KitchenContemporary Kitchen, Ottawa

Our clients, both avid cooks, wished for a classic “triangle” kitchen for ease of use and efficiency when preparing meals. They also wished for a space that was well suited for entertaining, and had a simple and modern aesthetic. The resulting kitchen stands out with its custom glass backsplash lit by LED strip lighting that shifts between various colours throughout the day and night. Maple flat panel doors, trimmed with a 4” cherry border emphasize the strong horizontal and vertical geometry of the design.

The kitchen contains two built-in refrigerators with freezer drawers, a custom cookbook area with steel roll top covering, and a sink large enough to accommodate a baking tray. Glass artist Detlef Gotzens was called in to design a tempered recycled glass backsplash, and an island “bridge” of the same material. To complete the look, oiled 2” thick soapstone is used as countertop material, contrasting with the liquid quality of the glass and the warm glow of the wood.

The kitchen is separated functionally from the rest of the home by a custom rectangular wood clad structure that contains storage and an appliance garage on the side facing into the kitchen and a powder room on the side facing the hall. This feature unit gives the kitchen a strong architectural component and helps to further enhance the sharp geometry of the design.

The maple and cherry millwork is continued beyond the kitchen and throughout the entire ground floor, seamlessly integrating this stunning gem of a kitchen into this light filled contemporary home.

Example of a trendy kitchen design in Ottawa with an undermount sink, flat-panel cabinets and light wood cabinets —  Houzz
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This photo has 14 questions
janetkao1 wrote:Aug 26, 2013
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc

    Hi! Thank you for the kind words and for your interest in our project. Here's a detail of how we installed the glass backsplash & LED colour changing light. The LED tape light was installed behind the glass and on the underside of the upper cabinets. This allowed the valence to cover any "hot spots" the LED light may have caused. We would suggest sticking to neutral colours or the glass; either frosted or a slight tint of grey. Patterned glass allows a very interesting affect as well (as seen in in our kitchen design). Hope this helps! Please keep us posted on the progress on you reno.

  • helenelistel
    Thank you so much & will do!
james engstler wrote:May 7, 2013
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    In this specific installation the LED tape light was placed below the upper cabinets (underside) and behind the glass. The upper cabinet include a valence, which masks the source of the light.
  • Samay Alvarez

    Does the artist that did this work for you do work for private customers?

Diane Seiden wrote:Feb 11, 2013
  • PRO
    Glass is very durable and impossible to stain. We make bars and restaurants counters. The glass is 1.5 inch thick and has a textured bottom that makes finger prints and small scratches disappear. Since 1999 that ThinkGlass is making glass applications. We have hotels and retails store that put our glass in every new hotels or stores that they open. Even these high traffic places can see that glass is a spectacular and durable material for countertops.
  • Monica Kinsella

    this kitchen back splash is spectacular, i am looking for someone in Manhattan to help me achieve something similar on my new kitchen walls. Absolutely stunning design.

meecho wrote:Nov 3, 2013
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    We're not sure about the costs of the LED fixture however they are now readily available which, in turn, reduces its cost.

    The glass used on the ceiling was created by a local artist; I believe he used 1/2" tempered glass.
  • briggsba

    Is the ceiling glass clear? Did you use "Hang Your Glass" pieces to attach glass to the ceiling? What is the ceiling material behind the ceiling glass?

mhehp wrote:Nov 13, 2014
  • Talmage Dangerfield

    Wow, that looks really amazing. Did you have that piece of glass custom made? I really like the way that all of the led lights look behind the glass as well. Thank you so much for sharing these ideas.

  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc

    Thank you! The glass was custom made by a local artist. He does fabulous work! Here's a link to their site,

jgaval1 wrote:Dec 24, 2013
  • jgaval1
    I just saw this. I love the way you did the kitchen unfortunately I live in Massachusetts so I would need to find somewhere online that could possibly do it. How thick is the glass do you know by any chance?
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    I believe the glass was 3/4" thick. Good luck with your reno and please keep us posted on the progress!
Southam Design Inc wrote:Aug 23, 2012
  • Sheri Willet
    LOVE it! How was the glass attached to the wall?
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    Thank you! The glass was glued to the wall.
jgaval1 wrote:May 28, 2014
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    Hello! There are LED strip lights installed behind the glass which are hidden by the cabinet valence. The same LED strip lights are installed in the ceiling cove above the island. Here's a sketch of a ceiling cove that displays how the lighting is "tucked " into the ceiling so only the light can be seen and not the fixture itself.
Lisa Gildar Interior Spaces wrote:Aug 9, 2013
wc0001 wrote:May 8, 2013
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    Wish I could help but, unfortunately, the client selected and purchased the floor.
Bonnie Gause wrote:Feb 14, 2013
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    Hi! The cabinets are natural maple with a cherry accent.
fabysegovia wrote:Jan 1, 2013
  • PRO
    Southam Design Inc
    The black counters are soapstone and the piece in the island is a custom made glass panel from a local artist.
Melissa Crowley McHale wrote:Aug 15, 2018

    What Houzz contributors are saying:

    Karen LeBlanc Design TV Host & Writer/Blogger added this to The Lowdown on High-Efficiency LED LightingApr 8, 2013

    Color-changing strip lighting in this kitchen casts a soft blue glow behind the custom glass backsplash. The lighting shifts between various colors throughout the day and night.The average cost for a decent-quality LED color-changing system is $500 for 17 feet with a controller and driver.

    What Houzzers are commenting on:

    loscocco added this to kitchenAug 10, 2019

    Cabnets and shelf above window,dark countertops, love the darker wood at the top

    Nick Young added this to KitchenAug 5, 2019

    Interesting glass back splash with lighting options

    Pinnacle Group added this to Robinson masterJul 22, 2019

    something simple with frosted glass

    setsplus added this to Osoyoos ideasJun 26, 2019

    Recycled glass backsplash! Like to know how they countersunk the cooktop. I like that idea. Possible recycled glass insert for our c/t as well

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