11 kitchen design dilemmas and solutions

11 kitchen design dilemmas and solutions

Photo: Donna Griffith


11 kitchen design dilemmas and solutions

Whether or not you're a culinary wonder, having a kitchen you love is always high on the real estate wish list. With all its functional needs, it can be difficult to find your dream space, but that doesn't mean you can't make it your own. 

Below, stylish and savvy solutions to 11 of the most common kitchen design dilemmas.


Photography by Stacey Brandford

1 Problem: The windows in my kitchen get in the way of adding upper cabinetry.

Don’t be afraid to build across the kitchen windows. Install open floating shelves that span the wall, placing glass items in front of the pane so the eye travels through them. 



Photography by Donna Griffith

2 Problem: I have a large family but can only fit a small table in my kitchen.

Install an L-shaped banquette with a couple of chairs around a circular table – not only does this create more seating, but you can use drawers underneath for additional storage



Photography by Stacey Brandford

3 Problem: My kitchen bores me but I don’t have the budget for a big renovation. 

Make brass your new best friend! This on-trend metal can take your kitchen from bland to glam with just a few hundred dollars. Switch up old hardware with brushed brass beauties and opt for a show-stopping brass faucet.



Photography by Donna Griffith

4 Problem: My white kitchen appliances stick out like a sore thumb next to my wooden cabinetry.

If you don’t have the cash for new appliances or cabinetry, spend a few hundred dollars on good quality paint for your cabinet doors. Complement those white appliances with a pale grey or sage, or go for a monochrome look with a matching white.



Photography by Barry Calhoun

5 Problem: I love cooking, but I want my kitchen to be a hub for the whole family, not just me.

Bring the family into your sacred space by sectioning off areas for them to do their own thing. Create a nook with reading materials and a laptop, install a sound system for music and bring in a bench or settee for lounging.



Photography by Ashley Capp

6 Problem: My feet get cold on the kitchen tiles, especially in the winter.

Keep your tootsies warm in the cooler months by laying down small area rugs in high traffic areas with no-slide pads underneath. It’s also the perfect way to add a little colour and pattern to an all-white kitchen.



Photography by Virginia Macdonald

7 Problem: I would love a pantry, but no condos include them these days.
Build your pantry! Purchase a wire basket shelving unit and organize to your heart’s content, separating spices, canned goods and baking essentials. Alternatively, install a deep pullout drawer in your lower cabinetry that you can insert shelves into.



Photography by Stacey Brandford

8 Problem: The kitchen and dining area are open concept, but I want defined areas.
If you’re on a budget, create separate living spaces by papering the wall where the dining space begins. If you have a little more cash to play with, install reclaimed wood beams along the ceiling and down the walls to architecturally border the two spaces.



Photography by Donna Griffith

9 Problem: I’m tired of subway tile as a backsplash – I want something more unique.
A backsplash is the best way to have fun with an otherwise stock-standard kitchen. Add some colour and pattern with Moroccan painted tiles or a touch of Old World France with vintage mirrored glass.



Photography by Donna Griffith

10 Problem: I like a bright, fresh look in the kitchen, but it feels a little too white with the cabinets and countertops.
Keep your all-white kitchen feeling fresh by injecting a clean colour – think mint or pale blue – on the walls and with small electrics like the toaster and stand mixer.



Photography by Stacey Van Berkel

11 Problem: Baking trays spill out every time I open the cupboard door.
You can keep those pesky uneven baking trays in the cupboard, but prevent them from toppling out by housing them upright in a basket or vintage magazine rack. 


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11 kitchen design dilemmas and solutions