What’s cooking in kitchen design

The kitchen has always been an incubator for inspiration, creation and experimentation. When it comes to kitchen design, that desire to be creative no longer stops at the evening meal – especially in 2013 when the tools to build just about anything lie at our fingertips.

Whether dealing with a new construction or a renovation, 2013 is proving that before all the bells and whistles are added on, the most important element of the kitchen is the layout.

“Having a space to entertain guests is important,” says Nina Boulanger, Kitchen Designer and Interior Decorator at Cabinetworks Ltd. in Dartmouth. “New builds are designing big open kitchen spaces and renovation projects are taking down walls and putting in big islands.”

Boulanger explains that big islands are practical and work to achieve an open and airy look. If the kitchen allows space for an island, it can be used to separate the kitchen from the living areas or family room while maintaining flow and unity.

Open concept kitchens are the clean canvas to the homeowner’s kitchen vision. The myriad of décor and functionality options is where creativity comes into play.

“We are making spaces more interesting by highlighting design elements,” explains Boulanger. “If you have dark hardwood floors, we might paint the cabinetry in a light colour and add a dark solid surface countertop. We layer materials and play with the contrast.”

Contrast is nothing to be afraid of, and industry professionals are encouraging homeowners to experiment and step outside of what was traditionally considered kitchen design. Matching colours, textures and stains exactly is no longer as important as pairing combinations well.

For homeowners who are looking for a combination of traditional and contemporary, Boulanger explains that transitional design can be an easy segue between the two.

“Transitional has a soft contemporary feel and is less formal than traditional. Sleek but still warm and modern. And it’s in demand.”

Some popular items that follow transitional design are single bowl deep basin sinks and tall gooseneck faucets, solid surface countertops such as the maintenance-free quartz and also products such as Lumicor decorative resin inserts – a translucent resin panel that can be trimmed to fit any cabinet, door or window, instantly adding elegance, flare and creativity to any space The idea of adding accents, playing with contrast, layering materials and letting the creative eye wander are what Kitchen Designers and Decorators are excited to see more of this year and in the years to come.

“Above all else in the design process, quality is what matters most ,” says Boulanger. “Working with a professional who is compatible and well versed in the process is key to executing any kitchen vision – traditional, transitional or contemporary.”

Quality has always been a trend in any home design. Now, coupled with the push to go creative with the help of the never-ending variety of kitchen products available, homeowners can now spice up their kitchens in more ways than one.


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