“We live our lives in the kitchen – so open concept, livable, usable spaces are in demand,” says Glen MacDonald of Cabinetworks Ltd.
To take advantage of kitchen space and create a fresh look, homeowners are opting for open decorative shelving to display fine glassware and are cutting back on wall-mounted cabinets that take over the walls. Many older kitchens were built with excessive cabinet space but today, many solutions exist for compacting dishes and kitchen appliances to optimize on space.
“Clever dish drawer organizers are designed with a handle to easily remove a stack of plates in a single trip. Utensil storage units are also allowing us to store more using less space than before,” says Tom Hughes of Craftmade Kitchens. “The popularity of pot drawers has spawned this growing need for innovative storage ideas – simplifying our lives while enhancing workspace.”
Creating a kitchen conducive to your entertaining and cooking needs is important, and technological advancements in kitchen design are making it easier to do more with less.
Mark Matsell of GE Appliances is also seeing kitchen appliances move in the same direction.
GE energy efficient dishwashers now have integrated controls for an attractive look. And with regards to refrigerators, the stainless steel French door models are still top sellers. The seamless integration of appliances built into cabinetry instantly enhances the flow of the kitchen and increases the amount of workspace available.
“Technology is quickly becoming an integral part in kitchen design, and likewise, design is very much a part of technology,” says Matsell.
Blum, the maker of SERVO-DRIVE self-opening and self-closing drawers has been popular in Europe since 2008 but has recently discovered a niche market in Eastern Canada, particularly in Halifax. Blum uses innovative electric drive technology to smoothly open and close pull-out drawers and cabinets with the slight push of a corner.
“The way we open a cabinet and grab a mug is changing,” says Hughes. “And so is the move to flat panel cabinetry versus the traditional embellished door with handle.”
MacDonald agrees that contemporary minimalist style and maximum functionality are growing trends throughout the kitchen, not just in cabinetry.
Choice of countertop is moving away from the standard laminate to solid surfaces like Corian, granite and quartz. Although laminate can imitate the look of granite or hardwood for a fraction of the price, the synthetic materials used in production are prone to chips and scratches, which depreciates the value of the kitchen and reduces overall functionality.
Corian, granite and quartz are durable, bacteria-resistant and easy to clean. However cost remains a deterrent for many home-owners when it comes to countertops.
For affordable or even DIY kitchen upgrades, MacDonald recommends changing flat shelving within the cabinets to a pull-down system that uses gas pistons to smoothly pull the entire shelf to desired level. Shelving independently returns into place.
“Homeowners can make their kitchens more convenient and safe,” says MacDonald. “Upgrades are not only measured in price and in appearance, but in how they truly affect our lives.”