Category Archives: Kitchen Design

The Curtain Is Drawn

I’m about a week late in posting the final reveal, as we did have a few other items that we had to complete.

It was a long ride; worth every bump, turn and hill. I can honestly say I would want to do this again in a heartbeat.

Without further ado… I present you Before and After.












Our wonderful Hutch that we found and distressed to add the perfect finishing touch to the kitchen.

The marble subway backsplash. I almost walked away from this backsplash as I felt the sample pieces were too white. I am so glad I decided to go this route. It compliments the kitchen and ties everything together beautifully.

Best choice hands down goes to the hidden dishwasher next to the sink. Less visible appliances, the better. The dishwasher was an awesome choice, it  shoots out a red light onto the floor to showcase that it’s running – no fuss and simplicity at its best.

Thank you for following me through this awesome chapter of my home, I can’t wait to do it again soon.

Bathroom or Deck next?

I’ll keep you posted! xo

Slab Heaven

Since we finally narrowed down the type of countertop, it was time to take a trip down to the local slab yard.

Thanks to our neighbours reco, we headed over to Toronto Granite in Mississauga.

The office space is small and filled with some great samples of granite, quartz and marble. Immediately, I saw Bianca. It was love at first sight. I was hoping Bianca was part of the quartzite family. And she was.

The thing I did find out from the owner, was that quartzite in fact did need to be sealed…as it is similar to granite. I was slightly disappointed as most of the posts I read about quartzite advised that it didn’t need to be sealed. The other thing was that the price tag was pretty hefty for this particular stone (2,700 installed).

Of course, I had to reason with myself…Some people drop that on a handbag per season, right?

Disclosure: This is definitely not the right way to talk yourself into purchasing a countertop.

The owner advised us to go to the building around the corner where they have the slabs and to pick out the one we like. If we were lucky, we would find an off cut slab and it would be cheaper for us. Like half the price. The chances would be slim for the Bianca as it’s an exclusive stone…we went over and rolled the dice.

Quartzite Bianca (Luce di Luna)

Quartzite Bianca Calcutta

We asked the warehouse manager if they possibly had an off cut slab of the Bianca and he said they rarely do… BUT he had one off cut slab of the Bianca Calcutta and brought us to the back.

And that’s when the magic happened.


It took 2 weeks from the date of purchase to installation…It was well worth the wait. Oh, and Mother V has also been installed.

I never realized all the prep work involved to ensure that the countertop is a seamless fit. 2 and half hours to be exact.

The installers were really pleased with the way the cabinets were installed as they were perfectly level, which enabled them to avoid having to level the countertop themselves. Kudoos to Bill!

The gorgeous new (sealed) Quartzite Bianca Calcutta countertop

Chris and I decided to try and install (not fully) the faucet that we recently purchased at Lowe’s to get an idea of how it looks like and if it would fit with the overall design.

Rewind a few months ago…My mom just recently renovated her kitchen and she sent me a photo of her industrial faucet – which we immediately loved. We set out to find a similar faucet that would work for our space.  Who says the faucet should be boring? Let’s use something daring!

I think it looks pretty SWEET. Love when things fall into place!!!

NEXT:  Finalizing the Crown Moulding, Fridge cabinets (we finally received the replacement cabinets!), Dishwasher Cabinet, Hood fan, Backsplash, Hardware, Door Frame and Corner Cabinet.

I’m hoping to get the remaining hit list done by the weekend. Wishful thinking, I know.

A bientôt!

The Trials and Tribulations of Installations

The cabinets are here are ready to be placed. The question is – Are they really ready for installation? After inspecting each cabinet thoroughly, some were in better shape than others. The 8 foot cabinet that needed to placed next to the fridge had major issues. The cabinet frame had cracked where the doors hinges were placed. We weren’t sure if this happened at the workshop in the States or during shipment as all cabinets arrived pre-assembled.

Also, the glass door frames were warped and didn’t close properly.

This means waiting another 2 weeks for the new replacement cabinets to arrive…which of course will prelong the completion of the kitchen.

We didn’t let this discourage us (ok well maybe we were discouraged for a couple of hours) and Bill and Chris went ahead with installing the remaining cabinets.  They are definitely white! We are waiting for the electrician to come in so we can add the doorframe to the front of the dishwasher, as it will be hidden.

Photos of the 8 foot cabinets that encase the fridge to come shortly.


We have no sink, it’s been like that for over a week now. For now it will remain an intepretation of tubular art with a bucket.

Let’s move on to lighting, shall we?



Mother V – My obsession

I happened upon this amazing lighting fixture a few years ago and I have obsessively been searching for a cheaper version. It’s called Mother V and it was designed by Barlas Bayler. It  has the perfect amount of rock n’ roll that the kitchen needs…I love a good contradiction that makes sense.

The Atlantis Chandelier version goes for approximately $29,880. I wasn’t anticipating purchasing the original anytime soon.

I went to the interior design show earlier this year and made a bee-line to the Living Lighting booth as I all I could see was the replica of the Mother V Chandelier from down the hall. The sales lady must have thought I was crazy and so did Chris, as the version they had was massive…probably the same height of our kitchen. I had to have it. I told the sales associate all about the background of the light…and I’m sure she thought I was insane.

I went to Living Lighting on King to see if they had a smaller version in stock.

And…there it was. In all its glory, on sale and waiting for me to pick it up. I’m pretty sure I saw my initials on the tag.

Good things definitely come to those who wait


Chris and I also went shopping for hardware and decided to stop in at Anthropologie.  They  have a great eclectic selection of hardware for cabinets, and we found one that we absolutely loved. It has the right amount of character and it’s not too fussy. They didn’t have enough in stock in any location in Toronto, so I had to call a few locations and found the remaining knobs in stock in Calgary.


After debating with the Home Depot rep that an Apron Sink would be the best solution for our space, as our window frame would be tricky and may not allow the proper space to add an average size sink as well as the faucet.

Ah the faucet….Smooth curves or angular moody lines? Totally Off Topic.

Thankfully, the lead designer was on hand and agreed with us that the apron sink would be best suited. We went through a number of catalogues to find the size that would fit. I never realized how tricky this would be, as the size we need isn’t standard and there is definetly not a large selection of stainless steel apron sinks. Cue the cash register.


After much research on what countertop what right for us, we agreed that we wanted quartz. We loved the fact that it is the most durable and resistant and doesn’t need to be sealed. The only problem with quartz is that it doesn’t provide the movement that a natural stone like marble has.

Quartz mostly has a replica of a pattern which seems manufactured (mainly because it is), and marble has motion that is fluid and unexpected. Marble is not practical as it is soft and porous and will stain easily.

My favorite looks are Calcutta and Carrera, which are both Marble. I needed to find a middle ground.

So I searched for what seemed like forever and didn’t really gain any traction…until I stumbled upon “Quartzite”

Quartzite is part of the quartz family, I believe it is made up of 90% quartz. For whatever reason, it’s really hard to find info on quartzite…but of the images and posts I read it seems to have a bit more options in terms of the design – some even have a marble like look to them. The benefit is that quartzite is almost as durable as quartz, which is the feature I love the most.

We went over to see our next door neighbour’s place and they had just installed a quartzite countertop. I was so excited! (Clearly it doesn’t take much…although, I’m a big mineral geek) The countertop was gorgeous and exactly what I was looking for….they just helped my job of finding the right slabyard easier.

Till next time!


How Do You Prevent Hiccups?

You can’t…

The tiles have been set and look stunning. The porcelain has a beautiful pattern within the colour, reminiscent of a marble stone. We are very happy with the results. It really provides this old home with a fresh new look… the right hint of modern without  disturbing the charm of the home.

We found the perfect colour tone for the grout…it creates a unified look throughout.

Still anticipating the arrival of the cabinets. They were supposed to be delivered the same week as when were laying the floor.

There was no sign of their arrival.


We head over to Home Depot to see if they have any idea of when the ETA of the cabinets could be. The kitchen associate advises that they are to arrive on April 9th…a week from now.

It didn’t make sense for Bonnie and Bill to stay in Toronto for a full week, so they decided to head back to Ottawa on Tuesday. Chris and I also decided to head back to Ottawa for the Easter Long Weekend, since we haven’t seen our families in months.

That said, I had a sinking suspicion that the cabinets would arrive as soon as Bonnie and Bill head out the door and hit the open road.


To remove any nagging suspicions, I call Home Depot to speak to the kitchen associate again. The associate advises that the cabinets are currently in transit, but not in Canada.  He assures me that the shipping company will call 48 prior to arrival to set a delivery date. I ask for a tracking number, which apparently they can’t provide. He advises that he will contact me the next day to provide an update.

Good thing is that our appliances arrived and they are fabulous. I sold my old appliances in minutes on craigslist. In a half hour the stove was already picked up and the same buyer purchased the fridge on the spot.


We wish Bonnie and Bill a safe trip back to Ottawa as Chris and I leave for work.

I recieve a call from the shipping company at 2pm that afternoon advising that the cabinets are in and ready to be dropped off at any time.


I had visions of Bonnie and Bill in their car, getting off the Queensway in Ottawa. Immediately, I call Chris to tell him the cabinets are here…he’s in a meeting so I reach out to Bonnie. No answer. What are the chances that they are still in Toronto? Try again, this time Bonnie answers…and they are just leaving Costco.

In Toronto.

We totally dodged a bullet.

Funny thing to mention…I receive an email from the associate from Home Depot at 5pm Tuesday advising that he still hasn’t heard back regarding the shipment and will reach out to me on Wednesday should he hear anything.


Cabinets Arrive! Finally, the boys can start the installation.

Dog not included


A Blessing in Disguise?

Once the tedious task of ripping out the existing tiles and subfloors was complete…it was time for the boys to lay out the new subfloor and place the radiant electric floor heating system.

The electrician had to come in to switch up and add outlets, as we are reversing the placement of the stove …placing it on an exterior wall so we can have proper ventilation! No more lingering smells of lobster when we cook.

We began to pull out the gorgeous honed Italian porcelain that we bought (which took a month of researching several tile shops)

The tile had some issues…namely irregular flaws. It would have been ok if it was a darker tile, but they are off white and you can see everything! Needless to say, this placed everything on hold as there was no way we could use the tiles. We were now set back another day.

What now?  We searched EVERYWHERE for this tile…and now we were back to square one and had to make a decision fast. The luxury of time was not on our side.

Usually, at this point I would be slightly concerned. The store we bought the tile had such great selection and fantastic customer service that I didn’t panic…well not as much as I would have normally.

My main concern was finding another tile with a similar color tone and size that was in stock and we could pick up in a matter of hours.

Let’s say that this was a blessing in disguise, because we found a similar tile with a high gloss finish that actually works much better than the original one we bought.

Let the mortar hit the floor!


Demolition 101

My fiancée’s mom and her boyfriend have arrived to start working on the kitchen…we’re super stoked and ready to start the demo!

They (along with my fiancée) started by removing the existing tiles and once the tile was up…then realized the the sub flooring was meticulously glued and nailed to the floor.  This of course , made the project of removing the existing floors a bit of a pain. I also tried to help with ripping out the glued sub floor…every little bit helps. It was an immense project for the boys!

There were so many screws to remove as well….I have to say the owners that placed the floors did an amazing job. So good in fact, that it was almost impossible to remove the thousands of screws! Add the fact that most of them were layered in cement. Painful!

Soaking it all in… it really seems overwhelming.

Next the boys are trying to figure out where to place the radiant floor heating and what should be used to replace the water heater. We need to remove the existing radiator as it needs to make room for the new cabinets.

I took a look online for unique water radiators…and the ones I found, well I’m sure they are going to cost a fortune. Here’s a few that I love below. I’m pretty sure that these aren’t readily stocked in most places.  And the adventure continues…

Here’s a few photos of the kitchen when we were prepping it for demo…so glad to have gotten rid of the nasty beige walls.

Let the kitchen reno’s begin!

We had been waiting for this day to arrive…the start of the kitchen renovation!

It’s been 3 months since we took the leap into committing to the kitchen renovation. The kitchen that was in place when we bought the home had major flaws…the previous owners installed newish cabinets from Ikea, but it didn’t solve the problem of preparation space.

The layout is somewhat of a galley kitchen, but because of the numerous doors to separate areas ( 5 in total – one for the study, one for the dining room, one for the hallway, one leads to the basement and the last one to the mud room in the back) it is a really tricky configuration to work with.


We had originally contemplated tearing down the wall that connects the study to the kitchen where the stove and fridge are located. Once we figured it was a structural wall, it didn’t seem as appealing. Also, there is a window in the study that faces west that is so close to the structural wall, it wouldn’t really be beneficial for or provide more space for the kitchen cabinets. Also, it would cost a fortune for so little gain.

What next then?

Keep the kitchen configuration as is but remove everything from appliances to cabinets to floor. Let the fun part begin…researching images of existing kitchens that could provide inspiration for the new design.

I love modern Italian kitchens, but I felt it wouldn’t necessarily work with the bones of the home. We wanted to keep the orginal gumwood intact around the doors and windows…and I felt that the 2 styles would be competing for attention. I didn’t want a schizophrenic kitchen.

Some of the photos I was drawn to were slightly modern, slightly French, very eclectic with a big personality.

Of course…our layout is not even close to these kitchens, but this is where we could start pulling the fundamentals of our design.

Looks like it’s going to be a white kitchen…We can’t wait to start ripping EVERYTHING out!

Something tells me it will be pretty easy to remove the existing cabinets.