Tag Archives: Linda Mazur Design Group

Open shelving

Open shelving and why it’s worth taking a closer look

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Open shelving and why it’s worth taking a closer look

We have been seeing the trend of open shelving in kitchens for a few years now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. We love the open shelf look in kitchens and try to incorporate often in our designs. It’s not a look that necessarily works for everyone, or for every space, but when possible, it’s a nice way to inject a little modern vibe to your space.

There are many benefits to introducing open shelving in your new kitchen plans. Eliminating stretches of closed-door cabinetry can visually create a more spacious and brighter look in your kitchen. Removing cabinetry, especially those around windows, can often allow for greater natural light to fill the room and produce a lovely look and feel. This all helps to create a warm and welcoming feel in your kitchen.

The one resistance I always encounter to open shelving has to do with clutter and the dust. However, once you commit to open shelving in the kitchen, you will likely quickly commit to decluttering and keeping them looking pretty. Closed door cabinetry hides your mess, so basically you end up not really noticing how disorganized and cluttered your kitchen really is. Clients often initially object to open shelves in the kitchen, then end up loving the simplicity, organization and functionality of their new approach. There’s simply no longer a hidden junk zone.

When planning your kitchen design, one thing to keep in mind also is that open shelving is a great budget friendly option to full cabinetry. It’s also useful if you just want to give your kitchen a quick facelift. Removing a few cabinets, introducing some open shelving and applying a quick coat of paint can be an economical way to add new life to your space, if a full renovation isn’t in the budget or part of the plan for a while.

If you’re a collector or have special mementos, the open shelving option is for you. Why keep your grandmother’s pretty serving pieces hidden in a cabinet, when you can see and enjoy them daily? Create stylish little vignettes on your shelves by incorporating heirloom or collector pieces with plants, artwork, glassware and your everyday pieces to personalize your space giving it a look all your own. You can also change these vignettes according to the seasons… A vintage Christmas cookie jar on display with some fresh greenery and various other festive pieces is the perfect way to add some holiday cheer to your kitchen.

Open shelving is also a great way to address functionality or any issues with odd corners and unusable space in your kitchen, instead of instead of trying to fit an awkwardly shaped, and likely under-used, cabinet. It also allows you to efficiently use a lot of wasted space that may not be conducive to cabinetry, especially when considering small space kitchen design. Open shelves can be installed just about anywhere to afford you additional storage space, for example, over windows and doorways.

Yes, open shelves are a trendy look in the kitchen, but its a look that affords many benefits. Take the opportunity to bring out those pretty dishes from behind closed doors to give your kitchen a personal touch!

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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Invite the sunshine into your bathroom with a skylight

Invite the sunshine into your bathroom with a
skylight

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Invite the sunshine into your bathroom with a
skylight

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Bathroom renovations can be fun, exciting and sometimes even stressful. Over the years, we have seen bathrooms morph from only functional spaces to highly stylized rooms of function that speak not only of personal style but also in customized luxury. It may be a “spa-like” retreat or a simple, classic look, a bold, colourful tile or the elegance of book-matched marble on your shower walls. Whatever you desire, today’s bathrooms are delivering large on glam, luxury and functionality. And no matter what your design tastes are, your bathroom is the first room you see in the morning and the last you see at night, and it should reflect a bright start or a relaxational end to your day.

Design trends may come and go, but one thing that does remain consistent when planning a renovation is maximizing lighting – a definite must for a bathroom. When I’m designing a bathroom, I look to add layers of lighting options, and one of them should be natural light – the perfect way to start your day. Adding natural light to a bathroom offers many benefits, starting with our own physical and mental health and well-being to the health of your home. Windows paired with skylights will maximize the amount of natural light in your bathroom and can become the primary source of natural lighting.

Photo by Jeff Mindell
Photo by Jeff Mindell

Installing a skylight in your bathroom will undoubtedly improve the look and feel of your overall design aesthetic, brightening the room and making it feel like a much larger space. The bathroom is also a perfect place to add a skylight or sun tunnels, as you will gain the additional natural light without compromising your privacy.

If you’re wondering how skylights can improve your home’s health, this is where the venting skylight comes into play. VELUX’s programmable skylights will open and help prevent trapped moisture from producing mould or mildew by letting out the humid air and bringing in the fresh air – which is perfect for your bathroom. These are skylights that open to provide fresh air in your room. As hot air rises, this seems a natural addition to the bathroom to assist in the circulation of air and help to prevent trapped moisture from producing mould or mildew.

In the end, be inspired by all that you see in colour, finishes and design, but also be realistic about your space and budget. Good bathroom design should bring together all that is best of what you envision. It should deliver the maximum of light, storage, usage and aesthetics for you while creating a wonderfully luxurious and inviting room that reflects your individuality. Your bathroom should offer you optimal convenience and relaxation for years to come – adding a key element like a skylight to the mix will make it seem like the “icing on the cake.”

If you’re planning to give your bathroom a whole new look by adding a skylight or sun tunnel, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Set a realistic budget. Once you start looking at all the finishes and fixture options available, you may be surprised at the costs involved.
  • Depending on your bathroom size, a series of skylights or sun tunnels can be a complementary design feature.
  • Be sure that when you’re positioning your skylight or sun tunnels, you are also considering the placement of other lighting in the room. Whether it’s pot lights or surface mounted lights, you want to make sure that your ceiling does not appear chaotic or messy in design.
  • Remember, a vented skylight is an excellent option for increased ventilation in the bathroom.
  • Good quality porcelain tile is durable and doesn’t fade from increased amounts of sunlight. If you are south facing, you may be concerned about too much natural light or heat in the summer, consider adding a built-in blind, a perfect option to diffuse the light.

Known for creating innovative, stylish interiors and full-scale design builds, Linda Mazur Design Group is a multi-discipline design firm with more than 15 years of experience in both residential and commercial design.


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A well-designed plan avoids clutter

A well-designed plan avoids clutter

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A well-designed plan avoids clutter

Small space living can be wonderful, but it does require some creative thinking. While you may feel that you have compromised on your square footage, this doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style, comfort or the functionality of your home.

Our clients reached out to us shortly after moving into their new condo in the heart of the city. Falling in love with the unit’s massive amount of natural light and a fantastic location was easy, but making this small space feel inviting and functional proved to be a bit of a challenge.

There are many tricks of the trade that can be implemented when designing for small space living. We started with a calm colour on all the walls, Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin, which is very light and airy, nowhere near as stark as a white can be. Keeping the rooms consistent and even toned can trick the eye into believing they are actually more spacious, while adding punches of colour and texture keeps it from appearing flat and ordinary. We accented the small, open concept living room with a simple, well-scaled, sofa and introduced these small, but beautiful caned chairs for extra seating and great texture. A glass waterfall coffee table was the perfect piece to complement this space. I love using glass in small spaces, especially when you are afforded so much natural light. It’s a great way to keep the light moving throughout and emphasize the spaciousness of your room.

In the adjacent dining room, we repurposed the client’s existing dining table, adding some freshness to it with new upholstered dining chairs. We designed a custom built-in bar which not only provided much needed extra storage, but also camouflaged an unsightly wall of oddly positioned bulkheads and alcoves that at first glance made the space appear much smaller than it really was.

We continued the soft shades of blues and greys into the kitchen, highlighting the simple white cabinetry with a beautiful eye-catching, yet calm, marble backsplash and then punching it up with black pendant lights.

Another little space-saving trick for small spaces is to use pocket doors instead of swing doors. In this condo, we opted to further enhancing the space by adding a barn door. Not only did it afford us much needed space for storage in the master bedroom, it also created a great focal point in a rather long, narrow and uninspiring hallway.

Small space living can be fabulous, stylish and inviting. However, the key is to have a well-designed plan, well curated pieces that complement the space and functional storage to avoid clutter. With this in mind, you are on your way to creating the “small space” home of your dreams.

Some tips to get you started:

  • Edit and de-clutter, one of the first things that makes a space appear small is clutter. Make sure you have functional storage and a proper space for everything.
  • Multi-functional furniture is a great asset in a small space, a coffee table that converts to a desk, or shelving with a hidden desk for example; select wisely and make every piece count.
  • Think vertically to maximize storage and not lose valuable square footage on the floor.
  • Don’t clutter the floor space with a mish-mash of small furniture pieces, selecting a few well-scaled pieces or even an oversized piece can actually make the room feel larger.

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 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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Decor: Changing times

Changing times, changing homes

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Changing times, changing homes

Over the last several years, design has had an ever-increasing movement towards environmentally friendly materials, sustainability, and energy efficiency. We’ve all been doing our part to aid the environment, knowing full well changes were needed on many levels. Our homes are our private spaces, reflections of ourselves, our family, our lifestyles; but recently they have become our sole spaces for living.

The current global health crisis has thrown us all into a different way of living. Very quickly our sanctuaries have also become our offices, classrooms and gyms, while still being our space for family living. Video work calls rapidly became our new norm, and while our companies had to adapt technologically for the “work-from-home” environment, we came to realize quickly that many others had an intimate vantage point of our private lives. Kids playing, dogs barking, our partners also on video calls and life happening became our backdrop. It has connected us on a far more personal level than before, which has been great, but it has also given us a window into how our homes actually function.

When looking to renovate, functionality and aesthetics are undoubtedly of great importance; however, functionality never really took into consideration the change in lifestyle we have been experiencing over the last several months. We all desire open concept living. It allows us to connect with our family at the end of the day, but does this work the same for us when our homes are being used as they have been recently? Have we compromised functioning privacy for the desire to have openness and connectivity without restrictions?

It seems that part of the new norm that will be coming upon us in design will be the need to have homes with the capability to function as more than just our living, entertaining and storage spaces. While this may be the future of our design and renovation planning, currently we are emerging from months of home seclusion that has left us wanting to add new life to our living spaces. We need to give our surroundings a facelift, a new aesthetic that will inspire us to move ahead in this new way of living and shake off the last few months of isolation.

Bursts of colour, pretty and bold wallpaper and fabric patterns, cheerful new accessories or a relaxing outdoor space – we are all desiring something new, inspiring and fresh for our homes. Whether you’ve been spending some of your time at home planning a major renovation to your kitchen or bathroom, or are only looking for a few new small touches such as a fresh paint colour or pretty new hardware on your kitchen cabinetry, one thing is for certain. A greater movement towards interior decorating and design will be strong as we see our homes in a new light and have the desire to make them more inviting, inspirational and functional for all aspects of our living needs.

With the changes we have all experienced over the last few months, it remains to be seen how many of them will permanently become our “new norm.” Early signs are showing that many of us will, in some way, be working from home, studying or entertaining more at home, whatever the case may be. We may find that we are generally just spending more time in our own surroundings, which is bound to have an impact on how we design and decorate our abodes.

No matter how large or small our home’s footprint, we may look to carve out small areas that afford us a bit of privacy for work, or just for some quiet time alone. We will want to motivate ourselves by bringing some of the outdoors in, by maximizing our natural light and by keeping our surroundings simple in this ever-complex world. Whatever direction your home will go in the future, rest assured that as we start emerging from our seclusion, those of you who are ready to renovate or redecorate will be thinking a bit differently about the expectations and goals you may have for your home.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

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

@LindaMazurGroup


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Colouring our lives

Colouring our lives

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Colouring our lives

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

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

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

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

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

Four tips for colour inspiration

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

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

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

@LindaMazurGroup


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Lighting

Getting the most out of your lighting

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Getting the most out of your lighting

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

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

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

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

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

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

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

@LindaMazurGroup


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Kitchen life for a new decade

Kitchen life for a new decade

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Kitchen life for a new decade

The kitchen has always been the heart of any home. Not simply a utilitarian place, this important space is now a room widely used for entertaining family and friends.

As much as kitchens demand functionality, style is equally important. This year, we are seeing spaces full of texture, colour and pattern that are designed with a less formal approach, intended to accentuate an open concept feel and integrate seamlessly with your adjacent living areas.

Whether you intend to fully renovate your kitchen or are looking to just give it a little boost, here are some of the trends we are seeing for 2020 and the decade ahead.

White will always be popular in cabinetry. It provides stability and longevity, but don’t be afraid to add a pop of colour. Soft blacks, shades of blues, greys and even brighter colours have been making their way to our kitchen cabinetry.

Colour, in fact, is a great way to inject a little life into a space, so if you find that cabinetry is too much of a leap for you, consider adding colourful small appliances and accessories. We are also seeing kitchens with a combination of colours or finishes. White cabinetry paired with wood accents or a secondary colour is the perfect way to stay on trend, and you may find the transition a little more to your liking.

Wood has returned – but not with the heavy and dull tones of decades past. Today’s kitchens are seeing this natural material as an accent to your cabinetry, or featured prominently as the cabinetry itself. Warm and sophisticated grains such as walnut, light and airy woods like birch or rough-hewn reclaimed are just a few of the woods we are seeing. Whether using them in cabinets, counters, shelving or accessories, you can’t go wrong.

This year is more about character and personality in your kitchen, and less about being too “matchy-matchy.” The idea of combining colours, textures and finishes also applies to mixing metals in your kitchen. Varied styles and colours of metal knobs and pulls can be combined with the different colours and finishes of your faucet and lighting to create a space all your own. Copper, too, has quickly moved to become a featured metal in kitchens. Consider hanging some beautiful copper pots or use as an eye-catching range hood. A little copper is sure to dress up your space, while blending well with the other metals in the kitchen.

Not only are appliances becoming more modern in colours and finishes, they are also now designed to be statement pieces, and thereby anchoring a kitchen. Whether you select a matte black stainless finish, a pop of colour in a retro shade of blue or the return to simple white, you are sure to find that today’s appliances are designed for visual impact, especially when it comes to cooking. A nice alternative, however, is cladding your fridge and dishwasher to blend seamlessly with your cabinetry.

Open shelving is a great way to showcase your beautiful kitchenware, add some colour and create an open and airy feeling in your space. It creates an easily accessible area for your regularly used items, and can be a great way to enjoy heirloom pieces that often get hidden in the back of your cabinetry. Many homeowners feel this approach is not for them, as the shelves can look untidy. An alternative is to add closed door cabinetry with textured glass. This is a nice feature that can still give you a more open and airy feeling, while camouflaging what’s inside.

Kitchens trends of 2020 are designed to create warm, inviting spaces with personality. While functionality will always be at the forefront of a good kitchen design, today’s trends will create for you a space with character and style that will move you forward.

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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Tis the season to cosy up to a fire

Tis the season to cosy up to a fire

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Tis the season to cosy up to a fire

The weather is cold and thoughts of cosying up by the fireplace are becoming increasingly enticing. Fireplaces have a certain appeal in our homes, and definitely enhance the look as well as the feel of any room; somehow they are the perfect complement to any decor style. If you reside in a house, adding a fireplace to your home can be a relatively simple process; however, condo-dwellers may encounter a few challenges from space to accessibility, ventilation to finding an electric fireplace that “looks like a real fire.”

Often, condos and lofts are outfitted with gas, or even wood-burning fireplaces. If your home is not this fortunate, however, all is not lost. There are many different possibilities that will still give you the beautiful ambiance a fireplace creates while facilitating any structural or venting limitations you may be facing.

The progression in the design and functionality of electric fireplaces are vast since they first entered the market. Today, electric fireplaces can boast designs that use revolutionary ultrasonic technology to create a life-like flame as well as smoke effects simulating a real wood-burning fire. Advancements in technology have also created a three-dimensional flame, which is a fabulous and realistic design for an electric fireplace. We also have the “open flame” electric fireplace. This is a great design should you want to incorporate a more traditional looking mantel and add a lovely fireplace screen to enhance the look, or incorporate an “open-flame” design into a more modern setting.

We have recently seen the introduction of two-sided electric fireplaces, which undoubtedly can conjure up much by way of design inspiration when planning a renovation. When I’m designing spaces that require an electric fireplace, one of my favourite go-to manufacturers is Dimplex. They have been able to create unparalleled flame technology that is designed to suit any style or decor; and have a large selection of fireplaces to suit a variety of applications.

Another energy-efficient and “eco-smart” option in fireplaces would be ethanol burners.

Ethanol burners do not require a chimney or a flue, there are no restrictive gas connections which means they can almost be installed just about anywhere, providing you with endless design possibilities for your home.

Choosing the right design and function for your fireplace is key to maximizing the usage and enjoyment of your investment. As space can sometimes be limited, the addition of a fireplace to your condo should be well planned. If properly designed, you may find that the fireplace feature can often become a multi-functional element, possibly serving as storage space as well as beautifying your home. With many of the options available today, you may find that incorporating your fireplace into a media console, or a built-in wall unit can facilitate the extra storage space you may need.

Today we are fortunate to have a multitude of fireplace options and functionalities available to us that no longer restrict condodwellers from enjoying the seasonal charms and comforts of a roaring fire. Whether you prefer the traditional, formal mantel or whether your style beckons a more contemporary approach to the design of your fireplace, you undoubtedly will have a wide selection of options and design inspo to choose from. With the season changing, and the colder days among us, why not create an inviting, relaxed space to enjoy?

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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