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Apr02

Blog – April 2018

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Chris is a former customer turned employee. He has been with Deslaurier for over 14 years. He is the current Purchasing Manager and is active in countless facets of the business, from purchasing and sourcing, to information technologies, to implementations, to R&D, and beyond. Chris is a wealth of knowledge and is a great asset to the Deslaurier team. Chris is also a Maple Leafs fan, but please don't let that preclude you from reading his piece.

 

Living Through A Kitchen Renovation

 

My wife and I recently lived through a kitchen renovation and we are not renovation rookies by any means.  Over the years we have done three major renovations at our house and at some point they have all involved the interior, and we were able to manage.  That having been said, we knew going into it that not having a kitchen would be a challenge.  We certainly did not want to live on take-out but you have to ask yourself, how do I live without a major part of the household operation?

My advice is that timing is everything!  First off, we had a solid design in place before we touched anything.  Knowing there is a lead time associated with the kitchen, we knew an approximate delivery date and from there we worked backwards.  I have a background in construction, so I project managed the job myself given my connections to various trades.  If you do not have that skillset, align with someone who does and has a proven track record.

Our project was a full gut of the kitchen, right back to the studs and subfloor, as the only thing that stayed in the same place was the stove.  All plumbing and electrical locations were moving in the new and improved design.  Our old kitchen was on two walls with a table in the room and contained 13 cabinets.  The new design wraps three walls and there is a peninsula island with a raised eating bar for a total of 22 cabinets.  What is the biggest difference in the new kitchen, is that all but 4 cabinets would be considered organizational, task specific cabinets with embedded accessories in them.  These are key, given that this is not a large room.  So, while we can focus on the aesthetics of the exterior, the cabinet selection and the embedded accessories are just as important.

Close to 80% of all the selections in our kitchen, be it exterior colours, door styles or hardware on the internal components, come from products added to the Deslaurier catalogue in the last three years (with many of them having been in for less than a year)!  Needless to say, we have some very interesting solutions in our kitchen and the combination of cabinet finishes with flooring, tile backsplashes and countertop selections, have all given us a kitchen we are very proud of and pleased with.

Working with a plan in hand, our project took us six weeks from the demo day to the solid surface countertops being installed.  We were four weeks from the tear out to the cabinets being installed, but that does take some execution to do that!  Our laundry room became our kitchen.  We were fortunate to do it in the summer months when the BBQ was our best friend and most of all, you need a great deal of patience for the situation and each other during the renovation.  Not everything goes 100% according to plan, but I can tell you it is all worth it in the end!  Many parties have to work together in projects like this and the team at Deslaurier is there to assist along the way, as a member of your renovation team.

 

Click here to see the finished product!

Mar01

Blog – March 2018

Posted In Blog

Andrea has worked in the design field for approximately 17 years, after earning her Interior Design Diploma from Algonquin College. Andrea has built and sold two custom homes that were featured in Ottawa Interiors Magazine in 2008 and 2011. Andrea returned to Deslaurier recently, after a 13 year hiatus where she explored custom home design and later worked closely with developers in the commercial and hospitality sectors.

 

Back In Black…  Is Black The New Stainless?

 

If you are in the market for new kitchen appliances – take note; a colour revolution is going on in the appliance industry. Stainless Steel has been the number one seller in appliances for as long as I can remember but things are changing, as consumers are growing tired of traditional stainless and are hence looking for something new. “Black is the new Stainless” according to Wolf and General Electric, and is one of the strongest appliance trends in over a decade, they say.

Black stainless steel makes a bold addition to any kitchen. The unique look of black stainless gives you an opportunity to do something different in your kitchen but still keep the clean, professional stainless steel look. The soft, brushed metal of the black stainless is often offset by chrome and satin metals, for a striking effect. Black stainless steel appliances are not only for the daring or the brave, but for everyone, evidenced by the fact that appliances of this finish are finding their way into everyday kitchens. All major mainstream brands seem to be on board and each have their own unique finish ranging from Miele’s glossy black glass, to a softer version of black called “Black Slate” from GE (which is closer to charcoal grey). Bosch also offers a unique black with a horizontal grain, giving it texture and depth.

 

The pros:

  • Black Stainless is new and on-trend, giving you a cutting-edge look and allowing your kitchen to stand out.
  • Easily cleaned, as the finish is less prone to fingerprints and smudges.
  • Available with stainless steel handles for contrast (certain manufacturers only).
  • All major appliance brands have their own unique version of this finish to offer.
  • Black stainless appliances pair beautifully with today’s most popular kitchen cabinetry colors: white and grey.

The cons:

  • Color variations exist amongst the different manufacturers, therefore appliances are harder to match across brands.
  • Certain brands have had issues with chipping of the finish.
  • Black stainless is a new color that is somewhat untested in the marketplace.

 

Is it the right choice for you?

As with any big purchase, it’s important to do your research beforehand. If you are tired of stainless or want to be on the cutting edge, then I think black stainless appliances are a great alternative. Black stainless offers up something new, yet since black is still a neutral color, it is a safer choice than going with an actual color that you may tire of in the future. Depending on your kitchen cabinetry, the black stainless may just be the right choice to breathe new life into an existing kitchen or take things to the next level in a brand new kitchen. Personally, I am on board with the trend and if I were in the market for new appliances I would definitely be purchasing black stainless steel.

Feb01

Blog – February 2018

Posted In Blog

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