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Space, softness and storage

Replacing a dark, enclosed version, this expansive new kitchen conjures up light, spaciousness, understated storage and a softer aesthetic

Designed by Jennifer Gilmer, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

From the designer:

The existing kitchen

This modern, split-level house previously had a traditional kitchen in natural maple, raised panel doors.  

The style of the kitchen definitely did not complement the style of the house.  

In addition, the kitchen was contained and closed off from the adjacent nice sized family room.  

Although there are several windows, the kitchen had always seemed to be a bit dreary.  

At family gatherings, everyone would congregate in the kitchen which would get very crowded and those that were sitting in the family room were cut off from the group.  


Design response – the new kitchen

The wall separating the kitchen from the family room was structural but the homeowners felt it was well worth the added expense to remove it.  

By eliminating this wall, we were able to put a peninsula in its place.  

We pushed this peninsula 30cm into the family room since this was unusable space anyway – simply providing a path to get from the kitchen hallway to the front foyer.  

This design move created more room in the kitchen and allowed us to have more space around the island which was more in proportion with the new spacious and open design.  

We also moved the door to the dining room over so that we could have a longer run of cabinets on this wall.  

The wall to the left of the door to the garage did not have any cabinets on it regardless of there being plenty of room for them.  

So we added cabinets on this wall which increased storage and provided a perfect place for a coffee bar right next to the breakfast table.

Wood-look cabinets – strength and looks

The light wood cabinets are actually made from a high pressure textured melamine.  

This material is reasonably priced and more durable than stained wood.  

The white painted cabinets have a slim frame around them, adding a bit of a transitional influence and softening the look – avoiding a flat contemporary appearance. 

The combination of white and light wood really brightened up the space and it was important to create a balanced composition between the two.  

The white wall cabinets and appliance garages are all opened on bi-fold hinges so that they can all be left open while cooking without obstructing the cook's ability to move around.

Downplaying a wealth of appliances

There are a lot of appliances in this kitchen which, upon walking into the room, are tucked away behind cabinetry faces.  

In addition to the refrigerator, there are freezer drawers under the speed oven, combination refrigerator/freezer drawers under the coffee counter and the dishwasher is fully integrated as well.

This design accomplished the goal of creating a bright and socially comfortable space with the added benefit of the storage space practically doubling.

Designed by: Jennifer Gilmer – Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: John Cole

03 Dec, 2023

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