House in the Garden: A Stunning Kitchen Oasis

Opening up the house to a spectacular outdoor garden was the key objective of this Christopher Simmonds Architect renovation. The project team worked on changing the back of the house into a series of stone piers to give the feeling of being in an open pavilion. Full height sliding doors connect the kitchen to the beautiful back yard garden flooding the kitchen space with bright, natural light. The kitchen, originally located at the centre of the house plan, was shifted to one side so that it could be enlarged without obstructing the flow of space around it. Upon entering the kitchen, your eye is immediately drawn to an elliptical walnut display cabinet connected to the center island. This object, complete with hidden storage, acts similar to a piece of furniture, creating a strong focal point for your eye to be drawn to, thus grounding the kitchen design. The L-shape of the kitchen provides a functional workspace for the homeowners to prepare meals while easily entertaining guests. “The natural walnut was chosen as a beautiful contrast to the surrounding white finishes. Playing with the striking contrast of the two materials really make up the composition of the space,” states Christopher Simmonds, who worked closely on the project. “A simple gesture – the materials just work nicely together.” Banks of cabinetry flow around two sides of the kitchen and an array of open shelving was incorporated to keep the space open and light. The island is an impressive 9 ft. long and provides additional seating for four people. Shelves recessed into the end of the island keep cookbooks and kitchen items within close reach. The cabinets are grounded by a full height walnut mass which conceals the fridge and a broom closet. Materials used throughout the space include white quartz countertops, white lacquer cabinetry, white ceramic floor tile, and a large format soft grey backsplash tile. The backsplash continues up the wall behind the shelves, illuminated by undershelf lighting. Our clients often ask where we begin when we’re starting a new residential project. One word: flooring. It flows throughout an entire space, often through the whole home, and it’s the perfect place to inspire the future design elements of a space. To see more photos, click here.