Designing and planning a kitchen renovation is not for the faint of heart. Not only is it a significant financial investment, it can also mean a major upheaval in your household for a lengthy period of time. Kitchens are often the centre of the home, not just a place where meals are prepared, but rather the hub of household activity on an ongoing and regular basis. Dining and entertaining, conversations and shared stories, and memories of all kinds are quite often centered around this one room in your home. Hiring a professional designer and contractor to lead your kitchen renovation project can help you to enjoy a stress-free transformation that will provide you with many years of enjoyment, and also add significantly to the value of your home.
Doreen Czimmek, Designer & Residential Project Manager at GK Interior Solutions in Guelph, ON has been planning and designing in the Kitchen & Bath Industry for 23 years. “Careful thought and planning is the key to a successful kitchen renovation”, says Doreen. “There are so many things to consider – and hiring a professional will ensure that the end result of your project is a beautiful, functional kitchen that you can enjoy for many years to come”.
Her most recent project had specific requirements, as her clients wanted to transform their dated kitchen into a functional working space for their home-based baking business. The goal was to create a modern, clean aesthetic room which would provide plenty of working space and ample storage to accommodate their needs. In order to achieve this, GK removed the existing pantry to create more wall space, and custom built a pantry wall with deep storage and full extension drawers. They installed a large island with prep sink for extra working space, complete with a space-saving lower shelf microwave, as well as easy access corner solutions and rolling pantry cabinetry. A double oven and separate range allow for simultaneous multi-temperature cooking. Added conveniences such as a built-in wine fridge and coffee station make entertaining easy.
They chose to go with custom built two-toned cabinetry, which add drama and interest to the room, and create a modern look without being too trendy. The champagne bronze accents are timeless and classy, while the black (fingerprint free) stainless steel appliances and matt black plumbing fixtures are sleek and contemporary. Stunning white quartz countertops with a hint of grey and the white fish scale/clamshell backsplash brighten this modern space and are durable and easy to clean. Under counter LED strip lights, directional pot lighting, and accent lighting were all added to ensure a bright, inviting working space.
“Thinking for the future and now just the present is so important” added Doreen. “Our goal is to make every client love their kitchen not only when the project is completed, but 5, 10 even 20 years from now”. She shared a few tips to help make any kitchen renovation successful:
Function over Fashion
Ergonomics and Functionality should take precedence over everything! You could have the most beautiful kitchen in the world, but if it does not function properly you will never like it! Ensure that there is sufficient space to walk and move around. Opening and closing appliances are impossible without sufficient clearance, and cramped walkways make it difficult to prep and clean. Drawers and cabinets should be easily accessible, and features such as a Lazy Susan or rollouts can help to make access to kitchen items much easier and efficient.
Light It Up
When designing your kitchen, lighting is perhaps one of the most important features that so many people forget about. There are several different kinds of lighting that all serve a different purpose, and each of them should be considered during the planning process. Maximize your natural light and then add task, accent and general lighting to ensure that there are no dark spots and that all of your work areas are well-lit. Under cabinet lighting is a must and will light up the “dark spots” in your kitchen. There are many different options for under cabinet lighting, such as directional recessed lights, strip LED lighting and puck lighting. However, you will need to consider your counter tops, as some lighting options may reflect off shiny surfaces and cause an uncomfortable glare! Accent Lighting is a great way to highlight special architectural features such as fireplaces, vaulted or waffled ceilings, wine rack or your favorite artwork, and as a rule of thumb, accent lighting should be 3 times brighter than the other lighting in a room. A professional designer will be able to guide you with regards to which option(s) will work best for your kitchen.
Storage is Key
Maximizing storage space is probably one of the single most important features in the design process. An experienced designer will work with you to ensure that no matter what the size of your space is, you are taking advantage of every possible inch! Lazy Susans, roll out pantry drawers, and under island storage are just a few options available, and innovative designs allow for even the tiniest kitchen to hide all of your pots, pans and small appliances.
Two Toned Cabinets
Two-toned cabinetry can add dimension and interest to any kitchen, and with so many options to choose from, it is easy to find something that works with your individual style. From modern to traditional, there are options to suit any taste. A word of warning though – try to use colors that will stand the test of time and stay away from anything too trendy. Kitchen cabinets last a long time and styles will change faster than your cabinets will!
If you do not already have one of these in your kitchen then it is definitely time for you to invest in one! With so many different options, it is easy to integrate a recycling station into your existing kitchen, or to include in your custom build. It keeps things neat and tidy, and so much easier when garbage day arrives!
With a little imagination and a lot of planning, you can overhaul your existing space to make it a beautiful, functioning kitchen. GK Interior Solutions has the experience and expertise to guide you through the process from start to finish. Whether you are looking for a facelift on a budget, or a fully custom renovation, they are ready to assist you in creating the kitchen of your dreams!
GK Interior Solutions is located in Guelph ON. Their 21,000 square foot, full-service manufacturing facility features state of the art equipment, a full-service design studio, office and meeting rooms, and storage capability for timed deliveries. Their commitment has always been and continues to be customer oriented, integrity driven, and focused on quality workmanship. To book an appointment with a member of their design team, visit their website at gkinteriorsolutions.com or call (519) 837-3239.
Written by: Tanya Bottomley | Photography: Paul Spears