June 17, 2019 Heather Symon

4 Tricky Questions you never thought to ask


Some of the obvious questions you ask when you are planning a new kitchen are “Do I want white cabinets or wood?” and “Do I want stainless steel appliances?”

But there are many more design decisions that you may not even think to consider until the project is well underway.  To help you avoid surprises and unfortunate mistakes, here are four questions you and your designer will address as you begin working on the details of your new kitchen.

1. What are the Rules?

Now, I’m not talking about design rules for what colours will match or what wood goes with what stone.  I’m talking about actual rules that are laid out by your building code, which can affect many decisions or none, depending on your project area. For example, many building codes will dictate what type of hood fan you must use to ensure proper ventilation.



2. How should my Cabinet doors and drawers open?

Designers often point out that changing the knobs on existing cabinets can make a kitchen look new in a snap.  One of the trickiest parts of designing a kitchen is making the cabinet door and drawer fronts look elegant and consistent while the cabinets themselves serve different practical functions. You might find a single handle that works for all your cabinets, but you may need two or even three coordinating styles to address all your different sizes of fronts. Once you’ve chosen hardware, you should consider where to install it to best achieve a sense of visual consistency.



3. What Finish Should My Fixtures Be? 

Selecting the material for your kitchen fixtures isn’t all about trends and pretty color palettes. Metals come in various finishes, and there can be major practical considerations as well. Try mixing stainless steel with brushed brass for a subtle contrast, as shown here. For example, brushed finishes tend to hide fingerprints and light water spotting much better than polished ones. Brass and gold-tone finishes tend to be warmer and more dramatic, while stainless steel and silvery-tone finishes tend to blend into the color palette more but add more sparkle. There are lots of details to consider, so it’s best to research the pros and cons of a style that you like.



4. How Will I Mount My Sink?

Choosing an under mount sink or a drop-in model, affects more than just the look of the sink itself, so it’s a decision that should be thought through early. Undermount sinks, are generally easier for keeping the surrounding counter top area clean because the neater edge of the counter allows you to sweep crumbs and debris directly into the sink without getting caught on a high lip. However, undermounts can’t always be installed in a laminate counter because the counter cutout would leave a raw unfinished edge in the core material. Knowing what style of sink you prefer will affect what materials are available to you, so it’s best to answer this question as soon as possible and then research from there.