Farmhouse Chic Kitchen: Get the Look!

It’s got a bit of the beach, a little industrial-chic, and to Alix and Maximo Navarrete of White Rock, B.C., their ultra-flexible modern kitchen is an entertainer’s paradise.

Create a visual connection between indoors and out. You can enjoy nature even in a downpour—homeowner and designer Alix Navarrete installed sweeping picture windows and ample glass doors for a space that feels more like a covered porch than a kitchen.

Pair natural materials with cool modern accents. Though polished concrete floors and custom wrought-iron accents give off a chic industrial vibe, touches of natural materials—like soaring fir ceiling beams and a two-inch-thick cedar tabletop kindly provided by a neighbour—instantly warm a room.

Incorporate antiques in unexpected ways. Cleverly spaced ceiling plugs (eight every two beams) mean that vintage lighting fixtures from the 1920s can be easily rearranged: to create mood lighting along a table set for 18, or into a bold cluster over a more casual meal. The centrepiece light over the island—an antique ship searchlight—is easily repositioned, too.

Pair high tables with high seats for a casual vibe. The table and chairs here are counter height, a trick to encourage dinner-party mingling. “Since it’s easier to get in and out, people wind up standing up, moving around and even switching seats,” says Navarrete.

Plan for when the kitchen isn’t a kitchen. It’d be a shame to use a great space like this only during dinner parties. A plug in the floor beneath the Carrara marble-top island transforms the kitchen into an instant office, offering a convenient spot to set up the laptop.

Give guests easy access to refreshments. Make everyone feel at home with a beverage cooler, like the sleek one here, installed by the glassware. Stock it with white wine—and soda for the kids—and encourage guests to help themselves.

Keep open storage behind closed doors. Open shelving is great for stowing pretty tableware and keeping gourmet goodies within reach—It’s even better when you install French doors to keep it all out of sight while your dinner party’s in full swing.

Do your kitchen laundry in the kitchen. With a washer and dryer tucked into the 81-square-foot pantry, keeping table linens clean and ready to go is a snap. And with a built in, fold-down ironing board installed right above the machines, you’ll never suffer a wrinkled tablecloth again. wl