This historic home, built in 1916 in Calgary’s Elbow Park district, had been beautifully maintained by the current owners. They’d raised their children there, but as empty nesters, were now ready to renovate the kitchen and called on Emma Whiting of Whiting Young Interior Design for the project.
“The architecture very much inspired the renovation,” Emma tells us. “The exterior of a new single car garage was designed to be a subtle addition off the back of the house, where the butler’s pantry connected the existing kitchen to the garage. I designed the kitchen in the style of an English farmhouse with as many authentic elements as possible.”
Years earlier, the client had fallen in love with a pewter countertop in a French restaurant in Vancouver, and it was the detail that kicked of the design. “We kept the existing island base, adjusted the cabinets to accommodate a La Cornue gas stove, and designed the pewter top to extend further for more surface area to work on.” Though the client initially wanted an all-white kitchen, Emma proposed adding oak cabinetry, referencing the built-in kitchens of English farmhouse kitchens.
To further the historic feel, Emma relied on different cabinet heights to appear like separate pieces of individual cupboards. There’s a shorter pantry, recessed into what once was an exterior wall but now backs the butler’s pantry, a sunken larder that offers dry goods storage, and a hidden microwave hutch. The cabinets are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Dimity, and living brass fixtures will patina with time—adding a nice, weathered element to the mixed metals, which include copper, blackened copper, pewter, and polished chrome.
“They are very happy with how authentic the kitchen looks and that it looks more historic than their previous kitchen,” Emma says of the couple. “My client has outstanding taste and was very inspiring to work with.”