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What’s in the fridge: smart appliances and your new kitchen

With more and more of us running our lives from our smartphones, a new generation of kitchen appliances are offering connectivity at the swipe of a finger. With the smart kitchen market expected to grow by almost 25% by 2025, this year’s trend is all about combining technology with style.

So, we’ve looked at the latest appliances to bring your kitchen into the 21st century.

Born smart

There’s no shortage of gadgets for the kitchen improver or for those of us who choose to ‘build smart’ right from our first kitchen design. For clean-handed chefs and messy families alike, motion sense-equipped faucets continue to be a popular choice. For those who love to be in control and informed too, how about a smart egg tray? It will tell you how many eggs you have left and check their shelf life – and you won’t even have to open your fridge door!

Keeping it cool

Have you ever stared blankly at the refrigerators in the grocery store wondering if you’re out of milk at home? Now you don’t have to. Big brands like Samsung are setting the bar on a whole new way of organizing family life.

Their awe-inspiring Family Hub™ is available in 3 unique designs. The 4-door version gives you the option of turning the bottom right compartment from a fridge into a freezer and back again! Thanks to interior cameras which take a photo every time you close your fridge door, you can check the contents of your fridge from just about anywhere! You can also set phone notifications to let you know when you need to go shopping.

The app enables you to share calendars, photos and notes between your refrigerator and your family’s smartphones, so you can touch base anytime and anywhere. So, no more paper ‘to do’ lists or school sporting fixtures stuck to the fridge with magnets!

If you just want have some fun, take advantage of the large screen on the Family Hub to stream music and videos while you cook. Just mind your fingers when chopping!

It’s not all about technology

Efficiency is the watchword for 2018, but that doesn’t always mean getting ‘smart’. Sometimes a novel idea (or even a different slant on an old one) is all it takes. Here are a few trends which aren’t competing in the smart stakes but are well worth taking note of:

3-rack dishwashers

These offer more efficient use of space and improved utensil washing. If you’re looking for that ‘super sparkle’, models with the higher-tech washer jet mechanism are a must.

Door-within-door fridges

Why let warm air enter your entire fridge when you’re only reaching for a beer? Keep your fridge performing at maximum efficiency by storing popular items in an isolated area.

Glass-fronted fridges

See inside the fridge without having to open the door. Simple but effective!

Ovens: what’s hot and what’s not

The stand-alone “range-style” appliance is fast becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, induction cook-tops paired with separate single wall ovens are the oven of choice for amateur chefs and busy moms alike. Using magnets to heat a pan directly, rather than indirectly, induction cooktops facilitate precise temperature control and faster cooking.

If you’re looking for style in a limited space, a wall oven with French doors is a perfect choice. For smartphone addicts, a wall oven equipped with Bluetooth will also enable you to control the functions remotely!

Steaming ahead to a healthier lifestyle

A research study carried out by Mintel in 2017 found that nearly half of Canadians feel guilty when they eat foods they consider unhealthy. It’s hardly surprising then that steam ovens rank highly on the wish lists of the health conscious. They help retain food nutrients and flavor better than conventional ovens. Better still, they cook in super quick time!

At Verbeek, we work with our partners to design and install new kitchens which include your choice of innovative appliances. For more details, call us at 519-685-1811 or drop by our kitchen showroom at 189 Exeter Rd. London, ON.

Kitchens for men: a new kind of cool

More men are spending time in the kitchen than ever before. According to Statistics Canada, in 1986, just 29 percent of fathers reported having to cook during a typical day. In 2015 that number doubled to 59 percent.

What’s changed?

Changing attitudes to equality and the increase of women in full-time work is a large contributor to this upward trend. The rise of TV cooking shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives must also play a big part. With its likeable, laid-back frontman Guy Fieri, this is just one show currently making a hit with male audiences.

Finally, it seems, the kitchen is cool!

Bucking the trend

With more men in the kitchen, it’s hardly surprising that they’re starting to influence design trends. Men tend to place less emphasis on aesthetics and more on “workflow” and “efficiency”. Or at least, that’s what James Ramsey of New York’s RAAD Studio has observed. Here are just a few of the kitchen style ideas that men are embracing for 2018:

The entertainer

Love to entertain? An open plan arrangement that combines a functional kitchen with a living or dining room is still a top design choice. If you don’t have the space, scatter stools around your kitchen island and make sure it’s big enough for guests to share without encroaching on the all-important food prep. Floor to ceiling cabinets are great for maximizing storage space – and perfect for housing the TV and wireless sound system!

The hassle-free guy

Low-maintenance quartz countertops or other engineered stone products are this year’s must-have. Resisting stains and scratches, these super-tough surfaces are hassle-free. “Roughed-up” finishes are another favourite. For a powerful contrast, try pairing weathered oak cabinets with smooth marble countertops.

The gadget geek

If you love your gadgets, then there’s no better place than the kitchen to start your latest collection. From motion sensor automated faucets to smart refrigerators and flash freezing devices there’s a whole world of gourmet gizmos out there. You’ll find it hard to resist!

The dark side

The on-trend colours for high contrast kitchens are soft grays and rich blacks. For a dramatic contrast go with black appliances and darker hardwood floors. (Unlike their light finish counterparts, they won’t show every speck of dust and dirt!).

Go green

Grow your way to the top of the 2018 kitchen wish list and ‘go green’ … literally! A green island or cabinetry paired with gold hardware makes a huge statement. For a subtler edge, give plain white urban-style tiles a lift by using green grout instead of white. Or, for a real touch of cool, why not go retro and introduce a mint green fridge?

The tall guy

Tired of stooping over your chopping board and banging your head on low cabinets? Kitchen design is not only about style – ergonomics is key too. Elevate counters and kitchen islands to the height you require. Hang your cabinetry and vent hood a little higher than standard (but not too high to be ineffective). Ask us about custom cabinetry to have your kitchen at just the right height for you.

The rule breaker

The first rule of a kitchen for 2018 is – there are no rules! Mix and match everything from cabinetry to hardware in an assortment of colours and finishes. It’s a great way to create an informal, relaxed space and highly individual that you and your friends will love to hang out in.

At Verbeek, our team is ready to design a kitchen which suits your needs and your lifestyle. Kick-start your new kitchen today by calling us at 519-685-1811 or dropping by our kitchen showroom at 189 Exeter Rd. London, ON.

Kitchens with character: adding the personal touch

Your new dream kitchen will be on-trend, stylish, and functional, but what does it say about you and your family? Simply by adding some unique personal touches, you can turn a showroom-pristine kitchen into a customized space that reflects your character and lifestyle.


Dare to be different

There are so many ways a kitchen can reflect your character. All that’s required is a little creative thinking and a willingness to think ‘outside the box’. So, we’ve come up with a few design ideas to help your personality shine through:

1. The rough with the smooth

Create the perfect on-trend urban vibe with elegant metal bar stools around an island of natural maple or walnut. Wire mesh fruit bowls and pendant lamps hanging from intricate chains are also great textural features. Or, for a more overt industrial feel, set stainless-steel cabinetry and appliances against all wood cabinet interiors and floors.

2. Soft at heart

Personalize cool white finishes by mixing the expected with the unexpected. Potted plants with an abundance of delicate, green foliage will provide contrast and visually soften straight edges. Make a statement with a round table or round top stools in any kitchen defined by straight lines.

3. Wonderful windows

If you have a window nestled between tall cabinetry, take full advantage of the space. Build in a comfy window seat and accessorize with textured cushions for that added touch of softness. Or ask the team here at Verbeek about our custom cabinetry solutions for any underused space, including storage.

4. Colour your life

A rainbow assortment of coloured seating injects vibrancy and focal points into any darker kitchen colour scheme. Stand out from the crowd by introducing some quirky ‘one-off’ furnishings, whether chic new designer pieces, or one-off, upcycled items painted in bright colours and given a new look.

5. A touch of the traditional

Give your contemporary kitchen family history and character by adding a few period pieces. A long-forgotten family heirloom might be just the thing for a jolt of originality. Alternatively, rummage around some garage sales, visit your local antique store, or take a look at the range of architectural salvage sites online.

6. Keeping it cool

If you’re all about chic, then glossy white leather-topped stools against dark granite countertops will conserve your cool class. Or reverse the contrast with a black-veined white quartz countertop and jet black bar stool tops.


Unique storage solutions

At Verbeek, we are proud to offer specialty designs for customized storage, both inside and outside the kitchen. We can help with:

  • Under-used spaces brought to life: Make alcoves, archways and spaces under staircases work again as practical, built-in storage areas.
  • Celebrate high ceilings: A floor to ceiling display cabinet can be an impressive addition to any kitchen. Perfect for showing off kids’ crafts, family photos and keeping your personal treasures safe.

From day one, you’ll be involved in your design, ensuring your storage solution is totally unique to you and perfect for your needs.

At Verbeek Kitchens, we create dream kitchens to match the character and needs of all our customers. Our team will be happy to answer all of your design questions. Call us at 519-685-1811 or come into our kitchen showroom at 189 Exeter Rd. London, ON.

Lighting the way in your kitchen

Great lighting makes for a great a kitchen. A good lighting plan can make all the difference between an OK kitchen and a welcoming space you will enjoy every minute of every day, all year round.

All in the flick of a switch

There’s no easier and more effective way of changing the look and feel of a space then by changing the way that it is lit. Here are 5 key points to consider right from the start of your kitchen design:

  1. Mood matters. Think about the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Most modern kitchens are not just a space to cook in, but also a social hub for family and friends. Plan in flexibility to create isolated areas of bright light and softer mood lighting in other areas. Installing separate dimmer switches is one way you can adjust the lighting and create the atmosphere to suit any occasion.
  2. Planning and positioning. Be generous with the number of lights. Too few lights and too much of the kitchen will be under-lit. Also check the positioning – lights that are poorly positioned or directed will create large areas of shadow. Conversely, take care with lights that might reflect off high polished cabinetry or countertops and cause glare.
  3. On the wall. Wall-mounted lights can make a room feel larger, particularly in galley kitchens where the room is narrow. They also offer a softer lighting option where glare might be an issue.
  4. The right light bulb. Something as simple as your choice of light bulb can change the whole ambience of your kitchen. For crisp clear light, look at bright LED lights. If you’re looking for a cozier feel, choose bulbs with an off-white glow, available in energy efficient LEDs, CFLs or halogen bulbs. You can have a variety of light bulb types in various positions too – no need to stick with one type throughout.
  5. Let there be light. Pale colored walls, tiles and backsplashes reflect light, but darker tones will absorb it. So, if you’re going for a darker more dramatic color scheme, you may need more light fixtures to bring out the true character of your space.

Finishing touches

Creating a lighting plan for your kitchen is not only about the practicalities. Great lighting should be effective yet inviting. The ultimate lighting plan will use a unique mix of lighting styles (especially when working with a larger space). When choosing your kitchen lighting, consider blending the following:

  • Ambient lighting spreads light evenly throughout the space, creating a daylight effect. Fluorescent fixtures provide bright, high-efficiency lighting for whole-room illumination in larger spaces. LED flush ceiling lights are equally effective in a smaller kitchen.
  • ‘In between’ lighting supplements the ambient light for areas that need just a little more illumination, such as sinks, islands or eating areas. Chandeliers and pendant lighting suspended from the ceiling work well and also add a touch of elegance and variety to the space.
  • Task lighting directs light to illuminate specific tasks such as food preparation. Concealed under cabinet lighting is ideal for illuminating countertops, or to provide atmospheric lighting at the base of floor-standing cabinets.
  • Accent lighting. Once all your beautiful new cabinetry and countertops have been installed, you’ll want to show them off to their best! Track lighting enables a series of smaller lamps to be rotated and directed individually, putting all your well-chosen design features under the spotlight.

Spoilt for choice?

At Verbeek Kitchens we specialize in creating your custom dream kitchen to suit your specific needs. From the first measurements to the creation of your unique 3D kitchen design, we offer a service that goes to the finest level of detail. Our team will be happy to answer all of your design and lighting questions. Call us direct at 519-685-1811 or come into our kitchen showroom at 189 Exeter Rd. London, ON.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

Choosing Your New Kitchen Countertops

Your kitchen countertop is one of the most hard-working areas of your kitchen, a multi-function surface for everything from food preparation to kids’ science projects!

Kitchen countertops are a major expanse of surface that seamlessly links your whole kitchen together from one end to the other. Countertops have a significant impact on the light in your kitchen, whether bouncing back light from a light-coloured surface, or adding drama with a dark, statement colour.

Read more

Spring Clean Your Kitchen For Hidden Treasures

Spring sunlight is wonderful, but now that we have 13 hours of daylight per 24 hours, it’s also showing the parts of our home that need a good spring clean!

Often you’ll notice it first in your kitchen, as the bright early morning light reveals what the winter daylight conveniently hid away. So, we’ve put together our top spring cleaning tips, and a reason why getting to the very, very back of your kitchen cabinets might yield hidden treasures…

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Kitchen design: has the kitchen work triangle had its day?

When you’re looking at home kitchen design, you’ll soon come across the “kitchen work triangle”. Used for decades as a tool for efficient kitchen design, it aims to link the three main areas used most in a kitchen – the stove, the sink and the refrigerator. Imaginary lines link these three key areas to form a triangle. The idea is that you can easily step from one to another, as each side of the triangle should be no longer than 9 feet (2.7m).

Here’s how it might look in practice. Read more

Choosing the perfect kitchen for your new home

Building your own home is an ideal way to create your home the way you want it for your lifestyle or your family.

At Verbeek Kitchens, we work with many of London’s top home builders to provide expert kitchen design and installation for a whole range of new homes. From single family and executive homes to condos and apartments, London’s best home builders trust Verbeek to provide their home buyers with beautifully designed kitchens to enhance and enrich their new home.

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