We caught up with Vancouver interior designer Kendall Ansell for advice on how to revamp your kitchen
BCL: Renovating your kitchen can be an expensive job. What are your quick tips for updating on a budget?
KA: The least expensive ways to renovate your kitchen would be by decluttering, changing hardware and updating the backsplash. Decluttering helps make the space feel much larger and clear up counter space. You can do this with eye-catching canisters or jars that can add some personality and keep you organized!
Changing the hardware in your kitchen is a simple job and you can create so many different looks—it's a chance to go bold and try something fun and new, since you don't have to commit to it if you don't like it.
Finally, changing your backsplash can make a major impact. It's a bit of a more time-consuming job, but one that can be completed in just a weekend and completely change the look of your space.
BCL: We all have at least one cupboard in our kitchen that's overflowing with mismatched containers or unused pots and pans. What’s your best advice you for clearing your kitchen of clutter?
KA: My advice would be to actually keep these items somewhere that you can see them. Often, these cluttered cupboards start to overflow because of the 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality. It's easy to hide them away and forget you even have them. Having these items out not only serves as a reminder that you own them, but really brings to light how often you either use or don't use them. If you realize you never actually use a certain container or pot, consider donating it to someone who would!
BCL: We‘ve all tried our hand at DIY, but is it worth the time and effort to update the pieces you already have?
KA: If it's something really special to you, then I think spending the time to update it is definitely worth it. Having items in your space with a story or journey makes your house feel like a home, so I'm a huge fan of using what you have and giving it a little refresh.
Kendall AnsellBCL: What are the biggest mistakes people make when trying to revamp their kitchen?
KA: Don't rush! Take your time and put thought into all of your materials before you begin to make sure everything goes together. You also need to make sure you understand the full cost of the renovation and budget appropriately. And the most important thing is layout, so make sure you use green tape to determine your spacing, or consult a pro, like us!
BCL: Are there any particular trends or colours we should be aware of this season?
KA: This season we're seeing a lot of black stainless steel in the kitchen, and people are starting to move away from the classic all-white look and are considering warmer tones, instead. A little colour in the kitchen never hurt! Light grey kitchens are also still popular, and a nice alternative if you don't want to go with white but still want to keep it neutral.
BCL: Apart from being convenient, backsplashes are a great way to add character to your kitchen space. However the thought of having to do-it-yourself is a little daunting. What are your top dos and don’ts when it comes to adding or changing a backsplash?
KA: Do: Add a fun backsplash. Play with colours and patterns for a look that is truly your own. It's also important to make sure the tile goes with your existing kitchen.
Don’t: Attempt to do it yourself if you are not confident. There's no harm in asking for help! This goes for trying to install an extremely expensive and fancy tile. Pay a pro to make sure it's done right.
Kendall AnsellBCL: Kitchens are often the heart of the home, so what advice can you give to people who have a limited space to work with?
KA: Consider incorporating other areas of your home as part of your kitchen. Are there small dividing walls that can be removed? Is there an island in the way? To help keep space in your kitchen, you can always use a bar cart or credenza to entertain in a different space of your home, too.
BCL: When it comes to buying new pieces for your kitchen, where should you save and where should you splurge?
KA: Splurge on your kitchen faucet (it’s the most used faucet in the home) and on the countertops you want; quality countertops can last a lifetime! Save on your appliances by talking to an expert to see if there are items that will work in your budget. You don't always need the most expensive one, there are tons of great options at a variety of price points out there.
BCL: What small differences can we change to make our kitchens stand out from the rest?
KA: Design a kitchen for you! It needs to be as unique as you are. For a beautiful kitchen, you don't always need to pick what's trendy—you should go with whatever makes you happy. Whether it's a particular colour or style, design your kitchen with your own style in mind!