When Jordy Fagan and Alana Firestone of Collective Studio first walked into the kitchen of this Toronto home, it had dark 1960s oak cabinets with ornate cathedral-style doors and yellow floor tiles with a floral motif – it was dated, to say the least. The homeowners, who were expecting their first child, sought a family-friendly room that also had style. So the designers and homeowners divided the space into clever zones, including an island and an eat-in area, and devised a chic clean-lined scheme that brought the style to present day. “At first, the homeowners wanted a classic all-white kitchen, but we encouraged them to redefine ‘classic’ by bringing in charcoal and black for contrast,” says Jordy. “We pride ourselves on creating kitchens that nudge clients out of their comfort zones...in a good way.”
The first things you see when you walk into this house are the island and stools. “So the sightlines had to be perfect,” says designer Jordy Fagan. “The look is minimalist but welcoming.” Industrial-style pendant lights hang above the sleek island and match the eye-catching string-woven chairs in the eat-in area for a cohesive look that’s striking from any perspective (and that includes the front door).
“Think of the palette as a sliding scale from black to white,” says Alana. The Caesarstone countertops, range hood and select cabinetry pieces are solid white. The white Carrara marble backsplash imbues a hint of grey veining that’s picked up in the charcoal-toned cabinetry, pendant lights and string-woven dining chairs. Black stools, display cabinets and hardware are stark statements that offset all that white. The punchy artwork provides judicious hits of colour to the space.
Cleverly built in to the cabinetry, a coffee nook backed with glossy black tiles is a stylish touch that blends into its charcoal surroundings. Glass canisters of sugar and coffee beans, a plant in a vintage tin and an exotic woven tray serve up style alongside function.
Flanking the range hood, a pair of glass-paned cabinet fronts painted black provide a dramatic moment that punctuates the space. They also pull the palette together, connecting the charcoal lower cabinets to the all-white uppers. White and clear glass dishes are stacked neatly on display, adding visual interest to a clean streamlined room.
Avid art enthusiasts, the homeowners have conversation starters on display throughout their house, including the kitchen. The holographic pieces at the end of the island, for example feature “walking” figures that appear to move as you pass them, and the pop art Campbell’s soup print in the eat-in area serves as a witty nod to cuisine.