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One of the first things that jumped out in our Peaceful Penfold fixer upper was the giant wall that greeted us as we climbed the stairs from the front door.

1977 was a different time, each area of a home was kept separate. The term ‘open concept’ didn’t exist and there were no thoughts given to ‘sight lines’. Our contractor once joked that back then, the more ‘rooms’ you had in your home, the ‘fancier’ it was.

Flash forward to fall of 2018 and the number of rooms in this house posed a large problem for our vision for the space. Despite 1977’s shortfalls in functional architecture on the interior of the home, it did bring with it the use of engineered trusses in the roof and thus eliminated the need for ‘load bearing walls’.

We were able to remove the walls that separated the kitchen from the living and dining rooms which created one, large open area. We replaced the existing patio door with a smaller window and relocated the patio door to the opposite side of the kitchen.

I wasn’t brave enough to attempt an entirely black kitchen, a trend that has been gaining in popularity, but I did want to experiment a bit with the colour of the cabinets. We settled on classic white, shaker-style cabinets but offset them with a black island.

Speaking of the island, although it went through many revisions during the design process, it now stands proudly in the center of the kitchen at 8’ long and 4’ wide, with an additional 2’ of width at the one end to create a small peninsula. My husband and I often joke that we get our required 10,000 daily steps in just wiping that thing. Its size also posed a problem when it came time to choose the countertop. I was adamant that I did not want a seam in the countertop on the island, but the pieces of quartz I liked required one as the slabs weren’t quite large enough to cover the entire area. Enter: quartzite, a natural product, similar to granite, that is available in larger slabs than its man made counterpart, quartz. The piece for the island is approximately 900 lbs but there are no seams and I absolutely adore the veining and movement in this particular piece.

Originally, when I thought we would be doing a simple, clean quartz countertop, I was on the hunt for backsplash tile that had some pop and visual interest. I’ve always believed that the countertop and backsplash shouldn’t ‘compete’ for attention, that if the backsplash is exciting and interesting, then the countertop should be the ‘quiet complement’ and vice versa. Once the beautiful countertop was installed, I quickly realized that my fun and funky backsplash was not to be. Instead, I chose a simple, rectangular, white glass tile and paired it with white grout.

I chose black sinks and matte black faucets as well as black stainless-steel appliances and light fixtures with matte black accents.

To add warmth to the space, I chose polished bronze hardware and these unique, polished bronze stools for the island.

The live edge kitchen table, with its blue velvet chairs add contrast and softness to the smooth, sleek surfaces of the kitchen.

The past 8 months have been a crazy, hectic time for our family but I’m so pleased with the end result. We now have a house that reflects us. Every finish, fixture and piece of furniture was chosen by either myself, my husband, or our daughter.

It's comfortable and cozy and it’s home.

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