A Modern Take on an English-Style Kitchen
Created with a classic technique, this Vancouver kitchen brings tradition into modern design.
When you think of traditional design, a few things come to mind for a kitchen: ornate millwork, Shaker cabinets, a smattering of decorative touches. And then there’s this space, traditional only in the painstaking, century-old technique used to build it.
Homeowner Sally Kaldor Douglas, a British expat who’s called Vancouver home for several decades, brought in designer Juli Hodgson of Hodgson Design Associates to renovate her heritage home in Kits Point. “I’m English, and I wanted a plain English kitchen,” says Douglas. “Nothing superfluous to the requirements of a beautifully functioning kitchen. Simple, elegant and warm.”
First, Hodgson needed to rejig the main floor plan. To make room for this kitchen, the staircase for the second floor had to be moved out of the existing space and into the front of the house. Then, to get that warm, U.K.-inspired design, Hodgson’s solution was to work with face-frame cabinets. Unlike most current kitchens, which are built first with boxes and finished with cabinet doors, face-frame cabinets are designed more like pieces of furniture and built of solid wood. Cabinet doors are inset into the frame with exposed hinges, with everything flush—so you’re seeing both the frame and the door of the cabinets. That leaves little room for error: in short, it’s a highly skilled endeavour for the cabinetmaker.
But the result is a fresh take on a turn-of-the-century design. Pulls are black iron but modest in size and shape, and the Shaker-style cabinets are a modern update of the style. The kitchen is warm and simple, just as Douglas hoped—and the proof is in how the space has become so central to the home and the family. “We love to eat, we love to party,” says Douglas, “and we now have a space where we can entertain chums as well.”
Designer, Hodgson Design Associates, Juli Hodgson, Vancouver, hodgsondesignassociates.com. Cabinets and solid white oak counter top, JMV Woodworks, Abbotsford, jmvwoodworks.ca. White oak flooring, Capilano Hardwood, Coquitlam, capilanohardwoodfloors.com. Wolf oven and stove, Trail Appliances, across the West, trail-appliances.com. Rohl Shaws Rutherford sink, Cantu Hardware, Vancouver, cantubathrooms.com. Sub Zero refrigerator, Trail Appliances, across the West, trailappliances.com. Cutting board, Williams-Sonoma, Vancouver, williams-sonoma.ca. Clock, Orling and Wu, Vancouver, orlingandwu.com. Bar stools, Livingspace, Vancouver, livingspace.com. Palm Green Le Creuset round casserole, Hudson’s Bay, across the West, thebay.com. Terracotta glazed vessel, Caravan 100% natural linen dish clothes, Nineteen Ten, Vancouver, nineteenten.ca. G&T Design Granville Island natural linen tea towel, Delish General Store, Vancouver, delishgeneralstore.com. Russell Hackney white etched ceramics and white ceramic jar/vase, Walrus, Vancouver, walrushome.com.