Ikea Canada - Top 10 Kitchen Design Questions answered by Janine Love

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

There is no denying the fact that receiving professional interior design advice is absolutely priceless.  So when the wonderful Ikea Canada family asked if I would be willing to share the results of their top 10 kitchen renovation questions, which were answered by their kitchen designer & stylist, Janine Love, there was no question that "yes" would be my answer!

I've pulled a few of the questions to share with you here:

Where do you start first?

I always start by collecting inspiring visual images to get a sense of direction. There are so many amazing inspiring sources - Houzz, Living Etc. and Pinterest, plus a myriad of design mags and books. 
Collect a folder of images and pretty soon you start to see a pattern or consistency in your choices. Put notes on the images to remind you what  you liked about it. ie. the backsplash tile, the cabinet colour/style etc. It’s also important to think about the overall aesthetics of the kitchen space and how  that vision will work within your home. 

Today, many homes have open concept layouts. All of the adjacent spaces should relate to each other from a style, colour and material  perspective. Think about what style and colours you relate to, and use this as  a guide.

Another great exercise is to start playing with layout and design using the IKEA online  planner. It’s a very easy tool to use, allowing you to visualize 3 dimensionally your new  kitchen space. You can also easily change the cabinet style and colour with the click of  a few buttons.

What is a cupboard style or cupboard that is timeless?

Great question, because typically a kitchen renovation is one most people save up for
and don’t undertake very often. Choosing a timeless door style will allow you to update
it occasionally with new accessories, lighting and accent colours. 

While it’s important to
keep your kitchen current, it doesn’t need to follow every trend that comes along.

I like to use a Shaker style door, such as √ĄDEL – it’s transitional and can be used in
many different styles of homes. It also has a chameleon-like quality that allows it to
take on both a modern or traditional look depending on what it is paired with. 

For example, in this image I used √ĄDEL medium brown with open shelves and classic
white subway tile. The combination of classic materials and finishes helps to create a
traditional bistro style kitchen.

How best to design galley style kitchens?

A galley style kitchen offers work and storage areas on both sides. Its efficient layout
makes it ideal for apartments and small spaces. Regardless of the scale of a galley
kitchen, you’ll want to maximize the work surface as much as possible. 

appliance placement is crucial so that each “work function” is not placed directly next
to or opposite each other. For example, if the sink and dishwasher are placed on one
wall, the opposite wall should include stove and fridge, with counter space allowance
on either side of each appliance. 

Remember that an oven and dishwasher should be
positioned so they can freely be opened, not opposite to each other.

Keep things looking light and spacious by considering the use of light coloured upper
cabinets, simple clean hardware and good task lighting.

Best layouts for appliances/How can I create the perfect "work triangle" in my kitchen to keep it functional, yet stylish?

A well planned kitchen helps to make kitchen work easier and more enjoyable.
Kitchens can be divided into 3 primary work areas; the refrigerator, the stove and the

The “Working triangle” consists of a logical ergonomic arrangement of these 3
areas to make kitchen work easier and more efficient. If the 3 work areas are too close
to each other, multiple people working in the space can get in each other’s way. Too
far away and your work becomes time-consuming. 

Each leg of the working triangle
should measure between 5 to 11 feet in length, with the total length of all 3 legs being
16 to 32 feet. 

Needless to say, it is very important to consider the placement of your
appliances during the planning process.

Great, right?  You can view the rest of the questions and answers such as: how to maximize counter space and how to give your kitchen an inexpensive refresh, here.   You can also find more kitchen inspiration on Ikea Canada's kitchen pinterest page!


*source for all answers and photos

Pretty Friday. Peacocks

Friday, April 26, 2013

my own photo

When one pulls over to the side of the road to enjoy the view of the ocean...one wouldn't really expect to see a peacock casually sitting on a roof of a house.  But my friends, that's exactly what happened in LA!

LA, I tell ya!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.


Gallery Wall Progress and A Quick & Easy Decorating Idea

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You guys, I bit the bullet and started the gallery wall in the main floor hallway.  It's kinda silly of me to start since I don't have all of the frames yet (I bought all that they had, they are supposed to be getting more) but I couldn't wait! I was really anxious to get going.

Seriously, this stressed me out a lot more a little more than it should have, I'm sure.  Trying to align them all, well, I think cheap-ing out and not buying a laser level was a mistake.  I need one. it would make life so much easier.

Three rows are up and I'm loving it!


Originally I had only planned on having three rows of three, but the scale was off, so I had to add another row.  I'm going to make the last row a beautiful shade of yellow, need to get them done.

Also, a little tip for you!  I have a vintage demi-lune console in a corner of our kitchen and needed to add a little decorative item in the centre of it.  With nothing on hand, I opted to cover a few cookbooks with some gorgeous Amy Butler scrap-booking paper.  Voila!  The nice thing about this is that 1-it's inexpensive, 2-it took no time at all and 3-you can easily swap the paper when you tire of it.


Pretty Friday. Above the Clouds

Friday, April 19, 2013

It never fails.  Each and every time I'm above the clouds, I feel a sense of calmness that I can't explain.  There is nothing but beauty and wonder all around.  It's truly magical and I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to experience moments like this.

I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend.  Love those around you and hug those who are near.


Dear LA

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What a city you are.

I think it's safe to say that I've never seen a larger city in my life.  

Your terrain is amazing and your scenery is breathtaking.  Your coast is surreal, what an amazing treat to have out your backdoor.

I fell for your easy going mentality and your spontaneity.   Running into a celebrity in the middle of a shopping trip = ah-mazing:

You know how to make a mean burger without all of the fuss.  Keepin' it simple, but in a deliciously spectacular way...

I loved that we didn't have to go far to see the beauty that your city has to offer, it surrounds you 24 hrs a day.  A short drive up the hill and just like that your mind wanders to amazing places and your cares are taken away....

Dear LA, thank you for being so absolutely amazing.

Dear LA, I can't wait until we meet again.


Our House - Progress

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I feel like it's been a while since I last spoke about where there rooms are at decor wise.

The family room is at a slight stand still.  I'm having a tough time finding something to hang above the couch.  I would like to steer away from any type of large artwork, but it seems as though perhaps that would be the best route.  I'd like some type of architectural print.

I love it.

I think once that's figured out, the room will feel like it's near completion.  I'm still going to go with off white twill drapes, which may someday get swapped out for something with pattern, but for now, the solid twill will do.

The hallway should be done soon.  I recently made a few watercolour paintings and finally got around to purchasing a frame to see how they would look.

I'm so thrilled with the results, so it's now time to buy the remainder of the frames (8, 9 in total) and then I can hang the art up.  I'm also searching for a new lamp for the hallway, something bold-ish, perhaps black shade with white base? Deciding.

The living room and dining room have got me puzzled.  It's taking me time to figure out the perfect furniture layout for the living room, though I think I now have it.  Keyword, think.


The dining room is so dark and dreary right now and I think that needs to be fixed asap.  A light rug, table runner, more artwork and accessories should help.  This space needs help, now.  I'm also looking for new hardware, brass pulls.  I was kind of hoping to find something that would fit into the holes that are already there, but I think I'm going to have to fill them.  Leaning towards something like this.

living room - note my new white lacquered table from Homesense!

Also tricky is the space between the two rooms.  The rooms are open to one another, it's a large rectangle.   We can't push the dining room furniture down anymore due to the positioning of the windows and light fixture.  So what we may do is move the living room furniture a little further towards the middle, but still, there is space to be filled. I have a few options that I'm playing with which include a demi-lune console, daybed or round tufted ottoman.  All of which I think would work well, it all depends on what I find.

So right now, I feel like everything is just all scrambled, I really need a game plan and to make some decisions.


Making It Happen

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

For me, an essential part in achieving my goals is to surround myself with positive energy and positive people.  People who will encourage me to push through the hard times, who will give me a ladder to help me climb up the steep cliff and to remind me why I am doing what I'm doing.  I'm even thankful for those who give me a dose of reality.  Making me realize that it's not going to be easy, but that it's possible.  Anything worth having is worth working for.

Often times the path to success isn't at all glamorous, it's quite the opposite in fact, but that's not the part we see.

We all need a little push every once in a while and we all have moments when we ask ourselves if we really should be doing what we're doing.

Frame of mind is everything and surrounding yourself with those who can keep you on the right track is part of the story of success.

Be it by words of encouragement, be it by literally grabbing your hand to help you finish the last 300 meters of a race, sometimes that's what we need and by no means does that mean you aren't capable or that you're weak.  It's just another component to making your dream a reality.

So friends, be sure to surround yourself with positive energy.  Be sure to have someone who will help you see the silver lining when all you see is the dark cloud above.

I'm currently thankful for so many people who are helping me through...my family, people in the business, my friends and fellow bloggers.  They are all helping me, even if they don't even know they are.

I've taken the time to download a free inspirational quote from Lara Casey's site (thanks Lara!).  I encourage you to do the same.  It will give you that boost when you need it.

You can do it!


Kitchen Progress

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Oh yes...progress is being made! You guys, I'm SO excited!

As you know, the builder stopped by last week to discuss the missing kitchen cabinets.  Over the weekend we decided which style of glass cabinets we'd like as well as the depth of the bottom cabinets.

Another feature that we are trying to change is the crown moulding above the kitchen cabinets.  I was under the impression that the upper cabinets along with crown moulding, would go all the way to the ceiling, which they do not.  I've never been happy about this. Had I know that they wouldn't, I would have had something custom made when we finalized the purchase.

I'm absolutely in love with this kitchen featured in the April issue of Style At Home and would love to have something similar added above our cabinets:

I have yet to show the builder this photo, so I'm not sure if it's doable.  Fingers crossed that something can be designed and installed.

We are also going to have a backsplash installed (hallelujah!).  To be honest, I think the builder was slightly shocked when I told him I wanted to go with a white subway tile.  He's showing me loads of contemporary backsplashes, which made me start to question my decision, but alas, I stood my ground. I love white subway tile, so that's what we'll be getting.  I'm now trying to decide what size to go with.  Probably 3x6.  Here is the sample board we brought home, most likely going with the one second from the bottom (the counter looks super yellow, but it's not):

So things are happening....or well, steps in the right direction are happening!  Backsplash should be installed in a few weeks, as for the new cabinets, I'm guessing that will take a few months.


Enjoying Your Outdoor Living Space!

Monday, April 1, 2013

One of my favourite things about spring is slowly beginning to move our patio furniture back onto the deck and setting up our outdoor sitting space.  There isn't anything like enjoying a cup of coffee outside in your pjs, early in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

We will be landscaping the backyard this year once the fence is up.  I can't see us doing anything extreme yet, but there will definitely be the addition of a few gardens and at some point, I would like to add a second sitting area, separate from the eating area on the wooden deck that is off of the house.

So when I spotted this beauty at Homesense, I could stop my mind from wandering...craving the warmer mornings that come along with the arrival of April.

Couldn't you just picture yourself enjoying a hot cup of coffee or perhaps a delicious glass of wine while sitting on this bench in your backyard space.....mmmmm

Heavenly, just heavenly.


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