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The Globe and Mail

Sarah Richardson cooks up a spicy kitchen reno

Prioritize, then embrace the hub of your house

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Design by Sarah Richardson. The kitchen is often seen as the hub of the home, the gathering place for daily life and family functions. The couple who bought this house love to cook, entertain and celebrate with their big extended family but the kitchen was a serious letdown. It was time for a rethink.

Stacey Brandford

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My advice is to carry the same colour palette throughout the main floor. However, slight variations in colour from one area to the next will give the impression that each area is distinct. The connecting thread is a foundation of cream and grey, used for all the major elements in the kitchen, as well as the upholstery and fabrics in the living and dining areas.

Stacey Brandford

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To bring light to the back of this long narrow room, I relied on the power of reflective surfaces. I chose a combination of cream and charcoal high gloss doors for the upper and lower cabinets, a glossy silver grey and cream ceramic back splash, and a polished grey marble floor. This combination of gloss, sheen and polish creates a sleek, contemporary expression.

Stacey Brandford

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Fortunately some appliance manufacturers are savvy enough to realize that consumers crave top of the line styling and features, even if top of the line machines aren’t within their budget. In this case, getting the look for less is a major win.

Stacey Brandford

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The goal in most renovations is to create an open-concept plan, but your living spaces don’t need to be wide open to reap the benefits. Our cost-conscious planning led us to widen the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room to create a five-foot wide passage that enables the conversation to flow freely when a gathering is in full swing.

Stacey Brandford

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The dining room has a subdued monochromatic colour approach.

Stacey Brandford

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The archway dividing the living room and dining room frames the sight line to the dining area beautifully, and doesn’t impede the flow of traffic or the furniture layout. In fact, the small wall returns that support the arch actually help with the living room layout, allowing the opportunity to tuck upholstered furnishings into the corners they create while making a cozy spot.

Stacey Brandford

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The living room has a more high-contrast mix that uses black and bold accent colours

Stacey Brandford

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