Once we had our contractor on board, it was time to advance our kitchen project and start making some big decisions. With our general design nailed down, we could now start choosing appliances, our windows and interior materials.
The very first decision we made was what appliances we wanted. We spent a few weekends visiting appliance stores, reading reviews online and checking with friends and colleagues who had purchased similar brands to get real-life reviews.
We started our appliance search in the summer, just to see what was available. There’s a cluster of appliance stores in the Castlefield designer district in Toronto and we made our way to each of them to see what brands we liked. Our budget for appliances is about $15-20k, so we focused on brands like Bosch, Kitchenaid, Fisher & Paykel and Jenn-Air.
Function was just as important as style for us, so we eventually decided on Bosch. Once we had a brand nailed down, we then had to choose the specific appliances, considering things like whether we wanted a double or single oven, whether we wanted a built in or stand alone fridge, and what kind of hood we wanted. It took us about a month of narrowing down our options and we finally chose the following:
We finally pulled the trigger and ordered all of our appliances at the end of January, around 5 months after we first started looking. Our deposit was the first real money (other than our architect) that we spent on the kitchen renovation, so it really felt like things were underway.
Windows and Door
The next big purchase – and arguably the most stressful – was our windows and door. We started by visiting window stores that our architect thought we’d like. We visited 3 places and learned a lot about the different kinds of windows and doors you can get.
Our favourite were the Kolbe VistaLuxe windows. They’re super chic, but also the most expensive of the 3 brands we saw. Of course.
It took several weeks of visits from our contractor and architect to finally feel confident in the measurements. The trick was making sure that the window was the right size so that it would fit perfectly between the top of the tile above the counter and the ceiling and that it also worked with the exterior brick so the window was in line with the brick line.
When we finally had the measurements confirmed in mid-April, we signed off on the window shop drawings and paid a large deposit for them to start production.
The windows take 8-10 weeks to make, so ordering the windows will determine our construction start date, which is now looking like mid-June.
The other major decision we had to make was what kind of tile we wanted for our main backsplash, our mini backsplash and our floor tile. Our architect had made some recommendations, but we wanted to check out our favourite tile places to make sure that we picked exatly what we wanted.
Even after our search, we decided that we liked the tiles our architect recommended. For the main backsplash, she recommended a yellow rombus-shaped, textured tile.
And a beautiful (and expensive) long marble hexagon tile for our floor.
She also recommended a simple subway tile for the backsplash below the window, but I found this beautiful small subway textured tile that I just loved. Our plan is to do three rows of the tile with the smooth tile for most of it, but mixed with the textured tile randomly.
Sink and Faucet
Another major decision was what kind of sink and faucet we should get. We took advantage of visiting the Toronto Interior Design show and really fell in love with Blanco products. We ended up finding a good deal on faucets at Roman Bath Centre and the sink (also on sale) at Lowe’s, of all places.
It seemed like a no-brainer to get quartz countertop, but sourcing it wasn’t as easy.
It was important for us to find a good fabricator, so we reached out to our millworker for some suggestions. He put us in contact with 3 fabricators and the prices ranged from $5,500 to $6,000. Not cheap, and much higher than the $2,500 I originally budgeted for. C’est la vie.
Since we’re planning to extend our hardwood floor into the kitchen from the dining room, I searched for our original hardwood manufacturer, Knights of Meaford. Unfortunately the factory closed down a few years ago and they’re not making it anymore. I called the hardwood flooring store where I bought it last time and luckily they still have it in stock! It’s a bit more expensive now ($4.29 today vs. $3.29 four years ago), but for the ~150 square feet I need, it’s not going to break the bank.