The Chatelaine Kitchen’s Amy Rosen transformed her duplex into a show-stopping home with a few splashes of colour and a dash of pattern
Eight years after she bought it, Chatelaine’s acting food editor, Amy Rosen, decided it was time to say goodbye to her tenants and take over both floors of her duplexed century-old semi. First on her reno wish list? The kitchen, of course. She turned to her designer friend Cameron MacNeil to create a space that’s impressive without feeling too formal. With the walls torn down, the addition of French doors and a reworked layout, the bright kitchen now flows effortlessly into a spacious dining area — perfect for this hostess who knows that good parties always end up in the kitchen.
The narrow floor plan might have posed a challenge for some, but MacNeil created the illusion of space with clever furniture placement and by keeping the overall palette pale. He created a seating area at the front of the house, where there’s ample light, followed by a cozy living area and a large kitchen-dining area. Despite the open concept space, the rooms feel clearly defined. Instead of adding formal trim and detail, MacNeil injected personality with pattern, fabric and pops of colour. Ikat upholstery, herringbone flooring and a bright yellow door jazz up the interior without feeling too trendy.
How does Amy feel about her new grown-up home? “I should have done this years ago!” she says laughing. “I knew I needed a new kitchen — you should have seen it before — but this is so much more than I could have imagined. This reno has been a complete lifestyle change. Now I have room to host my extended family.” Turns out the kitchen really is the heart of the home.
Design Tips to make a room look bigger! (click titles to see examples of Amy’s reno)
- Delicious design
- Front hallway with tall mirror and console table
- Use chandeliers to define zones
- Turn a tight space into a den
- Try a bench instead of chairs
- Add a colourful piece of art
- Splurge on a second sink
- Tile everything
- Pile on the patterns
- Hallway inspiration: Turn snapshots and mementoes into a gallery wall
- Hang sconces over your beside table