When you are looking for inspiration, fresh ideas and advice from the pros, a good place to start is by visiting a home show in your area.
One of my favorites is the Interior Design Show in Toronto. The event vibrates with leading-edge designs and innovative new products from companies large and small. I am always impressed and excited by the rhythm of the show and come away with dreams of renovations using what I’ve just discovered.
The masterful display for Varasmus Kitchens definitely gets top rating. The six-tier kitchen cabinet unit is designed to show off a portion of the range of finishes available: exotic veneers, laminates drenched in custom colors and stainless steel.
The mix in door and drawer sizes makes an intriguing color puzzle with a few sleek steel handles added for aesthetics.
Behind the larger doors are drawers made from glass or mesh so that you can identify the overhead contents easily. Space-saving corner cabinets are fitted with circular pull-out shelves. The sturdy unit’s legs are stainless steel with adjustable feet. Legs are welded to a stainless steel base frame.
If asked to choose a single cabinet front after seeing them so artfully combined, I would be tempted to go with them all. What a splendid kitchen that would make.
Q: We just redid our kitchen/family room and would like your ideas for the finishing touches. We chose a white sectional, glass coffee table, chestnut wood floors and cabinets, a white table and burgundy chairs for eating. What color accessories do you recommend, and should we add a paint color to the walls?
A: I am assuming that your walls are white. Paint a focal wall in the dining room to create some color variation and atmosphere. It can be very light, such as a delicate, soft, creamy green. This also would make a good color for some of your accessories. Perhaps pull in touches of burgundy to tie in with the chairs. Hang some colorful art that enhances the mood you want to produce.
Q: We are installing a small island, 30 inches by 30 inches, in our kitchen, which doesn’t need updating otherwise.
The existing counter is solid surface in a green shade called Tarragon, with a beautiful backsplash in white with green leaf design tile inserts, dark cherry cabinetry and red oak floor.
My challenge is that I can’t order such a small piece for the island to match the existing counter. What do you suggest would suit the new island?
A: Don’t try to match the countertops; your new island can stand alone. Instead, choose a different material such as stainless steel, slate or wood.
A butcher-block countertop will blend well with your existing kitchen materials, but wood does need care to keep it hygienic.
A white solid-surface counter is another option that would tie in with your backsplash tiles. If you are painting the sides, leaf green from the tiles would build on what you know you already like.
Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit her website, www. debbietravis.com.