French Country Kitchen

We just completed the renovation of this lovely Lake McKenzie home in Calgary.  We had previously helped this client with an addition several years ago so we were thrilled when they called us back in to help them with phase two of their renovation. However, there was an interesting development.  Since we had last worked with them they had been relocated to Scotland and currently the Calgary house was being rented. They decided to return to Calgary and wanted a large part of the construction finished before they returned.  This meant that we had to communicate over email and phone calls, ship samples of finishes to them and use the internet to illustrate our ideas and plans.  Logistically, it was going to be tricky!  The scope of work included enlarging a second floor bedroom and attached bathroom for their teen daughter, refinishing the ensuite, turning the existing living room into a dining room, and completely gutting the old kitchen and expanding the new kitchen into the old dining room space.  Whew!  It was a lot of work but we were ready for the challenge!

Here is what the main floor of the house originally looked like.

 

 

Here is the new layout for the main floor.

 

This kitchen is vastly improved by expanding into what was once the dining room. For a client with four children it was important that the kitchen be large and functional.  One of our client’s major complaints about the old kitchen was the tiny pantry and appliances.  This plan also incorporated a butler’s pantry area between the new dining room and kitchen and small desk for computer use.  Two islands were designed to keep good flow throughout this massive space.  This kitchen is divided into distinctive functional areas – prep and cooking zone, a clean up zone and a storage zone.

Our client adored kitchens that had French Country flair.  She showed me many inspirational photographs most of which featured a mixture of cream and wood cabinets and a range with a stone façade and mantle.  I was excited about the stone surround as it would be a gorgeous focal point to the room.  We went with the Wolf dual fuel 48” double oven range.  Since we were making the range a major design factor in this kitchen it was important to use something very substantial and eye catching.

 

Here are some photos of the finished product!

Denca Cabinets took our design drawings and created these beautiful cabinets for us. We have worked with them many times because of their attention to detail and careful craftsmanship.

We suggested using leaded glass cabinets between the Subzero freezer and refrigerator and had them made locally. They really help to emphasize the old world look of this kitchen.

Since our client likes to bake we wanted to incorporate a lower countertop that was at the perfect height for rolling dough.  We dropped this end of the island to 33” instead of the standard 36” height to accommodate this.  The counter tops on the islands are Juperana Amber from Icon Stone and Tile. We used a dark antique finished countertop called Picasso on the other counters.  It was important to have some contrast between the cream cabinets and the stone counters on either side of the range and between the fridge and freezer.  This particular stone has a silky matte finish which is absolutely stunning!

The stone around the range looks great! We used some niches on either side for easy access to spice racks. The pot filler is a Moen model.  The backsplash tile has a really subtle crackle finish in the glaze.  We switched the tile layout in the niche above the range to a herringbone pattern for an understated look.

Kohler makes beautiful farmhouse ceramic sinks. I love the simplicity of this one.

The desk makes use of the angled space under the windows.  There was an area that was previously used to house a china cabinet which we incorporated into the pantry. Aren’t we so clever! Pantries are a necessity, but so much nicer when they are not obvious!

The bench seat was added during this renovation.  We had some pillows made from outdoor fabrics so that they would not fade in this sunny location. The pretty cream and black floral is available through Stroheim and Romann. The fabric used on the bench seat cushion is called Kersika by Jab. Using outdoor fabric indoors is a little trick that we employ often when we are worried about fabrics fading. They are also great to use in family friendly interiors because they are so easy to clean.

This kitchen truly is something that we are all very proud of. Our client is absolutely thrilled with it. Creating a beautiful and functional space that is just what our clients wished for is the best part of designing!

Cheers!

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