Written By: Jillian Kent | Photography: Paul Spears
Let’s talk about kitchens. You know, the ones with the outdated cupboards and faded wallpaper that hasn’t been changed since the 1990s. There’s no need to be embarrassed, after all we all have them, that one room that you desperately need to update but have been avoiding because you just don’t have the time to commit to all the research that comes with a long-term home reno. I mean with all the new products on the market, its overwhelming to even start thinking about the choices that need to be made – and that’s not even considering the contracting problems that almost always seem to arise once the walls start coming down. Thankfully for you, I’ve learned a little secret from Peggy and Carl Nigro that I’m going to share: Just hire someone else to do it!
Located just outside of Guelph, off of Concession Road 4 and built in the early 90s, the Nigros’ kitchen was once a rather closed off space, bordered by a long dingy hall that didn’t serve any purpose, except perhaps to give you a perfect view of the bathroom. While the kitchen might have still been functional, it was no longer desirable, yet as is the case with so many of us, they faced the problem of where to even start! That’s where Doreen at GK Interior Solutions came in. Rather than struggle to understand a world with which they were not even familiar, the Nigros followed the advice of a trusted contractor, and turned to Doreen & GK Interior Solutions to give them the guidance they needed to turn their kitchen around.
Together, the Nigros and GK Interior Solutions turned the cramped and dated kitchen into a warm welcoming space. By removing that hallway all together and matching the hardwood from the sitting room so both rooms flowed into one, they created a welcoming open concept design that’s reminiscent of a farmhouse, with a few modern touches put in. This gives a feeling which fits in perfectly with the ever-changing colours of the countryside that can be observed through the Nigros’ windows – which had also been modified to meet the countertop at Doreen’s suggestion. Not only is there more counter space now, but it gives the walls a crisp sleek finish.
Now when most people enter the Nigros’ kitchen, the first question they tend to ask, after complimenting the stunning new look, is “Where’s the refrigerator?”. Thanks to panel ready appliances, both the refrigerator and the dishwasher have been hidden behind chic cupboard doors, smoothing out the look of the kitchen by removing the industrial appearance of stainless steel; though this fresh modern kitchen isn’t without its touches of character. Above the stove, a small nozzle tends to draw the eye. While it certainly succeeds in giving the clean space a little bit of personality, it’s not just a stylish accent piece but a fully functional tap to fill your pots! Its extendable arm bends and rotates easily to enable you to fill up any pot or pan without having to remove it from a single burner. Good-bye heavy lifting and struggling to top-up a dish without removing it from the heat. I can certainly attest that if it’s not the Nigros’ favourite part of their kitchen, it was mine and I didn’t even use it!
With tons of storage space (Doreen included a deep-set pantry, an extra cabinet in the island, and shelves that twist right out of the cupboard to avoid hard to reach corner spaces) this room has been transformed into not just a stylish kitchen but a practical one as well.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though; between wondering if that deep set pantry was too wide, and calling Doreen to again wonder if the island was too big (the night before it was to go in, I might add), this renovation was not without its expected concerns, but with Doreen’s sure hand, extensive knowledge (after all, this is her business!) and multiple 3D renderings to provide picture quality visuals of the proposed end product, everything went off without a hitch. In fact, Peggy confessed to me that the only thing she regrets is not listening to more of Doreen’s suggestions!
So now that I’ve let you in on my secret, that changing a faded or outdated room into something modern and chic isn’t that hard so long as you invest in the right sort of help, let’s talk about kitchens and you can tell me why you haven’t started redoing yours!