A Leap in the Dark

A Sault Ste. Marie couple goes bold with an almost all-black kitchen renovation.

Like a finely tailored tuxedo or sleek cocktail dress, a black kitchen never goes out of style. Still, few homeowners are willing to embrace the drama like Peter and Lorraine Chudoba. When the couple renovated the kitchen of their 40-year-old home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., they went all the way to the dark side — from the cabinets, counters and backsplash right down to the black grout between the black floor tiles. “Pursuing a darker kitchen appealed to us,” says Peter, a dentist. “We both felt it was different yet striking, and allowed for a clean and contemporary style.”

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The transformation started in 2018, when Peter and Lorraine realized their 25-year-old range was on its last legs. Renovation is a slippery slope and soon, with a clear direction in mind, the couple consulted O.NIX Kitchens & Living — a boutique Toronto firm specializing in fine cabinetry from Germany and Italy. “When Peter’s not working, he loves to cook for others,” says Erika Luisa dela Cruz, co-founder of O.NIX. “He’d already sketched out where he wanted things to go and considered the function, and we worked with him to capture that vision.” With O.NIX taking the lead on cabinet design and floor plan, local designer Brie Gallagher guided Peter and Lorraine through the finishing touches and best choices for counters, tile, and lighting.

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The kitchen wasn’t the only zone that got a makeover; a wall came down to open the space up, creating an adjacent dining room and TV lounge. Now, the wide-open space is ideal for dinners à deux or entertaining family and friends.

“Peter and Lorraine’s house doesn’t have a modern exterior, so people assume the kitchen might be more traditional,” says dela Cruz. “But they’re floored when they see this!” Peter agrees their kitchen may not be for everyone, but he and Lorraine wouldn’t change a thing: “It’s exactly the look and feel we love,” he says. “Even my 86-year-old father loves the colours, materials, style, and craftsmanship!”

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Photography by Brietakespictures