Professional bakers design a chic kitchen reno for their Thornhill home – Waterloo Region Record

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Anat and Lior Aronovich know professional kitchens.
For 30 years, the husband-and-wife team behind the popular Amadeus Patisserie have been creating decadent pastries and decorating custom cakes for loyal customers. At home, they bring their passion to their own kitchen where they and their three children Eden, 26, Dana, 22, and Eitan, 18, are avid chefs.
“We’re all cooking and baking constantly in the house, and we entertain a lot,” said Anat.
Although their Thornhill home is only 12 years old, this level of industry had taken a toll on the kitchen so Anat designed a new one from scratch. She wanted to incorporate the same streamlined functionality of their professional kitchens and introduce a more modern look.
“The kitchen is huge and I was already maximizing the space, but we do things differently now than we used to and I have a better idea of what works best for us. I wanted to further maximize the space, bring in more storage and make it more functional for the way we use it,” said Anat.
Working with Simona Taroni, a Scavolini Toronto Italian kitchen designer, she envisioned a dramatic new room that offers hidden delights for any serious cook and baker.
The dark colour scheme takes centre stage, belying the functionality behind it. Taroni says they chose Fenix and charcoal oak for the cabinetry, interspersing brass elements and a ceiling-high marble backsplash imported from Italy to add depth and interest.
“Fenix is what we call the ‘black label’ of laminate. It has a beautiful, smooth texture, it’s fingerprint resistant and is very easy to clean. It’s often used in office furniture because it can take a lot of wear and tear. In this kitchen, it’s modern and elegant,” said Taroni.
The oversized island — ideal for rolling out dough — was refinished with durable leather granite and extra features that help make baking projects more efficient. “The island is our largest workspace, and the smooth granite surface is very important for opening doughs. Nothing sticks to it,” said Anat.
“We added a hydraulic shelf right in the island to hold our heavy, professional KitchenAid mixer. I always struggled to haul it out and now I can pop it up and use it without lifting a thing. We also added electrical outlets in the island so our other small appliances can be plugged in and used easily,” said Anat.
They designed hidden storage in cabinet ‘dead spaces’ to house things like the toaster that comes out on a rollout shelf, a concealed door for cookbooks and vertical dividers for storing and sliding out industrial-size baking trays.
Growing up in Israel with Italian and Polish parents, Anat has an extensive spice collection that is neatly arrayed in a custom drawer complete with interior lighting. “All the drawers have light. You open them and it’s like, ‘Ta da!’”
Anat was excited to get brand new storage solutions by swapping out a standalone buffet for a sleek pantry that can handle the high volume of supplies for this busy household. “We designed a full-depth pantry that mirrors the look of the kitchen cabinetry. It has pullouts that can store everything, including dog food and even a vacuum,” said Taroni.
When it came to outfitting the new kitchen with appliances, they splurged on top-of-the-line Gaggenau appliances built into the kitchen cabinetry for a seamless and minimalist look. Replacing the microwave with a steam oven was a tough sell to her kids and switching from gas burners to a Delinea induction range was also an adjustment, but Anat says they all appreciate the precision and higher quality they offer.
“For someone who uses the kitchen a lot, a durable space and good tools are very important. With these new materials, we don’t have to worry about anything getting damaged. The kitchen can take it,” she said.
As the final piece de resistance, Scavolini built a stand-alone modern cabinet with concealed and exposed storage as well as built-in spotlights to showcase the family’s wine collection and special dinnerware.
Today, the sun-drenched kitchen is an elegant and supremely functional space where the whole family loves to assemble and create. Anat says the renovation has elevated their favourite room.
“This is where we spend most of our time and I wanted it to feel right and operate efficiently. In the evening, it has a lounge vibe to it. Dim lighting and the dark cabinetry makes me feel calm.”
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