The future is brightPublished on May 22, 2018

  • The family room off the kitchen maintains some of the home’s original character
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Tanner and Monique have formed a close friendship through their renovation project
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Carrara marble tile from Euro Tile is laid in a herringbone pattern in the front hall
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Custom shelving by Louis L’Artisan is made with walnut in matte black framing and hangs on Statuario marble
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • The upstairs bathroom was updated while maintaining original features
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Faux wood tiles were used on the wall to create a rustic element within the mudroom
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

A few years after Monique and Chris Kent first moved into their stately Glebe home, they embarked on a major renovation which included the construction of a two-storey addition. Since then, they have completed numerous small and large household projects designed to make their home, built in 1919, both stunning and well-suited to the needs of a modern family.

Last summer, the Kents decided to update the home’s kitchen and surrounding area, while creating space with more natural light. “I love light and feel so happy when sun is streaming in across the table,” says Monique. “The kitchen is the hub of our house where we gather as family and friends to socialize.”

The home’s kitchen also provides a regular backdrop for Monique, who as an assistant professor and researcher (currently in the area of food and nutrition policies), is often interviewed by the media. With an innate love of design and a history of successful renovations behind her, Monique used quiet hours recovering from breast cancer treatment last year to sketch the kitchen of her dreams.

When it came time to formalize the layout, Monique brought back designer Tanner Vine, of Tanner Vine Interiors, who had worked with the family on several previous projects. “Tanner is a great listener and highly skilled at creating plans that perfectly match the desired finished product.”

Tanner agrees that he and Monique make an ideal renovation team. “Monique has great taste in home décor, knows what she wants and always provides a clear direction, budget and outline for projects.” 

After securing long-time and trusted contractor Mark Patterson of Patterson Homes, work commenced by removing the cabinetry along one side of the kitchen to create a full wall of patio doors leading to the backyard. A six-burner gas range, centred on the back wall under a backsplash of bold black and white graphic tile, became the focal point of the kitchen, flanked by a full pantry, wide fridge and large chopping block. This highly-efficient layout now allows the house chef easy access to prepare delicious meals.

Above a new large island, with a base painted in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy, hangs a breathtaking chandelier by Jonathan Adler in antique brass. Featuring a generous double sink, hygienic touch tap and tall comfortable stools, the island is surrounded by practical drawers concealed by light-coloured cabinets.

Charm and practicality are both present in the wall cabinetry designed to look like a furniture hutch, with custom matte-black metal brackets and open walnut shelving. With a bar area below and ample glassware from which to choose, guests are encouraged to help themselves to drinks and the healthy snacks that Monique keeps within reach.

Early in the design stages of the renovation, efforts were made to ensure that continuity and flow remained throughout the house. By carefully matching baseboards, trim and window styles, older and newer parts of the home are visually indistinguishable. To keep things light, paint colours of white, pale grey and blue were selected.

Favoured materials already present on other floors thoughtfully repeat throughout the new space. Carrara marble countertops and tiny hexagonal marble tiles surrounding a nearby fireplace bring brightness, with walnut and brass fixtures introduced for their noted warmth and texture.

To bring the adjacent family room closer, existing cabinetry was painted black, knobs replaced and a little office alcove treated to the same black and white backsplash as above the stove. Just around the corner, a mud room wall of hooks and baskets keeps everything tidy with a cheerfully-papered powder room positioned across the hall.

With the renovation completed, Monique could not be more thrilled with the result. “The new kitchen is so functional, efficient and airy. After completing a huge renovation in the past, this project provided a great opportunity to really focus on a smaller area, have some fun and experiment with details and finishes.”

Meeting the renovation deadline allowed the family to celebrate Chris’s 50th birthday last September, while also giving back to the Ottawa Hospital Breast Health Centre by throwing a big fundraising party.

Chloe E. Girvan

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