Here’s our clients most asked questions. This month’s focus is kitchens.

Can I put hardwood in my kitchen?

birchhill island afterOf course, especially if it’s part of a great room. Hardwood continuity from other adjacent spaces into the kitchen gives seamless flow, especially in open concept spaces. Here’s what to consider in making your decision.

  • Is there a walk-out to a pool in your kitchen? Will hardwood be exposed to wet feet, towels regularly?
  • Are you ok if the hardwood gets nicked – kitchens are high-use areas?
  • Are you fastidious – will food crumbs on dark hardwood really bother you?
  • Are there other wood-stained elements to be considered – cabinetry, island base , treasured kitchen table ? If so, take extra care in your hardwood choice. While you don’t want your flooring to be an exact match to these elements, it needs to create cohesiveness to contribute to ‘the look’

How can I make an island stand out without breaking the bank?

birchhill after 3Here’s a few easy ways to make it a focal point. If your main cabinetry is white, try a wood-stained island base. On the island, repeat the same top as on the main countertops. Or, shake-up your island top and repeat the same cabinetry material – whether wood or painted – on the island’s base. If you have solid-coloured quartz main counters, try a patterned granite or marble island top. Ensure your granite or marble island top prominently expresses the quartz’s colour. Avoid trying to pair different patterned granites on the main counters and island. People are rarely satisfied when they try this. Don’t forgot ‘wow’ island chairs and pendant lights – these are great finishing touches!

Are there tricks of the trades to reduce kitchen reno costs?

reno2Yes, one of the best approaches is to keep the same kitchen footprint (placements of plumbing, cabinetry, bulk-heads remain as are) provided your kitchen is functional and just needs a refresh. If you want to keep the same flooring, ensure cabinetry removals/replacements can happen while preserving the floor’s integrity & will hide any floor markings where your current kick-plates lie. If cabinetry fronts and boxes are in good shape, consider a factory spray-out of the doors & have new gables, kick-plates made (other fixed elements like filler pieces likely need to be painted on-site). For countertops, opt for a level 1 or basic tier granite vs. pricier granites or quartz counters. Generally speaking, this can save you 25 – 35% on counters.

Do I need to renovate my kitchen to sell my house?

in-img16Not necessarily. Other home upgrades, especially hardwood flooring, a neutral paint scheme and an upgraded ensuite all need to be factored into whether to kitchen-invest. Also key is whether it’s a sellers’ market (low home inventory for buyers) at the time you list. That said, most buyers need to feel a kitchen is in good enough condition they can move-in, replenish their finances and energy before having to undertake a kitchen reno. Here are tricks of the trade to up your move-in ready appeal:

  • Change the countertop if outdated or in poor condition – go with a contemporary laminate if granite too costly or if too many other kitchen elements also need a upgrade to go with granite counters
  • Change your faucet & cabinetry handles if they’re the builder’s original – brushed nickel finishes are safe bets.
  • Add a backsplash (glass is a great choice) or have an outdated backsplash painted out, if budget really tight.
  • Paint cabinetry a soft white or light sand colour, depending on the colour inside the cabinetry. Ensure cabinetry colour coordinates with your floor/counters. (Best to have a professional painter undertake cabinetry paint-outs). When aged wood exists inside your cabinets, often best to leave cabinetry as is.
  • Consider stainless steel appliances – they have tremendous buyer appeal, so much so they’ve become conspicuous when absent in a listed property.
  • Paint kitchen walls a contemporary, mid-tone contemporary colour (avoid white, beige, yellow). Dress your counters with glass canisters, a big bowl of green apples and place hydrangeas and white stacked plates on your table.


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