Astro Blog

A 'Modern Vintage' Kitchen Renovation

Posted by Astro Designer on Mar 22, 2016 1:41:20 PM

Astro Designer, Dean Large shares his design process with this Before & After Rejuvenation of a Heritage Home in the Glebe.

The Restoration

Ottawa seems as though it is the city of beautiful old homes that nobody wants to care for. The city is going through a period where home owners are opting for the wrecking ball instead of spending the extra time restoring these once stunning homes. This past summer I met a fantastic family who was tired of their suburban home and opted to move into the oh-so coveted Glebe. They sought out a home in need of rejuvenation and took it upon themselves to bring it back to its former glory.

The Before Shots:

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The Kitchen Rejuvenation

The home, originally built in 1913, went through several Band-Aid renovations during its 112 year life. Blessed with good bones, fantastic location and plenty of natural light the only real downfall was an awkwardly shaped postage stamp sized kitchen. It was blatantly apparent that the first thing to be done was a kitchen renovation. With the kitchen having three doors, a large window and no working space in a room taller than it was wide proved problematic. We knew that in order for this room to function we had to blow out a wall. This was a home that was going to be busy and well used; we needed more work surface and that was exactly what we were able to do by getting rid of the wall.

The Renovation Shot:


A massive 8’ x 4’ island made of Caesarstone (Calacatta Nuvo 5131) and ebony stained maple cabinetry was what the rest of the kitchen was designed around. The perimeter of the kitchen housed all the major appliances as well as the upper cabinetry. We were able to avoid having massive amounts of closed storage since the room is adjacent to a walk-in pantry. To create a working triangle we closed off one of the doors and placed a corner sink in its place. The false ceiling in the space was removed maximizing the room as much as possible.

 The Final Shots:

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Style was something that was very important to the client. While they were unclear exactly what layout they wanted they knew of the look. 'Modern Vintage' was the tagline throughout the design. We needed everything in the room to have some semblance of authenticity. We started with a classic shaker style cabinet, something one would find in a turn of the century home. To update it slightly we put a subtle bevel on the top and bottom rails. The cabinetry was lacquered in a warm white (Sherwin-Williams SW7004, Snowbound). Stacked upper cabinetry was outfitted with glass doors and polished chrome vintage latch hardware. To offset the island of white Caesarstone we used flamed finish Cambrian Black granite which has a beautiful pitted finish. Flanking each side of the induction range are two walnut butcher blocks. Mounted above the walnut are two vintage exterior lights in matte black, these are beautifully offset by the polished marble herringbone backsplash. The paint colour for the room was pulled from the tones in the backsplash; SW7011 Natural Choice by Sherwin-Williams was the perfect shade to cover the first floor of the home.


The Modern Vintage Feel

At the end of this extensive kitchen renovation the space feels as though the home should have always been this way. The tiny kitchen has now merged with the excessively large dining room. Many of the homes original details were drawn upon for inspiration ultimately creating the modern vintage aesthetic. It may have taken an entire summer to complete, but ultimately it is the first step in restoring a heritage home.



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Topics: kitchen tips, kitchen planning, kitchen renovations, Kitchen Style, kitchen design, kitchen remodel, Kitchen Makeover