Kitchens

Kitchen renovations provide homeowners with an excellent return on their dollar, and that’s especially true if the designs are timeless – and the colours carefully selected for mass appeal.

Leo Hollohan, owner of Mother Hubbards Kitchens, is looking forward to showing off brand-new finishes and colours at the Real Home Show – although the classics still remain heavily in play.

“White countertops are still very strong across the board, especially white quartz countertops – they require no maintenance, and they give you a more consistent look than granite,” says Hollohan.

Martine Cote, Designer with Mother Hubbards Kitchens, says they’ve made a name for themselves by keeping up with trends and creating innovative designs –
including sleek, contemporary European-style looks that have only recently hit the Nova Scotian market.

“The trend is to create a cleaner-looking kitchen that’s less ornate – and a bit more simple than the ornate, elaborate corbels and mouldings we were seeing five years ago,” says Cote. “Homeowners are becoming more open to using modern materials, and we’re getting a lot of requests for high-gloss cupboard doors.”

They recently expanded their showroom, and now carry top-of-the-line Miele appliances that can be integrated with your cabinetry for a cohesive look.

“Integrated appliances are great, because you never have to pull them out to clean around them or behind them. Everything’s sealed in,” explains Hollohan.

Cote says organization is key in today’s kitchens, with homeowners wanting to add everything from hidden recycle bins to special areas for sorting mail and paperwork. Kitchens are often the most populated area in a home, so she says their customers enjoy upgrading them to create a space their entire family – and their guests – will appreciate.

Stainless steel and brushed nickel reigned supreme in kitchens for years, but it looks like their time is coming to an end.

“We’re seeing warmer tones, like champagne bronzes and venetian bronzes,” says Nina Boulanger, Kitchen Designer/Accredited Interior Decorator with Cabinetworks. “It’s a way to add a little more colour to a kitchen, and it’s something new and different for people who want a more updated look.”

At the Real Home Show, Cabinetworks will be showing off a new style of cabinet door – a five-piece door by NEXGEN made of two stiles, two rails, and one panel.

“It’s a permanent antibacterial surface that’s scratch-resistant and stain-resistant, as well as fade-resistant,” says Boulanger. “They’re very attractive, and they have an appearance and texture that looks like real wood – but more contemporary.”

Boulanger says these doors are basically newer versions of PVC cabinet doors, but they’re laminate instead of vinyl. She prefers them to real wood doors, because of their consistency.

“When you stain a real wood door, you never know exactly how it’s going to look.”

Open-shelving is becoming more popular in kitchens, as well as glass-front cabinet doors. Boulanger says under-cabinet lighting has also been steadily growing in popularity.

“It adds soft, warm light – and it’s also useful light – and makes a kitchen seem larger, too.”

Heather Laura Clarke

Heather Laura Clarke

Heather Laura Clarke is a freelance journalist whose work regularly appears in many Atlantic Canadian newspapers and magazines, including The Chronicle Herald, Metro, Hub Now, Business Voice, Dugger's, Progress, East Coast Living, Bedford Magazine, and Southender Magazine. She also has several corporate clients.