A Black & White Kitchen Makeover By Sarah Richardson Design
After a decade of being inspired by other people’s places, design photographer Stacey Brandford was finally ready to take the plunge with his own kitchen in Toronto’s East End. To create the open-concept eating and dining area Stacey and his wife, Anne Koehler, were after, the kitchen required extensive structural work. Together with the help of Ikea, his longtime collaborator (and friend) Sarah Richardson and her design associate Tiffany Leigh, the entire kitchen was taken back to the studs, creating a better flow, more natural light and a high-contrast aesthetic. Five months of construction later, Stacey and his family agree the end result is picture perfect.
From the get-go, Stacey and Anne knew they wanted a black and white kitchen. The honed bluestone floors and black Caesarstone counter on the island make a strong statement, so Tiffany brought in glossy white perimeter cabinets and counters for balance. Warm wood accents and round fixtures soften the look.
Wrapping the shelf around the corner creates a seamless look.
Tiffany opted for lower drawers instead of cabinets wherever possible. “Pulling out a drawer is much easier than bending down and searching in the back of a cabinet,” she says. The radiator left no room for pull-out storage in the corner, so Tiffany designed a wine rack instead. “The radiator covers are original to the house and frankly that’s why we love them,” says Stacey. “We like to salvage when we can.”
Trading upper cabinets for open shelves provided areas to showcase pieces from the couple’s pottery collection and some of Stacey’s photography.
A magnetic board displays family photos, artwork and quirky memorabilia, like a sign from Toronto landmark Honest Ed’s. Stacey grew up in Jamaica and his family spends time in the Bahamas, so Tiffany covered one wall of the kitchen with wave-patterned wallpaper.
Hidden behind the right side of the pantry is a chimney stack. It took some creative problem solving, but Tiffany and Sarah were able to trim the cabinet depth to 10″ to create a shallow pantry. The cabinets step back slightly above the coffee bar to allow for more headspace.
Here is Stacey, Anne and their kids hanging out in their cool new kitchen.