New look for your kitchen
Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 06:00 am
Spring has sprung, so it must be home renovation and/or selling season. And since the kitchen is the heart of the home, where we all gather to eat, socialize and connect, it’s no surprise that it’s the spot we pay most attention to when it comes time to spruce up or modernize our living spaces, whether to enjoy ourselves or in preparation for putting on the market.
Realtors routinely tell homeowners to invest in the kitchen and bathroom, key to selling a home. A recent Home Gain national survey showed that updating a kitchen, at an average price of $6,000 (but usually higher) offers a 75 per cent return on investment. A sure way to update the home’s kitchen is by incorporating key trends in the market – things like painting with the hot colour of the season (any shade of blue), adding interesting and colourful backsplashes, and use of LED lighting above countertops or even inside the fridge or on faucets.
Gurjinder Singh, owner of the Sears hometown store on Inglewood Drive, said touch screens are everywhere in the kitchen and have been for a few years, reflecting the mass use of these in our daily lives – on tablets, smartphones and such. These first appeared with fridges but are now more prominent on all appliances, from ovens and microwaves to touch-programmable freezers.
“People want these latest gadgets and features – an interactive computer screen inside the fridge is the latest – but you pay a premium for it,” said Singh, adding that most homeowners and builders simply want something that is shiny and new in the kitchen, and that usually means stainless steel. Prices on these appliances, now with smudge-free models, aren’t much more than traditional white, though Singh points to a newer line of white appliances with stainless steel handles, called white ice, for those who can’t choose. “These are popular in the U.S., but haven’t caught on so much here yet,” he said.
Today’s open concept homes, where living, dining and kitchen areas flow together, leads a trend toward unified floors. No more shifting between living room hardwoods to tiles in the kitchen – now every room can become part of one large environment by bringing the hardwood (real, laminate or luxury vinyl) throughout the space.
Gerry Daechsel, manager of Titan Flooring and Interior Design in St. Albert, said traditional, though expensive, hardwood floors aren’t going out of style, but young families are increasingly moving toward luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) as their floor surface of choice.
“You’ve seen these planks in the grocery store produce area, with the farmers’ market wood-look plank floors, but it’s coming on strong in residential applications,” said Daechsel. “It’s durable, with a realistic look and feel – plus it’s warm and soft to walk on.”
Similarly, the LVT can be installed with grout to fully mimic ceramic tile or other natural stones. Both these flooring options resist scuffs, stains and gouges, and start at about $4 per square foot, making it a popular choice for homeowners updating their kitchen décor either as a DIY project or with professional installation.