An outdated condo kitchen becomes a bright, functional space
A cramped, unwelcoming 1980s condo kitchen undergoes a major makeover to suit its discerning octogenarian owner.
When retired theatrical set designer Sheila Siegerman stopped driving, she went shopping for a condo in downtown Toronto within walking distance of amenities. The downside of the spacious unit she picked was its cramped, windowless kitchen. A renovation was in order, and she knew full well what to expect, having experienced a few over the years. “Of course, one of the dangers of starting a renovation are the words, ‘while we’re at it...’” she jokes. Not that Sheila has regrets: In fact, she was involved at every stage of the project, and even hit up some stores with her designer, Peter Brooks of BedfordBrooks Design.
When Sheila was introduced to Peter by her real estate agent, she told him exactly what she wanted: a bright and functional kitchen. Peter drew up a few layouts before Sheila decided on one that featured lots of cabinetry, a small breakfast bar and a coffee nook to house her luncheon dishes and cookbooks. “Eliminating cabinets over the cooktop really opened up the space,” explains Peter, adding that having narrow drawer columns on either side of it creates a strong focal point that also widens the space.
Here’s what it’ll cost you to get the look of this kitchen.
Design: $9,700 (Includes project coordination fees)
Construction: $22,500 (Includes demolition and installation of electrical, plumbing, millwork, lighting, countertops and backsplash and floor tiles)
Materials: $44,700 (Includes custom cabinetry, coun- tertops, backsplash and floor tiles, appliances, sink, faucet, light fixtures and cabinetry hardware)
Total cost: $76,900
A dark, outdated condo kitchen.
Hire a pro to create a functional contemporary space for the 160 sq. ft. kitchen.
The breakfast bar was lowered to the same height as the counter for ease of use and a level sightline. “I didn’t want to add furniture, so a breakfast bar with stools was just right for enjoying a cup of coffee,” says homeowner Sheila Siegerman. Initial plans included a second vaulted ceiling, but existing ductwork kiboshed the idea.
“I originally wanted a small desk area, but there just wasn’t any room,” says Sheila, who ended up being delighted with the coffee nook.
The stunning porcelain floor tiles create lots of movement for the eye, while quartz countertops offer plenty of stain-free prep space. “A big challenge was finding a backsplash that didn’t fight with the floor,” says the designer, who eventually got the right look in a Calacatta marble with touches of cocoa.
A tall, shallow pantry directly behind the breakfast bar houses canned goods. The Calacatta marble backsplash with hints of cocoa complements the quartz countertops and highly striated porcelain-tiled floor. The painting by Canadian artist Graham Noble Norwell adds some colour.
Pullout shelves were a must for this mature homeowner. Traditional cabinetry hardware contrasts elegantly with the modern cabinets.
Food bloggers’ favourite holiday recipes
When it comes to Christmas dinner, it’s usually pretty standard – turkey, stuffing, potatoes. Maybe you switch up the main protein to a succulent holiday ham or tender roast beef, but we all know the main events (or dishes, if you will) are covered. To help spice things up this holiday season, we asked six food bloggers to share their favourite holiday recipes and they did not disappoint. Complete your menu with these savoury side dishes and oh so sweet desserts to inject festive flavour into your holiday meal this season.
Tender roasted cauliflowerin an aged white cheddar sauce that is baked until golden brown and bubbling with a crispy panko breadcrumb topping. Ingredients 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets 2 tablespoons oil salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour (rice flour for gluten-free) 1-1/2 cups milk 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Optional salt and pepper to taste 1 cup aged white cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (gluten free for gluten free) Directions 1 Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. 2 Roast the cauliflower in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. 3 Bechamel sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, mix in the flour and let cook until it just starts to brown a little. 4 Mix in the milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cheese and heat until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. 5 Mix cauliflower into the bechamel sauce, pour into a baking dish and top with the bread crumbs. 6 Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes. Servings: Makes 4-8 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes Kevin Lynch came to realize that his meals were boring and that he had been eating the same few dishes over and over again for years. It was time for a change! He now spends his free time searching for, creating and trying tasty new recipes in his closet-sized kitchen.
This dish is the ultimate reminder of the food I grew up eating in France. When baked, tomatoesbecome incredibly sweet. These are filled with breadcrumbs and herbs that complement the juicy tomato flesh. Ingredients 3 large plump tomatoes, halved 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely diced 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley Salt and freshly ground pepper Extra virgin olive oil Directions 1 Preheat your oven to 375F. 2 Lay out the tomatoes seed side up, in a large oven-proof baking dish. 3 Scoop out some of the seeds to make more room for the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 4 In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley. 5 Using a small spoon, fill the tomatoes with the breadcrumbs mixture. 6 Drizzle with some olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve immediately. Serves: 2-4. Jennifer Bartoli is a Toronto-based writer, photographer and recipe developer who grew up in Paris, France. Her longstanding passion for food took her to New York City, where she studied at the French Culinary Institute. For delicious recipes and more, check out Jennifer’s blog, Chocolate Shavings.
This lovely tart combines several of my favorite things: tart crust, frangipane, and fruit. When I first started baking, one of my goals was to master French tarts. It was this desire that led me to attend pastry school and conquer my fear of tart crust. I made this tart to celebrate my graduation from pastry school. The shortcrust in this recipe is everything I dream of for crust: buttery, tender, and crumbly. It's a perfect container for the frangipane, a heavenly almond-scented pastry cream. Almost any fruit would work on top of this tart, but for the fall season I love the subtle sweetness of pears. Every time I make this tart, I'm reminded of why I got into pastry. Ingredients Pate Sablee 1-1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 9 tablespoon butter, very cold, cut into small pieces 1 egg yolk Poached Pears 3 ripe medium pears (I used Anjou) – you only need 2 pears but I suggest having an extra one just in case you mess up a pear 3 cups water 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon salt Frangipane 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 2/3 cup sugar 3/4 cup ground blanched almonds 2 teaspoons flour 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 large egg 1 egg white 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons almond extract Directions For the pears 1 Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 2 Meanwhile, cut the pears in half, remove the seed core and fibrous cores at either end, then peel the pears. 3 Add the pear halves to the simmering syrup and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let pears poach for about 10 minutes, turning them halfway. The pears will become slightly translucent, very tender, and easily pierced with a knife or skewer. Let the pears cool in the liquid until room temperature before using. Or, you can store them in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For the tart shell 1 Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. 2 Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. 3 Add the egg yolk and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. Do not let the dough form one giant ball or it will be be overworked – just keep checking after every pulse and when the dough pieces looks like they will stick when you press them together, stop. 4 Butter a 9-inch tart tin with removable bottom. 5 Turn the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. You probably will not need all the dough – save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it. Do not press the dough too hard or it will become tough – just enough for it to form to the tin. 6 Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To partially bake the tart shell, take a piece of foil and butter the shiny side, then press the buttered side tightly to the shell. You do not need pie weights. 7 Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough. 8 Let cool on a rack until room temperature. For the frangipane 1 Combine the butter and sugar in the food processor and combine until smooth. 2 Add the ground almonds and blend together. 3 Add the flour and cornstarch, and then the egg and egg white. 4 Process the mixture until it is very smooth. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts just to blend. 5 The frangipane can be used immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If it becomes too firm in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften before using. To finish the tart 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 2 Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell (It should be liquid enough to smooth out on its own so you don’t need to work to much on it). 3 Take the poached pears out of their liquid and drain them on paper towels. You don’t want too much excess liquid or they will make the frangipane soggy. 4 Cut each pear half crosswise into 3/8 in thick slices. Do not separate the pear half yet. Slide a spatula or other flat utensil underneath the pear so you can transfer the entire half onto the tart. 5 Press on the pear to fan the slices toward the top narrow end of the pear. Slide the pear half onto the frangipane carefully – you can move the pear after you place it, but not much. 6 Repeat with three other pear halves until there are four halves on the tart, evenly spaced. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch. 7 Cool the tart on a wire rack. Before serving, you can brush the pears with some warmed apple jelly to glaze, or dust confectioner’s sugar over the tart. Makes one 9-inch tart. (Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.) Anita Chu, also known as pastrygirl, is the creator of Dessert First, an award-winning blog dedicated to all things sweet. Anita is also the author of sweet cookbooks, Field Guide to Cookies and Field Guide to Candy.
These cookies are a new holiday favourite of mine. They combine the fresh cranberries, the perfect tart (and pretty!) bite with the comforting familiarity of brown butter and chocolate. They are great for a cookie exchange, holiday parties and as a treat for Santa. I will definitely be making this cookie for the holidays for years to come. Ingredients 4 ounces (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter softened 1-7/8 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar 5 1/2 ounces (2/3 cup) packed light brown sugar 1 extra-large egg at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 7 ounces (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 ounces (1 cup) dark chocolate chunks 3 ounces (3/4 cup) fresh cranberries, washed and dried Directions 1 Brown the butter: Heat butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, when butter turns to an amber/light brown colour, remove from heat immediately (You should be able to smell the deeper more caramel flavour of the butter) 2 Pour browned butter immediately into a small bowl and set aside to cool. 3 Once butter has cooled, place in the large bowl of an electric mixer with sugars; beat on high speed until well combined. 4 Add egg and vanilla, mix on medium speed until well mixed. 5 In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; slowly add to wet ingredients with mixer on low speed; do not over mix. 6 Slowly stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries. 7 Chill dough for 24 hours for best results (minimum of 2 hours) before baking. 8 When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees; line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside?. 9 Scoop cookie dough with large (4 tablespoons) cookie dough scoop on to prepared baking sheets (note it is normal for cookie dough to be very hard, you can let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes prior to scooping). 10 Bake cookies until firm: 17-19 minutes or until edges are golden brown and cranberries have popped. 11 Allow to cool before serving. Makes 15 large cookies. Lauren Lilling is the owner and baker behind Keep It Sweet Desserts, an online bakery specializing in delectable cookies and special event catering. It has been noted for its exceptional desserts by The TODAY Show, Fox and Friends, Star Magazine, and more.
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite holiday treats was eggnog. Mom would pour a tiny amount into little glasses for us to savour. Now I can make it from scratch without all the funky ingredients in most store-bought varieties. My husband says I can make it year-round. Ingredients 12 large eggs 1-½ cup pure maple syrup (or granulated dugar) ½ teaspoons salt 2 quarts (8 cups) whole milk 2 tablespoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg + more for garnish 2 cups heavy whipping cream + more for garnish Directions 1 In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, with the heat off, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and salt until well blended. Gradually stir in half of the milk. 2 Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 25 minutes. (Mixture should be about 170 – 175 degrees F). Do not boil. 3 Pour custard into a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and the remaining milk. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours. 4 Just before serving, in a medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. With wire whisk, gently fold whipped cream into custard mixture. 5 Serve with extra whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. Tip: Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Erica is a wife and new-mom-in-training with a desire to cook delicious food for her husband Reuben (AKA. Love of her life). She loves to experiment and adapt recipes to be a tad healthier and shares her culinary successes on her blog, Buttered Side Up.
Ingredients 4 medium-sized yams, skin removed 2 heads garlic 2 tbsp fresh thyme Sea salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup olive oil Directions 1Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 2 Cut the top off of each head of garlic. Place in a large ramekin and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. 3 Cover dish with foil. Pierce yams several times with a knife. Place yams on baking tray and roast for one hour. 4 After 15-20 minutes, turn heat down to 400 degrees and add the garlic for the remaining amount of time. 5 Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Add yams, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to a food processor. 6 Add ¼ cup olive oil or butter. Process until smooth, or consistency you desire. 7 You can prepare this dish ahead of time and reheat it in the oven just before serving. Koko Brill blogs from Koko's Kitchen where she loves to prepare healthy food. She is currently starting a company called Koko Raw selling raw granola and fresh pressed juices. She enjoys travelling, music, fashion and fitness.
Beautiful blue laundry room.
We've created a laundry room you could spend all day in – on both a royal budget and a baby one.
1 CANISTER, KSP glass Pasabahce with glass loop handle, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $12. 2 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 3 BATH/HAND TOWELS, WestPoint Home cotton Lasting colour in White, Bed Bath & Beyond, $22. 4 WASHING MACHINE, LG 4.6 cu ft. Ultra Large Capacity SteamWasher in Graphite Steel, The Home Depot, $1,048. 5 FAUCET, Powder-coated brass single-lever single-hole Ringskår, IKEA, $99. 6 WALLPAPER, Blue Pattern Tile, artistichomeowner.com, US $90 per roll. 7 CONTAINER, Tin, HomeSense, $8. 8 CANISTER, Anchor Hocking glass Montana with stainless steel lid, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $10. 9 BASKETS, Woven wicker, HomeSense, $17 each. 10 NESTING BASKETS, Seagrass, Canadian Tire, $15 for 3. 11 TURKISH BATH TOWEL, Plain and Simple Home, $74. 12 LAUNDRY BAG, Cotton in Hammam Stripe, West Elm Market, $34. 13 HAMPER, Rattan Sedona, Crate and Barrel, $100. 14 RUNNERS, Blue diamond woven 4' x 2.25', HomeSense, $20 each.
1 CANISTER, Extra Large Glass, Crate and Barrel, $30. 2 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Le Labo in Rose, Soap and Water Everyday, $56. 3 BATH TOWELS, PB Classic Turkish cotton, $29 each; HAND TOWELS, PB Classic Turkish cotton, $19 each, Pottery Barn. 4 WASHING MACHINE, LG 6 cu. ft. Mega Capacity SteamWasher in Graphite Steel, The Home Depot, $1,698. 5 FAUCET, Powder-coated brass Solna Single-Handle Single-Hole Pull-Down Smart Touch, Brizo, $811. 6 TILES, Hand-painted porcelain indoor/outdoor Talavera Poblana Classic C14, Mexican Traditions, $540. 7 CONTAINER, Enamelled metal Clothes Pegs, Soap and Water Everyday, $22. 8 CANISTER, Glass with polished silver lid, Ginger's, $45. 9 BASKETS, Handwoven rattan Jacquelyne Rope-Handled, Pottery Barn, $59 each. 10 BASKETS, Small woven rattan Tamiko, Ginger's, $252. 11 TURKISH BATH TOWEL, Khadi and Co. hand-loomed cotton, Plain and Simple Home, $88. 12 LAUNDRY BAG, Izola canvas Launder With Care, Ginger's, $56. 13 HAMPER, Small woven rattan Tamiko, Ginger's, $286. 14 RUNNER, Polypropylene indoor/outdoor Diamond in Denim & White, Dash & Albert Rug Company, $158.
Spray, scrub, spin dry, starch and start all over again next week – let’s face it, laundry is seldom a labour of love. But luxe products like these make it less of a chore, so soap up! 1 PEGS, Wooden Dolly, Soap and Water Everyday, $20 per pack of 50. 2 LINEN WATER, Compagnie de Provence in Luberon, Keep Me Posted, $19. 3 LINEN WATER, ElizabethW in Lavender, Ginger's, $28. 4 LINEN WATER, Lothantique in Lavender, Ginger's, $23. 5 DRYER BALL, Handmade felted wool, Lynn's Lids, $25 per pack of 3. 6 DRYER BALL, Rubber Hedgehog, West Elm Market, $9 per pack of 2. 7 DRYER SACHETS, Pi'lo lavender-filled, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 8 DRYER SACHETS, Lavender-filled linen, Keep Me Posted, $10 per pack of 2. 9 SPOON, Wooden, Plain and Simple Home, $18. 10 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 11 DRYER BALL, Get Sorted, Home Outfitters, $10 per pack of 2. 12 DRYER BALL, Variations, Home Outfitters, $10 per pack of 8. 13 STARCH, The Laundress Stiffen Up, Soap and Water Everyday, $18. 14 SCOOP, Wooden, Plain and Simple Home, $18. 15 DRYER SHEETS, Caldrea in Black Coriander Lime, Soap and Water Everyday, $15 per pack of 80.
We love the bold yet lighthearted patterns of Talavera Poblana pottery, a tradition that dates back to 16th-century Mexico. It’s such a time-honoured practice that its production is heavily regulated in order to be called authentic. But we’re fans of the inauthentic versions, too. And the tile-look wallpaper? Muy bueno. 1 TILE, Hand-painted porcelain Talavera Poblana Classic C14, Mexican Traditions, $5 per tile. 2 TILE, Hand-painted clay Talavera Poblana Classic C5C, Mexican Traditions, $3 per tile. 3 TILE, Hand-painted clay Talavera Poblana Classic C10C, Mexican Traditions, $3 per tile. 4 TILE, Target Unica glazed porcelain stoneware Bonton in Black and White, Ciot, $22 per sq. foot. 5 TILE, Target Unica glazed percelain stoneware Bonton in Light Blue on White, Ciot, $22 per sq. foot. 6 WALLPAPER, Blue Pattern Tile, artistichomeowner.com, US $90 per roll.
Get to know your hangers before you trust them with your wardrobe! 1 Painted wood Sturdy; shape protects clothes; bottom bar allows suits and matching sets to be stored together. 2 Coated plastic with rubber shoulders Thinner than the average hanger, so you can fit more clothes in your closet; rubber grip on shoulders and bottom bar keeps everything in place. 3 Plastic attachable Another great way to get more into your closet, these hangers can hook onto each other. 4 Maple Sturdy; wide frame helps items like blazers maintain their shape; notched shoulders keep strappy shirts from slipping. 5 Cedar Natural and unvarnished wood absorbs moisture and odours, leaving clothing with a fresh cedar scent. 6 Nylon-coated plastic Super slim and perfect for space-saving; nylon coating prevents slippery fabricsand wide-necked shirts from sliding off. 7 Fabric-padded Perfect for lingerie and lightweight camisoles; smooth material helps prevent snags in silk and satin. Hangers 1 Get Sorted maple Wood Suite in White, Home Outfitters, $10 per set. 2 Coated plastic Slim Grips, Bed Bath & Beyond, $20 per set of 16. 3 Plastic Attachable in white, Bed Bath & Beyond, $6 per set of 10. 4 Maple, HomeSense, $6 per set of 5. 5 Get Sorted cedar, Home Outfitters, $14 per set of 3. 6 Nylon-coated plastic ultra-slim non-slip flocked blue, HomeSense, $17 per set of 25. 7 Fabric-padded, HomeSense, $7 per set of 5.
Might as well face it. We're addicted to plus pure white bath towels. Does anything feel better after a long, hot shower? So fresh, so clean and so pristine -- they're the quintessential start to a successful day. And at the mid-range price point of the Style at Home collection, they're also simply irresistible. BATH TOWELS, Style at Home Solid Colour Cotton in Bright White, Sears, $23.
Learn how to use everyday materials to create playful winter decorations.
Pull out the string, tape, paper and scissors – with a little creativity, these everyday materials can be transformed into decorations that bring to life a whimsical winter wonderland.
1 Wallpaper: Craft your very own snowfall with these pretty avant-garde snowflakes made by accordion-folding white craft paper into pinwheels and snipping with scissors. Add in one or two bold-hued pinwheels for impact.
2 Wrap stars: A tableau of gifts dressed up in white wrapping will lend an ethereal effect both under your tree and around your home. And don’t skimp on the ribbon – let it trail delicately from the presents in long sweeping curls.
3 Advent honours: Forget brown paper pack- ages – these sweet gift bags embellished with paper cut-outs and “sewn” up with string make a fun Advent calendar. Numbered paper hearts on the ends of the ties indicate the days.
4 Bow beautiful: Rethink the ubiquitous holiday bows this year by making your own signature snowflake gift adornments using white craft paper and scissors. Use contrasting string to attach these beauties to your parcels.
5 Liner notes: Who knew simple white paper muffin tin liners could create such pretty towering trees? Stack them in different sizes and heights for a veritable frost-kissed forest.
6 Branching out: Paper roses have nothing on these fragile flowers made from twists of white tissue. Easy to make and elegant to behold, this simple arrangement is a pure nod to winter.
7 Ball game: Few things are as satisfying as decking your halls with homemade ornaments. These delicate spheres are a cinch to make with strips of craft paper and string. Display them on your table, tree or mantel, or send them off with visitors as take-home treats after a holiday soiree.
8 Clever covers: Dinner guests will love these adorable covers made by cutting patterns into accordion-folded lengths of paper and securing them around drinking glasses with tree candle clips.
9 Snowy settings: Create the perfect holiday table covering by cutting snowflake patterns into a white paper runner. Continue the effect: Use similar stencils to powder the festive treats you serve.
Photography courtesy of Andreas Hoernisch/Living4Media