The 80s Vista Remodel: Kitchen & Dining Area

From the second we walked in the door, this house assailed us with its homage to 80s glam. Picture a sea of golden oak, polished brass, and a crazy circular bar built into the stairs of a sunken living room. (Why, people, why??)

I could go on and on here (“sunshine ceiling” that was fooling no one, awkward sauna bed in the master bath…), but let’s just say it was a startling experience.

What I haven’t mentioned yet was the prize at the end of this 80s love poem — a million-dollar view. 

The home’s location was, is, simply spectacular. Nestled right in the foothills of Northwest Calgary, it overlooks rolling hills and a gorgeous city skyline. If you could look past the ode to golden oak, the home had major potential…

…and we couldn’t wait to give it a contemporary update for a lucky modern family!

Ready to see how it turned out?

Just a quick peek!


Since this was a fairly large project, let’s start with the kitchen and dining area. We knew the home would be sold to a large or multigenerational family who would frequently entertain, and, of course, that it needed an aesthetic that maximised the view.

Here’s what we had to do…

• Open up the kitchen to flow with the rest of the space

• Make the kitchen functional for a large group (always more difficult in large spaces)

• Solve the lack of upper cabinet storage space

• Allow for multiple cooks in the kitchen

• Bring in a soft, modern aesthetic that wouldn’t detract from the view


Ahh… no golden oak! We transformed this kitchen into an open kitchen and dining area. The size of the space seems like it would be a designer’s dream, but I’ll tell it to you straight — creating a workable plan for a large kitchen takes some deep thought and planning.

After many iterations, we finally landed on this perfect scenario. Let’s zoom in…

Textured finishes on the neutral backsplash tile and cabinet doors were selected to soften sleek rectilinear lines. We were able to conceal the hood fan as well, keeping this large space feeling clean and sleek, without compromising function.

This spectacular gas range is the showy centrepiece of the space — those red knobs.

We used this piece to anchor the kitchen, while offering maximum function: six burners and griddle, perfect for churning out meal after meal.

The double Island configuration allows the host to segregate the hardworking cooking zone from family shenanigans or party guests. A convenient trough sink in the second island acts as the perfect ice bucket for beverages.

And behind those smoked glass doors, we have…

A butler’s pantry! Complete with wet bar and additional storage. It also has a microwave and under-counter beverage fridge, perfect for a lunch station or as backup during large events.

This generous butler’s pantry also leads to the mudroom and has a chalkboard wall perfect for jotting down grocery lists or notes for the family calendar. Function, function, function.

And behind door number 2…

A refrigerator that is the stuff of legends. A combination of an all-fridge and an all-freezer guarantee enough storage to feed this large family. Sub-zero refrigeration technology also ensures that bulk purchases will stay fresh longer. These are the problems big families have!


Let’s zoom back on out to the dining area…

We knew a dining area near the kitchen would be essential for entertaining. We selected upholstered chairs with graceful curves to keep the “softness” in our modern theme, and this modern traditional chandelier adds an extra soupçon d’élégance.

P.s. There’s another bar and extra storage area behind those glass mirrors!

Textured finishes on the wood floors introduce more softness into the space… and would you look at those stairs peeking out in the background? Hello, beautiful.

Okay, this might just be my favourite part of the kitchen and dining duo… this tea, reading, conversing, whatever-you-want-it-to-be nook. Can’t you imagine yourself soaking up the view right here with a good drink? Bliss.

The black window accents are also the perfect touch to ground the space and to attract the eye toward the spectacular view outside. Be still, my fluttering heart.

There you have it… a fresh, modern update that is as beautiful as it is functional. I love that I could show you the extent to which we take the needs of the homeowners to heart when we design.

After all, beauty is nice to look at, but if the home doesn’t work for your needs, you’re not going to be living your happiest, most peaceful life… and you should. You absolutely should.

Ready to start planning your own dream project? Talk to us. ;*