PROJECT REVEAL | A light and airy kitchen


Earlier this summer saw the completion of a very satisfying kitchen renovation.

When we first went to take a look at this space, we could see how desperately the clients wanted and needed a kitchen upgrade for their beloved family home.


The existing kitchen was a cramped L shape with the addition of some ad hoc cabinets for additional storage, dark cabinets that had seen better days, a sink facing a wall, hard to reach storage and an interesting backsplash in the form of a painted Dutch landscape on panelling - a first for us! What particularly stood out was how cut off from the dining and living spaces this kitchen was, which seemed at odds with this friendly and sociable family. It was definitely time to breathe some new life into this space.

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Scenic Acres Kitchen Before 1.jpg
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THE SOLUTION : Here’s what we did

  • removed the wall between the living room and kitchen, allowing us to improve the flow, connection and light to both areas

  • replaced the existing flooring throughout the entire main floor (a mix of linoleum and carpet) with a luxury vinyl plank; using the same floor throughout visually makes the space appear larger

  • added layers of lighting with a combination of recessed lights and pendants

  • installed two tone cabinetry in a matte white finish and white oak, keeping it looking fresh and bright but still warm

  • added a peninsula to create more counter space, additional storage (on both sides - cleverly concealed with touch latches on the living room side) as well as a casual seating area for that all important morning coffee

  • to expand on the existing storage we included drawers in the pantry, took the wall cabinets to the ceiling, installed pull outs in the blind corner cabinets, added plenty of drawers and a garbage/recycling pull out

  • installed a beautiful quartz counter with a honed finish providing a textural contrast to the glossy tiles

  • replaced the backsplash panelling with glossy tiles in a stunning sage green that have a handmade quality to them - for added impact (and because we all loved them so much) we ran them up to the ceiling on the window wall

  • installed a granite composite sink and chrome faucet

  • upgraded all the appliances

  • completed the look with a combination of chrome and matte black hardware

  • in addition we re-arranged the living room furniture for better flow, and planned built-in storage in the dining room for a later phase.


The difference in the space is frankly, jaw dropping! We are thrilled with how removing one wall has opened up the entire main floor to feel bright, spacious and connected and at the same time created a functional, sociable kitchen.

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What do you think to this transformation? Are you as in love with these sage tiles as we are? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by!


After photos by Photo4Design

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Caireen Kennedy Designer - Shift Modern Home.jpg

Hi, I'm Caireen, a down-to-earth, approachable designer ready to help you shift your home from blah to ooh-la-la.

Most days you can find me at my desk with a pile of samples, a cup of tea and a tape measure close at hand. I have a thing for modern, comfortable spaces inspired by the mid-century aesthetic.

To follow along with my various projects sign up below for my monthly-ish articles, and like, comment and join in on the fun over on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

I can't wait to meet you!




Goodness. It’s almost a full six months since I last posted on this little blog.

I’ve debated as to whether I should hit ‘publish’ or not for this post. This one is way more personal, and not design based at all. (Feel free to skip if this is not your thing!)

But I did want to explain a little of why I have been absent over here. (In advance, I thank you if you choose to stick with this long post to the end.)


In many ways 2018 feels like it has been our family’s ‘annus horribilis’. (Can you hear the Queen saying that in her speech of 1992?)


The photo of our tiny little ensuite above, completed for the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, was our most popular Instagram post last year. (Thank you BTW. I’m always so grateful for every like and comment over on the ‘gram.) In a weird coincidence, the day this was published was the first of several set backs for us a family.


I’ll keep it brief, I promise! We started the year with intentions and goals in place, ready to work them into being. With both Graham and I being self employed, in a city in deep recession, there were days and weeks where small business ownership felt like we were riding a bike uphill in high gear, but we continued forward making progress. Admittedly, there were days that we wondered if we were nuts to keep going, but keep going we did!

In May, the day I posted the bathroom reveal photo, our eldest son was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in downtown Calgary, sustaining facial injuries and a concussion. A few months later our youngest son had his car stolen from outside his workplace, found later with the interior trashed and his personal possessions taken. Over the summer, our much anticipated move to Ontario was de-railed leaving us crushingly disappointed. And finally, I learnt that I require hip replacement surgery. Yep, I feel like I’m 85!


To be honest, as the year drew to a close, I felt like I wanted to say ‘good riddance’ and move on without reflection. But I read something that encouraged me to review the victories and lessons of the year.

And I’m glad I took the time to do so.



While it was devastating to see my 19 and 17 year olds deal with the random acts of violence and selfishness that they experienced, both dealt with the adversities they were faced with, walked through the pain and have come out the other side as the positive and kind people they have always been. I believe they are more resilient to life’s twists and turns as a result.

The boys’ transition into adulthood is perhaps the hardest phase of parenting in my opinion, as you can’t control every circumstance that comes their way. (Seriously. The Terrible Twos look like a walk in the park these days!) Nor can you anticipate how they might react.

But I am immensely proud of who they are, how they dealt with their respective situations and I count myself so lucky to have these two beautiful, funny souls in my life.


Graham and I had to take time to reflect, discuss and re-adjust our plans in the wake of the move not happening. We asked ourselves deeper questions to get to the heart of what we wanted and how we planned to get there.

We are still in process with this, but thankfully we are on the same page, and I am so grateful to have him by my side as we journey through life together.

On another positive note, I did get all the renovations done, in three weeks no less! Woo hoo me! And we now get to enjoy a new bathroom, basement and refreshed kitchen. (I will take proper photos soon, I promise!)

But I’m still planning a move…more on that another time.

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Knowing what the issue is brings a certain amount of peace (I was getting so frustrated with not knowing the cause of the pain). Although there are days where the pain feels all encompassing, and it is tough to maintain a positive mindset and not get grumpy as heck, (I fail, regularly!) I am hopeful that this year will bring a resolution and I can get back to a more active lifestyle.



Honestly, I have been truly blessed with wonderful clients and great contractors this year. I am truly honoured and humbled to create liveable spaces that my clients call home or work. Every year my creativity is challenged along with my business acumen, and these have all been put to the test further this year with the happenings in my personal life. (I’m not so great at compartmentalizing my life it seems!)

April saw a re-brand to ‘Shift Modern Home’ as a reflection of where I wanted to take the business. I am always amazed at how the internal environment and design of a home or office can provide lasting change for how people live and function in a space. It creates a noticeable ‘shift’, and I wanted this reflected in the name of my business. In addition I wanted to attract clients with a love for modern and mid-century aesthetic, and Nikki of Fetching Finn captured this perfectly with the new logo design.

While I have less completed projects this year, in part due to increasingly larger scopes, I do have a few snapshots of projects to share - some to be fully finished early in 2019!

In spite of an unexpectedly tough year, I still have so many things to be grateful for - a wonderful husband, two amazing sons, extended family and great friends who keep me sane, whether by making me laugh or allowing me to sob my heart out with no judgement.



I’m looking forward to a year of possibility.

Graham and I have borrowed West Jet’s tag line “Love Where You’re Going” from their recent re-brand as our mantra for the year, except it will read “Love Where We’re Going”. This is especially apt as we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in June. (It hardly seems possible that we are that old! LOL)

With our youngest son graduating high school this coming year, and our eldest set to travel the globe, it will be another year of transition as we navigate being ‘kind of empty nesters with teenage basement dwellers’! It’s a weird space to be in folks!

And rather than commit to large, aggressive goals I will be focused on taking small, steady steps towards both business and personal milestones, ensuring that I am being who I want to be in the process.


More than anything my hope is that 2019 is an Annus Mirabilis (a year of miracles!) for us all.

Thanks for stopping by!



Caireen Kennedy Designer - Shift Modern Home.jpg

Hi, I'm Caireen, a down-to-earth, approachable designer ready to help you shift your home from blah to ooh-la-la.

Most days you can find me at my desk with a pile of samples, a cup of tea and a tape measure close at hand. I have a thing for modern, comfortable spaces inspired by the mid-century aesthetic.

To follow along with my various projects sign up below for my weekly-ish articles, and like, comment and join in on the fun over on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

I can't wait to meet you!