Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen design: insider tips

(NC)—The kitchen is the heart of the home—a place where everyone naturally gravitates for not only meals, but late-night talks, homework sessions and family celebrations. So making sure this popular room is designed to meet your family’s lifestyle needs is important. Plus, updating the kitchen can increase the value of your home! Frank Turco, senior manager of trend and design, The Home Depot Canada, shares these fundamentals of a well-designed kitchen space:

Planning—Like any home improvement project, having a kitchen plan is critical. For years, many have left this task up to the designers, but now you can be involved in the process too with handy online planners such as The Home Depot’s My Kitchen Planner available in late September. Simply upload a photo of your space, share some of your requirements and a kitchen expert will be in touch within 48 hours to provide advice and insight.

Spacing—Leave sufficient space in front of your appliances and cabinets to ensure there is room to open the doors and move around comfortably. You also need to have enough space around your sink to scrub, wash and rinse (particularly if it takes two to wash the dishes!). Quick tip: the walkway between your island and cabinets should measure approximately 42 inches wide to accommodate traffic flow.

Layout—When planning the sink and countertop area, keep clean up and food prep in mind. Not only is it easier for your plumber to install, having the dishwasher close to the sink makes for quick loading of dirty dinner plates.

Lighting—Consider going with unique lighting options such as underneath overhead shelves or inside glass-door cabinetry, track lighting above the kitchen table or even an unexpected (and glamorous) chandelier. Add dimmer switches throughout so you can set the light to match the occasion. And remember, it is best to get an electrician in before the cupboards and appliances are installed to ensure the proper placements of any new electrical outlets.

Flooring—Kitchen floors have to bare a lot of wear and tear, so when choosing the flooring, look for good quality stain resistant options. Hardwood floors can last a lifetime and harmonize with just about any kitchen décor, while laminate flooring offers strong durability, at a more budget friendly cost. Not sure if flooring should be darker or lighter than cabinetry? Go with your instinct and what suits your personal style.

For more information and ideas for designing or updating your kitchen, visit or your local The Home Depot store.

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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