Personality & Practicality Are The Key Ingredients In This Kitchen
Kitchen renovations can be a long time coming — even for the pros. Just ask designer and Edinburgh expat Gillian Gillies, who admits the kitchen was the last room she renovated in her Toronto home. “My husband, Dean, is one of six kids, and true confession, I think I was holding off doing the kitchen to avoid hosting massive family dinners,” she says with a laugh. Now that the renovation — during which the kitchen nearly doubled in size to 215 square feet — is complete, the space is ready to host as many family members and friends as Gillian can handle.
Gillian wanted her kitchen to work with the other rooms in her home, something she encourages all renovators to consider. “It’s about knowing and owning your own personal style,” she says. “Ours had to be inviting and relaxing, with touches of quintessential British eclecticism.”
The alcove that used to house the fridge now functions as a pantry. “Our pantry is like the Tardis in Doctor Who,” says Gillian. “It holds everything!”
This wall is visible from Gillian’s front door, so it was important that it looked up to snuff with integrated appliances. Kickplate detailing conceals the refrigerator and HVAC vents, and makes the unit look like a piece of furniture. Roomy cabinetry houses glasses, oversized baking dishes and small appliances, and drawers below store tableware and Gillian’s beloved kitchen linens. “I have a thing for napkins!” she says.
Whimsical koi wallpaper adds a dose of unexpected quirk in the otherwise traditional space.
In a room with so many hard surfaces, soft touches like patterned linen drapery — hung from custom iron rods (not pictured) — are key.
Even hardworking kitchens need a few pretty moments, like this corner with its sunny print and pot of fresh rosemary. A low quartz backsplash adds visual interest.
When Gillian and Dean’s large family isn’t over, a small dining nook off the kitchen is perfect for two. “Everyone loves a window seat so, during the renovation, we pushed out the window and created one,” says Gillian. The antique pine drop-leaf table was shipped over from Edinburgh.