It’s tough to think about removing an existing pantry, but in the case of this Canadian kitchen, it was a no-brainer for interior designer Aniko Nicholson. Getting rid of the pantry’s awkwardly angled walls and taking over the space opened up myriad possibilities — a larger island, a range alcove that serves as a focal point, more room to walk around and a better flow between rooms.

As for aesthetics, the designer picked up on cues from one of the homeowners’ favorite home decor shops and the couple’s affinity for wood finishes. The owners had grown up in Haliburton, Ontario, also known as Cottage Country. “This instilled in them a deep appreciation for the outdoors and the rustic charm of cottage living, inspiring the inclusion of a shiplap ceiling in our design,” Nicholson says. The result is a farmhouse kitchen infused with contemporary touches and a well-balanced mix of beautiful textures.

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