NKBA 2004 Design competition: Category 1: Small Kitchens

A lush outdoor setting has a special appeal, and it's even more rewarding when it can be viewed from the comfort of a cozy room. This concept was the inspiration behind a redesign of the kitchen of a 1980s row-style condo, which featured a large garden window.

Designers Erica Westeroth, CKD and Tim Scott of XTC Design Inc. in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, decided to make the window the focal point of their design. To begin, they positioned a Michigan Maple Butcher-block chopping block and work surface just below the window, where the home's two cooks can prepare food while enjoying the view.

The contemporary styling of the light maple cabinetry from Luxorama blends with the kitchen's natural setting in both its color and minimalistic style. Dark charcoal and blue granite countertops from Blue Star Granite provide a striking contrast while still incorporating the natural appeal. Pietra Natural ceramic floor tile composed of charcoal, blue and sandy brown ties the room's elements together, as do the tri-tints of random blue in the Royal Mosa backsplash tiles.

The modern style of the cabinets is enhanced by long, thin stainless steel hardware from Hafele.

Stainless steel is also featured on the room's appliances. To maintain the room's design flow, the KitchenAid refrigerator was hidden behind a partial wall. A Blanco sink with Grohe faucet was placed in the same run as the refrigerator, while the Dacor range was repositioned to the outside wall beneath an existing KitchenAid ventilation duct. A KitchenAid microwave opposite the refrigerator provides for fast heat and serve meals.