Monthly Archives: September 2015

Choosing the Right Kitchen Style for You: How to Choose Between a Contemporary, Modern, Traditional or Transitional Kitchen

At The Wright Kitchen one of our favorite parts of any kitchen project is deciding what style to design the new kitchen in. The most common options are contemporary, modern, traditional, and transitional. But what do all of these actually mean? Your lifestyle, and style preferences play a big role in deciding what your kitchen will look like. The size of the kitchen, the decorative features that you choose, and even your colour palette all work together to define your kitchen’s style. Read on to learn a bit more about each of these four kitchen style designations.

Find your Style

The Contemporary Kitchen

A contemporary kitchen focuses on functionality. This style has been heavily influenced by the modernist design movement, but features a high degree of livability. Simplicity is key for the contemporary kitchen. While “modern” refers to a specific historical time, “contemporary” design refers to what is happening right now. A contemporary kitchen is influenced by trends and fads. At the moment, contemporary kitchens features stainless steel appliances and fixtures, gleaming white surfaces, and the use of bold colours. When it comes to deciding on a palette for your contemporary kitchen, stick to the 60-30-10 rule. This means that 60% of the kitchen is one colour, with 30% a secondary colour, and 10% an accent colour.

The Modern Kitchen

Distinguishing between contemporary and modern can be difficult. Bear in mind though, that while contemporary simply means “in the moment,” modern kitchen design refers to a specific historical movement in the world of design. This period of time was from the early to mid 20th century. This style made an abrupt break with the traditional design elements of the earlier Industrial Revolution. You can expect to see flat-panel (also known as slab-door style) cupboards as well as frameless cabinets, simple and sleek hardware, the inclusion of natural elements, strong use of horizontal lines, and an overall lack of clutter. Remember that accent colours, when used, are supposed to be subtle.

The Traditional Kitchen

For many homeowners, the traditional kitchen is the one they are most familiar with. The traditional kitchen is defined by its strong reliance on historical details. For example, intricate architectural details like moldings, beam ceilings, furniture style cabinets, and framed, raised panel cabinets. More ornate elements such as antique and glazed cabinet finishes are common, as are decorative cabinet door inserts. While modern and contemporary kitchens focus on uniformity, traditional kitchens allow for more variety. Don’t be surprised if you see multiple cabinet styles, and a combination of inset and raised panel doors. Apron front or farmhouse sinks combined with luxury countertop materials and ornate decorative lighting is common in a traditional kitchen.

The Transitional Kitchen

Last, but not least, the transitional kitchen. Like the difference between contemporary and modern, the difference between transitional and traditional is subtle, yet important. Transitional kitchens incorporate traditional and contemporary design elements to create a highly personal and unique space. You will find the warmth associated with a traditional kitchen, and the efficiency and sleekness of a contemporary one. Transitional kitchens often feature sleek cabinets, alongside natural surfaces and approachable backsplash, often textured tiles. The combination of natural and industrial looking surfaces is a fixture in a transitional kitchen. While contemporary kitchens eschew embellishment, transitional kitchens embrace it. Architectural details on cabinets, ornate tile work, and natural materials are used to create a highly unique space.

If you’re interested in changing your kitchen’s current style and would like some professional help, contact The Wright Kitchen today!

Tips On How to Get Your Modern Kitchen Lighting Just Right

These days most kitchens are used as dining room, office and a family room. The lights are on in the kitchen much more than in any other room in your home. Since you’re going to be using the kitchen for cooking, working and playing, you will need a good range of lighting to create a suitable environment for all your activities as well as preventing any accidents and eyestrain. Here at The Wright Kitchen, we like to think that we can all agree that the more lighting options you have in a kitchen the better (without going overboard of course, you don’t want to blind your guests!). So read on as we have some great ideas for you to light up your kitchen in more ways than one.

Modern Trends in Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lights installed by the Wright Kitchen

Overhead Fixtures

A single overhead fixture will give you good lighting for most of your general cleaning activities and navigation but does a terrible job of casting light inside your cabinets; especially in the deep cabinets and your corner units. One possible solution is to use the current light fixture electrical box to add in a new track lighting system.

Track Lighting

Track lighting is available in fluorescent, incandescent, and high- and low-voltage halogen styles. There are multiple fixtures that give you the freedom to focus and direct the light where you need it most. There are also a very wide variety of specialized fixtures which allow you to customize and arrange your lighting as you need it. You can buy units with reflector bulbs for task lighting and you can buy units created especially for general or mood light. Many of the systems also have adapters for pendant lighting.

Positioning

Once you’ve selected your fixtures, be careful to position them so that they don’t shine directly into your eyes. Remember not to install fixtures directly in line with sinks and other such work areas because your head will block the light. Instead, install them to the sides and then angle them out toward the target spot. Place the fixtures where they won’t get in the way of opening upper cabinet doors. Also be sure to select a system that will complement the look and feel of your own kitchen.

Under Cabinet Lighting

Another type of lighting which is useful in kitchens is under cabinet lighting. Since your body and upper cabinets can often block the light from any centrally located ceiling fixtures, installing cabinet lighting will put the light where you need it most. Avoid working in dim shadows by installing the lights beneath the upper cabinets. This will help to illuminate your cutting boards and cookbooks.

Another solution to kitchen lighting is to purchase special recessed light trims which focus light where you need it most.

The standard recessed lights often tend to light up floors, walls, cabinet fronts and frequently the top of your head. These are all places where light isn’t really needed. Many of the recessed light manufacturers have produce a basic fixture that can be fitted with a good variety of trims which range from the more basic baffled cylinder to wall washers and adjustable eyeballs. These last two versions allow you to direct light right where it’s needed; to the inside of your cabinets or to specific areas of your countertop. The advantage to using these trims is that the cost is usually quite low and the job takes only a few minutes to complete.

One last tip: You should make sure that your new trims are made by the same company that made the recessed housing and that the trim is compatible.

The Wright Kitchen will do its best to redesign your kitchen with appropriate lighting solutions. Contact The Wright Kitchen if you’re interested in our various options for kitchen redesign and renovation.

Kitchen Counters Make a Statement

Over the years, kitchen counter trends have seen a bounty of new materials that will inspire you to renovate your countertops for the most up-to-date statement. Kitchen counters are a focal point of any kitchen and although more costly, they are a wise investment. Whether you’re renovating your existing counters or choosing countertops of a newly built home, return on investment is a major consideration. Since the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, investing in upgraded countertops makes a lot of sense from a resale perspective because they add beauty and value to your home. In fact, many of today’s kitchens feature showpiece kitchen countertops that dictate the design of a kitchen.

Kitchen with subzero unit

Homeowners today not only want the best even if they’re on a budget, but they also want their home to be updated in a tasteful and stylish look, both on the outside and inside of their home. Countertop materials range from unique to impractical to functional, but whatever you decide on it should be a reflection of your lifestyle and personality. Since trends seem to come and go and everyone has their own style and tastes, it’s good to get some idea of the hottest trends that homeowners are installing. Before making any decisions on which material you will select, you may want to reflect the connection between your cabinetry, colour scheme or surrounding furnishings.

If you are on a budget, but still want to upgrade to something beautiful and substantial, there are several assorted grades of granite that you can select among depending on the manufacturer. As an example, you may want to opt to install a granite grade level of 2 instead of level 5 that will still look spectacular, but less costly. Additionally, some laminate products are close mimics to more expensive surfaces like granite, but the products cost half the amount.

Laminate Counters:

For the homeowner who is looking for an affordable and durable countertop surface, laminate certainly fits the bill. Although it’s not as eye catching as some other surface materials, it can certainly stand up in the kitchen and comes in a variety of colours, patterns, textures and style. It should be noted that laminate has come a long way from the Formica look and still retains its good character traits at reasonable prices. Many of today’s laminate surfaces have a look that can closely mimic many of the natural materials and best of all, there are many different edge treatments to choose among to eliminate the dreaded look of seams at the junctions.

Quartz Counter Tops:

Quartz is a favorite with homeowners because it is arguably the most durable option for kitchens. It is an engineered stone, made from the hardest minerals with a blend of stone chips, resins, and pigments. In the last few years, Quartz has come on strong and replaced natural granite as the top choice for countertops by homeowners. Manufacturers have been steadily developing and manufacturing a variety of new patterns for this popular and versatile material. It can rival the look of granite or marble in addition to being instilled with bold new colours and patterns.

Concrete Kitchen Counters

Concrete continues to be a strong choice as a material that homeowners and designers are requesting for countertops; however, concrete, although beautiful and versatile, is repair-prone, especially when it comes to staining and chipping. A surface sealer is required for water and stain resistance. Large concrete slabs will have seams too, but they can be minimized. On the positive side, the colour options are endless which gives you the ability to effortlessly coordinate with the rest of the kitchen. It can be cast in any size and shape that fits your requirements.

Wood Kitchen Countertops:

Wood has been and always will be a favorite, but the trend for finishes is now being represented in natural forms and textures rather than high-gloss or smooth finishes. Today’s homeowners have taken notice that wood countertops are gaining in popularity because wood can provide a warm, nostalgic and homey feeling that a modern kitchen is lacking.

Dramatic Statement:

Beautiful countertops will always be a staple feature of any kitchen. With so many choices of materials from which you to select among, you’re sure to find just the right mix to make a dramatic statement in your kitchen. If you are finally ready to take the steps towards the dream kitchen you always wanted, contact The Wright Kitchen

How to Improve a Kitchen’s Efficiency by Simply Changing It’s Layout

If you are in the process of remodeling or renovating your kitchen you are probably surrounded by a sea of potential floor plans and layouts. It’s an exciting time! But how can you be sure that your kitchen is going to be up to the job? Making sure that your brand new kitchen is the right size for everything you need takes planning, preparation, and organization. It’s simply not enough to simply make sure you have enough cupboard space. Oh no, making sure that you have the space for all the cooks in your kitchen is just as important.

a couple designing their kitchen

 

The Kitchen Triangle

Chances are you already know about the Kitchen Triangle. If not, we have Another Blog that is a great read and it’s all about increasing your kitchen efficiency. The kitchen triangle is basically a term used to describe the highest high traffic area of most kitchens, which is usually made up of your stove, fridge, and sink. According to kitchen design theory, these are the three most often used appliances in your kitchen, and obstructing the flow of this space slows down your kitchen efficiency to a snail’s pace. When it comes to designing your kitchen, proximity to the plumbing dictates where the sink will be located. From there, the stove and refrigerator are put into action. During a remodel, chances are you aren’t going to want to relocate the plumbing, so situating your kitchen triangle is virtually done for you. However, if you are renovating your kitchen all together, having a professional relocate the plumbing may help make the space more efficient.

Counter Space and Storage Options

When designing your new kitchen, take the time to imagine it in use. Who is going to be using your kitchen the most? How many people will be using the kitchen? And what will they be doing there? The kitchen is a multi-purpose room. Homework gets accomplished, socializing is done, science experiments are undertaken, and of course, meals are eaten here. When remodelling or renovating your kitchen, take into account all of these activities and create spaces for your lifestyle. Counter space, dining space, and storage space are all essential elements of a well designed kitchen. When it comes to storage space, don’t stop at the pots and pans. Create a space for newspapers to be tucked away during mealtimes, for cookbooks, for half finished homework projects, etc. An island with built in shelving goes a long way to reducing clutter on surfaces.

Getting Down to Kitchen Measurements

In the kitchen, space is important. Every inch counts! A counter space that is too small, or a kitchen triangle that is too large can drastically influence how much you enjoy the space, and not for the better. According to kitchen design experts, every part of the room needs to be planned out. Whenever possible, doorways should never be less than 32 inches wide, meanwhile passageways should be at least 36 inches wide. When it comes to the kitchen triangle, the sum of the three sides should not be greater than 26 feet. The optimal length of each side is between four to nine feet. When it comes to counter space, ensure that there is at least 24 inches on one side of the sink, and at least 18 on the other. Lastly, you should be looking to include at least 158 inches (or just over 13’) of usable counter space throughout your entire kitchen. How does your kitchen measure up?

If you’re thinking about doing a kitchen redesign, Contact The Wright Kitchen and speak with a professional for advice and expert help.