Celebrity designer Jo Alcorn discusses practical, yet stylish kitchen design tips.
The kitchen is the heart of the home so it’s a bonus when you can have an open concept to more living zones. This once multiple room traditional home in the east end of Toronto has now become a functioning family living space. Having the open concept now means you can gather in two great spaces simultaneously, whether you are hosting and tending to kitchen duties while still conversing with guests or watching over the entire family. Functionality has a whole new meaning to style. Follow these tips to create flow and décor symmetry when designing in an open concept.
Let there be light! The homeowner knew they needed new windows and doors so that was our next step after opening up the walls. The small existing back doors didn’t allow a lot of natural light in or the view of the backyard. We created an 11’ door and windows opening to achieve the WOW factor when you walk into space. The amount of natural light tripled while making the backyard feel like an extension of the space which added visual real estate to the entire layout. We chose a great Canadian company that makes, manufactures, delivers and installs called Total Home Window and Doors. They are
one of the largest window and door manufacturers in Canada and as an added bonus they offer a lifetime warranty on their products.
Countertops come with all different price tags. If you have a large surface area, like a island, you want to make sure counter tops are on your spurge list not the save list of the renovation. Islands area a focal point within a kitchen and the most common gather space, so make sure you love what you are getting because you will be looking at every single day. I love the look of these Caesarstone Quartz countertops from Beyond Marble and Granite. From fabrication to installation, they provided top-of-the-line service for this project.
For this project I discovered a new cabinet company called Fine Line Kitchens. Their goal is to work closely with their clients to deliver the best possible design and craftsmanship from start to finish. It’s evident from their finishing work that they have been pros in the business for over 35 years. The hidden gems behind the white shaker style doors is the home owners favourite part of the cabinets, with soft closing drawers, organization systems, and even a hidden drawer fridge, life is just that much easier when everything has the perfect home.
Appliances can become a big part of the design style. For this space I chose Samsung’s Chef Collection in stainless steel. These premium kitchen appliances are gold star and have been tested and approved by Michelin Star Chefs. Plus functionality is key when designing a kitchen so you want to make sure your getting appliances that will work with your family’s lifestyle.
Another important feature in a kitchen is the faucet. A gem that I find people often overlook. I love to educate my clients about the importance of a great faucet and all that it can do for the space. I love the Delta Trinsic single handle pull faucet with Touch20 technology in matte black. It adds just the right amount of drama to a kitchen.
Based on the design of this kitchen it was super important to have a low profile vent hood. The Lux Island range hood from Zephyr provided an unobstructed view through the kitchen to the front hallway and it provided the minimalist look we were going for. As a bonus it has a wireless remote control.
Lighting is also key in a kitchen, as it becomes hanging art and a staple within the overall design concept. I went with a more industrial look pendant over the island to tie in the industrial beams, and then matched it with a two round industrial traditional lights for the over the table. Lighting can be a great way to tie in themes, as did these, marring the transitional rustic to industrial, for a very unique and coherent look. These gems are from DVI Canada.
Any time you can bring the outside in and add a touch of rustic to a space jump on the opportunity. In this space we chose a gorgeous raw suar wood table from Artemano with matching benches for large a large family to gather around. The rustic table will help disguise the families wear and tear plus it becomes a beautiful focal point which helps moves the eye around the entire open concept kitchen.
The flow in this space continued to the seating area where we continue the natural theme with table top plants from Bouclair and a sofa adorned with a multitude of toss cushions from Bouclair.com as well.
The final piece that really grounded the living room from the open concept kitchen was the rug which create a bit of separation for the two rooms. I love FLOR Tiles as you can mix and match them and if one gets dirty in this high traffic area they are easy to replace. The carpet tiles are a great solution for any buys household.
Author: Jo Alcorn is a design specialist and designer on HGTV’s Home to Win. She has her own furniture collection, lighting line, signature pillow and dog bed line and is known for her savvy design concepts. Visit Jo at www.whitewashco.ca
Photo credit: JASON HARTOG