A Modern Kitchen Renovation

It's 2020, guys!  Yep, we are officially in the 20's of our lifetime.  It's kind of a cool thing to sit and contemplate.  When you think of the "roaring 1920s", there are images that immediately come to mind.  The "aesthetic" of the time is so distinguished that we still have themed parties reflecting upon this era.  Will we create and innovate such a historically significant decade ourselves?  I don't know but time certainly will tell.

You see, I titled this post "A Modern Kitchen Reno" and it made me reflect on the connotation of the term "modern" as the modern period of design is infact a product of the 1920s.  Did you know that?  Yep, before the 1920s and from the beginning of time, interior design was only what we know and call traditional.

I explore, travel and search for design inspiration constantly.  When I ponder on what modern really means today, I think it's more about the feel, the overall vibe of the space, for me.  Did I achieve the modern vibe in this space?  Well, let's see.

What did we start with?

The clients' home is in a beautiful gated community and the kitchen has expansive views of the lake.  It sits directly across from the den.  So, needless to say, this is where all the magic and hangouts happen.

Space Planning

Considering all the gatherings that take place in this general area, the first thing I wanted to propose was a significant rework of the footprint to allow for more space and seating.  The existing island wasn't serving the needs of the family in the center as the surrounding circulation was very cramped.  Additionally, the pantry was a bulky built-in closet that felt outdated and had to go.  My design plan called for gutting the entire space from ceiling to floor (literally, as new flooring was done throughout the entire first floor as well), using taller upper cabinets and updating the function of the lower cabinets with drawers. 

As you'll see, the back wall is no doubt the feature wall and I wanted it to make it's own statement. No more microwave above the range, that was the old.  We were going for it and fulfilling all the dreams.  The glass cabinet doors framing the hood were also intentional to break up the monotony of a row of doors and to make it feel more open without sacrificing the storage space.  


The width of the space didn't allow for a stand-alone island as the formal dining room is on the other side of the wall behind the refrigerator and the kitchen sink overlooks a lake.  We were locked in but this family entertains on the regular so I decided to add the peninsula to accommodate some seating in the kitchen that never had seating before.  The peninsula houses 2 roll-out garbage receptacles, one specifically for recycling (a client request).  I also convinced them to go with floating shelves to the left of the window to add some decorative relief.  There was plenty storage and directly to the left of the shelves are sliding glass doors leading out to the back patio.  It all worked out quite nicely.

Another design decision which took a bit of convincing was, not only the relocation of the microwave, but the oven as well.  I didn't want to have a traditional range on that back wall and a lot of patience (plus prayer) was needed to get this approved by all 3 of the decision makers in the process.  It also required a sizable job to be done by my electrician because the wiring for the oven had to be pulled from the garage where the breaker box was, which was not close.  

Master Space Planner at-your-service ;)  I truly love the flow of the new layout and these special clients of mine started to envision family gatherings.  Let's see how it turned out.

The Reveal

So, what were the clients' requests?  They definitely wanted white shaker cabinets, they also wanted light countertops and "nothing with large grey veins" was the directive.  Overall, the charge was to make the kitchen feel fresh, light, warm and modern. 

I couldn't envision tile for the backsplash as, for me, it interfered with the overall design goal of the space.  I searched high and low for what would be the right tile selection.  The budget was a factor but when I proposed to use the same slab for counter and backsplash (and showed an example of what that would look like), the design vision was sold a lot easier and quicker than I expected.  Quartz is definitely more expensive than tile but my dear clients just felt it  {smiling & winning all day}. The material is a quartz called Carrara by Compac and has subtle grey veins throughout.  It's truly beautiful.

There's so much more to say about the lighting plan and the various lighting zones I designed.  Also, the selection of all the finishing details such as the variety of sizes in cabinet/drawer pulls, the counter stools and more.  Any requests for sourcing info, please comment below and I'll get it to you.  

Thanks for sharing these moments with me, I'd love to hear what you think of this transformation.  Let's chat!

Oh, and Happy 2020!  Let's make this decade a memorable one.

Warmest Regards, Taj





1 comment

Victor H

Hello Taj
Could you tell me the brand/designer/source of the glass pendants that were used in your modern kitchen renovation?

Thank you for your assistance

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published