HOMES: Ottawa’s VoK Design Group given carte blanche to design this dream kitchen on the canal

The designers started with the big bank of windows along one wall and designed outwards.

Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio

Talk about the perfect commission! When Dylan O’Keefe and Thu Vu of VoK Design Group recently launched a business together, one of their first jobs was to design a full house for a client who was looking to move from Manotick into the city. “The client gave us carte blanche,” says O’Keefe. “She was what you would call a dream client.” The talented designers then got to work drawing up plans for the dream house — complete with a dream kitchen — on an infill property overlooking the canal. The client, who had loved the open-concept kitchen, dining room, and living room in her former home, made just one stipulation: that her new kitchen be just as open. The designers started with the big bank of windows along one wall and designed outwards, centring the kitchen on the middle pane. Their wood of choice was walnut — it’s modern but has gravitas. O’Keefe and Vu then opted for recessed pulls on the cabinets so as not to draw attention away from the horizontal grain of the wood. The giant island, a.k.a. command central, is almost a sculptural element, at once adding pizzazz and acting as an anchor for the room. A sliding frosted screen on one wall cleverly hides a recessed home office.

Design: VoK Design Group | Builder: Roca Homes | Contractor: Roca Homes | Cabinetry: Downsview Kitchens, sourced through Astro Design Centre | Handles: Downs-view Kitchens, sourced through Astro Design Centre | Counter: HanStone in ‘Bianco Canvas,’ Emerald Tile & Marble | Sink: Julien, Astro Design Centre | Faucets: Dornbracht, Astro Design Centre | Appliances: Miele | Stools: Mater Design (ordered online) | Table: Cattelan Italia, Alteriors Contemporary Furniture | Chairs: Found on eBay | Flooring: Natural Walnut, Continental Flooring | Pendant lights: Tom Dixon Beat Lights,