How to refresh your kitchen under $100

There are 3 key elements that would elevate your kitchen without breaking the bank. Sometimes we have to work with what we got – so why not freshen up your kitchen space with these options.

  1. Pedastal marble fruit bowl:

Simple and sculptural – This piece for $75.99 would be a great styling piece that would immediately elevate your kitchen space. It sets itself apart from the typical fruit bowl for its pedastal base. Great opportunity to style a fruit arrangement!

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2. Dome pendant :

Another great opportunity to modernize your kitchen for $91.99. These would look great in clusters over the island and also add a nice dramatic effect to the overall space. The neutral tones would make this piece a timeless addition.

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3. Stacked cutting boards:

Having a series of cutting boards ready for entertaining – is a must for any kitchen space. By layering various cutting boards you have a wonderful fresh styling prop that functions as a cheese platter. Starting at $32 … a small amount for such a dramatic change!

We would love to hear your thoughts – want other items would you add to spruce up your kitchen space ?

5 Metallic Finishes for Your Kitchen

Metallics as a colour that appears to be metal, be it stainless steel, brass, bronze, gold and the emerging trend of rose gold. The visual sensation usually associated metallics is the shiny surface coupled with either a polished or brushed finish.

The metallic effect cannot be produced by the simple use of any solid colour because the metallic effect is due to the material’s brightness that comes from the surfaces finish.

Types of Metallic Finishes & Colours include Aluminum, Brass, Stainless Steel, Raw Steel, and of course Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Aluminium Finishes

Aluminium Finish Options

Stainless Steel Finishes

Stainless Steel Finish Options

Bronze Finishes

Bronze Finish Options

Brass Finishes

Brass Finish Options

Steel Finishes

Steel Finish Options

One of a Kind Gold Kitchens

Whether you’re looking for a traditional kitchen or a one of a kind design, renovating the most popular spaces in your home needs the best ideas and complete understanding of design process. Our mission is to educate and guide clients through the dynamic, complex and demanding process of the kitchen modernization industry while ensuring they have access…


Plywood Kitchen Cabinets

Plywood is a wood material manufactured from thin layers of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. It is an engineered wood from the family of manufactured boards which include medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board (chipboard).

Plywood is used in many interior applications that need a high-quality, high-strength sheet material. Quality in this context means resistance to cracking, breaking, shrinkage, twisting and warping (all important when building a kitchen). For a decorative surface, our plywood cabinets are faced with hardwood, including the popular birch, as well as oak, maple, ash, mahogany, teak and a large number of other hardwoods.

Plywood for kitchen use generally uses marine-grade plywood designed to withstand moisture, and use a water-resistant phenol-formaldehyde glue to prevent delamination and to retain strength in high humidity.

Cabinet-grade plywood is generally made from hardwood with the inherent properties of the source wood providing the colour and pattern. Birch or ash wood are often used and have a beautiful light colour. The options for cabinet doors are endless: from plain contemporary and cottage panels to decorative designs. Choose to keep the wood aesthetic or add a paint finish to suit your kitchen style.

The adhesives used in plywood have become a point of concern for home owners and environmentally conscious buildings. As a result, many manufacturers are turning to low formaldehyde-emitting glue systems, denoted by an “E” rating. Plywood produced to “E0” has effectively zero formaldehyde emissions.

In addition to the glues being brought to the forefront, the wood resources themselves are becoming the focus of manufacturers, due in part to energy conservation, as well as concern for natural resources.

The sustainability of plywood is determined not only by how the wood is being sourced but also by the manufacturing process. The wood wastage of the plywood manufacturing process is significantly less when compared with traditional lumber practices and choose to work with Canadian FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified plywood to guarantee ethical manufacturing and ensure that the plywood is formaldehyde-free.

One of the many great aspects of plywood is that it is affordable, which not only makes it an ethical option but a budget-friendly one too.

There are several certifications available to manufacturers who participate in these programs. Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and Greenguard are all certification programs that ensure that production and construction practices are sustainable. Many of these programs offer tax benefits to both the manufacturer and the end user.


The First 10 Things You Should Buy When Decorating Your Kitchen

Whether you have a compact condo apartment or large suburban home, one thing is for certain: we all have kitchens. The kitchen is the most important room in our home. It is the centre of our day-to-day ritual, our social space, we prepare our meals and host large dinners.

For many people, whether you’re a full blown home chef or have a fridge full of frozen meals, the kitchen is undeniably the heart of the home. That is why everyone The Great Canadian Kitchen treats each kitchen renovation with enthusiasm, patience and an unwavering level of love.

At first thought, redesigning and equipping a kitchen sounds easy. All you need is a stove, a fridge, obviously a sink, a faucet, some cupboards, a few drawers, oh and a pantry, maybe a water dispenser, some people like a beverage cooler, is that needed, oh and you need to buy is few pots, pans, and dinnerware, and voila, you’re set, right?

Not quite. When you consider all the hardware, plugs, lighting, counter space and the ever growing list of small kitchen appliances that have become so invaluable to day-to-day life—Microwaves, Toasters, Can openers! Insta pots! Oven mitts!—well you realize it is far from straightforward has become very time consuming. And that’s only the essentials—you still need to make your space feel stylish and personal.

To best help our clients, we asked a handful of our Great Canadian design experts about the 10 things every homeowner should include in their kitchen remodelling project.

01 of 10


Faucets, hardware and cabinet details like door pulls go a long way in transforming a kitchen. Before thinking whether you need new cabinets, think how new handles or a designer kitchen faucet could breathe new light into the room.

02 of 10

Lighting, lighting, lighting

There is nothing more important to the home than good quality light and good lighting requires with layers. Layering your light enhances the aesthetic appeal and creates the mood and ambiance of a perfect living space. Ceiling fixtures that illuminate a room creates a safe and comfortable environment, decorative lamps, pendants and sconces add style to the interior décor and task based lighting like under-mounts ensure every inch of your kitchen is functional.

03 of 10


Create a foundation for your space by selecting the right quality surfaces for the areas you touch most. With all the many options available today, it’s no wonder choosing a countertop material is an intimidating decision. However once you have that selected the rest of the room will follow.

04 of 10

Find a Practical Rug

The kitchen rug trend isn’t leaving anytime soon, so we might as well make sure you choose a practical style that’s easy to clean and maintain.

“A machine-washable rug is essential. In a high-traffic area like the kitchen, you need a rug that you are able to wash anytime and all the time,” says Jeneva Bell, founder of Ruggable. “Adding a stylish rug is one of the easiest ways to bring new life to any room in your home, and machine-washability will ensure the mood doesn’t change when spills happen.”

05 of 10


Filling your kitchen with greenery has countless benefits: they improve air quality, reduce stress, feel great and generally make people happier. Oh, and they are nice to look at. Find ways to bring plants into the space through wall gardens, window planters, herbs, or even some small citrus trees.

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The 10 Components of every Kitchen Renovation Project

1. Demolition and Removal  

If your cabinetry or countertops require a full removal or demolition of their existing structure, your labor costs could be higher. After all, these remodelling processes are more time-consuming and labor-intensive for your installers to perform.

2. Cabinets & Millwork

In general, cabinetry equates to a third of your remodelling budget. Custom cabinets or semi-custom cabinets are the best choices for improving your home’s value since they are designed to fit perfectly into your kitchen and make a great first impression.

Refacing your existing cabinets is an economical option that will improve your kitchen’s overall appearance. Be aware that if you expand the current footprint of your cabinetry’s layout, the cost will rise.

3. Hardware

Hardware in carpentry refers to handles, knobs, doors and drawer mechanisms. The hardware you choose for your kitchen and how you choose to lay it across will make or break the entire look.

4. Countertops & Backsplash  

The price of new countertops differs widely based on materials. Stone surfaces, like quartz and granite, are the most durable, but also the most expensive. Solid surface and laminate are less costly but require more maintenance. Ceramic tiles are generally an affordable backsplash alternative, depending on their brand and the complexity of the tiling layout.

5. Appliances

Keeping your existing kitchen appliances can save you money in the short-term. If your stove, oven, dishwasher or fridge isn’t Energy Star-certified, however, you should consider upgrading them. Energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bills, and they help to preserve the environment, too. Additional electrical rewiring may be required to accommodate Energy Star appliances.

6. Plumbing

Maintaining your existing plumbing is an excellent way to reduce costs. You can still invest in new appliances, sinks and faucets as long as you install them in the current plumbing positions. If your remodelling design requires the installation of new pipes or you’re changing your kitchen’s floor plan, be prepared to pay a plumber for labor and the necessary plumbing parts.

7. Lighting and Electrical  

A kitchen under construction is a prime candidate for electrical rewiring. So, if you want to install undercabinet lights, add outlets and fixtures or change your floorplan, your remodel is an excellent occasion to call up an electrician. 

8. Flooring

The cost of flooring depends on whether you’re replacing a few cracked tiles or doing a complete overhaul of your existing flooring. If you’re opting for the latter, the price will depend on your kitchen’s square footage and the flooring material you’ve chosen. Vinyl is generally the most affordable option. While ceramic tile, laminate, cork and hardwood tend to cost more, they can also increase your home’s value.

9. Finishing & Painting

Applying a fresh coat of paint to your kitchen’s walls and baseboards is an easy way to spruce up the room at minimal cost. A few cans of paint and brushes make a long-lasting impact on your walls at low cost.

10. Styling

Home staging is the preparation of a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money

A Joyfully Vibrant Kitchen by Office S&M Echoes the Infamous Style of the Memphis Group

In the early 80s, Italian designer and architect Ettore Sottsass founded Memphis, a group of artists and designers who became known for their bright and bold furniture design. It was active from 1980 to 1987. The group designed postmodern furniture, lighting, fabrics, carpets, ceramics, glass and metal objects. Although many people ridiculed their work, the…

A Super Secret Hidden Kitchen by Studio Bazi

This 355-square-foot apartment in Moscow has ingenious storage allowing entire rooms to unfold behind a series of doors.  The apartment is home to a bachelor, who wanted to maximize the space and efficiency of his tiny flat in a historic building in the center of Moscow. The solution? Plenty of built-ins and ingenious hidden storage,…

The Great Gold Kitchenette

Gold kitchens aren’t for everyone, but if you are looking for a luxurious and modern glistening place to do your food preparation and cooking, then you’re going to love this gold kitchenette designed for a small waterfront condo in downtown Toronto. Our fabrication and installation team did a fabulous job in creating this golden kitchen…

25 Super Sleek Minimalist Minimalist Kitchen Design Ideas You’ll Want to Steal

Sleek minimalism has been described as design at its most basic, stripped of decorative and ornamental elements, colours, textures and patterns. Its purpose is to make the function stand out and be the focal point. From a visual standpoint, minimalist design is meant to be calming and to bring the mind down to the basics. A good minimalist kitchen design maximizes the…

5 Metallic Finishes for Your Kitchen

Metallics as a colour that appears to be metal, be it stainless steel, brass, bronze, gold and the emerging trend of rose gold. The visual sensation usually associated metallics is the shiny surface coupled with either a polished or brushed finish. The metallic effect cannot be produced by the simple use of any solid colour because…

10 Easy to Follow Steps to Budgeting for A Kitchen Renovation

1. Determine how much you want to spend, and commit to it.

Setting a budget for your kitchen renovation project and committing to it sounds so simple, but without a proper budget it can be harder than you think.

The average cost of kitchen renovation depends on the size and quality of kitchen design you are looking for. Check out our blog here on typical renovation costs and fees or read our guide here to making a kitchen budget.

In Toronto, the average kitchen renovation project costs more than $80,000. However there are many factors that will help you determine whether you want or need to spend that much and a professional kitchen designer can help you with that determination.

2. Know the break down costs of a kitchen renovation.

Millwork and surface materials such as countertops and backsplashes consume the majority of a project budget. However it is not everything and knowing how to break down a kitchen project ensures a more accurate budget.

Here’s how it breaks down, on average:

35% cabinets
20% labor
20% appliances
10% tiles
5% fixtures
3% hardware
7% other

3. Set aside emergency funds to handle the unexpected.

Every design and renovation project encounters surprises. Working with a dedicated kitchen designer helps address those before the happen, and navigate you through them when they do happen. There are all sorts of budget-busting surprises that come up when managing a project alone, or when you give the design and planning work to a contractor. Leave some wiggle room in your renovation budget to cover surprises.

4. Make a list of priorities.

What’s most important to you? Quality manufacturing? Good design? Eco-Friendly materials? Work with your kitchen designer and list out project priorities so if unexpected costs hit your budget, you’ll still get the top things on your list done.

5. Know the details of how you will pay for this project.

There are many ways to benefit from a home renovation. Canadian and Ontario home renovation tax credits award homeowners a tax credit for eligible renovation costs.  Some of these credits are non-refundable, so the tax credit can only be used to reduce taxes owing in the current taxation year. 

Home equity loans are popular because they’re tax deductible so even if you have cash in hand, borrowing money at a low interest rate may be the best option.

If you’re getting a loan, factor in costs like interest and loan origination fees. Also, find out when you’ll get the funding from your loan. You’ll need to make deposits with your contractors, and you’ll need to pay for materials up front. You can learn more about the renovation process in our post breaking down the kitchen renovation process from start to finish.

6. Plan where you’re going to stay and prepare food during construction.

Living someplace else while the work is being done is a good idea and will lessen your stress. Take into account the cost of an apartment or hotel, storage fees and moving fees.

If you stay, there will be a cost to your sanity. You could also set up a temporary kitchen in an adjacent room, and you should add in the cost of doing this.

7. Factor in the cost of eating out.

Face it, you will be eating a lot of meals in restaurants or bringing home take-out food while your kitchen is torn up. Fit this expense into your budget at the outset.

8. Create a spreadsheet for your budget and check it often.

Put your budget and how much you’re actually spending on spreadsheets so you can keep tabs on how much you are actually spending. If you see a cost overrun starting to happen, you can stop it.

9. Do some of the small work to lower your costs.

You don’t have to pay someone else to do all the work. Demolition – taking out the old cabinets, appliances and flooring – is easy to do.

10. Avoid extras. Don’t be tempted to deviate from your budget mid-project.

If you catch yourself saying “It would be so great if we added (fabulous kitchen feature here),” stop yourself. This is how budgets get blown. Go look at that remodeling budget you made in step 1, and repeat the number like a mantra. You can live without the little extras.

Guide to Kitchen Renovation Costs

Average Cost:

Real estate and industry experts recommend spending 5% to 15% of your home’s value on a kitchen renovation.

Homeowners report spending between $16,402 and $45,618 or $97 to $326 per square foot.

Depending on the style, quality and scale of your kitchen renovation, you can expect to roughly spend:

  • Minor Kitchen Renovation Cost: $15,000 to $20,000
  • Mid-range Kitchen Renovation Cost: $20,000 to $45,000
  • Major Kitchen Renovation Cost: $55,000+

$25,000 Kitchen Renovation Budget Breakdown

  • Cost of a Condo Kitchen Renovation
    Depending on what you decide to upgrade, you can expect to spend roughly $6,500-$26,000 on a condo kitchen renovation. Small is defined as 70 square feet or less.
  • 10×10 Small Kitchen Renovation Costs
    A 100 square foot kitchen qualifies as “small sized kitchen” and you should budget to spend roughly $19,500-$52,000 to renovate the space.
  • 12×12 Kitchen Renovation Costs
    This is close to the standard size kitchen which is usually between 150 and 175 square feet. Budget roughly $30,000 to $65,000 for a kitchen renovation this size.
  • Large Kitchen Renovation Costs
    A large kitchen is defined as being 200 square feet or more. Renovations for large kitchens tend to cost between $55,000 and $85,000.
  • Luxury Kitchen Renovation Costs
    Luxury and custom kitchens are not defined by size, but the quality of craftsmanship at attention to detail and materials. Upscale renovations can easily cost over $100,000.