Bespoke Blue: A Periwinkle Kitchen with Magical details | Design + Decor The Florida Edition
Story by Sarah Fader | Brittany Shepard
When a client gives an interior designer carte blanche to transform an 80-year-old historical home, there is no other answer but, "Absolutely, yes".
And that is exactly what Alexandra Naranjo of Alexandra Naranjo Designs replied when a London couple approached her to remodel their second home, outside of Toronto. She knew she had a jewel of an opportunity to create something truly bespoke.
With no explicit directions from the clients other than wanting colour and a home that had better flow and functionality, Alexandra seized the moment and designed a residence that would serve as a family gathering place for the couple, their grown children and their grandchildren.
The first challenge was to find exactly where in the home to put the kitchen. It was originally located in the front of the house, but this layout did not work for the homeowners, who wanted to enjoy indoor-outdoor living. Alexandra relocated the kitchen to the back of the house and added a breakfast area to create better flow to the dining and outdoor areas.
Once the perfect location was selected, the design took on a life of its own, as Alexandra focused on building custom functionality and personality. The first design choice was to use a soothing yet unexpected periwinkle blue for the cabinetry. This choice set the tone for what would become a truly unique kitchen.
A large center island features marble, with whimsical pendants providing light in tones of blue, bronze and brass. The range area, which also has marble, is flanked by large windows. Alexandra notes that one of her challenges was to craft a new window to be an exact match to the existing original.
The design team paneled the double refrigerator with washed wood and built-in appliances for an upscale, custom look. The hardwood floors were carried in from the rest of the home and area commercial application of hardwood by Schotten & Hansen. Extremely durable and scratch-resistant, they are "bulletproof", according to Alexandra.
The size of the kitchen allows for the luxury of no upper cabinets and the opportunity to create the most striking feature of the kitchen: the backsplash. "The client's favourite tree is the cherry blossom," says Alexandra. "The backsplash we designed is custom-made, hand-cut mosaics forming the cherry blossom tree."
Visual Comfort sconces highlight the mosaic backsplash and add more touches of brass to a kitchen that feels fresh and a little whimsical. Custom counter stools were covered in fabric from the French company Pierre Frey."It is not a typical kitchen," says Alexandra. "When you walk in, you feel like you are in a magical space."
For Alexandra, the best part of the project was when the team was approaching the finish line, and asked the homeowners to stay away so they could add the final touches and host a reveal party in the kitchen. " It was really fun." says the designer. "It was very emotional - some watery eyes - and the clients loved it"