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Spotlight: Kitchens
Inspiring projects (including this beauty in Ontario cottage country by Paolo Ferrari) and new systems that evolve the most important space in the home.
A Muskoka Kitchen Embraces the Beauty of Nature
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In Toronto, A Communal Condo Kitchen Balances Privacy and Togetherness
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IAAC Valldaura Labs solar greenhouse as seen from above
A Barcelona Greenhouse Sets a Precedent for Urban Agriculture
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Migrateful kitchen
In London, A Welcoming Community Kitchen for Refugees
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Marbled Gray countertops by Formica
4 Stunning Stone-Inspired Kitchen Countertops
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Kitchen with red island and backsplash
4 Ranges for the Master Home Cook
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Artematica Soft Outline by Valcucine
4 Customizable and Contemporary Modular Kitchen Systems
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Spotlight: Kitchens

Muskoka is an Ontario vacation destination synonymous with sparkling freshwater lakes and rocky outcroppings — and the often sprawling, over-the-top cottages nestled alongside them. Paolo Ferrari’s client was after something more understated for his lakeside getaway. The goal was to complement the natural environment, rather than overwhelm it. His Toronto studio delivered with a masterfully pared-back interior that lets the resplendent vistas do the talking. “For us, this project was about the views and minimizing distractions. It’s all about reconnecting with nature,” says Ferrari.

View of the dining area and kitchen space inside Studio Paolo Ferrari's Muskoka Cottage project
Large windows from Bigfoot Door ring the kitchen, strengthening the interior’s connection to the natural environment.
Close-up of the granite kitchen island and whitewashed douglas fir full-height cabinets
Whitewashed Douglas fir clads the cathedral-like ceiling and a wall of full-height cabinets.

Case in point: the bespoke kitchen, which opens to the dining area and main living space and looks out onto a granite escarpment a mere two and a half metres from the large windows that run the length of the countertop. Expertly crafted millwork by the GTA’s BL Woodworking & Design — in the same locally sourced whitewashed Douglas fir that forms the pitched ceiling and clads the rest of the home’s interior — conceals an integrated Miele refrigerator and espresso machine, as well as all storage. 

Cabinets and drawers have integrated pulls rather than hardware, with a subtle change in the wood grain to add dimension while remaining inconspicuous. Further accentuating the sense of seamlessness is the flooring, made in Denmark from limed Douglas fir planks (the only imported product used in the project) to match the cladding and cabinetry. “The kitchen is intended to blend into the architecture, as opposed to serving as something expressive,” says Ferrari. 

View of the kitchen inside Studio Paolo Ferrari's Muskoka Cottage project
A mammoth organically shaped Muskoka granite island is offset by cleanlined Douglas fir cabinets and Cambria quartz countertops.

That restraint is offset by a monumental island — a massive unfinished block of solid granite sourced from a local quarry. About 3.3 metres long by 1.2 metres wide and weighing several tonnes, the stone was roughly shaped using machinery intended for splitting rocks and rolled into place across solid steel rods. While the kitchen quietly blends in with the rest of the floor plan, the island makes an emphatic connection to the escarpment just outside. 

Two seemingly contradictory ideas are at the heart of the communal kitchen and dining room at DuEast condos in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood: togetherness and privacy. “The project is trying to integrate quite a few different communities together, and we wanted to create spaces that people from multiple groups would feel comfortable in,” says Stanley Sun, partner at Toronto’s Mason Studio, which designed the building’s interior spaces. “We wanted it to not just be for groups who all know each other and book out the entire space, but also multiple smaller groups of people at the same time.”

Close-up of the tile inlay flooring in the kitchen at DuEast condos
Tile inlay in the laminate wood flooring under the island has the look of carpeting and helps to define the area.

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IAAC Valldaura Labs solar greenhouse as seen from above

Relatively small in stature, the Solar Greenhouse aims to tackle a massive problem: the deepening and devastating global food crisis, a catastrophe that is only worsening under the effects of climate change, ongoing wars and supply chain disruptions. “We should be producing food and energy at both a communal and individual level,” says Spanish architect, educator and urbanist Vicente Guallart. Along with architect and co-director Daniel Ibañez, Guallart led the team of students and researchers from their master’s programme in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s (IAAC) Valldaura Labs, which is responsible for developing the prototype. 

The exterior of IAAC Valldaura Labs solar greenhouse in Barcelona
Angled 32 degrees...
Migrateful kitchen

After years holding temporary pop-ups in spaces all over London and the South East, Migrateful was looking for a permanent home. When the U.K. charity (which has been offering culinary training to and classes led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants since 2017) found a former classroom in a community centre in leafy Clerkenwell, it turned to London architecture practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) for a hand in developing its new Migrateful Kitchen.

Having hosted the charity in its own offices before, the firm didn’t hesitate and, in fact, offered to do the work pro bono. “It’s hard for people to get involved in a meaningful way with refugees and the refugee crisis,” says AHMM associate Dermot Reynolds, whose team also...

Marbled Gray countertops by Formica

While stone surfaces bring an undeniable sophistication to any kitchen, they come with a hefty price tag and can be challenging to maintain. These stone-inspired kitchen countertops by Formica, ABK Stone, Cosentino and Hari Stones offer a cost-effective and durable alternative to their stone counterparts.

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Marbled Gray by Formica
Marbled Gray kitchen countertops by Formica

Artist Kathleen (Fred) Streitenberger created the Marbled Gray 180fx laminate surface by adding a pouring medium to shades of grey paint for swirls and elaborate veining patterns similar to its inspirational material. The unique handcrafted effect has a sense of texture and visual depth that takes marble in a new artistic direction. It’s part of Formica’s Living Impressions collection.

Kitchen with red island and backsplash

With the right kitchen appliances, staying in can feel just as luxurious as eating out. These professional ranges and ovens by Fisher & Paykel, Miele, Fulgor Milano and Bosch are equipped with state-of-the-art features to make home cooking a breeze.

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36″ Induction Cooktop by Fisher & Paykel
Professional range by Fisher & Paykel

No need for overhead ventilation: This induction cooktop features an integrated nine-speed (plus boost) extraction fan and can be installed raised or flush. Finished in black glass with matte black detailing, the surface includes four cook zones (two can be paired to create a larger SmartZone) and offers precise temperature adjustments through reactive Touch&Slide controls.

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Generation 7000 48″ ContourLine Range by Miele
Artematica Soft Outline by Valcucine

Aside from their primary function as storage, kitchen cabinetry is the backdrop that sets the tone for the space. These modular kitchen systems by Valcucine, Boffi, Falper and Coquo are versatile enough to suit any style.

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Artematica Soft Outline by Valcucine
Artematica Soft Outline kitchen system by Valcucine

With handle-free fronts and thin aluminum profile frames (finished in black, copper or bronze), the Artematica Soft Outline is a continuous volume with a seamless surface. A bamboo counter adds functionality, while a transparent glass screen running its length separates cooking and eating without compromising visibility; shelves, sliding containers and other accessories can be hung on the divider within arm’s reach. The entire system can be finished in glossy or...