Q&A with Designer & Homeowner

When Todd and Jill decided to move from Burlington to Carlisle, they knew who they’d call to help with the design of their new kitchen. Trish from The Wright Kitchen!

A few years ago, these adventurous homeowners renovated their Burlington home and The Wright Kitchen was one of the options, but at that time, they had to chose a different solution. Jill remembered her friendly and informative interaction with Trish, and so, she was the first person called when the next house they purchased was in desperate need of a facelift. Here, we profile a Q&A with the designer and homeowner.

Q: Jill, as experienced renovators, what were you looking for in a kitchen design?
A: Sourcing Canadian-made products was extremely important to us. It’s very challenging when renovating a whole home, but some of the biggest investments – the kitchen cabinets and flooring, as an example – were mandatory to be local. Quality was of utmost importance, given our kitchen is the hub of the home, a very hardworking space. Equal parts functionality and aesthetics, the layout had to consider maximizing flow for the whole main floor, given the open concept. The type of wood and finishes, dovetail drawers, soft close cabinets, a mix of drawers and cupboards to store ample cookware, dishes, seasonal supplies, food and many countertop appliances – so many details had to be considered.

Q: Trish, what was the starting point for the design?
A: These homeowners had a vision, they knew what they wanted, and provided a few inspiration kitchen photos during our first consultation. Jill is an avid design enthusiast, and when she said she was open to doing something different, a dark, two-tone kitchen, I was thrilled! The trend the past few years has been white, transitional kitchens, so it was nice to have the opportunity to do something different, very modern, on trend but also a lasting design.

Q: Jill, what stood out to you about working with The Wright Kitchen?
A: Collaboration. Expertise. Reliability. Communication. Assurance. I came in with a general sketch, but really needed Trish’s expertise with the fine tuning, the nitty gritty details of cabinet sizes, placement and functionality. We were planning on removing a wall between the dining and living rooms, removing two windows and a stairway landing, which changed the whole footprint of the main floor. It wasn’t a small task with HVAC changes, and not one, but two steel beams required for a flush ceiling, so I really relied on her experience to guide us on the size and scale, for example, the optimal dimensions for the island, accommodating a side-by-side fridge and freezer, open shelving, integration of a coffee station and garbage/recycling station. Because we hadn’t lived in the house previously, we didn’t have a good feel for lighting during different times of day or overall flow, and we were managing a complete reno – there were so many decisions to be made. Given the kitchen is the focal point of the main floor, Trish’s reassurance on my many questions really helped put my mind at ease. “Are you sure there’s enough space between the stairs and island?” “Are you sure the size of the kitchen is a good balance with the rest of the space?” “Are you sure the pantry depth can be designed around the new HVAC ductwork?” “How can we do custom metal trim on the rangehood?” “What do you think of mixing up the hardware?” And the list goes on…

Q: What are some of the features of this contemporary kitchen design?
A: Cabinets – the dark slab cabinets are a charcoal stain on maple, while the island, coffee station interior and floating shelves are melamine. Melamine has come a long way. It’s very durable, mimics wood grains and is very affordable. The combination of dark and light provides a perfect contrast, lending the contemporary lines some warmth in the wood tones.

Coffee Station – at the end of the kitchen, a coffee station houses mugs, coffee maker and a variety of beverages, with open and closed shelving to display décor items and store serve ware. It’s conveniently located next to the homeowner’s living room.

Floating Shelves – the homeowner wanted floating shelves next to the corner window to allow for light flow and to display personal objects. The intent was to make the kitchen part of the living space and not so “kitchen-y.”

Microwave Drawer – placing the microwave in the island as a draw-style is convenient and safe, so you’re not reaching up to remove hot containers, and leaves the countertops clutter-free

Light Valence – the under-cabinet light valence is hidden behind the doors, creating a seamless clean look.

Pull-out Recycling Station – placed in the island next to the prep sink, it provides convenience for garbage, recycling and composting, along with a shelf to store garbage bag supplies.

5’ Island – the large island is multi-functional, providing ample prep surface, a sink, recycling/garbage, microwave, stores all the mini appliances, a bookshelf for displaying cookbooks and storing vegetables, and offers secondary eating space for every day casual meals and becomes a serving area when hosting and entertaining guests.

Q: What do you love the most about your new kitchen?
A: What don’t I love?! Gosh, there are too many features and details that I can’t narrow down to just one! We love the colour combination and hit of gold on the hardware. The mix of open and closed shelving. The overall flow, not only within the kitchen but with the rest of our home. We wanted a lived-in luxury vibe that wasn’t too formal – sophisticated casual I guess we’d call it. It really is the hub, a real focal point. From each consultation, to the install, open communication, guidance along the way, even providing opinions on our hardware floor choices, and introduction to a contractor, it was a true collaboration that we are very thankful for. TWK really helped make our vision a reality!