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Design: Colourful Kitchens!

DESIGN: Colourful Kitchens!

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DESIGN: Colourful Kitchens!

by Linda Mazur

Kitchens are moving away from simple whites and stainless appliances to a world made of colour, personality and statement-making designs. Kitchens are still the heart of any home, but they have also matured to a space in the home that supports not only the functional aspects, but family life as well as casual entertaining; and as such adding a kick to your kitchen designs with colour can yield huge returns on the design front.

Neutral and white kitchens will always continue to maintain their popularity. The traditional white cabinetry may seem “safe,” but let’s face it … kitchens are an expensive and time-consuming room to renovate, therefore staying relatively neutral can allow you to maximize the longevity of your space and your investment. However, neutral does not need to equal boring.

There are many ways to inject colour in to your kitchen space. From the new popularity of coloured cabinetry, to accessories and coloured appliances, kitchens are developing a life and personality all their own. One colour that we are seeing in everything from faucets to lighting, hardware to appliances is matte black. Matte black adds an element of drama and yet simplicity, modernism and yet a traditional classical feel. Whether your comfort level allows for matte black appliances, or simply a touch of it in your hardware or lighting, matte black undeniably will elevate your kitchen from lifeless neutrals to bold and impactful.

The same can be said for the addition of gold tones to your kitchen design. This warm metal has been appearing in bright tones, aged finishes and one of my personal faves – the unlacquered brass version. Unlacquered brass has a look and feel all its own. Its warm, less formal than polished nickel, less typical than chrome. This finish is organic and ever-evolving. The absence of the lacquer allows the durable solid brass to naturally age over time and develop a beautiful unique patina of colour and texture.

If you are on the hunt for a more whimsical or edgier feel to your kitchen design, then perhaps a brightly coloured gas range from Bertazzoni is more to your liking; or you may want to add a touch of character with a brightly coloured backsplash … either way the injection of colour will not go unnoticed.

Whatever your own personal style, one thing for certain colour has become a strong influencer in the kitchen. Find your inspiration and comfort with colour; and look to inject some life in to your kitchen. Whether it’s simply richly coloured fabrics and wallpaper, a bright yellow gas range or deep earthy green cabinetry that will give your kitchen some character … undoubtedly the new look of your kitchen will be a colourful one!

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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Design: Sinks, Faucets and Countertops ... the Choices are Endless

Design: Sinks, Faucets and Countertops … the Choices are Endless

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Design: Sinks, Faucets and Countertops … the Choices are Endless

by Linda Mazur
Photography by Stephani Buchman and Jason Hartog

Kitchens are one of my favourite rooms to design and with the abundance of options available to us today, kitchens are more exciting than ever! From a multitude of colourful options and wonderfully organic finishes for our faucets, to virtually indestructible materials for our sinks and counters, the choices we have are enough to make our heads spin!

Today the traditional double bowl stainless sink has been pushed aside for options that offer greater style and function, that are designed to not only make our lives simple, but our kitchens look far more attractive. From different finish options other than the classic stainless steel, to a wide selection of colour, shape and size options sinks today have progressed to become a stylish feature instead of just a utilitarian necessity. And, for those of us who are smallspace dwellers, many manufacturers have designed sinks that pull double duty to increase the efficiency in your kitchen. When counterspace is at a premium, these sink options allow you to expand your work surface with add-on accessories such as grid trays, cutting boards, colanders and drain boards. Blanco Canada, one of these great sink manufacturers, offers us both an innovative and well-designed product line. One of my particular favourites – the Ikon apron sink or “farm house sink – is very much en-pointe in kitchen design this year. This sink offers great lines and a slightly tapered profile that gives us a rather modern approach to a traditional classic.

Brass is back with a vengeance and is one of the hottest metals moving forward in kitchen design. This is not the shiny yellow brass of decades past, but rather an unlacquered brass with its beautifully aged and antiqued finish that we are now seeing. This unlacquered brass has a look and feel all its own. It’s warm, less formal than polished nickel, less typical than chrome. This finish is organic and is sometimes referred to as a “living finish”. Because of the absence of the lacquer the durable solid brass is permitted to naturally age over time to develop a beautiful unique patina of colour and texture, that is forgiving of water stains. It offers sophistication, old world charm and yet modernism, and is a wonderful option for your kitchen faucet. Also hot in the world of faucets is colour! Fun can be had with a multitude of colour options for your faucets, but what is most striking is the return of matte black – a chic and classy addition to any kitchen.

We have a long list of options available to us today for countertops. From traditional granite and the ever-classic natural marble, to quartz, wood, and concrete – a trendy option for your kitchen. This year we are also introduced to a new product – Laminam. This is a stain, scratch and heat resistant countertop option that achieves the beauty of natural stone, wood and concrete and requires no maintenance.

With advanced technology and designs that enhance functionality and durability, these new product options will not only look great in our homes, but also add ease and simplicity to our everyday lives. If you’re looking to renovate your space, do a bit of research and consider some of the new and wonderful products on the market today …. sinks, faucets and countertops are not what they used to be!

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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Cover Story: Kitchen Gold

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Cover Story: Kitchen Gold

A condo kitchen redesign adds substantial space and sparkles with slick style

By Yanic Simard • Photography By Valerie Wilcox

They say good things come to those who wait, and this gold-touched kitchen is no exception. I’ve seen time and time again that the best results come with a little patience. After all, a kitchen renovation is a major long-term investment, so it shouldn’t be rushed. I recommend that you plan for your project to include a few bumps in the road, and take plenty of time to prepare your design—and you can begin with some of these personality packed ideas taken from a recent Toronto Interior Design Group renovation.


We had big goals for this kitchen, but we still started with the fundamentals. A good work triangle for any kitchen should have the fridge, oven, and sink within nine feet of each other, to reduce the time spent moving between these essential stations. To follow this, we located the cooktop directly opposite the sink, and the fridge and a wall oven just to the side, with storage pushed farther out to the edges.

It’s important to remember that your work triangle shouldn’t be too small either—leaving some counter space between each station is important for being able to set down a dish or ingredient and use the station properly, so aim to have these areas more than four feet apart.


Designer tricks can make a space visually open up, but at just seven and a half feet long, this kitchen needed to truly grow outwards. By extending the pantry wall and island-dining zone to one side, and the fridge and oven wall to the other, we added an additional 20 feet! We also opened up the wall in front of the sink station, so the kitchen is three times as large but feels even bigger.

A few other details that helped this kitchen look larger than life was choosing cabinet fronts with integrated pulls, so no hardware projects into the space. We included both recessed lights over the central hub, and a modern track in the centre, to illuminate all angles. Also, the upper cabinets over the cooktop start almost 30” above the counter— instead of the typical 18” to 20”—so when you’re working in the central hub you have plenty of breathing room.


Opening up that wall at the sink area was no easy feat: the wall contained conduits that linked to other units, which had to be re-routed, requiring a lengthy discovery process, and quite a few trades and specialists. If you’re looking to seriously renovate any kitchen—especially a condo kitchen—plan for the process to take three times as long as you think.

In other rooms, a few fun accessories or a coat of paint can bring instant design gratification, but in a kitchen or bath you should be aiming to get it right the first time and achieve long-term satisfaction. Think big, and give the project the time it needs (six months+ from conception to completion), even if that means taking an extra few months, or even a year, to build up your budget and your bank of ideas.


In many ways, this kitchen uses a classic palette—plenty of fresh white and metallics—but not necessarily where you would expect. Applying a bronze-foil finish to the central cabinet doors, and a white faucet and wall oven, reverses expectations and adds lots of personality. We used the dramatic cabinet application sparingly to create a jewelry-like accent—with the finish extended to the toe-kicks elsewhere for a subtle sense of continuation.

An important angle here was the side of the kitchen, as it is the first point you see when entering the area—so we made the end of the breakfast bar a delicious feature, with the waterfall edge of marble wrapping from the counter down to the floor. Combined with a casually leaning art piece, this zone becomes a focal point all its own, even before you get a peek of the full kitchen beyond.


We weren’t looking to use bold colours in this space, so it was extra important to enrich the monochromatic palette with plenty of texture. The herringbone floors, broad-veined stone, neoclassical wall mouldings, geometric sheer draperies, velvet and wool seats, bentwood stools, and many sculptural black accents, all give the space a rich and complex visual palette, while still feeling clean and serene.

I am personally not an advocate of popcorn ceilings, and neither was this client, so we exposed the concrete ceiling hiding above to bring an industrial twist to the room, a greater sense of height, and yet another architectural texture. A smooth drywall bulkhead over the counters allowed for recessed lighting, and defines those more intimate areas in a subtle way.

SOURCES: PAINT: Walls throughout main space, 2124-70 Distant Gray, Benjamin Moore APPLIANCES: Dishwasher, Miele Refrigerator, Bosch; Oven, KitchenAid; Microwave, Panasonic CABINETRY: Custom-made, mix of high-gloss white and bronzy gold metal laminate COUNTER TOPS: Custom sintered surface (Carrara marble replica) FLOORS: Blonde herringbone from Europe custom order; all custom items through Toronto Interior Design Group tidg.ca

Yanic Simard is the founder and owner of the petite boutique interior design firm Toronto Interior Design Group. He has over two decades of experience in the interior design/build business and has made his mark in the industry across Canada due to his concentrated industry knowledge, and abundance of unique design ideas.


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Designer Touch: Cooking With Character

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Designer Touch: Cooking With Character

By Rebecca Hay • Photography By Stephani Buchman

A blend of traditional, contemporary and vintage touches, create a personality-packed kitchen

Nothing beats a good kitchen renovation. Especially one that transforms the way you use your home. This personality packed kitchen makes a statement and yet provides much needed functionality for a young family.

When we were approached to renovate and design the main floor of this Riverdale family home in Toronto’s East end, the couple was pregnant with their second child. This resulted in a tight timeline to make a major transformation. The family had lived in the home for three years before they decided to make some big changes, and knew exactly what they wanted as a result. A growing young family, with no plans to move in the near future, they needed an updated space and an open-concept kitchen for cooking and entertaining.


The home is a semi-detached Victorian with great historic features and good bones. Its ’90s-style kitchen had crumbling maple cabinets, terracota floors and oodles of wasted space. It even featured a terracotta-tiled countertop! The busy couple wanted a more functional, open-concept kitchen, suitable for raising their children and entertaining friends. Space planning was key to creating a functional layout. By tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining area, we were able to create the large open space that the family desired. After assessing all our layout options, we decided on a peninsula versus an island. This created a U-shaped kitchen where the cook of the family (in this case, the husband) could slave away without interference by dinner guests… or little feet!


The current pantry was previously a lonely, empty wall with nothing but a small table leaning up against it and a pile of shoes. During construction we discovered there was space between the exterior wall and interior framing, so we moved some ductwork and gained almost a foot of extra space. This allowed us to make the kitchen bigger and provided space for the custom pantry with lots of storage. The full-height cabinets house a broom closet, pull-out shelves, cupboards for small appliances, and a nook for coats and shoes. Since the family has laneway parking and generally enters the house through the back door, the mini-mudroom was a must.


In addition to being extremely functional, we wanted the space to make a statement, while still being consistent with the character of the home. We chose a mix of traditional and contemporary elements, vintage touches and pops of colour to create an inviting and unique space. The rich blue cabinetry adds colour and depth, while the mosaic marble backsplash adds luxurious texture and interest. It also hides any water splatters or mess. The marble ties in seamlessly with the sleek white quartz countertops and Silgranit white sink. Hits of yellow and brass establish the fun and polished esthetic.

Vintage details help this new kitchen blend effortlessly into its surroundings. The school housestyle pendants and handmade wood shelves add an old-world feel. While the detailing on the walnut stools also has a trendy yet timeless appeal. The shelves and bench were handmade by the homeowner’s mother, and are a perfect personal touch.


Pops of yellow make a bold statement against the blue cabinets. The Roman shade adds colour and texture, and complements the custom yellow leather stools. A lot of time was spent searching for the perfect counter stools. The original design had wooden stools that we ordered and ended up returning because they didn’t make the right statement. Sometimes you have to be fluid with design and recognize when something just isn’t quite right. When we couldn’t find the perfect stool, I decided to design a custom one. They ended up being the showstoppers and the proverbial icing on the cake. The stools tie all the design elements together.

The end result is a personality-packed kitchen full of all the modern amenities and conveniences of modern family life.


DESIGN, Rebecca Hay Designs, rebeccahaydesigns.com CONTRACTING, TriMatrix Construction WALL PAINT Benjamin Moore 2125-60 Marilyn’s Dress CABINETRY PAINT, HC-155 Newburyport Blue & CC-40 Cloud White COUNTERTOPS, Caesarstone Canada BACKSPLASH TILES, Marble Granite Depot REFRIGERATOR, Oven, Range, Jenn-Air DISHWASHER, Whirlpool FAUCET, Delta STOOL FABRIC, Designer Fabrics CUSTOM STOOLS, Rebecca Hay Designs ROMAN SHADE, Tonic Living PENDANT LIGHTS, The Door Store CABINETRY HARDWARE, Upper Canada Specialty Hardware

Designer Rebecca Hay, Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., is a Toronto-based boutique design firm offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties for over a decade. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic, livable spaces that reflect the homeowner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, the GTA and Canada. rebeccahaydesigns.com


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Design: Kitchen Life

Design: Kitchen Life

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Design: Kitchen Life

by Linda Mazur

The kitchen is the heart of any home, and the trends that we see emerging are making this an exciting time to add new life and personality to your kitchen space. Functionality is always key to kitchen design, but today’s kitchens are also about creating a timeless style and comfort. Without compromising on the functionality of the space, kitchens have evolved into rooms that inspire creativity not only in cooking but also in design.

One of the big trends this year is colour. We are seeing colour just about everywhere in design and your kitchen is no exception. Neutral kitchens are impacted with bold bursts of colour in everything from your cabinetry, to appliances, tile, sinks and faucets. This is not to say that traditional white kitchen cabinets are still not popular but injecting a good dose of colour to your kitchen to accompany those white cabinets can’t hurt. Working with texture and natural elements continues to gain popularity and one of my favourites for a kitchen is concrete.

This year we are seeing the trend of concrete making its move from the floors up to the countertops…a look I just love. Concrete counters offer a wide selection of customization when it comes to colour, as well as being durable it’s also an affordable option. On the topic of natural elements, wood is “en-pointe” as we see the continued popularity of wide-plank flooring that boasts lighter tones and a warm aged appearance to support the movement towards the relaxed “farmhouse” vintage inspiration we are seeing emerging in design. This “farmhouse” vintage inspiration impacts everything from hardware and lighting to sinks and faucets. Warm, aged brass and gold-toned metal feeds our desire to have our spaces not appeared “perfect” but rather more lived-in and comfortable; evoking an aesthetic that reflects both an individualism and eclectic appeal.

Bertazzoni range Photo courtesy Distinctive-Online.com
Bertazzoni range Photo courtesy Distinctive-Online.com
Silogranit "Ikon" sink Photo courtesy BlancoCanada.com
Silogranit “Ikon” sink Photo courtesy BlancoCanada.com


Black is back and in a big way this year. Black is classic and yet modern, and in faucets is a great option as it doesn’t show wear and tear or water spots as easily as some other finishes do…which can be an obvious bonus in a kitchen. When working with black in your kitchen space you do need to remember to use it in several areas not just the faucet, for balance and a well-designed aesthetic. Lighting, hardware, appliances and accessories are all easy ways to integrate black in to your kitchen. If you’re a bit more on the daring side perhaps consider black for a section of your cabinetry, with the trend towards pantry walls this could be a simple and yet impactful statement in the kitchen.

Whatever your inspiration, undoubtedly, the new look of kitchens has much to offer. Whether it’s simple flat front cabinet doors, bold colours, beautiful matte black appliances or warm polished concrete countertops I think we can all agree that the kitchens we will be seeing moving forward are spaces that are inviting, inspiring and conducive to everyday family life as well as casual entertaining. Functionality need not be sacrificed for good style, if your kitchen makes the renovation list this year then look to create a space that has personality, individualism and above all fantastic style!

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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Architecture Expert : The Sum Of Its Parts

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Architecture Expert : The Sum Of Its Parts

How the many details add style and functionality to your kitchen.

By Samantha Sannella

Renovating your kitchen is a big undertaking. If you want to make sure you get the most out of your investment, consider hiring a designer to plan and supervise the execution. Most kitchen redesigns require new flooring, electrical and plumbing—as well as a focus on making the space more functional and beautiful— so hiring a designer is definitely step one in the process before you begin discussions with a contractor.


When planning a kitchen, it is important to answer practical questions to direct the design. For example, are you a serious chef? Do you have kids at home? Is cooking a family activity? Do you require low-maintenance finishes? What is the overall budget? How storage-intensive are you? Have you begun to look at appliances? Is there an esthetic goal you have in mind? A good designer will ask 100 questions to understand how you will use the space.


For kitchens, while the overall look and feel is important, the details can really make the difference. Storage accessories increase the functionality. Countertops add colour and visual texture. Hardware is the ‘jewelry’ of the kitchen and can add a significant amount of pizzazz.


Incorporating trends like, ‘no upper cabinets’ should be considered carefully. While it might look cool, functionality may overrule if your space is small. Magic corners, pullout drawers and trolleys up the ante on convenience and make every inch more accessible. Accessories can increase the budget by thousands of dollars, so it’s worth your time to prioritize where you really need them. Plate holders and cutlery dividers are great to have for drawers, while busy chefs love the magnetic knife holders mounted on the backsplash.


If you have children, or are a busy chef with little time for maintenance, consider a quartz countertop first. Virtually maintenance-free, these can withstand red wine, hot pots and sharp knives. Colours, patterns and textures are plenty and the marketplace has significantly increased the offering over the last few years. Not to be confused with quartzite, which is a natural stone, quartz is a composite material that is man-made. Also, granite should be considered. The colours and patterns vary greatly amongst granite types, and the beauty of a natural granite countertop is timeless. However, not all granites are appropriate for the kitchen. Stay away from granites that you typically see on building facades, cemetery headstones and institutional floors.


One idea to weigh carefully is hardware-free, touch-latch cabinets vs. handles and knobs. While modern kitchens look great without visible hardware, busy chefs who lean or bump against cabinets can trigger the touch latches frequently, and this can be easily annoying. On the other hand, certain types of hardware can cause a few pokes and bruises, and depending upon choice, can really increase your budget. The trends that are here to stay include: matte black, gold and brass hardware. Don’t underestimate the beauty of glass and crystal knobs on cabinets where you might want to feature your grandmother’s dish collection.

Samantha Sannella

Photography: Kitchen Photos: By Larry Arnal, Hardware: Designed and Photographed By Shayne Fox


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Kitchen Planner

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Kitchen Planner

The faucet and sink are the focal point in the hardest working room in any home

The kitchen is the hub of any home, and the sink and faucet are probably the hardest working components in any kitchen. By focusing on those two interrelated components you can generate a lot of business working with clients ranging from budget-conscious, small-space dwellers, to affluent homeowners looking to create the luxurious kitchen of their dreams.

Tight spaces and tight budgets

Many homeowners are looking for a low-budget spruce up, either to refresh a dated but otherwise functional look, or to maximize resale value when putting their home on the market. A new sink and faucet is an affordable upgrade that doesn’t require any structural changes.


The reality for many is that condos have become the de facto “starter home.” Condo-sized kitchens required condo-sized thinking. The Prolific sink was designed with small spaces specifically in mind. The 33” x 17¾” basin comes with five accessories, including a bamboo cutting board and a dishwasher-safe colander, all of which you can store right in the sink basin when not in use.

Expansive upgrades

If space isn’t an issue, clients will appreciate a large double-basin sink that makes washing and rinsing easy. Kohler’s Whitehaven under-mount sink has a classic farmhouse style apron front that overlaps existing cabinetry. The 24”- to 36”-wide sinks have large- and medium-sized basins, separated by a low divider. Each is available in 16 different colours, from white to “Black Black,” and the durable enamelled cast-iron finish will last the lifetime of the kitchen.


Other upgrades clients might want to consider include a counter- or wall-mounted pot-filler faucet by the stove, a filtered-water faucet for drinking, and built-in soap dispensers that match the look of the faucet they’ve chosen.

Regardless of kitchen size, homeowners have a plethora of options to choose from. Sinks are available in enamelled cast-iron, stainless steel, and even composite materials, such as the Cairn, made of Kohler Neoroc. For faucets and other fixtures, the range of options expands to include brushed nickel and bronze.

Logistical planning

Large or small, you’ll want to plan the kitchen to maximize space while minimizing wasted effort. Designers often refer to the “work triangle” layout when planning kitchens, with the refrigerator, cooktop, and sink at the three points of the triangle. There are a few “rules” that come with this concept, including that no object – such as a cabinet – should block movement between the three points, household traffic should not flow through the triangle, and no point should be more than nine feet from any other.


With open-concept designs, owners often picture having their sink – or a secondary one – built into an island. This typically means running additional water and drainage lines. Before committing to a particular design, you’ll want to make sure there’s space to run the lines through the joists, and that you have sufficient slope to the stack to ensure proper drainage.

Visual cues

Even with 3D animations, many clients often find it difficult to visualize how all the components of a project will come together in their renovated space. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but actually being able to see and touch the fixtures before installation can save a lifetime of disappointment with an errant purchase.

Earlier this year, the first Canadian KOHLER Signature Store opened in Vancouver. The 5,000-sq.ft. space features dozens of different kitchen and bath displays and a wall-mounted display of faucets, with many of the fixtures fully functioning. It’s open to the public seven days a week, so you can send your clients to see their options firsthand, at their convenience, prior to making their final decision. (For more information on the KOHLER Signature Store, see the June/July 2017 issue of Renovation Contractor.) Elsewhere, the company has also partnered with dozens of specialty retailers across the country that have Kohler-focussed displays.

If you can’t make it to a Kohler showroom display, contractors and clients alike will appreciate the online Kitchen Planner. Start by perusing one of the many ready made designs, ranging from traditional to eclectic, then create your own custom space by choosing from various sink, faucet, countertop, cabinetry, and wall colour options.

Big budget or small, Kohler’s range of kitchen sinks and fixtures can help you fulfill any client’s needs.


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KitchenAid releases three new kitchen appliances

KitchenAid releases three new kitchen appliances

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KitchenAid releases three new kitchen appliances

Home cooks will be inspired

The latest kitchen appliances from KitchenAid have been designed with features and performance to ignite and reimagine your culinary experience.


Designed with the cook in mind, the KitchenAid counter-depth French door refrigerator has storage flexibility, premium finishes and stylish wood paneling with the added convenience of the FreshVue door-within-door.

Home chefs love the proximity lighting and door-within-door feature because they can quickly see and access their favourite fresh ingredients.

This refrigerator will be available in the summer in stainless steel, black stainless steel and PrintShield stainless steel exterior, which resists smudges to keep your working kitchen looking beautiful.

MRRP: $5,999 (KRFC804GSS), $6,099 (KRFC804GPS), $6,199 (KRFC804GBS)

Induction Range

The KitchenAid four-element induction convection front control range with baking drawer offers precision and control with quick, efficient response similar to gas burners. By using electromagnetic energy to generate instant heat directly to your cookware, you can rapidly boil water, giving the passionate home cooks more precise results.

The Even-Heat True Convection ensures consistent heat throughout the oven so it stays at the perfect temperature to achieve flawless cooking results every time, while the built-in steam rack offers the ability to provide additional moisture to the inside of the oven, enhancing cooking results.

This versatile range also provides a baking drawer, so you can bake at a different temperature while you’re cooking in the main compartment.

MSRP: $4,199 (KSIB900ESS)


The KitchenAid fully integrated dishwasher with pocket handle is designed to blend seamlessly into any kitchen. It’s among the quietest on the market (39dba) and features a front status display to show where you are in the cycle.

The fan-enabled ProDry system delivers the best drying performance without rinse aid while the third level rack adds space for cleaning long, flat cooking tools.

The Bottle Wash Option provides spray nozzles in the upper rack that can be placed deep inside tall or odd-shaped items like bottles, glasses and vases to thoroughly clean them. It’s available in black stainless and PrintShield stainless steel finish to resist smudges.

MSRP: $1,499 (KDPE334GPS), $1,699 (KDPE334GBS)



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Your Kitchen: Today and Tomorrow

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Your Kitchen: Today and Tomorrow

Considering a renovation to improve the value of your home? Two of the best and most common places to start are adding an additional bathroom (which will be the topic of my next column), and upgrading the heart of the home: the kitchen. Here’s my top tips for getting the best of your kitchen renovation in both the long term, and in your everyday enjoyment.

Think Twice:

-Before starting any kitchen reno, it’s important to consider both the short term costs and the possible long term gains. A slick renovation can add value to your home, but if you use materials that aren’t made to last, this value will disappear over time.

-Estimate how long you will live in this space before selling, and use materials that will last at least this long. For example, spending an extra 30% on cabinets now could make the difference between recouping your renovation investment later, or having to upgrade again when buyers only see dinged doors in need of replacement. Better to spend well than spend twice!

Good Basics

-Ultimately, optimizing resale value comes down to good basics rather than lots of superficial details. Kitchens are always a key feature of a home, but overspending on a reno won’t make sense if it doesn’t fit the value of your home. A budget of about 10%-15% of your home’s value usually achieves the best return on investment.

-Consider this when adding luxury features, such as heated floors or high end tile. In a first home, it might make more sense to invest in basics that all homeowners crave at any price point, such as a more storage space or good lighting. Look for: tall upper cabinets, undercabinet lights, quality appliances and hardwearing floors.

Live in the Moment

-Don’t forget the other side of the investment coin, which is the value your reno will add to your every day life! Consider resale, but don’t feel pressure to play everything safe. If you love a bold or trendy look, you can balance it with more timeless fixed elements for the best of both worlds.

-For example, consider using plain white, durable cabinet bases dressed up with fun modern door fronts (such as an exotic wood, which may not still be fashionable in 5 years). Replacing just the doors before selling is a more reasonable cost than fully gutting the kitchen.

Accessorize for Success

-Once you’ve planned out your budget for the key basics, put the rest of your budget into non-committal items or pieces you can remove. After all, personalizing with accessories means you can take the look you love with you!

-This can include small items like cabinet knobs and pulls, or more substantial pieces like a great faucet or even pendant lights—this is a smart area to try trendier finishes like copper, brass, or coloured enamel. Any of these can be taken into a new home and replaced with a more plain option if your realtor suggests they don’t suit your market.

Good Basics Part 2

Here’s a few more go-tos for a designer look that stands the test of time.

-White subway tile: it makes a beautiful and classic backsplash without a huge investment, and people will be able to imagine if fitting with their own style.

-A great dining table: In an eat-in kitchen, a beautiful tabletop will feel add to the look of the finishes, but you’ll be able to take it with you when you go. (It’s a smart place to add some must-have marble.)

-Use whatever wild and wonderful shade of paint you love, and plan at the time of your renovation to set aside a little money for a repainting later. No matter what paint you choose now, there will be a more in-demand colour in the future that you can apply to inspire a sale.

Quick Bites

  1. Invest in quality materials that will hold up until after you sell, or your renovation budget will be wasted in the long term.
  2. Budget approximately 10-15% of your home’s value for a kitchen renovation with a good return on investment.
  3. Focus on great basics like tall, durable upper cabinets with plenty of storage before luxury details.
  4. Personalize a space with moveable pieces like knobs or faucets and you’ll be able to reset the look for resale and take your favourites with you.
  5. Try plain white subway tile for a classic backsplash and a marble top dining table to bring in luxury you won’t have to leave behind


About the author:  Yanic Simard is principal designer at Toronto Interior Design Group and TV design expert on Cityline.
*Article courtesy of EiEiHome


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Better Living Expert – Tomorrow’s Kitchen

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Better Living Expert – Tomorrow’s Kitchen

Vicky Sanderson

Kitchens evolve with high-tech, health-focused, and sustainable appliances

The kitchen may just be the hardest working room in the contemporary home. Increasingly connected, it links family members to each other and the rest of the world through technology, and frequently does double duty as a homework hub, social centre or home office.


A survey of 17 experts and 842 kitchen and bath retailers across nine countries—conducted by the Silestone Institute, which is led by global quartz surface producer Cosentino— suggests these trends will only accelerate over the next 25 years. Kitchens of the future, they suggest, will be flexible, family-friendly and highly functional.



Two major themes emerged: kitchen functions will continue to expand beyond socializing and eating, and emerging technology and materials will foster healthier eating habits and more sustainable lifestyles.

Appliance manufacturers are already responding to these drivers with smart appliances—large and small—and new materials that make it easy to bring the kitchen into the 21st century. Here are a few that have emerged during the last year.


Whirlpool’s clever food kitchen recycler Zera uses oxygen, moisture, heat, a plant-based additive, and an agitator to break down a week’s worth of food waste within 24 hours (based on an estimated 3.5 kg of weekly household food waste for an average American family.) Launched in the U.S. this summer, no word yet on when it will make it to Canada— fingers crossed!


Miele’s new Eco Flex dishwasher combines the efficiency of low-energy consumption with a powerful wash and dry cycle that’s completed in only 58 minutes. Like many of the new generation of appliances, it can be controlled remotely with an app.


“Foodie culture” is inspiring manufacturers to create userfriendly, flexible offerings. KitchenAid’s new counter-depth, French-door bottom-mount has a door-within-a-door feature that saves space and gives home chefs easy access to fresh ingredients.

Kitchen Aid


Multi-functional kitchen spaces need durable, design-friendly surfaces. Silestone quartz delivers, and its makers even say cooking elements and media screens embedded in the surface may not be that far off.


Philips Airfryer uses the circulation of hot air within a chamber to fry, bake, roast or grill—all using little or no oil. It doesn’t need to be pre-heated, and on hot days, it lets the home chef get a meal on the table quickly without heating up the kitchen.


Hamilton Beach’s programmable thermal coffee maker is a simple example of the trend toward kitchen elements being used throughout the house, such as, a fridge drawer in a bedside table or in a family room. The 10-cup thermal carafe can be transported anywhere— the porch or balcony in the morning, or dining room or den after dinner. Because coffee doesn’t sit on a heating element, it stays fresher longer.

Hamilton Beach


Eco-friendly initiatives can be simple to incorporate into the kitchen. Ikea’s Backig dinnerware, for example, is made partly of glass from its own factory scraps.




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