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Design Ideas from 12 Fresh, Real Life Kitchens

From Roncesvalles to Rosedale, here are 12 of the city’s most inspiring cookeries


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1 Link living and cooking spaces. Home to a craft beer company manager and her partner, this Cecconi Simone-designed townhouse has a supple yet compact layout. The slim galley kitchen features open-faced Cartier cupboards that step down to living-room shelving at the back. Flooring by Satin Finish hardwood runs through both areas, creating further cohesion between the two spaces.

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2 Create connections between indoors and out. The owners of Stylegarage transformed this Mimico property from a dry goods store into a sunshine-filled family home. Here, an industrial garage door rolls up to link the house’s kitchen to their lush, breezy backyard’s barbecue and dining space.

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3 Level up. In this skylight-filled Roncesvalles rebuild by Altius Architects, the kitchen dominates a raised platform bookended by the sunken media room at the front of the house and the living room at the rear. These varying elevations lend the slender space depth, while the kitchen’s book-matched wood grain, Carrera marble–topped island and thin suspension lights elongate the room.

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4 Contrast traditional and contemporary elements. A vintage-loving Bay Streeter enlisted designer Alison Milne to create this moody, masculine space. In the kitchen, Milne used white subway tile to offset dark wooden cabinetry, which she had burned and dinged to create an old-timey look. Oak shelves are hoisted on industrial-strength brackets above an apron-front sink from Roman Bath Centre.

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5 Break down barriers. While graphic designers Glenda Rissman and Derwyn Goodall loved the period elements scattered throughout the 70-year-old home they moved into on Tyrrel Avenue, the couple wanted a more open kitchen. They removed a confining dining room wall and rebuilt their cookery in birch veneer, marble and white Corian. To further extend the space, they re-clad the adjacent 20-year-old solarium in red cedar.

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6 Put everything in its place. A Scandinavian aesthetic pervades throughout this woodsy retreat, a Parkdale Victorian renovated by The Practice of Everyday Design for two lovers of all things Danish. The maple-clad kitchen’s seamless wall of cabinets was purpose-built by millworker Kevin Karst for everything inside: the clients mapped out where they wanted each pot and pan to be ahead of time.

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7 Be detail-oriented. Set stylist Alanna Davey and contractor Phil DeBarros fastidiously mapped out every aspect of their Parkdale abode. A six-centimetre-thick, seamless slab of calacatta marble is installed flush with the kitchen cabinetry, while matching stone clads the space’s waterfall island.

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8 Opt for colourful cabinetry. Steel-blue Scavolini kitchen cabinetry sets the mood in this renovated Rosedale cottage, refreshed by interior designer Mazen El-Abdallah. Armchairs from Hollace Cluny are just two of many other blue furnishings scattered throughout the soothing home.

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9 Mix eclectic finishes. Two Toronto design darlings – Matt Carr, design director of Umbra, and Joyce Lo, co-director of the Drake General Store – combine aesthetics in their Dufferin Grove home. Design studio MSDS, which coordinated most of the kitchen’s updates, customized IKEA cabinets with mint-green fronts, brass pulls, and Quartzite countertops that transition into backsplashes. Oak shelves provide a place for eclectic accessories, and match the oak planks cladding two walls and part of the ceiling.

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10 See the light. Tasked with transforming one of Toronto’s converted church condos into a contemporary home, designer Alison Milne sought out heavenly art and graceful furnishings. For the kitchen, she chose two brass Tri pendants by Australia’s Resident Studio. Hung above the central island, the two statement lights make a big impact while delivering a divine glow.

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11 Integrate storage space. Williamson Chong’s design for this multigenerational family home in the Annex wraps the ground floor in oak panelling. Behind the bevelled-edge panels is ample storage space – the north-facing wall was fitted with enough shelving to stow everything from canned goods to camping gear.

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12 Go galley-style. Architect Julia Knezic bought the lot next to hers to design a narrow infill for her mother. Tucked between two Edwardians, the finished home is compact but contemporary. Off the entry, a sleek galley-style kitchen by Bulthaup conceals appliances and acres of storage behind matte-lacquered wall and base units.

Looking for more great ideas for flavourful kitchens? Read our guides to cooking up a bite-sized condo kitchen, family-friendly diner and gourmet chef-worthy food prep space. For even more inspiration, pick up a copy of our Guide 2016 issue, out next week. And stay tuned for a second roundup of kitchen design ideas, coming next week.


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