April 5, 2009

Ottawa interior decorator: A virtual kitchen transformation

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting another Metamorphosis Monday :-)

meta monday Metamorphosis Monday posts are usually about cool transformations that people have made to their homes or things in their homes. My Met Monday post this week is a bit different… it’s about a metamorphosis that I created in my mind. Scary place that it is!! ;-)

Paul at Kitchen and Residential Design recently held a dream kitchen contest. I thought about my dream kitchen for weeks. I scribbled down notes and sketches in the notebook on my night table at 1:30 in the morning. (That’s what the notebook is there for, so I can write down my night-time thoughts before they leave my mind forever!!) I searched the Net for inspiration pictures. I tried my hand at my very first renderings. And I had a blast putting together my dream kitchen!! So I thought I would share it with you… think of it as a virtual transformation :-)

sketchup flickr I had great plans to design fabulous 3D images of my dream kitchen in SketchUp. But that didn’t go so well—probably because I didn’t take the time to read the help files and tutorials. You would think as a part-time technical writer who writes those kinds of things for a living, I’d have a greater appreciation for help files and tutorials. But, unfortunately, I also have a very short attention span and… what was I saying?? ;-) Oh yeah, I have trouble focusing on reading when I really want to be doing!!

So I wrote down a bunch of notes and drew a few sketchesclip_image002



I designed the stove section of the cabinets in Paint:


I also tried one with a range hood


And another one with a cool blue stove:


But I’d actually prefer a streamlined stainless steel stove like this:


And then I took a shot at doing a couple of renderings (thanks to the tips and advice from Michelle at A Schematic Life). Don’t laugh at my spotted island countertop—it was supposed to look like this recycled glass & concrete countertop in Chivalry Blue from  Vetrazzo

vetrazzo chivalry blue

…but something was lost in the marker translation:

render island

Hahahah!!! I know, it looks pretty bad!! But try to envision the Vetrazzo countertop there. The sides are plain white, probably Corian. Don’t want to have Vetrazzo countertop overkill!! Here’s my Paint version:

island 3

island 4

And here’s my inspiration island:


I’ll put the sink in the island so that I can have a long unbroken run of countertop on the cabinet side. The dishwasher will go in the island, as well as a beverage fridge.

Then I did a rendering of the cabinets. The blue lower and wood & frosted glass upper cabinets came out better, except for the smudges:

render cabinets

Here’s my list  of “wants” (slightly modified from the late-night scribblings!!)

  • Long run of lower cabinets along the 25’ foot wall, including stove and shelves.
  • Oven on another wall (same place it is now) with a warming drawer below and a microwave above.
  • Deep sink with gooseneck faucet in the island.
  • Glossy cobalt blue lower cabinets and dark wood & frosted glass uppers.
  • Glass backsplash — back-painted sheets of glass to keep the backsplash simple and easy to maintain. Plus, I don’t want a fancy backsplash to take away from the main feature in the kitchen, which will be the cabinets.
  • Countertops in white Corian.
  • Large island in the same dark wood as the upper cabinets and wrapped in countertop material—white Corian on the sides and Vetrazzo glass & concrete in Chivalry Blue on the top.
  • Zinc range hood.
  • Doggie feeding/water station at the end of the run of cabinets.
  • Under-cabinet lighting and power outlets.
  • Toe kicks in the same metal as the range hood.
  • Pot lights + decorative lighting over the island. Can’t decide between a couple of rectangular chandeliers and a series of pendants in either cobalt blue glass or crystal. Oooh, a few Schonbeks would be sweet!!! This IS a dream, after all!!
  • Simple flooring, again to allow the blue cabinets to be the feature in the room. Something easy maintenance that won’t get damaged from doggie paws and water spills and food dropped on it :-) And not hard on the feet/legs either. I’m thinking Marmoleum in a cool but subtle pattern.


  • Big deep drawer beside the stove for pots. Other drawers beside the store hold spices, large utensils, and other items that you need near the stove.
  • Replace the existing sliding patio doors with French doors. The eating is in front of the French doors—likely a glass table with lucite chairs, to minimize the obstruction of the view through the doors. Maybe something like one of these:

clip_image025 OR ice chair

I based my dream kitchen on the footprint of our existing kitchen, which is about 25”L x 12”W. Here’s a very bad and not-to-scale floor plan of the existing space with the changes I envision for it:

floor plan

The existing kitchen isn’t quite wide enough to accommodate the big island. But seeing as this is a dream, I’ll dream that my existing kitchen is a few feet wider :-)

Candice Olson on Divine Design created the kitchen in the picture below. It has almost the exact same layout I envision for mine. Check out the long stretch of cabinetry and appliances along the 25’ wall and the big island wrapped in the countertop material—in my kitchen, that’s white Corian on the ends and Vetrazzo in Chivalry Blue on top (you saw my polka-dot rendering earlier!!):


Right from the start, I knew exactly what style of cabinets I want—glossy cobalt blue!! I absolutely love the sheen and depth of these blue cabinets. I like the table & chairs too—maybe they’ll go in my kitchen :-)


They’re fabulous, and I love them and want them!!! But, I don’t want them everywhere… to make things interesting, I’ll use different materials on the upper cabinets—wood and frosted glass. I love the wood in this kitchen, but I’m not sure what it is:


Victoria said the wood is “gorg”. I never heard of gorg wood. Then she told me meant “gorgeous,” but she was in a rush and gorgeous was too long to type. Haha!! Whoops!! But seeing as this is my dream, I’m going to call this wood Gorg :-)

The upper cabinets will look just like these ones, with wood (Gorg!!) on the top half and frosted glass on the bottom half:


I’ll also use the wood backsplash design as my inspiration, but instead my backsplash will be simple back-painted glass where the wood is and a strip of the blue cabinet material where the metal strip is. As much as I love funky backsplashes with lots of pattern and colour, I think it’s important to keep this backsplash simple so the cabinets and the island countertop are the real stars of the room.

I don’t want a solid bank of upper cabinets. I’ll break them up with some open shelving in the Gorg wood. Shelving similar to this (I also like how these shelves wrap around the hood):


Some more inspiration kitchens with blue cabinetry…



Love the big gooseneck faucet in front of the window:



And I LOVE the long rectangular window right along the countertop in the next set of pics. They’re from Mrs B’s Decorating A Modern Home blog. She’s done a fantastic job designing her kitchen!!


And now, my creative little addition to the kitchen… with three dogs, I’m filling the water bowl ALL the time. So I’ve created this little doggie station at the end of the run of cabinets. There’s a faucet installed right on the wall above the water dish, a towel bar on the side of the cabinet for easy wipe-ups, and the last cabinet is a pull-out bin that holds dry dog food and treats.



And finally, some decorative lighting ideas… seeing as this is my dream kitchen, I’m going all-out with Schonbek pendants!! The Twist pendant is beautiful:


So is the Vertex…

clip_image055 clip_image056

Although a couple of Cellula chandeliers would great too…


So that’s my dream kitchen. It has all the things I wish our current kitchen had, and reflects my design style—a mixture of modern and traditional with a bit of funky and a touch of the unexpected :-)

I didn’t win the contest, but I had a fabulous time thinking about and designing my dream kitchen :-) You can see the winning entry here. Thanks to Paul for the incentive and encouragement to dream :-)

Now head on back to Between Naps on the Porch to check out more transformations, virtual and otherwise!!

sig new


Paul Anater said...

Thanks for not making me out to be the bad guy. I appreciate your enthusiasm keep it alive Kelly!

Anonymous said...

That's going to look the countertop!
All Things Heart and Home

Salmagundi said...

I love your dream!! Don't give up on it, o.k.? You never know. Sally

Kat said...

I really love your vision for this kitchen. And I especially love the countertops. As Victoria would say, they are "gorg!" Kathy

Martha said...

It is nice to dream and I love what you're dreaming of -- hopefully, one day it will come true and then you won't believe it!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

My favorite thing has to be the doggie extras! Great idea. I love the plan, it is definitely a dream kitchen.

Maria Killam said...

You put so much creative energy into this post! Great job, with a little practice, you'll be as good as Michelle with the renderings!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Looks like you've thought of everything. I especially love that countertop!

susan said...

No wonder you need a notebook by your bed--your mind is moving a mile a minute :) You have great ideas and have paid such attention to detail. When you do get to design your own, all the "dream planning" will pay off!

Melissa Miller said...

~Wow~ :)
Kelly this is going to be stunning!
Love it!

Mrs B said...

Hi kelly
First of all, I am absolutely shocked, THRILLED and so very flattered to see the pictures of my kitchen in your post. To think it is even worthy as being a source of inspiration to you means a lot to me. I know exactly how much energy it takes to design your own kitchen, there are so many ideas, styles, products to choose from and can very daunting.
You ideas look fantastic and the amount of energy you have put into this competition is just astounding. I cant wait to see the final submission...your kitchen is definately going to have that wow factor.
btw...that beautiful chandelier is a MUST! hehe
Mrs B

Mrs. Petrie said...

One day I, too, will have a big beautiful kitchen! Incredible brainstorming and research.

Mary said...

Those chivalry blue counter tiles are to die for! And the lamps and the....... everything! :O) Mary from Boogieboard Cottage

Anonymous said...

Oh, you are simply amazing! I hope you get the kitchen of your dreams. It will be the most beautiful kitchen ever!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Christy said...

I love that twist pendant and the cobalt blue shiny cabinets too. Gorgeous!

Martha said...

kelly -- don't give up. After 21 years at Linderhof I have ALMOST everything I've always wanted in a house -- except a back staircase (which is impossible to do)!

Some came with the house (the fireplace in the master bedroom) and others we've added ourselves.

It may take time but you'll get it!

mrsben said...

I think my favourite has to be the countertop and the combination of wood 'n glass upper cabinets. No too sure about the 'gloss' ones due to maintenance, BUT no argument from me that the cobalt blue is absolutely STUNNING.

Sorry you didn't win the contest Kelly but perhaps you will the next time as your design certainly warrants recognition of merit.

Decor To Adore said...

I for one adore your spotted countertop. :)
The acrylic perch chair is wonderful.

Sofia Striffler said...

Great Dream kitchen. I hope your dream can become and reality some day!. Have a great one

Velvet and Linen said...

Wow, Kelly. Your dream kitchen is amazing.
Love all of your details.
Those sparkly lights are pretty amazing.
When is the dinner party?


KBeau said...

Never say never. One day your dream might become a reality. You've thought of everything.

Vetrazzo said...

Great blog I share your frustration with SketchUp. You really took your time and if you didn't win I can't imagine how great the kitchen that did win looked. Scavolini makes some great cobalt sky blue cabinets I am sure you have seen. I first saw them when I went to photograph Vetrazzo's Chivalry Blue for our website and they matched perfectly. As a matter of fact I will be putting in a Chivalry Blue coffee table in my apt real soon. I have put a link to your site in our press area because we appreciate you passion for design. I saw that you are a bit afraid of Vetrazzo "overkill" and are looking for a white on white material for the sides of your countertop area...good news, if Vetrazzo's Palladian Gray or Cubist Clear aren't the exact white you are looking for, we do have a new mix we will be releasing real soon that may be perfect for you so stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Dream Big! This is AWESOME! Can't wait to see it done ;0)

janet said...

i see your brain doesnt shut off i think we all need to have dreams, and i hope one day yours will come true. Great design kelly

Tiaa @ EYInteriors said...

WOW!! I really felt the energy for this post! You did an awesome job and I have faith that your "dream" kitchen will come to fruition!

Brillante Interiors said...

WOW, great job Kelly! Hope you win the contest.

Susan @ Your home, only better. said...

Wow...I just LOVE the cobalt blue! Thanks for sharing your dream! :)

Becca said...


The kitchen where you said, "I'm not sure what kind of wood" is an ALNO kitchen!!! We sell them for Eastern Canada... if you're interested come on into our showroom at 747 Richmond Rd.!


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