Dated Kitchen Gets Noguchi-Inspired Remodel

Toronto — Inspiration for a great design can come from the most unlikely places. Andrew Pike, owner of Andrew Pike Interiors, based here, used his clients’ wishes and an existing element in their home to design a kitchen to meet every one of their needs.

“My inspiration for the design came primarily from a Noguchi coffee table that the clients have in their living room,” says Pike. “They love the glass, clean lines and wood. I played off these three things for all of the cabinetry and finish choices in their kitchen.”

The project came to Pike via a referral from an existing client; the new clients wanted to build a kitchen from scratch that would suit their style and elevate the level of activity in the room while standing up to the rigors of everyday use. Additionally, it had to be suitable for entertaining.

From Scratch

The original kitchen, in the clients’ estimation, was an inefficient mess.

“The existing kitchen was original to the home and was about 30 years old,” says Pike. “The clients had many complaints about it: Not only was it an outdated space, but it lacked appropriate storage, it was very dark and it just didn’t function well for the kind of lifestyle the family leads.”

Tongue-in-cheek, Pike adds: “In my opinion, this kitchen’s worst feature was definitely the linoleum flooring.”

With these things in mind, Pike moved ahead to create a “fresh, clean” style that would be functional and address the family’s desire to create places for everything to reduce the amount of clutter the narrow kitchen could accumulate.

The homeowners’ biggest concern at the beginning of the design process, though, was making sure the new kitchen would fit seamlessly with the age of the home, as well as the existing style of other rooms and the lifestyle of the homeowners overall.

Another challenge was finding a way to balance the homeowners’ distinctly different wants and needs, Pike explains,

“For instance, she wanted lots of work space in the kitchen, while he was definitely more concerned with the overall feel and didn’t want the new space to be too stark,” he notes.

“In order to accomplish everything we wanted to do, we decided to start from scratch,” Pike continues. “Everything was taken back to the studs so we could address every detail from a fresh perspective.”

In all, the full renovation lasted for almost three months from start of demolition to completion, Pike estimates.

Form & Function

The desire for a clean aesthetic started with the color palette, which was inspired by the Noguchi coffee table already found in another part of the clients’ home.

A spate of mild tones gives the space a contemporary style and feel, while the inclusion of natural surfaces such as glass and wood adds warmth to the overall look.

“The choices were kept very simple so as not to draw attention to any one particular element, but rather to create a specific feeling when entering the kitchen,” Pike points out.

Tying into the natural feel of the space, the upper cabinetry is frameless with a white glass and metal façade. A bulkhead above repeats the white glass and flows into the ceiling, adding visual movement as well.

“I particularly love that the bulkhead is also made of glass; it really finishes the look,” Pike emphasizes.

He continues: “We also created a feature wall behind the sink with tiny Bianco Carrera mosaic tiles in a herringbone pattern,” which continues the clean, light color palette.

For a bit of additional contrast, the darker tones of the perimeter cabinetry direct the eye to the lighter elements found throughout the space.

“The base cabinetry is a very dark stained walnut veneer. The island is also walnut in a slightly lighter stain to highlight the grain,” says Pike, noting that the visible grain was something that the homeowners particularly enjoyed about their Noguchi coffee table.

“I really feel the focal point of this particular kitchen is the long, slender island,” Pike adds.

The island’s size and shape were dictated by the shape of the room which, at 12'x19', is relatively narrow.

He continues: “The cabinetry running along the one wall adds to the lengthening of the space, and the slender island plays up that length and also draws the eye to the cabinet lines.”

The island also serves to add a significant amount of function to the room, and addresses the need for storage space, while also more than adequately meeting the clients’ request for additional work surfaces.

“It’s an entirely practical configuration, as an industrial edge with the open shelf below for pots and pans storage, that also provides the necessary extra surfaces for food preparation and serving when entertaining guests,” he continues.

For the island and perimeter countertops, Pike selected Hanwha’s HanStone, which again, continues the natural feel and complements the sleek profile of the space.

“In my opinion, the beauty of white HanStone is that it creates the look of a white natural stone, but because it is engineered, it’s also incredibly durable and easy to maintain,” he says,

“It allowed me to create a pristine environment without the homeowner having to fear the consequences,” he adds.

Pike worked on additional spaces throughout the clients’ home as well, beginning with a small seating area for guests to relax within the kitchen, as there was no space available to design in a designated eating area. The clients also requested that Pike work on the adjacent dining room with enough seating to comfortably accommodate six.

“As is typical of many projects, this kitchen was just the first room in this home that had our attention. But work quickly spread out to the living and dining rooms, and then the hall and powder room,” notes the designer.

“In fact, the owners now have a new powder room in the same palette and style as the kitchen. We also carried the flooring through the hall and front foyer, and created similarly contemporary environments in the living and dining rooms, which creates a cohesive feel,” he adds.

“Once clients have a finished space to compare things to, they are rarely satisfied with the rest of their home,” he concludes.



For more about this project, click here.

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