Gleaming finishes and functional features make this kitchen one for the family of the future

This kitchen is a finalist in the Best Multi-Family Kitchen—New category of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia’s 2019 Georgie Awards

Dark, cool tones add a sophisticated elegance to the Osler Residences display kitchen. Handout

This 13-by-13-foot display suite kitchen for the Osler Residences by Alabaster Homes’ 80-unit townhouse development in Marpole provided a modern foundation that enabled homebuyers to inject their own style and colour preferences into the space, says Jennifer Hawk, principal of Occupy Design, who designed the kitchen.

“The inspiration for the kitchens was to provide a beautiful and functional space for today’s Vancouver families,” says Hawk. “We wanted the space to feel warm but modern, without being austere.”

The kitchen island offers storage space and pullout seating for four. Handout

The fresh and contemporary design is anchored by the dark custom-stained wood veneer cabinetry. “I was drawn to the darker, cooler undertone of the wood cabinetry. Paired with the lighter floor, it creates a nice contrast that is warm and elegant,” says Hawk.

In addition to supporting the modern tone of the space, the flat panel doors and drawer fronts were also chosen for practical reasons. They are much easier to clean than doors with panels, she explains, while soft-close mechanisms cut down on noise in the open-plan space.

Hawk also avoided hardware on the upper cabinets in favour of touch-latch openings to enhance the continuous look of the cabinets while edge-pulls on the lower cabinets maintain the design esthetic. “Non-visible hardware creates a cleaner look and ensures handles don’t become a focal point,” says Hawk.

The high-gloss subway tile adds a touch of tradition to the otherwise modern look while the durable light taupe quartz countertop with delicate veining contributes to the spacious ambience.

The three-by-six-foot kitchen island has drawers for extra storage and the countertop has an overhang on two sides that provides seating space for four.

Thoughtful features and clever use of space make this a kitchen as functional as it is beautiful. Handout

The kitchen benefits from the natural light that streams in through the French door and the window above the undermount stainless steel sink with sweep-spray faucet. “The large window looks onto the back patio so if the kids are playing out there, or you have guests, you can open the window and speak with them,” says Hawk, adding that the positioning of this 250-square-foot patio makes the kitchen feel larger than it is.

In a creative use of available space, a microwave and pantry cupboard adjacent to the French door is conveniently close to the island.

Ceiling and under-cabinet pot lights ensure the space is well-lit. Hawk purposely didn’t include pendants above the island, choosing instead to design a space where the eye naturally goes to the back wall of the kitchen, making it feel larger and more open.

The Bosch dual-fuel gas/electric range with chimney-style hood fan provides a high-performance functional feature while the counter-depth refrigerator has built-in wine bottle holders and a purified water/ice maker system.

The washed-oak coloured wide-plank engineered hardwood floor with its matte finish complements the cabinetry and other finishes. “It is a perfect balance,” says Hawk, noting the oak flooring runs throughout the living area of the townhouse, visually connecting the spaces in the open-plan layout.

Why it Works

It’s a wrap: The wrap-around configuration maximizes space on the back and side walls and creates the illusion that the kitchen is larger than its actual 13-by-13-square-foot size.

Clean and contemporary: By reducing the number of colours and finishes—for example, matching the wood veneer finishes on the island and the perimeter cabinetry—the streamlined space presents a clean, contemporary look.

Being in balance: The warm tones of the engineered hardwood floor complement the wood-veneer cabinetry to create a comfortable balance of colour in the space.

+ This kitchen is a finalist in the Best Multi-Family Kitchen—New category of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia’s 2019 Georgie Awards.




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