A Designer Creates her Forever Kitchen

Published: July 2, 2024

After too many years of coping with her confining galley kitchen, designer Claire Jefford of Burlington, Ont.-based Claire Jefford Inc. knew it was time for a change. But the early stages of creating the design were daunting, with possibilities seemingly as limited as the small space.

Clever Concepts for a Forever Kitchen

Then the proverbial lightbulb went off: The designer would swap the location of the kitchen and the living room.

“It was a complete game-changer!” said Jefford. “It’s funny, I have done that many times for clients, but it took a while for this idea to occur to me as a consideration for my own home.”

The decision literally opened design options and opportunities. There would be enough floor area for an eat-in island – important for the family of four, as there is no separate dining room in the house. Counterspace could expand, as well as customized storage that increased in both the capacity and visual impact. A wall of windows ensured the room would now enjoy plenty of natural light. The designer’s new kitchen enjoyed all the amenities the old one lacked.

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forever kitchen

A copper statement sink and cabinet hardware, along with a walnut floating shelf and range hood, add chromatic warmth to the cool blues of the custom cabinets and the verdant wallpaper pattern. Photo credit: Stephani Buchman Photography

Clear Connections

Changes weren’t restricted to the physical environment; since the project was completed, the designer has noticed some shifts in the way her family lives and connects.

“Before, the kitchen wasn’t a nice place to be; it was dark, tight and low-functioning,” she said. “Now, my kids bring friends over to bake and do their homework at the island. We entertain more than we ever did before. My husband Chris has always loved to cook, and it is so much more enjoyable for him now.”

Looking back on the experience of designing her own kitchen, Jefford says while she has always been confident in knowing that there is an abundance of value to what designers do for their clients, being able to experience this first-hand in her own home has been a great affirmation for her.

“It’s a powerful reminder that we should not underestimate the impact thoughtful design has on people’s day-to-day lives,” she added.

Organizational inserts from Häfele simplify and streamline the contents of the cabinets, making storage function seamless. Photo credit: Stephani Buchman Photography

Sources (“Forever Kitchen”):

DESIGNER: Claire Jefford, Claire Jefford Inc.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Stephani Buchman Photography • CABINET HARDWARE: Richelieu; CABINET INSERTS: Häfele; COUNTERTOPS: Caesarstone; DISHWASHER & RANGE: Fisher & Paykel; FAUCET: American Standard; FLOORING: Memoirs; LIGHTING: Mitzi; PAINT: Benjamin Moore; REFRIGERATOR: Dacor; SEATING: Canadel; SINK: Thompson; WALLPAPER: York Wallcovering

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