Emma Doucet, founder and principal designer at Grassroots Design & Build, turns to bold colours, unique patterns, adventurous pairings, and natural materials for inspiration in a kitchen infused with all the elements that make it feel like a breath of fresh air.
MAKING SPACE FOR FAMILY LIVING
The Civic Hospital-area home was lacking personality and stuck in the past, with a closed-off kitchen, yet the homeowners saw its potential and viewed it as their “forever home.” Rather than basing their decisions on resale value, they approached the design process thoughtfully, aware that every detail mattered as they’d be living with their choices for decades.
In keeping with the layout of many older homes, the kitchen, dining room, and living room were distinct, tight spaces. Expanding the kitchen to include the existing dining room offered the illusion of a more expansive space, despite the footprint remaining the same.
Considering the clients' lifestyle is arguably one of the most important considerations when designing a home. For the kitchen’s floor plan, a more laid-back layout was the preference for this family of four. Emma achieved this by combining a custom dining bench for the table and spacious seating at the peninsula.
This layout promotes a casual dining experience, allows for open-concept entertaining, and encourages the family to cook together. It also provided an ideal opportunity to flank the dining area with additional storage, brass mesh details, and wine storage. A punchy Thatcher wallpaper is the backdrop to a leather channel tufted bench — a showstopping focal point.
MINDFUL MILLWORK & MATERIALS
Soft, green cabinetry was the top choice in colour for both the client and Grassroots, so careful consideration was taken to ensure the perfect hue was chosen to complement the yellow stove — a wish‑list must-have. A tone-on-tone look was brought into the kitchen with the subtle green backsplash tiles; the perfect monochromatic combination allows the vibrant Bertazzoni range to take its rightful place at center stage.
“I remember the day these clients asked us what we thought about using a bright yellow stove in their design like it was just yesterday… probably because it’s one of the most exciting questions I’ve ever been asked,” joked Emma.
A light grey quartz was chosen for the countertop to continue the soft, tonal palette. The smooth surface cascades over the edge, reflecting light throughout the space. Butcher block was incorporated into select millwork areas to soften the quartz and bring some supplemental warmth into the kitchen — beautifully framing the spacious, built-in pantry that grounds the peninsula. Both arched openings that lead into the kitchen are trimmed with natural wood, a design detail that has become a fan favourite in this project.
Another notable mention is the free‑standing coffee bar, an item high on the priority list for the clients. As all coffee aficionados can agree, a dedicated spot to make your coffee is a must in any dream kitchen.
While the finished space is miles ahead of its original state from a design perspective, what is most gratifying is a space designed for the family to make long‑lasting memories.