When owners of this Toronto home asked designer Gillian Lazanik of Affecting Spaces Interior Design & Design Build to renovate their small kitchen, she was ready to renew the room on a relatively tight budget. Whereas the original space lacked both style and a sensible layout, the homeowners asked Lazanik to create “a cool, modern, and bright space that could accommodate a family of four,” Lazanik says.
A Home Office Within the Kitchen
When the homeowners had a second child, they had to give up their home office to make way for the baby’s bedroom. This meant that the parents, who both work from home, would need to work out of the kitchen—without letting the kitchen look like a cluttered office space. The solution? An extra-long table that transforms from a dining area to a workspace in seconds.
“The cabinetry beside the fridge houses a printer and office supplies, and shallow cabinets under the counter allow for file storage without impinging on leg room,” Lazanik says. Additional clever storage considerations ensure that the kitchen remains clutter-free, including strategically placed, extra tall, wall-hung cabinets that allow for ample storage, as well as extra wide, deep drawers where the coffee maker and toaster can rest between uses. “Having deep drawers on full- extension glides makes it really easy to access larger items that would otherwise sit on the counter,” Lazanik explains. “It never feels like a hassle to retrieve items from drawers as opposed to a cupboard, where things are constantly having to be shifted around in order to get what you’re looking for.”
To stay within the family’s tight budget, Lazanik reused the existing appliances that came with the house and added Ikea cabinets throughout most of the kitchen. “We did customize the cabinetry in some areas to design within the space’s limitations, and in order to give the clients some specialty items like the bookshelves, the garbage/compost station under the sink, and the built-in eating counter,” she adds.
Another budget-friendly addition was the functional and bold chalkboard that fills the biggest wall, offering a black and white contrast to the kitchen’s fun green hue. “We wanted to put something interesting on the large wall without spending a fortune,” Lazanik says. “We thought it would be fun to use the wall for grocery lists, recipes, and of course, a source of ongoing entertainment for the kids. We painted the entire wall with chalkboard paint, including under the table so it would be accessible to the kids, no matter how young they were. In the end, it was quite dramatic to have a constantly changing black and white graphic on such a large wall.”
by Torrey Kim
Photography by Steve Tsai