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My New Kitchen

Now, more than ever, the kitchen is my favourite place. It's a creative space, it's where I feed my favourite people, there's usually music playing - lots of reasons. It's also an escape from the craziness going on the world, where I can disappear from the 24-hour bad news cycle and just focus on home and family. And now, after a year-long renovation, I can also say my kitchen is a beautiful place to escape.

My love of pale turquoise endures. It has been my favourite colour since I bought a retro radio that colour about 15 years ago. Around here it's just called Amy Colour now. So when it came to designing our kitchen, I wanted it to be there, but I didn't want it to overpower. The overall colour palette is bright white and light maple wood with a pop of turquoise in the island cabinets in a shade chosen to match exactly with my stand mixer. 

Read on and I'll tell you a little more about the features...

We brought natural gas into the house as part of the renovation, so I switched from an electric coil range to a five burner, dual fuel gas range. Dual meaning it has gas burners and an electric oven. As a recipe writer, I wanted to continue using an electric oven, which is what most home cooks use. 

These bar stools from IKEA are sleek and practical. They're super comfy with curved seats and low backs. The plastic is a dream to wipe down easily and the legs protect the new wood floor nicely. The pendant lights are schoolhouse style and we have three of them along the island, with the centre pendant over the sink.

This corner window is a remnant from our old kitchen. I knew from the beginning I wanted to hang onto them. These windows are how I know what my kids are up to outside and see my husband pulling into the driveway.

I knew I wanted to go with a farmhouse sink, I just didn't like the price tags I saw around town, ranging from about $1,800 to $3,000. Then, with perfect timing, IKEA put this beautiful ceramic double sink on the market for $399. Sold!

The cabinets are shaker style, which feel like a perfect mix of traditional and modern, with nickel drawer pulls. The hardware reminds me of the kitchen where I first learned to cook for myself.

On either side of the stove, we added some convenient organizers. To the right are all my cooking utensils - ladles, whisks, wooden spoons, spatulas, etc. To the left are my cutting boards, cooling racks and larger baking pans that don't fit under the range.

One of our renovation goals was to have a walk-in food pantry. Having storage in another space allowed us to not have upper cabinets in the kitchen. Instead, we have these natural wood shelves to match the light maple flooring. All our drinking glasses and wine glasses come right off the shelf when we need them.

My favourite thing about the pantry, other than the fact it keeps all our food (and mess) out of the way, is the built-in step so I can reach things up high. The shelves go right up to the ceiling, with the things I use less often, such as my pasta makers and largest canning pots, on the top shelf. It's also a great place to store countertop appliances like the air fryer, multi-cooker and food processor.

Although the pantry door is right off the kitchen, it is on the other side of the island from the gas range. So I keep a basket in the pantry to shuttle ingredients back and forth.

The best thing about a custom kitchen is the details. This shelf for my most-used cookbooks was built into the end of the island, closest to the double French doors that open onto our new backyard deck.

Yes, now, more than ever, I just want to be in the kitchen. In fact, it's kind of hard to leave it sometimes.