As the design work on Project Blythwood – the century home I’ve been working on – comes to a close, it’s great to reflect back on the year-long journey, and the major milestones along the way. For me, it’s more than the wow of walking into a completed space, it’s also how it works for the family, and brings them together in ways they couldn’t even imagine.
Over the year the floor plan changed dramatically, doubling in size and adding in two more bedrooms, as well as four new bathrooms and a powder room, not to mention the showstopper of the house – the kitchen!
The old kitchen in the house was part of an eyesore of an addition added in the 1980’s and we knew that had to go, so my clients and myself started the process of figuring out exactly how to best make the kitchen work in the new space.
Room for a full-size fridge and freezer, a bar fridge, an industrial sized gas range, as well as two dishwashers? Yes! With a busy family of six that loves to cook and entertain, we knew we had to squeeze in as much functionality as possible, without forgetting the charm of this century home.
We also couldn’t forget that the kitchen was in full view of the front door, so thoughtful design plus a few special additions definitely had to come into play. That meant vintage lighting, oak flooring and simple shaker cabinets used throughout, painted in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy for the island and in Decorator’s White for the rest of the space.
And what an island – at 17.5’ long, it’s certainly a statement maker and has become the heart of the home. With the large family (hello, four boisterous boys!), durability and cleanability had to come into play, which is why (of course) we went with HanStone countertops. Not to mention the homeowners totally fell for the idea of Canadian-Made quartz, and how that fits in with the story of the house.
A trip was planned to the fabulous HanStone showroom in Vaughan, Ontario to pick from their full-size slabs on display (well worth a visit, in my humble opinion!) and we settled for Montauk from the Boutique Collection, for the subtle shading and veining which felt perfect for the vibe we were aiming for in the space.
While there, we also choose HanStone’s Royale Blanc, to top the vintage midcentury credenza being used as a vanity in the principal vanity. Simple and chic was the order of the day, especially with the contemporary black faucets and sleek top-mount sinks.
Arren Williams is a renowned designer, trend report and interior stylist whose influential career in the design world can be tracked across magazines, newspapers, and television for the last two decades. Style is in Arren’s DNA since he definitely started honing his eye for design when he was young. “At the age of 12 I wasn’t playing with GI Joe, I was collection Art Deco clocks,” he explains.
Project photographed by Stacey Brandford
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