Adding spice to a bland kitchen

East Coast homes hold a reputation of being welcoming, charming and even quaint. But designers are seeing a new edge to comfortable Maritime living that is transforming the traditional kitchen into something modern, daring and definitely head turning for 2012.

“Grey is the new beige,” says Tom Hughes of Craftmade Kitchens. “And although we typically don’t see grey as a bold vibrant colour, it’s a powerful and sophisticated statement colour that really transforms the mood of the space.”

Kitchen Designer and Accredited Decorator Nina Boulanger of Cabinetworks is also noticing the rising popularity of grey and painted cabinets in general.

“Homeowners are now choosing to paint their cabinets instead of opting for the classic stained wood doors,” says Boulanger. “Giving customers any colour option under the sun is a fantastic thing and is changing the way we design kitchens.”

Companies such as Craftmade Kitchens and Cabinetworks are seeing a steady shift from traditional to modern design. And the shift can be as small as painting the walls grey or replacing framed cabinet doors with European flat paneled doors. Some homeowners are going a step further and not just incorporating a modern aesthetic to their kitchens – but taking advantage of the many technological advances in kitchen products and design.

“2011 was a big year for SERVO-DRIVE touch-open cabinets and drawers,” says Hughes. “And I imagine 2012 will be even more so.”

Homeowners are also realizing that min- imizing clutter and maximizing efficiency are as bold a statement as the colour choice of the cabinets. And a popular choice for utilizing space most effectively is proving to be a pantry versus overstocked cabinets.

“If your house can lend enough space for a walk-in pantry, it can free up a lot of valuable space in your kitchen,” explains Boulanger. “Open and accessible shelving will help de-clutter and essentially improve the workflow of the kitchen and eating area.”

Mark Matsell of GE Appliances also understands the importance of counter space. A popular item has been the over- the-range microwave in stainless steel. Opting for the over-the-range space saving option offers substantial ventilation and frees up workspace and an outlet.

“Aesthetically, the microwave can offer great continuity in the kitchen,” says Matsell. “It’s amazing how great a kitchen can look when the fridge handle matches the range handle and the microwave handle.”

To continue the modern lines and streamline design from appliances to eat- ing area, Boulanger notes that banquette seating is a trendy option. Keeping flow and space-efficiency in mind, banquette seating offers style and has the option for additional storage underneath. Homeowners can also play with the colour choice and textures of the cushions.

Modern kitchen design doesn’t mean losing the warm and inviting ambiance of the space. It’s about incorporating convenience and being smart with the colours and products you choose.


Mari Suyama

Mari Suyama

With a degree in Journalism and Spanish from the University of King’s College, Mari has turned her passion for writing, languages and travel into a career she loves. Diving into the world of freelance after university, she moved to Latin America

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