Tag Archives: countertops

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Make it yours, Samantha Pynn customizes this cookie-cutter condo

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Make it yours, Samantha Pynn customizes this cookie-cutter condo

Photography by Virginia MacDonald

As condos continue to get smaller and smaller with each passing year, it is decidedly still the most common single-person dwelling type of household in Canada. Inevitably, the question of how to decorate a cookie-cutter condo and make it ‘yours’ is one dilemma many people face.

Inherited style choices

Pulling a small space together gets even trickier when fixtures and finishes, such as the countertop, tiles and floors, have been chosen for you by a builder or the previous owner.

This certainly was the case for my 500-square-foot condo, which came with standard-issue, stark-white walls and dark-wood floors; plus, a kitchen with a busy backsplash of large brown and grey tiles, and a beige speckled counter. While none of these finishes were on my decorating wish list, I knew that with a few small reno and design changes, I could personalize this little white box and even give it some architectural detail.

Before

Work with what you have

I started with the kitchen, knowing that the finishes would influence all my design decisions in this tiny abode. It didn’t make sense to gut the kitchen: the layout was wellplanned, the cabinets were new and their grey undertone worked well with the floors. As for that granite countertop’s not-so-desirable brown speckle? Well, it would just be too costly and wasteful to remove and replace.

So, I embraced the counter and chose an inexpensive, handpainted 3 x 6-inch tile in the lightest sandy-beige tone of the granite. The handmade tile worked like a charm to bring a homey softness to the space and tone down the brown-and-grey speckles of the counter. While this is not something that I normally do, the original busy backsplash was installed so solidly, that I had my contractor tile right over it.

Worthwhile upgrades

I sold the kitchen’s original stove, which had a plastic backsplash control panel and replaced it with a new front-control range. This immediately elevated the vibe of the kitchen and gave it a cleaner and more streamlined esthetic.

Unifying makeovers

Next, I upcycled an inexpensive big-box store kitchen island. The base of the island got a coat of paint in the same colour as the new backsplash tiles. And, the island’s original butcher- block top was donated and swapped for a dark grey piece of quartz. The dark grey quartz makes both the dark hardwood floors and stainless-steel appliances feel like a purposeful part of the kitchen’s design.

Lastly, I switched the pedestrian stainless-steel cabinet pulls with luxe gold pulls and tucked two vintage counter stools with newly upholstered sand-toned fabric under the island.

“WHILE NONE OF THESE FINISHES WERE ON MY DECORATING WISHLIST, I KNEW THAT WITH A FEW SMALL RENO AND DESIGN CHANGES, I COULD PERSONALIZE THIS LITTLE WHITE BOX AND EVEN GIVE IT SOME ARCHITECTURAL DETAIL.”

Cohesive colour palette

With the direction of the kitchen set, it was easy to run with the sand-and-grey colour scheme. The dark grey velvet sofa connects with the island counter, while the linen drapes pick up on the backsplash tile. The large 12×10-foot living area rug not only works with the kitchen palette but also brightens the space by covering a good portion of the dark-wood floors. The round white-marble coffee table and pale-blue lounge chairs bring a light and airy vibe to the living space.

Soft & soothing

This lightness was then echoed in the bedroom – where only a sliding door separates the open-concept living and kitchen space – with lavender and sand-tone linen bedding and a large soothing piece of nature-inspired abstract art. The drapery is also light in colour, adding softness and texture to the room, but when drawn together, these thick blackout panels dampen sound and block the city’s evening light.

My favourite part of the space is the gridded 1×3-inch MDF panelling. The feature wall requires no headboard and adds depth, architectural detailing and personality galore to the space.

Sources

KITCHEN ISLAND COUNTERTOP Quartz in Aramis, Hanstone Quartz. TILES, Saltillo Tile. RANGE, Whirlpool. CABINET HARDWARE, Richelieu. PLATES, CUTTING BOARDS, VASES, KETTLE, JARS, TEA TOWELS, PITCHERS, Home Sense. ISLAND, Ikea. CABINET PAINT (on island base) Inukshuk Advance, Benjamin Moore. COUNTER STOOL UPHOLSTERY, Fine Interiors By Susan. LIVING ROOM SOFA, COFFEE TABLE, RUG, CHAIRS, VASES, PILLOWS, LAMP, Samantha Pynn Home, Home Sense. ART, Amy Stewart, Art Interiors. DRAPERY PANELS, Ikea. BEDROOM SIDE TABLE, COVERLET, PILLOWS, SIDE TABLE, VASE, Home Sense. LINEN DUVET, SHAMS, Samantha Pynn Simons. LAMP, Ikea. MDF PANELLING, Home Depot. ART, Amy Stewart, Art Interiors. DRAPERY PANELS, Ikea.

Samantha Pynn is a beloved Canadian designer, editor and television personality. Known for her approachable, fresh and colourful style, Samantha’s rooms are rooted in the classics, but always with her own modern twist. Samantha Pynn Home – her collection of furniture, accessories and textiles – is designed to be mixed and matched, so that anyone can feel like a decor expert. Follow her on Instagram @samanthapynn

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Bimbrok Marble

Bimbrok Marble offers top quality marble and tile design

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Bimbrok Marble offers top quality marble and tile design

Photography: Angelo Distefano

Combine a family business with more than 30 years experience with quality craftsmanship, and top quality marble and tile design, and you get Bimbrok Marble & Granite, a Vaughan-based business that has been providing quality to personal and commercial clients since 1986. Bimbrok’s team of skilled craftsmen provides more than 100 years of combined experience, resulting in a professional, hassle-free installation.

Thirty years ago, this family-run business began with an idea of meeting and exceeding the demand for top quality marble and tile designs. It is now one of the industry leaders in manufacturing and installing any type of natural stone in the world. Marble, granite, quartz and exotics, thousands of custom and highrise jobs continue to be produced on location, each done with the very same skill, dedication and care designed to meet and exceed your expectations.

Bimbrok provides the knowledge, experience and quality to meet your needs. The confidence and trust when choosing Bimbrok as your natural stone provider and project manufacturer is a relationship that this family-owned business takes to heart. Quality materials, crafstmanship and installation means having your project perfectly delivered by Bimbrok on budget and on time.

Equality quartz/engineered stone provides some of the industry-leading materials, providing a beautiful white canvas with a gorgeous grey vein running through the slab to give it a natural look.

The featured photos show the beautiful characteristic of materials being book matched from a profile or even a waterfall, giving an eccentric look to the flowing pattern to the countertop. The featured photos show engineered quartz, natural granite stone and exotic natural quartzite.

Bimbrok Marble Importing Ltd.

965 Creditstone Rd., Vaughan

905.738.7222

bimbrok-marble.com


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Caesarstone Dark Collection

Embrace the beauty of the new Dark Collection from Caesarstone

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Embrace the beauty of the new Dark Collection from Caesarstone

5810 Black Tempal
5810 Black Tempal

In the kitchen, a countertop is the place where meals are lovingly prepared, where gatherings gather, and where finished dishes are featured for consumption. Not only is durability a concern, but the visual impact of such a large area sets the tone of the room – it’s the backdrop to all that is served.

As part of its Dark Collection, Caesarstone introduces deep, bold colours, as well as tantalizing textures to its newest line.

A counterintuitive approach

For a look that will stand the test of time, complement and offset a myriad of appliance and cabinet finishes, Caesarstone’s Dark Collection adds a touch of drama and contrasting shades, while inspiring a sense of warmth and comfort. A homeowner’s choices of decor, art, furniture and colour help identify a room’s personality, and Caesarstone’s Dark Collection is just one more way to help them create a look all their own.

Form and function

Deep veined variances and fluctuating tonal shades of mined products upgrade the look of any well-designed room. Darker colours can also be more forgiving, and possess an imperishable quality that elevates natural attributes.

Caesarstone countertops are made from composite quartz, which is a non-porous product. Because this material is low maintenance to stains, its appearance will never be altered or require extra maintenance. This outstanding feature, combined with the bold tones of the Dark Collection, have given new meaning to enduring beauty.

Deeper shades of dark

The Dark Collection consists of four extra-deep shades, enhanced by Caesarstone’s new Natural Finish, which adds extra depth to the textural darks. The look and feel of this collection is set by the beautiful grain that runs throughout, adding a tactile warmth and a pleasing emotive response. A satin sheen emphasizes the natural veining and textures, while intensifying the depth of colour. These saturated features take this collection to next level of desirability.

5101 - Empira Black
5101 – Empira Black

The deep black base of 5101 Empira Black is augmented by fine white veins to emulate authentic characteristics of real marble, and is available in a matte or a gloss finish.

3101 Platto Black
3101 Platto Black

3101 Platto Black intensifies any statement look. A fine granular appearance enhances the textured finish.

4735 Oxidian
4735 Oxidian

The oxidized russet effect of the tarnished 4735 Oxidian finish warms a dark grey base, with a slightly textured grain.

5810 Black Tempal
5810 Black Tempal

A light veil of white streaks emulates a galaxy of stars on the charcoal base of 5810 Black Tempal. This complex composition is reminiscent of an industrial travertine.

Caesarstone products combine the look and feel of natural surfaces with advanced technology, which ultimately intensifies the hardness and durability, and guarantees surfaces that are non-porous, scratch-resistent and low maintenance.

caesarstone.ca


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7 home renovation mistakes to avoid

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7 home renovation mistakes to avoid

A home renovation is a tough project. If you have ever done it before, you probably know its pitfalls. Even then, the project can still challenge you and result in renovation mistakes that cost you money. With a good plan, however, kitchen or bathroom renovation mistakes will not challenge you.

Below are simple home renovation mistakes that homeowners might overlook but are costly.

DIY with little or no experience

You can DIY through a home renovation project, especially if you are experienced in some projects. However, you cannot be a jack of all trades; some projects might require a professional. In most cases, a designer is needed to avoid bathroom or kitchen renovation projects. Even if you can install countertops, having the wrong design will make you regret for many years after the project.

Electrical projects, plumbing, installation of large electrical equipment, and removing a wall, among others are best done by professionals. You need to hire a contractor and a designer early into the project.

Under-budgeting

If you want your project to go to completion without any hitches, the only way to do that is to ensure that you have budgeted for everything. If your home has many old parts with mold, leaks, corrosion, damages by pests, and outdated fixtures, you might need to replace most of the parts.

When you have to tear through parts such as ceilings, the more likely it is that you will find more damages that need repairs. Even contractors are not able to identify these hidden damages before the work begins. As such, you need a slightly higher budget than your estimate. On top of your budget estimate, have at least 10 per cent more to ensure the project does not stall due to unexpected damages and costs.

Ignoring building codes and regulations

Are you handling any renovation project that requires a permit? If you do, avoid working around the codes as it will come to haunt you if you ever need to sell your home.

Permits are offered as a show that your project complies with safety and zoning laws. You might need drawings from an architect or designer when applying for a permit. Even for a DIY project, you will still need a permit.

Projects that need a permit are those that might compromise the structural integrity of your home. These projects include adding a room and removing a wall. In some areas, you might need a permit for small projects such as replacing a window and landscaping. If you ignore a permit and an inspector catches you with a sledgehammer demolishing a wall, you will be fined, have the sale of your home blocked, and probably have everything you have built brought down.

Hiring the wrong contractor 

A good contractor should be licensed and insured. They also need to have a surety bond. Before you hire a contractor, you need to ask for references and call the clients to ensure that the contractor did an excellent job.

When calling the clients, ask how cooperative the contractor is, the quality of their work, whether they stick to schedules and budget, and how they handle unexpected problems. Do not pick a contractor because they charge the lowest price; other factors such as experience, speed, and attention to detail matter. See more on how the right contractors can help you avoid safety mistakes.

Doing your designs

Have you ever designed? Design involves creating a space that matches your lifestyle. It is not only about the appearance of a room but also its functions. If you throw parties regularly, you have children, or you have pets, a designer will factor everything into the design.

A designer is also able to fix the unappealing aspects of your space and making the best features more attractive. Just like watching numerous movies doesn’t make you a good actor, looking at many interior design photos does not make you a designer. By going it alone, you risk making many of the home renovation mistakes to avoid in this list. Again, you might end up spending a lot of money and not being impressed by the results.

Failure to create detailed specs

What do you want for your home renovation project? One way to avoid kitchen or bathroom renovation mistakes is to create details project specs that will allow you to compare bids from contractors accurately.

The specification list should include a project summary, architect plans, designer plans, time schedules, plans for each part to be renovated, and special parameters such as the limit on work times.

Lack of a plan and a contract

Choosing a good contractor is the first step to create a project without renovation mistakes. However, you need to create a detailed contract that you and the contractor sign.

The contract should describe the scope of the work to be carried out, materials to be used, debris removal, the total cost of the project, and the payment schedule. The contract should also describe the order in which the work is to be done. For instance, the hardwood floors should be installed after the wall is painted and the cabinets should be hung after removing and replacing plumbing.

If you plan changes, update your contract to capture the changes. Go through the contract every day to ensure that the work is going according to plan.

Bottom line

Everything might not go according to plan. Even when you read these home renovation mistakes to avoid, unexpected problems occur and you may not know how to handle them. You need to be ready to handle kitchen renovation mistakes if they occur. You should not have very high expectations especially when you are working on a budget as you may not get everything that you have seen online.

Most of the mistakes will occur if you try to cut costs by hiring the contractor with the lowest bid, buy cheap materials, and trying to cut corners on some projects. You can also try to cut down the budget by doing your projects instead of hiring a professional.

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How to find the best kitchen stone countertops in Toronto

How to find the best kitchen stone countertops in Toronto

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How to find the best kitchen stone countertops in Toronto

In 2020, stone countertops can make a wonderful addition to any kitchen renovation or remodel project. In fact, new stone countertops can easily turn even the dingiest, most outdated kitchens into breath-taking, stylish, executive-looking kitchens.

Whether you choose marble, granite, or quartz countertop, there’s just something about a stone countertop that you won’t find when installing wood or composite countertops.

Stone countertops are timeless, durable and considerably more eye-catching than other materials. And on top of that, kitchen stone countertops are almost guaranteed to add a significant amount of value to your home.

However, you might wonder where the best places are to find stone countertops in Toronto. Rest assured that you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s go over a few tips to help you find the best kitchen stone countertop retailers in Toronto.

How to choose the best place for your stone countertops

When searching for new countertops in the GTA, it’s important to understand that not every store is going to be the best place to purchase your materials.

For example, some stores might offer only the best, top-of-the-line materials, but their prices might be far outside of budget. Or on the other hand, some stores might offer significantly better prices, but they might not offer much in terms of selection. Also, there are some companies, such as stonewizards.ca, that can offer best countertops for your kitchen for a reasonable price. Your goal is to find such companies and deal with them.

Therefore, it’s vital that you shop around and do a bit of research before diving headfirst into your project.

Let’s take a look at the most important factors to consider when shopping around for the best stone countertops in Toronto.

Stay on budget

Obviously, there are dozens of countertop retailers in the GTA. This is exactly why it’s so important to understand that not every one of them is going to keep its customers’ best interests in mind at all times.

In fact, many stone countertop retailers charge significantly more for the same products that can be found at another store for a much cheaper price.

This illustrates why it’s so important to shop around and compare prices before purchasing your countertops from any store.

Before shopping around, make sure to identify your budget range. Then, make a list of a few stores in the area that you might be interested in purchasing from. Finally, contact these stores and get a rough estimate of the cost of your project.

Any companies that give you a quote outside of your budget range, you can automatically dismiss from your list.

Companies that fit within your budget can be shortlisted, and you can move on to researching them and learning about their experience and expertise in the industry.

Choose experience

While being a newer company doesn’t necessarily mean a business doesn’t have the skills or experience needed for the job, it does mean that dealing with them might be a little riskier.

However, it’s vital to ensure that the company you choose to deal with has the necessary experience and know-how when it comes to stone kitchen countertop installation.

When talking to potential retailers, make sure to ask them about their experience, how long they’ve been in business, and what they believe their customers like about their service.

In one way, this might put the salesman on the spot. But if they do indeed have experience and are knowledgeable about stone countertops and installation, they shouldn’t have any trouble answering any questions that you throw at them.

On the other hand, if you ask questions and the salesman stammers or has trouble directly answering your questions, it’s a good indication that you’re not dealing with a knowledgeable or experienced company. And it might be better to contact the next company on your list.

Read reviews

Finally, it’s important to read reviews and get to know what other people are saying about a company.

Think about it this way: When a person takes the time to write a review, they’re not going to lie about how they really feel. This is why it’s important to take some time and do a bit of research.

Before you make a decision, make sure to look up any prospective companies on Google or Facebook, and read through their reviews.

When a customer is satisfied with the services they’ve received, they’re going to be more than happy to share this information and recommend the company to others. On the other hand, when a person is dissatisfied or has had a bad experience, they’re going to be just as adamant about telling other customers.

Just keep in mind that it’s impossible for any company to keep every one of their customers happy all of the time. So, don’t automatically dismiss a company just because you see one or two bad reviews.

However, if you notice that a company has significantly more bad than good reviews, you might want to think twice before choosing them.

The best stone countertops in Toronto

When looking for stone countertops in Toronto, it’s best to take some time and do some research before diving headfirst into your renovation or remodel project.

Toronto is a large city and there are going to be tons of companies to choose from. That’s why you need to learn about your options first in order to find the best supplier for your countertop material.


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How to Upgrade Your Home’s Décor in 5 Simple Ways

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How to Upgrade Your Home’s Décor in 5 Simple Ways

Home decor is one of the best parts of making your house into a place called home. The decor in your home can change the atmosphere of the room and bring attention to your personal style. There are many ways to update your home decor to bring focus to the areas of a room that you want to highlight. Keep reading to find out how to upgrade your home’s decor in 5 simple ways.

1. Going Green

Going green is an extremely easy way to give your decor a quick upgrade. Environmentally friendly decor such as plants and pieces of recycled art can do wonders in a space. Adding a variety of plants helps to create more oxygen in the room and clean the air. One of the best plants to do this is a snake plants, or otherwise known as the mother-in-law’s tongue plant. It is extraordinarily easy to maintain and almost impossible to kill. Plants can add a unique earthy vibe, while creating cleaner air for you and your family to breathe.

Try incorporating VOC free materials in your home decor. Bamboo and recycled glass are excellent choices. Find decor made from these materials and make a statement in your home that you care about the environment.

Light dimmers are an effective way to save on energy bills and are thus considered to be a “green” feature. Light dimmers allow you to upgrade your home’s decor by being able to control lighting in your home. With light dimming features you can control how the decor in your space will look depending on the intensity of the light being used.

2. Countertop Choices

One of the most beloved features of any home, are the countertops. Countertops are a decor piece that adds character to any space whether it be a bathroom or a kitchen. The right countertop choice can make all the difference in a room.

Granite is a highly sought after countertop surface because of its durability. This igneous rock comes in many colors and varieties, some even resembling the look of marble. The cost of granite countertops can start as low as $35 dollars per square foot to over $100 per square foot depending on the variety you select. Exotic granite options will cost more.

With any countertop choice that you go with, the thicker the countertop slab the greater the cost will be. Thicker countertops will go even further in effectively highlighting the beauty of your countertop and the decor in your space. Choosing a high end countertop is a simple way to give your room a fast upgrade.

3. Accents

Adding accent pieces around your home is an instant pick me up for any decor project. Accents help bring a room to life. Try incorporating accents such as throw pillows, blankets, candles, and small artwork around a room. Limit yourself to a few accents per room. If you overdo it, it’ll be harder to focus or highlight a certain area or feature of that space. Simply adding an accented wall with a dark or bright pop of color, or patterned wallpaper can do the trick.

4. Colors

To accentuate your home’s decor and give it a fresh facelift, use lighter and more neutral colors in your home. Now only does this brighten a room and give it the illusion of a larger space, it also allows your decor to be the highlight. Use the opposite rule to start. If the colors of the walls in a space are dark, try adding lighter decor pieces. If the walls of your home are already light, incorporate some darker pieces of decor so they pop.

Neutral colors in a space, allow the room to look and feel like a haven. For lighter rooms try incorporating accents like plants and lighter colored decor to further foster a serene mood in that space. Too many colors in one space or altogether in your home can be distracting and distressing.

5. Marble

Make your space look marvelous with a natural stone countertop from Marble. Marble decor is super easy trend to follow and will give your home a very luxurious look. Marble can be added as an accent feature throughout your home to ramp up the elegance in any space. Marble has been long sought after for ages as a prestigious stone and any homeowner would gladly incorporate it.

It’s simple, just add marble accent pieces around your home. This can be marble trays and cheese boards in the kitchen, marble potholders, marble clocks, picture frames, end tables, and lamp stands. They don’t have to necessarily be genuine marble either, because that’s pricey. Instead, you can opt for faux marble pieces or choose decor pieces that mimic the colors and marbling of traditional marble.

You do You

Whatever you do, make sure you do you. Don’t limit yourself to the rules, instead make sure you’re including your own sense of style into your home decor upgrade. This is what will truly turn your house into a home.

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Caesarstone’s revolutionary new products unveiled at IDS19

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Caesarstone’s revolutionary new products unveiled at IDS19

This year, Caesarstone unveiled some of its new products for 2019 at the Interior Design show in Toronto. Check out the new outdoor friendly quartz countertops and nanotechnology surfaces in this interview with Caesarstone’s marketing manager, Liz Margles, and our host, designer Catherine-Lucie Horber, and learn more about Caesarstone’s latest products.

Explore more online at caesarstone.com

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Remnant Warehouse

How to Save on Smaller Projects!

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How to Save on Smaller Projects!

How you can save money – and help the environment by reducing construction waste.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Introducing a new program by Latitude Countertops for significant cost saving when renovating smaller surface projects like a small kitchen, island, fireplace or bathroom.

The Remnant Warehouse was born out of the countertop fabrication firm’s goal to reduce waste. The company created an online inventory with easily searchable remnant pieces of stone and quartz for small project needs.

Today, just more than a year later, the Remnant Warehouse (qrw.ca) boasts more than 2,000 pieces of popular quartz brands such as Caesarstone, Silestone and HanStone, as well as natural stone in all shapes and sizes. Hundreds more pieces are added each week.

What exactly is a remnant?

When a typical kitchen countertop is fabricated, it comes from a full slab of either quartz or natural stone ranging in size from 46 to 50 sq. ft. Since all of Latitude’s countertops are made to custom sizes and lengths, there are always leftover pieces of full slabs which can be used in other smaller projects. These remnants then become available for significantly discounted prices.

Searching the Remnant Warehouse is easy. You can search by colour name, size or brand name, and of course purchasing online is easy. You can also get estimates on fabrication projects using Latitude’s fast and easy Webquotes.

To register for designer and contractor pricing, visit qrw.ca

Features and benefits

The benefits of using qrw.ca include:

  • Saves money and helps environment
  • Fast and easy online searching and secure purchasing
  • Instant online project quoting for designer and contractor customers
  • Remnants are ideal for small surfaces such as vanity and island tops and galley kitchens, fireplace surrounds, table tops, furniture accents, shower walls and surrounds

416-638-8586 | 800-435-9083


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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.

LindaMazurDesign.com

@LindaMazurGroup


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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.

EXPANDING ON THE PAST

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!

UNCOVERING SPACE AND STORAGE

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.

CHARACTER BUILDING

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.

COLOUR STATEMENT

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.

SOURCES

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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