Decorating & Design

October 3, 2011

Stunning Kitchen Makeover

It’s finally time to reveal the dramatic “after” shots of my new kitchen with cabinets from AyA kitchens! So exciting. From being frustrated with my previous kitchen to planning for a new one, it’s a great feeling to have the project completed. (This blog is sponsored by AyA. Follow my kitchen reno progress here.)

Ta-da! The result is a contemporary bistro-style kitchen. In place of the usual kitchen table, we went with a long counter-height table outfitted in the same marble used elsewhere for ample workspace.

Here’s the handy new bar sink in the corner, with a ledge above made out of salvaged timber. To go from those yellow walls and mismatched cabinetry to this is quite dramatic.

I love the new cookbook shelves AyA put in, complete with drawers underneath.

Here’s the new sink — it’s so great to not have it squished next to everything else in the kitchen. The dishwasher is placed next to it for convenience.

I really like the magnetic chalkboard wall we painted. It’s a cute way to showcase kids’ artwork.

I now also have double ovens and a garbage pull-out to the left of it — love them both.

Under-cabinet lighting and glass doors are two features that really make the space brighter. The overall change was quite substantial, and I’m happy with the design and workspace created.

Going through any renovation is a learning process! Here’s my advice:

  • It’s worth sitting down with all those involved in the kitchen reno to ensure everyone is aware of what is happening first, second, third, etc. For instance, if you’re installing new floors, requiring new electrical lines or water lines, ensure each of these steps are happening at the right time, and that everyone knows what will be needed of them.
  • By working closely with the AyA team, you’ll ensure your needs and wants are addressed, and will have a clearer idea of what to expect, and the process will run smoothly.
  • Going in with a good sense of what you want in a kitchen, including many photos for ideas and inspiration, can be very helpful. It will help you and the designer see what elements are truly needed and inject more of your personality in it, too.
  • Read the AyA Design Guide to learn more about the choices you’ll have to make.

If you haven’t already, watch this online TV segment of my kitchen reno. In it, Cameron shares more details on the design choices. Now it’s time for me to get cooking!

Photo credits:
1-3, 6. Jason Stickley
4, 5, 7. Cameron MacNeil

Cabinetry, AyA Kitchens & Baths, visit for showroom locations across Canada; antique brass hardware, Restoration Hardware, Vancouver (604) 731-3918, Toronto (416) 322-9422, (416) 223-2055, 1-800-910-9836 or visit; Bianco Carerra marble countertops and island top, Marble & Granite Stonecraft, Mississauga (905) 565-7557 or visit; subway tiles, Moscone Tile, Toronto (416) 741-7385 or visit;
Axor Montreux Bridge Model kitchen faucet with side spray (main sink), Axor Montreux kitchen faucet (bar), Hansgrohe North America, call 1-800-334-0455 or visit for retailers across Canada; island construction, shelf brackets, Perfect Stainless, Toronto (416) 533-5653 or visit; counter stools, Crate & Barrel, Calgary (403) 278-7020, Mississauga, Ont. (905) 949-1545, Toronto (416) 657-4100, 1-888-657-4108 or visit; salvaged timber shelves, Canadian Salvaged Timber, Toronto (416) 889-7801 or visit; pendant light, West Elm, Toronto (416) 537-0110 or visit; rug, Elte, Toronto (416) 785-7885, 1-888-276-3583 or visit; Active Wall magnetic primer, MagnaMagic, visit; curtain fabric, Designer Fabrics, Toronto (416) 531-2810 or visit; curtain sewing, Tonic Living, Toronto (416) 699-9879 or visit