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Kitchen classics where black and white has staying power

Kitchen classics where black and white has staying power

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Kitchen classics where black and white has staying power

Black and white has always been a classic and timeless combination. It offers flexibility and longevity when it comes to accessorizing, can easily be dressed up or pared down, and works with an endless array of styles and settings. Why should it be any different when it comes to your kitchen?

We have seen the trend of black edge its way into our kitchens for the past few years in everything from hardware and lighting to appliances, tile and even our sinks and faucets. Black is such a simple yet powerful colour that can simultaneously add a bold and sophisticated impact to your kitchen, or simply create a subtle pop in a calm and relaxed aesthetic. However it works its way into your kitchen design, it’s sure to elevate your space and give your kitchen the attention it deserves.

There is an abundance of ways black and white can be introduced into your kitchen design. A classic white kitchen can easily turn heads with the addition of a bold black floor tile; it adds a touch of a modern vibe, while still maintaining the calmness and traditional appeal of an all-white kitchen. The introduction of black hardware can make simple white cabinetry pop. Two-tone black and white kitchen cabinetry might be a bold step for some, but a warm charcoal coloured kitchen paired with a simple white backsplash and black accessories can appear a bit softer while still delivering large on the wow factor.

As a designer, I love working with black and white. The flexibility and creativity this simple yet powerful contrasting combination offers are seemingly endless. It’s a pairing that responds favourably to many different design directions. With the addition of something as simple as warm, aged wood, I can change a rather urban black and white aesthetic into a bit more of a relaxed rustic vibe. I can modernize a traditional white farmhouse kitchen by simply adding black hardware and a small black inlay in combination with classic marble for a backsplash; or I can make a contemporary white-on-white kitchen space pop by adding black lighting and accessories.

The pairing of black and white makes a bold visual statement in any design style. It allows for any additional trend colours to be easily introduced or removed once you have tired of them. Trends can come and go, but the classic combination of black and white will always have staying power.

Whether your kitchen is large or small, your style traditional or more urban, the inspiration of black and white can offer endless possibilities for you to create impact and distinction in your own kitchen.

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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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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Get cooking, The recipe for a fabulous and functional kitchen

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Get cooking, The recipe for a fabulous and functional kitchen

Photography by Stephani Buchman

When it comes to dream home designs, a fabulous kitchen always tops my clients’ must-have list. The kitchen is, by far, the hardest-working room in the home. It’s used multiple times a day, for a variety of tasks from cooking and dining, to homework and entertaining. Needless to say, it has to be functional. Kitchens also yield the best return on your investment in terms of resale value.

For these homeowners, the kitchen design project began with a simple request: function. This family with two busy boys and a hectic lifestyle were in need of some order in the form of flow and storage and we added some style for good measure.

Kitchen challenges

Right off the bat, there were some obstacles to address. The kitchen was dark, dated and very orange. The cooking area was closed off, which made it impossible to watch the boys while tending to kitchen chores – and let’s face it, parents with young kids spend a disproportionately large amount of time in the kitchen. We removed the wall to the living room to open sight lines and improve flow.

This kitchen was burdened by a big bulkhead between the cooking and eating area, which housed a beam from a previous renovation. We were also faced with a large, irregular height island, very limited wall storage, virtually no upper cabinets, two odd little windows, and an awkwardly positioned refrigerator that obviously ignored the “golden triangle” theory.

Despite its flaws, this kitchen had some good bones that laid the groundwork for a stunning, fully functional hub of the home.

“A custom built-in banquette becomes the perfect setting for meals, homework and crafts.”

Footprint improvements

We began the transformation by re-jigging the kitchen’s footprint. Admittedly, this isn’t always what a client wants to hear, as re-routing electrical and plumbing come at a somewhat hefty cost. But ultimately, most people will also agree that the functional lift you’ll see from a more efficient kitchen footprint is worth the expense. By changing the floor plan, we improved flow, closed off the two windows, and added a cooktop with an efficient range-hood insert.

The placement of the fridge was also problematic, so we recommended relocating it to an area that offered more open access. The homeowners were surprised and delighted with the suggestion, and ultimately this small move was a game-changer for how they now use the kitchen.

Embrace custom features

“Custom” is another word that puts the scare in budget-minded clients, but custom cabinets can be found in a range of materials, colours, finishes and price points, and they’re generally a worthwhile investment in the name of function. Custom kitchen cabinets in this space allowed us to amp up the storage capacity, which in turn opened up the rest of the space and made it that much more functional.

A custom built-in banquette becomes the perfect setting for meals, homework and crafts. We selected a durable vinyl for the seat with a small-print fabric for the back, which makes it feel cosier all around. Toss cushions add comfort and colour. Storage underneath is a perfect hideaway.

Fixtures and finishes

Beyond function, esthetics always play a vital role in good design. The kitchen cabinets offer a dark, almost-black look, which contrasts beautifully with the unlacquered brass pulls. The brass kitchen faucet by Rubinet adds sparkle with the added local bonus as they are made here in Canada.

We added some character and warmth with the walnut bar cabinet, which also serves to conceal a support post for the beam above. This provided a clever solution to hide this unsightly structural element.

Brass architectural mesh on the cabinet doors allow ventilation for the coffee machine situated inside, as well as quartz counter inside to protect the cabinet from coffee spills.

Unique brass brackets for the counter overhang add character, while the cognac leather stools are a rich complement to the dark-coloured island.

Easy, breezy style

A farmhouse sink and square subway tile keep the space feeling relaxed and much to the homeowners’ delight, make it easy to keep clean. After all, isn’t low-to-no-maintenance the ultimate in “function?”

The homeowners love their new kitchen and marvel at how much simpler their day-to-day life is post-renovation. A little function goes a long way.

Designer Rebecca Hay is principal of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., a Toronto-based Design firm specializing in classically livable family homes. Offering complete decorating and renovating services for over a decade, Rebecca and her team manage all of the details from start to finish. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca is an active YouTuber, you can also follow her daily design adventures on Instagram. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, Muskoka and throughout Canada. RebeccaHayDesigns.com

SOURCES PENDANT LIGHTS, CB2, Globe pendant light – large CABINETS, custom designed by Rebecca Hay Designs STOOLS, CB2, Roadhouse 24″ Leather counter stool SINK, Franke farmhouse sink KITCHEN FAUCET, Rubinet CABINET HARDWARE, Rejuvenation Mission drawer handle, Mission pyramid cabinet knob, Mission bin pull CABINET COLOURS, Racoon Fur, Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore QUARTZ COUNTER, Silestone – Eternal Statuario (suede finish) APPLIANCES, GAS COOKTOP, Kitchenaid 30″ OVEN COMBO, KITCHENAID FRIDGE, SIRIUS HOOD FAN, Miele DISHWASHER (panel ready) AREA RUG, Custom by Studio BANQUETTE, custom DINING PENDANT, Matteo Particles BACKSPLASH TILE, Olympia tile, Max white 6″ x 6″ subway tile

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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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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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!

ON SOLID GROUND

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.

CHEF-WORTHY APPLIANCES

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.

“IN OPEN-CONCEPT LIVING, YOU WANT TO ELEVATE THE VISUAL OF THE KITCHEN TO SUIT THE ELEGANCE OF THE PRINCIPAL ROOMS.”

FAUCETS & FINISHES

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.

TRADITIONAL MEETS MODERN

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.

POWER COUPLE

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.

AND BABY MAKES THREE

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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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.

melissadavis.com

@melissadavis

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