Designing Your Dream Space

The kitchen is the hub of the home, the show piece and memory maker all in one. Creating your dream kitchen is more than fulfilling a longstanding desire; it’s bringing transformation to your home, reenergizing your daily routines and adding value to your property. But remodeling your kitchen isn’t as simple as choosing a color palette or a new set of cabinets. When you’re ready to start the process, questions abound and crucial decisions must be made:

“How much will it cost?”

“How long will it take?” 

And simply, “Where should I start?”

To begin this process, the best designs start with what I call a ‘Discovery Phase’. It is in this phase in which details are gathered to inform your project’s full conceptual design. The Discovery Phase is the chance to define your vision. No idea is too big or too small and there’s no such thing as sharing too much. The more information you divulge at this stage, the more exacting and satisfying the Design Phase will be. So save those images and jot down what inspires you; all of this will help to bring that dream to life.

It is also crucial at this phase to talk about expectations for the renovation. Consider both what is currently working for you and what is not. Don’t solely focus on the finished look but the functional outcome as well. How you and your family live, your routines and daily rituals, should all be a part of what shapes this special space.

Now, before we go any further, we must address the elephant in the room: budget!

The budget often gets relegated to the quiet corner so that it doesn’t squelch one’s desire for that dream kitchen, however, the budget doesn’t have to be taboo. It has been said that, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions.” Let your budget push you to creative ingenuity and out-of-the-box solutions.

One more thing: the more custom or complex the design, the more significant the corresponding impact on cost.

Once you’ve explored and discovered what you like, how you live, and what changes you want to make, it’s time to delve into the Design Phase. This is where you get to infuse your flavour and personality. From the colour and style of the cabinets to the type of hardware and flooring, let the design reinforce your lifestyle and personality. But remember, don’t sacrifice function and flow just for looks. The best kitchen designs have a strong style statement with a great flow.

At this stage, you will already have an idea of how the kitchen will look, therefore, it is now time to start putting the pieces together. For example, the look you are going for includes a wood floor in its design. As we move from vision to reality, take time to assess the following question: “Can my existing space take a hardwood floor?” There are so many options available for achieving a desired finish. If hardwood is not practical, consider engineered wood or wood look tile. But pay attention to the details. Is there a need to match the wood in another area? By focusing on each facet that makes up the whole design you are able to ensure that what you envision can now be executed.

When it comes to the finishes, there are a plethora of options from natural materials such as hardwood, marble, limestone, and polished concrete, to LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles), quartz, and porcelain. Cabinet options range from painted and stained finishes to high gloss laminates and gold veneers.

To understand what choices are best for you, consider a few things: Is this a rental property or your personal home? The wear and tear on the kitchen will be different depending on who is using it and their level of attachment to it as well as your long term plans for your property as a whole.

Your appliances play a major role in the function of the kitchen.  If you’re looking for a clean open kitchen, you may want to consider keeping appliances like ovens below the counter and minimize tall cabinets that will dominate and close in the space. Interested in a dark moody kitchen? Stainless steel appliances will stand out in a dark kitchen but black stainless or matte black appliances would be a great choice in keeping with your desired finished look.

Local suppliers carry and bring in a wide array of cabinet types, appliances, and countertop materials. Local carpenters are skilled craftsmen who can build the standard shaker cabinet or a bespoke design of your dreams. But, if you decide that this is not the route you are going to take and want to import instead, make sure you do your homework.

Finally, we come to the installation of your kitchen, where the dream becomes reality. The key element to a successful kitchen installation is coordination. Projects with multiple contractors must be scheduled in advance of the cabinetry arrival to avoid delays and scheduling conflicts. Just as the installation sequence and coordination are important, the timely purchase and ordering of the components required for the kitchen are equally crucial. The countertop installer cannot begin their work if the kitchen sink and faucet are not on site.

Ready to get started?

The process may still feel a bit overwhelming but know you are not alone. We’ve got your back! Regardless of your kitchen’s size or the grandeur of your dream, every kitchen project needs sound architectural expertise and at Aina Curated ( we are here to work with you to make your design dreams a reality.

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