Dec
18

Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Remodel

Questions to Ask Before Beginning a RemodelPlanning on remodeling your kitchen?  Fantastic!  A remodel can help you create the kitchen of your dreams and turn uncomfortable work spaces into something you enjoy spending time in.  It’s an exciting project – but it’s also a very major commitment, so it’s good to make sure you’re fully prepared before getting started.  Here a few major questions you should try to answer before beginning a remodel.

How Will You Use Your Kitchen?

Some of us are happy to spend hours in the kitchen, whether it’s cooking or baking or just using it as a communal gathering space.  Others see it as just a functional space, good for serving its purpose and then mostly ignoring it.  Yet others have it as a social focus point, with parties and entertainment revolving around the room.  No matter what type of person you are, you want to make sure you have an idea on how you’ll be using the room before remodeling it.  Different types of uses have different needs – an island for people to gather around?  Extra counter space for avid bakers? – and that will lead to different design goals.

What Is Your Budget and Time Constraints?

The exact costs and time commitments involved in remodeling can vary widely depending on a large number of factors.  A budget is always a great thing to set in advance; an experienced contractor like the ones at Parada Kitchens will work with you to figure out how to get the most out of your budget without the risk of extra surprise fees late in the project.  Time is another issue people don’t always take into account before beginning work – remodeling the kitchen means you almost certainly won’t be using the kitchen in the meantime!  If it’s your only place for cooking and preparing food, that’s a major inconvenience. Take that into account when making your plans.

How Much Storage Space Will You Need?

One of the biggest reasons people remodel their kitchen is to add storage, so it’s important to figure out how much you’re looking for during the planning stages.  Whether it’s larger cabinets to hold appliances or open shelving to double as a place to display dishes, properly planning out your storage needs ahead of time will prevent complications from popping up mid-project.

Dec
18

Should I Renovate Or Just Update?

Should I Renovate Or Just Update?One of the biggest questions we get asked is if a given kitchen needs a full renovation, or just to be updated with improvements here or there.  Obviously, every situation is different and the best way to figure out what your kitchen needs is to contact the experts here at Parada Kitchens.  That being said, there are some useful rules of thumb you can use to evaluate your kitchen and help design your plan going forward – start from scratch, or fix what’s there?

Renovations

If you’re renovating your kitchen, you’re essentially ripping everything out and starting over.  That’s a major commitment, and it’s understandable that people would want to make sure it was necessary before embarking on that sort of project.  Obviously, if your kitchen is actively falling apart – cabinets breaking, surfaces cracking and things of that nature – stripping it down and starting over is the best course of action.

Renovations are also recommended if your kitchen layout is difficult to work in – no amount of fresh paint and new surfaces can affect the actual physical positioning of objects in your kitchen.  If the style doesn’t match the rest of your home’s décor, it’s also best to renovate from scratch – you’ll be replacing so much anyway that it just makes more sense, in terms of time, money and design space, to start from the ground up.

Updates

If you have one particular problem area – say, old countertops – but the rest of your kitchen is working just fine, that’s a prime case for updating.  There’s no need to replace parts of your kitchen that are still in good condition and work well with your workflow.  The scope of the problem is the biggest factor in deciding whether to renovate or update.

There are, however, times when you can settle for an update, even though a full renovation might be better.  The first is cost.  Renovations take time and money, and those are both difficult commodities to come by at times.  A fresh coat of paint or similar small updates can help make things better while you save up for the big dream kitchen you’ve always wanted.  There’s no reason to go into a renovation already compromising what you want – if you’re going to tackle a big project like that, you may as well get it right.   The second big reason to settle for an update is if you’re sprucing up your kitchen in order to sell your home.  You’ll want to save your resources to help make sure your new home is perfect for you, while keeping your current upkeep focused on the goal of selling your home.

Nov
18

What Goes Into a Transitional Kitchen?

What Goes Into a Transitional KitchenParada Kitchens is your spot for transitional kitchen renovations in the Greater Toronto Area.  But what exactly is a transitional kitchen?

A transitional kitchen strives to find the balance between the most popular kitchen styles available today.  They might combine the warmth and tradition of traditional designs with the more clean and simple line and stylings of a contemporary style.  It’s sort of a catch-all term for people who are looking for the best of all worlds, and don’t want to confine themselves to only one style.  Here are some common features of transitional kitchens:

Mixing Natural and Artificial Materials

Traditional kitchens often opt for more natural surfaces, while contemporary styles look to use more modern solid surfaces or stainless steel.  Transitional kitchens seek to blend the two – maybe you have wooden cabinets and a marble backsplash, but stainless steel and solid surface sinks and countertops.  Transitional kitchens can draw from the entire range of available materials, making them a more dynamic style choice.

Neutral Colors

When you start introducing artificial surfaces, you can often bring out some very vibrant and strong colors, which contemporary design takes advantage of.  Transitional kitchens, however, tend to dial that back, primarily using neutral and calm colors even with their less traditional materials.

Embellishment

Contemporary kitchens generally eschew decorative ornamentation.  Traditional kitchens are stuffed full with it.  As always, transitional kitchens look for a happy medium – you might see some more advanced millwork and fancy furnishings in key locations of a transitional kitchen; nothing overboard but enough to draw the eye.

Varied Textures

Because transitional kitchens don’t get as colorful as contemporary ones and don’t have as many decorative elements as traditional ones, texture is a great place to get extra style.  This can be as simple as a larger tile backsplash up one wall, providing a tactile feel, or as complicated as three or four different materials working together in the same space.

Nov
18

What Goes Into a Traditional Kitchen?

What Goes Into a Traditional KitchenParada Kitchens is your spot for traditional kitchen renovations in the Greater Toronto Area.  But what exactly is a traditional kitchen?

Traditional kitchens cover a wide range of styles, from Old World designs to Mediterranean villas and everything in between.  The devil here is in the details – moldings, finishes and textures that invoke memories of times gone by and classic design decisions.  That makes it harder to pin down exactly what counts as “traditional” as opposed to contemporary or modern, but here are some of the most common features a traditional kitchen has to offer.

Key Architectural Details

Whereas modern kitchens often have flat or moderately detailed surfaces, you can find key architectural details in all areas of a traditional kitchen.  Arches, moldings, beam ceilings, you name it – and each piece will have its own detailed design, with shapes and patterns adding extra flair to the design.  Cabinets will have varied depths, islands will have legs and pilasters – it’s easy to over-design a traditional look!

Ornate Lighting

Traditional kitchens love their fancy lighting, which is where chandeliers or lantern-style lights come into play.  You still may see them in contemporary dining rooms today, but traditional kitchens can use these fanciful lighting fixtures to make the room feel more like a gathering place, rather than a place for work.

Furniture-Style Cabinets

A lot of traditional kitchens use cabinets which don’t really look like cabinets.  These look more like traditional pieces of furniture from elsewhere in the home, and often can be used to great effect hiding a pantry or refrigerator.

Apron-Front or Farmhouse Sinks

These sink designs have a lot of old-fashioned character, and bring to mind classic, hand-made sinks.  A more modern solid surface cutout or stainless steel piece simply feels less traditional than classic porcelain or natural materials.  By the same token, you’ll see a lot more marble and granite as opposed to solid surface or other artificial materials to really give it that traditional look.

Oct
25

What Goes Into a Contemporary Kitchen?

What Goes Into a Contemporary Kitchen?Parada Kitchens is your spot for contemporary kitchen renovations in the Greater Toronto Area.  But what exactly is a contemporary kitchen?

Contemporary kitchens shouldn’t be confused with “modern” kitchens – these are two very different styles.  Modern refers to kitchen design from the middle of the 20th century, while contemporary is the style that’s popular right now.  Yes, that can be confusing.  No, we’re not sure who decided to have “modern” be a fixed point in time.  But it’s important to understand the distinction.

So what goes into a contemporary kitchen?  Here are some of the big elements that make contemporary design stand out:

Mixed Materials

Contemporary kitchens like to mix many, many different patterns and textures to create a layered look.  It’s not at all uncommon to see wood, stone and fabric all being used to play off one another, with the different materials contrasting and providing different looks.  Likewise, contemporary kitchens use plenty of different shapes – angled roofs, curved countertops, cabinets of different sizes and heights.  This creates a more dynamic look, rather than using the same basic materials and shapes throughout your kitchen.

Old Materials Repurposed

Not only do contemporary kitchens use a great many different kinds of materials; they also use old materials in ways that haven’t been common to this point.  Think of things like concrete as a material for countertops, or engineered stone to replace natural stone.  Glass is also a very modern material you’ll find liberally used in contemporary kitchens.

Great Appliances

Nothing is more 21st century than tech, and you’ll find plenty of it in contemporary kitchens.  This often includes built-in appliances like coffee makers and induction cooktops, as well as sleek and stylish stand-alone pieces.  Better performance, advanced features and durability mark the contemporary appliance.

Decorative Lighting

Lighting isn’t just functional in the contemporary kitchen.  The choice of light fixtures and sources are another way to add a touch of contemporary design into your next remodel, highlighting the variety of materials and shapes you have in your room.

If you would like to learn more, call Parada Kitchens today!  We offer free consultations to help make your next kitchen a fantastic one.