Renovation & Design

Lighter colours can transform a space

Kitchen, dining room reno makes area feel bigger


Bea Broda renovated her condo’s kitchen and dining area, adding in lighter-coloured flooring and new cupboards and cabinets. She says the area feels more spacious and has better flow than it did before the redesign.

My good friend Bea Broda — formerly of CKND fame here in Manitoba, and now an extremely accomplished travel journalist and host of the TV show Outta Town Adventures, and the star of the film Captivating Carla (hey, she’s earned the big intro) — faced a bit of a renovation conundrum recently.

Yes, it even happens to the stars!

She decided that one of her two homes (she splits the year between Palm Desert, Calif., and Toronto), needed an upgrade. Specifically, her Toronto lakefront condo.

She was tired of the "dark espresso brown" interior, and the fact that the floors showed every bit of dust, marks and, particularly, cat paw prints that landed on them, so she decided it just might be major reno time.

However, she didn’t really want to move herself and her two cats to temporary quarters for six weeks, the period of time she’d been told the reno would take.

That’s when she spotted a condo for sale in a new place next door. "Might save myself. Some time, money and inconvenience," she pondered. "Better go see if moving might just be the answer."

She looked and the place was smaller and the price tag huge at around $900,000, so suddenly the reno was the PERFECT way to go!

And talk about a stroke of luck — a friend stepped up and offered Bea and her two cats Niqii and Maowzers a place to crash for the duration of the reno. Thank you, thank you and thank you. Nothing beats great friends.

With no "before" pic to show you, it’s a tad challenging to describe what was, but let’s begin with the cupboards and counter on our left. There were no cupboards up top or a counter below, those are new, as is the snazzy wine cooler in the centre. In Bea’s own words, they replaced, "a big, ugly old cabinet that was standing there with all my stuff spilling out of it."

What’s wrong with that? I have one of those in nearly every room of my house! Where else do you put stuff?

There’s certainly more to this reno (all designed by Bea), than is shown here, but I asked for a shot of her in her favourite part and she says this pretty much had to be her choice.

A couple of features this doesn’t show very well that she’s really happy with are the floor and a cabinet behind her to the right of the stove, which she absolutely loves.

To be more exact, what appears to be cabinet is actually a very large, floor-to-countertop drawer that contains both the garbage and recycling! Out of sight, out of mind, but ever so accessible.

Previously, the floor was all a very dark hardwood which she replaced with Myrtle Beach Boardwalk porcelain tile, with a matte finish. She chose it, bye the bye, to go with the actual boardwalk that runs between her condo building and the lake. Cool continuity indeed.

The flooring has totally removed the dust and paw print issues that required constant attention before. Makes life just that much more comfy, and we all need that.

I should send Bea my two dogs and four cats. They’d wipe out the new floor gains in a Teulon second. Shazzy, my German Shepherd-border collie cross, is shedding enough fur to insulate a new 4,000-square-foot home, daily.

Bea says she is particularly pleased with extending the cabinets and counter (new granite, of course), tying the kitchen and dining room together, which combined with lighter colours (especially the flooring) gives a feeling of increased space and flow.

Bea, Niqii and Maowzers couldn’t be happier with their renewed "digs." Thanks for sharing your reno with your old hometown and province, Bea. Looks absolutely fabulous... as do YOU! Cheers.

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