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Feb01

Blog – February 2018

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Ray has been with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets since 1986, after receiving his diploma in Business Administration from Canadore College. He began  managing the countertop department, but soon transferred into Kitchen Design. Ray has worked with many award winning builders throughout his career. Some 30+ years later, Ray still enjoys his job.

 

Flooring… So many choices!

 

The kitchen is the center point of your home. The family gathers here for meals, cooking and socializing. The floor must be able to withstand the “heavy duty” wear and tear of daily activities. Dishes will be broken and spills such as water, oils and wine will occur. Also, the pitter patter of pet claws can mark the floor. In spite of all this we want our kitchen floor to be durable, low maintenance and appealing. Most flooring companies today can offer all of this.

Some of the most popular flooring will be outlined below:

Natural Stone – travertine, marble, limestone, slate and granite

  • Natural stone has been around since the beginning of time.
  • It is unique in that no two pieces have exactly the same colour, pattern or texture therefore making it impossible to duplicate. Some of these floors, such as slate, can have a three-dimensional look to the floor.
  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces – offering a seamless transition from one room to another.
  • These floors require very little maintenance.
  • If you are seeking an upscale look this flooring provides an elegant and gracious feel. 

Cons:

  • Can be expensive – therefore it is advisable to have it laid professionally. 
  • Softer stones, such as travertine and limestone, may scratch or chip easily.
  • Some natural stones can be porous and may require sealing over time.
  • Not the most comfortable to stand on for long periods of time.             

Ceramic Tile 

  • Ceramic is one of the most versatile floors.  
  • It comes in a huge variety of colours, shapes and textures so you can create your own design. 
  • It can mimic wood and other textures and patterns.
  •  
  • Can withstand heavy foot traffic, water spills, and does not absorb odors and bacteria.
  • If one is at all handy, they can lay ceramic tile flooring themselves.

Cons:

  • Like stone, ceramic can be cold and hard on the feet.
  • Tile can be slippery if there is moisture on it.
  • Grout may need re-sealing to resist moisture and staining.

Laminate Flooring

  • Affordable, durable and eco-friendly.
  • It is a man-made product. Comes in strips, planks or tiles giving a very authentic hardwood or tile look.
  • Top layer of “quality” laminate flooring can withstand heavy traffic, spills, dents and pets. (When choosing laminate flooring, look for the longest warranty possible).
  • Resists stains and scratches and clean up is easy.
  • Unlike real hardwood, laminate does expand and contract with changes in humidity.
  • Very little maintenance – sweeping and damp mop.          
  • Easy to install yourself. Requires an underlay to resist moisture and act as a sound barrier.

Cons:

  • Any spills must be cleaned up immediately. Not recommended for bathrooms or areas where excessive water may be spilled.  
  • May be slippery and noisy
  • Unlike real hardwood, laminate cannot be sanded and refinished.

Vinyl Flooring

  • Water resistant.
  • Comes in a wide range of designs and finishes.
  • Available in sheets or tiles.
  • Comfortable to stand on for a length of time.
  • Easy to install if you are handy with a utility knife.
  • Replicates stone, wood or ceramic tile. Embossed with textures that look and feel more realistic.
  • Wood-look flooring planks make it hard to distinguish from the real thing.

Cons:

  • Direct sunlight can fade it over a period of time.
  • Overtime vinyl flooring can dent, bubble or curl. Sharp objects may tear it while grit and dirt may scratch it and dull the finish. 
  • Shorter lifespan – may show wear and tear after five years or so.

Hardwood

Hardwood kitchen flooring has become more popular again thanks to improved “factory finishes”. Typically, there are two types of hardwood flooring:  the “solid” ¾” thick flooring and “engineered” flooring.

¾” Hardwood Flooring:

  • Never goes out of style. If properly cared for, that unique warm look will last for decades.
  • Full ¾” deep, however, you only see the surface.
  • Can be refinished several times. Typically, every 10 years. 
  • Comes in a high gloss or matte finish in various plank widths.
  • Ideal for an “open” concept style kitchen.

Cons:

  • Not recommended as an ideal kitchen flooring.
  • When exposed to a high humidity level (above 60%) “cupping” and “warping” can occur especially with wider planks – even a dripping kitchen sink faucet can spike the humidity level.
  • Spilled liquids must be wiped up right away.
  • Tendency to expand and contract depending on room humidity and temperature.  

Engineered Hardwood Flooring:

    Has a plywood or fibre board base with a ¼” thick veneer surface. It is a preferred choice for a hardwood kitchen flooring.

  • The plywood or fibre board helps keep the wood from reacting to humidity.
  • Can be refinished four or five times.
  • The depth is 5/8” therefore easier to transition from tile to wood or carpet.
  • Can get wide boards which gives it a more natural look and an open feel to the room.

I should also mention bamboo and concrete are other flooring choices, however, may not be as popular. Even carpet still has its place.

Jan04

Blog – January 2018

Posted In Blog

Wendy has been in the design business for over 20 years.  She is also a graduate of the Interior Design program at Algonquin College.  She has experience in many aspects of design including flooring and commercial millwork, and brings a wealth of knowledge to her custom home and renovation clients.

 

Don't Let Winter Give You The 'Blues'

 

The hottest trend in kitchen design for 2018 is BLUE.   We are seeing a huge increase in clients wanting to incorporate blue into their kitchen and not just as tea towel accents.

The swing to put blues back into the colour palette has been coming for a while.  For the past few years, neutrals have dominated the colours of our homes.  Since 2010 we have seen an increase in grey as the neutral colour, where the decade before, the neutral colour was brown.  Both colours worked well with whites and off-white, but still lacked the punch of colour that has been surfacing in recent months.

If blue is one of your favourite colours and you have been waiting for it to make its comeback, now is the time.  Midnight blue and navy are on the rise as the newest neutrals.  We are seeing other variations such as powder blues, French blue, even teals and other blue-green hues.

As kitchen designers we often advise people that when you’re purchasing a new kitchen, it's a 20+ year commitment.  Picking the right blue can be difficult, as there are thousands of colours to chose from.   My advice is to use it wisely.  Make sure the blue you select is one you can live with for years and will not date itself too quickly.  Indigo, navy and grey-based dark blues are best if you want to err on the side of caution.  They act as a neutral as well as give your kitchen or bathroom a pop of colour.

An island in navy with the remainder of the kitchen in light grey or a white tone will give you the accent of colour you want, without the commitment of all your cabinetry in the current trending colour.  Doing only your wall cabinets in the trend colour while the remainder are a neutral co-ordinating colour can also be a nice look, especially if you have neutral walls and floors.  Decorative accents in metal or wood will contrast the opaque colours of the blue and incorporate another texture and dimension into the overall design.

While soft colours will be calming, darker bolder colours will make a statement.  A mix of colour, texture and materials is always a good idea.  It gives the eye some variety.  Blues, whites, greys, stained wood and metals all mixed together can create a warm, welcoming space.

Pair your blue with another popular trend in cabinets – brass hardware.  The combination of the blue with the burnt orange of the brass will look fantastic and your new kitchen will be the talk of the neighbourhood.

Dec01

Blog – December 2017

Posted In Blog

Jody has been with Deslaurier for 14 years. She is a model example of hard work and dedication within the organization. She has worked in several different departments from Reception, to Service, to Distribution, to Design. Jody is currently a Design Consultant out of our Renfrew based showroom and looks forward to helping you with your next project.

 

Timing Is Everything

 

Whether renovating your kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, or laundry room, it can be an exciting, busy time and potentially a stressful time if not planned out properly.

While planning your renovation, you are meeting with your contractor, your designer, making appliance selections (if needed), making cabinet and countertop selections, choosing paint colors, looking at flooring options and the list goes on…  All this while trying to juggle work schedules, sport schedules, everyday life and family routines. It can become overwhelming if you haven’t given yourself the proper time needed to complete these tasks.

Once you have finalized your renovation on paper and made all your selections, you are ready to go ahead with your renovation… When do you start?  It can be very tempting to schedule your renovation as soon as possible but there are some things you must consider and inquire about, such as:

  • Your contractor’s availability to start work on your project
  • Cabinet and Countertop manufacturer lead times
  • Appliance lead times

Keeping in mind a renovation takes time, it is equally important to consider your own schedule.  Do you have a family vacation coming up? You would likely want to be present during your renovation, or maybe you are open to having a project manager oversee the project on your behalf.  Are you hosting any special events? You don’t want to be without use of your space during that time (tearing apart a room in your house a week before Christmas is not highly recommended).  Or it could come down to the simple fact that you need to plan out alternatives to your everyday routine.  Are you open to barbequing in the middle of winter or ready for many nights of take out?  Do you have a second bathroom to use if the renovation takes yours out of commission for a while?  How many trips to the laundromat do you want to make in one week?

If planned properly, your renovation doesn’t need to be a stressful time but rather an exciting time, full of anticipation of seeing and enjoying the transformation of your space.

Now you can sit back and enjoy the beauty and functionality of your dream becoming a reality.  All your hard work has paid off.

Nov01

Blog – November 2017

Posted In Blog

Darien is a graduate from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. After earning two diplomas, her enthusiastic passion for the industry communicates through her work. Darien has found her calling in the Kitchen and Bath Design field. Communicating both in French and English, she will provide Deslaurier clients with excellent design service.

 

The Kitchen Is The Heart Of Your Home

 

For many reasons, we always end up spending most of our time in the kitchen. Not only does food stimulate our body and soul, but more and more people find passion in cooking and preparing food that will bring great health benefits long-term for you and your family.  There are lots of ways to decompress after a long day, it seems most of us head straight to the kitchen. With this being said; finding exactly what you need, in a warm and welcoming space that was designed specifically for you, is what you deserve.

Now that we are all living in the 20th century, kitchen dynamics have shifted. We all know that the kitchen is a room for everyone. With all the different layouts and open concept designs, everyone can be in the kitchen doing something different at once. Everyday tasks, homework, browsing the computer; are making their way into the kitchen. With the right guidance, your kitchen can be designed to welcome and encourage family and friends to get together in one common space.

Your kitchen should make a statement. As most of you may already know, when considering your next move, the kitchen holds the most re-sale value of the home. It is the most useful place to invest in upgrades. This space should be able to turn a “not so good day” into a fantastic day. Stimulating design should make your entire experience in the kitchen smooth and effortless. Working with experienced and passionate designers can turn your dream kitchen into reality.

Now that our wonderful technology keeps improving, I want to share the importance of organization in your kitchen. We all live stressful lives, coming home after a long day should be a place to un-wind and relax. With new inner cabinet accessories, you can have a dedicated space for all of your kitchen necessities. Cooking enthusiasts, have multiple different spices, utensils, oils and many more. To ease searching through a drawer, you can have a dedicated cabinet built to hold all of your spices and oils. Inner drawer dividers can separate your utensils in all of their various sizes. Recycling systems can pull-out of a base cabinet, and corner solutions can improve always having to get down on hand and knees searching for what you need.

Your kitchen and bathroom, are the only two rooms in a home that serve a dedicated purpose and cannot be used for something else. Whether it’s a small, or large kitchen; you can always improve its function by minimizing wasted space.

At one point in time, kitchens were quiet rooms, now they are full of high energy and beautiful aroma.

“Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important…fun, food and life.”    
-Chef Daniel Boulud

Oct02

Blog – October 2017

Posted In Blog

Joey is an 18 year veteran of the industry and has been with Deslaurier since 2003. Joey holds a degree from Queen’s University in Kingston and a Diploma of Interior Design from Algonquin College in Ottawa. She is an Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) with NKBA accreditation and is currently doing courses towards successful completion of her CKBD.

 

Framed vs. Frameless Cabinetry

 

In order to help us with our design we ask clients to send or bring photos of kitchens they like. Websites like ‘Houzz’ show photos from all over North America. Often clients will reference an American photo. The majority of American cabinet companies manufacture ‘framed’ cabinetry while the majority of Canadian kitchens are ‘Frameless’.

In framed cabinetry there is a face frame which consists of rails (horizontal members) and stiles (vertical members). This attaches to the front of the box and, generally, is seen around the door and drawer front. The hardware (hinge) is attached directly to this frame. Framed cabinetry can be full overlay, partial overlay or inset. The names refer to the amount of the frame that the door actually covers. In inset design the doors are actually flush with the frame. This references a more traditional look and is reminiscent of cabinetry that was built in place rather than manufactured in a shop as we do today.

 In frameless cabinetry the door covers the full width and height of the box with a small buffer space for ease in opening and closing doors and drawers. The hardware is installed directly to the box. It is also called ‘European’ cabinetry and was introduced to the Canadian market sometime in the 1970’s. While the U.S. offers both these cabinetry construction styles, Canada and Europe, almost exclusively, offer frameless cabinetry. The benefits to frameless cabinetry are numerous. Frameless cabinetry offers full access to the interior of the cabinet. There is no space lost in the drawer systems that is taken up by the rails and stiles in framed construction. In fact our rollouts are ‘zero clearance’ now to offer even more accessible storage space. Also, with many manufacturers who offer framed construction there is a centre stile which hinders full access to the interior of the cabinet. Frameless cabinetry also offers ease of cleaning as there is no face frame to impede wiping down the interior.

When using frameless cabinetry to design and plan a kitchen, greater care must be taken to ensure clearances for hardware, appliances and internal accessories. While framed cabinetry has a built in ‘buffer’ strip, frameless does not, so any protruding hardware or appliance handle needs to be reviewed.

When we review pictures with clients we try to dissect what they like about the photo. More often than not they are looking at the cabinetry colour, door style or countertop colour. Sometimes they are looking at accessories they want built in to their cabinetry. Occasionally clients will ask for the framed cabinetry look they see illustrated in an American photo. It is fairly easy to replicate this look using frameless construction by adding flush columns and fillers between the cabinets to give an inset look. This look is illustrated in our showroom in our ‘Cape Cod Style’ display.

While there may be some benefits to the traditional look of framed construction, frameless construction offers vast flexibility to show all different styles of kitchen design from modern to contemporary, to transitional, to traditional.  The result is a clean design. And, by using frameless construction we can offer full access to the interior of the cabinet and provide accessories to take advantage of every available inch by not having to offset around rails and stiles.

Sep01

Blog – September 2017

Posted In Blog

Adele has worked in the design field for approximately 17 years after earning her Interior Design Diploma from Algonquin College. Although she has found her niche in kitchen and bath design, she has also worked on various projects involving retail and office design. Adele has been with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets for over 9 years and has had the pleasure of working with many great clients on some fantastic projects.

 

Extra Opportunities for Functional Storage

 

In this world filled with technology we can’t even walk out the door without a device or two. Wouldn’t it be great to have a designated space in your home that you could use as a landing, storage and charging station for all these things? It could be in a central location where everyone can grab their devices on the way out the door. You would only need a very small corner of the room or even a niche that is being underutilized. Custom cabinetry could be used to give you a spot to charge, store and organize all these gadgets. A small cabinet with a drawer at the top that could hold all the accessories and chargers and a door below with some internal rollouts for storage would work. Maybe a rollout for every member of the family. This could also be a cabinet that could have a lock installed on it so that the “tech time” can be monitored a little more closely. As for the top of the cabinet, you could use a very durable material (like quartz) or something like a wood veneer top to match the cabinet (less durable but more like a furniture top) depending on the esthetic you are working with. The great thing about using custom cabinetry for areas such as this is that you have a huge selection of door styles and finishes to choose from and you can customize the size which is something you just can’t do when looking through furniture stores.

Another place that gets neglected, but is a great place to consider custom cabinetry, would be in the mudroom or main entrance of your home. When you walk through the front door after a long day, what do you do with all the bags and supplies you have needed throughout the day? Chances are that they get put on the floor inside the door to stay there until the next day. They may get walked over, pushed to the side or even stepped on. Wouldn’t it be great to have a custom designed space where getting things off the floor was easy, where it could rest neatly in its place and ready to grab on the way out the door in the morning. A custom mudroom unit with hooks for coats and backpacks, drawers for hats and mitts, and shelves for books or computer bags all designed around a bench seat would be a perfect solution. You could also incorporate closed tall storage into this concept where you could store umbrellas and even the occasional hockey stick. A unit such as this can be designed with individual cubbies based on the number of people in the household or just a couple of hooks and drawers where things can be tidied away. The trick is to find the space where you will need it the most and take measurements of this space.

These are just a couple of examples of concepts that clients don’t typically think of when they think custom cabinetry, but where custom is ideal for these situations. These are scenarios where the concepts are best utilized in high traffic or common areas but its likely that these are the areas tightest on space. If you can take some measurements of the spaces and make a list of your needs your next step would be to go and visit a designer that works with custom cabinetry. They will be able to review the countless possibilities with you based on the finishes and details that will best suit the aesthetic of your home.  As well, they can help you choose the proper materials for your space that, based on the area and function, can vary from something standard to something that will be more durable.

When thinking of alternative storage solutions remember that custom cabinetry can change the way your household functions on a day to day basis and can often be worked into spaces that you feel may not be large enough or be the proper shape for a piece of furniture.