Kitchen Trends that Aren’t Trendy

Brought to you via HOUZZ–great article about kitchen design for today’s home owner.

Top 5 Urban Kitchen Design Trends

The guest post below is written by an author who lives in London.  So often, design trends begin in Europe and then filter over to the United States.  With more and more downtown revitalization projects happening  across the U.S. metro areas, urban living is once again becoming more popular for younger adults as well as active retirees who want to be close to the ‘vibe’ of downtown living.   Take a read of some of the kitchen design trends that fit the urban living profile.


While some homemakers have transformed their kitchen into bistro-style hangouts, others have made them look like art galleries.  And even more people have redesigned their kitchens into culinary studios.  Whatever style you choose for your kitchen, popular design trends can help you make a bold statement.  With the selection of different textiles these days, everyone is going for a ‘transitional’ design rather than a traditional one.  So here are my top five urban kitchen design palettes that will help you create a functional and entertaining hangout.



A stark white kitchen with bold hues of emerald is a striking choice this year.  You can play with white, shades of grey and incorporate emerald into your seat cushions, a set of vertical drawers or cabinetry, or an accent wall.  As a vibrant backdrop, the emerald trend will look refreshing against white walls but also add invigorating warmth to your kitchen.


If you’re inspired by waterfront bars or cafés, you’ll enjoy turning your kitchen into a coastal retreat.   This year the colour blue is on everyone’s renovation radar and never fails to impress.

Pastel shades like powder blue can feel smart and sophisticated against a crisp white canvas.  Modern details like recessed spotlights, stainless steel fridge freezer, contemporary bar stools and a painted pantry door keep the overall look fresh.  Have a look at Wickes doors online for a variety of styles to add doors and dress your windows.

Wooden floors with a woven blue Persian rug, sanded furniture and minimal décor helps you achieve a tranquil atmosphere.


A fluorescent touch is all the hype this year, so if you’re high-tech kitchen could use a splash of colour, don’t be shy to accessorize with neon placemats or even include yellow, pink and green bar stools on a grey backdrop.

This trend complements kitchen technology enthusiasts so you can turn your kitchen into an internet café.  A deep stainless steel basin with tall faucets built-in to your marble island counter is a contemporary and practical design.  Mirrored sliding doors for your food pantry and suspended single-track lighting like built-in LEDs will enhance the neon theme.


Neutrals like shale, flannel grey and pewter also take dominance this year. So if you can find nice suede wallpaper and layer your kitchen with chrome hardware.  You can sharpen the overall design of your kitchen with stained, painted or frosted glass cabinetry.

Incorporate wood and copper elements such as tables, stools, frames or décor pieces.



High energy colour palettes including bright yellow, red chilli and electric blue add character to your kitchen.  Install stainless steel cabinetry and a unique countertop like marble, basalt, glass, steel or limestone instead of the typical granite.

Whether its bold geometric patterns or botanical prints, you can create a fun retro space and further experiment with contrasting wallpaper, cushions or backsplashes.

With inspiration from India’s roadside kitchens or Lebanon’s bustling street counters, you can use bold colors like tango orange, purple or green along with printed backgrounds for a lively look. A popular design element is the accent cabinet so you can add a vertical accent column by painting a set of drawers or selecting coloImage

red cabinetry.

Author bio: Amna Alam is a London-based freelance writer who enjoys film, fashion and interior design.


LED Lighting– Good to Know

An article from HOUZZ describing the benefits of LED lights and showing some of the most common applications.  As  designer, I am specifying LED lighting for all of my remodel projects.

It’s Good to be GREEN

No, I am not talking about green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, or green eggs and ham, but green in terms of selection of eco-friendly materials to complete  your home remodel.   Below is a guest post that describes some good ideas about how you can ‘think green’.

Making your home remodel as green as possible


When remodelling a home you have to make environmental concerns a priority now, not just because of government regulations and stipulations, but also because we have a duty to build buildings and homes that use as few resources as possible, will operate without depleting natural resources on an ongoing basis, and will stand the test of time and be durable and liveable for many years to come. This might sound like a challenge if you’re remodelling a home, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t mean your remodelled home has to be a complete off-the-grid tepee without electricity or running water, it just means that you should use approved green products and appliances when doing your constructions. Information about green solutions is readily available; just browse design and construction firms like Unique Design. Green design doesn’t have to affect the appearance of your remodel either, just the mechanics of it. Here are some pictures of green remodelled homes:

It is now very easy to power your kitchen or bathroom by using solar energy, so if you are doing works on your plumbing or light fittings you should think about this. Solar energy will also attract generous rebates from the government, meaning that your energy bill will dramatically decrease.

Plumbing fixtures are good place to focus your attention as well, as faulty or inadequate fixtures are responsible for huge amounts of leaking and water wastage. A good thing to do when in the midst of a remodel is to get an energy audit, which will show you exactly how and where your energy consumption is going. It might be a revelation to find out exactly how energy is used in your home, and then you’ll know what the big consumers are and how you can save on energy expenses. Most people find that energy is used for a few hours in the evening, across two rooms, the kitchen and the bathroom. As a general rule, good quality products are better for the environment because they use energy more efficiently and last longer, meaning that they stay out of our landfill for longer.

Small Kitchen Design

Do you live in an apartment?  An older home?  A condominium?  If so, you may have a small sized kitchen.  Not to worry, small does not mean that your kitchen cannot look great and function well.  What it does mean is that a little extra planning and creativity needs to go into your overall design planning process.  Professional designers are trained to make the most of a space regardless of the size.  Below is a guest post from our neighbors in Canada describing how they optimized the design of their small kitchen.

small kitchen

small kitchen 2

Bring out charm and efficiency to your small kitchen

Earlier on, I used to reside in Las Vegas with my parents. I used to be extremely proud of my house. We had a three-storied house with large rooms and huge courtyard in the front. It was extremely well-decorated with art and architecture from olden days. However, as the fate would have it, I fell for a professional home re-modeler from Orillia who was considerably less well-off than my family. I started residing in Orillia. The apartment was small, especially with a very small kitchen. The work area was much less than what I was used to working in. Initially, of course, I faced a lot of difficulties in cooking, serving, and cutting vegetables. However, the professional expertise of my husband finally came to the rescue. He suggested me a few handy tips to remodel the kitchen and give a new charm to it.

Here in this article I would like to discuss some of those tips with my readers, so that they can also make their kitchen more warm and cozy.

Add storage unit: Jack (my husband, in case you wonder) suggested me to make the kitchen efficient and functional. To do so, he asked me to incorporate a lot of cabinets while planning kitchen design, he actually suggested me to check rock wood kitchen design, in Orillia. To choose some innovative designs, we went through magazines and visited many showrooms of kitchen cabinets in Orillia.

While the floor space in the kitchen was small, he suggested me to create cabinets on the walls and under the sink. These helped me a lot in storing jars, containers, utensils, cleaning product and many others. He also advised me to install open shelves on the walls to stack plates and mount hooks behind the door to hang frying pans and cups. Being a professional home re-modeler, of course, my husband has amazing taste of colors. While the tiles and other accessories in my apartment were Grey, he suggested me to choose ivory color for the cabinets that added a special charm to my kitchen.

Create efficiency: Earlier my kitchen was quite inconvenient to work in. There was hardly any space to perform the task. Every time I had to go out to the dining area for cutting vegetables and serving food. However, now after incorporating counter tops, my kitchen has become a little more functional and efficient. I incorporated a rectangular shaped counter top as suggested by my husband. The counter top I chose (rather us, my husband and me) was made out from stainless steel, because we thought that stainless steel would really complement our small kitchen and give a modern look to it.

Mirror the kitchen: My husband told me that mirrors work magic in a small kitchen. I listened to him and installed a big framed mirror on a wall. Trust me, the illusion of the mirror made my kitchen look more spacious and large. Besides that, it added a new charm to my kitchen and made it look more appealing.

Bring in more light: It is always necessary to have a free passage of fresh light and air in a kitchen, especially when it is small. So, we decided to give a new treatment to windows. Are you thinking of broadening your windows? No, certainly not! We did not do any such thing. We simply added a new drape and curtain in the window made of lighter material. If you think that this sounds little inane, then try this and see the effect. Our kitchen now looks more bright and fresh than ever before!

Kitchen walls: Special care needs to be taken for kitchen walls, specially the area near the gas burners and oven. These parts are exposed to heat and water, and requires easy cleaning surface. Glazed Tiles are used as covering along with stainless steel wall panels to reinforce it and make it reliable option.

These are some of the handy ways we adopted to make our small kitchen efficient and make it look charming and appealing than before.



Kitchen Remodeling – Basic Starting Thoughts

Kitchen design seems to be on a lot of people’s minds right now.  Perhaps it was this last holiday season’s cooking and entertaining experience that has put some folks at that point of –that’s it, I need to update and upgrade my kitchen NOW!

Below is a guest post  that addresses some basic kitchen remodeling topics that should be thought through before the project begins in earnest.

British Modern Kitchen

Thoughts on remodeling designer kitchens

Why do homeowners remodel their kitchen? It’s usually after they get frustrated with the designs of the previous owners.  ‘Why is that there?’ and ‘I don’t see any reason for this’ are thoughts that usually set them on the path of new kitchen design.   Since it’s this frustration that drives the change, it is very important to know what you want to change right from the start.

Before you even think about getting down to the nitty-gritty of planning designer kitchens – with CAD, blueprints, and designers – there are some basics to get through first. Considering these will save you a huge amount of time and money later.


Arguably, the kitchen is the most important room in the home. These days, it’s not only a room for cooking but doubles up as a family meeting point and an area for social gatherings.   It is important to design everything around your preparation, cooking, refrigeration, and dishwashing zones.

Don’t tamper with…

There are some appliances in kitchens that are extremely difficult and costly to move. These include vented range cooker hoods, sinks and dishwashers.

You can move…

Fridges can be moved fairly easily, as can cabinetry, so take these into consideration.

Sensibly placed cabinets…

Remember that putting cabinets in places that are difficult to reach will result in crockery never getting used.  You should, therefore, mostly aim to put your kitchen cabinets at eye-level and above your worktops.

Kitchen Island…

Do I need a kitchen island? – I hear your ask. Well, they certainly do add value to a property, and are an absolute must for some homeowners. They are great for the ‘social kitchen’. Many designer kitchens have this feature.   But it comes down to space really. After all, it’s just a trend, and you can do without one if necessary.

Don’t scrimp on worktops…

High quality designer kitchens need worktops to last for a long time and must be durable and ensure daily usage. It really is worth paying that bit extra to get a granite or quartz surface.  Spend some time thinking about what you want and make absolutely sure you get it right.

Space is key…

This is the real reason you need to hire a designer – since they are experts at proper spacing.    Any space problems will be worked around in a way that computer software just can’t manage.

5 Ways to Increase the Efficiency of the Kitchen

S Interior Design gets contacted often to host  guest articles on our blog.  Our requirements are that the article be informative versus sales oriented and include supporting pictures.  We received this article today and deemed it worthy of sharing.  What strikes us is the down home, practical recommendations offered  to make the kitchen a more efficient place to cook and clean up in.  Nothing fancy, just some ideas for you to think about incorporating into your kitchen layout and routine.

Guest Article

kitchen design

The kitchen in my house is extremely small, because of which I used to face a lot of trouble in performing tasks and it took a lot of time between preparing meals and cleanup. I wanted to modify my kitchen and make some changes which would help me increase the efficiency and functionality of the kitchen. I consulted a home improvement contractor regarding this, who was apparently more interested in making money rather than helping me out. He suggested me to go for whole-sale kitchen renovation, which would burn out a huge amount from my savings. Fortunately, during this time my grandmother visited my house from Australia, who takes a mighty pride of being an efficient homemaker. She told me that all I need to do is to make the best use of the available space by following a few simple tips, instead of renovating the entire kitchen. She suggested some of the very basic tips with me that I still follow in my daily routine task, and believe it or not, this has increased my productivity in the kitchen. If you want to know about the tips, continue reading the article.

Buy some essential equipment: Kathie (my granny, in case you wonder) suggested me to buy a few reliable quality kitchen appliances that are easy to handle and maintain and help you increase the efficiency level. This might cost you a little, but will eventually pay for its own. This is the reason why I love my Blendtec. It has auto turn off feature, enabling me to start on another task while it is on. I am really thankful to Shelly (Yes! I am) because she also suggested me to invest in good mixture and blender. This has simplified my work and allows me to take less time in preparing food.

Get organized:  It is extremely important to be organized and pro-active in kitchen in order to complete the task efficiently. I gather all the supplies and ingredients together prior to begin a recipe. This helps me make sure that I have everything handy required for preparing a dish. This also helps me speed up the process by having all the items within arm reach. I gather the items that are mostly used on a regular basis, such as spices, tea, coffee and many more.

Include storage solution: Having an organized and de-cluttered kitchen is extremely important to make the best use of the available space (as suggested by my granny). I wanted to incorporate considerable storage space in my kitchen, but did not want to spend a lot either. So, my niece suggested me to install open shelves on the walls to store jars and stack plate. However, if budget is not a concern for you, then you can build cabinets on the walls or build-in drawers. If you reside in Muskoka, you can look for some other ideas of kitchen cabinets in Muskoka.

Keep the layout simple: Keep the kitchen layout as simple as possible, ensuring minimum movement and maximum productivity. I prefer to store vegetables and market items close to the entrance. This allows me to place the belongings, without entrenching the cooking area. I also place big utensils next to the sink to facilitate minimum movement for washing.

Kitchen Remodel Time

At this time of the year we are spending more than the usual amount of time in our kitchens preparing holiday feasts and yummy treats.  This can be the trigger point—TIME TO REMODEL THE KITCHEN!  Is your kitchen failing you functionally?  Are the cabinets dated or in disrepair?  Are you just in need of an overall update including new appliances, cabinets, lighting and flooring

As many of you know, kitchen remodels are one of the best investments you can make in your home in terms of payback when you choose to sell the home.  More importantly, it is almost always the space your family and friends spend time in and it needs to look and work great.  S Interior Design has a detailed process we follow when working with clients on kitchen remodels that examines all the aspects functional and decorative, so when the work begins, the design plan is fully developed.  Modern classic design, contemporary and modern, cozy and country …whatever the style we can help you make the dream into a reality

Below is a guest post from ‘Across the Pond’ on the subject of kitchen remodeling.

Choosing a kitchen design that really suits you

Whether you need to make the best of a small or an oddly shaped space, or you have plenty of room but want to make the most of your investment, designing your own kitchen gives you the freedom to match your space precisely to your own needs. Taking a personalized approach lets you factor in a mini office, for example, if you work from home – or install a safe play area for when you need to keep an eye on your toddler while you make meals. But it’s easy to feel rather bamboozled by the array of design “solutions”.

Great Jubilee Wharf 2

Rather than giving up and compromising with a) a premade kitchen or b) whatever the kitchen showroom sales schedule pushes you towards, take control of the situation with a balance of logic, planning and personal style.

What don’t you need?

In order to achieve ideal bespoke kitchens without spending more than you need to, you’ll need to figure out what you really do need and keep on top of what you don’t. Be honest with yourself here; are you a chef or a socializer? What would you really like to be doing in your kitchen?



This isn’t always cooking, although a well thought out kitchen layout can often make cooking much easier.  For example, if you currently have to prepare meals on top of the washing machine, you’re probably less inclined to spend time on complicated recipes. A simple kitchen redesign can transform an awkward space into one where cooking becomes a relaxing pleasure.

And then there’s the eating part of it. Do you have a dining room, or do you need to make space in your kitchen for sit down meals, and possibly homework? You may not eat at the table now, but a kitchen redesign can effect a lifestyle change as well as add value to your house.

How tidy are you really?

The other area where honesty is essential is your own tidiness. Untidiness can be the result of having too much stuff, or at least not having enough storage space to assign homes for everything – but it can also be because you’re too busy or you simply can’t be bothered to put things away. If opening and closing cupboard doors sounds like your (or your family’s) idea of hard work, perhaps you’re better off having shelves instead, where items can be easily found with eyes instead of memory and exploration – and where you can easily stash stuff to keep it off the work surface.

Using online kitchen planners

If you want to play around before you hire a kitchen designer or commit to any particular company, there are plenty of kitchen planners available online. They range from what are essentially interactive photos that let you explore different finishes and effects, to complete tools that let you drag units around the virtual floors pace to see how things fit.

The latter needs more input from you, mostly in the form of measurements.  The measurements need to be accurate!  If you don’t have time to do this yourself, it’s best to hire a kitchen designer to do it for you, but at least make time to think about your needs first – the best designers will know which questions to ask you in order to find out, but they’re not mind-readers



How to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen Space


When it comes to kitchen size, is bigger always better?   If you have optimized your kitchen design and storage space, you many be just fine with a smaller sized kitchen.  The article below is a guest post on the subject of how to make the most of your kitchen space.   At the  end of the day if you determine you do indeed need a larger kitchen space, please make sure to develop a detailed design plan  BEFORE embarking upon a remodel.   Good planning and hiring professionals to assist you in the design and implementation phase will save you time and money and a lot of head aches.  S Interior Design adds their ‘2 cents’ shown in blue color font.

How to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen Space

It seems like there’s never enough room in the kitchen. Between accumulating extra kitchen tools and to learning how to make extravagant recipes, you likely need extra space. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most commonly remodeled room in the home, and homeowners are constantly looking for new kitchen layout ideas. Transforming your entire kitchen takes time if you want to do it right. In the meantime, there are simple steps you can take to make the most out of your small kitchen.

Creative kitchen tools storage

Photo Credit:

Get Rid of the Clutter

Nothing makes cooking more difficult than a cluttered kitchen. Store unused appliances into cabinets to free up counter space so you can cook properly. Having a set system in place can make using and storing small appliances easy so you aren’t left scrambling to make room at the last minute.

Go Up–It can strain your back to lift heavier appliances down from higher cabinets or up from low cabinets.  There are products that you can retrofit existing cabinets with to address this issue.  Check out Rev-A-Shelf   for ideas. Lift

Some home cooks face a dilemma if they need to use multiple appliances in a small kitchen. If you lack cabinet space, one solution is to temporarily store your appliances on top of the cabinets. This way you can take them down and use the tools when needed, but still have counter space.

 Knock Out Useless Storage

Cabinets can be your best friend when it comes to storing your kitchen goods, but when left unused, they can actually take up space. Knock out any cabinets you aren’t using. You can either leave them open as storage shelves, or take out the whole unit for extra counter space.

Kitchen spice storage

Photo Credit:

Create Extra Storage

On the other hand, a lack of storage may be your problem. If fine dishes and other less commonly used items are taking up space, move them out of the kitchen. Use a china cabinet or wall storage in an adjoining room instead. For other less commonly used kitchen tools, such as Christmas tableware, consider moving it into storage until the season comes.

Remove Excess Furniture

Islands, stools and chairs can be useful in the kitchen. If you don’t use them often, however, it may be time to downsize to open up more space in the room. Consider replacing the furniture with smaller versions, or taking them out altogether.

Knock Out a Wall–Please do not knock down any walls before you know the structural implications!

If your kitchen is starting to become a little too claustrophobic for your liking, you can solve this problem by taking out an extra wall. The most common wall to take out is the one that separates the sink area to the dining area or family room. Not only will you create a sense of openness, but you can also add additional counter space on the other side of the room.

Use a Fresh Color—Make sure to use a washable paint finish in the kitchen regardless of the color chosen.  If you do choose to have a lighter paint on the kitchen walls, you can still add color with the back splash tiles, window treatments, kitchen accessories and on the floor.

In some cases, a kitchen might feel small, but the size is actually quite decent. If you are looking for a way to instantly make your kitchen look bigger, consider painting it a light color. Light pastels, beige and white are all good candidates. Before buying white appliances to match, know that your modern stainless steel dishwasher, oven and refrigerator can match any paint color.



Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from home improvement, décor, and design. She loves to learn about sprucing up her home, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.

Kitchen Appliances To LOVE For the Long Term

I had the opportunity to attend a Lunch and Learn seminar at the Scottsdale Arizona Miele showroom this past week.   I can summarize by saying ‘German engineering is in the house!’    Miele’s company motto is :

‘ Immer Biesser’ translated as ‘Forever Better’

How inspiring in and of itself.  I also learned that Miele builds their products and THEN prices them, versus the more standard development and manufacturing model of  pricing the product and THEN building it.

The housing trend is to stay in our existing homes and upgrade them functionally and aesthetically.  If you are contemplating a kitchen remodel big or small, and new appliances are a part of it , my vote as a professional designer  who has worked on many kitchen remodel projects is to invest in quality and state of the art technology wherever possible.

Can you get excited about a dishwasher?  Let me share some details about Miele dishwashers and see if your pulse doesn’t rise just a bit.

Miele Dishwasher

  • At least 2x the life of an average dishwasher 20 year life design minimum
  • Up-datable machines programming of the existing dishwasher keeps it updated, no need to replace to take advantage of the latest and greatest tech. options.
  • Auto Sensor to measure the clarity of the water-the unit will adapt water consumption, program duration and wash duration based on level of soiling—All environmentally friendly features!
  • Drying system that uses ambient air, sensor dry or what they call drying plus that automatically open the door a bit to release moisture at the end of a drying cycle
  • Built in water softener
  • Peaceful cohabitation in open floor plan homes with one, or two, Miele dishwashers running smoothly in the background.

    Options based on your individual lifestyle needs:

  • Separate cutlery tray
  • Vase/bottle holder
  • Multiple basket configurations to concurrently wash lots of different hts.


No, I am not getting paid by Miele to write about their products, I am simply genuinely impressed and wanted to share.

Many Options For Door and Handle Styles