Designers and decorators share they favourite kitchen trends for 2017.
For many of us, the kitchen is the hub of the home. It’s where the family convenes every night for dinner. It’s where homework is done and family meetings are had. And it’s where guests gather even though the dining room table is set and a fire is roaring in the living room. There’s something about the kitchen that makes it far more than merely a utilitarian space. If you’re thinking about updating your kitchen this year, check out these hot trends, as identified by designers.
Photography: Michael Nangreaves
1 "Mixing metals is my favourite kitchen design trend for 2017. I think it reflects a more individual, less formal approach to design that is popular with millennials and non-millennials alike. While it takes a bit of an expert eye, it is totally appropriate to mix metal finishes in your faucet, cabinet pulls, chair legs and pendants!" - Designer, Lisa Canning.
Credit: Stacey Cohen
3 "One top kitchen design trend I love is to have sections of the upper cabinet extended onto the counter. Let's face it, we all love our small appliances (i.e. toaster oven, espresso machine) but we may not want them on display all the time. A multi-purpose kitchen island has been the go-to solution to disguise the microwave and dishwasher, but unless the island is 10 feet long, it is challenging and perhaps impractical for the island to house the small appliances we use daily off the counter. By having the upper cabinets extended to the counter and small appliances sitting behind doors, you can achieve a sleek design statement without sacrificing your morning coffee!" - Blogger and Decorator, Tim Lam.
: Donna Griffith
4 "In 2017, we will continue to see cabinetry painted white and various shades of grey. I think that we will also see cabinetry painted warmer tones such as greige (grey & beige), taupe and mushroom. Islands in a different colour or stain than the perimeter cabinetry will continue to be prevalent. In addition, handcrafted islands that look like furniture with legs will be popular for that unfitted kitchen look. It also adds personality and charm and the kitchen then looks like it has evolved over time. Quartz as a counter will continue to be popular as consumers become aware of its benefits." - Interior Designer, Vanessa Francis.
Photography: Monic Richard
5 "After years of white on white kitchens, our clients are asking for something different again. While you might not want to paint an entire kitchen in one colour to stand out from the crowd, the tendency in 2017 will be to mix natural wood, paint and metals in the kitchen. Try framing the range hood and the island in chrome to add sparkle to the space. Add texture to your cabinetry with a mix of light wood veneered lowers and white lacquered uppers." - Interior Designer, Tara Fingold.
Photography: Donna Griffith
6 "Say hello to dark metals in the kitchen. Polished chrome and nickel accents are giving way to black faucets, burnished steel pendants and matte black cabinetry handles. The dark finishes can work in sleek modern kitchens or the most cottagey of cooking spaces. With white kitchens continuing to dominate, a dash of black can provide high contrast and instantly update tired cabinetry." - Blogger and Designer, Jennifer Flores.
7 "Terra Cotta is back! But it's not the tangy orange clay you're used to. In 2017, Reclaimed Rose Terra Cotta will be hitting it big. Following the trend of reclaimed wood, the rich creams and pale pinks of this antique terra cotta tile will be the next phase in the modern farmhouse kitchen. Look for hexagon or herringbone for a modern take on this old classic. Pairing over-sized pendants and industrial decor with reclaimed terra cotta will help keep the space current." - Designer, Andrea Haraldsen.
Essential organizing tips and tricks to keep your closets looking stylishly orderly.
We invest serious bucks in our wardrobes, so it's only right that we fashion gorgeous, well-organized spaces for them to live in. Here are 11 ways to do so.
Credits: Stacey Brandford
1 Get on a roll
Give your walk-in closet some extra hanging storage as well as haute couture allure by incorporating a rolling rack. It will energize the space with a behind-the-scenes fashion show vibe, making you feel less run-of-the-mill and more runway ready when you dress for the day.
TRY THIS: Create a pretty vignette on your closet surfaces using wearable accessories, such as shoes and purses.
Credits: Virginia Macdonald
2 Tailor make it
Whether you go custom or use a big-box store system, take time to consider your needs and create your dream closet accordingly. If you're a shoe fanatic, for instance, opt for tons of shelves and pullout racks to accommodate your prized pumps.
TRY THIS: Extend your closet all the way up to the ceiling, upper cupboards are great to storing lesser-used items.
Credits: Yale Wagner
3 Reach new heights
Is your clothing collection larger than your closet space? Get a tall dresser to stash spillover.
Credits: Stacey Brandford
4 Pack in the box
Cardboard boxes are tidy and stackable, making them ideal hiding spots for small off-season items, such as gloves and scarves.
Credits: Donna Griffith
5 Get fragrance fancy
Use a decorative tray to round up your favourite perfumes in your dressing room so you can easily match your scent to your mood.
Credits: Donna Griffith
6 Store smartly
Rather than stockpiling all of your linens, dedicate a space in each bedroom's closet. That way, when the time comes to make the bed, clean sheets are right at hand.
Credits: Michael Nangreaves
7 Make a move
Don't confine yourself or your attire to a cramped closet. Seek out an unused space in your house (look in the attic and basement) for potential wardrobe real estate.
TRY THIS: Outfit an otherwise unadorned wall with picture ledges and floating shelves for displaying fancy footwear.
Credits: Janis Nicolay
8 Dress to impress
Considering how chic their contents are, closets can look downright frumpy. Luckily - as evidenced by these stylishly clad doors - a stunning makeover is just a few rolls of wallpaper away.
Credits: Donna Griffith
9 Prep a primping station
Pamper yourself by incorporating a vanity within your dressing quarters. Keep makeup and baubles handy in tidy organizers.
TRY THIS: Include drawer space in a walk-in closet by using a stand-alone dresser.
Credits: Tracey Ayton
10 Embrace the rainbow
In addition to imparting a cheerful sense of order, arranging garments by colour will take the guesswork out of finding your pink blouse or green blazer - a total lifesaver when you're running late.
Credits: Tracey Ayton
11 Tighten your belts
Rather than hanging belts on the back of your door - where they can get scratched up (and, not to mention, make quite the racket!) - coil and compartmentalize them in drawer inserts.
This delicious dip is a party must-have.
It's not a party without a delicious dip, especially when it's our garlic feta dip!
1 Place the feta, lemon zest, lemon juice and minced garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth and combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a long stream and process until thoroughly blended.
2 Transfer the dip to a serving dish. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil and a generous grinding of fresh black pepper if desired.
3 Serve with cucumber, radishes, olives, sliced summer squash and coloured carrot sticks for dipping.
Prep & cook time: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 cups
Real estate: 5 things to know before you attend an open house
Five critical pieces of advice homebuyers should know before visiting an open house.
House hunting can be a daunting task, whether it's your first time buying a home or your fifth move in a year. But after scanning your local real estate listings and investigating every ‘For Sale’ sign in your favourite neighbourhood, you may have finally found your dream home. If you’re planning to attend an open house to give it a thorough inspection, don’t go in blind.
What am I actually looking for when I visit an open house? How do I know what's staged and what's authentic? What should I ask my real estate agent before making an offer? These are all burning questions on a homebuyer's mind before a showing. To ease your angst, here are five essential things to have on your radar the next time you attend an open house.
1 Systematically explore the entire home
Occasionally, attending an open house can be a bit awkward (after all, you are walking through someone else's home). The key is to be polite but thorough with your tour of the house. "Don’t be afraid to open doors. Often powder rooms, wine cellars, pantries, laundry rooms and secret hideaways get missed, particularly if it is a crowded open house," says Kara Reed, a Toronto Real Estate professional. "Come prepared and bring your tape measure, notepad, camera and questions for your real estate agent."
2 Overlook elaborate staging
When you participate in an open house, the interior (and exterior) will most likely be dressed to the nines while the current owner is attempting to sell. The trick is to ignore simulation furniture, beautiful bathrooms and organized basements and inspect the home as it really is—pure real estate. "Many people forget to look past the staging at an open house," says Kara. "You may be so wowed by the perfect decor that you overlook other more important aspects of the home." For example, be sure to examine the parking scheme, look for broken appliances, damages the house has suffered and reasons why the seller has decided to move.
3 Have your eyes and ears peeled
It's one thing to be on the lookout for black mold, cracked drywall and rusty fixtures in a potential home, but an open house is much more than meets the eye. "Listen to what other people are saying and pay attention to their comments as you walk through," Kara recommends. "Although they may be your competition in the bidding, they may also notice things that you didn't catch," she says. In addition, you should be listening for squeaky floors, breezy windows and leaky taps—these can all lead to major issues in the future if you decide to purchase.
4 Discover the surrounding neighbourhood
The advantage of attending an open house is the ability to see a prime piece of real estate in its natural habitat (it's no longer just a picture in a newspaper or on a website). This means having a critical eye for nearby homes and the location the house resides in. "Take some time to explore the neighbourhood and surrounding streets. Drive around and check out proximity to amenities, schools and coffee shops," Kara advises. "Don't forget to look at the adjacent properties. If there are four doorbells, two fire escapes and a junky backyard, you may be living next to a tenanted property or a frat house!"
5 Go with your instincts
If a house looks too good to be true—it probably is. "Trust your gut and sense of smell, especially when heading to the basement. If something feels wonky, damaged, warped, whitewashed, water stained or smells musty—it might not be the place for you," says Kara. "Chances are there may be a home inspection available to view, so don’t be afraid to ask to see it or have it emailed to you." Last but not least, feel free to request more data on a listing from your real estate agent so you can make the most informed decision upon walking out the door of an open house.