Kitchen Design Q&A

March 3, 2014 Updated: March 3, 2014

Kitchens are no longer just for cooking. Today’s modern kitchens have become the hub of our homes. It is where meals are shared, guests are entertained, and homework is completed. Homeowners are spending more time and attention on the design of their kitchens than ever before. We often receive questions from readers looking for ways to update the design and functionality of their kitchens. We’ve asked designer Evelyn Eshun to answer the six most common kitchen design questions.

We have 80’s-style white European kitchen cabinets. Is there a way to modernize them without spending a small fortune?

The easiest and cheapest way to revamp dated kitchen cabinets is to paint them and change the hardware. With a plain white kitchen, one suggestion is to paint the base cabinets in a deeper colour that can be also found elsewhere in the house. If you wish to keep the kitchen white, paint some of the cabinets in a high gloss white to offset the existing sheen levels for added interest. Brushed nickel or polished chrome pulls installed horizontally will give you an added modern touch.

I am redoing my kitchen with all-white cabinets, stainless backsplash and appliances, and a light floor with a darker counter top. How can I add some colour to it?

Colour is easily added with an accent wall painted in a colour you love, using colourful bakeware to hold fruits and vegetables, and the all-important investment—a blender in a bright and happy colour. All of these will give your kitchen a pop of colour.

How do I spruce up my kitchen table so that it looks more appealing?

Using large decorative bowls or trays for items you use daily is a good way to add décor and functionality. I like to put all my fruits in a 20-inch diameter clay bowl on the table. It looks great and the fruit is always at hand.

How can I utilize the small spaces in the kitchen?

Use the small spaces in your kitchen to house groups of items such as shopping bags, spices, and other “categories” of items. Create dedicated areas for these items and incorporate baskets, storage boxes, and drawer storage solutions for easy access to them.

How do I pick kitchen flooring that complements my kitchen?

Flooring for the kitchen should be chosen with functionality as well as aesthetics in mind. Besides the obvious need to be functional, the floor makes a style statement in the kitchen. The selection of materials is endless, ranging from wood to natural stone to vinyl. Within each category there is an appropriate selection to suit your budget. As a general rule, the less texture and visual pattern, the more contemporary a space will appear.

I have a large country kitchen with little counter space. How can I get more counter space without building an island?

A good rule of thumb is to have 1 lineal foot of counter to every 10 sq. ft. of floor space, so if your kitchen is 1,000 sq. ft., you need 10 linear feet. If you need additional counter space, incorporate a table that has been covered with either stone or butcher block. As long as the table is between 30- and 36-inches in height, it will function well as an additional work surface.

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