Let there be Light

The challenge was to create an airy, high functioning, low budget kitchen for a newly disabled chef and his wife. The original windowless kitchen felt claustrophobic and gloomy. In order to visually enlarge the space, and allow the owners a view to the outside world, a wall was removed, a doorway closed, and the space was re-oriented. Cabinets were designed to maximize storage, while providing low, easy access to dishes, cookware, and appliances. The granite table height counter doubles as a wheelchair accessible prep area and an informal eating area. The bookcases house his whimsical collections of chefs, a few of his favourite cookbooks, and add interest to the storage wall. Elegant and hard wearing laminate flooring, coupled with the magnificent, tiered stainless steel hood vent spice- up the space.


Dear Shaila,
As you know, moving from our house into the condo was traumatic, and we were faced with many obstacles. You helped us plan for all of those physical challenges that were both new and scary for us. Although we couldn't move the concrete walls or drains, you managed to give us a super functional and sophisticated space with great traffic flow. You stepped up to the plate, took over completely and made a terrible time for us so much better.
Jen and Meyer

Old World Charm

One of the characteristics of old world charm is the quality of craftsmanship evidenced here in the colourful floral mosaic backsplash, and surrounding mosaic tiles. The backsplash flows naturally from the granite counter top allowing the eye to wander easily to the other embellishments that make this kitchen so special.

A Touch of Tuscany

This kitchen was gutted and reoriented in order to improve the function, storage and appearance. The mosaic medallion was incorporated into this custom made counter-height table, adding charm to the kitchen and echoing the dining room palette.

A Touch of Tuscany Testimonial

Dear Shaila
Despite your 2 broken ankles, you managed to see our renovation through to the end and give it the Mediterranean feeling we so much wanted. Providing a music room, formal living room and den, complete with 2 "huge recliners" (to quote you) and a large TV screen in this space was a daunting task. You pulled it off with flair and ingenuity. Your designs were fabulous and your decision to build the server into the armoire, so as not to obstruct the mural was genius! We love everything from the moment we walk through the door, to the new kitchen, bathrooms, bedroom cabinets and bedding... did I leave anything out??? We hope you will join us when we entertain... we can't wait to show off our new home. We loved working with you.
Ralph and Marcelle

Equal Partners

Classic and contrasting tones, interesting textures and warm ambient lighting play a subtle but crucial role in this old world inspired kitchen. While the style and feeling that the client wishes to achieve is what the world sees after the kitchen has been completed, the layout and the way in which the kitchen functions is of supreme importance.


When you just can't get enough chocolate, consider rich espresso cabinets, paired with light counters, backsplash, floors and ceilings.

Moving Forward

Blending traditional living with modern detail isn't as difficult as it sounds. With all of the family's storage, traffic flow and aesthetic needs addressed, the finishes took on an all-important role. The fridge and dishwasher are paneled in the cabinet material, resulting in a more spacious feeling kitchen. Frosted glass upper cabinets trimmed in chrome act as a foil to the dark wood, and conceal the contents inside. Split-face tiles compliment the décor.

The Bevel is in the Details

The beauty of this kitchen truly is in the details. From the varying cabinet heights, intricate crown and applied mouldings to the beveled, carved-wood panels that grace the glass doors, every aspect was carefully chosen to enhance the appearance and evoke an era resplendent with charm and majesty.

One of the characteristics of old world charm is the quality of craftsmanship evidenced here in the colourful floral mosaic backsplash, and surrounding mosaic tiles. The backsplash flows naturally from the granite counter top allowing the eye to wander easily to the other embellishments that make this kitchen so special.

Storage Galore

"I can't afford to change my appliance AND update my kitchen, and besides, they are fairly new!" That's a sentiment I hear over and over again. Often, we require the capacity that large appliances offer, but in small spaces they feel overwhelming. Prior to choosing finishes, this kitchen needed a redesign.
We reconfigured the space, eliminating a peninsula that divided the kitchen in two. The oversized fridge was moved from the entrance, where it blocked the sight lines and dominated the landscape, to the back wall of the newly opened space.
In its former incarnation, lack of storage and counter clutter were cause for despair, but in this updated version, storage abounds. From large pot drawers to a magic corner; from pantries flanking the breakfast bar (which is partially supported by another bank of drawers) to a small appliance and microwave centre hidden from view but easily accessible, the client couldn't be happier.

Storage Galore Testimonial

Everyone's jaw drops when they see my kitchen. Living in an apartment, we all have the same layout, but when my neighbours see what we were able to accomplish within this small space... well, it's pretty remarkable. The porcelain that looks like the hardwood in the rest of my condo, the elegant brown granite, the backsplash and your choice of unusual hardware all play a part in making my kitchen fantastic!

You can Please Them All

This family was torn. Tired of their dark wood cabinets they requested a traditional style but with a lighter brighter feeling. Only the chief cook and bottle washer still loved the richness that dark wood evokes.
The compromise was to anchor the space with an elegant espresso island, proving that even a subtle change can have a profound effect.

The Appliances went in 2x2

By the time we finalized the plans for this kitchen/family room reno, some cabinet doors were literally hanging from their hinges. The challenge was to give this non-stop cooking mother of a large family the storage, and prep areas that she needed, including two of every appliance except for the fridge. We knew that we had to take part of the family room/library to make the plan work, but we couldn't forfeit function there either. The colour scheme was the only thing that was chosen on day one. Every other detail was reviewed and challenged. The result was this high functioning family kitchen.

The Appliances went in 2x2 continued

Breaking the Mould

This eclectic eat-in kitchen features a stone and glass table, painted Chippendale chairs, (who says that they have to be stained?) an antique green glass chandelier, contemporary stained glass transom window and colourful original artwork. Large scale floral patterns have been appliquéd to the animal print fabric and upholstered to the seats to add to a touch of whimsy.

More Power to You

While the footprint of this kitchen remained the same, it was reconfigured to improve the function. The "buffet“ area and the pantry were added to expand and extend the storage. The brown custom iron circle design was repeated on the cupboards concealing the hood vent and both window valances. Spiral metal spoon chairs echo the circle motif, softening the space.

More Power to You Testimonial


Although we have been working together for many years, our kitchen was the first renovation project. As always you were hard working, honest & conscientious. You were first and foremost supportive, and gave more than 100% of your time and engergy to make sure that things were done correctly You are always concerned about the finished product, and will not stop until everything is as perfect as it can be. You are very creative. Your ideas are intersting and unique. You listen to your clients and do your best to incorporate our needs and wants into your designs. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.

Diane Shiffman

Sometimes Love Just isn't Enough

BEFORE: "I love the condo, but there just isn't enough storage and the kitchen is too small.“
AFTER: "I love the condo, the kitchen and all of the extra storage!“
Before Marlene purchased the condo we met there to see if her dreams of more storage could come true. We annexed a few inches of the large living room to enable us to recess the fridge and large pantries on either side of this counter/work surface, which has extra storage above and below. The entrance door was moved and widened giving a more practical and aesthetic approach to the kitchen. The living room wall is also outfitted with wall-to wall storage, making trips to the locker a thing of the past.

Sometimes Love Just isn't Enough Testimonial

Dear Shaila,
Thanks so much for making it all happen. You worked so well with my contractor. It was hard to believe that it was your first time working together! I love all the extra storage in every room, the built-ins and even my blue crystal sink! Thanks for encouraging me to get new dining furniture and to hang my art! I appreciate all of the little extras you ddi for me.