Tag Archives: design

7 Tips for Designing a Kitchen to Make Your Life Easier

7 Tips for Designing a Kitchen to Make Your Life Easier

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home.  It’s a place to enjoy good food with family and friends.

It’s also  one of the busiest rooms in the home.

That’s why when a kitchen is cramped or outdated it can really cause a lot of frustration. We have all been to a family holiday where all the women in the family are bumping elbows trying to hustle and work together to prepare the meal.

The good news is that a kitchen redesign can help you create the perfect space for your family.

Here’s 7 tips for a well-designed kitchen for your home:

  1. Improve Function. A kitchen that worked for your family a few years ago might not work for your family today.  Or perhaps you’ve moved into a home where they kitchen just doesn’t work right for you.

    The most important principle of kitchen design is the triangle:  The sink, stove, and refrigerator are the three greatest areas of activity in the kitchen.  It’s critically important to keep a path that is quick, direct, and without obstacles to and from these locations.

  2. Add Storage. A good plan puts everything you need at your fingertips, exactly where you need it.

    Over time a family accumulates more tools, gadgets, appliances, and pans.  It’s important to have the right spaces to store heavily used items where they are handy.

    This is where a kitchen designer can help.  They can see where your biggest storage needs are and design handy spaces to hold these items.  This creates a space for everything and you can keep everything in its place.

    Plus a designer can add in some spaces to tuck away those “less used” items for big family holiday meals.

  3. Install Convenience. Today there are so many ways to modernize your kitchen for the way you live.

    Wine aficionados can add a wine fridge.  Families with children can place a microwave in the island where it’s easy to each.  Women who bake and entertain a lot can install double ovens.

    The sky is the limit for design options to make your life easier!

  4. Rev up the counter space. There’s nothing worse than a kitchen that lacks counter space.

    You need areas to perform tasks such as prep stations, a coffee area, a place to set groceries when you walk in.  You’ll need counter space near the fridge and the oven.

    Make sure there is adequate space by the kitchen sink for dishes and food prep. Adding an island can add more work space as well.

  5. Make outlets accessible. In today’s world of coffee makers, toaster ovens and juicers it’s nice to have easy access to an outlet.

    One great part of redesigning your kitchen is you can add electrical outlets where you need them. Make sure outlets are available wherever you would plug in small appliances.

  6. Create a desktop space. A built-in desk supports a busy family’s planning needs.

    It provides a place to put the mail, keys, bills and calendar.  Adding a cork board or chalkboard can add some extra functionality for family notices and reminders.

  7. Don’t skimp on cheap cabinets. You need cabinets with a solid finish that will hold up to being cleaned.  Plus you need solid hinges that hold up to the wear and tear of opening/closing cabinet doors.

    It’s worth investing in solid cabinetry that will stand the test of time.

Get ideas from the pros! Consulting with a professional designer can help you plan a space that meets your needs.  They can look at the needs of your family and design a room that fits your lifestyle and tastes.

You wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a new kitchen only to find out you made a mistake.  A pro can ensure that your dream kitchen becomes a reality. If you live in the Calgary area, give us a call for a design or renovation consultation!

Home Remodelling Projects That Pay Off

Hone remodelling with paint swatches and tools

Thinking of upgrading your home? If you are looking to sell, home renovation can help your home to sell quickly and for top dollar.

But what home improvement projects will deliver the best return on your investment?

Here’s a look at some inexpensive home renovations that will add the most value to your home.

  • Update the kitchen with latest designs and technology
    A modern kitchen will catch the eye of prospective buyers. An upgraded kitchen will greatly increase the value of your home and its appeal.

    If you don’t have a big budget, you can still upgrade the look of your kitchen with a few inexpensive fixes by adding new faucets, cabinet doors and handles.  Ditch the old light fixtures and add new energy efficient ones.

    Such renovations do not cost too much and will increase the property’s value tremendously. If you have a larger budget, cabinet makeovers and re-facing can transform the space. Add some new countertops and that old kitchen will have new spark.

  • Appliance facelift
    Home appliances that are defective or do not match give a bad impression and bring down your home’s value.

    If the appliances do not match or are very old, it is time to give them a facelift by ordering new ones. Potential buyers will be attracted and appealed by new appliance faces simply because the conditions imply functionality.

    Match appliances like microwaves, dishwashers and conditioners to produce a cohesive-looking environment. Most of the time, appliance facelifts are quite inexpensive and can be accomplished using simple rearrangement and replacement of external components.

  • Re-grouting the baths and toilets
    Bathrooms are the next evaluation space after kitchens and many people will immediately make their buying decisions based on the condition of the bathroom.

    Simple renovations such as changing toilet seats and new pedestal sinks can go a long way in increasing value with the least amount of effort and expenses. Change old bathroom floors that have become discoloured and install easy-to-clean vinyl tiles instead.

    The advantage of floor renovations is that you do not necessarily need to remove the old one. You can just install the new plan on top of the old one. Other bathroom renovations that add value to your home include shower surrounds and prefabricated tubs. While they seem expensive, they can still be achieved using cost-effective installations that will achieve maximum longevity.

  • Front yard makeovers
    The front yard is the first thing a buyer sees when they pull up to your home. So it’s worth spending time to improve your curb appeal.

    Simple renovations like paved walkways and coloured planters will give the front yard a fresh new look that delights prospective buyers.

  • HVAC and Furnace replacements
    Buyers usually breathe a sigh of relief whenever they see a new furnace and HVAC system.

    Replacing air conditioners and furnaces with new energy efficient models will enhance indoor comfort. A house with old inefficient HVAC systems will give the impression of poor maintenance and buyers may question the condition of other appliances in your home.

    Installing new furnaces and air conditioners adds peace of mind for buys and increases your homes value.

  • Storage and space
    Women love big closets.  Unfortunately, many older houses may lack sufficient closet storage and this can be a deal breaker for some buyers.

    Add self-adjusted laminate and wire closets systems to entry closets, bathroom and pantries. There are many closet expansion designs to choose from and some companies offer online templates from measuring and designing new closets.

    You can add extra space and increase a home’s value with a few installations.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to makeover your home,  With a few clever renovations you can add instant buy appeal to your home!  Have fun with your project!

If you live in the Calgary area, Jackie and I would be happy to discuss your home remodelling needs!

7 Biggest Interior Design Mistakes that Newbies Make

Pink flower chair against bright green wall

Are you ready to step up the style in your home?

When diving into a design project, there’s a lot more to consider than just picking the right paint colour.

In addition to having a good sense for colour, pattern, and scale, there are some design basics to keep in mind.

As a designer, I have seen some home owners make pretty big mistakes so here’s seven design faux pas you’ll want to avoid when decorating a room:

  1. Forgetting Comfort –  When selecting furniture for a room, don’t forget that it has to be a space that you will live in too.  Comfort and durability are key when selecting a piece.  If it’s a heavy traffic room that will have kids, dogs, and a lot of use, get fabrics that can be easily cleaned.  Try sitting on the piece in the store.  A great piece is something that not only looks great, but functions well too!
  2. Not Trying a Paint Colour Out First – There’s nothing worse than spending hours painting a room to find out that it’s not the shade you were hoping for.  In-store lighting is the worst to determine what a paint colour looks like.  Instead, buy 2 or 3 paint samples you like.  Paint a few squares on a wall at home.  With a bigger sample of the paints on the wall displayed in the lighting of your home it will be easier to select a colour you love.
  3. Hanging Art Pieces without a Plan – If you are creating a grouping of wall art, lay it out first on the floor to see how it will all fit together before hanging it up.  Also refrain from hanging art too high.  As a general rule use the rule of thirds.  Hang art about 2/3 the way up the wall.  Also take into account if it’s a room where people are generally standing or sitting so you can hang it at the height it is likely to be viewed most at.
  4. Fuzzy Contoured Toilet Rugs – These contoured toilet rugs and matching lid covers may have been the rage a few years back, but today are considered outdated.  Instead, choose a rectangular shaped bath rug to set in front of the toilet.  When selecting a bath rug, look for one that is washable so it can be cleaned regularly.
  5. Buying Something Too Trendy – While having this year’s latest fashion might be flashy, it also puts you at risk of being out of date soon.  Select themes and styles that you will enjoy living with for many years to come.
  6. Skipping Window Treatments – When decorating a room, don’t forget to add window treatments.  They add colour, style, and texture to a room.  With so many styles to choose from (valances, drapes, curtains, and blinds) there’s something to add the right wow factor to your space.
  7. A Bare Foyer – The foyer is the first thing you see when someone steps into your home.  That’s why it’s so important to make this space feel welcoming.  Start this space off right with a carpet or runner.  Next add a furniture piece like a bench or hall table.  Then give it a flourish with an art display, mirror, or plant.

Hope these tips help you steer clear of these decorating dilemmas.   

Wishing you inspiration for your next design project!

Do you have any design mistakes you wish you hadn’t made? Leave a comment below!