An Artist’s Guide to Renovating a Kitchen

5 mins read
Kitchen Reno
Pantry After Kitchen Reno
Step 1: 
Pin all favourite kitchens. My Pinterest has become my file folder and safe for all things inspiration. I have a lot. 
Step 2: 
Create a shortlist of favourites. Identify of all the things that tie these kitchens together. ie. white and raw, natural wood, minimal hardware, beams, open shelving, plaster 
Kitchen Reno Inspiration
Step 3: 
Learn about your home — the age, the neighbourhood’s history, the city’s style. And try to incorporate these aspects. This will help the design remain timeless. 

I live in Vancouver — a coastal city, known for it’s rainforests and big cedar trees. Vancouver is a relatively young city, and didn’t develop a well known style until after WWII. This new aesthetic emerged into what we refer to today as “West Coast Style”. It’s a contemporary design that prioritizes its vistas and takes advantage of its natural resources, not surprising this includes local wood. 

Vancouver is often referred to as the “city of glass”, for its extensive use of glass and natural lighting. I live in a part of Vancouver called Fairview. My townhome was build in the mid 1980s when this neighbourhood was really taking off. A prominent design style of the time was Post Modernism. Many of the buildings in this area have nods to the Mediterranean or Southern California (lots of stucco, roof parallels, open common courtyards, arched windows). 

Step 4: 
Evaluate your choices with history and heart of the city in mind. Knowing these facts made it easier to make my own design choices. I tried to honour modernism, by selecting contemporary silhouettes and natural finishes that aligned with this ethos. ie. I couldn’t go making a country farmhouse style home or a Southwestern Adobe in the middle of Vancouver. 
Inspiration for kitchen reno
Step 5:  
With all this in mind, make a list of what your “key materials” are. Try to stick to this list as a guide for a cohesive look. This can be hard with all the design trends out there! For examples, even though I love the look of veining in quartz and marble, I knew it wasn’t part of my plan. Also, I reminded myself that it is important to include materials and details that are personal and unique to you – – especially in decor and in ART ! 
Kitchen materials inspiration
My materials list includes: 
Natural maple (from back in Ontario) 
Riftcut oak Matte White Beige and cream (never grey) 
Black (accents) 
Ceramics in natural and terracotta tones 
Wicker and woven textures (from my travels) 
Emphasis on handmade details, art, objects, patterning
Thank you for sharing Sarah! Follow Sarah at the links below for more inspiration and her beautiful art.

Jan Halvarson

Jan founded Poppytalk in 2005 while a student at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now ECU) to catalogue inspiration from typography to interior design. Since then she’s collaborated with Target (creating a limited edition glamping collection), a wallpaper collection with Milton & King, as well has written as a contributor at Wired, Martha Stewart and Huffington Post.