Interior designer and guest contributor Jane Lockhart helped execute a client’s kitchen reno, changing the way they use and love their space.
Photographer and stylist Gillian Jackson’s lens has captured beautiful kitchens throughout her career, so she knows a thing or two about design. When the pipes in her galley-style,100-year-old kitchen froze and burst, she already had a good idea of the changes she wanted to make.
Described as “functional” and “tolerable,” the original kitchen addition was really just a place to make meals and do laundry. “If anyone needed anything from the fridge, it completely blocked passage to and from the kitchen. It wasn’t exactly conducive for entertaining,” says the homeowner.
Plans were drawn to widen the kitchen by tearing down the old addition. It didn’t extend to the full footprint of the house so valuable footage was added. Smaller windows would be eliminated and replaced by large French doors leading to a new deck and backyard.
The couple (Gillian’s husband, Sean, stayed hands-off during the entire project, allowing Gillian to fulfill her vision) and their six-year-old daughter packed up and moved to a rented basement apartment nearby for a promised five-month winter renovation.
As walls came down the holy trinity of demolition appeared: old wiring, mold and asbestos. After remediating all potential hazards, the digging out the old foundation was halted for another danger—sandy soil. The sand started to fall away from the neighbours’ home as they dug, so they had to underpin a portion of their basement. A costly discovery but safety comes first.
Once the rebuilding was complete, the design plans started to take shape. Gillian loves nature, so she wanted wood in the kitchen. It was an easy choice to feature the exquisite horizontal grain of walnut in the frameless drawer and door cabinetry.
Fischer Custom Cabinets went above and beyond to keep the cabinets looking sleek and clutter-free, and ensured the edges were precisely beveled for easy opening, replacing the need for hardware. (Only the pantry and laundry closet bi-fold doors have handles.) White uppers were chosen to lighten the space, bouncing light in from the new French doors.
The island is a game-changer for the way the family cooks, lives, interacts and entertains. They now have a classic, luxurious kitchen where friends and family hang out.
Finally, true to their word, the contractor, GPW Construction, had them back in their home on time and close to budget. With Gillian’s vision come true, they couldn’t be happier with the outcome.