A kitchen renovation can be expensive and time consuming, but one of the best ways to minimize both is by working with the expert kitchen designers at Parada Kitchen & Bathrooms, one of the Greater Toronto Area’s leading home improvement specialists. At Parada, we follow industry recognized best practices to help consumers achieve maximum value with their newly constructed or remodelled kitchen — from an aesthetic and functional standpoint.
One question our kitchen designers get asked frequently is “What makes the ideal kitchen renovation project?” From our experience, there is no right or wrong answer as every homeowner has a different perspective. For a growing family, adding space may be a top request and result in a wall being bumped out to increase square footage. “Ideal” could mean creating a butler’s pantry for more organized food storage, or adding an island with stylish cabinetry and the latest in freezer drawer technology. Chief in the decision making process is the amount of time and money spent deciding on major features such as appliances, cabinetry, and flooring, but one aspect of today’s modern kitchen that is sometimes regarded as an afterthought is proper lighting. If your kitchen is a central hub of activity in your house, a single light fixture with a 60-watt bulb swinging from the ceiling is as “yesterday” as spoiled milk.
Our kitchen designers can help you choose from a wide range of lighting options, including decorative fixtures that are contemporary or ultra-modern, floor standing fixtures, or under-cabinet lighting options that meet two key objectives: Illuminate the kitchen and enhance its best features, and provide light in areas where it is needed the most. When you take into consideration the amount of money spent on appliances, cabinets, counter tops and flooring, the proper lighting can make any room inviting while costing a fraction of other design elements.
At Parada, our kitchen designers work with each homeowner to understand how the kitchen is utilized for certain activities, and the best way to optimize each one with affordable lighting options that are stylish and functional. Some kitchens are used for quick meals or ground zero for school work, but different types of lights apply to various tasks. It is important to remember that strategically-placed ceiling fixtures and recessed lighting offer the strongest general lighting. Out of the way areas need lighting too, including the underside of cabinets, microwaves, range hoods, and above sinks.
Let Our Kitchen Designers Select the Right Lighting for Your New Kitchen
We most often talk with homeowners about the three main kinds of lighting appropriate for a kitchen: accent, ambient, and task.
- If you have intricately detailed cabinetry with glass doors, accent lighting is the best way to draw attention to it, while puck lighting in cabinet interior is designed to highlight decorative items like fine china or glassware. Other variations include track lighting or LED or Rope lighting for a warm glow.
- Looking for a mostly shadowless and uniform glow for the entire kitchen? Your best choice is probably ambient or general-purpose lighting, normally in the form of standard kitchen ceiling lights, chandeliers, track lights, and recessed lights. Windows and skylights are a great source for natural light that also help lower electric costs.
- Finally, what about task lighting? This is purpose-specific lighting used for things like illuminating an island used in food preparation, or casting light on a stove top or over a sink in a walk-in pantry.
For more information or to schedule a FREE in-home consultation, call our kitchen designers at 416- 762-3500.
As you begin thinking of the features that are most important for your “dream” kitchen, what comes to mind? How about professional grade, stainless steel appliances? Ceramic tile flooring with a colourful mosaic pattern? New, energy efficient windows? Countertops made from Quartz or some other, easy to clean and durable surface material? And how about kitchen cabinets? Each of these are desirable elements in any remodelling project, but equally important is the design and how these features are integrated into the room and “interact” with each other.
These are difficult decisions to make under the best conditions, but are made easier when you work with the experienced and talented professionals at Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms. As one of the Greater Toronto Area’s leading kitchen and design teams, our staff is uniquely qualified to help you uncover hidden potential and breathe new life into any kitchen or bathroom in your house.
Kitchen Cabinets with an Island: A Winning Combination
One of the top trends in kitchen design for 2013 and beyond is the inclusion of one of two improvements that, while adding usable space, also take away from a kitchen’s floor plan. We are talking about a kitchen island, or a peninsula, both of which have been featured in large, custom kitchens for decades but are finally finding their way into smaller kitchens thanks to creative planning. But first, what are the differences?
New kitchen cabinets can be integrated into either, but the difference is an island is a standalone structure featuring cabinetry, an open surface area for food preparation and, possibly, a small sink. A peninsula, on the other hand, is an extension of an existing bank of cabinets and normally forms an “L” shape and often has the same feature as an island. In our experience over the years, both are requested features with new kitchens, but an island has the added benefit of offering a design element and focal point to the room that a peninsula does not.
How to Decide if a Kitchen Island is Right For You
Once a homeowner has decided on kitchen cabinets, flooring, and other features, the next choice is deciding if a kitchen island is the best way to utilize existing space. A number of factors are involved in the decision making process.
- The overall size of your kitchen. The hallmark of a kitchen island is four-sided accessibility. If you have a small, apartment sized kitchen and expanding the foot print is not in your budget, then adding an island is a near impossibility. This is especially true if your kitchen is a hub of activity morning, noon, and night.
- Figure out what the island will be used for. If more efficient storage is your primary concern, new kitchen cabinets featuring innovative designs — slide out drawers for trash receptacles, food storage, or even as a place to store small appliances — can replace existing cabinets without taking up additional space. If you need more counter space, then perhaps a wall blocked by a china cabinet can be used by adding cabinets and a countertop. If you need more seating for casual dining, perhaps a restaurant style booth is a better choice.
- Traffic patterns are very important when deciding if an island could work in your new kitchen layout. Typically a 3’ space between counters is required for a functional and comfortable distance.
- Your budget. Depending on its size and feature set, a kitchen island can be expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of new kitchen cabinets, electrical wiring, and new plumbing.
Whatever option you are interested in, the designers at Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms can help you pick the right features for your new kitchen.
Call us today at 416-762-3500 for a FREE in home kitchen cabinets consultation.
One of the toughest decisions a homeowner can make — either alone, as a couple, or even based on family input — is about kitchen renovations, and what features to include or leave out. At Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms, we have been one of the top design and remodelling houses in the Greater Toronto Area and can help you bring your new kitchen and bath dreams to life — on time, and within budget.
Nearly all design specialists will tell you the same thing when it comes to kitchen renovations. The biggest struggle is Form versus Function, but what most homeowners fail to see is that the end result should be a compromise between the two. In fact, when working with our team of expert designers, the line between the two is so miniscule that most customers tell us afterward, “Wow! We really did get everything we wanted!”
As part of our free in-home consultation, we not only show homeowners what is possible in terms of sample designs, appliances, cabinetry, and other features of their new kitchen, but also discuss key elements to consider before remodelling starts.
Kitchen Renovations and Form Versus Function
This is the “biggie” for all kitchen renovations, but it is a battle that usually ends in a draw once the homeowner understands what the kitchen will be used for and the overall value it brings to the home. Remodelling your kitchen adds more than re-sale value, it also results in a centralized hub for many different activities — casual meals, meal preparation, a place for the kids to do their homework, or just someplace to chat while enjoying a cool beverage with loved ones. Once you know what the kitchen will be used for, we design around those principles and the “form” begins to take shape.
Kitchen renovations can assume many shapes or forms. When talking about form, we are really helping the homeowner uncover design preferences (cabinetry, flooring, countertops) and demonstrate how each element is integrated into the overall function, which leads to the next consideration.
These are elements within your kitchen that can be moved around like puzzle pieces while others remain fixed for structural or other reasons. Service Zones that cannot be moved easily include sinks and range hoods, while other elements can be shuffled like chess pieces, such as appliances, furniture, and some cabinetry.
A favourite service zone that customers request is the ubiquitous kitchen island, but our question is always the same: Do you really need it? Unless you have a large kitchen to begin with, an island may be a waste of valuable space. Its chief function, additional counter and food preparation space, can be cleverly duplicated with the little-used back corner areas on countertops, or even in an existing walk-in pantry.
“Custom” Does Not Mean Over Priced
Many kitchen renovations grind to a halt before going anywhere because misperceptions that “custom” means inflated prices. Custom designed and solid wood cabinetry may have a higher initial cost, but the expense is normally recouped by lower maintenance needs and longer durability compared to cabinets made from lesser materials. If you expect your kitchen to be more than a “show” piece, we highly recommend discussing the benefits of solid wood versus cabinets made with particle board or other materials.
Whatever your desires or means, the professionals at Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms have the experience and expertise necessary to bring your dreams to fruition. From a new custom kitchen to a minor “refresh,” the only limitation is your imagination.
Call us for kitchen renovations at 416-752-3500.
As the economy slowly improves, consumers are once again reinvesting in their homes, not only to increase possible re-sale value but to add functionality and beauty inside and outside. Two areas that get the most attention are improvements to the bathroom and kitchen, often because these rooms are heavily used each day and are a focal point in many homes.
Follow These Safety Tips During a Bathroom Renovation
Regardless of the type of home improvement project you are considering, following common sense safety precautions should never be dismissed. Whether you choose to handle a bathroom renovation on your own, or hire the design and installation experts at Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms, here are the top 10 safety recommendations we encourage customers to follow with every project.
- If a bathroom renovation is something you have dreamed of for years, you want to make sure all the work is done properly and up to code. For this reason, it is advisable to work with a licensed design and installation professional because of the experience, knowledge, and craftsmanship exhibited in their work. Remember, seeing a building code is one thing — implementing it properly so it passes inspection is a different story all together.
- Ensure all work tasks are fully inspected as the job progresses so nothing “falls through the cracks” or is overlooked.
- Based on the scope of your bathroom renovation, one or more ground fault interrupters need to be installed with electrical outlets placed at required intervals. The number of outlets and interrupters are determined by different factors, such as the size of the bathroom.
- If you are doing work that involves removing or installing electrical outlets, receptacles, or wiring, make sure electricity has been shut off in the room undergoing renovation. There is no reason portable lighting powered from another room cannot be brought in when work begins.
- Remember to wear safety gloves and goggles, especially if your bathroom renovation involves the use of power tools.
- Regardless of a customer’s age, we often recommend installing grab bars in the shower or tub and alongside the toilet for maximum safety. Many are available in styles and colours to match faucets and other accessories, and normally include safety grips.
- Homeowners who expect children to use a bathroom frequently also should think about installing heat regulators on sink faucets as well as in the tub or shower. These devices are inexpensive and will ensure tap water stays at a certain temperature to prevent burns.
- Nothing should be installed in walls without using drywall or other anchors, including towel bars, hooks, shelving, and heavy or wall mounted cabinetry. Grabbing onto a towel bar may not stop your fall, but it could provide an extra second to regain or maintain balance and prevent serious injury.
- Flooring in a tub or shower should always include a non-slip surface to step on, while an area rug with rubberized backing can be placed near a sink or toilet to prevent slip and falls.
Finally, when you have decided it is the right time for a bathroom renovation – whether you do the work yourself or hire a professional – remember to plan what you want, establish a budget, and follow all local building codes and safety regulations. Our showroom is located at 3316 Dundas Street West in Toronto .
please call us today for a FREE in-home bathroom renovation consultation at 416-752-3500.
Whether you decide to build a home or remodel an existing one, a beautiful, functional kitchen is at the top of your wish list and, with it, new cabinetry. Unlike other pieces of furniture throughout your home, cabinets are the only items permanently affixed to your residence — they become an extension of your personality in terms of style, quality, and longevity. At Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms, we specialize in high quality and affordable custom cabinets and can design a solution that takes your vision from dreams to reality.
Things to Consider When Buying Custom Cabinets
Designing a new kitchen or remodelling an existing one is a major expense for most homeowners and is the single feature of any home that returns the most value in the long run. Because of the time most people spend in their kitchen — preparing and eating meals, entertaining family and friends, and other activities — it needs to be inviting, comforting, and stand the test of time related to style, features, and functionality. Custom cabinets are a big part of the equation. Like a modern kitchen, they need to be multi-purpose in design and how they are utilized.
Here are the top considerations when shopping for custom cabinets:
One of the first things any homeowner needs to consider with custom cabinets is the overall dimensions of the units, which often depends on factors like the size of the kitchen itself. Limited space may necessitate smaller or fewer cabinets, so plan accordingly.
- Build Materials
Custom cabinets may have a higher initial cost because they are typically made from solid hardwood and higher quality finishes. They are, however, more durable. There are three kinds of cabinetry to be aware of: Standard, which come in standard sizes and are made in a factory, ready for installation; Semi-Custom, also made in a factory, but with minor customization options in terms of size and styles; and true custom cabinets, which are made to order and unique for each customer.
At Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms, we help each customer select cabinet doors that not only fit the cabinet itself, but match or accentuate existing kitchen decor, such as paint, flooring, and appliances. Doors come in many styles as well as finishes to blend in with the rest of your kitchen.
- Hardware and Accessories
A great way to add style to any cabinetry is through hardware and accessories. Style-specific knobs and pulls is yet another way to inject your personality into your kitchen without further straining your budget. For instance, vintage knobs work great in a country style decor, while stainless steel are ideal in a contemporary kitchen.
The kinds of cabinets you choose also depend on the kitchen layout. Many customers choose their existing floor plan, which is the best way to get the most for their hard earned dollar. If you have a floor to ceiling cabinet but want something different, we can design a unit with pull out drawers for additional storage.
How the cabinets will be used is as important as the layout. If you have a small floor plan, our designers can help you optimize all available space for utensils, small appliances, recycling and food storage. Depending on your needs, innovative and energy efficient refrigerated drawers also can be integrated into your new cabinetry.
Finally, the number one factor is budget. As long as you have an idea of what you want, we can help design a functional and stylish kitchen to meet your budget — without spending even a penny more.