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Designer Nike Onile transforms her condo’s kitchen into a chic chef’s paradise

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Spatial artist, master of holistic design, and owner of Toronto design firm Ode Studio, Nike Onile recently completed renovating the kitchen in her downtown condo. The redesign was inspired by nature, paying tribute to the contrasting sea and its shoreline. We sat down with Nike to talk about the project, from her colour palette choice and the decision to mix and match different shades of Dekton, to how wellness was integrated into the final design. The result? A dynamic kitchen with a beautiful balance of stylish finishes and supreme functionality.

Where did you find the inspiration behind your kitchen redesign?
In undertaking the renovation of my home, it became very clear that the entire project had to have its design set based on wellness in the home. More than ever, people are realizing the impact their physical space has on their wellbeing – mentally, physically and emotionally. With this reno, I wanted to help demystify and provide strategies that inspire wellness and create a special space for myself that supported a healthy, full and rich lifestyle.

How did you decide on your colour palette and finishes for your kitchen?
This kitchen is a complete ode to contrast! I am a huge admirer of nature and how it harmoniously exists in perfect yin-yang. I visit bodies of water often and just sit in awe of their beauty. The movement and flow of the sea against the solid permanence of shore-side rocks is captivating. It’s this contrast that makes it so mesmerizing and stunningly beautiful. When designing my kitchen, I wanted to bring pieces of that beauty home with me. Paying homage to the duality that lives within the sea and the earth, the colour palette features the lightness and movement of Dekton Bergen’s solid surface, paired with its counter in Dekton Kelya.

When planning your design, what were some of the “must-haves” you needed in your finished space?
I knew that I absolutely required a kitchen that not only inspired me to get into it and use it often but also one that offers the practicality and ease of everyday use. Being a small space, it required careful and deliberate planning to maximize its space and functionality. Some of my design considerations included:

  • Tearing down walls and opening up the space to increase sightlines and allow light to pour into the kitchen
  • Maximizing height in the space by taking the cabinets up to the ceiling
  • Maximizing storage by adding a seamless floating shelf along the full height of the backsplash in the same material
  • Maximizing counter space by integrating the microwave into the cabinetry
  • Maximizing efficiency – cost, environmental and time-wise – opting to reface cabinets and selecting durable products that are easy to maintain

Why did you choose Dekton for your countertops and backsplash?
It’s simple – it looks absolutely incredible, and it fits in with my goals of maximizing efficiency. Dekton is extremely durable since the surface is non-porous, making it low maintenance and easy to clean, and it doesn’t require any sealing like marble. It is stain and fade resistant. Unlike quartz surfaces, it is highly resistant to heat, making it user-friendly by allowing hot pots, pans and utensils to sit directly on its surface without burning, cracking or causing damage. Dekton is also harder than marble on the Mohs scale, making it scratch-resistant as well. I also liked that it is an engineered material, which provides less variation in each slab design. You know exactly the type of colour and veining you’re getting each time!

How did you mix and match different Dekton shades in your space?
When choosing differing surfaces that will be installed close to each other, maintaining balance is important. Start with the countertop surface that will be the star of the space and set the tone for the overall design. For me, that was Dekton Bergen. Then you choose a finish that complements but does not compete with your star surface. This is very important. I liked that Bergen is incredibly veiny in its design, so it was essential to pick a surface that complemented it with beautiful subtlety. In my books, this couldn’t be anything other than Dekton Keyla. The refined beauty of Keyla was a natural fit and perfect pair for the energetic flow of Bergen. For me, these two are a match made in surfaces heaven!

What about your kitchen design makes it unique?
Most definitely the black-on-black backdrop of the back wall. The cabinets, all the appliances, and countertops are all shades of black. In my experience, this would make most people nervous, but for me, it’s exciting! It sets the perfect backdrop for the lightness and boldness of the peninsula to sit centre stage.

For more information on Nike Onile, visit her website or Instagram account. 

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