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Redefining Kitchen Design

Redefining kitchen design – new world technology and old world values

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Redefining kitchen design – new world technology and old world values

Every day new technology provides us with faster and better ways of impacting all aspects of our lives; we cannot live without these new advances, yet the complexity of it all had made us yearn for the simplicity of what came before.

The “Connected Home” has become a fashionable buzzword. There is a greater connection on so many levels – connection to technology, connection to the earth and connection to one another. And with the kitchen becoming the embraced hub of this connectivity, kitchen design has never been more exciting.

We are utilizing technology and innovation, seamlessly incorporating the most fundamental use of the kitchen; domestic is back in style and kitchens are multi-functional. It’s no longer just a kitchen. It’s a Live-Kitchen, Social-Kitchen, Smart-Kitchen, Working-Kitchen, and Family-Respect-for-Food Kitchen. And most importantly, we are ‘Living’ in the kitchen.

As we all know, the faster life gets, the more important ‘time’ becomes. With clever kitchen design, we are more conscious of how we use this meaningful space. We are returning to the kitchen, and with purpose. Fast food is out, and thoughtful slow cooking is in. We are growing our own produce, whether in gardens, planters, or window pots. We are spending time in this redefined room, sharing conversation, food preparation, cooking and living together.

This year, at the trade show Eurocucina in Milan, evidence of this direction in kitchens was consistently featured by all the industry leaders. Trends supporting kitchens that are adaptable and conducive to socializing were seen throughout. Kitchen islands, expanding into tables or sliding open exposing grills and cooktops with seating around allowing for communal and collaborative cooking. The overarching theme was being able to cook while entertaining and socializing with friends and family within the space. Styles were comfortable, welcoming and uber-functional.

Fresh herbs and micro greens, artfully and organically displayed on decorative shelving, beneath LED lighting, took the gardening trend to a new level by encouraging food preparation of home-grown produce, even if natural light is limited within your space.

And installations of LED lighting was shining its light in expected and unexpected spaces. Strip channel lighting within cabinetry gables and open shelving, illuminating the insides of drawers and activated upon opening, or by remote. Creative lighting to feature transparent shelving that appeared invisible, sporting colour blocked cookware that seemed to be magically floating within the cabinetry. The beauty of this application was that the décor was actually everyday used items; practical and tastefully placed.

The predominant trend, however, was the resourceful use of vertical space within the kitchen, allowing this multi-functional room to remain steam-lined and uncluttered looking, yet filled with all of the necessities of a kitchen. In particular, kitchen backsplashes were being used as stylish storage, with sliding doors, or motorized panels concealing and revealing, dishes, utensils, pantry items and small appliances – all beautifully organized, easily accessible, and out of sight when not in use. While most only used the minimal depth along the back of the counter, other systems retracted down, within the back depth of lower cabinets. An inventive use of space that’s typically difficult to reach.

And lastly, cutting-edge technology is taking the modern kitchen to a whole new level. With the installation of reactors in an over island hood, which automatically interface the countertop below, kitchen islands are being transformed. With the touch of a finger, activate induction cooking, select temperatures, operate small appliances, connect to online resources, read mail, watch cooking videos, charge electronic devices and so much more! Imagine a kitchen island that can cook and chill food, and then when not in use becomes a normal countertop, without any external knobs – innovation at its best… and easy to keep clean!

It’s so inspiring to see this blending of ideology that will enhance lifestyle, our connectivity and allow the next generation of kitchens to be innovatively designed and lived-in organically and purposefully.

JANICE FEDAK is a Designer, Trend Researcher and Speaker. She has a diverse background in Colour & Design and creates impactful and artistic residential, commercial and retail spaces.

She is the owner of Janice Fedak, Colour & Design in Toronto and shares her forecasts and inspiring insight through her training seminars, presentations, and design consultations across North America.

Twitter: @janice_fedak

Instagram: janicefedak


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Designer Touch : Room To Grow

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Designer Touch : Room To Grow

By Jackie Glass

Photography By Paul Chmielowiec

A bachelor-inspired kitchen design cleverly meets both single- and family-man lifestyles.

A MAN’S PLACE IS ALSO IN THE KITCHEN

No longer the domain of women, single and married men alike are taking ownership of the kitchen and stepping up to the plate to express their confidence in cooking for themselves and their guests. Today’s self-sufficient bachelors are also weighing in on the style, functionality and performance of their kitchen. Not everyone has the space for a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, so ensuring every square inch is both efficient and beautiful is key to making time spent in there enjoyable.

A BACHELOR AND A BUNGALOW

When my friend and former Jackie Glass Inc. partner, Christine McGee and I were given the exciting challenge to design a bachelor’s newly purchased ‘70s-style urban bungalow, we really had to alter our mindset and put ourselves in the shoes of a young professional man who lives alone and loves to cook and entertain at home. Given clear direction, it didn’t take us long to come up with a grand plan for this small home and create a flexible open-floor plan design suitable for the life of a bachelor, from hosting game day for friends to preparing intimate dinners for two. And, as we all know, the life of a bachelor can be short-lived so planning for the future was important to the homeowner in terms of investment and lifestyle. When the time came, the home should be able to transition effortlessly from bachelorhood to family life with a minimal investment of time and money.

FULL-FUNCTIONING KITCHEN FEATURES

While we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating a relaxed yet sophisticated home for this busy single man, the most fun was designing the hub of this newly remodelled home: the kitchen. With a few minor structural changes, mainly the partial removal of the wall between the kitchen and the living room to open up the space, a new modern culinary kitchen, designed for frequent cooking, dining and entertaining took shape. A galley-style kitchen, featuring specific elements tailored to the design esthetic and lifestyle of our bachelor. Spatially, its size and layout is efficient and offers room for two to cook comfortably together, with all the essentials close at hand. It was imperative that his time in the kitchen be enjoyable. For those of us who love to cook and spend time in the kitchen, we know the value of generous work surfaces, good lighting, durable finishes on cabinets, energy-efficient, high-performance appliances, countertops and walls that are easy to clean. When it came to style, a slick, modern look in a masculine colour palette pulled it all together.

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

Open to the living room, guests are free to mix and mingle with each other as well as with the cook when entertaining. A raised cocktail-cum-breakfast bar on the island is perfect for drinks or casual meals while a small dining area adjacent to the living room, with convenient access to the barbecue on the backyard deck, offers formal dining à deux as well as with friends and family.

ONCE UPON A BACHELOR

The goal to design a modern, stylishly masculine kitchen, which could easily transition from a bachelor pad to a small-family home was achieved. Today, now a former bachelor, our client is a happy father of two, cooking for four and enjoying family life in a home designed for living exactly the way he had envisioned it to be.

SOURCES – APPLIANCES: OVEN: Viking; FRIDGE/FREEZER: KitchenAid; MICROWAVE: Panasonic BACKSPLASH TILE: Olympia Tile COUNTERTOP: Quartz from Silestone

ELEMENTS OF A BACHELOR-STYLE KITCHEN

  • CABINETS: Flat-panel solid walnut doors with simple brushed-nickel handles are easy to clean and offer a sleek modern look. Dark custom cabinets as opposed to white cabinets, when paired with light-coloured countertops and walls, create contrast and a more masculine appeal. Drawer organizers are essential to any busy kitchen and help keep countertops clutter-free.
  • FLOORS: Large-format porcelain floor tiles are super durable, easy to keep clean and petfriendly. Hardwood floors stained to match the walnut cabinets unify the open plan.
  • LIGHTING: Two large windows offer natural light by day while pendants flood the island and bar by night. The range hood illuminates the stovetop.
  • APPLIANCES: Guys love the power and high-performance of a stainless-steel gas range with convection oven. A stainless steel side-byside fridge/freezer with water and ice dispenser is a must in any culinary kitchen. No bachelor kitchen is complete without a microwave. The benefits of an under-cabinet beer fridge goes without saying on game day.
  • WALLS: Cabinets cover the walls and extend from floor to ceiling to maximize storage and keep everyday essentials out of sight and off the countertops. The backsplash, clad in large-format white marble tiles from countertop to ceiling is easy to maintain and offers the height of luxury in this stunning kitchen.
  • COUNTERTOPS: Quartz countertops in a light neutral colour are fitted with two stainless-steel undermounted sinks, a prep sink under the window and a double-bowl sink in the island. This is a great solution when two cooks are in the kitchen at one time. A raised bar on the island is perfect for breakfast and morning coffee or for guests to join the chef for a cocktail. It also hides the prep area and sink when entertaining.

Designer Jackie Glass is principal/owner of Jackie Glass Inc., a full-service interior design firm specializing in residential design, decor and renovation, servicing the GTA and surrounding areas. Glass, whose work is nationally recognized, is a regular design expert on Cityline. For more information, visit jackieglass.ca

 

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