A Stream Of Creativity
Designer’s backyard provides inspiration for her kitchen reno
By Susan Kelly
Photography: Chris Rollett
Styling: Diana Becker
IN DESIGNING HER HOME’S KITCHEN, Penelope Rogers looked no farther than her new backyard for inspiration. “With a beautiful, tranquil stream running through it, I decided the theme would be ‘flow,” says the owner of P.Rogers Design in Vancouver.
She bought the 1970’s split-level North Shore home in 2011 from the original owner. It was a warren of tiny, closed-off rooms. By tearing down two walls, she created a 13-by-18 foot kitchen area that opens into the family and dining rooms. The windows in what was to become the dining area were widened to give a better view of the stream and back garden.
“With a beautiful, tranquil stream running through it, I decided the theme would be ‘flow.’ “
Wide open spaces mean the homeowners and guest can move easily from kitchen to dining area or onto the outdoor deck. The backyard’s flowing stream is referenced by the paint used on the cabinetry, a soft blue-gray shade by Farrow & Ball.
Wide-plank black walnut hardwood floors were installed throughout the main floor. As a designer, Penelope finds that using a single type of finish of flooring unifies a space. Also adding to the flow is the kitchen’s design style, consistent with the rest of the home’s transitional look. “I find beauty in both traditional and modern styles, but find modern a little cold,” she says. “Transitional combines them and is the best of both worlds.”
For instance, the cabinetry is custom-crafted locally in a timeless style and, with a nod to the stream, it’s painted a pale blue-gray. As a compliment, a white quartz slab with a grey fleck and a hint of sparkle was used on the four-by-seven foot island and soft white marble mosaic tiles for the backsplash. The seamless countertops were crafted of Corian, a material that this designer believes is under-appreciated, being highly durable and having a warm attractive finish.
The five-burner gas cooktop is topped by a sleek stainless steel hood with tempered-glass detail. Beautifully functional with backlit touch controls, it is also a striking sculptural element. All appliances are from G.E.’s Monogram series, except for the Miele dishwasher.
“To make a cook’s kitchen, it’s important to visualize how you cook, what you use most often and how you will use it, “says Penelope.
Penelope has been designing since the 1990’s first as a fashion designer and now focusing on interiors. But since she shares the kitchen with her two live-in young adult children, it had to be functional as well as beautiful. Especially since her daughter Ashara, 21 and son Peter, 19, both enjoy cooking. “To make a cook’s kitchen, it’s important to visualize how you cook, what you use most often and how you will use it, “says Penelope.
The kitchen’s layout creates an easy flow, even with more than one cook in the space. Pots, pans and utensils are housed within reach, yet neatly behind closed doors when not in use. And the island creates a place to socialize during meal preparation.
Penelope finds the warming drawer especially useful when entertaining. But day-to-day, the GE Monogram series combination speed oven and microwave gets the most use, as much for the way it cuts down cooking time and the tasty results it yields.
Today, this designer finds it easy to go with the flow. “There’s always something to enjoy and appreciate in my kitchen,” she says. “It was meant to be lived in – and it is.