This month, we’ve invited interior designer Philippe Beauparlant of the award winning Beauparlant Design, to guest blog for us. Philippe’s studio specializes in both residential and commercial retail design and offers a full range of architectural and design services including space planning, interior design, furniture, millwork and graphics. Established in 2003, Philippe’s company was recently featured in the Globe and Mail for having won the prestigious Liebherr Design Contest. He won both “Best Use of Liebherr Refrigeration” as well as the overall design contest – which the judges were unanimous on. Check out the amazing kitchen design that won him the contest (btw, this is HIS kitchen…maybe we’ll get invited over?)
We asked Philippe if he would share the latest trends in kitchen design and his tips for keeping your kitchen current. Here’s his post below:
I wanted to start off with a bit of focus on kitchen trends and some of the things I find interesting these days. I’ll concentrate on these two aspects because they can make the most impact: cabinetry and flooring.
The preference between painted or wood stains is very much a personal choice. However the trend right now in wood finishes definitely leans towards mid-browns and grey tones. Try using wood finishes in a low sheen or matte to enhance the natural qualities of the material. Glazing or distressing cabinetry is no longer in favour, save the distressed or aged look for architectural finishes. As for painted kitchens, we seem to be moving away from the white kitchen trend that was spurred by the heavily referenced kitchen in the movie, “Something’s Gotta Give”. There have been a number of really well received black painted kitchens doing the trade show circuits recently. Also popular is using a warm grey colour. I am currently completing a project where we are using Benjamin Moore 2137-40, Desert Twilight for all the kitchen cabinets.
Photography by John Heineman
Painted cabinets also pair well with wood floors in the kitchen. However, this material choice has its pros and cons. It’s easy to stand on for long periods of time while cooking, but it does get damaged and doesn’t hold up well to spills and sitting water. So I recommend going with a tumbled or distressed wide board with an oil finish. The inevitable scratches or dents that will happen over time won’t be as noticeable.
Other great options are tiles, which I suggest you do in a large format like 24×24 or 36×36. Your installer will hate you for it, but the look is refreshing and contemporary. If budget is a factor, consider using linoleum. I know it does come with some preconceived notions of being dated, cheap or commercial, but the product has a lot of merit. Use sheet material in a nice bold pattern or colour and don’t try to hide the fact that it is linoleum. I believe in being honest with your materials – embrace it and pick something that only looks like linoleum could. Check out Forbo for some ideas. I love cement coloured tiles by Blatt Chaya – their designs would look fantastic as a kitchen floor. I also really like arabesque patterns, a hot trend this year that would look great on a floor, ceiling or back-splash, just not all three in the same room!
I’ll be back in a future post to talk about lighting, how to make it work and move beyond the potlight. As well, I’ll cover what’s new with appliances and how to integrate them.