Our home renovation journey started back in 2008, a couple years after we bought our home. The kitchen was our first project and we wanted the style to reflect a vintage sensibility. As with any major project, I used to scour magazines and the Internet for any design ideas. I discovered the kitchen forum on Garden Web, now Houzz, where I  met many amazing people that were also renovating their kitchens. It was so helpful to have a ton of people helping advise me on every little detail.

We renovated way before Instagram and Pinterest were invented, so my inspiration sources were stored in a binder. I found this photo of a Provence-style kitchen and fell in absolute love. The two-tone white and dark brown kitchen cabinets were a must-have for me, as they created an interesting dimension and furniture feel. And those hurricane pendant lights!! I knew I had to have them. We used these photos as a jumping off point and modified from there.

We worked with two wonderful interior designers who designed most of the cabinetry and built ins in our home. One of the designers has since passed away and the other has moved on to a different design firm. Our good friend did all of the final drawings, renovation and construction work in our home. He pretty much acted as a third designer for us and he knows our house inside and out. My husband I were also very involved, providing specific design direction and inspiration photos and choosing the materials and finishes throughout. So it was a labour of love to say the least.

My husband insisted on incorporating a small desk area and I’m so glad he did! It is a well used space. It sits beside our floor to ceiling pantry. We chose a white leather chair to add contrast, although we currently have a standard black desk chair as the white leather got damaged. I will eventually invest in one of those white Eames-style chairs.

My kitchen is classic with contemporary touches.  The hurricane lamps, white painted cabinets, chrome faucets and hardware are classic, while the elongated (2×8) ceramic subway tiles, dark espresso cabinets and Bianco Antico granite have a more modern feel. The renovation took about 8 months due to various delays but I love the way it all turned out.I can honestly say that after long months of renovating, the kitchen turned out even better than I expected. The results are beyond anything I could have imagined and hoped for. It brings us so much joy.

For more details visit the Kitchen Renovation post.


  • Cabinets: custom cabinetry made by our friend and general contractor’s uncle whose company is CD28 Inc. Cabinet style is inset, recessed panel with concealed hinges. Grooved detail on both the doors and frames (slightly more detailed than a Shaker style). The painted cabinetry is Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace and the maple cabinets and island were custom stained to match the dark espresso grain in our hardwood floors.
  • Countertops: Bianco Antico granite. The base colour is an off-white with deposits of grey quartz, red garnet that looks like crushed red lollipops, black mica and thin sheets of pearly silver. It is 1 ¼” or 3 cm with an eased edge.
  • Backsplash: Heath Ceramics 2×8 handmade tiles from Ann Sacks in Chalk White with a matte finish. The colour is very white with a grey undertone. We did it in a traditional subway pattern. We went with a white grout as we didn’t want the backsplash pattern to compete with the granite. The elongated shape is a modern take on the standard 3×6 subway tile.
  • Hardware: Aubrey polished chrome pulls (mostly 8” but one 6” for the small drawer), Hanson polished chrome 1 ¼” knobs, and two polished nickel 1 ¼” glass knobs for the glass cabinet. All from Restoration Hardware.
  • Pendants: antique reproduction pendant lights from Turn of the Century Lighting in a bright nickel finish
  • Sinks and Faucets: Blanco silgranit super single precis in Biscuit from Quality Bath. Danze Opulence faucets.
  • Flooring: red oak hardwood. The stain is a custom mix of mainly Duraseal Ebony and some Minwax Red Mahogany (bizarre mix, I know!)
  • Paint: The wall colour is Benjamin Moore Natural Cream which is a pale neutral. The painted cabinets, crown molding, baseboards and ceiling are Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace which is a crisp white with a hint of warmth.
  • Stools: (old) The leather and brushed chrome barstools are from Urban Barn and add a modern touch to the space. I wanted low backs so they don’t interfere with the view from the kitchen to the family room. (new) After years of wear and tear, we got next grey velvet and brass stools from Wayfair, also with low backs.