Before & After: Markland Woods Kitchen and Family Room Renovation

At Inspire Homes, we recently completed a large scale kitchen and family room renovation on a Markland Woods home in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.

This house, originally built in the early 1960s, had a dated kitchen that wasn’t suited for a busy family with growing children. The kitchen lacked much-needed storage and counter space, and the cabinetry was tired and worn.


Before: The kitchen had very little working space and a cramped footprint.

The placement of the old appliances didn’t make for a functional layout and the eat-in kitchen was under-utilized. With bulkheads lining the ceiling and a small window that brought in little natural light, the kitchen was dark and closed in – definitely not an inspiring place to gather with family and share a meal.


Before: The bulkheads took up valuable storage space and made the kitchen feel closed in and dated.

As we do with all kitchen renovations, we started with design. And, as with many other kitchen renovations, the homeowners had a vision of an open concept space, but no other thoughts on how to make the kitchen more functional. Our design team went to work and created the concept of an entirely new layout for the space – a space that would be anchored by a sizeable island in the middle and feature two walls anchored with major appliances. The kitchen would go from one that was difficult for two people to work in at one time, to one that three or four people could happily co-exist on the cooking side of the kitchen. On the entertaining side of the kitchen, the large island comfortably accommodates another four people.

This was a large-scale renovation – the entire kitchen was gutted right down to the exterior block and interior stud walls, providing us with a blank canvas. The bulkheads were also removed and the wall between the kitchen and family room was taken down to create an open concept living space. As a result, extensive electrical and mechanical work was required to support the new layout, and new insulation, drywall and hardwood floors were also installed.

The under-utilized eat-in kitchen was also eliminated to create more useable space for new custom cabinetry and an island. This layout offers the homeowners a more efficient working triangle and far more storage than ever before. Beautiful, high-end Thermador appliances, including a gas stove, were also incorporated into the kitchen’s design – every culinary aficionado’s dream!

Classic white custom cabinets with dove tail drawers and soft close hardware were installed throughout the kitchen, complete with fridge and dishwasher panels for a sleek, uncluttered look. Pull-out drawers, glass cabinet doors and pantry space were also incorporated into the design.


After: Classic white cabinets, quartz countertops, and hardwood floors.

To improve the lighting in the space, the kitchen window was made larger and designed to match the height and style of the adjacent patio doors. A combination of energy-efficient LED potlights, pendants, under-cabinet and in-cabinet lights also add to the brightness of the space, providing the right mix of task and mood lighting.

In the connecting family room, the fireplace was converted from wood to gas and was relocated to become the focal point of the room. A white mantle with tile surround was also added to the fireplace and flanked with built-in cabinets and shelving for added storage. The fireplace remodel was an important part of the renovation, as it tied the family room into the open concept kitchen by using the same materials for a cohesive look.


After: Family room with gas fireplace, mantle, and built-in shelves.

From dark and tired to bright and open, this Etobicoke kitchen and family room renovation is a great example of how the right design, materials and construction can reinvigorate the heart of the home.

To view more photos from this stunning renovation project, please click here.