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Design: Colourful Kitchens!

DESIGN: Colourful Kitchens!

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DESIGN: Colourful Kitchens!

by Linda Mazur

Kitchens are moving away from simple whites and stainless appliances to a world made of colour, personality and statement-making designs. Kitchens are still the heart of any home, but they have also matured to a space in the home that supports not only the functional aspects, but family life as well as casual entertaining; and as such adding a kick to your kitchen designs with colour can yield huge returns on the design front.

Neutral and white kitchens will always continue to maintain their popularity. The traditional white cabinetry may seem “safe,” but let’s face it … kitchens are an expensive and time-consuming room to renovate, therefore staying relatively neutral can allow you to maximize the longevity of your space and your investment. However, neutral does not need to equal boring.

There are many ways to inject colour in to your kitchen space. From the new popularity of coloured cabinetry, to accessories and coloured appliances, kitchens are developing a life and personality all their own. One colour that we are seeing in everything from faucets to lighting, hardware to appliances is matte black. Matte black adds an element of drama and yet simplicity, modernism and yet a traditional classical feel. Whether your comfort level allows for matte black appliances, or simply a touch of it in your hardware or lighting, matte black undeniably will elevate your kitchen from lifeless neutrals to bold and impactful.

The same can be said for the addition of gold tones to your kitchen design. This warm metal has been appearing in bright tones, aged finishes and one of my personal faves – the unlacquered brass version. Unlacquered brass has a look and feel all its own. Its warm, less formal than polished nickel, less typical than chrome. This finish is organic and ever-evolving. The absence of the lacquer allows the durable solid brass to naturally age over time and develop a beautiful unique patina of colour and texture.

If you are on the hunt for a more whimsical or edgier feel to your kitchen design, then perhaps a brightly coloured gas range from Bertazzoni is more to your liking; or you may want to add a touch of character with a brightly coloured backsplash … either way the injection of colour will not go unnoticed.

Whatever your own personal style, one thing for certain colour has become a strong influencer in the kitchen. Find your inspiration and comfort with colour; and look to inject some life in to your kitchen. Whether it’s simply richly coloured fabrics and wallpaper, a bright yellow gas range or deep earthy green cabinetry that will give your kitchen some character … undoubtedly the new look of your kitchen will be a colourful one!

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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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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by Cathy Hetherman

The latest in kitchen designs straight from Milan

A visit to EuroCucina in Milan, Italy is equivalent to stepping into a design time machine. Set the date to two years from today, and you will have a glimpse into the trends that are about to explode into the North American kitchen design market.

Hundreds of thousands of designers, builders and manufacturers from all over the world, merged into what can only be described as a ‘mosh pit’ of innovation frenzy. It was every person for themselves, and no cameras were allowed. Hundreds of people elbowed their way into each booth, and head-set-wearing bouncers often demanded passes to enter. This was the epitome of cool. This IS EuroCucina.

Nothing in North America can compare to the impact of this show. Multi-million dollar booths featured such designers as Scavolini, Stosa, Minacciolo, and Snaidero (to name but a few) — and they were all presenting to the design industry. We’re not talking about builder-grade black granite anymore.

Solid wood cabinetry – gone.

Stone – nope.

Appliances – all undercover, baby!

European kitchen design is going to change the way we think, design and purchase. Consider some of these steadfast trends:

Whites, Woods and Wow!

Not real woods, but fabulous wood and matte laminates (muted and bold) combined with clean white, or non-glossy, tops with eye-popping splashes of greens, oranges, teals or reds. Velvety, pristine solid surfaces and new nano-technology laminates share dual-purpose roles on counters and cabinetry. Imagine blacks that leave no fingerprints.


Appliances are being integrated into cabinet designs like never before. The focus is on linear cabinetry and perfectly hidden appliances. Hardware is optional. Say goodbye to refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers — they’ll all become a well-kept secret. Even cook tops and stoves often disappear behind a well-designed space. The emphasis is on space and calm — something we can all relate to in our cluttered worlds.


Tomorrow’s kitchens are in motion with hinges, mechanics, louvres and remote controls. Innovative hinging makes for the most accessible kitchens to date. Just a touch will raise and lower upper cabinets. Just a swipe, and the eating bar changes direction. A push of a button goes from counter to bar height. Integrated pantry doors disappear to reveal appliances and work spaces.

EuroCucina is the ultimate wake-up call for kitchen design. The industry is in for an uprising of innovation and technology. The attendance, alone, was the highest in the history of the event. It’s a clear indication that kitchen design is hungry for something fresh. It’s time to educate ourselves and prepare for trends that will catapult us into a season of design madness — where form follows function, and the customer wins.

CATHY HETHERMAN is a contributing writer, and
MIKE HETHERMAN CKD is a Certified Kitchen Designer and respected voice in the industry.Read more about Mike at mikehetherman.com


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