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The white shaker style kitchen has been seen in kitchens for years! So is this style ever going out? It seems like very Pinterest board, very magazine and every home improvement show has the white shaker style kitchen.  So why is this style so popular?

The Shaker kitchen

Shaker style furniture is known for it’s simplicity and some may say ‘minimalist’ design.  The shaker design refers to the door style – it is a 5 piece door, with a recessed center.  The shaker style drawer could either be a flat panel (which we see in more modern style kitchens where detail is minimal) or you could see the 5 piece door in a drawer. 

This is an incredibly popular style because of it’s versatility but also it is so transitional depending on your handle choices for instance, you can make the cabinet suit any style of decor.

The White kitchen

Still the most popular choice for homeowners – they are clean, fresh and classic.  White works with all styles – you can easily add or incorporate elements of wood in flooring, counter tops or even some reclaimed wood accents.  You can mix your hardware style and finish.  Add glass cabinets and floating shelves, marble backsplash or subway…you can do so much with this colour of kitchen!

 The White Shaker Style Kitchen

This is the best of both worlds – the simple design in white.  It’s perfect!  You can adopt this white shaker style kitchen to just about any style by adding the hardware and accents like back splash, lighting, faucets and more….


Here are some of our favourite examples of amazing white shake style kitchens:


This white shake style kitchen is perfection – the mix of the apron sink with the goose neck faucet, the herringbone marble tile backsplash and the oversized stainless steel pulls – makes this white kitchen anything but boring!




This white shaker style kitchen has a bit of a classic meets vintage quality.  The mix of the pulls and knobs in the antique black finish gives some depth and contrast.  The subway tile in the staggered formation with the dark grout looks vintage (like something you would find in a bistro). The open wood shelving add a decorative touch and keep the kitchen from looking traditional and the marble counter tops add another classic element. 



Keep it traditional and add an antique touch to the clean lines of a shaker cabinet by adding some crystal knobs and pulls – this adds a great ‘bring’ factor, too! The white subway tile, the white quartz counter and the glass cabinets keep it classy in this all white kitchen.  The cabinetry style is the perfect back drop for all the more detailed elements!



Yes, brass is making a comeback – some of you are cringing….but it looks so fresh in the all white kitchen!  We love the mix of knobs and pulls – it’s a designer look and it really ups the look of the entire kitchen.  The brass adds great visual impact but also a warmth in this all white kitchen, as does the wood floor.  A simple kitchen cabinet can really stand out with great details.


So why do we think this white shake style kitchen will never be out?

Because classics are never out of style.  They may fade in popularity but they never fade away. 

So if you are considering a kitchen renovation don’t over look this classic and transitional style – it is perfect in every way,





The kitchen is the heart of the home and whether you are a gourmet or not, you want your kitchen to look stunning! If a kitchen renovation is on your to-do list, take note of the hot kitchen design trends for 2017.

Grey in the Kitchen:

Although white is still a top choice for home owners, grey is a close (very close 2nd).  We started seeing this trend about 3 years ago in the trade shows but now the grey kitchen cabinet is much more mainstream. If you are a bit hesitant, opt for a soft and warm grey tone for the kitchen cabinets. It’s still timeless and neutral but it’s a great alternative to white.

Farmhouse kitchen sink:

Also known as an apron sink.  This sink style has been around for a long time but it has really gained popularity with the whole revival of the ‘farmhouse look’ trend.  This style of sink comes in all sizes and configurations (single bowl, double bowl…) but it comes in other colours and materials.  Plus you don’t have to necessarily have the farmhouse look in your kitchen – you can have a clean contemporary style or an industrial style kitchen – it is a very transitional sink.

Tuxedo kitchen:

We are seeing a lot of tuxedo kitchens in 2017.  Not familiar with this term? A tuxedo kitchen is a kitchen with dark lower cabinets and kitchen island cabinets (in a black like a tuxedo but we are seeing lots of variations like navy, dark stained wood and charcoal grey) and white upper cabinets.  This adds some visual interest to a kitchen and in our opinion looks best in larger kitchens. 

Bold Kitchen Light Fixtures:

Statement lighting is everywhere and we mean in every room in the house and the kitchen is no exception.  We are seeing lots of larger and more interesting light fixtures in the kitchen – over the island, the eat-in area and in the kitchen itself.  There are so many styles of lighting – so there is something for everyone! Get creative with colour, size and shape – we love this classic lantern pendant in pink and gold – so unique!


Mixing kitchen counter tops:

We are seeing clients get more and more adventurous when it comes to making selections in the kitchen.  It can be tough to narrow down your selections – so don’t! Opt to have 2 different counter tops in your kitchen – 2 different stones, a stone one and concrete one, a stone and wood one….the combinations are endless.  This is a great way to really make your personality shine in your kitchen!


Navy in the kitchen:

Navy in the kitchen right now is where grey was about 3-4 years ago – just emerging – but we are seeing it more and more in magazines and TV shows, so it is only a matter of time until the navy kitchen is the new grey kitchen! We love it mixed with brass or gold hardware (which is also starting to catch on).  A navy kitchen looks incredible with just a simple shaker style door – because the colour is so deep and rich you really don’t need a lot of detail. 

Interesting Kitchen Back splash:

For a while it was all about the glass tile mosaic back splash and then more recently the subway tile but now we are seeing all different shapes and colours – even patterned tiles! We are definitely seeing people take more ‘risks’ this year when it comes to tile.  Whether it is a herringbone layout, a hexagon shape or a pattern tile – back splashes are a lot more interesting this year! (We are seeing this trend in bathrooms, too)


What do you think of these kitchen design trends ?



We love to work with the colour green and decorating the kitchen shouldn’t be over looked.  Green in the kitchen is easy, fresh and fun! Now that spring is here – we are starting to see green everywhere…the green grass is starting to turn, the green buds on the trees and green from the plants and flowers are starting to sprout. We love that green works is so many colour combinations and with so many styles.


Here are some of our favourite ways to use green in the kitchen:

A tea kettle is a great way to add a splash of colour in a kitchen.  This is one of our go-to pieces when we are staging a home.

Tea towels are a great (and functional) piece in any kitchen.  We love ones with a little colour!

A set of colourful chargers add a punch to your table setting- we love these simple green ones – great for spring and summer!

Practical items for the kitchen can also be colourful and fun – these spatulas, cutting board and scrub brush add some colour to boring kitchen tasks.




Cute oven mitts in a fresh print with a splash of green add some brightness to the kitchen.  If you are working away in the kitchen you may as well look cute doing it!

Want to look like a pro in your home kitchen? Try a green chef’s coat – you won’t go unnoticed!

Spring is all about the leaves and leaves are green! This green leaf platter is a great serving piece for spring and summer events!

I love colourful mixing bowls and serving bowls!  Using my green one today to bake a lemon cake – the bright and fresh colours were amazing to look at! I also love mine because it is so easy to clean after use!

When it comes to baking and cooking we all know the importance of presentation – so why not prepare beautiful meals in beautiful stoneware? Like this French Oven or Baker


You can’t go wrong with a little green in the kitchen,

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“We renovated our kitchen about 10 years ago.  We chose a dark espresso stain cabinet.  Even though we have decent natural light, we feel the kitchen looks a bit on the dark side.  How can we lighten up the kitchen without replacing the cabinetry doors?”


The lighter kitchens are definitely trending right now.  But the espresso look is still a choice that people are drawn too.  If you want to lighten up your darker kitchen there are some easy and simple changes you can make (or hire someone to install for you) that won’t break the bank!


Try adding a back splash tile that is light in colour…

Or even explore the idea of a glossy finish (this will allow light to bounce off of the tile and into the room).  A glass tile can do wonders – it’s like adding jewelry to an outfit….Another tip, try installing (or have a professional) install some under valance lighting – this will add more light to your kitchen.

Photo from DecorPad

 Try replacing your counter top…

With a stone counter top in a light tone.  This is also a popular trend for 2017.  With a lighter counter top the whole kitchen will look lighter, think of all of the surface space in a fresh and lighter tone.


Photo from DecorPad

 Try brightening up your kitchen with some lighter paint…

You will be amazed at the low cost and the big difference it can make. Fresh paint always looks so clean and bright.


Photo from HGTV

 Consider a partial kitchen update…

Yes, this is more expensive but it might be worth it if you feel your kitchen is just too dark.  this might also be a good idea down the line if you are looking to make updates for resale…replace or paint your upper cabinets in a lighter paint.  Some call this a two tone kitchen other call this a Tuxedo kitchen and we will be seeing more of this look in the coming years.  this can really open up and brighten up the look in your kitchen.


 Photo from Bright Green Door

Other tricks….

– Take a look at the wattage of your light bulbs and go brighter!
– Burnt out light bulb? Be sure to replace them!
– Do you have pendant lighting? Maybe swap out our pendants for something with a glass or chrome finish to allow more light in the room
– If you have dark stools, swap them out for a lighter colour or even a chrome
– Opt for appliances with a reflective surface
– Can you add more pot lighting to your kitchen?
– Lighten up that floor, whether it is wood or tile a lighter tone will make a big difference
You don’t need to change out your cabinets or overhaul your whole kitchen to make it look lighter and brighter.  add in some lighter elements and you won’t believe the difference!


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“I’m moving into a house this fall and we have a kitchen island.  I’m excited to have seating at the island.  I’ve never purchased stools before what should I be looking for?”


First off – Congrats on the move!  How exciting!!

A kitchen island is definitely something to be excited about – they offer so much extra kitchen space in terms of prepping, serving or just hanging out.  We love kitchen islands!


When it comes to seating at your island the first thing you need to be 100% aware of is the height of the island.  Is it bar height? Is it counter height? Or is the (seating space) table height?  This is the number 1 thing you need to know before making any purchase.



For a bar height:

(This is usually described as a breakfast bar, usually there is a part of the island that is raised. sometimes we see a raised portion on a kitchen peninsula). A 30-inch stool is the perfect height for a standard 42-inch bar or counter top but anywhere between 28″ and 33″ will work . Bar-height stools are also ideal for a work space, like the garage. These are the same size stools you see in a restaurant or bar and are taller than the average dining chair. Ideal for standard built-in bars. Not ideal for small children


For counter height:

This is an island that is the same height as the rest of your counter tops. These stools are the ideal height for a 36-inch counter or to have on their own for extra seating. Counter-height bar stools are smaller than the typical stool you see in restaurant or bar, but are a great addition to your home bar or kitchen space, they range in height from 24″ to 27″. Popular option for kitchen islands and easy to use for most people


For table height:

(We see this a lot in condos) the island usually has a portion of the island that is counter height and then a portion that dips down to table height.  This is in lieu of a kitchen or dining table. Table-height stools are shorter than counter or bar stools and can be a good alternative to chairs at a dining table or breakfast nook. Generally between 16 and 23 inches tall. Offers a casual look; often without backs. Great choice for small children and kids’ seating


*this is an example of the kitchen island counter top with only a slight over hang – this would not be the main eating space but perfect for hanging out while watch the host cook.

Other measurements to consider when choosing a bar stool are the spaces between each stool as well as between the stool and the surface height.

For stool spacing…

look to have about 26 to 30 inches measured from the center of one stool to the center of the stool next to it. This allows for optimal space for eating, working, and socializing. For leg spacing, account for 9 to 12 inches between the stool seat and the underside of your counter top or bar surface. We suggest a counter top over hang of 15″-18″ if this is going to be a main eating area.

When it comes to style…

the possibilities are truly endless but take a few things into consideration.  If this is a main seating/dining area – mid to full backs are a comfortable option.  If your are tight on space look for options that are sleeker and not bulky, backless stools tuck under counter top over hangs really nicely.  If you have room for lots of seating but don’t really have a lot of guests over, try mixing styles – that way you have the supportive comfort but also some spare seating when you need it and your kitchen won’t look or feel cramped.


This image is a great example of mixing stool styles.  The full back upholstered stools are comfortable and perfect for everyday use.  The backless adjustable cowhide stools add some extra seating when needed.


 I hope these measurements help you find the proper stools for your kitchen island…use this as a guide and pick a style that suits you, the possibilities are endless!

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 Pattern tile is everywhere these days! We started seeing them really emerge in the past 2 years or so.  They made a big splash at recent Design Shows, too!  They can really add a unique touch to a space.  Like the wallpaper accent trend they add some boldness or whimsy to a room but too much can just be overwhelming.

If you like the look of a print or pattern, how can you use the pattern tile in a way that won’t overwhelm or get ‘tired’ quickly.

1.  Use a pattern tile in a small space like a bathroom.

For a few reasons, it won’t be too overwhelming because the pattern isn’t everywhere and also, should you decide to change it in a few years or so it won’t be a huge undertaking. This image has the pattern tile on the floor in a neutral palette it is soft but still makes an impact.


2.  Stick with one pattern in the space.

When it comes to fashion mixing patterns is very chic but when it comes to pattern tile – to make the most impact stick with one pattern in the room (other wise it just gets too busy) keep the other pieces like cabinetry and paint pretty low key and solid. We love the backsplash tile here with the stainless hood fan and stove and against the white -Can you say?  #wowfactor

3.  Use it as an accent.

See a pattern tile you love but concerns that it might be a bit over the top? Treat it like the wallpaper accent wall – only tile one wall in the tile and keep the rest plain but complimentary. This blue pattern tile is busy and if the entire shower surround was covered in this tile it would be very overwhelming and likely not as pretty.  This accent tile makes a statement. A little pattern tile can go a long way

If pattern tile is still just a bit too much for you but you want something different, consider lay out and shape.

Take some inspiration from this kitchen back splash. Typically we see rectangular tiles in a stacked formation or brick but this herringbone pattern adds some great visual interest to this classic kitchen. The herringbone arrangement also looks great in a shower surround in a 3×6 standard subway tile but also looks great on the floor in a 12 x 24 tile!

Trying adding just a tiny pop of pattern tile. In the image below we have a shower surround in a neutral subway tile in a dove grey tone in a brick layout but look at the shower shelf, a pop of print – so great!

The hexagon tile is another great option if you are open to new shapes – this can give you a modern look or a more vintage style depending on the size of tile.  You can also get a more traditional look depending on the material you choose.  Sometime a new shape can give you a whole new look without going crazy with colour or pattern.

Pattern tile is a lot like wallpaper – it adds a touch of personality and designer flare! Use it sparingly or make a splashy statement…

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The kitchen island is almost an essential part of a kitchen these days.  We see them in kitchens of all sizes and styles.  They are so practical plus we love they way they look – they offer us storage options, serving and prepping space and even a dining area.

Here are some of our favourite kitchen islands:

We love any over sized kitchen island – it is perfect for anyone who loves to cook and entertain.  This is also a beautiful piece  in this kitchen.  Look at the seating for 4 and those lantern pendants really make this island look and feel like a dining space.  The sink makes this island a great working area too. We love the storage and the serving space this island offers. This is a perfect addition to a dream kitchen!

Pot and pan drawers are a must in your kitchen island.  Look at all of this storage! This oversized island is almost a complete kitchen it’s self.  Storage for days, prep space, cooking space a sink and so much more.

Just because something serves a purpose doesn’t mean it can’t also look good! We love a pop of colour so why not add one to your kitchen? When your kitchen island is in a different stain or paint colour it really looks custom and it looks like a piece of furniture.  This island offers so much closed storage but it’s a great hang out with 2 stools at the end plus it’s just perfect for serving an prepping look at the over sized flat surface.

Looking to make a statement with your kitchen island? Think about going ‘live edge’. This live-edge walnut kitchen island counter top is a show stopper! It adds an organic element to this sleek and streamlined modern kitchen.  We love the wood grain and knots – so much character and uniqueness.

We love a butcher block kitchen island but how cute is this dog bowl feature? If you have dogs at home incorporate them into your decor and design.  These stainless steel bowls can be removed for easy cleaning but when in place they are out of the way with no risk of being knocked over and making a mess.

We love the rustic look of this farmhouse kitchen island.  The grey stain softens the look of the wood plus it works with the veining in the marble back splash.  The open shelving is very convenient when plating and we like the look of these clean, smooth white dishes (and white cabinets) with the rustic wood grain – we love the mix of textures.  This island has so much character!

We love this ‘beverage station’ in this kitchen island – it’s perfect if you love to entertain! A wine rack, ice maker and beer/soda fridge in the island is such a great idea! Easy access and it won’t take up space in your main fridge.  With it tucked away in the island it won’t take away from the beauty of your kitchen.

We don’t see this often – but we love it!  A round kitchen island : this is perfect for a smaller kitchen -the circular shape really softens up the look in a kitchen and appears to not take up as much space; a circular shape offers great flow (that’s why a circular table is often a great choice for a small space). This still has great storage a surface space.  We also love the soft tones in this kitchen – the cream, taupe and wood – timeless with a bit of a country feel.

This island has it all –  seating, storage, open shelving, surface space and a stove top.  this modern sleek look kitchen island offers so much for this kitchen design. We love the mix of black, wood and grey waterfall quartz counter top.  The pendant lighting is beautiful and we love how the hood fan is built in so it doesn’t visually block in the kitchen and obstruct the view.

Take some inspiration from this kitchen with a commercial restaurant design.  This T-shaped island is perfect for parties – so much space for prepping, serving and let your guests watch while you create! the mix of stainless steel and wood grain is a great balance of modern and organic, warm and cool.  So clean and streamlined in every way.

Which kitchen island is your favourite?

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“My home is mostly contemporary style with some pops of colour throughout. I am planning to add a back splash to my kitchen in the near future but want to make sure it’s a similar style to the rest of my home. What are some contemporary tiles I could consider?”
Great question!
There are so many great products on the market, we know the choices can be overwhelming. A lot of these tiles can be laid in different patterns, some more contemporary than others. Clean lines and a monochromatic colour scheme are what helps to define what a contemporary design is. Here are some great options for a contemporary back splash:

Subway Tiles:

Probably the most popular choice for a contemporary space.. Subway tiles come in many colours and sizes. You can get smaller or larger. 4×16 or 2×3 and many sizes in between. They come beveled or with a slight texture. They can be laid in a classic brick pattern or for a more contemporary look, try them straight laid. These are a simple, clean option that will brighten up any space. The flexibility to lay them in a variety of patterns makes them a super versatile option for your space.


Mosaic Tiles:

Depending on the colour palette that you chose, this can vary from a traditional tile to a  contemporary tile. Again, a monochromatic colour scheme is more contemporary than a variety of bright colours. Sticking to neutrals and shades is sure way to keep the style consistent.

Textured Tiles:

All tile doesn’t have to be flat and boring. Adding a wavy geometric tile that is raised adds a different dimension to your design. If you’re a person who likes a monochromatic colour scheme this is probably the best option for you.


Adding a solid slab to your back splash is definitely a pricier option, but it is very contemporary, depending on the piece you choose. A marble or solid colour (with subtle veining) is a great choice for a contemporary space. It’s important to ensure that that it complements the existing counter top. The colour and material needs to flow together to make the space look harmonious.

Glass Tiles:

Adding a simple, straight or brick laid glass tiles with a subtle colour is a great look for someone who is a little bit more edgy. This option pairs great with high gloss cabinetry. Neutrals are great too! Glass tile comes in many soft colours such as sea foam, aqua and so many other shades. The colour options are truly endless!
We love what back splash tiles do to a kitchen – it pulls it all together, like accessories in a room or jewelry with an outfit…back splashes you complete the kitchen,
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“We are doing some work to our kitchen, and one thing I keep seeing in magazines is hardwood floors in the kitchen. I love the look & want to incorporate it into my own home, is this a good idea?”


Choosing hardwood floors in the kitchen is a great option. There are definitely some cons, but there are many pluses as well. It’s a look that is very on trend right now. Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is especially great for an open concept home because there is no transition between the flooring, the seamless look is continuous. ‎

There are certain types of wood species that really thrive in a kitchen setting, and there are others that are less ideal. Exotic woods such as teak and rosewood are not great options as they are a softer species and dent easier. You want a ‘harder’ wood, if this is the route you’re going in your home.


Our recommendations would be to choose hardwood species offering a tighter grain. Oak (see the image just below to the left)  for example features a prominent grain pattern that hides dirt and dents better than woods with subtle grains. Try to stay away from pine and birch and light colored flooring because the kitchen is such a high traffic area. These lighter tones will not hide dirt, scuffs and scratches as well as other species.


The most ideal type of woods to use in your kitchen are reclaimed wood (see the image to the right) , or a distressed finish, or hand scraped hardwood. Distressed and hand scraped will ease the mind of someone who is very particular about any scuffs. Let’s be realistic, at some point, something is going to get dropped on your floors, especially in the kitchen. With this type of finishing‎, any dents or damage will look planned, or if nothing else, add some extra character. Hand scraped is a beautiful look even in a modern/contemporary home. It does sound rustic, but it can be very subtle to the touch.


In terms of finish, I wouldn’t recommend a glossy look. The shine is going to be much more obvious if it is dirty and
scuffed and over time, it will begin to look worn and tired. Finishes come in a range of sheens from low-shine satin to high-gloss. Satin sheen is the best option because it will hide food bits and dust best. ‎


Moisture is always a concern when you use hardwood in the kitchen. If possible, use a mat or rug in front of areas that often get wet, and be sure to wipe all spills as soon as possible. Be mindful when adding hardwood to your kitchen that it does require a regular maintenance routine. Follow the flooring manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines.

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“I LOVE the look of metal stools in the kitchen when I am flipping through magazines. For my own home, I worry that they will be cold, and won’t fit with my décor style. Are metal stools only for industrial décor?”
Great question!!
Metal stools are definitely everywhere these days and for good reason! They are stylish, easy to clean and super versatile. The great thing about metal stools is that there isn’t just one kind.. they come in many different colours, styles, dimensions and go with a variety of décor. They are not limited to one décor style.
Decorating with the “unexpected” is often a welcome addition to your space.. having every single piece resemble one another can look boring and typical. By adding in metal stools in your mostly wood home, or into a mostly white room, or adding a pop of colour in another wise monochromatic space keeps your home looking interesting, and most importantly, personalized. You are the one who lives there, so its important that you love what you have inside. This should be a reflection of your personality.
Remember, you don’t have to do ‘full’ metal. If you like the look of metal, but are nervous how it will blend into your home, then buy something with another texture. Maybe some wood detailing.. or a fabric seat with metal legs. Be creative! Buy what you love.
Another positive of using metal in your home.. is that it is super easy to keep clean. Just wipe and go. If you are a busy family with children, you don’t have to worry about them staining any upholstery. Metal is fantastic for kitchen chairs as well, for the same reasons.
Having metal stools in fun colours is another fabulous and family friendly look. Children typically love colour, adding different colours into your space is a fantastic way to freshen up your space.
Blending styles is easier than you think! Of course, there are definitely styles that don’t jive as well together. Modern and Traditional pieces don’t typically go as well as say country and rustic. Adding some rustic pieces to your contemporary décor is an easy transition. Having an eclectic space is another easy style to blend
pieces together. If you add in metal, add some elsewhere as well. Even just adding a metal accessory to tie the textures together will make it look planned and on purpose.  the image below is a great example of tying in some common threads, the metal legs on the stool pair beautifully with the metallic back splash tiles and with the metal pitcher on the counter.
Having some commonality in your space always helps to give that ‘designer look’ you see in magazines.
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