Over a century ago, American architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “Form Follows Function”.
The function of a space should rightly dictate its form, shape and size. So let’s consider the 5 basic functions of every kitchen.

1) Storage: To store food and all the items we need in the kitchen, ample cabinetry, fridge and freezer space is required. Can a pantry provide storage space more efficiently? Carefully consider the amount of space you need for fridge and freezers.

2) Cleaning: Two sinks are handy – one for prep and one for wash-up. The variations of sinks on the market are incredible- pick your favourite! The dishwasher should always be next to the wash-up sink. If you entertain frequently, would two dishwashers help with the process?

3) Preparation: Ample counter-space is needed and cutting boards, knives, bowls, spices and condiments should all be close by. The compost pail and garbage should also be handy.

4) Cooking: Appliance choices are very personal. Carefully asses your needs and budget. Cooking for a crowd? Consider the new double oven ranges.

5) Serving: I always try to keep the main prep work areas separate from the serving areas. You know the old saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen…”!

As entertaining becomes more informal, a popular trend is a servery counter where guests can help themselves to drinks and food.

Engineered Stone Countertops

“What kind of countertops are the best?” There are basically 5 types of countertop surfaces on the market: plastic laminate, Corion, marble, granite and engineered stone. The first two are rarely used in the high-end residential market, so I will highlight engineered stone by comparing it to marble and granite. Marble, although at a price point similar to standard granite, is a soft material that is susceptible to staining and scratches. Granite is half the price it was 10 years ago and is very popular for its natural colour variations. On the flip side, when seams are required, the colour variations make producing an invisible seam more difficult. Granite also has maintenance issues as it should be sealed annually.

Many of my clients prefer engineered stone over marble and granite for their kitchen applications because of several advantages: ‘Quartz’ or ‘Composite Stone’ as engineered stone is commonly called, is manufactured from 80% resins and 20% recycled aggregates. It is scratch and heat resistant, is virtually maintenance-free (water and paper towel clean-up), and compares in cost to a mid or high grade granite. The consistent colour palette of engineered stone allows installers the ability to create seamless joints, enhancing the clean lines sought after by designers. Most installers offer a minimum 10-year warranty on engineered stone.

Picture and product information supplied by Joe Doria of DPS Countertops

Spring is here and after the coldest and snowiest winter in years, we are all ready for a change! Welcome to the 5th Issue of Life Home Design’s SEASONAL! Spring is a time for fresh ideas and a new look at the world and our surroundings. I hope you will enjoy these five kitchen makeovers.


Whether we are renovating, adding to, or designing a new home, a central part of the dialogue always involves the kitchen. And rightly so! It is the hub of the home for everyday activities and when we’re entertaining, it’s where everyone wants to be. In the last 50 years, kitchens have transformed from a space where one person prepared meals, to a multi-functional work area where many family members cook, catch up on the day’s activities, do homework, work at computers, watch TV, and dine. We need to consider ‘who’ works in the kitchen, ‘what’ happens there, and ‘how’ the kitchen connects to living rooms, and casual or formal dining areas. Views to the exterior, access to outdoor spaces for BBQ-ing, and proximity to garage space for garbage and recycling also have to be considered. I hope you enjoy how five families ‘Spiced Up’ their kitchens!

Baked Rainbow Trout

Like many of my friends and family, I grew up on a typical meat and potato diet, never eating fish. When we did, it came breaded, in a box, ready for the frying pan. After realizing how often I ordered fish when eating at restaurants, I decided it couldn’t be that difficult to cook at home. So here is my super easy recipe for Baked Rainbow Trout. I hope you like it!

2 Rainbow trout fillets (size will affect cooking time)
olive oil
1 small onion chopped fine
1 lemon sliced and halved
2 Tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
salt, lemon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a glass 9x13 baking dish
Scatter the onion, the lemon and the parsley
Sprinkle salt and lemon pepper
Place the trout fillets, skin side up
Drizzle the skin with a bit more olive oil (to keep it moist)
Scatter the rest of the onion, lemon & parsley
Sprinkle with more salt & lemon pepper

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes (for smaller fillets) or up to 28 minutes for the large ones. To test for doneness, the flesh should flake. I usually take the skin off and then flip the fillet over for serving. If you want to use the BBQ, just do the same thing sealed in tin foil. Foolproof, quick and yummy!

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