JENNIFER BACKSTEIN INTERIORS

Kitchen

Cooking Up a Stylish Kitchen

A kitchen renovation is by far my favourite project to design. With proper planning, the end result is always worth the effort and cost. With that said, a kitchen is the priciest room to renovate, so you want to ensure all that effort will stand the test of time. So, how to you cook up a kitchen that will be as relevant in 10 years as it is today?

Go neutral. This tip applies to virtually every choice you’ll soon have to make as part of your kitchen renovation. A trendy colour will look fresh for a couple of years before dating your kitchen, but neutrals never really go out of style. Thankfully, this particular tip is perfectly on trend, with white kitchens continuing to be among the most-requested renos in their class.

White and its various off-white versions can make a room feel bigger and brighter, amplifying its natural light levels and adding some breathing room.

Another benefit of using light neutrals is they are more versatile and adaptive to other aesthetics. If you decide to change your flooring or wall colour some day, you won’t necessarily have to touch big-ticket items such as the countertops and cabinets.  I can confidently attest that neutral is the way to go.

Pictured, a Toronto kitchen was updated by painting the old yellow cabinets with a fresh white hue, and replacing the dark, dull granite countertops with a bright white-and-grey marble-look porcelain.

Think function. Your kitchen is primarily a workhorse. It has to handle prep like a pro, dishes up some 4,380 meals per year for an average family of four. Beyond that, the modern day demands kitchens now also accommodate home-work and work-from-home, entertaining, and storage. If your kitchen doesn’t meet your functional requirements, then it isn’t the kitchen for you. Engage an experienced kitchen designer like myself to evaluate how you use the space and your ideal set-up to accommodate all of your needs efficiently and of course in style.

Custom cabinets are the best way to maximize every square inch of your space. Storage areas are worth their weight in gold, so if you’re planning a full kitchen renovation, this is a wise investment. If new appliances are also on your list, consider integrating them into the design. This lends the kitchen a less-utilitarian, more streamlined aesthetic that goes beautifully in today’s open-concept living areas.

On a final note, indulge yourself. This is your kitchen, your renovation – and it’s prime time to make it yours. Consider what gets your culinary juices flowing, and include it in the design. While most of us have some budgetary or space constraints, where there’s a will, there’s a way and most requests are scalable.   A stocked pantry for the baker, artful climate-controlled wine storage for the connoisseur, or your own personal barista at the ready in the form of a home coffee station. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it’ll certainly be appreciated!

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