Kitchen of the Week: More Moderate, Better Layout for a Canadian Victorian

This 120-year-old Victorian home in Toronto has beautiful bones, but the inside needed an update to work for the family of four that reside there. Toronto designer Philippe Beauparlant concentrated the renovation around the kitchen.

Set in the rear of the house, the kitchen can be accessed only through a narrow hallway with small natural light. By opening up the kitchen to the backyard, enlarging windows and utilizing a traditional color palette, Beauparlant created a space that he states “is of now, with a nod to the past.”

Beauparlant Design inc

Formerly, a elevated stoop at the rear of the home created a visual and physical barrier to the backyard. A mudroom with no connection to the outside also prevented direct accessibility. Following the space had been stripped to the studs, then Beauparlant relocated the basement staircase to the region of the house.

Now the kitchen includes backyard accessibility and a clear view through a 1 1/2-story glass wall.

Yellow pendants: West Elm; cabinetry: custom; cabinetry paint: Desert Twilight 2137-40, Benjamin Moore

Beauparlant Design inc

Like most Victorians, this house is on a narrow and deep lot, which makes natural light scarce. The kitchen’s place in the rear of the house couldn’t be changed, but Beauparlant reconfigured the space for maximum natural light.

Beauparlant Design inc

Adding a staircase to the basement created room for more storage in the kitchen, letting the elimination of storage room in the kitchen entry hall. Windows above the sink let in more natural light than before.

Countertop: Kashmir white granite; backsplash: Pavimenti Bianco, Stone Tile, Toronto; top shelving: custom walnut veneer

Beauparlant Design inc

The clients wanted a better sitting and eating area in their kitchen, but the narrow design made it difficult to match in an island. Rather, Beauparlant had a table custom made with wood and antique legs, and made a plastic banquette for comfortable seating.

Banquette cloth: Ryder, Cocoa vinyl, Threadcount, Toronto; pendant: classic

Beauparlant Design inc

Beauparlant started off with desperate wide-plank oak flooring and built the kitchen palette from that point. The floor “is perfect for the kitchen space, because the boards are already dented and scratched in the mill,” he states.

Beauparlant Design inc

Hints of green in the timber floor and the recently framed backyard view inspired the cabinetry color choice.

Microwave: Panasonic; faucet: Citterio Semi-pro, Hansgrohe

Beauparlant Design inc

The stair risers were left open to allow light in the backyard filter down to the basement family room.

The new design not only suits your family’s kitchen customs, but betters the house as a whole. Beauparlant urges that everyone going to set out on a kitchen remodel afford the time to consider the right design.

“It’s easy to replace cabinets and keep everything in the same configuration, but that is frequently not the best solution,” he states. “Lifestyle and tendencies change all of the time, and I am convinced the priorities and decision variables of the previous builder or owner are different compared to your goals and objectives.”

He adds, “I have made some significant changes for this home that’s been standing for 120 decades. I’d hope that what I have created will also last for many more years and homeowners.”

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