"We called it the Frankenstein House," says designer Lisa Canning about the original state of this Toronto home. There were several types of flooring used just on the main floor, and the layout was a mess. Busy entrepreneurs Donna Bishop and Stephen Keith brought Lisa in to make the space work hard and look good. Here, the designer explains how the project came together.
Kitchen design: Warm and rustic Slideshow Kitchen design: Warm and rustic
What were the main challenges with the original kitchen?
The owners love to entertain, but their long, narrow house had a choppy layout, which didnt lend itself well to that. We removed every wall and post we could to completely open up the main floor. We saved space by eliminating the dining table and installing a large kitchen island with stools instead.
What type of kitchen did you want to create?
The goal was to build a warm and inviting kitchen with a hint of rusticity. This family is very eco-conscious, so that was also a consideration that drove a lot of the design decisions.
Where did you save and where did you splurge?
We invested in custom cabinetry to ensure we used every available inch of space, and all the handmade barnboard accents were also pricey due to the skilled labour involved. Using inexpensive subway tile for the backsplash saved costs, but its a classic choice that works well with the look regardless.
Whats the one investment piece you couldnt do without?
The powerful six-burner gas cooktop was really important for Donna to have. The home is such a hub for friends and family, so the function of the range was a big factor. We also made it a focal point in the island.
Explain the design decisions behind the wooden accents.
We wanted to inject warmth into the new kitchen, so we used wood wherever possible without making it look too country. The walnut-veneered open shelving along the top of the upper cabinets gives the kitchen a more relaxed, restaurant-like quality.
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