Decorating & Design

July 17, 2019

Bright Whites & Blond Wood Give This Family Kitchen A Seaside Vibe

For the couple who live in this Vancouver home with their one-year-old son, having an open-concept kitchen with plenty of seating and kid-friendly finishes were the main motivators to finally take the plunge. “At the top of their list was a large island with seating and a designated bar area,” says designer Melanie Finkleman, who runs the Vancouver firm Hazel + Brown Design with her husband, Ben.

With three boys of her own, Melanie was the perfect person to design a pretty kitchen that can withstand a few punches.

coastal bistro kitchen with bright whites and blond wood

Kid-proof quartz composite countertops are offset with a luxe Calacatta marble tile on the backsplash, where it’s less likely to get stained or dinged. “I used white for the counters and walls to create the illusion of boundless space,” says Melanie.

Full-height Shaker-style cabinets and a generous island house everything a kitchen needs, while engineered white oak flooring is easy to maintain through the “uh-oh” moments a family throws at it. “The woods help balance the sophisticated finishes, creating a relaxed aesthetic,” she adds.

Overall, the space is light and airy. “My favorite thing about this kitchen is how warm and welcoming it feels. This is definitely a place to enjoy spending time with friends and family.”

coastal bistro kitchen with a colorful runner

Melanie knew the large, south-facing window was the perfect spot for a built-in window seat and banquette. “I had the cushions upholstered in a neutral vinyl that’s extremely durable,” she says.

coastal bistro kitchen cozy banquette and window seat

An inky black pendant suspended above the Carrara marble-topped pedestal table plays off the dark chalkboard. “When mixing lighting styles and types of fixtures, it’s important to consider both the finishes and the shapes, and how those relate to one another,” says Melanie. “The black pendant here has brass detailing that plays off the brass island pendants and library-style wall sconce.” To give the family even more storage space, large drawers were built into the banquette base.

Author: Emily Evans

Ema Peter


House & Home July 2019


Melanie Finkleman, Hazel + Brown Design