“This project was for a lovely family with five daughters under the age of 10,” says designer Beverley Binns, of Binns kitchen + bath design. (She represents the third generation of the family-run business celebrating their 56th year.) “Their existing space wasn’t living up to their current needs and lifestyle.” They needed proper living and dining spaces to accommodate their young family. Also, because of their culture, the way that they entertain needed to be considered. “That meant that they wanted both a private family space as well as a place to entertain larger groups.” The family frequently host community gatherings so they needed something that could accommodate a lot of people, often 20 guests or more. “I created a very large, very casual family living room right off the kitchen so when people are prepping food, there is a very open, spacious, circular movement between the kitchen, family and dining spaces to allow guests to mingle without feeling confined,” Beverley says.
The homeowners approached Binns because they had seen some of their work and were
attracted to the modern, classic aesthetic the company is known for. “They wanted their home to be timeless,” Beverley says. “They knew they didn’t want features like crown
moulding and other traditional elements. They wanted it to be very clean and fresh.”
In keeping with that, Beverley chose light, bright colours, but the family requested she
avoid an all-white palette. “The majority of the cabinetry is a warm, light grey, almost like
a creamy putty. The island may appear to be white, but it’s actually an ecru-type laminate.
We mixed modern, flat-panel textured doors with more classic shaker-style cabinets to
create a juxtaposition between the styles.”
The decision to add a butler’s pantry where their old dining room once was became an
‘aha!’ moment and it ended up affecting how the rest of the first floor was laid out. “I designed it so there was a secondary prep area,” Beverley says. “It provides a transition space between their formal dining room and their casual kitchen space. It allows them to close off the kitchen for more privacy.” It includes a sink, countertop, storage, a refrigerator and a built-in Miele coffee unit. “It’s a proper servery, which is a huge trend in kitchens.” she says. “These ‘little kitchens’ get used more so than larger, more traditional kitchens these days.”
Dividing living spaces without losing the openness and flow is Beverley’s calling card. “I always group the functions of the space together to create the proper segmentation,” she says, explaining that that doesn’t mean closed-off rooms. “It means that you may see some walls built or some groupings of things put together. These architectural details enhance the space. For example, in this room, the appliances are separated by a wall, and then you have the hood fan segment, which is the cooking zone, and then you have the servery.”
“I approach design with the goal of telling people’s stories,” says Beverley. “For these
homeowners, I really wanted to understand their family, their culture and their lifestyle so
I could come up with a new plan that would accommodate what they needed.”
Photography by Vincent Lions