Homes & Design Photo Credit: Jo-Ann Richards

Design Tips from a Bright, Light Kitchen

A warm palette and loads of natural light make this kitchen sing.

For a Victoria couple who love to entertain, the request was simple: give us a kitchen with an open plan, a modern outlook and an abundance of natural light.

So designer Lorin Turner of Zebra Interiors transformed their 1970s-era L-shaped room using sleek and durable materials: white oak flooring and complementary edge-grain cabinetry to reflect the light, contemporary quartz stone countertops for durable work surfaces and a marble subway tile backsplash for just enough glamour. Windows at both ends of the room draw in light from every direction, and skylights over the kitchen prep area provide natural illumination for slicing and dicing.

To keep the home chefs happy, Turner installed a five-burner cooktop, a warming oven with a slow-cook setting, a deep sink to accommodate large roasting pans and a eating bar that floats above the ample prep area.

To keep guests comfortable, Turner designed a long, slope-backed banquette to fit with an extendable walnut dining table. Whether it’s a party of two or eight, it provides an ideal vantage point from which to savour the room and the food.

6 Tips to Get the Look

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1. Maximize little-used areas for storage. Look for non-traditional spaces to stash less-used items. A flip-up cupboard on top of the fridge offers purpose-built storage for baking trays.

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2. Add texture for visual appeal. Up the impact of a neutral palette with varying texture, like the sparkling quartz stone on the island. 

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3. Turn a pillar into an asset. If you can’t remove a pillar, enhance it. The two that frame the kitchen are remnants of the original fireplace; clad in white oak and banded with brushed stainless, they fit right in.

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4. Make the backsplash a feature wall. With its varying shades of warm white and rich veining, Calacatta marble subway tile makes the functional dynamic.

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5. Take stock of both sides of the island. The oversized island is well outfitted with storage: one side features prep items for the chef; the other, barware for diners to grab what they need.

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6. Bring the counter to the window. Durable, stain-resistant Caesarstone lines the window ledges—perfect for moisture resistance (and will stand up well to potted plants).

Originally published in March 2013.

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