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Slatted Oak Millwork Dazzles in a Light-Filled Kitchen

Studio Junction introduces streaked light and natural wood to a formerly dingy kitchen

By Tory Healy
Photography by Andrew Quagliariello

“It was a challenge to find the right design moves to physically and perceptually expand this space,” says Studio Junction co-principal Christine Ho Ping Kong of the kitchen at their recently completed Manning Avenue project. “Before” photos show a shadowy, cramped space with dark wood floors, tiles midway up the walls, and a jumble of large white appliances and cabinets. One can just imagine nonna, through the at-grade patio door, puttering in the garden. Cute, but not ideal for the new owner, who needed more storage and better circulation – especially when it came time to host her four post-secondary children. More natural light and better connectivity, inside and out, were also requirements.

Studio Junction - Slatted white Oak Millwork
Slatted white oak millwork, mahogany window box and teak drain board all tie together handsomely with the nearly five-metre swath of soapstone.

So, down came an interior wall with its teeny pass-through window to the dining room. The north and south exterior walls were pushed out to gain further footage, and the now-cantilevered kitchen flows gracefully out to the garden. Light pours in from ceiling-height glazing, large lift and slide doors, and a long window box, then bounces off the radiant-heated poured concrete floor. It’s a light, bright space in which Studio Junction’s craftsmanship shines: a soapstone island top and counter with an apron sink, mahogany window surrounds and exquisite white oak millwork. The latter disguises appliances, boasts bountiful storage and hides a few neat surprises as well, including an integrated spice rack and custom teak drain board. Plus, there’s plenty of room for the family to circulate, to meet at the breakfast bar or meander into the adjoining dining area – all features nonna would surely appreciate.

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