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May 27, 2021

Designing a Dream Kitchen

You've heard the adage -- renovations can domino. You start with one idea and it snowballs from there.

This is absolutely true, and it's sometimes difficult to draw a line where to stop or pause.

In my case, our renovation started with a dream of a new kitchen. A beautiful, big kitchen where we could all cook and gather, with lots of sunlight and a 6-burner stove. 

Well, designing a kitchen takes a lot of mental work, even with the help of designers, friends, Pinterest and blogs. 

As a complement to our planning, Donny and I took a trip to Improve Canada to visit vendors who specialize in kitchen design and renovation.

Due to COVID restrictions, Improve is open by appointment only, which means you are getting personal attention throughout your visit. There is also an opportunity to meet with multiple vendors, see the products and get a feel for how it would all come together in your space.

Image from Mikia Kitchens

Here are just some of the things you need to think about when designing a kitchen:


This seems obvious, but you spend a lot of time in the kitchen (at least we do). Designing a flow or traffic pattern is important. While working with a designer, we also had the opportunity to stand in a variety of kitchen models and see what we liked and didn't. Everyone's space and taste are different -- this is a really personal experience. 

Designing a Dream Kitchen


Type, style, design, size. We've learned most cabinets today are made of MDF, although HDF and even hardwood options exist. And then there are door options -- we will likely go with a Shaker style, but we're still open to ideas and suggestions. 

We loved meeting some vendors -- like Star Woodworking and Tobi Kitchens -- who introduced us to cool features like Blum hardware, cool hinges, and drawer options. The possibilities are endless and when you have time to learn about a product, it's empowering!

Cabinets at Star WoodworkingBlum HardwareBlum Hardware


Tile or hardwood? I know many people debate this -- I currently have tile in my kitchen but look forward to hardwood through the home. The good news is: you can compare and learn all about it at Improve. We had two great visits with Metropolitan Tile & Stone, as well as The Hardwood Outlet, which will undoubtedly make our decision easier.


Counters and backsplash is another huge undertaking. Honestly, we haven't really given this much thought just yet, but it may warrant another trip!

Decorative features: 

Sink (I'm dreaming of a white Farmhouse sink), lights, pendants, blinds, and curtains -- all on the to-do list. 

Electricity, Plumbing, and Gas: We're leaving this to the contractor, but it's good to understand all the work involved,

And of course, appliances!

To learn more about the hundreds of vendors at Improve, or to plan your next visit, check out their website

Have you done a kitchen reno? What did you learn from your experience?

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