Mile End Project Part 2: The Design

Holy smokes! I totally lied when I said this wouldn’t take me weeks to write! Life is just getting away from me these days… Anyhow, here is part 2 of my Mile End Project.

After figuring out the layout of the space and the overall direction of the design( see my previous post ), it was time to start locking down the look of the interior spaces.

The ground floor layout plan:

Plan Entrance opens into a mudroom. Once you enter the living area proper, there is a powder room to your left and after that it is wide open kitchen, dining, living room. Laundry room is accessed through the kitchen. The stairs configuration gets changed so that you now end up in the living room.

PlanThe Kitchen

My clients and I started talking about the biggest change to their ground floor: the new kitchen. The husband in this couple is a great home chef and loves to cook and entertain. His current kitchen is small with virtually no counter space. His kitchen gadgets, mixers, sous-vide machine, tools are all tucked away under the stairs, next to the vacuum cleaner. This would not do. I worked on a basic layout idea: everything along one wall, all tall pieces like the fridge and pantry grouped together, all low items like the sink and counters and stove together, and a big island work top in the middle of the room. And then we went to Cuisines Steam. Steam is a GREAT kitchen design company based in Montreal. A small firm, they manufacture all cabinetry in Quebec and they have beautiful products. Their kitchens are so well thought out- every detail meant to make your life easier. I have worked with one of their designers, Patrizia Giacomini, on multiple projects and she is a joy to work with. She has great taste, will work within my clients budget constraints, and is all around lovely. Obviously these kitchens aren’t for everyone’s budget but if you are serious about cooking and about design, this place can’t be beat. I can’t gush about them enough! After showing Patrizia some Pinterest inspirations and giving her our measurements, we worked together to come up with a beautiful and functional cooking space.

kitchen view4kitchen view2kitchen view3kitchen view1

There are tall pantry cabinets and dish storage next to the fridge after which is another tall cabinet holding more storage and the microwave in the middle shelf. After the tall pieces comes a small counter with 3 drawers, the gas range, more counters and drawers, a large 30″ sink with storage below, the dishwasher, and an integrated bench with a niche style shelf above for everyday dishes. Tons of storage. Tall pieces grouped together. Easy access to everything. A functional, ergonomic, and beautiful kitchen.

The cabinets will be a light grey- Sico, Ciel Obscure. The counters will be a 1 1/4″ white quartz with no speckles in it (I HATE SPECKLES)- Silestone in White Zeus.

I really wanted brass accents and at Steam, Patrizia showed us these great handles and it all clicked into place.

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Brass and wood accents with white quartz counter tops. Lovely, classic but still modern.

We hesitated a lot for the backsplash and while shopping for a different client I came upon the perfect option and my clients fell hard for it too:


A classic white marble beehive. I generally choose Carrera marble but this Classic White is so pretty and soft and will look stunning on such a huge expanse of wall. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT UP.

A note about marble: because marble is a natural stone it can stain with contact to acid, like lemon juice or wine or vinegar. Things that do come up in places like kitchens. That being said: I love it. I think if you seal it properly every few years, you’ll be fine. I think that if you don’t leave a half a lemon face down on the marble counter for a week, you’ll be fine. I don’t think anyone installing marble in the thirties in Paris or New York cared an ounce about how it was a living stone that would most likely stain one day. And I think they were right because it is gorgeous. I think that a natural stone is prettier than a pretend stone. I think that especially in small pieces like these 1″x1″ ones, you’d have a harder time seeing a stain than on a large marble slab. I think that life is messy and if you can’t handle the occasional stain then you will have a hard time. I think that when you have kids you need to not necessarily embrace the mess but learn to live with it. And I love the look of it. I just do stained or not!  So there you have it, my marble rant in a nutshell!

That being said, to resolve the potential occurrence of  stained marble around and behind the stove top, we will install a sheet of stainless. All good.

The island is huge and will provide tons of storage. There will be a utility sink there and a lot of prep space. We are adding a wood block to one end of the island which carpenter Chris Swansey is building for us. On the left is the inspiration pic and on the right is kind of what the wood will look like minus that base:

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This space will give the family a designated eating area and will break up the textures in the space. 

The integrated bench is inspired by these references:

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I love the idea of there being a cozy nook in the kitchen for looking at a recipe book or reading with a child. Or just looking out the new giant patio doors we are having made for that spot.

The Powder Room

This space is not huge, about 6’8″x4′ wide. The main design lines are: having one poppy wall behind the sink, small tile on the floor, storage behind the toilet. A cute, functional space that lets you know right away that these are people that care about design but aren’t too precious. I think we nailed it with this design:


A wall mounted toilet makes the space look bigger as does having a sink without a vanity. The shelving and wall behind the toilet hide the tank and provide storage. The door will NOT be red but may be another fun poppy colour. The tile behind the sink will be an old favourite from Ciot and the floor tile from Ramacieri Soligo will be carried through to the laundry room.

pixel tile IMG_0794 wall tile, floor tile.

#2318650000 HAPPY D.2 + CONSOLE#2221090092 HAPPY D.2 TOILETTE MURALE Happy D.2, by Duravit.

powder room

powder roomLove this little powder room: modern and fun and family friendly. Grey and white and big pops of colour-totally my style.

Laundry Room

We are going with cute and functional here too. At 6’x 7′, it is a decent size: large enough for the side by side washer/dryer my clients’ are keeping. There will be shelving. There will be storage. There will even be a rod to hang clothes up on. Here is the design:

IMG_0655  A great little space that serves every purpose it is meant to serve.

The floor tile as previously mentioned will be the same as the powder room and the niche holding the ironing board and future brooms etc will be in a penny-round Chicago tile from Ramacieri again.

IMG_0831  I love this combo! With the dark grey appliances and wood shelves, this will be so cute. Just because you are in there doing dirty laundry doesn’t mean the space can’t be lovely!

So that, my friends, is what I have been up to in the last while: firming up the designs, researching the materials, taking it from inspiration to design to real life. Check back in soon for pictures of the massive demolition that is currently happening to make these designs a reality. My big upcoming challenges are the stairs and the floors as well as the built-ins for the mudroom and dining room. This is so much fun.



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