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Centre of Attention

Our clients, a family of two, wanted a new kitchen but were stumped on how to make it work with the existing layout of the house. The tiny, outdated kitchen had a bow window area with a banquette that they did not see any way to change other than to update it and work around it.

The original Bow window and banquette

They loved to cook and were often working away in the kitchen together, so the existing space was just not practical. The layout was tiny, dark and closed in from the rest of the house and just did not work well for prepping of meals or entertaining. They wanted something that was beautiful and practical for their style of living.



These clients were such a fun, upbeat and energetic couple that I wanted their new kitchen to reflect that. My goal was to create a space that was a bit edgy and contemporary yet still warm comforting and timeless.


My inspiration/Mood board for my clients. I chose a grey and white cabinet combination with gorgeous warm metal hardware, and crisp white counters. I brought in  walnut flooring to create a warmth in the room, grasscloth for texture and industrial style lighting.


To give my clients everything they were looking for I knew I had to gain more space to the footprint of the kitchen. Their dining room was adjacent to the kitchen, closed off by a small doorway. I thought the best thing to do was to take the entire wall down making one large open space. Having the wall down and joining the two rooms also meant we would only need one dining area.



As soon as I saw the banquette area in the bow window I knew I wanted to rip it out, raise the windows and create I little cove area where I would house the sink. The backyard was gorgeous, so I thought what a better way to enjoy it than having a kitchen work area that let you enjoy the view.


My original plan was create one large island that spread across into the existing dining area. I designed a beautiful dining area at the end of the island giving them lots of prep space and dining space it one. Although my clients loved the large island, they did not want to give up their dining table, so I went back to work on a new plan.  I decided a peninsula was the way to go. It would give them an intimate area where they could prep for dinner while their guests could sit with a glass of wine and enjoy their company.



By doing this you could view the fireplace from the kitchen, again making the space open, yet intimate and cozy. As one thing always leads into the other with renovations, we quickly realised if we could view the fireplace from the new kitchen it needed a little “facelift.”


Fireplace “BEFORE”

New view from kitchen of fireplace


To keep the kitchen from feeling closed in, I used white cabinets on the pantry/fridge wall. The white creates an illusion of being open and spacious, using grey there would close in the space.


The Dining area wall was long and needed something to close in the space and ground it. Adding the grasscloth gave it more texture and warmth and adding the gallery of pictures helped to define the area.



In closing, my clients are thrilled with their new kitchen. It is not only more practical and an extremely functional space but that major “problem” area of the bow window and banquette it is now the centre of attention in their home.


Here is the entire selection of photos.  Enjoy!



Contractor: D.E. Kinkade Konstruction http://www.dekinkadekonstruction.com/

West Wind Design Group: http://westwinddesigngroup.ca/

AyA Kitchens: http://www.ayakitchens.com/

Du Verre Hardware: https://duverre.com/

Photography: Charlene Burnside Photography http://charleneburnside.zenfolio.com/


The Cambridge

Charlene Burnside Photography


We have come to the end of our 7 part series of the Model Homes designed by Sonya Kinkade Design & Modecor for Tamarack Homes here is Ottawa. Today we are finishing off with the Cambridge. The Cambridge is a 2109 sq.ft townhome that features a very open concept main floor.


What did we change in the Cambridge?

  • the island was changed to a flat surface rather than a raised bar and enlarged.
  • the fireplace mantel was taken out, and a floor to ceiling tile with floating fireplace added.


The idea for the Cambridge was born from these few pieces of fabric that we saw at a presentation a few months before the project started. We fell in love with this fabric and were so happy that we were able to use it for one of these model homes. We were heartbroken to find out that the company making our window treatments could not get us the toile fabric that we wanted to use on the windows as we had chosen all the finishes around this fabric. A weekend was spent online searching for this fabric as we just couldn’t let it go…..and we were thrilled to find out our friends at Tonic Living had it! We ordered it and quickly got it into our drapery specialists, and the rest is history….phew!



Shortly after the decision was made to use this fabric we found this settee at HomeSense, it was perfect for the dining area. The fabric and this little settee set the tone for what is now The Cambridge.


When you’re planning to use colours like the ones we chose for The Cambridge, you need to let them steal the show. We decided that simple black cabinetry, white wood floors, smokey grey & crisp white tiles would be the perfect compliment to our fabrics.

Our original concept boards for The Cambridge, not everything was incorporated into the design in the end but most did.



This house was the perfect opportunity to use warm finishes in the hardware and the lighting. We wanted it to look glamourous, so our lighting choices showcased that.



We did end up changing some of the lighting last minute in the master bath, main bath and powder rooms as there was some confusion as to what we had requested in the positioning of the fixtures. But sometimes the biggest mistakes become the best choices! With a very fast run out to Lowes, while the electricians were waiting, we managed to find the perfect solutions. Watch for them in the reveal pictures.




Main Living Area

Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Sonya Kinkade Design


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography

Photo: Tamarack Homes


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography

Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photograpy



Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


The Master Bedroom



Photo: Tamarack Homes


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photograpy

Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography

The Master Bath



Photo: Tamarack Homes


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography


The Main Bath



Photo Credit: Sonya Kinkade Design


Photo Credit: Sonya Kinkade Design


The Powder Room



Photo Credit: Sonya Kinkade Design

Photo Credit: Charlene Burnside Photography



Designers: Sonya Kinkade Design & Modecor

Builder: Tamarack Homes 


Visit The Eton

Visit The Chelsea


Visit The Hudson


Visit The Madison


Visit The Oxford


Visit The Dover

Thank you to Charlene Burnside Photography!
















Hello Sunshine!

It has been a long time coming, but we are ready to reveal our clients Kitchen & their main and master baths. This project was a year in the making as we renovated these three areas and also the mudroom, entrance, powder room, stairs & new paint and wood flooring throughout the house. Our clients really wanted a fresh new look within their budget, so we had to be very conscious of where we were using their money and how.

Let’s start with their Kitchen. The original kitchen was really not functional for the homeowners at all. It was dark and closed off from the rest of the home and had limited counter and storage space. The cabinets were old and mismatched mainly because additional storage had to be brought in.


There was access to the dining room through a small opening, but you definitely felt cut off from the rest of the house. Having the dining room next to the kitchen gave us the opportunity to open up the wall and enlarge the kitchen but I still felt even by doing that this area still felt closed off. I decided that not only should we take down the dining room wall, but that the far wall, which had the living room on the other side, needed to come down. By doing this, it would make their main floor kitchen, dining & living rooms one large open concept room and would also bring a lot of light into the area.


As with most renovations, when you start taking down walls you realize the visual changes. We now had to deal with the fireplace as it would be visual from the new kitchen.


Here are the concept board and original elevations I designed for the homeowners. I did change a few things along the way, but the basic concept is the same.


Original Concept Board

The original elevation of the main kitchen wall (without the Island)


By opening up the living room wall, we were able to add a peninsula that not only added extra seating but more counter space. Opening up this wall gave them a beautiful visual of their new fireplace and created so much light in the room. I ended up changing the glass doors to just over the peninsula area, doing this gave the opportunity to create texture and colour to the area and helped to break up the solid doors. I added a long wine rack to the end of the run beside the fridge.


The original elevation of the main kitchen wall including the island


The island was added and housed the slide in range that was vented below. The island created more storage and again, tons of extra counter space.

The new dining area wall


To create a gorgeous visual and backdrop to the dining area I added a central bench seat and flanking it on each side was two large pantries that again gave them that much needed storage.


The new fireplace Wall


For the fireplace wall, I decided it was best to say goodbye to the old brick. We drywalled the area, and I designed fireplace that would tie in nicely to the kitchen area. I felt the mantel itself should be wood, warming it up and tieing it in with the wood island. I found a beautiful stone and used it for the surround.


The Kitchen Reveal






For the main bathroom, we were dealing with a small 10 x 5 foot space, and there was no extra space to grab. We, simply started over in this bathroom and gave new life.


This bathroom needed to be light and bright to match what we did downstairs and keeping it light would make this space appear larger. I had a custom free standing vanity made and bought a wall cabinet for over the toilet for extra storage.  I had paneling added to the walls and used a marble penny mosaic on the floor. The mosaic floor added texture and interest to the room and gave it a much more custom look. In the shower, I used a simple white subway tile and a banding of the penny mosaic. All the tiles used in this bathroom was from a big box store to fit the budget.








The Master Bathroom is smaller than the main bath, but we were able to grab a bit of space from the hall closet for a larger shower. Our clients were not interested in a tub so we were able to add a walk in shower. We moved the toilet next to the shower and added a larger vanity. Again we used tile from a big box store to keep the budget in check, but used them in interesting ways.










When renovating your home, don’t be afraid to contact a designer to help you with the daunting task. A designer will give you the magazine worthy space you are wanting and on your budget. The cost of a Designer is well worth what you will save in the long run.




Thank you to




Kay West

Perfection! Such good space planning and materials choice. Wish your office was in St. Louis. I need your expertise!


Bringing the Spirit of Christmas Home


Christmas came to my own house a week early this year. I have always decorated my house on the last weekend of November; it is a Tradition started with my Mother. This year I will be in New York City, so I pulled out my boxes and started work on it this past weekend. I have loved vintage Christmas themes as long as I can remember. I know it originated with my mother who loved the same. I remember flipping through all of her Victoria magazines, they were always incredibly beautiful at Christmas. Through the years I have collected many different items that I treasure, I can’t get them all out at once but I like to change up the decorating a little each year and feature different ones.

It always takes me a full weekend to get it finished, but I LOVE doing it. I enjoy to play my Classic Christmas music and just putter around making the house sparkle. I truly feel that as I am decorating my Mother is right there with me, I swear I can hear her beautiful voice softly singing with the music in the background as she always did. It is so comforting to me.


I took a few pictures to share with you, they aren’t the best but I am sure you will enjoy them.


My entry of my home has a small banister that leads to the upstairs. Although the area is small, it still can make a large impact upon entering. My small table holds my carolers that greet you in song as you enter. I combined several different sparse garlands to make one, tied them to the banister with twine and added Restoration Hardware Starry Night lights, a few vintage style ornaments and pretty ribbon. I have a full glass front door and sidelight so this looks pretty from the road view.




In the Dining Room, I decorated my antique sideboard with my vintage style village this year and added all my treasured little pieces. On my Mantel I have three of my Santa’s, several different faux greens, starry night lights and electrically wired candles for a beautiful glow.



My Living room is hard to get a good picture of because of the lighting, but I gave it a try. Lasy year I purchased a paper mache deer head from Tin Barn market in Almonte. On the top of the head are two holes where I inserted branches to use as antlers. I then hung little crystals from them, and larger crystal hung from the ceiling around it. I balanced the deer head with black lanterns flanking each side and again used several different faux greenery and added the lights. I have an antique bakers table in the room, so I used it to display my vintage Santa’s. As you can see by the last picture, my son is enjoying the room.



Sunday at around 5:00 I was finally finished making my home beautiful. I poured myself a glass of wine and took it all in; the Christmas spirit was alive in my house at that moment.  The only thing to make it officially finished will be the addition of the Christmas Tree in a few weeks



In the end, I think the best advice I can give you for decorating your own house is enjoying it. Do not let the pressure of getting in done make it a chore. Pick a day or weekend that you know you have free from interruptions, let your Holiday music fill the air and let the spirit of Christmas take you back to home. To the home you grew up in as a child and to the home you live in today with your family. Enjoy the memories, enjoy the music, enjoy your home and everything Christmas means to you.




Can you tell me where you purchased your faux greenery? Beautiful pictures.


Hi Marie, thank you! I purchased all of my greenery about 12 years ago from various stores…so I can’t remember locations. Sorry about that.


SKD News!

We are so honoured  to be asked by Marlene Shepherd of Shepherds Fashions (Train Yards store) to design a dressing room for their “Shepherd’s Dressing Room Project Stage II”. SKD is one of eight Ottawa Designers chosen and will be one of the three designers who will be designing one of the 3 VIP dressing rooms.  As you can imagine, this is a very fun project to work on!

Presently there are nine dressing rooms that were designed by nine local designers when the store first opened. The previous Designers were

  1. Blueprint Home,
  2. Cadieux Interiors,
  3. CPI Interiors,
  4. Irene Langlois Interiors,
  5. Luc Crawford Design,
  6. Newbury Interiors,
  7. Polanco Furniture
  8.  Uproar Design Group.

The group of  previous designer are shown below . I visited these dressing rooms yesterday and they are all beautiful.

Existing 9 dressing room Designers


I will keep you up to date on my design plans for my 5 x 10 dressing room as I move along. The construction is set to start sometime in February. I am not sure as of yet who will be designing the other rooms but will let you know as soon as I do!


SKD … Sonya Kinkade Design is absolutely unbelievable in talent! Sonya completely designed and decorated our full day spa and hair studio; you would be so lucky to have her and her team of professionals design any space for you!