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Artisan Kitchens & Renovations
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Single Wall Kitchen Options 

'Premium living space' has become the mother of innovative designs. A single wall layout is comparatively economical and has more workable options to offer than one can imagine. Designed for 'a one person at a time' concept, these kitchens can make for an efficient workflow with these 10 simple trends.

More than what meets the eye:
1. Create a sociable layout:
The single- wall kitchen can seem to encroach the adjoining living area. However this myth can be broken by freeing up more space outside the kitchen thus accommodating the user's needs and lifestyle.

2. Workout an efficient design:
Limited space need not be a deterrent to ample storing ideas. Every nook and corner can be converted into tall storage units with efficient planning. The fridge, dish washer, oven and cook top can be at the far ends, while storage spaces can be created under counters on either side of the range.

3. Opt for a standard run of cabinets:
Along with the tall cabinetry on either ends, a single wall kitchen usually is complete with upper as well as lower cabinets. Ensure that the cabinetry stretches the full length of the wall.

4. Mixed Shelving:
Yet another option could be to break the monotony of the single run of cabinets. Inserting an exhaust, a dish washer or a small decorative or practical use shelf can add some interest. Breaking up cabinetry space creatively can be viable option.


5. Mounting bridged upper cabinets
Depending on the space available, a run of bridging cabinets can be introduced along the top of the upper cabinets. Apart from creating a sunken effect for the upper cabinets these bridging shelves provides ample storage. The upper top cabinets are about 26 inches deep, while the upper cabinets are about 14 inches deep. This gives a feature wall effect or a framed kitchen look. This arrangement can be beneficial to store items used less often in the top cabinets. You may invest in a foldaway footstool for easy access.

6. Optimize Storage
Be it a small or big kitchen, storage is equally important. A single wall kitchen can have generous storage with careful planning.Apart from having generous cupboard space, experiment with more places in the kitchen as storage areas. Storage underneath the seating area and upper cabinets. To create a fluid look, match the furniture outside with the same finish. This gives a continuity between kitchen and living areas.
7. Pick smaller appliances:
Many modern appliances are specially designed for smaller spaces, these days. Installing integrated compact dishwashers, ovens, micro wave ovens, steam ovens, exhaust and drawers clears obstructed view from the adjoining areas. Quieter models and smaller appliances best suits this open layout. Thus, people watching TV or reading in the living area need not find it a hassle.
8. Adding an Island:
Introducing an island re-configures the room into a galley kitchen with the same functionality. With careful planning you may try installing an island that runs parallel to your single wall. If space is a limitation; a simple island can be beneficial. You can get an extra work surface and storage too with this option, besides enhancing the open plan layout.

9. Delineate the space:
For whatever reasons an island is not a viable option, you may experiment with customized bar counters with stools. This can be great option for entertaining guests as well as for daily quick meals. A wisely picked table too can simply add extra dining and work surface. Tables can be customized with drawers to keep books and cutlery. Such alternatives can create a distinction between the living and kitchen areas. Furthermore a distinct change in the flooring marks distinction in both areas.
10. Highlight one feature:
A trending choice happens to be an un-fussy cabinetry that enhances a clean and understated look. A stone featured wall can draw interest to a particular style. You may either contrast your cabinets with your wall area or simply go for a single toned look. Decide what you need to highlight. Bold colored cabinetry is yet another way to keep your focal point on the light colored wall or vice versa. This could be complimented with a distinctive backsplash or statement shelving.
A single wall kitchen makes ample room for being creative in utilizing space to the best. It is worth experimenting with the various options given above to recreate and highlight your kitchen area in ways that speaks for you. Let your preferences add in style and comfort.
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Smitten by Spring!
Spring is nature's way of saying "let's party." Bring in the beauty of spring into your homes with a little spring cleaning.
Five simplest and quickest ways to begin: 
1. Pep up the front porch and entry.
Shine up the exterior windows and wash the siding. A simple hose can be used. Once that's done, clean up the porch furniture and replace with freshly laundered cushions, new welcome mat and maybe a few pots of spring flowers.
 Removing all unwanted winter gear, piles of paperwork or footwear can make room for a more spacious and neat look. Organize the storage area with hooks, racks, trays or baskets to keep stuff.
2. Curtains, Cushions and Covers:
Fresh and clean soft furnishings brightens up the whole place. Slipcovers fit best when still slightly damp. While the larger rugs need professional cleaning the smaller ones can be laundered at home. Drying white curtains outdoors naturally whiten them.
3. Sparkle the mirrors, light fixtures and windows:
Using a micro fibre gently wipe down light fixtures, clean and sparkle interior windows and mirrors thus maximizing illumination.
4. Kitchen counters, walls and greenery.
Un- clutter kitchen counters, tweak in your wall photos and add a dash of greenery to get that neat finish. Keep only what is used daily on the counter and clean the surface too. A shallow container of wheatgrass can be interesting.
5. Clear bedrooms and set up the patio:
Sleep is sweetest in a clean and tidy bedroom. Clear the nightstand of all clutter and wipe down the table, throw in some flowers and candles too. As for the patio, make it your favourite laze around zone after you've washed and done up the decor.
Spring cleaning is no longer mopey, if only you knew how? 
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Open Sesame!!!
Whoever said doors are merely functional and boring?! To have the right kind of interior door means you have created a focal point in your home that one can't miss. Doors can be made to speak volumes, add colour, depth and style if only you know how to pick them right!
We find doors of all shapes, sizes, materials, colours and designs.  No wonder, there are many cultural and spiritual beliefs that are linked to doors. Selecting a strong front door is a prime task to bear in mind. A strong aesthetically designed door is sure to create a positive approach. It can definitely be a bold statement; even, a remarkable facet of the house and its inmates.
A comprehensive look at all that goes in to have the perfect interior doors can help you pick the best. Remember..... A door is an extension of ideas and imagination.
Doors:(kinds)
1. Panel doors 
This being the most popular door style comes in a dozen of formats, shapes and sizes. These can be found as plain or embellished. Raised-panel doors are the most common, however they can also come in flat or scooped profile. The trim surrounding the panel, commonly known as sticking further defines the style. Single panel doors reflect a classic style while the multi-panel door cuts a modern look. Frosted glass inset can be used for private rooms whilst a plain glass inset allows ample natural light.
2. Flush doors
Flush doors compliment rooms with other flat cabinetry. You could work out a modern, minimalist, sleek look with a flush door. Adding hues to these doors can boost the visual effect of a room. Painting just the inside of a flush door to a powder room can make it an interesting space from the inside, even as the inconspicuous look is kept on the outside.
3. Decorative, folding and sliding doors
A decorative door is a bold statement that adds personality to a room. An ornately carved door or a Dutch door can bring in the spark that enhances the furnishings and wall coverings. Folding and sliding doors are most suited to add a dash of creative utility. A  bi- fold or sliding door or even a barn door can blend easily with other doors. Contrary to its name, a barn door can be sleek, modern and add a fashionable statement.
4. Blended doors
As the name suggests, blended doors or hidden doors are designed, wall papered, finished and trimmed to disappear within the room. Be it the woodwork or wall coverings a blended door can give a neat finish.


Tips for Bold and Beautiful Doors- La Porte Noire!
1. Paint it black
Bold, black painted doors can transform even the basic builder grade closet doors into architectural statements. The deep saturation of the colour enhances portals that range from basic builder grades to architectural splendours.
2. Touch of Gloss
A room that doesn't get much light calls for a glossy finish door. A black door with high-gloss or semi- gloss paint reflects light and helps give a brighter touch to the room. Metallic furnishings can accentuate the look.

3. Natural Matte
A room which is white and draws a lot of light goes well with a matte finish black door. This black matte finish adds an earthier vibe so it matches up well with the wood panelling.
4. Restore Balance
A black door besides making a statement can be best used to highlight a black and white themed ambience. Or can simply add contrast and make an interesting combination of light and dark shades. Striking a balance with colours is easiest done with these stunning black doors. 

How to Accessorize your doors
Knobs, Handles, Hinges, Locks and Levers.
First, find a door material that meets your criteria for style and protection, then pick the knobs and handles that syncs with your door.
Knobs, handles, locks and bolts come in rustic, traditional and contemporary style. Decide your style and choose accordingly.
The handles are the first things to be noticed on a door. Ensure your hinges suit the handles. Door levers are easier on your hand than door knobs.
When choosing a lock, go for ones that are fitted on the mechanism inside the door.
While still having the beauty of solid natural wood in your rooms, an added bonus of style can be brought in with elegant and impressive door accessories.  Call us today (+1 403-207-7887)and we'll make sure you have the right picks to let your doors do that talking.
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Caring for Cabinets
Cabinet Care is essential to give your cabinetry a long-lasting new look. Caring for your cabinets need not necessarily be a cumbersome task as many consider it to be. A simple list of do's and dont's can help preserve the sheen for years to come.
Let's take a quick peek into what goes in to caring for cabinets.
* Caring for wood surfaces is an important aspect. Having its own natural characteristics and variations. Every piece of authentic wood poses its own challenges. Although finish applications such as toners and stains are used to enhance the charm and unique traits of the natural wood; some variations must always be expected.
_ keep away moisture and dampness.
_ never use a dishcloth on the surface
steam from dishwashers and kettles should be directed away from the bottom edge of doors and underside of cabinets.
_waxing is not recommended. Oil and grease can be removed using a clean cloth dampened with a fresh solution of mild dishwashing soap or warm water and then dry thoroughly.
*Laminate and Lacquer surfaces- countertops and interiors. Usually these surfaces are designed for easy care and maintenance over the years. These interiors resist scuffing, marring and repel all household spills.
 _ Use a sponge or a damp wet cloth and then dry thoroughly with a clean soft cloth.
Avoid harsh detergents and ammonia solutions.
Nicks and scratches can be covered with tinted putty sticks available in touch- up kits.
Avoid Murphy's Oil soap or wax or wood polish. This can change the surface appearance over time.
_Protect joints and hinges from accumulated and prolonged moisture, which if un -cared can cause swelling.
Simple and regular care can enhance the beauty of your cabinets. So go ahead and keep your cabinets sparkling over the years!
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Blinds binds your home for a better look.
Windows are eye-catchers in any home. Windows create an ambience, and the blinds, casings and drapery you use define the very nature of your walls and the style of your home. Treat your windows to the right type of blinds with casings that complement the blinds and the colour of your walls. This not only enhances the overall look and feel of your home, but dictates and regulates the amount of sun-light and air your home will receive. 
Designer blinds and casings also add a lot of vibe to your home. Blinds and casings now come in a variety of textures, colours and finishes to match the style of your home and the size and type of windows. Let us look at some basics when it comes to choosing blinds.
Wood Blinds: Not meant to just be in the library, you can throw them on any window of your home and find them to be a perfect fit for the ambience, provided they are chosen well. Wood blinds are simply painted or stained natural wood slats. It has a simple construction making it very easy to operate. They come in classic and contemporary finishes ranging from light pine to bamboo and rich ebony. Choose from different slats to control light and privacy. So there you go! Wood blinds can give you the forever stylish look.

Faux wood blinds: Do you want a simple elegant uncomplicated look, go for the faux wood blinds. They look and feel like wood blinds but are affordable, attractive and easy to maintain. Who wouldn’t love that about blinds? Faux Wood Blinds won’t fade or warp and they are the best options for humid climates and for rooms with high moisture content like bathrooms and kitchens.

Mini Blinds: Want to go economical on blinds then mini blinds are the answer. Solving all your light issues they come in an array of colours and in materials like aluminium and vinyl. No doubt it is the lowest cost option which can solve all your basic lighting and privacy issues with the twist of a wand.
Panel Track Blinds: Sliding glass doors and windows look great with Panel track blinds. It is the best option when it comes to covering large picture windows. Panel track blinds are alternatives to vertical blinds and drapery. They can also be used as a room divider if mounted to the ceiling. Ranging from basic vinyl to solar screens to natural woven woods, panel track blinds can give your doors and windows a smashing look when fitted with.
While you have a whole range of options when it comes to choosing the right kind of blinds for your home, here are a few things that you must consider before you decide on the type of blinds.
Privacy and Light: Bright and airy or all cozy and buttoned up? What is your preference? How much of light would you like in the living room and bedroom? Would you like to block out light to get a snug sleep in your bedroom or do you just want to hang fabric that will let the sun shine right through? How many windows in the house face the sunny side and how much of them do you want covered? These are factors that will influence the type and style of blind or fabric you would like to choose.
Budget: The number of windows you prefer to outfit with blinds plays a big role in determining the budget. Outfitting windows with blinds and shades are priced by size.  Bigger windows or many windows will cost more.
Time spent on cleaning: This is one big factor that you will have to consider before you choose the type of blind.  If you opt for a standard blind it can be cleaned at home. However, weaved blinds and other types of textures are magnets for dust and will require professional cleaning.
Decorating Style: Choose blinds and casings that will sync with the style of the house especially the walls.  While putting up bold colours can add a fun or dramatic look, subtle hues also add a lot character to your home and give the home a comfy look.
Safety: Opt for cordless blinds if you have children at home. 

Designers at Artisan Kitchens & Renovations can give you the best insights when it comes to choosing blinds and casings for your home. Artisan offers a range of designer blinds and casings which can become the perfect outfit for your windows and doors.
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Mix and Match : Countertops and Backsplash.

Funny how people spend days collecting tasteful samples of materials separately yet do not venture trying to compliment it with two or three of their own selection. When it comes to designing countertops and backsplash a daring jump into the combos pays well. What most people do not realise is that a design can be made to stand out or made subtle with a little mix and match. It's worth the experiment when you can get a better visual effect creating a beautiful mosaic of ideas and colours. Adding your unique taste and style to speak for you.

Approach 1: Countertop must be selected first.
Focus on the countertop that would suit your budget and need. This is the workhorse in your kitchen, so make sure you get what you want. Keeping your budget in mind can help you narrow down on things. 
Once you've zeroed in on your countertop, you may want to mix and match with a neutral-hued backsplash or a vibrantly colored one. You need not necessarily match the color or pattern of your countertop with your backsplash. Let your countertop take centre stage while your backsplash simply compliments it. 
Carrying a sample of your chosen countertop material while looking for backsplash can help you narrow down your choices instantly. Taking along a design savvy friend or a pro, can make it a fruitful course of action.
Approach 2: Select the Backsplash First

As compared to counter tops backsplash options are unlimited. So if you happen to fall in love with a particular backsplash before you actually found a countertop, simply go for it. In case you have picked a backsplash that has a bold look you'll find it easier to look for a subtler countertop.
Keep other material playing a supporting role, let either your countertop or the backsplash be the centre of attraction and not both. 
Stick to one overriding color palette for both the countertop and backsplash. Let both not vie for attention rather sport a nice cohesiveness.
Approach 3: Use the Same Material for Both Counter and Backsplash

Love your countertop selection and want to keep this process simple? Consider running your countertop material up onto the wall as the backsplash. This is an especially smart option if you are required to purchase entire slabs of your chosen countertop material and you happen to have enough material left over to use the remainder as the backsplash.

A similar countertop and backsplash material can be a budget friendlier option. However you may break up the monotony by selecting a tile format for the backsplash rather than a slab. 

Another cost-effective approach is to run your countertop 4 to 6 inches up the wall as a short splash. It will give you a nice finished edge where the countertop meets the wall, and it will also provide protection to the part of the wall most likely to get wet or dirty. Just be sure to check your local building code requirements regarding the minimum height of non-combustible materials on the wall area above the range or cooktop.

Approach 4: Hire an Expert

Some homeowners just have a difficult time visualizing their finished kitchen, which is why material selection can prove so challenging. And all too often you are asked to make too many decisions in too short a time period. If you know you are prone to analysis paralysis, do yourself a favor and give yourself enough time to weigh your options, but with a firm deadline to make the decision. Engage the assistance of a friend whose taste you admire, or hire a design professional to help guide you or bless your selections.
Have Artisan kitchen designers offer you mix and match suggestions with material and design that will have your kitchen looking spot on in style!

Tell us: Love your countertop and backsplash combination? Comment or mail us at http://www.artisankitchens.ca/contact-us/
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Alcoves from the heart (h)!
Fireplaces and alcoves never seem to be rendered vain even by Time. The styles, contours, colours, materials and why even its usage has seen psychedelic alterations over the centuries, yet the 'Alcove' goes on. A revival of the alcoves is already underway.   A comeback of that 'special space' above fireplaces helps throw some insight into good housekeeping. Alcoves add a fresh look to your living and can really come in handy.
Fireplaces can get a show stopping makeover with an extra alcove or by recreating an existing one. With the market today, having a wide range of customised shelving techniques and tools, getting an alcove that suits your need can be the quickest, easiest and affordable trick to revamp any room. Alcove shelving with ledger supports, ladder supports, with bracketing and not to miss the floating shelves offer chic storage solution to any home. Besides giving you the freedom to choose the size and space, DIY alcoves too seem to be trending.
 At Artisans Kitchens & Renovations we constantly learn and weave inspired ideas from the stalwarts in the industry. It is important to note the observations of Richard Holder, a senior architectural adviser at the Victorian Society. Richard highlights the remarkable use of alcoves in Victorian terraced houses. He says that these houses usually have smaller rooms and hence it was common to find floor-to-ceiling in the kitchen on either sides of the range. Thereby giving more space for just a single piece of ornamental furniture.
The Charm of a Fireplace.
Warmth and Romance are two compelling notions that are integrated with any fireplace- working or non-working. A fireplace can instantly create a magical effect in just a glance.
Ten simple tips that can spark up your fireplace alcoves.
1. Floating Storage: 
Consider wall attached cabinets that leaves the floors to be seen. Rooms look bigger and spacious with wall hung shelves. To create a crisp and breezy feel, keep the storage simple with no handles and clean lines.
2. A melange of old and new:
 Replace traditional cabinetry with glassy handles contemporary storage units for a period home fireplace. This can accentuate the distinctive features of the antiquated as well as the cutting edge styles, complimenting both.
3. Reader's Alcove:
Create a book lovers nook by aesthetically using your hearth area to house books. The alcove can be tastefully converted into a chic desk. A custom piece of toughened glass or rustic reclaimed wood can be cut to fit your requirement. Sturdy shelf brackets or metal poles for legs can be used.
4. Shimmer Effect:
Add a swank look to your fireplace alcoves without spending much. Customised mirrors to create a ritzy backing with glass or metallic shelves come in nominal prices. Adding a few collectibles and some coffee table books is sure to add glitz.
5. The industrial look:
A bookcase made from scaffolding boards or reclaimed-wood, and some steel pipes creates an industrial chic trend. Besides being a relatively affordable option this look can add depth and character to your fireplace.
6. Curves:
A built in storage with curved backs gives a timeless look to a traditional property. These add grandeur and elegance to the array of objects displayed. These curved backdrop provides a rare decorating opportunity.
7. Built in seating:
 Alcoves, like bay windows can be ideally placed with flip-up seats and storage beneath. The versatility of a fireplace that can be converted into a banquette seating is undeniable. Adding throw pillows and rugs enhance the charm. 
8. Free standing furniture: 
Those who favour the less is more approach would like to go in for these tall free standing cabinets that can be placed on either side or simply on one side of the fireplace. With an array of whimsical collection you simply can't stop admiring these tallboys that stand out as prominent art exhibits.

9. Cool lighting:
LED spotlights or strip lighting can elevate any shelving. Floating box shelves are particularly well suited for lighting, giving a glow effect to the boxes. Lighting when done tastefully in ways that complement the shelving paints a wonderful night atmosphere.
10. Log Storage:
An alcove packed with clean, well-cut logs is certainly an eye- catching feature. Decorative display logs and full rounded timber logs can also have a stunning effect.
With Artisan Kitchens and Renovations go on and make your alcove a subtle yet significant decor!
"...so if I ever get home—I'll know there's one place waiting for me—my corner of the world—Let it be a small alcove in your heart—put a comfortable chair there and always keep a warm fire glowing—Because if I come home in any recognizable form I'll head directly for that chair."
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http://conta.cc/1I4PNG Artisan Kitchens & Renovations - Nov 2015 Newsletter
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Bedroom Designs have come a long way from the hackneyed, conventional looks to Holistic, Sleek built- ins and white walls. These three Designs can definitely add character to your bedrooms without an overplay of colours and customary components.
 
Holistic
This multifunctional bedroom also takes in deeper ideas of the 'intimacy gradient'.
The sleeping alcove- coloured plaster- imperial floors-bamboo- the flow through the rooms- the fireplace- the windows- bookcases are all put together keeping in mind the principles that govern 'human experience with space'.
Simplicity and smart planning creates a holistic approach to re-designing your bedrooms.
With a cosy bedroom and a snug study-the ambience is one of wellness of mind and body.
2. Go for Built- ins
Built- ins bring in the whole room together while giving ample living space. The linear designs work best with natural colours.
Give your bedroom the contemporary yet classic, clean , straight line look. Built- ins done strategically are great space savers.
3. Off- the- Shelf White Walls
Bedroom areas can be easily re- created on modern clean lines. Bedroom spaces can be marked out to make flexible living space that can be used as a guest room, office or a study.
Keeping the interior designs minimal, the highlight remains on the white walls giving un obstructive views. Large floor- to ceiling windows and vaulted ceilings enhance the view.
Picking the perfect white is tricky ,a universal choice- off white is an easy and safe pick for all modern homes.
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