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Best Contemporary Kitchen Renovation: National Post Feature


Check this sleek award-winning kitchen design 

authored by Martha Uniacke Breen, National Post, August 2016.

The owners of this understated and open urban kitchen, by Men At Work’s Keith O’Brien and Natalie Venalainen, wanted a hardworking space that would allow them to prepare and eat casual meals, keep an open connection to the family room and retain a clear view out to the garden at the back. They also wanted it to work well for entertaining. Smart space planning led to a design that’s as functional and attractive as many much larger kitchens, and took home top prize for Best Contemporary Kitchen at the NKBA Ontario Awards 2016.

The designers based the layout on a U-shape, with a peninsula that divide the kitchen from the family room without closing it off. This helped create a highly efficient work triangle that helps make meal prep more comfortable, especially for this busy family of four.

A raised counter on the family room side, whose waterfall edge adds to the clean look, provides a place adds to the clean look, provides a place for casual family meal while cleverly hiding kitchen clutter at the sink and lower counter inside. There’s plenty of natural light from a big window that comes right down to counter height, offering a pretty view of the garden; there’s another smaller window tucked under the cabinetry in the corner.

Sleek, simple design cues of white gloss upper cabinets, quarter-cut walnut base cabinetry and minimalist steel hardware belt the death of smart storage and maintenance options. Stainless steel kick-plates are durable and practical for cleaning. Pullout waste and recycling bins at the sink, “magic” corners for east access to corner cabinets, spice and oil racks conveniently placed near the induction cooktop, and customizable Intivo drawers in the pantry keep everything at the cook’s fingertips, all in a design that integrates with the family room beautifully.

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