Trinidad On The Park
When I first met Robert and Sharon, I realized that despite their different cultural backgrounds -Robert is Canadian, born on the Prairies, Sharon is Caribbean- they both had a keen sense of beauty and artistic taste, and they both wanted those sensibilities to be reflected in their new home. My job was, therefore, to help them define and refine their aesthetic sense and fulfill their desire to bring the feelings of tropical warmth and welcome into their kitchen, in such a way that those characteristics would flow into the open space configuration of their Montréal apartment.
Of course, the kitchen is not an island in itself, even though the island is a significant feature of this kitchen. Not only does it serve as a divider between the «older» row of dark cherry cabinets along one wall and the new neutrals accented by whimsical black door handles on the facing wall, but it is the center of activity and a focal meeting point for family and friends. Because of the island’s unimposing design and restrained tones, the stainless steel appliances that Robert and Sharon inherited with the apartment, fit unobtrusively into their remodeled surroundings.
It had been determined early on in this project that the backsplash would be unique to Robert and Sharon. The lack of windows in the kitchen proved to be a particular challenge for Sharon, who felt that having a view from one’s kitchen window was a must. Therefore, if one was unable to open a window onto the world from one’s kitchen, then the solution was to bring it in. In this way, the kitchen would be a room with a view. Brilliant!
The search for the backsplash was undertaken with great fervor; numerous tropical landscapes were considered, so many of them familiar and favoured by both Robert and Sharon. But, the image that was eventually chosen could not be more perfect or more personal to this couple: Grande Rivière on the north coast of Trinidad is a nature lover’s sanctuary. It is also a favourite place for Sharon who has witnessed the enormous leatherback turtles lay their eggs on this beach. «The sacredness of this location is to be revered and celebrated » she says. What better way than to have this beautiful image as the main decorative feature in your kitchen where family and friends gather to prepare and share meals and celebrate life in all its manifestations.