Written by: Tiffany Carboni
Every home magazine editor needs a beautiful kitchen. It’s written in the rulebooks somewhere. So when it came time for Erin McLaughlin, editor-in-chief of Canada’s popular Style at Home magazine, to remodel her family kitchen in Toronto she knew she had to do it right. Thus, she teamed with IKEA and turned her kitchen into an interior designer’s challenge where her readers would be the ultimate judges.
Amy Kent and Ryan Martin of Croma Design won for their timelessly modern concept. Their real challenge, however, was turning that idea into a reality that jibed with the rest of McLaughlin’s heritage house without it looking like it was transplanted from a showroom.
To start, Kent and Martin anchored the room with simple, modern cabinetry topped with white quartzite, both from IKEA. “Erin’s a good cook and her family spends a lot of time in the kitchen,” explains Martin. “Because of that, we needed a kitchen that wouldn’t get in the way of their busy lives but rather maximize their efficiency.”
Though it deviates from the rest of the house’s darker wood tones, the kitchen’s decidedly bright whites allow elements like the bronze hardware from Rocky Mountain Hardware and the stainless steel appliances to pop. To tie the whites in with the rest of the home’s warm tones, Kent and Martin added stained oak custom shelving to the large island, and chocolate-hued smoked oak floorboards. The herringbone marble tile by Antica borrows a classic motif in keeping with the historic home, yet when used in a modern way, creates a striking full height backsplash.
The sitting area features a modern-style fireplace by Spark and a floor-to-ceiling bookmatched marble surround that replaced its dated predecessor from a 1980’s renovation. Gray silk wallpaper and stained oak panels flanking the fireplace surround, as well as rugs by Trove, create layers of texture and sophistication. The bank of windows also got a makeover with a coat of crisp white paint to neatly frame the picturesque terrace.
Like the island stools, the chairs in the sitting area are from IKEA though were reupholstered in Kravet fabric for a bit more decadence. Likewise, the IKEA dining set was customized thanks to the chairs being painted a more clean-looking color. “This is a perfect example of how people can mix different price points yet achieve a more high-end look,” explains Martin.
To up the wow factor even more, Kent and Martin used a Kohler faucet and Thermador appliances that include a wine column and built-in brewing station. In the end, the family got everything they wanted thanks to the good decisions of the readers and the hard work of the designers.