Tag Archives: kitchen design

DESIGN: Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches – Many inspiring options await when it’s time for a kitchen upgrade

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Finishing Touches – Many inspiring options await when it’s time for a kitchen upgrade

Planning a kitchen renovation is always exciting, and often overwhelming. The enthusiasm of pouring over the multitude of Pinterest inspirations often morphs into the stress of decision making of cabinet styles, colours, layouts and product selections.

Today, we have hundreds of options available to us when it comes to all of the finishing touches. Our sinks and faucets are no longer simply utilitarian, countertops come in an array of colours, textures, patterns and product compositions – whether natural or man-made, and appliances have taken an almost artful approach to complement our kitchens. Even accessories such as lighting, stools and hardware have upped their ante to become statement makers in today’s kitchen.

Classic white kitchens will always remain, but right now it’s all about colour! Whether it’s a deep rich green or charcoal grey for our cabinetry, or perhaps richly antiqued brass lighting, the new popularity of injecting colour into our kitchens is creating a character and style all its own. Warm metals can be found everywhere, from custom range hoods making dramatic statements to our kitchen faucets, now being designed as “showpieces.” Faucets have matured beyond simple chrome or satin nickel to a modern vibe of matte black, the warmth of aged golds and the new revival of blackened pewters. One of the hottest new trends in faucets is the two-tone blending of black and metals – and companies such as Blanco have a great selection. Also, and a favourite of mine, are their Silgranit composite sinks that come in a variety of colours and styles. Not only durable, heat and stain resistant, these sinks are also a step up in style, finish and colour from their stainless counterparts.

Black remains a powerful force in kitchen design, and it is moving past the accessories to become a strong colour for cabinetry as well as appliances. Black has the ability to add an element of drama and yet simplicity, modernism and yet a traditionally classic feel to any room – and the kitchen is no exception. Whether your comfort level allows for matte black appliances, or simply a touch of it with your faucet, sink or lighting, matte black undeniably will elevate your kitchen from lifeless neutrals to bold and impactful.

Regardless of your personal style, one thing is for certain – our finishing touches have become strong influencers in the kitchen. Find your own inspiration and comfort when it comes to colour, metals and textures, and look to inject some life into your kitchen space. These accessories have progressed from being just functional. With the choices available to us today, they have been designed to be statement-makers that not only elevate our kitchens but create stunning focal points in what was once simply a practical room. Kitchens remain the heart of any home, but that does not mean they need to be boring!

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.



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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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Delta Faucet Canada recently introduced a new black stainless finish for the kitchen

A bold new colour in stainless

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A bold new colour in stainless

Delta Faucet Canada recently introduced a new black stainless finish for the kitchen.

When it comes to kitchen design, consumers are embracing the black stainless trend in everything from their major appliances to their stand mixers. Now, consumers can extend this unique finish to their faucets.

To address design trends and preferences, Delta Faucet Canada recently introduced a new black stainless finish. Less reflective and warmer than traditional stainless steel, the new finish offers a modern look that pairs well with black stainless appliances, as well as a variety of other finishes. Have traditional white appliances in your kitchen? Consider switching to black stainless faucets for a completely new monochrome look – one of the biggest trends following IDS 2018.

The new black stainless finish will be available starting in February 2018 exclusively on Delta’s Trinsic Pro Collection.



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Luxury Appliance Trends

Luxury Appliance Trends

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Luxury Appliance Trends

by Margaret Macdonald

With exceedingly busy lives, both style and convenience in appliances are becoming more paramount in today’s ever-changing world. Appliances, for example, have come a long way from the brash style of the 1970s harvest gold refrigerator and stove era. Technologically speaking, appliances have progressed light years from energy-wasting refrigerators and coil element stove tops.

The top three trends on the appliance market today are integrated refrigeration, induction cooking and convection steam cooking.

Subzero drawer refrigerator
Subzero drawer refrigerator

Integrated Refrigeration

Aesthetically, a huge trend in residential kitchens is that less is more. Minimalist design trends demand the need for fully integrated appliances with refrigeration seamlessly blending into the adjacent cabinets.

Fully integrated refrigerators are typically 24-inches deep and require a cabinet door front (panel ready) from the cabinetmaker to be installed directly on the appliance. These refrigerators can include full-height models as well as under-counter versions.

With so many options on the market, what is the right choice? Aside from functionality and performance, a big consideration would be the hinges: are they completely concealed and do they allow for a 3-mm to 6-mm reveal between the adjacent cabinetry? A minimal reveal will allow for the perfect alignment to match the cabinetry. Cabinets typically have a 3-mm reveal, which is the gap between cabinet doors and/or drawer fronts.

Another consideration would be the adjustment flexibility of the cabinet door front on the appliance (the adjustment capabilities are dictated by the appliance manufacturers specifications), allowing side-to-side, up-and-down and in-and-out adjustments of the panel, which guarantees a perfect fit. Integrated refrigerators have heights that can vary from brand to brand. Make sure you check specs carefully with the cabinetmaker.

Wolf induction cooktop
Wolf induction cooktop

Induction Cooking

One the best technological advances in the appliance industry, although often the most misunderstood, are induction cooktops and ranges. Induction cooktops offer a ceramic cooking surface which is great solution for today’s design trends. With decreased cooking times and superior ease of use, the benefits are almost limitless.

But what exactly is induction cooking? Electricity flows under the ceramic surface, which generates a magnetic field and in turn causes electrons to vibrate. This vibration causes the pan to heat up immediately. Because of the magnetic field, only magnetic cookware will work. Induction cookware is now very common and can be purchased everywhere cookware is available.

The cooking surface itself does not heat up – only the pan. This whole process can cut down on cooking time by up to 40 per cent compared to gas and standard electric cooking. Imagine boiling a pot of water in less than 60 seconds. Induction cooking also makes cleanup of the cooktop a breeze because the area outside of the cookware doesn’t heat up, hence no more scorched boil overs.

Convection Steam Cooking

Although convection steam cooking has been around for over 40 years, this cooking style has gained popularity in the last few years. Often when we imagine steam cooking, we think of food that is bland and void of flavour, colour and crispness. But this is not the case.

Convection steam ovens use both convection heat (air which is circulated in the oven for a more consistent heat and quicker cooking time) and steam (heat from the oven turns water into steam, which allows for the food to be moist and hold in more nutrients). Typically these two cooking methods can be used independently of each other or in tandem. From baking the most incredible loaves of bread with a beautifully browned, crisp crust and a fluffy, moist inside, or to baking the perfect pizza that you swear was cooked by your local pizzeria, convection steam ovens are the perfect addition to any kitchen.

You can also defrost in a convection steam oven – gone are the days of greyish, partially cooked meat from defrosting in a microwave. When defrosting frozen meat in the convection steam oven, the results are phenomenal. It’s as if you just picked up dinner at the local butcher.

MARGARET MACDONALD has been involved in kitchen design, both as an international designer and as A&D sales manager for luxury products for over 20 years.

Her vast wealth of experience in all areas pertaining to residential kitchen design has been invaluable in her current position as A&D, trade sales manager for Maroline Inc.


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Design Experts – Once Upon A Kitchen

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Design Experts – Once Upon A Kitchen

The melding of modern and rustic takes shape in a country kitchen on Mother Nature’s clock.

Photography By Alex Lukey

Getting a kitchen design just right is always a little stressful. In this particular project, timelines were somewhat tight seeing the homeowner had a bun in the oven of her own, making it an even more time-sensitive project. Our young professional couple had bought a wonderful home in the country with the thought of starting a family— complete with animals, lots of space to grow, and land to spare. The setting is nothing short of bountiful Mother Nature in her glory but inside the home, the kitchen needed help bringing its outdated appliances, tiled floors and oak-stained cabinets into the now. Ultimately, we knew we had to conceive and create a modern country kitchen before the birth of her first child. From start to finish, we had seven months to complete the project. We knew this kitchen was going to go full-term and we needed her to do the same. The race was on to see who would cross the finish line first, baby boy “Harrison” or us!


We started by removing the floor tiles in the old kitchen and replacing them with some beautiful hardwood. Many people worry about hardwood in the kitchen but the reality is that factory-finished hardwood will perform as well as tiles and is a little softer underfoot. Water is no issue unless it is left on the floor for hours and hours. We replaced the floor throughout the main level with a beautiful Satin wide board product in a warm-grey tone. Our first trimester ended on solid ground.


Next was the selection of appliances. Both she and her husband love to cook, so selecting a premium brand like Jenn-Air was the natural choice. A six-burner cooktop and range hood, coupled with a double oven and panel-received French door fridge and dishwasher were selected in record time. When cooking is a passion, it is important to look at products that will give you the superior performance a chef comes to expect. We love the idea of panel-received appliances in open-concept spaces to ensure that the kitchen looks like fine cabinetry when you are in the family room but is filled with function when you are working in the kitchen. In open-concept living, you want to elevate the visual of the kitchen to suit the elegance of the principal rooms.



Next, we selected a farm-front style sink from Blanco to maintain the charm and era of the homeowners’ property coupled with a vegetable sink on the island. We were delighted to find they were both available in a Silgranit material, making them almost impossible to destroy and perfect for this new family. Blanco faucets in chrome, one for the farm-house sink with a spring control and the other has a simple arch, complemented each other perfectly. With a budding family, we needed a beautiful yet easy-to-maintain countertop. The Silestone by Cosentino option, a man-made quartz, fit the bill. We selected the Nebula Orion colour because it was simple but also had some graining in it like marble. Every new mom knows that any help hiding the dirt until you can get to cleaning it is a God-send.


We then ran an elongated subway tile as a backsplash made of a bevelled glazed porcelain paying homage to the traditional country kitchen. Clean and crisp, modern and approachable— the space is elegantly embellished by black-and-gold lighting above the sink and island. We also selected knobs and pulls in matte black to provide contrast as well as add a touch of the “local blacksmith” look. The warm and reflective properties of the gilded drum shade interior result in a soothing glow, day or night.


A classic black-and-white palette wove a common thread throughout the kitchen colour scheme. Anchoring the design, we incorporated a matte-black island and moving the eyes upward we selected, along with the homeowners, white raised-panel door cabinets. The result is a modern kitchen with a farm-fresh feel for this wonderful family in waiting.


This modern country kitchen was completed just one week before “Harrison” arrived on the scene. Our sources tell us that both kitchen and baby are doing brilliantly.

SOURCES – FLOORING: Satin Flooring COUNTERTOPS: Silestone by Cosentino SINKS AND FAUCETS: Blanco BACKSPLASH: Olympia Tile CABINETS: CCW Millworkers LIGHTING: Living Lighting on King CABINET COLOUR: Benjamin Moore, Cloud White OC-130

Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander are co-founders and principals of Peloso Alexander Interiors. They bring 35 years of combined experience to creating environments that merge the client’s lifestyle, personality, and architecture. pelosoalexander.com, twitter @ glenpeloso & @glenandjamie, Facebook.com/glenpeloso


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Design/Build Expert: Kitchen Talk

Design/Build Expert: Kitchen Talk

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Design/Build Expert: Kitchen Talk

by Brendan Charters

Annual Kitchen Design Trends Review

Early each year, we fall upon home show season when design industry leaders lay out the newest ideas to help make everyone just a little self-conscious about the state of their kitchens at home. Regardless of what type of kitchen you may think you need to survive, we can all generally agree that it’s impractical for us all to buy a food truck and park it in our driveway, even if it’s a Kimchi Taco truck. It’s widely known that the kitchen is the hub of the home—but some do that job much better and more stylishly than others. As time goes by, skilled designers invent modifications to let us all know what we now simply cannot live without in our kitchens, and by way of default, push those older trends deeper into obscurity.

Given that not one homeowner is the same, we do not rely on only one designer’s ideas to create the solutions we offer them. At Eurodale we work with an entire team on our design-build projects, so I regularly confer with our group when we are designing and building for a client.

A MUST: Quality materials, lots of drawers with pullout storage features and a pot filler over that red-hot range.
A MUST: Quality materials, lots of drawers with pullout storage features and a pot filler over that red-hot range.

Jim Cunningham from Eurodale Developments (Architectural Designer), Laura Thornton of Thornton Design (Interior Designer) and Jimmy Zoras from Distinctive by Design Fine Cabinetry (Kitchen Designer) all have an equal level of input into all our kitchen projects. This ensures the space planning and flow works, the intricate details and esthetics fit together and the ultimate execution matches the design intention. This year I adjusted the three questions I pose to them every year. We felt it prudent you know their thoughts on what’s new, what works best (and what is likely here to stay!) and what is headed for the waste bin when it comes to kitchen design trends. Hopefully you can use their valuable input, tabled here, when planning your own kitchen project.


JIM@EURODALE: A pot filler is a must, especially when the sink is far away from the range. It avoids those nasty spills. It can also be used to put out any fires on the stove in a flash. In the event of an emergency, you don’t have to hunt around for your trusty fire extinguishers. (Author’s note—this is not how to extinguish a grease fire Jim!)

LAURA@THORNTON: Quality! Investing in durable finishes will make your new kitchen last and look new longer. The elements of your home that you touch regularly should be where money is spent. Quality in the cabinetry, hardware, and countertops is key.

JIMMY@DISTINCTIVE: Some of the most critical elements that I incorporate in my designs is a garbage/recycling and compost area, pullout drawers in pantries and lots of drawers for easy convenience.


JIM@EURODALE: White on white on white. I don’t know how many times I have heard white is classic. Clients gravitate to white out of safety and to avoid having to do the next big reno sooner. I get it, my kitchen is 80 per cent white too. The challenge is, door panel designs change, whites fade and kitchens wear out from use. Why not enjoy your kitchen and add some colour into your life?

LAURA@THORNTON: White kitchens still reign supreme (sorry Jim!) but the classic oversized hood-range combination will have to make way for a more contemporary tile-fronted or natural stone slab range-hood fan cover and matching backsplash.

JIMMY@DISTINCTIVE: Some of the trends that are dying off are dark cabinetry, natural-stone slab counters (granite especially) and halogen lighting—LEDs have come a long way.


JIM@EURODALE: Kitchens will be built around technology vs. being added on later. Smart appliances controlling the kitchen so your meal can be ready for you when you arrive, or grocery auto-management. Here we come Jetsons.

LAURA@THORNTON: Canadians are embracing colour. Get ready to start seeing amazing kitchen cabinetry in fabulous yellows, red, navy and glamorous black (sorry Jimmy!)

JIMMY@DISTINCTIVE: Some new things we are building into kitchens this year include brass accents (hardware), grey and blue is a very popular colour combination, and wood grains are making a big comeback. No longer just a sterile food prep area, the kitchen is more of a gathering place for entertaining and these features add warmth and complement this lifestyle change.

THE PRECIPICE - White kitchens have dominated the last decade. The jury is split on their future but regardless of colour, kitchens that can accommodate family and friends, not just chefs, remain on-trend.
THE PRECIPICE – White kitchens have dominated the last decade. The jury is split on their future but regardless of colour, kitchens that can accommodate family and friends, not just chefs, remain on-trend.

At the end of the day, whether building new or remodelling an existing kitchen, my personal advice is to work with a professional for great advice and achieving the best results.

Bottom line, the kitchen needs to be durable, look great and function for our many demands in the space. When planning your own kitchen renovation, think of how you plan to live in the space, and then look to the styling after. Door styles, colours and finishes change like fashion, but a space that is carefully planned and built with quality materials will serve you and your guests well (or longest), regardless of the next hot trend.


Brendan Charters is co-owner of Toronto Design-Build Firm Eurodale Developments – 2016 BILD Renovator of the Year.

Visit eurodale.ca or follow Brendan on Twitter @EurodaleHomes


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Artful Open Shelves

Artful Open Shelves

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Artful Open Shelves

by Melissa Davies

Personalize The New Open Kitchen

Kitchen design trends, as with all trends, tend to evolve more out of necessity than style. Traditionally, kitchens were efficient rooms, with everything needed within arm’s length. The need to hide away utilitarian items didn’t exist and with the kitchen tucked away from the receiving rooms and certainly not a place to receive guests, it was all about function. As the traditional setup morphed into something resembling today, we moved the kitchen adjacent to the other common rooms, and then front and center as the proverbial heart of the home.

The first ten-plus years of my career were spent as a designer plotting out ways to tuck, clad and squeeze every conceivable kitchen bit and bob out of sight. This is still very true in a lot of homes I design, however I’ve seen a trend towards a more casual open approach. Blame the ever-popular cooking show, raising the once monotonous job that is dinner into an almost theatrical display. Amateur cooks are proudly embarking on the epicurean masterpieces. The fun byproduct of the phenomenon is pride in the chosen tools of the trade. Mixers, knives and steel cut oats are selected with hours of online research. Of course, this means one needs a showcase to show off their foodie prowess to friends. With client’s shrinking urban kitchens, which are also short of closed kitchen cabinets, this can mean adding supplemental open shelves as a display and storage alternative.

Open kitchen storage is a terrific way to reinforce the overall home style, whether quiet and subtle, or full of personality. The following is a list of favourite kitchen storage solutions, from past design projects, addressing each homeowner’s specific needs.

1. Pop of Colour – Small kitchen appliances, and cookware come in seemingly every colour imaginable. Drawing key colours from adjacent rooms and opting to go bold here is a fun way to tie it all together. Opt for a few key pieces in colour then keep the rest more neutral in metals and whites for a fresh contrast. (Red Mixer: Kitchenaid)

2. The Art of Subtle – Open shelving doesn’t always need to be bold. By storing pieces that blend with the wall colour, for example, white and clear glass, a subtle, functional solution is created. This is also a great approach when staging for resale! (Shelves and dishware: IKEA)

3. Curated Collections – Grouping similar pieces together is a design trick that can make even the most mundane look artful. Successful selection is as much about the negative space as the selection of pieces them selves. The rustic brick and reclaimed wood benefit from the contrast of metal.

4. Camouflage – Hiding things in plain sight requires a balance between the object and the surrounding. A collection of cookbooks, crockery and linens are layered in front of dense patterned wallpaper from Farrow and Ball. The result: the shelves fade away while the items welcome the eye to take a bit of a journey from grouping to grouping.

Toronto-based celebrity designer and contractor MELISSA DAVIS, is known for her appearances, creative design and reno work produced for various HGTV shows including Income Property. Her work has been profiled nationally in print publications. With almost two decades of experience in design, architecture and construction her firm continues to service clientele throughout Ontario & GTA, specializing in value-added ROI and resale consultations.




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