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GTA developers tour New York City for land-use and design inspiration

GTA developers tour New York City for land-use and design inspiration

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GTA developers tour New York City for land-use and design inspiration

Representatives from GTA builders and developers recently toured New York City as part of the latest Housing Innovation Tour from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Tour participants met with industry experts from speciality fields and explored new housing, innovative use of land, various product types and learned about new sales and marketing strategies – all intended inspire participants for their projects back at home.

The BILD Housing Tour group, against the backdrop of Manhattan, from River House rental property in Port Imperial, N.J. Photos: Mike Suriano, Suriano Design Consultants
The BILD Housing Tour group, against the backdrop of Manhattan, from River House rental property in Port Imperial, N.J. Photos: Mike Suriano, Suriano Design Consultants

Highlights of the three-day tour included visits to:

• Hoboken, NJ’s revitalized waterfront, which included a tour of a former Maxwell Coffee House factory site. There, Toll Brothers and Hoboken Brownstone Company have built a lively neighbourhood with midrises, townhouses, parkland and views of Manhattan along the Hudson River.

• DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Domino boroughs in Brooklyn. Both areas are formerly hubs for industry and warehouses, as the Hudson River was once the main transportation artery for coffee, sugar and other goods. Over many years, these neighbourhoods have been converted to luxury residential and mixed-use properties. In fact, DUMBO has become New York City’s fourth-richest community.

• Hudson Yards, NY. A must-visit when in New York City, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the U.S. by area. Upon completion, 13 of the 16 planned structures on the West Side of Midtown South will sit on a platform built over the West Side Yard, a storage yard for Long Island Rail Road trains. The community is home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in industry, significant public art and dynamic cultural institutions. It is also expected to host more than 55,752 workers on a daily basis. Hudson Yards is seen as a cutting-edge model for the future of so-called smart cities – those that leverage data to monitor and manage urban areas.

“Thanks to our trip sponsors, participants had opportunity to enjoy some of the Big Apple’s many cultural elements by experiencing fine culinary foods, visiting historic A&D Building, neighbourhood walking tours and attending an NHL hockey game,” says BILD President Dave Wilkes.

Tour sponsors comprised: Cassidy & Co., Coast Appliances, Figure3, Fisher Paykel, Maroline Inc., My Design Studio and Spectrum Realty. Tour hosts comprised: George Vallone of Hoboken Brownstone Company; Jack Chui of Douglas Elliman Real Estate & Fortis Property Group; Marina Trejo of Two Trees Development; and Natalie West of Related.

Photos: Mike Suriano, Suriano Design Consultants


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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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