Monthly Archives: June 2015

Latest Kitchen Trends for the Discriminating Homeowner

It goes without saying that the kitchen is the central spot of the home and impacts the rooms that are adjacent and their traffic flow. Before you set off to update your existing kitchen since it needs a fresh look or designing a kitchen from the floor up, it pays to be informed about some of the current kitchen design trends.

The latest kitchen trends

Even if your budget is limited, there are a few key details that can change your kitchen into an up-to-date showcase that will enhance your décor and add value to your home. The latest Kitchen trends need to strike a balance between the trendy and classic so that the work that is done today will last for years to come. Staying power in kitchen home design is an important factor when you decide to give your kitchen a facelift.

One of the most notable changes in the past several decades is the evolution from the closed off rooms to the open floor plans. Open floor plans continue to be a trend because they satisfy the feeling for connecting. Today’s home trend is to integrate the foyer, kitchen, dining and living functions all into one large space.  What this means for a trending look in kitchen designs is that the décor should have consistency throughout so that there is a harmonizing appearance from one space to another. Although the adjoining spaces do not have to be too exacting, your kitchen should have accent colours or other key components that tie the rooms together.

If you ask any kitchen designer about today’s streamline kitchens, they will tell you that updated kitchens feature several ways to add better functionality and a personal touch as a reflection of your personality. Here are some of the many practical and popular features that are trends in the updated kitchen of 2015:

  • Open shelving is popular including cook tops, wall ovens and under-counter options such as wine drawers, added refrigeration and microwaves
  • Pull-out faucets remain a popular trend in kitchens.
  • Brushed nickel, pewter, polished chrome and antique bronze finishes for faucets are definitely on the top of the list.
  • Kitchen hardware and various forms of lighting including task and under counter lighting are popular options.
  • Stainless steel appliances including bottom freezer style refrigerators continue to be the number one choice for homeowners in the kitchen.
  • French doors for openness and a feeling of luxury are currently on the trend list.
  • Energy-efficient appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, cooktops and ovens are stylish and save money.

Integrating Technology:

Without a doubt, technology has changed how we live, especially in the kitchen. The kitchen is home central and a place to not only gather with family and friends, but a place where we manage family schedules, work and study. Green features that are being incorporated into kitchen designs include energy efficient windows, dual flush toilets and low flow faucets. In addition to the Energy Star rated appliances, these green features are playing more dominant role in house trends.

Selecting Your Style:

From previous decades of clutter, today’s styling trends in the kitchen favor the less is more look. Kitchen aesthetics emphasize clean lines with simpler ceiling mouldings and more subtle accents for creating a stronger focal space that is an easier to maintain space such as:

  • Flat-panel or Shaker-style cabinets
  • Granite countertops, kitchen islands, butcher blocks and stainless steel appliances
  • Glossy ceramic, porcelain, granite or glass tile backsplashes
  • Kitchen flooring that has a natural look such as ceramic, hardwood, cork and stone.

Kitchen Colours:

What you’ll see in today’s kitchens are colour trends that incorporate soft and muted tones such as creamy neutral palettes with just a hint of colour. You will also find that painted, stained and matte finishes are being coordinated with wood with the additions of earth tones for accent.

The latest Kitchen trends come and go so when you decide to update an existing kitchen or a newly installed kitchen, keep an eye on the classic styles, but with a new twist so you’ll always remain in fashion.

The Functionality of Kitchen Islands

If you ask homeowners what one item they would like to add in their kitchen, you might discover that the answer is most likely a kitchen island. These stationary units are a unique centerpiece in the kitchen and they help you to get things done with ease within the space. Kitchen islands are on top of the kitchen renovation wish list by many homeowners; however getting the design right to transform your kitchen into a dream takes thoughtful planning and proper execution. When the improvement is done to perfection, you will add beauty, functionality and added value to your home. Because the kitchen is the focal point of you home, kitchen renovations typically recoup 75-100 percent of their investment upon selling the home.

A kitchen with an island in the center

Kitchen islands have become pretty standard in kitchen design these days and one of every two new homes has one built in the kitchen. The kitchen island offers additional room to spread out and provides efficiency because of the added workspace. For kitchen islands that have some extra features like a stovetop as part of the design, the workplace becomes even more functional with everything you need for cooking at your fingertips. Unfortunately, not all kitchens have these purposeful stations; however, if you are considering adding one to your home, it’s worth a look at the advantages that kitchen islands can have on the impact of your kitchen.

Space:

The available space that you have in your new kitchen will determine the shape and size of the island.  If you happen to have a very spacious kitchen you have the luxury of few constraints, but if your kitchen is on the smaller size, the amount of clearance necessary for an island is crucial. For smaller kitchens, the ideal clearance of 42 to 48 inches is required so that traffic flowing through the kitchen is not hampered and moves seamlessly. If you are adding an island to an existing kitchen as opposed to a new home design, you will want to review how traffic is already flowing through the kitchen and how a new island might affect its dynamics.

Purpose:

There are many different reasons why homeowners have kitchen islands and you will want to consider what purpose your kitchen island will serve. For some homeowners, a cooktop is incorporated into the design because this is where food prep and cooking will occur. Others might prefer installing a sink and dishwasher into the design because the island is intended to be the designated cleanup area. Still other homeowners may want it for a more multipurpose use, such as a high chair eating area, additional countertop space, more outlets, a built-in wine rack or additional storage space underneath. If you choose to complement your kitchen island with extra seating, you will ensure that everyone has an added place to sit in the kitchen and always made to feel at home when you invite people over. Kitchens.com has a great selection of ideas for the more common types of kitchen islands and their uses.

Versatility:

Since kitchen islands are so versatile, you have a nearly endless selection of options that offer you the opportunity to narrow down your choices of features by considering your needs and wants. You can get what you will use and avoid the things that you’ll mostly likely not use. Take for example, the type of material that makes up your island’s countertop.  This will depend entirely on whether the island is intended for food preparation or you want the island as an eye- catching centerpiece in the kitchen. You can go from laminate which is cost effective and easy to clean to something more substantial like granite for its beauty and durability.  Maybe you need a bit or portability in which case you many want to consider a rolling kitchen island instead a permanent station. You get flexibility with a rolling island, but you may be limited to the features that can be part of a stationary unit, like a sink, cooktop or dishwater.
When designing your kitchen island, you will also want to think about the type of lighting in this space that will enhance the island. There are a variety of different types of lighting styles available, such as task lighting that is suspended over the island. All of these considerations depend entirely on your circumstances and what you are trying to achieve in your kitchen.

Regardless what your situation is in the kitchen, there is likely some kind of kitchen island that is just perfect for you and your family.

Choosing the Best Wood for Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing the right wood for your kitchen cabinets is just as important as the design, the finish, the hardware, etc. Custom kitchen cabinets allow for the most variety.  When making the decision, there are a lot of factors to take into account – in this article, you will learn the benefits of each type of wood.

White Wooden Kitchen Cupboards

The Cabinet Go-To: Oak

Oak is the most common wood used for making cabinets. Whether you are purchasing RTA (Ready To Assemble) cabinets, or are using the services of a contractor to create custom cabinets, chances are Oak will be the first material presented to you. There are over 200 different varieties of Oak, making it an incredibly versatile and varied building material. You will find that a natural, or honey finish are the most popular. Oak has many benefits: it is a strong, dense material that expertly sustains everyday use. It also absorbs a stain beautifully. Oak is a fantastic building material in cabinets with invisible frames. This style of cabinetry is increasingly popular in modern style kitchens.

Reliable Maple

If you don’t immediately opt for Oak, your contractor will probably suggest Maple. Ready to Assemble cabinetry originating from China is often made from Maple, where to tree grows prolifically. However, there is also an abundance of more local Maple that makes for an amazing cabinetry material. There are ten commonly used varieties in Canada and the US that offer homeowners a beautiful selection of grains. Choose from a subtle, largely uniform grain with the odd “bird’s eye” dot or mineral streak throughout. Maple looks its best within the Honey to Chestnut Glaze spectrum.

Good Old Cherry

When it comes to custom kitchens, quality – at times more expensive – materials are a must. Cherry is becoming increasingly popular for mid to high priced kitchen cabinets. Cherry is a unique material. Over time, even after a light stain, Cherry gets darker and darker. Imagine antique Cherry furniture – that reddish brown hue takes years and years to attain. For those who love this look and plan to keep the same cabinets for years, Cherry is a beautiful, and historically appealing option that is ideal for cabinets with raised panels, or those built in a French or English style.

Luxurious Mahogany

If you love the sumptuous, luxurious look of Mahogany furniture, you can also have that in the kitchen! Mahogany, which looks reddish brown, and stains well is one of the most expensive cabinetry materials. While Mahogany is not the most common cabinetry material, it is certainly one of the most showstopping. The beauty of choosing Mahogany for your kitchen cabinets is the ability to create a uniform look throughout your home. If you already love your Mahogany office furniture, or dining room table, extending the look into your kitchen gives you the opportunity to tie your home together.

There are dozens of types of wood that you could choose for your kitchen cupboards. In addition to Oak, Maple, Cherry, and Mahogany, other popular types include Alder, Birch, and Hickory. Each wood features a different style of grain as well as their own unique set of benefits. Speak to a Wright Kitchens representative today to discuss your new kitchen cabinets!

Kitchen Efficiency: The Kitchen Triangle and More

When you’re in the kitchen, you’re on a mission. Whether it’s getting some breakfast in you before you rush out the door, packing lunches for the entire family, or getting dinner on the table so you can start relaxing – the more efficient your kitchen is, the more time you can spend doing what you love. And if cooking is what you love, then an organized, efficient kitchen will make you love it even more!

A white Kitchen that has been efficiently organized

The Kitchen Triangle

The space between your refrigerator, sink, and stove is known as the Kitchen Triangle. It’s the most used space in your kitchen, and as such has a big impact on the efficiency of your cooking space. The idea of the kitchen triangle made its way into interior design theory after a series of time motion studies that were conducted during the 1940s. According to efficiency specialists, no one side of the triangle should be less than 4 feet, or more than 9 feet, and the sum of all three sides should be between 13 feet and 26 feet. Furthermore, there shouldn’t be any cabinets, islands, or storage units within the Kitchen Triangle.

Countertop Space Requirements

If you have the opportunity to design your dream kitchen from scratch, take the time to carefully consider your countertop space. The space beside the refrigerator, sink and stove are the most crucial – which makes sense when taking into account the Kitchen Triangle. When it comes to the sink, make sure that you have at least 24” on one side, and 18” on the other. Alternatively, dedicate a 36” area near the sink for food preparation. The refrigerator should have at least 15” on one side, and the stove should have at least 15” on one side, and 12” on the other.

Bear in mind that these space requirements are to be considered the minimum. If you have the space to expand, do so! That said, in many of today’s condos and apartments kitchen space is a luxury. Consider using a moveable butchers block table, or expandable, wall mounted counter space that can be put into action when you need it, and tucked unobtrusively away when you don’t.

Organize with a Purpose

Once you’ve put all that work into building an efficient kitchen, take the time to organize your kitchen tools in an equally organized and thought out fashion.  Keep large, heavy items like pots, bowls, and colanders in deep slide out drawers. If you don’t use your mixer everyday, save on counter space and dedicate it too to a lower cabinet or sturdy drawer. Like your drawer for the utensils you use while cookies (spoons, flippers, tongs, etc), make sure that you choose a space close to the stove. Use drawer dividers to organize pot lids and storage containers, instead of letting them fall all over the place in a cupboard. Store everyday utensils, glasses, plates, bowls, and cups near the sink and/or dishwasher. This makes unloading the dishwasher so quick and painless even your teenager will do it!

Have More questions about optimizing your kitchen efficiency or how you much time you can save by doing so? Contact Us today and we would be more than happy to answer your kitchen questions!

What to Consider When Redesigning Your Kitchen

Hurray! You’re ready to embark on your kitchen renovation! Like we’ve discussed in previous articles, remodeling your kitchen has the potential to dramatically increase the value of your home, as well as your enjoyment of it! Gone are the days of disorganized tupperware, and out of reach storage spaces. Redesigning your kitchen allows you to create a space that responds to your needs, instead of the needs of the previous owners. By now you have probably decided whether you’re remodeling or completely renovating. A remodel is a largely cosmetic undertaking – new cabinetry, hardware, perhaps new countertops, an island or a tiled backsplash. Meanwhile, a renovation involves totally starting from scratch. This article addresses the starting from scratch route, although some points can apply to both plans but overall will give you some of the most up to date and latest kitchen design ideas out their.

A modern kitchen with dark wood cabinets and hardwood flooring

One of Wright Kitchens Latest and Greatest Kitchen Renovation Projects

The Kitchen Triangle

Interior designers and Kitchen specialists refer to the area between the sink, stove, and refrigerator as the Kitchen Triangle. It’s the most frequently used area in your kitchen, and as such it needs to be cleverly laid out. In some kitchens, the plumbing may need to be relocated to get it closer to the stove, refrigerator and countertop workspaces. When it comes to the size of the Kitchen Triangle, aim for somewhere between 10 – 25 feet. Smaller than 10 feet will make the space feel cramped, meanwhile over 25 feet is going to make you feel like you’re running a 10k marathon instead of making a sandwich.

Dedicated Garbage and Recycling Space

This might seem like a small, almost inconsequential point, but building dedicated garbage, compost, and recycling area within your kitchen is going to help you keep your space so much more organized! With today’s increasing emphasis on separating out food scraps from recycling and trash a simple garbage under the sink just doesn’t cut it anymore. Instead of letting plastic containers and old newspapers accumulate in piles all over your kitchen, consider including a spacious cupboard with built in sliding garbage, recycling, and compost receptacles.

Storage Space

Look around your kitchen. On any given day, you probably use 15% of everything you own. The rest of it is only gets pulled out for holiday meals, school bake sales, birthday dinners, and daring culinary adventures. A well designed kitchen features storage not only for the seldom used gadgets and good dishes, but also for easily accessible everyday basics. Within the Kitchen Triangle, you should be able to easily access your most often used dishes, utensils, and tools. You shouldn’t ever have to get out a step stool to find the salad bowl for your Meatless Monday meal.

Countertop and Island Workspace

Not everyone needs an industrial sized kitchen. Depending on how much space you have in your kitchen, and your culinary habits you can get away with more or less counter space. An Island is one way to increase the workspace in your kitchen. You can also incorporate a breakfast bar onto the island for additional casual seating. By adding a sink, Islands can be used as a totally separate workspace allowing you to use countertop space for appliances, or even decor.

And last but not least, never underestimate the importance of a professional! Before you go at it alone, get a few estimates from trusted local professionals on your dream kitchen, you’d be surprised at how much you could learn if you do. Happy Renovating!