**Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by LG Canada, meaning I’ve received perks by way of compensation and/or product in exchange for my review and account of my experience. As always, opinions are my own. View our Disclosure for more information.**
We moved into our current home just over two years ago now. The bones were good, and most rooms recently updated, but with our forth child just days away from being born, making the kitchen our dream kitchen wasn’t a priority. Soon after settling into our new place, however, we quickly realized our kitchen space and functionality wasn’t ideal. The set up felt closed in and the appliances were not spacious or efficient enough for a large family like ours.
As the fog of our baby days are slowly clearing away, I’m finding myself returning to my love of cooking once again. With the kitchen being a central gathering place in a home, and where most families spend so much time, we’re starting to think about how to update our space to maximize function and add some touches to make it a more stylish space suited to “us.”
Being invited to attend LG Canada’s interactive Kitchen event last month was perfect timing to check out the latest trends in appliances and kitchen design. Andrew and I had the opportunity to cook with celebrity Chef and family man Chuck Hughes using LG Canada’s stylish and smart Black Stainless Steel Appliance Suite.
Cooking together as a couple is something we both really enjoy, but isn’t always easy with little ones in the mix. Now it’s divide and conquer – one of us cooks, the other keeps the kids out of harm’s way. So, getting some cooking tips together from Chuck was such a treat and a memorable experience. His Roasted Chicken with Fresh Tomato and Black Olives and Mushroom Risotto were molto delizioso!
As we immersed ourselves in our cooking experience, we were so impressed by LG’s latest appliances. They aren’t just super stylish, but also make the kitchen experience more productive and eco-friendly with features like the InstaView™ with Door-in-Door® French Door Refrigerator that allows you to see what’s inside by knocking on its glass panel without letting the cold air out – a great feature for kids and parents alike. Innovations inside their ProBake Convection™ ovens and microwaves help reduce cooking time, ensure even heating, and even simplify cleaning – all features which are so appreciated by families like us where saving time is a priority.
After our interactive experience with Chuck, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting kitchen design tips from the lovely Jane Lockhart – one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design.
As a well-respected and award-winning designer, Jane is also a popular television personality (as seen on Colour Confidential), guest designer on talk shows (The Marilyn Denis Show, Cityline), author, and in-demand spokesperson at many design shows. She’s also Principal Designer of the Toronto firm she founded in 1997, Jane Lockhart Interior Design.
Having the opportunity to get up close and personal with Jane was a true honour, and I’m so excited to share her top tips for creating a stylish kitchen space in your home.
Here it is, my Q&A with Jane:
1) What are the top areas to invest in your kitchen for resale value?
Jane shared that countertops are a huge selling feature. Solid surfaces like quartz and granite are highly sought-after features, but even laminate can look great with the right colour and edge.
Appliances are another major feature buyers pay attention to, and having an updated ensemble can make older, dated kitchens look current and sleek. The new Black Stainless Steel Series from LG Canada are a great option. Whether you prefer dark rich tones or light, bright inviting spaces, the look and feel of the LG Black Stainless Series is so versatile that it will suit all lifestyles and look great with a vast array of kitchen and home styles (minimalist, traditional or luxurious).
Lower budget updates like a new kitchen faucet, fresh paint, backsplash and updated lighting can make a major impression. Reducing clutter and adding small pops of colour help too.
2) What are some of the best places to shop to make a kitchen stylish on a budget?
One of Jane’s favourite places for wall art and signs is Urban Barn. For affordable accessories and accent pieces, HomeSense is a great option. For lighting, Jane suggested Union Lighting, as there are tons of options for all budget types.
3) What are the best ways to maximize space and improve functionality?
This is where I learned that the triangle design theory no longer applies to efficient kitchen design. Zone-based design is what will create more functionality. Think a zone for washing, a zone for cooking, and a zone for food prep and so on. Triangle theory was developed after the war, and based on one person maneuvering around the kitchen. Kitchens are now a more interactive space, and the goal is to arrange it so there is no zone-crossing, Jane shared.
Avoiding a boxed-in kitchen shape, and opening it up with the addition of an island improves functionality and maximizes spaces of any size also.
4) What are the kitchen design trends for 2017-2018?
Jane shared it’s no longer about the stark white spaces and colour is making a big comeback. Think matte black, charcoal, and light taupe cabinets. Different coloured and textured upper and lower cabinets are also on-trend. For example, Jane suggested lower cabinets in wood-grain brown, and uppers in shiny white would be a fabulous, updated look.
For hardware, think metallic handles like gold, or gold’s more subtle and prettier option, rose gold. Linear handles are still in, but circular ones will give unique character to an updated space. Hidden hardware is also in demand. Think cabinets and drawers you can push/touch to open themselves.
With an increasingly aging population, having more storage on lower levels will be a major design must-have factor for the long-term.
Pops of colour in warm, rich tones like terracotta, deep reds and pinks are also super trendy.
I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly inspired to implement some of these amazing tips from Jane in our own home.
And you heard it from Jane herself, to achieve a stylish and modern kitchen space, upgraded appliances are a must. If you could use a #KitchenIntervention (I know we can!) but maybe the cost isn’t in the budget right now, be sure to check out LG Canada’s ongoing promotions on their website and Facebook page throughout the season.
Would love to see how you incorporate these tips in your own kitchen spaces! Happy updating!