What didn't get blogged....

Happy Friday! Here's what happened that I didn't have an opportunity to write about it on my blog. Overall it was a pretty quiet week...

[1] Oscar's 2nd Birthday Gift arrived! It is a group gift from some of us - I think we will build it and let him play with it prior to his actual birthday. (I'll reveal later which one we went with)
[2] Went flower shopping. I love the simple pleasure of walking to my local flower market to pick up a bouquet
[3] Business has been busy. :-)
[4] Hung out with my family, my brother watched Oscar for one night so Aubrey and I could grab a bite to eat ... solo. :)

Also, I am thinking of offering small box ads on my blog. It's been at the back of my mind for about a year. Part of my hesitation was that I didn't want to feel obligated to blog on behalf of advertisers. Over the last few months I've realized --- I'm in love with this blog and it's not going anywhere, so maybe it's ok to have advertising - Which will be nice, as it will help me contribute to the kitchen reno fund. ;) Anyhow, that's what happened this week!

xo Linds

Study furniture designs.

Study furniture designs.

Kitchen Counter Top - Cambria Quartz

I think it's safe to say that I'm not going with the marble for the kitchen. Although it is the look I want, I'm not prepared for the maintenance (or the worry).  The decision has been easy thanks to helpful e-mails from you, showing me your counters .... I'm seeing that I can get the look of carerra with other materials like Quartz, or Granite.

Which brings me to the photos above. I ordered a 12x12 sample of the Cambria Quartz Torquay on the weekend, and just a few days later it was on my doorstep. It cost me around $50 to get this sample to my door but it was totally worth it - Between juggling Oscar, my business, and, well - having a life - I decided to just get the biggest sample that they had, and see it in our house. I really, really like it. So this counter is in the running - the only concern I have is that it falls slightly on the modern side.  Some other counter styles are being shipped to me by other manufacturers so I'll show you those when they arrive. xo Linds

One of a Kind Show, Part 2

One of my favourite booths at the One of a Kind Show was Good Wishes Quilts. She had the most beautiful Easter baskets made with vintage Peter Rabbit fabric. They were just under $50 each and someone pointed out that they would make the loveliest heirloom baskets that a child could use year after year. My heart melted. I'm regretting not picking one up but with the kitchen reno we have little extra money to put towards things like this. But if you're not saving up for a kitchen reno - I encourage you to pick up one! ;) xo Linds

CBC Hamilton: See Inside the Renovations

One of the reasons why I started The Reno Project(s) was to showcase my historical home under renovation, but also to expose the wonderful surroundings of Hamilton, Ontario. Hamilton is coming into it's own once again, thriving on industry shift, gentrification and economic growth to create the city that once was. It's exciting. So much is going on around the city and every time where you turn, a new business has crept in without notice.


As Nick and I drove along James Street North (the new art district of Hamilton) last week, I was admiring the old architecture...and there it was! A CBC logo? CBC...Hamilton? Yes, it was true! CBC Hamilton! Although only a digital service channel, it is still quite a milestone! Not only is it an outstanding representation for the city but the building their office will occupy underwent a major renovation!

Growth of 118 James Street North by Their and Curran Arch.

Architect Bill Curran of Their + Curran Architects, an owner of this 19th century commercial building, explains what they discovered, restored and are planning for the future of the CBC Hamilton office.

Check out the link below to get a sneak peak as to what exactly is happening at the CBC Hamilton site:

Come Inside the Renovations for CBC Hamilton

This renovation effort and project is exactly how Hamilton is going to be the next best city to live in...mark my words! (I may be a touch bias, but hey!, I am allowed). Thank you Their + Curran Architects and  CBC Hamilton for your efforts in diversifying and making the city a happening place once again!

One of a Kind Spring Show

I went to the One of a Kind Spring Show on Wednesday. The show hosted a little breakfast to kick off the event and I was delighted to be invited. Although I always love going to the show (see old posts here, and here), this season it seemed to be exceptionally well done. Here are some of the shops that I looooved. More to come later. (Too many for one post)

[1] & [2] Moon Rox - Their jewellery is totally on trend, and drool worthy.
[3] Avril Loreti was at the show and have my favourite prints in napkin form.
[4] Sweet little wooden gift tags by Flakes Paperie would make a sweet addition on top of a gift
[5] Patouche makes the cutest clothing and I almost walked away with this vest for Oscar.
[6] Monster Factory - I love how they run their business. Awesome people, and an awesome line of Monsters. :)
[7] Mad Batter Bakery - I left with some bug cookies to share with my boys
[8] HeyDay Design - LOVE. You must check out her booth.
[9] & [10] Thorpe Toys - I picked up about $60 worth of toys for Oscar. If you knew how inexpensive they are, you will appreciate how much I bought!

Transforming Furniture Absorbing Kitchens!

The Mogul has long argued that the modern kitchen can now be defined by its island, with the taller more cumbersome elements being absorbed by the surrounding architecture or being cloaked behind transforming cabinetry.  The kitchen is in-fact an island with some modified architectural cabinetry in support.
So it is interesting to see how this design and an increasing number of others are detaching the island from the floor, creating a floating centrepiece which is only tethered to the architecture by the services required for function.
This design accepts that there must be unity between kitchen and architecture but it also expresses an understanding that there must be a connection with the other pieces of furniture sharing an open plan space.  The T-shaped island unit is like a functional docking station, able and willing to accept elements that can temporarily enhance the functional experience without permanently polluting the aesthetic influence of the kitchen.   
Welcome to a new beginning!  Transforming furniture absorbing kitchens are here!

Almost 2....

Oscar is almost 2. Two months away from turning two. Oh my. Within the last month I've seen a lot of changes. He's putting two words together. "Silly Mommy." "No Mommy." He's counting to 10, and can spell his name (which is hilarious, I must take a video). He knows his colours, and his favourite animal is still a turtle. He's also expressing himself a lot through screaming - which I've been told by other Moms, is quite normal. It must frustrating for him to not be able to properly articulate what is bothering him. Although we have tactics on how to deal with the outbursts (talking it through & patience) I have to admit, the iphone comes in handy in emergency situations (like above). The picture is just too funny. It was such a cranky moment, and I had to snap his expressive face. Love it.

Ps., On the subject of apps - right now our favourite apps are Interactive AlphabetLittle Fox Music Box, Eric Carle's My Very First App - Oscar loves the memory game and last week actually completed a full game matching animals. (It was crazy) Any ones you can recommend?

Baby Nurseries: Not Just For the Baby

Nurseries seem to be top priority for many of my family and friends these days. I am "at that age" where everyone seems to be getting married and starting families..but not me...just yet...sorry, Mom! Since the beginning of winter, I received ten baby announcements! Yes, ten! And so in lieu of their growing bellies, I thought I would lend some inspirational advice for their soon-to-be nurseries.


Personally, I believe nurseries are a place to have fun. It doesn't always have to be baby blue or pink. I think it's wise to consider the decor as something the child can grow into, to avoid a major overhaul every 5 years. Naturally, baby rooms are to be whimsical and sweet, but also should be a space for the parents to enjoy. After all, within the first few months (or years), the parents spend oodles of time in that room too! Add fun pieces of art work, whimsical light fixtures, bold pattern and colour, and most of all a comfortable stylish chair for feedings and bedtime lullabies. 

To all my pregnant friends and readers, congrats to you! I hope these images help ignite some inspiration for your nurseries!





Have you started to decorate your nursery yet? If so, I would love to see the before/after photos! Send your submissions to krista@kmsalterdesign.com. Or do you need help with a place to start? I can do that too! Just ask.

And on a personal note....Congrats to Josie and Matt, who literally announced the birth of their twins, Ryann and Kale, as I was writing this post! Cannot wait to meet them!

Now, we are eagerly awaiting Jen and Adam's lil' bundle of joy...any day now girl! Hang in there :)

Kitchen Plans

Over the weekend Aubrey and I sat down with a calendar and planned out when our kitchen reno could happen. It has been set (kind of) .... June 4th our demo starts. So exciting!  For a long time we've known how we want our kitchen to look. It hasn't been that hard because the layout isn't changing very much. But we're taking our time and trying to see if we're missing creative ways to add unique elements, and make a "out of the box" kitchen look custom. Yup. We're likely going with Ikea. It's not 100% as we haven't actually bought the cabinets yet, so still things can change, but for now let's assume it's IKEA.

Here is what our initial design is. [Ignore the huge space between each side of the kitchen, we don't have that big of a walkway!]

[1] Above the sink --- open shelving for cookbooks like we saw done in a Kitchen Cousins episode.
[2] Where our fridge is now we're going to put a pull out pantry beside it and cabinets above.
[3] The biggest change to the space is that we're carrying through the base cabinets into the eat in kitchen. The counter will carry through from the kitchen area to the eat in area - marrying the two spaces. This is where some handy work will be done, and some IKEA hacking.
[4] Our GE Cafe Microwave will go above the stove.
[5] Layout Change: The oven is moving from the end of the counter, to the middle
[6] Flooring: We're continuing the hardwood from the rest of the main floor
[7] The blank wall between the end of the counter and the basement entrance is going to be a wall of tiles [I think]

White cabinets, and tiles & counter top to be determined. More on that later. Anyhow, thought you'd like to see the initial plans!

Update: Ignore the ceiling height in this diagram. Aubrey and I forgot to plunk in that measurement, but we're trying to go for the tallest cabinets possible.

Aubrey and I for a long time really were leaning towards custom cabinetry, and the place we wanted to work with was AyA Kitchens. If we had a bigger budget, we would do it in a heart beat. The service was amazing, and their cabinetry is wonderful. (I've seen it installed and it's perfection) But we're not at a stage where we can afford that level yet. But check them out because I LOVED their service.   

Cupboard furniture designs.

Cupboard furniture designs.

sofa cushion designs.

sofa cushion designs.

What didn't get blogged

I forgot to show you something that came in handy over here when researching counter tops. I save things from magazines (remember, I tear things out and toss the magazines?) Well, in my kitchen file there was this helpful breakdown of counter tops from House & Home Magazine in 2006. I've scanned it so you too can review it if you'd like to gain some knowledge of counter styles.

  • The One of a Kind Spring Show starts next week. I'm going to be one of the judges in an art competition. Yay! How fun is that!?
  • I think I'm going to order that sample of the Cambria Quartz to see if I like it in our house. Although I'm leaning to marble, Aubrey isn't because of the durability factor. So we're going to try to find a compromise.
  • We're loving the appliances, I must show you in more detail next week
  • This week someone commented in my blog post, she dislikes when I do the "Read More" on my posts. Sadly it wasn't very nicely writen. I'm open to critique and comments, but have we lost manners online? If you start off a post saying "I'm not trying to be rude" or "Don't take offense" .... it doesn't make what you're about to write less rude. Anyways that whole thing brings me to ... did you notice that I updated my blog a little bit? The text area is wider and the header changed a bit. More changes coming up over the next few weeks. ;-)

Have a great weekend! xo Lindsay

Springtime Indoor and Outdoor Chairs

This week officially marks the beginning of Spring which means we can start to think about our outdoor living spaces! I was flipping through an old Style At Home Magazine and this funky article about indoor/outdoor chairs caught my eye. Although it was their May 2011 issue, these modern style chairs are always in style, and multi function to boot! With their shapes and sizes, the colourful pieces can be used both outside on the patio or inside as an occasional chair. Another great idea is to mix and match the chairs around an outdoor table or kitchen island.

1. Farmhouse Lounge, Bend. 
2. Stackable chair, Homesense 
3. Concha, Innit Designs
4. Marais (no longer in lemon), Design Within Reach
5. Reider Chair, Ikea
6. Spark Stalk Chair, Knoll
7. Moulded Plastic Parker, Designer Republic
8. Dedon Play by Phillipe Starck, Studio B

Which one is your favourite? I can't seem to choose. 

Zero Gravity Feature of Fantasy

There are some interesting features in this design.  Immediately the eye is drawn to an impressive cantilever which extends endlessly across the room only defying gravity by leaning subtlety on a supportive crutch. 
This zero gravity feature of fantasy has also been given a shoulder to cry on, a functional support which is designed to take the weight off the burdens that everyday life can throw at us.  The low level storage area which supports the end of the cantilever has been given an extended gable that transforms it into a cosy snug, perfect for casual entertaining.  The wall units mirror this feature by including a high level shelf which meets an extended gable end.
These features are impressive allowing this kitchen to traverse the void between kitchen and living space but do these elements dilute the functional capacity of the kitchen.  Is it possible that potential storage space has been replaced by fresh air and that the high and low level cabinetry has become guarded by an impassable cantilevered border?
Kitchen design is a highly personal mix of eclectic style, functional performance and fashion; it is the designer’s duty to empathetically translate the personal priorities of each individual client!

Countertops, continued

Thank you for the amazing comments yesterday. It still remains that I'm in love with marble but still equally terrified. I'm still reading through all of the comments, taking my time and visiting the links that you've taken the time to include. (Thank you!) One of the links was from Jo, who directed me consider Cambria Quartz counters, and the style called Torquay. I have heard of Cambria, and when I saw the image my mouth dropped. GORGEOUS. I have yet to see it in person but it's kind of awesome, no? Turns out it's the counter from Ramsin Khachi's own kitchen. It could be a nice way to get white into our counter tops, without me freaking out if someone is in our kitchen?

Credit: Photo from Cambria's Flickr Site here

Modern Easter Egg

Last year I posted this DIY project on my modern approach to the Easter Egg and I loved seeing everyone be inspired to do it. [It was even on Craft.com] But like many of you, I get inspired to do holiday carfts, maybe um, the week of the holiday, so it doesn't leave much time to do the project and post it for inspiration for others. I'm seeing Easter projects pop up everywhere so I felt like I could respost it now ahead of time for you to try. I think it's a pretty fun thing to do with kids. All you need are some rocks + paint. It's that simple. But if you want to see the original project, click here.

Approachable Kitchen

It is interesting to see how this contemporary design has been softened by introducing more approachable geometry.  The underside of the impressive cooking zone displays the aerodynamic qualities of an aircraft wing and could even be likened to the hull of a sea fairing vessel which uses smooth and gradual geometry to cut though the ocean more efficiently.
But having the hard edges removed may not only have aesthetical advantages, as cantilevers and breakfast bar areas are notorious hazards for small children who can be unfortunate enough to occasionally pay a painful price for their parents  pleasure of owning a designer kitchen.
The breakfast bar of this design also appears to be counter balanced across the lover storage area so it may have been possible to create a fantastic free floating cantilever that could swivel between states of use, rotating 90degrees and resting upon the lower storage area when in a standby position and leaving the living area free from physical obstruction.
Doing this would not only allow this kitchen to become a dramatic shape shifter but it may also reduce the amount of occasions when small heads make contact with hard objects.

Counter Decisions, A world of stone...

I went looking for counter tops yesterday. I threw myself into the world of stone (figuratively, not literally). I went armed with the things that I need most. My Mom and my camera. In a sea of granite, quartz, limestone and marble I narrowed it down to one, which has always been my love - although I worry that it's a bad decision.

Read more »

Kitchen Design 101: How To Design A Kitchen Layout That Works

It's time for a lesson in kitchen design. Don't be discouraged. I am going to help you discover the most functional layout for your kitchen with some tips that I have learned. You see, during the day, I am an associate designer at Interior Works Inc. It's not only an interior design firm, but also a custom cabinetry shop. After 3 years of working with kitchen layouts, all shapes and sizes, I have narrowed down a few of the most important things to consider when space planning your kitchen.

How Do You Want Your Kitchen to Function?
When starting your kitchen planning, ask yourself, what is the purpose for my kitchen, aside from just cooking? Think...Do I want to entertain in my kitchen? Do I want the kids to have a place to do homework? Do I want to watch TV while I cook?, etc. Consider what the most important functions are in your kitchen and start planning from there. This may help when deciding if a wall needs to be removed, to improve the cabinetry with the existing layout or to completely change the location of your kitchen.

The following diagram is the layout of my new kitchen. Albeit, it's not the most spacious. I was working with retro-fit cabinets to create this plan but the basic principles were still applied when I was designing the layout.

My soon-to-be kitchen layout.

1. Walk Throughs/Halls:  Any walk through area in a kitchen should be no less than 36" wide. In this example, I had to consider the door of the stove opening as well as someone standing to open it. 36" should be allocated on either side of an island, peninsula or any walk through area. In fact, this tid bit is true to any walk way in your home.

2. Prep/Cooking Space: On either side of the stove and sink, you always want to have space. You need a place to put your dishes, pots or pans while performing most tasks. Ideally, the centre of a counter run (a long span of countertop), is best because you have either side to work with and can accommodate more than one person working at the same station. In my kitchen, I was unable to find a spot suitable for my sink and an island would not fit within the space. I placed it next to the wall and can place a cutting board over top of the one sink to extend my space.

This is not ideal for cooking.

3. Extra Storage Space: Originally, I wanted a custom range or free standing hood like the picture above. However, it didn't make sense because of my lack of cupboard space. Instead, I decide to install a vented microwave hood which allows for more storage above and frees up a cabinet where the microwave may have otherwise occupied. Today, microwaves are generally placed in the lower cabinets to be out of sight. Custom range hoods are a great way to customize a kitchen if you have the space. 

Microwave in island on the lower base cabinets.

4. Open Shelving: Shelving is a cost effective way to break up the consistent look of cabinetry. Consider open shelving, glass doors or cubbies to display your collectables, china or cook books.

Open shelves and glass panels breaks up the

5. Fridge Placement: Finding the right place to put a fridge can be tricky. Even with today's counter depth fridges, they are still...huge! Try to place your fridge in a spot that has little traffic and NOT beside a wall. If it sits directly beside a wall, you will not be able to open your fridge door past 90 degrees, which causes issues for opening the interior drawers. Instead, place another tall unit between the wall and fridge such as a pantry unit. Also, when the fridge doors are open, you want to make sure that you are not cutting off the main traffic area in the kitchen. 

Fridge is placed in the middle of cabinetry to allow for the
doors to open freely and does not impede on the main flow of the

6. Island Seating: Island seating is the best way to achieve casual dining in a kitchen. It can accommodate guests to sit while you cook, kids to do homework and an informal place to have dinner. Each person needs at least 24" of space when sitting, with a 12"-14" overhang for leg space. Consider this when designing your island and don't forget about the 36" rule for a comfortable walk way. Also, like the photo above, chairs facing one another is ideal at the island for conversation.

7. Free Standing Furniture: In an area where cabinetry is not an option, a free standing side board, or small kitchen table could be the alternative. This allows you to have some flexibility with your space as your needs and wants change.

One final tip is to remember the working triangle in your kitchen. This triangle ensures your fridge, stove and sink are at a comfortable distance away from each other to perform tasks.

The kitchen working triangle.

Kitchen design is a complicated animal. There are many things to consider, however, these tips should give you an idea of how to approach your space! Did you find these tips helpful?  Do you think you can tackle your new kitchen layout? What would you change about your kitchen if you could?

Vortex of style

This is a powerful image displaying all of the serious style contradictions required to create the perfect modern kitchen.   Contemporary styling has been perfectly counter balanced by the inclusion of some fantastic classical features.
The kitchen has become a vortex of style with the ability to fuse polar design elements.  The newly empowered kitchen has become a source of inspiration, an epicentre of artistic and personal stimulation, amalgamating conflicting ideas and styles in a new and positive way.
Love this one!  The seating is fabulous!