By Silvana Longo
Photography by Barry MacKenzie
Occasionally you come across a luxurious, perfectly planned and intricately designed kitchen that stops you in your tracks — one that’s a veritable feast for the eyes. For Erica Sibley and Beverley Binns, designers at Binns kitchen + bath design, this space truly measures up. “This is my all-time favourite kitchen that I’ve designed,” Sibley says proudly. Sibley and Binns were called in when the homeowners of this Lawrence Park abode were looking to elevate their 285-square-foot kitchen to match the transitional elegance of the rest of their lavish, professionally decorated home. They also needed experts who could tackle the kitchen’s less-than-ideal fl oor plan, poor lighting and lack of organization. “At the time, the couple was on the cusp of becoming empty nesters, and they planned on doing more entertaining, so their new kitchen had to be beautiful, very functional and completely organized,” says Sibley, whose design solutions consisted of optimizing cabinetry, focusing on storage and correcting the layout. “We increased the flow of the kitchen by dividing it in zones and relocated some of the appliances in favour of improving workflow,” she explains.
While the design duo’s many decisions contributed to heightening the functional aspects of the kitchen, it’s really the custom details they employed that truly shine. At first glance, the mosaic backsplash that incorporates the colour palette and floor pattern might be perceived as the inspiration for the design, but Sibley says it was actually innovative lighting that first captured her clients’ attention. “From the onset, the homeowners fell in love with the gold-bronze colour in the LED light that runs in the channel in the cabinetry,” she says. “It’s the perfect warm, low-level ambient lighting that I knew I needed to include, then build on in a modern way.
So, that’s exactly what Sibley and Binns did. From the matte-blackand- gold fixtures that echo the trio of sculptural lighting above the island, to the herringbone pattern on the ceramic floor that speaks to the chevron-patterned backsplash, there are oh-so-many custom details that stimulate the senses and command attention. “One of the most standout pieces is a built-in white-oak, surfboard-shaped table cantilevered off the island with a 12-millimetre quartz countertop,” she says. Another unique design choice is the custom wood-slat wall for the television, which was meticulously designed so that the TV is completely flush in it. As for how they used colour, they opted for a warm grey finish on some of the cabinets, and a gold-bronze-metal colour on the cabinetry below the cooktop. They also chose Calacatta porcelain countertops with stunning brown and grey veining. “I just started playing with all these shades and it came together beautifully,” says Sibley. As in any kitchen design, the layering of lighting is paramount to the beauty and function of this space. Besides a repositioning of recessed lighting and task lighting under the wall cabinets, Sibley and Binns positioned three exquisite sculptural light fixtures over the island. Each piece overlaps asymmetrically, emphasizing the intricate layering of all the kitchen elements and textures that make this the true beating heart of the home.
While so many elements fell into place, thanks to experts from Binns kitchen + bath design skill and the homeowners’ trust in the process, there were challenges that were met on this design journey. For instance, the pair opted to fill in a window (facing a neighbour’s brick wall) in favour of continuous cabinetry on one wall. By doing this, they ran the risk of creating a bowling-alley effect in the kitchen, but decided to do the wall slats on the television wall vertically and added a reeded bronze glass cabinet to contrast the horizontal elements.
These are just a few of the design details that catch the eye in this pièce de résistance kitchen. There are a lot of luxurious touches that only architectural elements can bring to the space. In the end, the homeowners are enjoying the heightened function in their masterpiece of a kitchen with friends and family. As for Sibley, when asked to single out her favourite feature, she fills with pride. “I can’t name just one thing,” she says with a smile. “I really do love everything about this spectacular kitchen.