Clients’ Dream Kitchen Becomes Functional
By Barbara Capella Loehr
PICKERING, ONTARIO Sometimes simple visualization is the perfect
catalyst to turn a dream into a reality. Other times, just getting
started is the hardest part.
The owners of this redesigned kitchen were experiencing the
latter problem, according to Beverly Leigh Binns of Pickering,
Ontario, Canada-based Binns Kitchen + Bath Design, who was charged
with making sense out the owners’ ideas, hopes and dreams.
“Like many homeowners today, they had leafed through glossy
magazines filled with photos of kitchens, and knew that there were
many possibilities for their little space. They just didn’t know
where to begin, as the space was in need of a lot of help,”
Indeed, the kitchen was very dark overall, as a result of a
“dull,” charcoal-colored backsplash, poor natural light, harsh
fluorescent, artificial lighting and a lowered ceiling treatment
that read like gray, painted aluminum siding.
Additionally, the kitchen had a generally “disjointed” feeling,
adds Binns. “It was as if it had been pieced together by several
past homeowners,” she says. As a result, nothing truly matched or
fit quite properly.
For example, “the clients had to move their table away from the
wall to use it properly, and then push it back against the wall
when they were done so they could walk through their kitchen
again,” she explains, citing the lack of storage and countertop
space as the culprit for the overall cluttered feeling the kitchen
“The clients dreamed of a bright, contemporary room, with more
efficient use of space and storage.
It was also important to maintain table-height seating for
themselves, as well as for their young daughter,” explains
With the kitchen criteria
cohesively outlined, Binns set forth to turn her clients’ dream
However, the old kitchen had several inherent design flaws that
she first had to tackle. These included removing the divider wall
to the left of the dining room doorway to open up the space;
removing the old ceiling treatment to increase the ceiling height;
removing a small window on the cooktop elevation, which faced a
neighbors’ brick wall, to better utilize the wall space; moving the
original refrigerator location to the opposite side of the room to
utilize the depth of that wall, and replacing an existing solid
exterior door with a glass-framed door and a new larger window to
bring in more natural light.
Once these were addressed, Binns focused on turning the biggest
liability of the original kitchen design into the new design’s
biggest asset. As she explains: “Because of the location of the
entrance into the kitchen from the hallway, there was not enough
space on one side of the kitchen for the standard-depth cabinets.
But, by stepping in the cabinets on both sides of the sink
elevation, the attention is drawn away from this awkward situation.
The wall cabinets above the sink were also made into a feature by
stepping them in and using custom, aluminum-framed, glass
These custom cabinets are highlighted by integral task lighting
below, and include an integral hanging rail system beneath.
According to Binns, the maple wood cabinetry is complemented by
SieMatic’ Lascala door style and a Golden Sunset finish. “A
contemporary feeling was created by using [this] modern,
Shaker-style door finished in a very natural stain,” she says.
Custom cabinetry options in the form of a pantry with four
internal, roll-out drawers, a pull-out spice cabinet, tall upper
cabinets and a bank of drawers with a cutlery divider were
installed to increase storage and function.
A custom stainless steel tambour unit for the microwave
completes the contemporary feel of the cabinetry. This door
features an automatic shut-off switch that disconnects the
microwave immediately if the door is rolled down while the
microwave is in use, notes Binns.
To extend the contemporary feel of the cabinetry, Binns
installed ochre-colored DuPont Corian countertops around the
kitchen, and incorporated a bone-colored DuPont Corian tabletop.
“The countertop was used to bring in a soft touch of color into the
room. The bone-colored, built-in table, along with the bone-colored
painted trims, provided contrast against the chocolate-colored
walls,” she explains.
The cabinetry and countertops lend contemporary aesthetic value
and provide the owners with the increased storage they so desired.
And the tabletop created by extending the base cabinets to the
right of the a 30″ gas Miele cooktop at an angle solves the
kitchen’s original seating dilemma and breaks up the long and
narrow feel of the space, elaborates Binns.
The designer also installed a bevy of other stainless steel
appliances, such as a 24″ AEG Competence oven; a 36″ Miele
stainless steel hood with integrated lighting; a 30″ stainless
steel Amana refrigerator with a bottom freezer; and an 18″
stainless steel Miele dishwasher.
A Franke undermount, stainless steel sink with a KWC DOMO
brushed nickel faucet completes the kitchen’s function.
Safety features that also complement Binn’s design and add to the
ambience of the new space include low-voltage, recessed lighting
and the application of non-slip, 12″x12″ Cromlech Rosso porcelain
tile to the floor.
“The clients of this ‘big, little kitchen’ are more than happy
with the new layout of the space,” remarks Binns. “They have a
brighter, more open-feeling kitchen with ample countertop and
storage space, as well as a room that reflects their lifestyle and
a space in which they enjoy spending time.”