Kitchen Design

Daniel Hall |

Kitchen Design by The Architect Builders Collaborative Inc.

You’ve decided to renovate and know you want a great new Kitchen

Where to start

It’s easy to approach a Kitchen redesign by taking note of what’s not working for you in your existing kitchen. It could be too small, too big, awkwardly laid out, or hard to keep clean. If you’re having trouble imagining what you do want, start by listing what you don’t want, which is easy to do when you can identify what doesn’t work in your existing kitchen.

Which stage of the process addresses Kitchen Design?

We like to get into the detail of the Kitchen design in the Design Development stage of the project. This is when we collect information about specific materials and finishes that will be used in the Kitchen. Once the Schematic Design has been nailed, start collecting magazine clippings, using Houzz or Pinterest to gather design ideas digitally, and make sure to note specifically what catches your eye in image.

Collecting Ideas

Again, Houzz and Pinterest are excellent tools for gathering design ideas. Both platforms attract different personalities.

A Houzz membership gives you access to any images that have been shared on the Houzz website. You can collect images in an Ideabook and make the title something like ‘401 Richmond – Kitchen Design Ideas’. We love when our clients share their idea books with us.

Pinterest is great if you like browsing outside the confines of Houzz. Store an image from any website (including from within Pinterest) by hovering over the image and clicking the small ‘Pin it’ that appears in the top left corner of an image. For the image in the example below I visited the Selby website where cool interiors from all over the world are depicted. For my records, I might note the cool wooden countertops or the open shelving as reminders of why I thought this Kitchen was interesting.

green new homes Toronto

Alternatively, there is a browser add-on that Pinterest offers for easy pinning from any site (except Houzz). It is a red and white ‘P’ and it sits beside the address bar in your browser – see below.

green homes Toronto

Canadian House and Home and Dwell magazine are excellent online and offline publications to browse as well.

Why are Ikea’s cabinets so popular for Kitchens?

Ikea is a very common go-to when it comes to residential Kitchens. They have accessible pricing, quality hardware, and various door styles to work with. Many of the door styles look great when combined. If you like modern Kitchens the glossy white Ringhult looks great with the dull grey wood effect of the Brokhult. If transitional is your jam, the Laxarby door looks amazing with a combination of solid and glass fronts. See below for an example of the black Laxarby doors in what looks like a bakery. The grey and white Bodbyn Kitchen is from our project at 500 Queen’s Quay.

green architects Toronto

green renovation Toronto

There are a number of offshoot companies that have started doing doors, legs, and hardware that work with Ikea’s standard cabinet sizing. Some of my favourites are the solid wood doors by Semihandmade and the colourful hardware and legs available through Superfront.

Ikea is one of the only places you can go and buy a Kitchen more or less on the spot and take it home the same day and beyond that, hacking Ikea millwork has become somewhat of a modern art. Check out the Pinterest search results for ‘Ikea Hack Kitchen’ here.

There are also funny websites like that showcase the magic of hacking Ikea products.

Planning Help

To prompt clients to understand their own Kitchen design needs, I defer to HGTV’s Kitchen Design Questionnaire. Use this as needed to get some ideas on paper for your upcoming Kitchen renovation.

Kitchen Design Questionnaire