In an orderly fashion

While some create out of chaos, others require everything in its place to get the creative juices flowing – and that includes those who practise the art of cooking. The open-concept kitchen featured here will appeal to cooks who crave calm and order. It’s essentially a blank canvas within which culinary magic can freely happen.  

Approximately 270 square feet in size, the kitchen was designed by Dylan O’Keefe and Thu Vu of VoK Design Group – along with the interiors of the new Ottawa house in which it’s located. “What’s great about this space is that it doesn’t feel like a kitchen,” says O’Keefe. “It’s very light and open.” Large south-facing windows along the back wall let in an abundance of natural light. The design team purposely refrained from incorporating any upper cabinets along this wall. “We have the low base cabinets on the south wall only,” O’Keefe says. “We wanted to leave an unobstructed path for light to enter the space.”

The designers were inspired by mid-century design, in which the beauty of natural materials are celebrated and emphasized through clean, sober lines. The pure white of the swan cotton quartz Hanstone countertops contrasts dramatically with the heavily grained, horizontal natural walnut of the Downsview Kitchens cabinetry and the dark natural walnut floor.

The kitchen as a whole is seamless to the eye: cabinet hardware tucks in rather than protrudes, and the appliances at first glance are nearly invisible. Even the sink is nestled discretely in the countertop – with only the Tara Logic faucet with accompanying Dornbracht Froffi side spray revealing its hiding place.

The 9-by-4-foot centre island, complemented by the Mater stained white oak
and leather bar stools, doubles as an eating area and clever storage hub for the main cooking appliances. Hiding beneath the quartz countertop – but fully accessible and convenient – are the wall oven, speed oven, warming drawer and cooktop, all from Miele Masterchef. Again, to avoid any bulky ceiling elements, the design team opted for a Thermador down-draft vent inside the island.

However careful the cook, everyday messes are inevitable. The workstation along the east wall has a fully functional, sliding frosted-glass panel, which acts as a privacy divider separating the food preparation area from guests’ eyes. The sliding mechanism is exclusive to Downsview, perfected to keep all functional hardware out of sight. 

That idea of keeping classic kitchen elements hidden is predominant in this space. VoK Design even incorporated a hidden pantry, around the corner next to the Miele fridge unit on the west wall. In this kitchen, everything is in its place; something’s cooking; and all is right with the world.  c