Kitchen prep

Kitchen prep

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Kitchen prep

Photos by Chris Harrison

Are you planning a kitchen renovation once the pandemic protocols ease up? Renovating a kitchen can bring a lot of disruption to your life, but remember, the pros outweigh the cons. From enhancing functionality to increasing the value of your home, an updated kitchen is a worthy investment. With so many options out there, you may be wondering where to begin. Here are four suggestions to keep in mind.

The overview

The best place to start is with a clear budget. Having a specific budget will dictate how much money you can spend on the design, finishes and appliances. You can pay as little as $25,000 for kitchen cabinetry and as much as $80,000. A good rule of thumb is to set a budget in relation to your home’s value and ensure at least a 20-percent contingency for your unknowns and your must-haves. If the average Toronto home value is in the $1-million range, a newly renovated kitchen would cost between $40,000 and $60,000.

Sink with a view

Do we put the sink by the window or on the island? It’s a question I am asked a lot as a designer. Cleaning is often a tedious task. Since it’s always a chore and never a pleasure, make it into as much of a good experience as you can. It does not cost more to place your sink well, so consider it and do what works for you. If you put it at the window, a great feature at a small premium of about 10 per cent is to cover the windowsill in the countertop material instead of the standard wood casing. This allows you to forget about water splashes and offers a great base for small planting pots.

Hide those gadgets

Bakers and cooks alike love their mixers on the counter, and for a good reason. Many are sleek and beautiful and make for fantastic decor. Add to that, the coffee maker, toaster, grinder, juice maker, and soon enough, what you end up with is a small appliance store right there on your beautifully renovated kitchen counter. One way to avoid this scenario is to put in an appliance garage – one that looks sleek and is completely integrated with your kitchen. And guess what? It costs very little because the only add-on is the door. Inside, extend the counter to avoid unpleasant splash accidents and make sure your electrical plugs, if any, are all to code.

Team prep area

We often think of meal prep as an individual activity or as areas split up per task, per person. While this works well in a restaurant, home kitchens should be more social. Kitchens are social spaces for everything else, why not meal prep? Historically speaking, we had this and lost it somewhere on the way. The Victorians had it figured out when the table in the middle was the only prep area. Nowadays, instead of placing everyone on the perimeter, you can group the people around the island. Sizing the island becomes crucial. An easy way is to take a standard table of seven-by-three ft. and make that the island size. You can go a little bigger, but really, you don’t have to. Team prep areas, for obvious reasons, can often double up as serving areas too.

Adriana Mot is a multiple award-winning designer and founder of Dochia Interior Design in Toronto.

She is known for her practical creativity and a unique talent that builds refined and beautiful connections between people and their surroundings.

Contact her at 416.492.7451.


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