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Sabrina Smelko transforms her Whistler cabin in the woods with Dekton

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Renovation projects and challenging designs are no match for remodeling-juggernaut Sabrina Smelko. The former HGTV Canada star and award-winning designer recently took on one of her most important projects to date – her own Whistler cabin built in the 60s that was in serious need of a modern renovation. With the help of Dekton surfaces, Sabrina was able to transform the cabin’s kitchen into a dream space complete with a beautiful nature-inspired island.

We connected with Sabrina to discuss how she took the space from outdated to outstanding.

Image of Copyright Darby Magill 1081 websize 1 in Sabrina Smelko transforms her Whistler cabin in the woods with Dekton - Cosentino

Tell us a bit of your Whistler chalet with breathtaking views!
We live in a small, gated community nestled between Whistler and Squamish, B.C. Our home was built in the 80s as a summer cottage and was designed to match the handful of original A-frame cabins built in the 60s. When we bought it, it had not been touched since it was originally built! It was filled with bunk beds, old-school chalet signage, and lots of knotty pine and terracotta tile.

What were some of the challenges you faced during the renovation?

Detail planning for things to come was the most difficult thing to wrap my head around. We were designing rooms and specific details of walls before drywall was even up, so while it was easy to envision a design, it was hard to measure and plan for things to come later. For example, we ended up mismeasuring our vanity sink height, which affected the location of the wall faucets. Keeping all aspects of the build-in mind with each decision was a challenge.

Image of Screen Shot 2021 04 29 at 10.48.23 AM 1 in Sabrina Smelko transforms her Whistler cabin in the woods with Dekton - Cosentino

Tell us about the design inspiration in your kitchen.

Mother Earth was the inspiration for our whole home, which meant using as many natural and local materials as possible. I designed the kitchen all around the views from our southern windows, ensuring there was open flow across the entire main floor. Because I treated the whole floor as one room, I didn’t want the kitchen to scream “kitchen,” but rather, I wanted something more casual and curated. That meant forgoing upper cabinets, facing all our appliances with cabinetry, and painting them a soft, natural green hue that complements, rather than competes with, our sweeping forest views. The kitchen bleeds into the living space, and it really is the hub of our daily life, so having easy access to treats on the shelf and easy-to-clean surfaces were key.

Image of Screen Shot 2021 04 29 at 10.48.34 AM 1 in Sabrina Smelko transforms her Whistler cabin in the woods with Dekton - Cosentino

When it came time to redesign your new kitchen, what were some of the “must-haves” you wanted to feature in the finished space?

Our island! We’ve been holding onto this slab of maple forever, and when we moved here, we knew it had to be used. After some digging online, we found an antique metal crank table base (which you can raise or lower to dining table height), and it happened to fit the size of the slab perfectly! I can work at it to chop onions or lower it down to eat or work on my laptop.

Why did you choose Dekton for your countertops, and how do they fit with the style of your kitchen?

Since day one, I knew I wanted to match our backsplash with our counters, both for aesthetic reasons and because it’s easier to clean and wipe down (I’m a messy cook)! Dekton has a few thicknesses and oodles of colourways, so it was an easy choice. I really liked that they had unique finishes as well. We love the matte finish of our Dekton Lunar surfaces; they help bring the space together.

Our Dekton surfaces feel natural to the home and offer a clean backdrop to our messy life! The matte finish was also a bonus. The colourway is soft and subtle, and they don’t compete with anything else in the space.

Image of Copyright Darby Magill 0878 websize 1 in Sabrina Smelko transforms her Whistler cabin in the woods with Dekton - Cosentino

For more design and renovation inspiration, visit Sabina’s Instagram profile.

Photography Credit: Darby Magill (@DarbyMagill)


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