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White Kitchens are totally timeless

White kitchens are totally timeless

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White kitchens are totally timeless

To say white kitchens are popular is a bit of an understatement. Over the years, we have seen that trends are moving away from whites with the rise of colourful cabinetry and appliances, or with the return of warm wood tones. In the end white cabinets are still a sought-after mainstay. The bright, fresh look and feel of white kitchen cabinetry never really loses its appeal, and for many is the goal for their kitchen renovation.

Kitchens are the heart of the home and really should reflect your own personal style and way of living. White cabinets are always timeless, and an easy commitment with a lot of flexibility when it comes to the final aesthetics of your kitchen. Moving beyond an all white kitchen can open you up to a world of finishes, colours and inspirations that can see a bit of the current kitchen trends introduced into your space. Whether you add some dimension to your kitchen with a patterned backsplash, a great impactful floor tile, touches of coloured cabinetry or mixed metals and hardware, there are a multitude of ways to shake off the simple all-white kitchen.

Another way to change up the all-white vibe of your space is by using warmer whites for the finishes. There are an infinite number of tones and shades of whites; moving to a warmer white tone can make all the difference to your cabinetry, tile and overall look and feel of your kitchen.

As shown in these images, by using a much warmer white for one of our kitchen designs, and punching it up with a great charcoal coloured floor tile, we have added a bit of a modern feeling to a more traditional setting. In contrast, the stark white kitchen with warm walnut accents definitely conveys a more modern space.

I love the look of white mixed with wood accents. White oak is gaining popularity now as a wood finish and it pairs perfectly with white to create a great look that satisfies so many different styles and settings. You can easily introduce a wood feature in your kitchen by way of floating wood shelves, an island, countertop, wood inlay tiles for your backsplash, hardware or something as simple as barstools. Whichever way best suits your desires you’re sure to see the end result is fantastic and feels much warmer and more inviting than an all-white kitchen.

Today, the movement is more towards a streamlined look that highlights simplicity, functionality, and minimalism. Though the white-on-white kitchen has waned in popularity, white cabinetry will always be timeless. When looking for inspiration for your kitchen renovation, look to see how you can introduce a mix of colours, textures, and finishes that will create a kitchen space that keeps you moving forward trend-wise, while still giving you the white kitchen you desire!

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Kitchen design that is ageless, easy and beautiful

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Kitchen design that is ageless, easy and beautiful

Our kitchens have evolved as the heart of the home and are often a renovation priority. Whether you love to cook and entertain, or more often use the space as a hub for the family, kitchen design has changed in ways that are both useful and exciting. We all come in different shapes and sizes, range in age from infants to seniors and have ever-changing abilities and skills. While the focus will always be on design and functionality, you should also consider the longevity of your design for safety and comfort. The successful design of a universally accessible kitchen starts with identifying potential users and anticipating their needs. The objective of  design is to make life easier and beautiful.

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Cabinets and counters

To achieve a kitchen, which is both comfortable and safe for all family members, your first consideration is to allow strollers, wheelchairs or walkers to move easily in and out of the prep areas. This is achieved by allotting 42- to 48-in. clearance between the cabinets on a minimum of two sides. Consider creating a lowered workspace by adding a 28-in. table height extension to an island or peninsula, when you have differently abled helpers (young or older) in the kitchen.

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Designing for minimal effort is an important principle of universal kitchen design. On trend but also in line with accessible design, is the installation of pullout pantries rather than upper cabinetry. Pantries provide additional storage space and much greater usability and accessibility. Adding LED lighting will provide greater illumination and help you see what is hiding on the back shelf. However, if horizontal uppers are part of your current kitchen design, add a motorized servo driver to assist in opening the cabinetry, as well as closing them with one push of a button.

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Fixtures & appliances

An efficient kitchen that maximizes independence and convenience is the cornerstone of good design. Traditionally, kitchen designers have focused on a compact work triangle formed by the sink, stove and refrigerator; but we must expand the triangle to include all work areas: a separate cooktop and wall oven, garbage disposal and dishwasher. To design a kitchen with a work triangle that meets your needs, imagine the items and appliances you reach for when prepping your meal or cleaning up. The thoughtful placement of your fixtures and appliances make them both accessible and safe by avoiding trip hazards.

If you’re looking to maximize your kitchen footprint while lowering your environmental one, a double-drawer dishwasher is the answer. While traditional dishwasher doors open out, often a challenge for both space and accessibility, a dishwasher drawer solves both issues. Additionally, using just one drawer saves water and time, but also eliminates a tripping hazard when loading and unloading.

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Your sink is one of the most used elements in the kitchen. Here, we suggest a mix of technology and design for ease of use. Consider installing a sink with a depth of only nine in., this helps mitigate back pain by eliminating the need to hunch over your sink. Top off the re-design with a voice-controlled faucet, which can dispense measured amounts of water, or a touch-controlled faucet, which makes it easy to use for hands of any size and ability.

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Sound & vision

A universal approach to lighting design addresses the needs of people as they age. Look for a mix of ambient, task and accent lighting that works in harmony with the users of the space. For example, installing a motion detector to activate the lights, which slowly brighten so as not to overwhelm, is helpful for a kitchen visit in the middle of the night.

Where possible, take advantage of opportunities to maximize natural lighting. In any kitchen design or renovation, homeowners should also consider their finishes for both design and functionality. We don’t often think about it until it’s bothersome, but highly reflective surfaces can be problematic for those who are challenged by their vision. Instead, choose matte finishes. Similarly, opting to include elements which absorb sounds, such as wood, will minimize noise that can radiate through the adjoining rooms, or eliminate an echo in the kitchen itself.

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Smart technology

With the pervasiveness of smartphones, smart appliances are increasingly commonplace in kitchens; being able to control your appliance via an app on your phone – anything from your oven to your tea kettle – is not only novel but convenient. Being able to turn on the lights in your kitchen with one tap, versus walking through the room, can mean a world of difference to someone less body-able.

Your kitchen is such a key feature to the home, and a room that should be welcoming to family and guests of any age or ability. Consider the tips above with a trusted design partner and make the most of your kitchen for many years to come.*

Over the course of Yasmine Goodwin’s 16-year career, she developed My Design Studio, the top independent decor finishing centre servicing the residential construction industry in Southern Ontario. As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designer, Yasmine comes full circle on her passion for beautiful and sustainable design with My LiveABLE Design & Renovations.

For more information, visit my-designstudio.com.

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Yasmine Goodwin

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Refresh and reset, a masterfully designed master makeover

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Refresh and reset, a masterfully designed master makeover

It wasn’t the easy access that enticed my clients to buy their home on a busy west end street, it was what was behind the house that sealed the deal. They instantly fell in love with the beauty of the seemingly endless backyard. The deep, west-facing lot was filled with mature greenery and connected to a well-established golf course. With no fence between them, and the course, they could enjoy the park-like setting beyond their own property.

Good intentions

The house was in good form and required only minor updates. However, the second-storey master bedroom was disappointing. It should have commanded the best views of the garden and the yard below, but the layout and window placement didn’t take advantage of it. The south wall featured a large window, but it limited the options for furniture placement.

The client decided to add a Juliette balcony with French doors that opened to the view, as well as a fireplace on the windowless interior wall to create a cosy seating area. We also beefed up the trim and added detail to the ceiling to emphasize the room’s height. Lastly, it was decided that the the south window was hand-cuffing us to one layout, so it was replaced with a transom window. This option allowed us to position the bed under it, while still benefiting from the southern sunlight.

Green is in

The chosen colour palette for the bedroom was inspired by the gardens below. My clients weren’t afraid of colour, so we went with various shades of green to create a calming, and restful, bedroom. Green is also associated with new growth and new beginnings. It’s a colour that’s full of life – just like them.

Tonal values

It might seem like a disparate selection of mixed greens, but each tone helps to consolidate the look when it’s repeated throughout. This brings harmony to the overall design. Don’t be hesitant to mix shades of the same colour, as it takes the pressure off of trying to match exact colours.

Contrasting textures

Mixing textures also helps to harmonize a well-designed room. I like to add at least four textures to any space. You might want a deep, plush carpet for a cosy feel. For a traditional look, crisp is the way to go with linens. Or, you may prefer the opposite. If you use natural linens for your bedding, add the crispness elsewhere, such as metal drawer pulls or mirrored bedside tables. Create an airy element by adding sheers that billow in the breeze. Black trim and dark wood tones help to ground a space.

We chose textures and patterns to add depth and animation to the green palette by using fabric, pillows, carpets, a bench seat, and the fireplace surround in stone and walnut. The mid-century modern, walnut-over-ply curves of the shell chairs add earthy sophistication to the seating area.

BEFORE

The extras

The design of the trim on the ceiling now emphasizes this often-neglected surface. Rather than the two original windows, the French doors provide fresh air and spectacular views. A new soft, ripple-fold window treatment was added to give the impression of an expansive glass wall. Now the master bedroom makes the most of its entitled position, and fully embraces the garden view. And, it feels as fresh as it looks.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design janelockhart.com

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Colouring our lives

Colouring our lives

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Colouring our lives

Spring is here. However, this year may not quite be the spring we are accustomed to. As of late, we have been living a new reality of “physical distancing” and in many cases working from home. With so much time being spent indoors, you may find yourself looking around your home and thinking it’s in need of a bit of a boost. A great way of injecting some life in your space is by adding colour!

Full of inspiration, colour is a major influencer in the world of design. It has the ability to enhance and punctuate a monochromatic space, to create drama in a room, or do the opposite and create a relaxing serene environment. Either way, using colour in your space will definitely enhance the style and aesthetic appeal of your home.

Whether you enjoy the simplicity of white walls with the flexibility of accessorizing with colour, or are drawn to using colour on your walls, cabinetry or furnishings, undoubtedly a splash of this year’s popular bold and rich hues are sure to leave you feeling all the loves for colour in your life. From the colour of the year – Classic Blue – to soft whites with a breath of pink, to rich burnt oranges or soft and pretty sage greens… we have an insanely broad spectrum of possibilities and inspirations.

Wonderfully patterned fabrics and area rugs, tiles saturated with colour and bold wallpapers lend themselves well to creating a space with a personality all its own. However, if this all seems a bit too much for you and your comfort zone lies deep within the monochromatic white-on-white look, never fear. Colour can still find its way into your home in the subtlety of artwork, accessories or even the lushness of fresh green plants. Whatever your heart desires, there is definitely an abundance of ways to colour your world.

So, give your home a little “facelift” with an inspirationally stylish and sophisticated palette of colours to create a cheerful and uplifting space, especially during these unprecedented times of isolation.

Four tips for colour inspiration

  • Paint is always a great place to start. Any “weekendwarrior” can easily liven up a room with a gallon of paint, and the great part is when you’ve tired of the colour, it’s easy enough to change.
  • Add a touch of black to your mix. It doesn’t need to be a big item – a black box, vase, picture frame or other accent. By doing this you clarify and enhance all the other colours in the space.
  • Wallpaper is a fun and fantastic way to inject life into your room with an abundant selection of patterns and colour you will be sure to make a great impact in your home.
  • Be bold in your selections and use of colour. If you love a certain tone but are a little hesitant, then use it in smaller doses as an accent instead of on a larger scale such as a wall or an expensive item like a sofa.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Lighting

Getting the most out of your lighting

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Getting the most out of your lighting

Lighting can have a major impact on the look and feel of your home. While lighting obviously has a function and purpose, it can also become a great feature in your home to highlight focal points and create ambiance.

To create a successful lighting plan for your renovation you need to consider a layered approach. By layering lighting in a space, you are able to create the flexibility of different vibes and functions. However, to do so you need to have a general understanding of the four basic categories of lighting: ambient, task, accent and decorative.

Ambient lighting illuminates any given space and permits an ease of mobility throughout a room. Task lighting, as seems obvious, affords you additional lighting in specific areas devoted to a particular task or function. Accent lighting can be used to highlight artwork, decor or perhaps architectural features within a space; it can be a great way to highlight a focal point in a room. Finally, we have decorative lighting, which is simply an accessory to your room, or the finishing touch. However, another source of lighting that should not be dismissed in design is natural light. It’s the most inexpensive, environmentally friendly and sought-after form of light available. Many new condo and home builds today are being designed and constructed with wonderfully large window features that allow for maximum natural light even in small spaces. Natural light not only services the functional aspect of light in design, it also helps to create a warm and inviting aesthetic for your home.

In most renovations today we find that recessed pot lights are the go-to option when looking to upgrade lighting in a home. However, for condo-dwellers this is not necessarily feasible as ceilings are mostly concrete. When looking to renovate your condo there are some ceiling details that may allow you to add pot lights. If your ceiling height permits, such features as a tray ceiling or a coffered ceiling can be a nice way to not only add interest to your space, but also provide the space required to add recessed pot lighting. If this is not an option for you, consider the addition of track lighting. The track lighting systems on the market today have a far more upscale look to them, with many more size and style options than we have previously seen, while being far more user-friendly for the condo environment.

Whatever your lighting inspiration, be sure to pay adequate attention to your lighting plan and needs so that you not only create a space that is safe and functional but use light to create a warm and inviting ambiance in your home.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Five steps to turn your backyard into an entertainer’s delight

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Five steps to turn your backyard into an entertainer’s delight

What better joy is there in life than spending time with your loved ones? Incorporating the visits of family and friends into your backyard design may help these occasions happen more frequently, and it takes a little thought and planning to make this happen.

You might be thinking that your backyard is perfectly adequate: A well-trimmed and mostly green lawn, a tree for shade, and a few chairs you picked up on sale at Costco. Sadly, the majority of suburban backyards in America today are relatively indistinguishable from one another and not all that inviting. What makes a backyard inviting? Here are five ways you can turn your backyard into an entertainer’s delight – without an inground pool and a diving board.

Resort-style atmosphere

As you flip through home and lifestyle magazines, what do you notice? Plants. That’s right, plants are the number one way that you can turn your backyard into a place where people will love to spend time. You don’t have to be a decorator, but it doesn’t hurt if you are! The first thing to realize is that there’s no such thing as having a green thumb. There isn’t a division between people who can communicate with plants like some kind of botanist Dr. Doolittle versus people who will kill a plant just by watering it once. Yes, there was a time when information wasn’t as freely available as it is today, but if you combine the practical advice you’ll find on the internet with the local-specific advice you can get from someone who works at a nursery, you should be able to handle adding some wonderful atmosphere to your backyard.

Water features improve your backyard

Yes, your friends and family would probably be very happy if you let them know that you have just installed an inground pool and that they are welcome to stop by anytime. However, most of us don’t have that kind of budget. Luckily, you don’t need a pool to add some pizzazz to your backyard. Shop around for a water feature instead. This could be anything from a small electric fountain to a wading pool. There’s just something about water that makes people feel relaxed and social.

Outdoor cooking makes your backyard sizzle

Part of what makes gatherings among friends and family so enjoyable is the sharing of food. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a way of preparing food that is more sociable than when you cook in an outdoor kitchen or on a grill. If you’re one of the lucky ones with a complete outdoor kitchen, rejoice. However, don’t fret if it’s not in your budget. A charcoal or gas grill can provide plenty of fun and entertainment, and with a little online research you can narrow your search down to some of the best grills available on the market today.

Shade from the sun is a must

An easy backyard feature to overlook is also one of the least expensive to buy: Any kind of shade. If you’re lucky, nature will have provided shade in the form of trees. However, a visit to an outdoor furnishings store will have a variety of options. Umbrellas are popular; in fact, you may be able to find a vintage umbrella at an estate sale. Some entertainers go further and build pavilions for their backyard. In between those two options are a variety of other structures, often made of canvas, which can be assembled and taken down with relative ease.

Stay outside with comfortable furniture

Lastly, how is the furniture set-up in your backyard? Are there comfortable places for everyone to sit? A set of outdoor furniture will be an investment that pays for itself over and over again with dividends of rest and relaxation. A properly-placed couch is something that can be lounged upon when the weather is just right, and you’ll find yourself spending more and more time in your backyard – even when you aren’t entertaining.

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Small wonder

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Small wonder

Photography by Donna Griffith

Like the babies who sleep in them, all nurseries grow up eventually. Tamara Robbins Griffith knew it was time for her daughter, Amelia, 4, to have a big-girl room, but it wasn’t as easy as painting some walls and rearranging the furniture. “It’s the smallest room in our house at just 80 square feet,” says Tamara, home decor expert. “The makeover was like playing Tetris. I had to be thoughtful about how to get the most out of the room.” What topped Tamara and her husband, Edward’s, must-have list for Amelia’s room? A multi-functional space that incorporated storage, looked pretty (but not too precious) and included all the things their daughter loved most.

Figure out function

Tamara’s first move was to commission a ceiling-high closet that included dresser drawers and enough vertical space to hang Amelia’s dresses. With that part of the vision complete, she turned her sights to furniture. It was Edward’s idea to explore a loft bed to maximize the tight square footage. The couple fell hard for this sleek, contemporary version made from FSC-certified wood — but it meant managing their budget accordingly. “We splurged on the bed, but saved on all the decorating accessories so we balanced an investment with great deals,” she says. Selling the nursery suite and putting the proceeds toward the new furniture helped, too. Next, Tamara created a mini-desk using a side table, and sourced some toy-storage solutions. “I love soft baskets and hampers because they’re decorative in their own right, and make clean up so easy. Lucky for me, Amelia’s a good tidy-upper!”

Find a fun motif

As the youngest in the family, Amelia (who has a brother, Noah, 8) already lives with a ton of hand-me-downs, so Tamara decided to let her choose the wallpaper for the room’s feature wall. “I gave her six to pick from,” says Tamara. “Some were bold and some were soft, but she really liked these ikat-style polka dots.” The blush-pink tones served as a sweet backdrop for sunny pops of yellow, accents of red and black and a subtle insect motif — proving that little girls’ rooms don’t always have to be full of sugar and spice. “When we were working on the bedroom, it was the summer of bugs,” says Tamara with a laugh. “Dragonflies, snails, cicadas, ladybugs, you name it. We joke that she’s going to become an entomologist.” A bumblebee pillow, beetle artwork and ode to snails above the desk are a cheeky nod to the theme.

“We injected a bit of black into the room to keep it from feeling too childish”

Sprinkle in some magic

The nook under the loft bed is a natural spot for the family to indulge in one of its favourite pastimes: reading. A bookshelf that matches the bed offers both open and closed storage for books, artwork and collectibles. Layered rugs up the comfort factor: “If you’re hanging out on the floor, as kids do, it’s nice to snuggle up on a sheepskin,” says Tamara. The final touch was the addition of some twinkle lights. Tamara and Edward experimented with Christmas lights before settling on a strand of white dragonflies in keeping with the theme. “We really wanted her room to feel a bit magical,” says Tamara. “Amelia just loves it, and now it’s a cosy spot for all of us to curl up.”

SOURCES

RUG, BEDDING, CUSHIONS, OTTOMAN, KIDS CHAIRS, SIDE TABLE (USED AS DESK), TASK LAMP, BEETLE ARTWORK, MIRRORED WALL SHELF, ACCESSORIES: HomeSense LOFT BED, BOOKSHELF: Oeuf WALLPAPER: Studio Bon Fuzz in Blush, Schumacher

Beth Hitchcock writes a weekly design column for the Globe & Mail and is the former Editor-in-Chief of House & Home magazine. She is developing several book projects, including a series with acclaimed designer and TV personality Sarah Richardson to be published by Simon & Schuster this spring.

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How to design a master chef kitchen

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How to design a master chef kitchen

You may have mastered the art of creating a culinary masterpiece out of just about anything but without an efficient “workstation,” cooking can be a hassle. When you have limited space, barely any storage, and are ill-equipped with the right appliances and tools, you become frustrated and uninspired to cook. The best way to resolve the matter (if you have the budget for it) is to redesign your kitchen to suit your needs.

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Start with the layout

Want to know how master chefs can seamlessly move throughout their kitchen without even thinking about it (or so it seems)? The layout of the kitchen is conducive to their movements. While you don’t want to feel cramped in the kitchen, you also don’t want to have to move too much from one area to another trying to prepare a meal.

You can look at photos on social media, home improvement blogs, and even house plans (like those found at monsterhouseplans.com) to get an idea of how you’d like to set things up in your new kitchen. As you view images and floorplans as inspiration, just remember to keep your pattern or routine of cooking in mind.

Divide into stations

If you’ve ever watched a master or top chef show you realize their kitchens are divided into sections or stations. When deciding on a layout for your kitchen, you can make things easier by doing the same. Decide the best area for prepping, cooking (stove and oven), cleaning, and storage. You might place seasonings next to the cooking or prep station while dishes would be stored in cabinets on top of or beneath the cleaning station. If you have a larger kitchen, you might even like the idea of adding an eating area such as a kitchen nook and a place for storage like a pantry.

Don’t forget about storage

When redesigning your kitchen for more efficient cooking don’t forget about the importance of storage. Clutter and disorganization only slow you down and cause frustration for something that should be therapeutic and fun. So, you want to make sure that the new design has a space for everything you use in the kitchen. Take a survey of your kitchen and get rid of anything you won’t need or use once the design is complete. For everything else, make sure you’ve made a selection on the type of storage. From cabinets and drawers for food, silverware, and dishes, shelves and hooks for pots, pans, and cooking utensils everything needs it’s own space.

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Invest in high-quality appliances

They say an artist is only as good as the tools they use. The same is true for a chef. It is your skills, experience, and culinary style that allow you to make such great dishes but the quality of the appliances you use matters. You may not be able to spring for industrial or commercial-sized ovens, microwaves, and stoves, but you do want appliances that can withstand the frequency of use and enhance your cooking experiences. There are a lot of energy-efficient high-tech appliances to choose from. Look at not only the style and brand name but the features and overall quality to decide which items are best for your new kitchen.

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Colors, texture and decor

The last step to remodeling your kitchen to make it more efficient for cooking is the colors, textures, and decor. You want an inviting space the inspires your creativity while also making you feel comfortable. Most popular kitchen colors right now are gray and white with stainless steel appliances. You can, however, go off the grid choosing a vibrant yellow and a soft gray or a dark navy blue paired with beige. Try to bring in some texture and decor into your kitchen as well. You can create a feature wall, add a unique backsplash pattern, or decorate with common houseplants, flowers, and bowls of fruit.

Anyone who loves to cook or cooks with a passion deserves to have space where they can do so without the frustration. Whether you’re making a stir fry or looking to make more advanced dishes you’ll love how much easier and more enjoyable it is when you’ve designed a kitchen that is just as aesthetically appealing as it is functional and efficient.

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Embrace your space, no matter the challenges

Embrace your space, no matter the challenges

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Embrace your space, no matter the challenges

We’ve all been witness to the ongoing condo boom in Toronto, and now this popular housing class is moving into the suburbs. Every time you turn around, it seems, another large, new condo building appears. However, not all of us are owners of these modern builds, with their soaring ceilings and large windows. Many condo-dwellers reside in buildings that are 20 to 30 years old. They don’t have 10-ft. ceilings, or open concept floorplans with integrated kitchens. Instead, many of these older spaces lack some of the architectural features of today’s builds and, in fact, often pose design challenges for us.

One such condo came our way last year. Our client had resided in her large, uptown Toronto unit for more than 20 years. She loved her home, but knew it was time for an update. The condo itself was spacious, more than 2,000 sq. ft., with a large wrap-around terrace. But there were significant challenges that arose when it came to a design. Though the footprint was large, it was oddly shaped, creating issues for space planning. It had a beautiful amount of natural light in some areas, and others – such as the entrance – felt dark and cavernous. The greater challenge, though, was the multitude of dated glass block walls, which could not be removed.

We addressed the issues one by one, and when it came time to the issue of the glass walls, we embraced this initially overwhelming feature, and garnered inspiration from the pattern and texture of the glass block. By introducing more pattern and texture to the space, the glass block began to feel more at home and a little more current.

We also had to work with the lighting within the space. Relocating or adding lighting in a condo can often be an impossible task, but there are ways to address this, as well, when you get creative and work with a good electrician.

We went one step further to help our client embrace her new space, and refurbished many of her personal belongings. From artwork to furniture to small mementos collected over the years that meant so much to her, all the items that were transitioning to the “new” condo received a face-lift of their own. Artwork was reframed to reflect a more contemporary look; furniture was upholstered; and family heirlooms received a place of honour. Where possible, we upcycled, as opposed to buying new. This enabled us to create a completely new and upscale environment that still felt like home.

In the end, this condo received a new lease on life. It transitioned from being an outdated space to a large, bright, airy and welcoming home for our client. It not only reflects our client’s personality and living style, but it has now become a condo with its own great features that can compete in the world of the new condo builds.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Think pink

Pink is the hot new trend in decor

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Pink is the hot new trend in decor

Every room tells a story, and for the moment the story is pink! We’re not talking about exaggerated pinks such as bubblegum pink or hot pink. Instead, the pinks we are inspired by range from rich earthy, dusty tones to salmon and soft corals, or lovely greyish blush tones to deep, rich cerise. These are pinks that are universal in design and decorating, without being overly feminine. A beautiful earthy pink pared with deep greens and the newly popular ochre creates a warm, inviting and comfortable colour palette for almost any room in your home.

Shades of pink were ever-so popular in the 1980s, and we are seeing a rejuvenation of that pink and grey as a classic colour palette. The soft grey of that period has matured into a rich charcoal that is perfectly complemented by the everlasting blush pink. For those who like to push the design envelope, this combo can be further transformed with a deep rich smoky navy, a touch of mustard and a beautiful earthy pink. The versatility of this colour is endless.

Blush is today’s new neutral, especially when it comes to wall colours. Multi hues of pink can create a bold monochromatic statement in your room. Pinks can also be forceful, almost bordering on overpowering while at the same time simplistic and calming.

If you are feeling that pink is a trend you are itching to explore but just can’t bring yourself to go all the way, try easing into today’s trend with some light accessories, or toss cushions. Or perhaps if you’re ready for tad more, try creating a feature wall with a great wallpaper pattern. There are so many possibilities that allow you to inject a bit of this fun trend into your home… so many beautiful fabric and wall covering patterns, so many wonderful shades of this great colour to service every mood, every style, every room.

If you’re looking to incorporate multiple patterns and textures into your space, there are a few things to keep in mind to achieve that “designer look” in your own home. To blend fabric patterns together successfully, you need to remember to vary the scale of the patterns from small to large and maintain the same depth or magnitude of colour to avoid an imbalance in the space. Starting with the blending together of a minimum of three fabric patterns should give you a solid base to expand on. Your first pattern should be your most impactful one, so selecting a pattern that is larger-scaled might be wise. The second pattern should be completely different, about half the scale of the first one and should incorporate some similar colours or tones. The third pattern can be smaller scale and similar in pattern to either of the first two, with at least two to three of the colours found in the other patterns. So, for example, if you have selected a large-scale floral as your first pattern, the second could be a bold stripe or perhaps a geometric fretwork pattern, and then blend in another small-scale floral for the third or an alternative geometric. You can still add another pattern or two, or three, if you wish – maybe a small check, dot or something in a solid small-scale texture. If you’re more adventurous, consider throwing an animal print into the mix for a bit of fun. There are a lot of fabulous pink animal prints available today that can spice up a room – and remember to maintain balance throughout your space.

Pink is in so be bold and explorative in your decorating. Enjoy this trend. You may be surprised where it will take you!

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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