BRIGHT IDEAS: A modern kitchen makes the most of limited light

Pot lights fitted above the cabinetry, as well as underneath, brighten the space. The pale grey granite counters also reflect light. Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio.

This kitchen is one of four innovative kitchens featured in the February 2012 Interiors edition.

When the couple living in this Alta Vista house contacted interior designer Shiva Gupta, their kitchen was in serious need of renewal. An exposed wood ceiling and traditional oak cabinetry made for a dark and dated room, not ideal when you happen to be diplomats who do your fair share of hosting.

But though it was high time for a change, the couple were very conscious that they were the caretakers of this house — they knew they would soon be moving on to a new posting. Gupta’s challenge: modernize and brighten on a strict budget. She chose a neutral colour palette — grey and white — with the idea that the next diplomatic inhabitants could change the look simply by adding their own accessories.

Ikea was a logical choice for the cabinetry — it was affordable, and the straightforward warranty could be passed along to the next inhabitants. The biggest issue was light. Apart from the skylight, there wasn’t much. Gupta solved this problem with pot lights fitted above the cabinetry as well as underneath. The pale grey granite counters also reflect light. A nice touch is the unusual island, which is open on three sides, allowing for an intimate supper for four — and the occasional game of bridge.

Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio.

DESIGN: Shiva Interiors (designer and contractor)

APPLIANCES: KitchenAid, sourced from Universal Appliances

BACKSPLASH: Olympia Tile

CABINETRY: Ikea, Abstrakt line

COUNTERS: Emerald Tile + Marble

FAUCETS: Mondeau Bathroom & Kitchen

FLOORING: Emerald Tile + Marble

PENDANT LIGHTS: Marchand Lighting and Electrical