Homes & Design Photo Credit: Phil Crozier

A Calgary Kitchen’s Fresh Start

After rising waters nearly destroyed it, a Calgary home gets a second chance.

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It was a devastating picture: in 2013, the owners of this home in a riverside neighbourhood in Calgary saw flood waters rise as high as the countertops in their kitchen, destroying the basement and main floor of the home—and nearly everything in this space. Designer Jacqueline Corea of Corea Sotropa Interior Design was brought on board as part of the recovery effort, and, in the process, she transformed a once-dark kitchen into a bright, light space.

Corea was able to rescue the hood fan and any cabinets that were above the waterline, painting the honey-toned maple out in bright white. For the counters on the perimeter of the room, the white was paired with a lower-maintenance dove-grey marble, while the island got a show-stopping brilliant white slab. Layers of lighting—pot lights, under-cabinet lighting and those gorgeous, glass-and-chrome pendants over the island—make the space bright and functional. Storage is at a maximum: cabinets extend all the way to the nine-foot ceilings, with glass inserts near the top that provide a visual break and create a display nook for a few pretty pieces. And most of the lower cabinets are  fitted with easy-to-organize (and easy on the back) pullout drawers.

From less-than-ideal beginnings, a dream kitchen is born.

Tips

1. Don’t be afraid to mix and match drawer pulls. Here, Corea used a combination of knobs on the upper cabinets and horizontal pulls on the lower bank, all in polished nickel.

2. Select materials that you love, even if it means a little maintenance. The homeowner really loved marble, says Corea, and though it’s more work than quartz, the personal satisfaction made it worth it.

3. The bigger the kitchen, the more you’ll love a prep sink. The distance between the main sink and gas range is a little too far to make meal prep easy, so a sink for veggies on the island saves the main one for cleanup.

4. Lower the microwave to keep sightlines clean. Placing the Dacor drawer microwave at waist level essentially disguises it behind the island, keeping the room white and bright.

5. Drawers aren’t just for kitchen supplies. The kids spend their after-school time in the kitchen, so the end drawers of the island are stocked with school supplies for homework. 

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“The marble backsplash from Vancouver-based Edgewater Studio was an investment, but she really loves the bit of pattern and whimsy,” says Corea.

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