With beautifully considered design, even a small space can make a big impression. That’s certainly the case with this smartly designed and completely revitalized galley-style kitchen by CAB Architects, a Toronto-based studio led by husband-and-wife team Brian Hagood and Charisma Panchapakesan. The homeowners wanted a space that was bright and functional, without adding square footage, which meant it had to be designed to make the most efficient use of the space, with a brilliant storage solution.
Located at the back of an Edwardian-style home in Toronto’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood, the kitchen had its fair share of design challenges. As Panchapakesan noted, the old space had an unvented range, oversized bulkheads and dated finishes with dark wood uppers and black cabinet fronts. An inefficient layout meant pantry items and counter-top appliances were in full view and left little space for meal preparation. Also, a mudroom between the kitchen and the backyard blocked a lot of natural light from coming into the room.
EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE
Step one for CAB Architects was to address the storage problem and figure out how to integrate more concealed storage. Without room for an island or extra deep cabinets, they came up with the idea of adding an intermediate layer of storage in the area between the base and upper cabinets.
A beautiful solution emerged by shifting one wall of cabinets into the room, taking 38 centimetres from the original layout and gaining a backsplash storage area that holds pantry items, kitchen tools and small appliances. While making the space narrower might sound counterintuitive, the resulting storage space speaks for itself, creating a home for knives, olive oil, cookbooks and more above the countertops and freeing up room for meal preparation.
Complementing the heritage features of the house, CAB installed an architectural hood above the stove as well as a brick backsplash. The earthen colours and texture also match the converted industrial loft building bordering the family’s backyard, adding relevant context to the interior design. With beauty that’s easy to maintain, a countertop in 4001 Fresh Concrete from Caesarstone’s Metropolitan Collection adds a modern contrast, pairing well with the subtle wood grain in the intermediate cabinets. This fresh, contemporary look utilizes a calm and muted palette that includes putty-coloured cabinet doors and light oak flooring.
OLD MEETS NEW
The existing brick chimney was reutilized as the backsplash for the range. Mixing natural and manmade materials, the entrance to the basement was disguised by a blind door with a large vinyl graphic of birch trees. With no visible hardware, the door opens when pushed in, revealing a chalkboard wall and offering easy access to cleaning supplies and more.
Despite the footprint of the room being slightly narrower than before, the large door and sidelight let the sun shine in and make the space appear larger. Without the mudroom, the full-length gateway now lets the family take in the beauty of the day and the ivy-framed view outside. With natural light sweeping across neutral surfaces, the kitchen creates a bright and airy sense of optimism that delights the homeowners and their guests. With smart design and storage, what was once a dark, dated kitchen has been transformed into a modern urban oasis.