What Goes Into a Modern Kitchen?

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

Despite what you may think, “Modern” and “Contemporary” refer to two distinct kitchen types.  Modern, in this case, refers to a style from a specific time and place – the middle of the 20th century, when old traditional styles were being replaced by newer trends.  Contemporary mostly means the style that’s happening right now – post-modern, if you will.  So what elements are distinctly part of a modern kitchen design?  Here’s a few of the big ones:

Flat-Panel Doors

Shaker cabinets and other recessed cabinet doors are more traditional looks that modern kitchens generally try to avoid.  Instead, they go for solid and smooth slabs that create strong, flat lines without standing out on their own.

Frameless Cabinets

Keeping with the sleek cabinet design, modern kitchens often use frameless cabinets as opposed to flush-inset cabinets, meaning the door overlays the cabinet box itself.  True frameless cabinets will have the door as the only front ornamentation, with a surrounding front frame.  This also means that you’re going to have consistent spacing between the doors and drawers.  When the doors are closed, you won’t be able to see the frame at all.

Lack of Ornamentation

Keeping with the simple theme, modern kitchens don’t go in for fancy ornamentation or design elements.  You’re not going to see wild parings of texture and color or crazy tile shapes.  Countertops won’t have patterns or veining, instead being solid colors.  Similarly, any hardware in the kitchen is going to be sleek and simple, rather than fancy and drawing attention to itself.

Natural Elements

So with this lack of ornamentations and designed elements, what makes a natural kitchen beautiful?  Usually, it’s from natural elements.  If countertops have a pattern, it’s going to be the natural veining of marble as opposed to something artificial.  Wood accents are selected for their natural grain, with oak being a particularly common choice.  Untreated concrete walls and floors, as opposed to walls covered with wallpaper, add a blend between natural and industrial looks.  Modern kitchens are all about the choice of materials, instead of the design elements.

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


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Kitchen Colour Ideas

Kitchen Colour IdeasThink about your kitchen.  In all likelihood, the predominant colour there is white.  And the same is probably true of your friends’ kitchens and your families’ kitchens.  White kitchens are omnipresent – it’s a functional, default colour that seems to end up in every new kitchen design.

There’s nothing wrong with white, mind you – it’s a classic look, giving a cheerful and clean atmosphere to the room.  But it’s far from the only option.  If you’re considering redecorating, renovating or just repainting your kitchen, here are some other options to consider.

Neutral Colours

If you’re a little hesitant about going all out into a full colour kitchen, there are other neutral colours besides white to choose from.

  • Charcoals and other grays are a common neutral background that’s rapidly gaining in popularity; it gives a bit of a cooler colour profile than white does, and help those bright accents or white appliances pop even more.
  • You could even take that a step further and go with black – while black might create a bit of a cramped sensation in a smaller kitchen, it can create a dramatic and immediately eye-catching look in a properly lit and open room.
  • Greige may sound like a madeup word, but it’s actually a pleasing combination of grey and beige; it’s one of the most versatile colours out there and can work with nearly any fixtures and materials you choose to use.

Mild Colours

If you want to take a step past neutral, but not bust out the bright primary colours just yet, there are plenty of subtle colours to choose from.  While not as universal as the neutral colours – and thus requiring a bit more thought into materials, appliances and decorations – they can cover a wide range of styles and looks.

  • Pale yellows are a step up from white; giving a cheerful and sunny touch to any space, they work well with light blues for an Easter-style look, or simply with other neutral colours.
  • A pale green works similarly; adding a touch of coziness to your space and bringing out the natural beauty in, for example, stone countertops.
  • Navy blue is a bit of a bolder colour choice, but it actually ends up working with a wide variety of colours and materials. It’s a great source for lots of contrast, drawing the eye and adding visual interest to any space.

Bright Colours

Bright colours are the most difficult colours to use, as they dominate a room and demand that accents and decorations fit with their theme.  If you’re designing a kitchen from the ground up, however, they can be a bold and daring statement.

  • Crimson and other vibrant shades of red give a feeling of energy and excitement to any room. When paired with a cool colour (think blues and greys), it can create a feeling of movement and power without overwhelming people.  It’s definitely one of the most visually striking options available.
  • Greens, especially forest or emerald greens, can be absolutely gorgeous when done properly. Emerald greens, when mixed with other jewel tones, can create a cohesive, ultra-rich look that makes your kitchen feel luxurious.
  • It is often thought that oranges stimulate the appetite, making them a logical choice for the kitchen. It pairs particularly well with wood cabinets and other natural elements, adding warmth and liveliness to any room.

Tips for Styling Your Kitchen Counters

Tips for Styling Your Kitchen CountersThe most important part of any kitchen is, of course, its functionality.  You should never put décor or style ahead of actually being able to use all aspects of your kitchen; it’s a functional room first and foremost.  That battle is constantly being fought on kitchen counters, as necessary cooking implements and tools end up claiming their fair share of the countertop, limiting your design space.

That doesn’t mean you need to give up on the idea of stylish, exciting countertops, however.  Here are some of Parada Kitchen’s top ideas for giving your crowded kitchen counters a little bit of an extra shine.

Stylish Appliances

If you’re going to need to use a chunk of your counter space on appliances, you might as well make sure they’re pulling their aesthetic weight, too!  So many people think of appliances as separate from the kitchen designing process – they’ll just buy whatever and stick them into a finished kitchen, or redesign their kitchen without considering the appliances that will be taking up space.  However, there are a wide range of styles and types of appliance out there; you can get almost any look you want by matching it with your design style.  Whether you’re looking for smooth, contemporary lines, bright accent colors or retro chic, you can find an appliance that will serve as a decorative exclamation point in your kitchen.


If you spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, you likely have old cookbooks lying around.  They can serve as a great visual boost, lining the wall of your kitchen and displaying their colorful spines.  That not only keeps them within easy arm’s reach, but also provide an amped up look.  You don’t just need to stick to cookbooks, either; any hardcover books, especially those with bright printed covers, make for a great addition to your kitchen.

Photos and Art

While you don’t want pictures to be strewn all willy-nilly around your counters – that’s a surefire way to lose space and functionality – cordoning off one area to display either personal family photos or interesting art prints and canvases to add visual interest and a personal touch to your kitchen counters.


A Guide to Lighting Your Kitchen

A Guide to Lighting Your KitchenWhen it comes to the kitchen, people say it is the heart of the home. That can be very true for most people, and it means they want to spend a lot of time there and really enjoy it. But without the right type of lighting, that can be difficult. Kitchens that aren’t well lit can seem dark and dingy, and can also be less cheerful to be in. That is especially true during the winter months, or at times when the weather is overcast or dreary. Fortunately, there is plenty that can be done about a dark kitchen. The main change to consider is the lighting, and there are so many choices on the market today to consider.

Different Types of Lighting Options

The main choices in lighting are ceiling lights of different types, under the counter lighting, and pendant lights. These are all good options, depending on how and where they are going to be used. The best thing a person can do for their kitchen is light it up the right way. A professional consult can help, because shadows and other issues may not be thought about by a homeowner until it is too late and lights are already installed. Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid those kinds of problems, or make additions and adjustments to help provide more light during a kitchen remodel.

Light Up the Under the Counter Space

With under the counter choices, it is possible to create plenty of light on the counter tops, or to provide a nightlight effect, depending on how much lighting is actually used. There are stick-on, battery operated choices and hard-wired options, both of which can be good for specific applications. Some under counter lights are much brighter than others, and there are fluorescent and LED choices to explore in order to get what is really needed. 

Pendant Lights Work Well Over Bars and Islands

Pendant lights work well over a bar or an island, as they add not only light but a pop of color and something different. They’re a pretty popular feature for today’s home buyer, as well. While some people use the over-island space for a pot and pan rack, adding more light to a kitchen is rarely a bad thing. It is much easier to have more lighting and not need all of it, than it is to be working in a dark kitchen where light really is needed but not enough is available. With pendant lights, it is also possible to have a cozy meal or snack at the island or bar area without all of the kitchen lights being on. That can be a great choice for quieter moments.

Take Stock of Ceiling Space and Light Placement

Ceiling lights are the most popular choices for any kitchen, and come in a number of different types. Standard fixtures with common bulbs are often used over the sink, for example, and fluorescent lighting may be used in the main kitchen area. >Can lights are also a popular choice, because they are more recessed and keep the kitchen ceiling looking higher. They may also add more light to the space, and their placement can be adjusted during the installation so they avoid throwing shadows onto counter tops or in other areas where a lot of light is needed.

Take Time to Make the Right Lighting Choices

No matter which lighting choice is made, a combination of several styles often works best. Large kitchens may have a ceiling light over the sink, can lights throughout the kitchen area, under the counter lighting to help illuminate the counter tops, and pendant lights over a bar or island. With all the great lighting options that are available today, there is no reason to live with a dark, dreary kitchen ever again.