Creating a New Lifestyle for a New Life Experience

How does a couple celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary? So many options to consider, and certainly a milestone that deserves a special celebration. After spending 30 years together raising a family of three boys, and remaining active in the community through sports, the local church, changes of career, and of course all of life’s ups and downs, the decision on how to celebrate was quite clear for Anne and Barry Kozluk; a kitchen renovation, or more exactly, a kitchen transformation! Little did they know that making an investment in their new kitchen would translate into a celebration of life, family, and friends, one that this project would provide not only to them, but to those that they are close to.

So, who better to provide this couple with a beautiful kitchen remodel, one that would fit perfectly with their existing home as well as future desires, than Lorie Martin-Pessot, Owner of kitchENvision, a true master of her craft.

“We knew Lorie was the right pick as soon as we met her”, says Barry. “During our first meeting Lorie was able to pick out our traditional design style based on what she saw in the rest of our home, an approach that we could appreciate. But when she came back just a few weeks later with her design, we knew she was the perfect fit.” Anne, who is the “baker” in the home, noted that although she had not initially shared her love of baking with Lorie, she was nevertheless able to pick up on certain cues; “Lorie had noticed that I had a Mix-Master out on the counter, and when her design ideas came back, she had incorporated a lower-height counter section to the island, which would accommodate the mixer and prep needs like rolling dough, and making pastries.”

As you can see by the pictures, the “before” kitchen was all original, the house having been built in 1981. While these homes are rich in character, they tended to build them for utility and space definition, versus functionality and design. In the “after” kitchen, you are immediately struck by the open concept as you walk through the entrance into this stunning space. Its beauty is matched only by the way it “feels” in the space. There is a warm comfort here that welcomes you in and instantly makes you feel at home, and makes it equally difficult to leave. “We love entertaining family and friends.” explains the couple. “In the original space, we would have one group of people in the kitchen, and then around the corner, in the family room we would have another group. And while we loved having them all, we felt isolated and not really able to enjoy everyone’s company all of the time.” With her design, Lorie fixed that, and the result is an incredible kitchen/family room “gathering space” that creates a warm and fun experience for those lucky enough to have this couple in their lives.

The maple, shaker-style cabinetry is stained in a deep rich cherry finish, streamlined vertically to reach straight to the ceiling with a cove-shaped crown molding topper. This beautiful cabinetry is everywhere you look, yet it remains understated and quietly elegant, finished with gorgeous brushed nickel hardware. Lorie had a great partner when it came to the aesthetic design, as Anne chose most of the colours and finishes from all of the amazing samples Lorie was able to provide. It should be mentioned that Barry was not too shabby of a partner himself. Having worked several years as a professional engineer with a large construction and building services firm, he well understood the “bones” and timelines of this project, especially when it came to the removal of a major support wall that had initially separated the kitchen and family room, and the engineering and installation of a hidden support beam in its place.

The quartz countertops that run throughout the kitchen are stunning, matching perfectly with everything they surround. The colour is complete with flecks of copper that not only catch your eye, but reflect when the light hits them. The practical side of quartz is that it is very easy to maintain, and for the baker in the home, a perfect surface for “rolling out the dough.” Yes, in true Lorie fashion, she does indeed think of everything! The porcelain tile flooring that has been set in a staggered pattern of small and large squares is the perfect canvas for this open space and adds a subtle texture to the room with colours chosen by our couple. This same tile has been installed throughout, connecting hallways that lead to the front door, garage entrance hall, powder-room and laundry room, giving this ranch bungalow home a seamless connectivity. It also helped that Lorie renovated and upgraded the powder room, which was done so with finishes to match the theme of the kitchen and family room remodel.

Another striking feature of this kitchen renovation is the way in which our couple and Lorie designed the seating area around the huge island. “We told Lorie that when seated, we wanted to be able to look out our windows to the backyard, and enjoy the beautiful wooded scenery that we love so much.” Lorie delivered, and the outcome is fabulous. Perfect for waking to an early morning coffee and sunrise, or winding down with an evening glass of wine as the sun begins to set.

I asked this lovely couple what their favourite parts of this incredible transformation were – besides everything – and their answers were both charming and logical. Anne loves the cupboard space above her double oven, where Lorie incorporated a cabinet interior with deep vertical slots, so that all of their baking sheets, serving trays, and other similarly-sized pieces can be neatly organized and accessible. Lorie also designed a very clever way to provide a kitchen pantry without requiring a separate room. The pantry consists of 2 full-height cupboards mounted onto a roller system, so when you need something, all you have to do is pull the pantry cupboard out with the system offering total access on both sides. When you’re done, you just roll it back in. It’s kind of like a Murphy bed, but the pantry version!

Barry shared that he’s a bit of a “gadget guy”, so he mentioned that one of his favourite elements is the touch control sink faucet. “It’s great for those times when you’ve been handling food and your hands are all covered” says Barry. “You can just touch the back of your hand or your forearm to the faucet itself, and control the water flow on and off that way!”

One of the many things I like about Lorie’s designs are the practical solutions she brings to everyday issues. So of course, there is an “appliance garage”, to store all of their counter-top appliances, like that Mix-Master, neatly out of sight. “I just love the duality of Lorie’s design” states Anne. “Yes, it looks beautiful, but it also works beautifully.” This sentiment is not lost on one of our couple’s sons, Daniel, who just happens to be a chef and did have some input where the space was concerned. The choice to go with a natural gas island cooktop was Daniel’s pick, and although they’re all still getting used to cooking with it, they do love it, and now Daniel can cook, create, and continue to hone his skills as he continues his culinary education after a 3-year career as a chef at a prominent Toronto hotel.

The pictures with this article can certainly tell the story of Lorie’s exceptional talent better than I ever could, however the most important part of Lorie’s kitchen design for this family was not just in the gorgeous finishes, or the smart functionality, or even her amazing attention to all the details, big and small. Truthfully, the most important part of this renovation is the way in which this warm, inviting couple, can now enjoy a new beginning to their lifestyle, through this beautiful transformation. As they speak with me about this wonderful space, it’s clear that their connection, the social experience they enjoy sharing with the people they love, their excitement about future plans, dreams, and memories to be created here, is truly a fitting gift to celebrate 30 years together. And without a doubt, a gift that Lorie Martin-Pessot, owner of kitchENvision, has certainly provided.


Written by: Kelli M. Maddocks
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Author: Living Spaces

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