• Jul 25, 2014
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Creating a Kitchen with Sandra Nash

Designer Q&A Trends Articles Cabinets Hardwood Kitchen Living Room Metallics Tile Traditional Transitional Whites

Sandra Nash Kitchen Design

Q: What was your inspiration for this space?

SANDRA NASH: My inspiration for this space was nature. The home was built adjacent to a protected conservation space, designed to feel like a natural retreat…. a cottage, flooded with natural light, surrounded by nature and wildlife, such as a herd of deer and a flowing creek.  The family room has a high cathedral ceiling with wood beams. So nature it was!

The granite Island surface became the inspiration for the complete colour palette of the space. Soft yellow, cream, gray, black, and not to forget the silver/pewter metallics.

Sandra Nash Kitchen Design

Q: How did the importance of functionality play into this kitchen design?

SANDRA NASH: In an open concept kitchen and family room space such as this, where the great room/family room are open with the kitchen, the space typically serves 4-5 functions for its occupants.  Therefore, it’s important to understand the lifestyle of the occupants, as it’s not just about the kitchen’s function, but rather, how it fits into their lives and how the space will be used.

In such a large, open space, the ISLAND serves as the “ANCHOR” ….the solution if you will, that defines the kitchen space from the family room space. I asked myself, “What will be done at this ISLAND in addition to cooking and eating?” “How often or how many cooks?”

So here’s the list I came up with….

  • Cooking
  • Food prep
  • Cleaning
  • Eating
  • Entertaining/ socializing
  • Homework
  • House projects
  • Recycling, garbage
  • Dishwasher
  • Warming food in the microwave (hidden out of sight on the backside of the island)
  • Running small appliances or electronics from outlet on island
  • Bottle storage

Once we figured out what we wanted our island “to do”, the rest of the kitchen design fell into place.

One last note, lighting was instrumental to the functionality of this space, not only as a matter of design and atmosphere, but as a safety issue when handling sharp/hot kitchenware. It’s a bonus that the more light you have, the better you can showcase all the design elements.

Sandra Nash Kitchen Design

Q: What are some tips for creating an open kitchen that complements the rest of the house?

SANDRA NASH: Life revolves around the kitchen…. the heart of the home. In this space, it’s designed around entertainment and bringing family together…an entertainer's paradise encompassing the ultimate in technology with an open, effortless flow. Its perfection for family gatherings and parties with the huge central living and dining room, with fine custom cabinetry.

Through the use of colour we either complimented or contrasted the adjoining rooms (the rooms that lead into or from our kitchen/great room).

Within the kitchen and family room, I see the flow of the space while entertaining as follows…

  1. The kitchen Island is where you serve your cocktails and socialize pre-meal
  2. You move to the table, where you eat
  3. You move from the table to the adjacent sitting area for the coffee and dessert.

(You listen to music and or TV throughout all 3).

Sandra Nash Kitchen Design

Q: What are some of the unique features in this kitchen design?


  • Oversized single piece of granite imported from Italy for the island, large enough for 3 cooks to work at once
  • Paneled, multi leveled coffered ceilings
  • Pot-filler stove tap
  • Vents carved into the cabinetry baseboards (rather than using vent covers)
  • microwave hidden and built into the backside of the island
  • Exceptional high-end kitchen faucet and sink
  • Double-drawer Fisher and Paykel dishwasher
  • Pull-out cabinets for recycling, garbage and green bin disposal
  • Recessed under-cabinet LED lighting, pendant task lighting as well as LED pot-lights
  • Electrical outlets for small appliances in the island
  • Central Vacuum kick-plate in the island

Sandra Nash Kitchen Design

Q: How do you create the right type of kitchen to best fit your lifestyle?

SANDRA NASH: Good design is not about following the latest fashion. It is more about being well-fashioned. Design starts and ends with understanding….understanding the occupants of the space, and how they will use the space. Good design is often invisible. It serves the purpose without calling attention to itself, and when it’s well-designed. It just makes sense.





Sandra began in the interior design business in 1990. Making A Scene is the realization of her passion for design. Her journey towards creating an award winning Design Company began many years beforehand. Sandra’s diverse experience includes being a Designer and motivational speaker/writer. She has appeared on Home and Garden TV.

Her interior design practice specializes in decorating high-end homes, for high profile clientele, as well as upscale bars and restaurants in Toronto. She also does Builder model show homes. She is passionate about interior decorating, her natural creative talent.


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