Tag Archives: kitchen

DESIGN: Finishing Touches

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

Latest News

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.



Featured Products


Below the surface, a family kitchen by designer Sarah St. Amand

Latest News

Below the surface, a family kitchen by designer Sarah St. Amand

There’s no question this Oakville-area kitchen by designer Sarah St. Amand is impeccably designed. From the twinkling pendants and luxe walnut and marble, to the crisp black window frames and navy cabinetry that quietly nod to kitchens of yore, the refined transitional esthetic ticks all the boxes style-wise. But what’s more important to Sarah is that the 500-square-foot space is supremely functional – carefully calibrated around the busy lifestyle of the professional couple, and their teenagers and dogs, who live here.

Black frames on the new back doors and window bring a modern industrial note to the elegant transitional kitchen. (The window was enlarged to improve the sight line through the room.) Adequate clearances around the island and all the appliances enhance flow, making the kitchen much more functional. A bold, articulated sconce provides task lighting at the sink.


The best kitchens, she explains, work like sophisticated machinery – both within the living space, and inside the cabinetry and behind the walls. And the guidance of a designer can be crucial in planning that. “I refer to myself as the director of the show,” she says. “Renovations are like a stage production: we go through everything with all the characters, and plan out absolutely everything that’s going to happen.”

This renovation meant bringing a dated kitchen into the 21st century and making it suitable for both family living and entertaining. “It was an ‘80s kitchen with terrible function,” Sarah says. “Shiny-white pressboard cabinetry and a huge vent that came down over the island stove chopped up the space.” (The transformation is part of a phased-in approach to redesigning various parts of the three-bedroom home.)


The design process starts long before demolition begins. Sarah and her assistant, Sarah Rodriguez (their social media handle is #teamsarah), walk clients through an exhaustive checklist focused on how they use the kitchen, and what they want in the new space. “Design professionals have the skill set and knowledge to consider so many things,” she says. “In kitchens, for example, flow and clearances are really important. You shouldn’t have your oven or dishwasher where you can’t get around them when they’re being used.” They tailor storage to house everything from china and foodstuffs, to stand mixers, vacuums and pods for single-serve coffeemakers. Want to add open shelving? Sarah will explain the realities of keeping it tidy, and of giving up valuable closed storage. “Like to entertain? Have pets? We look at anything that helps clients function best in the space – and offer an esthetic in line with the house, and the style that we want to create,” she says. They also consider safety and building codes, addressing details like where new wiring is installed to accommodate pendants or sconces, where to integrate USB ports for charging and home office needs. Then, once operational elements are settled, plans can be drawn, decorative pieces can be chosen, and construction can get underway.


Interior design is a service that can make our time-starved lives easier. But it’s a luxury service, Sarah explains, and top-notch design like this is expensive. Appliances can quickly eat up $20,000 of a budget. Custom-made of solid walnut, and chic and comfortable enough for dinner party guests, the stools here cost $2,000 each. Then there’s the hundreds of hours the design team puts into overseeing the project. “When you go to a lawyer for your legal issues, you pay for that – or a massage therapist or auto mechanic, they’re specialists. Unfortunately, the design industry doesn’t always get seen as specialists.”

“All in, this kitchen was easily $120,000. A design like this – especially a kitchen – is a major investment,” Sarah says. “But you really want to get it right the first time. You don’t want to have it all done and then think, ‘I wish I asked for a built-in espresso maker!’”

The rich graining of the walnut panelling on the end of the island is a textural and organic balance to the kitchen’s long stretches of white-and-navy cabinetry. Kitchen flooring is always carefully chosen, says Sarah; “these are high-traffic areas, so it has to be slip-resistant, but also comfortable, and sometimes it has heating in place as well.”


Award-winning designer Sarah St. Amand, principal/owner of GTA-based Sarah St. Amand Interior Design, specializes in residential and commercial design. CDECA member, Sarah’s work is nationally recognized and won the Best of HOUZZ 2016 award. For more information, visit stamanddesign.com. sarah@stamanddesign.com, Instagram @sarahst.amandinteriordesign. Portfolio & featured articles on houzz.com 519.802.6328

Photography by: Mike Chajecki


Featured Products


High-Tech kitchen the latest advances in appliances

Latest News

High-Tech kitchen the latest advances in appliances

If you haven’t gone shopping for a new appliance in a while, hang onto your hats. They still heat and cool like they have always done, but technology, integration and customization means every home can have a custom kitchen that’s perfect for its chef du cuisine, who may also be known as mom or dad!

Noir series from Jenn-Air


Homes now have more built-in appliances than ever before. The kitchen in the ‘40s and ‘50s had a fridge and stove; the ‘70s added the dishwasher, and the ‘80s gave us the microwave. Nowadays, in most well-designed homes, you can expect a wine fridge, a steam oven, and a built-in coffee maker, as well as ice makers, fridge and microwave drawers, induction cooking and speed ovens. Typically people shop for appliances every 10 to 12 years. You will realize that what you know about appliances is equivalent to what a flip phone user knew about a smart phone.


Let’s start with technology. Induction cooking, which has been around commercially for 30 years, has entered the residential market. The technology is complex, but quite simply the heat generated in the pot (not the cook surface) uses magnet fields. Water boils in short order and induction has the subtly of gas in that it is hot (or not) with the flick of a switch, and can achieve a very low simmer. It is perfect for small spaces because the cook surface does not get hot, so it is free for serving or other tasks as quickly as the pot is gone.


On the topic of heat, most people are familiar with convection heating, which means fans blow the heat throughout the entire oven for a more even, faster cook time. Add connected technology and you’ve got the culinary centre popular on the Jenn-Air ovens. For people like me with limited cooking skills, simply select how you would like to cook the meal: rare to well done, the cookware, place a probe in the food and leave to join the party. The oven then will send you text messages when it’s time to come back to baste or alter the protein. When that perfect fillet becomes leftovers, the countertop microwave, which crowded your countertop or hung over your range, has now moved to a tucked in, out-of-view drawer. Or for a moist warmup, you can reheat in the steam oven. It’s perfect for vegetables, fish and reheating as well as being a very healthy and delicious way to make a meal.


The innovations are endless…there are some fridges currently that scan the bar codes of food you consume, generate grocery lists and recipes based on what you‘ve got in the fridge. The astonishing innovation in appliances has only just begun.


The next important shift in appliances is individualization. Now you can customize the kitchen with only the appliances you use. For example, if I don’t have a freezer as part of my fridge, I could opt to have two columns of refrigeration and an icemaker. The freezer isn’t part of a fridge any longer. With columns, you can have two 18-inch fridges and one freezer; whatever suits your family and lifestyle. It is also true of heating. You can select a two-burner induction cook top, next to a griddle, next to a wok-shaped cooktop. Why have four of the same burner if you don’t use them? Buy what you will use, and create the cook stations that are right for the home chef.

The visual preference in open-concept spaces is to hide the appliances behind cabinet and pantry doors, so everything is completely flush. The range is the only element exposed, and with the combination of metals and colours available in ranges, as well as the cooking combination you prefer, it has both visual and functional appeal.

The appliances are the heart of the kitchen and are where every good kitchen design begins. It’s worth spending time exploring what is possible. Get the right appliances with the right technology to suit the way you cook and live, and in the esthetic you prefer. Gone are the days when the big decision was black or white – or golden harvest and avocado! Thank goodness!

Extensive experience in residential, commercial and hospitality design. Principal of design firm Grafus Design Build, Glen Peloso is frequently in the media as design expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and CHCH Morning Live, a contributor to Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, past series with HGTV and the Food Network, along with Radio and Blogs. Reporting on design trends from around the world, his work has been featured in various print publications throughout North America. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner


Featured Products


Inside and out a 30-year-old kitchen and exterior landscape get a California-style makeover

Latest News

Inside and out a 30-year-old kitchen and exterior landscape get a California-style makeover

Photography: Gillian Jackson

You get to know a thing or two about a house after living in it for 30 years. For my clients, Sue and Lou who love to cook and entertain and be outdoors, their house had served them well. The lot was a great size and the 30-year-old trees were now stately and full, so moving wasn’t a consideration, but they knew it all needed some fine-tuning.

Seating nook
The desk, and seating nook offer great views of both the kitchen and the backyard.

As world travellers, they knew they loved the Mediterranean and California lifestyle of simple indoor-outdoor living. Their backyard was substantial and had a built-in pool, cabana, outdoor kitchen and covered wood-fired barbecue/ roasting oven. But inside, the small kitchen felt cut off from the yard and view by the covered deck.

A renovation was in order to enlarge the kitchen, but because we needed to preserve the concrete roof tiles — the Marley roof couldn’t be replaced — we had to dig out from underneath it while propping the roof in place. The area under the original covered porch was incorporated into a larger, eat-in kitchen and the walls became windows to the outdoors.


Because a great cooking and entertaining space was at the top of their wish list, we knew we wanted the home to be breezy and lightfilled, and to take full advantage of the southern exposure. A Nana wall was installed because it tidily folds away, offering the perfect solution to access the outdoors. The original skylights were preserved and with new, larger windows, boundless light now floods into the space.

ABOVE LEFT: White oak floors, cream coloured cabinetry and integrated appliances soften the look of a hard-working space. ABOVE RIGHT: The Marley roof tiles were kept intact and the extension grew under it.


Once the renovation was underway, the homeowners decided to upgrade the backyard, too. They resurfaced the pool and pool deck. Lou is a passionate golfer so he had a one-hole putting green installed on one side of the yard. Light-coloured Travertine paving stones lift and brighten the backyard, and a taupe solid stain helps blend out the building structures, allowing the pool and greenery to stand out. The trick was to continue the feeling from indoors to out, so we chose white oak flooring in a light colour to blur the lines between them.

RIGHT: Custom details like the vent hood and backsplash personalize and enhance a kitchen.


The kitchen went from a small, dark space to an expansive, chef’s kitchen with plenty of room to hang out and enjoy all the views. The custom-designed kitchen by Downsview Kitchens, addresses all the homeowners’ needs. Creamy white cabinetry and backsplash tile are enhanced by the natural quartz countertops. When you walk in, your eye is immediately drawn out to the backyard and the kitchen recedes as part of the furnishings.


We created a servery adjacent to the main cooking area where counter, sink, bar fridges, liquor cabinet and cooler drawers are accessible. Guests could help themselves in the kitchen without getting in the way of the prep and cooking.

A large island accommodates the kitchen sinks, expansive prepping area and counter seating for guests. I’m not a fan of the work triangle theory, which came about after the Second World War and was practical at the time. Now we work in zones: store, chill, prep, cook and clean. I like to design kitchens, so you don’t have to cross the cooking zone to get to the fridge, keeping the zones separate but nearby.

We incorporated a desk area to rein in any paper clutter and placed it next to the new glass door that leads to the outdoor kitchen. The seating nook is a cosy, glassed-in area that gets you as close to the pool as possible without leaving the house. Swivel chairs make it easy to take in every angle, the whole view, outside and in.

Now that their wish list is complete, the homeowners live in a resort-like atmosphere, that they can appreciate every day. They didn’t bargain on the fact that I would be at their door every hot summer day for a swim, but they’ll get used to me.

SOURCES KITCHEN: custom kitchen, custom colour, Downsview Kitchens APPLIANCES: Miele OVENS, DISHWASHER: Sub-Zero, Wolf BAR FRIDGE, REFRIGERATOR: Wolf INDUCTION COOKTOP: Caplan’s GLASS WALL SYSTEM:NanaWall System TABLE AND CHAIRS: Wormwood maple table and custom chairs Brice’s COUNTERTOP: natural quartz, Dolce Vita from Interstone PAINT: WALLS: Plaster of Paris CSP-185, Benjamin Moore TRIM & CEILING: Oxford White CC-30, Benjamin Moore FLOORING: White Oak, Nautilus from Vintage Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com


Featured Products

DESIGN: The Kitchens of 2019

The Kitchens of 2019: From vintage vibes to modern drama

Latest News

The Kitchens of 2019: From vintage vibes to modern drama

Each year sees the introduction of new colours, finishes and trends. Some are easy to blend into our existing decor and others far more costly or complex. Kitchens are one of my favourite rooms to design, and this year we are seeing kitchens continue on their pared-back journey, giving us a well-loved, well-used aesthetic that is not only comfortable but invites you to stay, relax and entertain.

Wood plays a large part in the kitchens of 2019. Natural wood and white kitchen combinations are making a large impact in kitchen design. The two-tone kitchen looks warm up the plain white-on-white kitchens of late and, paired with open shelving and well-curated accessories, your kitchen will be sure to be a statement maker. As much as white maintains its coarse this year, black is boldly settling in as a stable force in kitchen design. Whether it’s black faucets, hardware, accessories or cabinetry, we just can’t get enough of it. Matte black cabinetry is a current favourite of mine; to say that it is striking seems to be an understatement. As in fashion, black goes with everything! Whether your style is classic, modern, industrial or rustic, adding black to your kitchen will definitely create drama.

Texture is a big influencer in kitchens this year as well. Our fondness for barnboard continues to be apparent as its worn look creates a calm yet welcoming environment that is both versatile and timeless. Iron, steel and other raw metals are also making appearances this year. Their raw finish adds a beautiful patina and accents the pared-down look we are seeing in kitchens. Also popular are countertops which have taken on an industrial vibe resembling concrete, iron and amazing textural finishes as seen here with this countertop by Dekton from Cosentino.

While on the topic of metals, mixing metals is a hot topic not just in kitchens but in design for 2019. When it comes to hardware, lighting or accessories, pewter, copper, black and gunmetal are the new favourites and mix well with the continuing popularity of aged brass. The blending of different metals and finishes adds to the trend towards a vintage vibe in our kitchens. Mixed wood tones, rattans, vintage inspired lighting, hand-made tiles and worn-look accessories all create a beautiful retro inspired aesthetic that exudes comfort.

When it comes to our millwork, 2019 sees us continuing with the movement towards creatively concealed storage, seamlessly integrated vents that artfully charm our kitchens; and lots and lots of open shelving. Removing the upper cabinetry and installing opening shelving lets us display well-appointed collections of worn pottery, aged silver pieces or an array of vintage stemware. This creates a relaxed, edgy yet sophisticated look to our spaces.

Colour has and will be a big show-stopper when it comes to cabinetry. While white is always classic, and matte black cabinetry is the hot new kitchen craze, we also have amazing earthy greens and blues making their appearance, and rich deep greys continue to be a favourite. Accent these fabulous colours with geometric tiles – everything from hexagons to triangles, or a simple square tile in a beautiful hand-made finish.

Whatever inspires you this year in the world of kitchen design you are sure to find that the choices are abundant, the combinations are endless and they all encourage us to create livable spaces that are still luxurious but with a personality that exudes an inviting, “laid-back” charm!

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.



Featured Products

HOME is where the kitchen island is

HOME is where the kitchen island is

Latest News

HOME is where the kitchen island is

Photography by Valerie Wilcox

An open-plan kitchen is the epicentre for modern living. It has merged living, dining, work and play into one great space, and the kitchen island is command central.

Long gone are the days of the peninsula – making an island fit into your plan by any means very necessary! Our lives revolve around this proverbial island whether or not the home has the luxury of a separate dining room. We cook, eat, laugh and sometimes, even shed a few tears at this central gathering point. The notion of formal sit-down dinners is almost a thing of the past. We are willing to forego that formal space to make room for our busy, multi-faceted modern lifestyle.

Make a statement

The great room plays many different roles, and as such, we want our kitchens to blend into the living space. One of the ways to successfully do this is to incorporate cabinetry that resembles furniture, more so than one may expect for a typical kitchen cabinet.

The materials and colour palettes we are exploring for our kitchen spaces are getting more daring, slowly moving away from a neutral palette, and allowing statement colours, tones and textures to make a permanent appearance.

Lighting schemes are becoming increasingly more prominent and hi-tech, with the ability to alter the whole ambience of a space with the touch of a button on your mobile device.

Let’s talk about the dollars and cents for a moment; your kitchen is the best investment you can make in your home, not only for resale, but for the sheer enjoyment of your day-to-day life. Knowing how to maximize what is often the limited space of your old-Toronto home is a challenging task. Our High Park project is a prime example of a traditional old-Toronto home with a closed-off kitchen, which provided poor circulation throughout the ground floor, as well as a lack of natural light – did we mention that it had a peninsula?

Space & view enhancements

The homeowners had previously invested in their west-facing rear yard, but could barely see the beauty of their gardens from their small kitchen windows. The task at hand for our Design Build team was to respect the historical period of this Edwardian home, and bring the kitchen into the 21st century, all the while monitoring the budget.

A small addition over the existing basement staircase provided the opportunity for glazing across the entire rear facade of the kitchen, blurring the lines between indoors and out.

An island almost 10-feet long that could accommodate the family of five was the starting point of the kitchen plan. Existing architectural features, such as the stained-glass bay window, were also a key element to the kitchen design. The paint colour, Forest Black Green by Benjamin Moore, used on the cabinetry grounds the light tones of the natural limestone floors.

A servery by the doorway to the dining room plays double-duty for entertaining formally in the dining room, and preparing breakfast on the daily.

Heightened functionality

Deploying clever planning and organizational tips to ensure adequate storage needs were met allows for the open-shelving above the servery, which is not only functional, but showcases a collection of the homeowners’ curated accessories making the space uniquely theirs.

An abundance of marble shapes the focal points of the space, from the Quartize Nuage countertops in the kitchen to a striking black Belvedere marble countertop on the servery, signposts a change of function and invites a new texture into the overall design.

Updating this kitchen also meant investing in home automation; automated blinds, kitchen appliances and even music create that perfect mood, and are of course all easily controlled by your smart device.

If you are dreaming about an escape to your own island, consider what “home” really means to you, and we guarantee you will find that home is where your kitchen island is.

SOURCES: KITCHEN COUNTER MARBLE: Quartize Nuage, CIOT SERVERY COUNTERTOP: Belvedere marble, Olympia CABINETRY PAINT: Forest Black Green, Benjamin Moore WALL PAINT: Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore

Natalie Venalainen is a Senior Designer at Men at Work Design-Build. She has 10 years of industry experience and has won several awards including the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s top 30 under 30 design professionals across North America in 2018.

Claire Muldrew is a Designer at Men At Work Design-Build. Claire has a B.A in Architecture & Design and a profound interest in how the interior environment shapes our everyday living.


Featured Products


The smart trends to add value where it counts

Latest News

The smart trends to add value where it counts

Even with the rise of home makeover tv shows and savvy online real estate advice, many homebuyers still need to be shown the potential for a new home purchase.

Whether you’re looking to get max value for your home, or you just want to create a wow-factor for your own enjoyment, keeping on top of trends is a must.

In 2019, there are excellent trends to add style and value throughout your home. Find the ones that feel like the right choices to enhance your space below.


Two toned kitchen colour pallets are going to be big in 2019. Consider a warm neutral for your primary colour and use bold splashes on the cabinetry and trim to create a space that is simply unforgettable.

You can tone down your accent colour by using a matte finish, which is another hot trend for the year.

Quartz countertops are timeless, but add a prestigious presence to any kitchen that is just lacking that special something.

In a move toward clean minimalism, open storage gives a fresh, airy feel and a better sense of what is in your panty at the same time. Finally, integrated kitchen appliances such as built-in stovetops, or refrigerators that match your cabinetry, are also great options this year!


Consider re-organizing the bathroom to that your soaker tub and glass shower enclosure can sit side-by-side. This creates a spa-like ambiance that you’ll appreciate whether you’re selling your home, or just looking to pamper yourself.

Many designers are also bringing more wood elements into the bathroom this year. This creates an organic, zen-like atmosphere that helps cultivate the sense of tranquility that so many of us have been looking for.

Continuing the theme of tranquility is the predominance of neutral whites and greys for the bathroom colour scheme. These low-key colour choices have a Scandinavian energy that exudes understated elegance and intelligence.


The Great Room is where most families come together to watch movies, play board games or just enjoy quiet time together. Any trend for this room would do well to create a sense of vibrancy and openness, to welcome everyone in the family into their shared space.

Light natural flooring is one excellent current trend to cultivate the fresh, open vibe. Add a pop of energy with bold jewel tones as your accent colours, such as emerald green and navy.

More families are also choosing to bring in a minimal, eclectic look throughout the space, incorporating artisanal light fixtures, mixing period styles and having statement pieces that reflect your unique personality.

Vanessa Bellemare is  Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, at International Home Marketing Group.


Featured Products

OD Riobel kitchen faucets

Riobel launches new collection of kitchen faucets

Latest News

Riobel launches new collection of kitchen faucets

 OD Riobel kitchen faucets

Riobel has launched an all-new collection of five kitchen faucets available in four finishes (chrome, black or brushed gold and stainless steel) for 2019. These ultramodern faucets are equipped with the new Boomerang pull-down spray system.

The collection comprises Azure (available in three versions: Two handles, one handle, bridge style), Solstice, Mythic, Ludik and Trattoria. All of them come with the new Boomerang pull-down spray system, which allows the sprayer to return to its original position easily, and an ultra-silent braided nylon hose. Depending on the model, the faucets have a single or dual spray (one for rinsing vegetables) and one or two handles to control water volume and temperature. The Azure model may be ordered in the bridge style.

The new Riobel kitchen faucets are available in all authorized Riobel showrooms in Canada and the U.S.

 About Riobel

Based in Montreal, Riobel was born out of a vision of innovation and contemporary style for faucets, shower systems and accessories. Riobel takes an industry-leading and progress approach to design, marrying brilliant function with modern simplicity and elegance.

About The House of Rohl

The House of Rohl is a portfolio of very special decorative plumbing and hardware brands collected from around the world. Each has a unique story that connects family, place of origin and a specialized manufacturing philosophy. Each of the brands has a particular place in the collection: Riobel is “brilliantly modern”; Perrin & Rowe is “quality defined”; Shaws is “handcrafted for life”; Victoria + Albert is “naturally inspiring design”; and ROHL is “authentic luxury for the kitchen and bath.” Together they bring a richness of design and heritage that offer a complete assortment of options for kitchen and bath. The House of Rohl and its portfolio of brands are a part of the Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc.’s Global Plumbing Group. For more information, visit thehouseofrohl.com



Featured Products

Redefining Kitchen Design

Redefining kitchen design – new world technology and old world values

Latest News

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


Featured Products


Tips for kitchen bliss

Latest News

Tips for kitchen bliss

I recently completed a tough kitchen makeover — maybe the toughest yet as it was my own personal space. Follow my tips below on how to create a space you will truly love.

I chose my appliances first. I knew I wanted something completely different and when I saw the new Fingerprint Resistant Sunset Bronze collection from Whirlpool, I made this my jumping off point. It’s the crème-de-la-crème of this kitchen. With a brushed satin finish and rose gold undertones, this fingerprint resistant suite really sets off this space.

For the walls I decided to stay true to my one true paint love – Jojo whitewash PF17 from Para. I find staying with the same colour in an open concept gives the space a cohesive and continual look.

Next, I worked with DV Kitchen and Bath to find the right cabinets for a clean, streamlined look. I decided on a flat-panel front but in trendy gloss white; the gloss helps to bounce light and creates the illusion of a larger space. Plus these cabinets are super easy to wipe down, keeping that new look and feel.

To keep the cabinets streamlined, I selected Grass soft-close hardware from their Nova Pro Scala collection. Grass is the hidden gem in any cabinet system – my cabinets push closed silently and open with a gentle touch.

For the countertop I wanted a waterfall island. I chose Caesarstone’s Calacatta Nuvo for both the island, counters and backsplash. This countertop is stunning and durable and is the centre of attention in the kitchen. Choosing a primarily white countertop with white cabinets creates the illusion of a much larger space. Don’t be afraid to have your countertops the same colour as your cabinets. And make sure you have them installed properly. I too often find clients skimp on the most important part of the kitchen renovation, which is the installation. I turned to the folks at Renovare Marble and Granite, who installed my counters with complete professionalism and perfection and also create a complete custom backsplash for my space that is a serious showstopper.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times: the faucet is the gem in the kitchen. I went with the Delta Trinsic single-handle pulldown in Champagne Bronze. The design is simply smart and elegant, with an integrated pulldown wand. Plus, the colour is a modern take on gold that pairs well with my stainless steel sink and my appliances.

I went a bit trendy with the herringbone style floor, but I used a classic and timeless marble tile to balance the trendiness. The result is amazing and ties the cupboards, countertops, closet and paint all together. This tile came from Creek Side Tile, which has a vast selection.

In my house, the HVAC piping went up through one of the kitchen walls I wanted to remove, making a full open-concept impossible. Originally I was bummed about having to keep the piping there, requiring a closet to hide it in. I now love this closet. It is a fun architectural focal point, where I was able to add display shelves and texture. To create a perfect finish and get a properly sized door for this closet, I used Metrie’s Trude Craft Collection.

Onto the stunning finishing touches. The dishware and stools were found on Wayfair Canada. They have an extensive collection of affordable options and offer free shipping. These stools are elegant, simple and have brass accents that I could not do without.

The blinds are TriLight and offer a unique combination of sheer pleated shade on the top and a honeycomb shade on the bottom. It’s like having three looks in one – all sheer, all privacy or half and half. This design is exclusive to Budget Blinds. In my kitchen I choose to go with Artcraft for lights with brass stems, accents and posts. They fit perfectly with the appliances, faucet and the accent pieces I choose – once again, tying the entire space together.

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home. https://alcornhome.com/

Photography by Jason Hartog


Featured Products