Kitchen Guides

Kitchen of the Week: Streamlined and Smart in Montreal

The charm of this 1880s home in Montreal can’t be beat, but the family of four who live here had a hard time getting used to the first old-fashioned kitchen. The couple and their two teenage boys desired space where they could consume and prepare meals with ease, with hassle-free modern appliances. Hubert Taschereau of Gepetto and designer Laure Guillelmi exercised a renovation within the layout of this 19th-century brick townhouse — among the earliest on the street — to think of a streamlined design that integrated easy-to clean materials and a lot of storage.


Guillelmi and Taschereau needed to design the kitchen about four doorways, a large window and one pass-through to the dining area. This limited wall space for cabinets, so they have creative with storage and spacing. The appliances were bought and brought in beforehand to plan outside spacing, smoothing the procedure.

Range: Electrolux; oven: FCI; refrigerator: Kenmore; chandelier: copper ring mounted to some chandelier


“If you look carefully at the kitchen, not an inch is left unused,” says Taschereau. Angled drawers, an integrated wine rack, storage for knives, bookshelves and other smartly integrated features make the most out of the kitchen’s wall area.

Backsplash: Cotto d’Este Exedra Calacatta Silk; countertop: granite


The kitchen was designed to embrace a division of labour between cooking, cleaning and table setting. “Two people can easily work together in the kitchen without stepping on each other’s toes,” says Guillelmi. “The island is the common ground, used to prepare the meals and enjoy them.” Two sinks (one larger one for doing dishes, and one smaller one for prep function) make a big difference here.

“If the space enables it, divide the space into zones,” says Guillelmi. She also recommends paying close attention to traffic flow in kitchen remodels and planning a different walking route in case your dishwasher falls down to some pathway.

Island top: cherry; pub stools: Ikea


Taschereau and his team at Gepetto created the cabinetry facades out of medium density fiberboard (MDF) and completed them with white polyurethane paint. Durability is one of the most important items for Taschereau, and he frequently uses polyurethane finishes on painted cabinetry because they won’t stain or change color with time.

Undercabinet lighting: Brite Strip, Magic Lite


The doorway and pass-through between the kitchen and the dining area already existed, and Guillelmi and Taschereau claimed the open relationship between the two spaces. “The cooks are not cut off in their own guests, but the kitchen is not invading the dining space,” says Guillelmi.

Taschereau and Guillelmi were careful to respect the flow between the back-door entry (visible to the best of the refrigerator in this photo) and the remainder of the house. Keeping a clear pathway in the rear entrance to the remainder of the house has been crucial.

Sinks: Blanco; recessed lighting: Bazz; flooring: Refin Ardennes Ivory porcelain tiles

See related