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July 2016

Kitchen Design:
Lifestyle and Personal Style

Your kitchen is far more than just a place to store pots and pans, prep ingredients and cook meals. Your whole family probably spends a lot of time there, from doing homework, paying bills and scheduling your activities, to listening to music, shopping online and even entertaining. That's why kitchen design is about your lifestyle and your personal style.

If you're looking for ways to update your kitchen, you might find that a popular trend this year is the all-white kitchen. But if that just looks too plain vanilla for you, there are lots of other choices in kitchen design. Here are a few style ideas from some popular makers of kitchen appliances, fixtures and cabinets to give you that spark of inspiration!

What kind of kitchen style suits you and your family?


Imagine a kitchen smelling of fresh herbs or apple pie! This is a cozy, richly textured kitchen style that's all about comfort and visual interest. It can feature elements like wood counters, wooden beams, stained or painted bead board for the walls, with glass-door cabinets finished in different colors. Cabinets may feature a hutch element and the island may include furniture-style legs. A large farmhouse sink with an apron front is perfect, as are vintage light fixtures. Instead of white all around you, muted colors and natural textures create a cozy, comfortable feel for the space.

Photo courtesy Merillat Cabinetry.


Retro kitchens combine open and practical family-friendly spaces with clean lines, stylish fixtures and colors like electric lime, turquoise, orange and red. Bamboo cabinets with minimal hardware are popular with this style. Mid-century modern touches are perfect, too -- glass tiles, touches of teak, geometric patterns, diner-style stools, and space for large art canvases or big, bright posters. Light fixtures tend to be simple, but dramatic: smooth globes or spiky "starbursts."

Photo courtesy Kohler Co.


Like retro kitchens, contemporary kitchens feature clean lines and glossy surfaces. While still family-friendly, this style features minimalist design. Strong horizontal lines, sleek dark cabinets and elements such as cement floors enhance the pared-down elegance. Natural light streaming through large windows is a hallmark of this style, with lighting fixtures that do double duty as sculptural design elements. Smart kitchen storage solutions keep countertops bare.

Photo courtesy Merillat Cabinetry.


Perfect for home chefs who love everything about food, tools, and the joy of cooking extraordinary meals. This style borrows elements from commercial kitchens: stainless steel counters, backsplashes and appliances, and a stove (typically gas) with six or more burners, warming drawers and other features. Efficiency is key, so open shelves, a butcher block with knife storage, pullout faucets and pot-filler faucets mounted on a tiled wall over the range are nice additions. A glass-front fridge showcases fresh foods. A practical rack keeps high-quality pots and pans handy, and bar stools are a must so family and guests can gather as dinner is being prepared.

Photo courtesy Jenn-Air.

These styles are just starting points. Trading up from a "plain vanilla" kitchen means combining the style elements you love most with spaces and functionality perfectly designed for all the ways you use your kitchen. We'd love to help you do that. Give us a call today and let's start exploring the possibilities.

Maintenance Tip: Remove Standing Water in Your Yard

Mosquitoes are not only annoying, they can also be carriers of serious diseases such as Zika or West Nile virus. The most effective way to control them is by eliminating the areas of standing water in your yard that are their breeding sites. Drain standing water from gutters and from puddles that form in buckets, watering cans, landscape planters, tarps that cover woodpiles or garden equipment, and around leaky faucets. If possible, birdbaths, fountains and ornamental ponds should be drained or flushed and refilled about once a week during warm summer months.

Canadian Wildlife Bridge over the freeway

What's the Story?

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It also is one of the most highly used spaces in your home and a window into how most of us live. Sunny and bright? A place to read the paper and relax? A place to make cookies with the grandchildren? All of these should be built into the personality of your kitchen. Throughout the years we have remodeled a number of kitchens, from very small to very large. One I remember well, was the tiniest kitchen and we proposed a 2´ x 10´ addition that provided a 10´ run of countertop and cabinets. We also added a window so they could see their back yard. Completely changed a non-functional space that was scary into a great, working kitchen. We have a lot of fun shaping them to your family's personality. Let us know if your kitchen is meeting your expectations.

View of the 3 Sisters from our apartment.

It has been a whirlwind of activity the past 30 days with our trip to Calgary and the Canadian Rockies as well as a huge 4th of July gathering for a baby shower at our cabin. We had a GREAT time in Canada.

Saskatchewan River on the Icefield Highway to Jasper.

After a few days in Calgary for a wedding, we moved to Canmore at a great AirBNB and then drove and hiked around the area including Banff (lots of tourists) and Lake Louise (even more tourists). My favorite part was seeing all the glaciers on the Icefield Highway. Wow. With global warming, it's nice to see a glacier and there are numerous glaciers you can see on this road.

Wow – What a glacier!

We had over 30 people for the baby shower at our cabin over the 4th of July weekend and at one time, 18 people staying at the cabin. Lots of action!

We have added 2 kittens to our house in the last week. Along with our new dog, things are...exciting. Hope you get a chance to enjoy the wonderful weather, lakes and fish in the next few days. It is amazing how fast the summer goes by!

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre
Phone: 612-861-0188

Sylvestre Remodeling & Design