Decorating & Design

September 5, 2011

Kitchen Design Challenges

As a producer/director for online decorating shows, I frequently see a lot of beautiful kitchens. Yet not too long ago, my own kitchen wasn’t that dreamy.

Don’t get me wrong, my kitchen is a really good, large space, at around 19 x 23 feet, but it was very poorly laid out. It’s all my fault — I renovated it in 1999 and was left with a terrible work environment. Now, 12 years later, I enlisted the help of AyA Kitchens & Baths to help give my kitchen a well-deserved facelift. (This blog is sponsored by AyA.)

With the sink in the corner, everyone was always clustered in the same corner to work. The cupboards on the left also ended awkwardly before reaching the end of the wall, which meant we had almost no counterspace. To create another prep area, we added an island, but it never looked right in the room.

The mismatched cabinetry, varying door heights and finishes looked very “bitsy” — it wasn’t a well-thought out space, which made it a really painful kitchen to work in. Not to mention the yellow. I had gotten so tired of those yellow walls. The eat-in dining space wasn’t well used either, and added even more wood than was needed to the room.

With all of this, it was about time for a kitchen makeover. My colleague, Cameron MacNeil, had worked with AyA Kitchens & Baths before, and so I ended up working with them to give my kitchen chic bistro style and ample workspace. The company creates custom-looking cabinets for a much lower price than a custom kitchen would cost, so was very appealing for the project.

I knew I wanted a kitchen reno, but I wasn’t sure what styles I would lean towards, so I took a look at the AyA website for inspiration. Here is a more traditional look, with the Ascot cupboards in Charleston Clove.

The Stratus cupboards in Slate Grey Zebrano and Oyster Maple offer very clean lines. Maybe a bit too clean for my style, but still very nice.

I did like the deep grey of the Allegra Anthracite cabinets, and the deep, stainless steel apron sink. Once I’d gathered more inspiration shots and had an idea of what options were available, AyA was able to take my kitchen from those before shots to something magazine-worthy in a few weeks.

I can’t wait to show you the dramatic after photos! For now, read about my visit to the AyA showroom and choosing cabinetry. Plus, learn more about AyA.

Photo credits:
1. Isabella Cairess Favaro