HOMES: Casual Elegance in Lowertown

HOMES: Casual Elegance in Lowertown

This post is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine Interiors 2014

Photography by Gordon King

Photo by Gordon King.
The light-filled kitchen boasts many pretty details, including the dramatic black chandelier and the decorative glass cabinetry. Photo by Gordon King.

It was an 1880s house with a 1980s kitchen. Something needed to be done.

The owners of this Lowertown house bought in 2004, lovingly restoring their home room by room over the next ten years until only the kitchen was left. That’s when they called Kristen Armstrong of Pillar Interior Design.

Photo by Gordon King
The soft grey-and-white pallette and traditional cabinetry are in keeping with the age of the house. Photo by Gordon King

“They knew they wanted a classic look, one that was elegant and would respect the age of the home,” says Armstrong, who worked with the couple to design a chef’s kitchen with a European sensibility.

Today, the light-filled room — with its herringbone floors, subway-tiled walls, and cozy corner banquette — encourages lounging and perhaps imagining that you’re enjoying that espresso in a sunny Parisian bistro, which is exactly what the owners might be doing right now. Just days after they finalized their reno plans in the spring of 2013, the couple, who both work for Foreign Affairs, learned they were being posted to Paris for four years.

Photo by Gordon King
Photo by Gordon King

“They couldn’t believe it,” says Armstrong. Still, the time crunch actually made everyone more focused, forcing them to be quick on the big decisions (such as choosing the soft grey-and-white palette and raising the windows to allow for counters along the outside wall) as well as the small (signing off on such pretty details as the dramatic black chandelier and decorative glass cabinetry). And though the couple has never set foot in their kitchen (a lucky renter is enjoying it), the pictures are worth a thousand words.

The Details

Photo by Gordon King
Photo by Gordon King

Design: Kristen Armstrong, Pillar Interior Design

Contractor: John Eckland

Appliances: KitchenAid, DirectBuy

Backsplash (main): Porcelain tile, The Tile Center

Backsplash (border around accent): Marble Listello, Euro Tile & Stone

Backsplash (accent): Porcelain and glass tile, The Tile Shoppe (Concord, Ontario)

Cabinetry (main and island): Cabico, DirectBuy

Chandelier: Nuevo, DirectBuy

Counter (main and island): Granite – Bianco Antico, Urban Quarry, DirectBuy

Photo by Gordon King
Photo by Gordon King

Cabinetry hardware (pulls): Top Knobs, DirectBuy

Cabinetry hardware (crystal knobs): Amerock, DirectBuy

Cushions: HomeSense

Faucet (main): Blanco, DirectBuy

Faucet (bar): Moen, DirectBuy

Flooring: Porcelain tile, Euro Tile & Stone

Hood: Cyclone, DirectBuy

Pendant lights: Elk Lighting, DirectBuy

Sink (main and bar sink): Kindred, DirectBuy

Wine fridge: Cavavin, Sears