Tamara’s almost completed kitchen

Posted on Wed, 20 Jan 2010 by KiM

Tamara wrote us the other day, explaining how she recently quit her job with the Canadian federal government (I am beyond envious), moved to southern Ontario with her Aussie boyfriend, bought an 85-year-old house in a historic neighbourhood, and started a small catering/personal chef business from scratch. Yeah, I’d say she’s been a tad busy lately. She wanted to share with us some photos of her kitchen reno that was necessary in order to use it as the base production and prep space for their business. Here is a before photo:

Gotta love 80’s kitchens. BLEH. The kitchen is just about done but there are some finishing touches Tamara is looking for help with:

We still have a few things to do in the kitchen, like installing a range hood and figuring out the best option for a backsplash. Maybe your readers could offer a suggestion?  Adam, being a professional chef, is all about stainless steel EVERYTHING, but I’m leaning toward grey/white glass tiles to keep things a little less..clinical. But, I can’t decide how far to take them along the wall..any ideas?

We haven’t done anything to the old lighting, but since we operate our small business out of our kitchen we have to make sure the lighting meets health and safety requirements.. It’s proven to be difficult to find something non-hideous that does the job!

We’re also hoping to find some bar stools for the island overhang (I’m obsessed with old industrial drafting stools, so I’ve been keeping my eye on eBay for those), and an area rug for under the table to warm things up a bit and define that part of the kitchen.

If your readers have any suggestions to complete the kitchen, we’d live to hear them!”

Now for the “after photos”…

Love the teal wall and the open shelving – I bet ALOT of fantastic food is going to fly out of this totally functional kitchen!
I have to call it a night shortly (it’s Tuesday night as I prep this post) but here are a couple of my ideas. This jute rug (or something similar in jute) I think would look great under your dining table, or if you crave more colour I’d go for something bold to equal the boldness of your teal wall like this one or this one from Ikea. I completely agree about industrial drafting stools. I wouldn’t bother with a backsplash – unless you want an easy surface to clean by the counter around your sink, in which case I would just get a piece of plexi cut to fit that would go 2 or 3 feet up that wall.

So folks, if you’ve got ideas for Tamara to finish up her kitchen please leave them in the comments.

Deb says:

In a kitchen reno I did a few years back, I used heavy duty glass panels (about 40cms high) as the splash-back for the whole kitchen. The painted wall underneath shows through beautifully and the panels are fixed to the wall with stainless steel screws, adding to the "semi-industrial" feel. My congrats, by the way, on completely turning your life around – it’s tough, but worth it!

lojo says:

I second the suggestion regarding a plexi or glass backsplash. Where did that hanging lamp come from??? It is wonderful.

Nuit says:

wow this is really a very functional kitchen! I love the black board and the color of the walls. I love the open shelves and the stainless steel. I am not a huge fan of the table and chairs but everything else I do LOVE. What a great job!


This kitchen would almost be too dark for me if it weren’t for the teal wall…which is effing GENIUS. I think it makes the whole place look cute, modern and sophisticated all at the same time. I’d maybe add touches of art lighting here and there just to give it a more finished look (i.e. over the chalkboard, above the shelving, etc.). Nice job!

Tamara says:

Thanks for your suggestions everyone! I’m liking the bright fuscia rug from Ikea, and the plexi idea for a backsplash sounds like it would be perfect!
lojo – the hanging lamp is a relic that my mom happily passed on to me, but it dates back the late 60s when my grandmother originally bought it in Montreal.
As soon as we get a range hood installed, the plan is to hang some of my original artwork and some etsy finds – I’m far too lazy to be cleaning the grease off things, so a hood is definitely in order!
Thanks again guys!

Ashley says:

In a kitchen I did a few years back, I used heavy duty panels as the splash-back for the whole kitchen. I then painted the wall underneath it an accent color which really made the back splash pop and gave it a vibrant accent to the kitchen.

dmitriy says:

Seems like the storage space has shrunk significantly. I miss the glass-door cupboard, though I guess the open shelves may be more practical for a catering business.

London27 says:

Kitchen is coming along great – nice to see everything much more open as opposed to a collage of white boxes. A couple of suggestions I would have would be that the cream colour on the walls seems to be competing with the white doors and skirting boards. I would consider using something like Pale Powder or Blackened from Farrow & Ball – this will also help to draw the freshness of the teal throughout the entire space and add cohesion to the scheme. The blackboard is a great feature, but I think having two instead of one would make a great impact and hanging on the wall will give them an art-like significance and structure. Hope this helps

Mint Home Decor says:

Nice job on your kitchen renovation! I love the teal wall, with the black board leaning up against it.
I like the idea of a white tile splash-back. White is always clean and fresh looking, it will soften the space and tie in the white trim and the white frame in the kitchen. Smaller tiles would work well, such as: http://www.glasstilestore.com/super-white-frosted-2×6-p/loftsuperwhite%202×6.htm
For the rug, I think a flat, woven rug works best under a table and chairs, allowing them to slide easily.
This rug from Ikea is a classic that works great with many a decor! Black and white looks fabulous with teal!
Good Luck!

Claire Campbell,
Mint Home Decor – Fresh, Modern & Beautiful Home Designs

Wendy Vann says:

Love the colors! If you still want to use tiles, I would use a sunny yellow that matches the wall. Try finding a ceramic that has a cracked fired finish. I would go from the edge of the mult shelves, floor to the bottom of the one long shelf, over to the window casement. I would take off the wood window stool and replace it with tile, let the casement end on top of the tiles. On the other side of the window with the cute hanging hand towel holder (?), I would try to find a art tile and surround it with the background tiles ending short of the bottom of the hand towel holder. I think code says you have to have at least a 4" splash of washable material. I would think large span of plexiglass or glass would show streaks depending on how the light hits it. If you don’ t like yellow to match the walls, I think about a light blue gray like the wall next to the teal wall. Good luck.

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