When deciding whether or not to renovate your kitchen, there are always reasons to put it off — despite growing collections of dog-eared magazines. For the couple who live in this Vancouver home with their oneyear-old son, having an open-concept kitchen with plenty of seating and kid-friendly finishes were the main motivators to finally take the plunge. “At the top of their list was a large island with seating and a designated bar area,” says designer Melanie Finkleman, who runs the Vancouver firm Hazel + Brown Design with her husband, Ben. With three boys of her own, Melanie was the perfect person to design a pretty kitchen that can withstand a few punches. Kid-proof quartz composite countertops are offset with a luxe Calacatta marble tile on the backsplash, where it’s less likely to get stained or dinged. “I used white for the counters and walls to create the illusion of boundless space,” says Melanie. Engineered white oak flooring is easy to maintain through the “uh-oh” moments a family throws at it. “The woods help balance the sophisticated finishes, creating a relaxed aesthetic,” she adds. Overall, the space is light and airy. “My favourite thing about this kitchen is how warm and welcoming it feels. This is definitely a place to enjoy spending time with friends and family.