Everybody wants a beautiful kitchen. It’s the heart of your home and a savvy property owner knows it’s also where you’ll tend to get 100% return on your renovation costs upon resale. But the last thing you’ll want to do is spend a lot of time and money on a trendy reno that will look dated in just a few seasons. Enter designer Alexandre Blazys, partner in Montreal’s Blazysgerard, whose custom kitchen creations and renovations achieve the delicate balance of incorporating trends that are of-the-moment and yet timeless enough to look fresh for years.
“You have strong current trends that will last for maybe five to ten years while others last only six months to a year,” Blazys explains. “Colour, finishes, lighting fixtures and things that are super-new are examples of the shorter trends. Relying on the stronger trends will bring elegance and sophistication that will stand the test of time.”
As spokesman for Jenn-Air, it’s not surprising that Blazys believes in investing in high quality appliances. He likes the company’s flexibility of finishes and inter-changeable panels on certain designs, for instant updates which he says are key if you tire of a look quickly. If you’re considering a kitchen makeover, Blazys says there are five strong trends to consider right now.
Natural Neutrals. “Straight lines with warmer neutrals and mid-tones as well as rougher finishes, nothing too sleek. Lots of warm greys, some beech woods, a concrete counter top and natural materials like real stone, marble and granite. Incorporate some leather, too.
The Integrated Kitchen. “A lot of people are tearing down walls and because people are living in smaller environments, the kitchen is part of the grander scheme of living space. But you don’t have to see or hear the appliances, you can conceal them seamlessly. And you have the option of changing the panels to go with a new colour scheme and you’ll have a whole new kitchen.”
White on White. “It is really back right now in open concept kitchens. It adds that much more light and for some real lamour, use stainless steel appliances. The white kitchen is a bit more feminine-looking but if a woman is spending a lot of time in her kitchen it should be how she wants it.”
1960’s Retro. “You can feel this trend getting stronger now in architecture and fashion. It’s going to be here a while. It’s a very pure concept, very seamless and somewhat dramatic using lots of geometry but modernizing it with luxurious woods and great panelling. This trend also uses lots of black to give it a tailored sense, very Chanel-looking. It’s a bit more refined and sophisticated.”
Hosting Centres. “People are entertaining more at home again and for that you need a bar but not like the 1970’s bars you had in the basement. Now it’s about reserving a certain part of your cabinetry for that purpose with all of your alcohol in the same place with the glasses and creating your own bar in your kitchen. 24 linear inches of space is more than enough room.”
Blazys says the other hot kitchen desires of his current clients include very large islands with a lot of storage and seating. Cooks like to have company and these islands make room for friends and family to gather and watch the magic of dinner being made. Dual coloured or finished cupboards are also popular. People are pairing wood with stainless steel, or asking for one colour on the top row of cupboards and another on the bottom. If you have good quality appliances and a good layout, Blazys says, down the road you can change the countertop and backsplash and have a whole new kitchen.