Browsing Tag

kitchen ideas


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 ?



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?

0 comment

“I love my kitchen but the breakfast area is very small. I would love to have a table in this space but I don’t want something intrusive. What are my best options for a small breakfast nook?”

Great question!

This is a reality for so many people, especially condo living. Many homes have an area in the kitchen that’s great for a table for breakfast or kids doing homework etc. but don’t know how to use the square footage properly. There are functional and stylish options for every home – sometimes we have to be inventive and creative!

It’s important to be realistic about how you’re going to use this space. If you’re not going to use this table with other people, is having 6 chairs a necessity? Probably not. If you are using this as you’re only dining space, maybe so. In that case, here are some suggestions for the best tables for your small kitchen. If this is your only dining space and you want it to look more formal you can still keep the size and scale proportional but look for some chairs that have a more elegant style and add a beautiful dining light fixture above the table


For small spaces, our first recommendation is always glass. The great thing about glass is that it is clear (I mean duh, right?) but because of that, it is non-intrusive. Because it is clear, it almost camouflages to a space. The transparency is truly a great option for making a space seem larger than it is.


Round tables are definitely most ideal for small kitchen spaces because they promote conversation and can accommodate more seats than a rectangular table. Square tables are also a good option. There are only four sides to this so having 6 seats will be challenging. Depending how you will be using the table – 4 seats may be more than you even need anyways. Also if building in a bench (with piano hinge for additional storage) is possible it’s a great space saver if you have a Bay window.  It’s casual and comfy seating and it looks great with a round table. 



Often a smaller base is easier to cram people around, it seems more spacious than having four legs. A single pedestal is much less intrusive. Depending how large the legs are and the shape of the table will determine its functionality in terms of seating. Be mindful of that.


Pub tables are a great option for a small space. Depending on how you use this table, having a higher pub table sometimes makes a space seem larger. Having additional height often makes the room seems larger, instead of having more seating width wise, we’ve added height.


Positioning of your table is also something that can really impact your space. Let’s face it, sometimes there just isn’t a lot of space. In a perfect world, our kitchens would have a beautiful space for a breakfast nook with a bay window and built in bench. That’s not always a reality. Sometimes your furniture placement is limited. Don’t be afraid to push the table against the wall or the kitchen cabinets.  As long as there is a decent traffic pattern (2 feet is ideal) than use your space in a functional way.



Living in a small space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice – there are so many more options out there than ever before – get out there and starting look and don’t forget to bring your creativity!


0 comment

“I moved into my townhouse a year ago.  I love my kitchen!  it’s white with light grey counter top and grey tile floor.  This summer I want to add a back splash but I’m not sure what to choose.  Any advice?”

A white kitchen is classic and a great choice for a smaller space.  It’s light and bright and in terms of resale, it has mass appeal. Adding a backsplash is a simple update that isn’t disruptive to your life at home. A backsplash in a kitchen is like adding jewelry to an outfit – it really pulls it all together.  This year in tile it was all about shape, the colours were all neutral but the shapes were the focus.

For a back splash, you have lots of options.

Subway tile –

this is a classic and you cannot go wrong with this option.  Seen here in a brick or staggered formation it mimics the look of brick.  A typical subway tile is 3″ x 6″ but there are variations in size.  In terms of colour – a soft grey is a good neutral option as is white but you could also go with a charcoal for a more dramatic look.  If you are thinking you might sell in about 3-5 years choose something with some longevity like a neutral tone.

Stainless Steel Tile –

this has a bit more of an industrial edge.  This material works well in a kitchen as it’s easy to clean and maintain.  You will also have a lot of shapes and sizes to choose from.  This also looks great in a kitchen that has stainless steel appliances.

Glass mosaic tile –

this option was super popular a few years ago.  This is still seen today but more tone on tone like the image here.  Various shades of grey and a mix of clear and frosted glass.  Again, a soft look with a bit of texture and shine – ideal for a smaller kitchen.

Marble tile –

Marble is so classic and elegant but we have been seeing it in more modern and contemporary spaces, too.  It is a material that requires a lot of maintenance when installed as a counter top but as a back splash not to so much.  The natural variation and veins make it visually interesting and it look amazing when paired with grey and white.


Hexagon tile –

a popular shape in 2015 for backsplashes and floors.  Try this in a neutral tone and it will give even the most ‘tired’ kitchen a fresh look.  The shape is interesting  but not over the top.  Hexagon tiles also look incredible in bathrooms too, in a shower as an accent or on the shower floor.


Herringbone formation –

still looking for something a bit different but not totally off the wall? Try a herringbone formation.  Using a subway tile, instead of staggering the tile you lay it in a ‘zig zag’ format.  Herringbone is a pattern we often see in menswear but we are seeing it in tiles.  Stick with a neutral colour palette and a grout that is a few shades lighter (or darker) than the tile so that the pattern shows.  This also looks great on a floor with a 12 x 24 tile.

Arabesque tile –

this is a shape that’s recently popular.  It adds an elegant touch to a kitchen.  Again, use a grout with some pigmentation so that the shape is evident.  It’s lovely in white and soft grey.

Kitchen back splash tiles are that final touch that really pull it all together!

0 comment

In some kitchens you will notice that there is an awkward open space between the ceiling and the top of the kitchen cabinets. Other than building in a bulkhead to meet the top of the cabinets – what can you do?


Depending on your style or your situation this can be usable space.  It can be used for storage or decor, ideally both.


If you are selling, we strongly suggest not displaying it as cluttered storage packed with various things like large Tupperware, platters and small appliances -as that sends out a message to buyers – this kitchen doesn’t have enough storage (which is a negative)!!


If you are selling and staging, try painting that open space.  We recommend the same tone as the cabinets (or at least something light that works with the palette or the same wall colour as you have in the kitchen already)  That will keep an open feel in the kitchen- a bright or dark paint tone will draw attention to the awkward space and give an odd striped effect


Ideas if you are staging:


This kitchen shows a lighter tone that works with the colour palette


This image shows a kitchen where the gap is painted in the same tone as the cabinets you can see how the awkward gap just disappears.


Clean and uniform storage….wicker baskets are a great way to add some natural material to your space – this looks great in a rustic or country style kitchen plus these baskets hide items that maybe are not suitable for display like cooking magazines. This would work for staging as it is clean looking and practical not cluttered and junky.


Decor for your everyday living there are some easy and interesting display ideas….


Try adding some cute and fun messages like Eat, Laugh, Family…..



Layer some decorative pieces but keep to a tight colour palette  – seen here there is a mix or shiny metallic and white – that gives a streamlined look


Photo from House Beautiful


What about wall paper? This works is you have some wall space covered in the same wall paper…



Take advantage of high ceilings by using the space to display bold pieces of art



Love that cafe look and feel? Bring it home with chalkboard paint and some fun messages, inspiring quotes, recipes and more….



Are you a collector or cookbooks? This could work for some great book storage but make sure to style the space so it doesn’t look cluttered



Get a little retro with some wire baskets that can hold practical items that will also add some pops of colour



Be unique – display a cool collection that symbolizes your passions – love to travel? Try this interesting yet simple display….


But no matter what you have up there be sure to dust it regularly as it can collect a lot of dust over time.

0 comment

Kitchens and bathrooms do help sell houses, although they may not be the main deciding factor, they are strong contenders when buyers consider what property they will now call home. Buyers consider these rooms when they are house hunting because of the difficulty of renovating them and the expense that would be required. If you have been diligent in the upkeep and upgrades of your home then this week’s notes will not be as difficult.



 However, if you have never updated your home or maintained the repairs in the baths and kitchens, then this could be a pricey section! Truth be told, you will pay to do upgrades in these rooms, either when it comes time to sell and you have to reduce the price to reflect the work needed, or over the years while you live there and have been paying to maintain and upgrade.


Homeowners typically should be spending 1-3% of their market value every year to upgrade and maintain their property in good condition. So if this has not been done, it will need to be.



What types of upgrades can you do?

  • Updating Appliances in all the same color, this includes the hood fan. Especially if they are more than 10 years old.
  • Replace or Repair all damaged tiles or flooring
  • Repaint kitchen cabinets (or do touch ups)
  • Consider a kitchen update if older than 7 years. New kitchens price at $5,000 and up, depending on if you are installing them yourself. This is not recommended for beginners no matter how keen you are!
  • Install new counter tops or call a Granite company for a granite looking overlay that is less than the price of real granite
  • Update flooring, even a small bathroom looks like a new world with brand new floors
  • Update light fixtures
  • Paint the ceilings
  • Take off old tiles in the bathtub or shower and add a new surround. A simple do it yourself kit can be purchased for around $300.00
  • Add under cabinet lighting
  • Add new shower faucets and shower rods
  • Re-grout your existing tile if it is still in good shape, adding a new grout color can go far
  • Fresh paint colors in warm neutrals make a room look 100 x better for a small investment of time and money
  • Update faucets to the latest trends
  • Tighten all knobs, or replace for a modest cost. Knobs range from $3.00 to over $10.00 per piece, so it is a small investment for a great improvement
  • Replace toilet seats, especially if they are cracked, wooden or themed
  • Add new blinds or window coverings
  • New sinks, curtain rods and towel bars also make a great first impression



Remember you are giving the buyers every reason to buy your house, so carefully consider the first impression and ask yourself what do you look for when you are the buyer? How do you compare houses when you are the buyer? Then create a property that will attract buyers. It’s as simple as that.

0 comment

The farmhouse kitchen is a style that we are seeing a lot of and it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.  I think the timeless nature and the warmth that a farmhouse kitchen offers are just two of the reasons why this style is sticking around.

It seems like we are getting back to basics when it comes to home renovations and design style.  We are turning back to ‘simpler times’ for inspiration and for the kitchen especially – it is the heart and soul of the home – so not only should it look beautiful but it should also be functional. 

If you are considering a farmhouse kitchen renovation in your home…

Here are the 8 essentials in a farmhouse kitchen: –

1.  A generous sized island

So practical for serving and for prepping.  Stock the island with an over sized sink, dishwasher, microwave shelving ,open or glass shelving and don’t forget seating.   The kitchen island is always the ‘hang out’ in the space so going bigger is something you will not regret. 


2.  Storage. 

If you have some odd corners consider custom cabinetry for more storage, these spaces are perfect for storing entertaining essentials like extra stemware, table linens and stoneware.  You can customize these pieces to look like old farmhouse style freestanding furniture with upper glass panel doors with mullions and long drawers.


3.  A Warm Colour Palette. 

When we think of southern living and farm tables we think warm and welcoming.  So make the colour palette warm – you can still use darker tones but aim for subtle contrast as high contrast in this style of kitchen is a bit harsh. You can still opt for white as well but be sure to add warmth through choice of materials and other accessories, stay away from really high gloss finishes for instance.

4.  Simple Cabinetry. 

Shaker style, bead board details and v-groove give enough detail but stay true to the ‘simpler time’ look.  The farmhouse kitchen is usually a large one so a lot of detail can look too busy in the space. 


5.  A functional layout. 

In this style of kitchen, the placement of everything is straightforward so that it all works in harmony.  Even though a kitchen is large you still do not want any wasted space, always consider the work triangle.


6.  Symmetry

The cabinets, pendants and counter top configuration from one side of the kitchen to the other need to be as close to exact matches as possible.  Oh course, there will be some different elements (like what is actually on the counter top) but keep size, scale and balance in mind.  The eye is naturally attracted to symmetry, so trust yourself if you feel like something is off balance.


7.  Paneled Appliances. 

Remember a ‘simpler time’ is key.  So you can still have multiple (Big family? Consider two dishwashers and two ovens – BTW that’s my dream! ) and/or sized appliances but consider paneling the refrigerator and other appliances like the dishwasher in panels that match the cabinetry – it gives a seamless look in the kitchen


8.  Hardwood floors. 

Hardwood in the kitchen is such a warm look, the stain and the natural material brings the farmhouse into the kitchen, the wider the plank the more authentic it will look.  Other great options, if you love the look of natural wood – butcher block counter top on the island or barn beam legs for the island.


Remember, if this farmhouse kitchen is just too country or too southern living for you – you can always take elements of the style and make them more modern.  An over sized island with imple cabinetry in bright white or a pop of bright colour and a smooth and uniform caeserstone counter top is fabulous – add that country warmth with your accessories or backsplash even!  You don’t have to go full-country take the pieces that you like and blend the styles together.

The farmhouse kitchen style blends well with a touch of glamour (this adding some sparkle with some simple pendants with crystal detail) but it also works well with an industrial look too (add a reclaimed brick or wood wall and some industrial lighting). You can do a lot with the farmhouse kitchen and not be stuck with an overall country look.

Or, a functional layout and symmetry work for all styles of kitchens.  And customizing odd areas of your home with storage options is always practical.

You can always work with the basics and put your own spin on it!


0 comment
%d bloggers like this: