top was custom stained to match the budget-saving, dark laminate flooring. The island and counter both provide storage areas. “The butcher block is the icing on the cake. It turned out gorgeous!,” Cheryl says. Two and half walls were removed to provide the kitchen’s 1,000 square feet allowing the family to cook while watching TV.

Custom cabinets house the refrigerator while also providing storage space. “A trick of mine is to use a regular depth 30” fridge and to use 1custom cabinets built out to match the depth of the fridge,” observes McDonald. She advises that appliances be chosen before a counter plan is designed. Lighting should also be planned. Traditional beadboard used in the counters adds modern crispness to the kitchen. Metal pot lights, chandelier, and three-pendant lights all add to the forward-looking country aesthetic.

Every renovation’s budget has wishes and misses. “In a perfect world I would have preferred to have the oven wall mounted. To keep the cost down we went with the double oven,” Cheryl comments. Savings were also gained by using oversized subway tiles for the backsplash.

Investing in the quartz counters and the cabinetry’s antiqued pewter hardware were key to ensuring the kitchen’s enduring elegance. 25As an avid baker and cook, Cheryl needed durable low-maintenance counters. “I researched it. We chop/cut on it. You can lay hot pans on it without leaving any marks,” Cheryl notes.

The handmade valances were also a splurge. The bird pattern combines contemporary and traditional sensibilities. “My husband still doesn’t know the cost of the valances. Had to have them!,” Cheryl joyfully notes.

“We love our new kitchen! The redesign functions perfectly in how we use the new area on a day-to-day basis and to entertain” says Cheryl.

Text J. Lynn Fraser, Photography Tracey Ayton, Produced by Canadian Home Trends Magazine


  • Space Designed By Jil Sonia Mcdonald, Jil Sonia Interiors, www.jilsoniainteriors.com;
  • Photography Tracey Ayton Photography, www.traceyaytonphotography.com;
  • Painter, Warline Painting www.warlinepainting.ca;
  • Flooring, Richmond Laminate, www.richmondlaminate.com;
  • Counter Top, Caesarstone, London Gray, www.caesarstone.ca;
  • Tiles on Backsplash, Ames Tile, www.amestile.com;
  • Fireplace Tile, Gl Stone, www.glstonetile.com;
  • Chandelier, Progress, www.progress.com;
  • Pendants, Restoration Hardware, www. restorationhardware.com;
  • Wall Colour, Benjamin Moore, Nimbus, www.benjaminmoore. ca;
  • Cabinets, Century Cabinets, www.centurycabinets.ca;
  • Custom Draperies, Jb Custom Draperies, Robert Allen Fabric, www.jbcustomdraperies.com;
  • Stools, Pier One, www.pier1.ca;
  • Hardware, Liberty, Antiqued Iron, www.libertyhardware.com;
  • Fridge, Samsung, www.samsung.ca;
  • Range, Kitchen Aid, www.kitchenaid.ca;
  • Dishwasher, Maytag, www.maytag.ca;
  • Hood Fan, Broan, www.broan.ca;
  • Faucet, Delta, Leland, www.delta.ca;
  • Large Koi Art, Susanna Li;
  • Small Bird Art Over Mantel, Tracey Ayton Photography, www.traceyaytonphotography.com

As Seen In Canadian Home Trends Spring 2014

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.