I work with clients all the time designing for kitchen renovations in Winnipeg, but Back in March of 2011 I didn’t realize how much work I was getting myself into when I purchased the 1952, 950sq. ft. bungalow located in River Heights for my design studio. And I am a designer.  I can just hear anyone who has recently done kitchen renovations in Winnipeg saying I told you so.  Even though I was using the space as a design studio, show room and office I still wanted to be able make sure it still remained a home for re-sale value.

The entire home was extremely dated with its 1950s decor. The most challenging part of the renovation was the kitchen.


The Kitchen was extremely small, 8×12, with 3 doors entering in to it. Like all 1950’s homes, mine had one central hallway with doors exiting from it into several different rooms.








To increase the overall size of the kitchen 3 walls where torn down, one between the kitchen and hall, one between the bedroom and the kitchen, and one between the front bedroom and the hall creating more of an open concept design.


Contractors cleaning up after tearing walls down.  It is important to find good contractors who are familiar with doing kitchen renovations in Winnipeg to ensure provincial and city code are followed.

Drywall in progress

IMG_0224The space, although opened up, was still small for what I wanted to fit in to the space.  I still had to plan for a dining area and an eat up counter.  In order to do this I followed the design concepts of the Europeans who are so good a designing for small spaces.  I have worked with multiple clients designing kitchen renovations in Winnipeg, but never had the chance to step out of the box and try something new.  I have always used North American standards to design kitchens for clients.  Because this was my own property, I would have to be the one that lived with the consequences if the European concepts did not work for a North American home.

The outside of the house was very contemporary, so when I designed the kitchen I wanted to ensure that this same style flowed throughout the home. For this reason I chose to design and install a very modern contemporary kitchen.

kitchenBecause  there was only 12″ of space between the wall and the door exiting down to the basement a bank of lower cabinets only 12″ in depth was installed.  Although such a small depth is not usually done in North America this is common in most European kitchens. After working in the kitchen I find the small depth actually more convenient and easier to access pantry items which I keep readily on hand.

In Europe it is common to have the range back on to the sink.  When I designed the kitchen I wondered if this was going to function as wonderfully as the Europeans said that it would. Again, after working in the kitchen to prepare meals they function wonderfully.  If I am doing dishes and a pot starts to boil over I just reach over and remove the lid.

The kitchen functions very efficiently. The counter opposite the fridge serves as an excellent work area preparing meals. Quick and easy access to both sink and fridge with ample space on the opposite side to prep meals that need to be cooked on the stove top.

In Europe the eat up counter would likely not have been added and this space would have been reduced to serve as a work area at the end of the counter between the sink and the stove.  But I wanted an eat up counter and this may have slightly reduced the efficiency of the kitchen.  But in the end I am glad it is there. Like all eat up counters, it seems to be the hub of entertainment. Whether its friends who stop by after work to visit, business associates, company representatives, and clients we always end up around the counter, socializing, discussing business, or looking at samples or blueprints.

After working in the kitchen I can safely say that I am glad I stepped out of the box and used European concepts to design my kitchen.  I am very happy with the way that it functions and the overall look of it.  The European concepts of kitchen design can be easily adapted to suit any kitchen cabinet style, contemporary, transitional, and traditional.  So if anyone is doing kitchen renovations in Winnipeg and has to work with a small space we can easily adapt our North American cabinetry styles to popular European layouts.

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

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"Dear Sherri, Thank you so much for all your hard work. We were thrilled with the results and now hope to sit down with the architect to finalize the house plans."

- Irene and Dan Tapley

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