4 Elements of a Modern Family Kitchen

With the homeowners’ third baby on the way, Toronto designer Sam Sacks had six months to update an ’80s kitchen. In addition to increasing the square-footage and bringing it into the modern era, they needed lots of storage, plus room for hosting laid-back dinner parties. “The owners are both creatives, and they were willing to have some fun with the design,” says Sam.

To create more breathing room, the kitchen was relocated from the back of the house to the centre, where the dining room had been. Sam then added plenty of clean-lined white oak cabinetry — including two spacious pantries — a guest-and kid-friendly breakfast bar, and stunning chevron flooring to nod to the Victorian home’s elegant bones. Eye-catching light fixtures and pops of colour in the seating, artwork and accessories put a creative spin on this contemporary kitchen. Take a virtual tour of the space below, and discover how to create a similar look in your own space.

Welcoming Breakfast Bar

A generous bar and upholstered stools set the stage for casual dinners and mingling. “The owners wanted to chat with each other, and their guests, during meal prep,” says Sam. Honed Calacatta marble on the counters and backsplash has a luxe quality and marries well with the warm cabinetry, which was designed by Sam and fabricated by Rettie Restoration.

Striking Fixtures

Modern sconces and artful pendants elevate the space. The luxe, fibreglass light fixtures over the island were a worthwhile splurge.

White Oak Floors

White oak chevron flooring brings historical charm to the kitchen. “It screams ‘Parisian flat,’” says Sam.

Casual Dining Area

A light wood table from Design Within Reach makes room for the whole family, while art and sculptural lights add personality. Architectural components like the graphic black windows and open sight lines are among Sam’s favourite features. “We had very long discussions about where the person sipping wine and talking to the chef would most comfortably lounge,” says Sam.

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