5 Tips to Maximize Your Kitchen Space

Tips to Maximize Your Kitchen Space

 

The kitchen is the busiest and most used spot in your house! Our friends at Toronto Home Shows have gathered some helpful tips to help you maximize your kitchen space and make the most of this space.

 

Hide Counter Seating

 

 

If you have kitchen island seating, consider stools that tuck completely in or close to the cabinets. You can also choose to have them in a similar colour to the island cabinetry to blend them with the rest of the kitchen. This simple step can save you a lot of walking around room.

 

Maximize Floor Space

 

Save floor space by combining your breakfast or dining table with your kitchen island. You can go with a countertop height or still stick with regular height. If you don’t have an island, consider adding a bar table in your kitchen and double up to create both an island plus an eating area.

 

Go Handle-less

 

To maximize every small inch of space, consider foregoing handles on your cabinetry and going with modern handle-less kitchen designs to gain an extra 1-1/2″of free space in front of the cabinetry.

 

Tie It All Together

 

 

Tie your open concept kitchen in with the rest of your space by using the same colour and finish everywhere else in the room. For example, TV/media units, shelves, frames for mirrors/shelves and tabletops etc.

 

Compact Refrigerator

 

 

To facilitate healthier eating, consider a compact refrigerator and freezer so that you only store essential food items.

 

The content for this post is courtesy of Toronto Home Shows.

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10 Things to Think About Before Downsizing

10 Things to Think About Before Downsizing

10 Things to Think About Before Downsizing

There are many life situations that may lead you to consider selling your current home and moving into a smaller one: Kids leaving for university, cashing in on a retirement plan, or the pressure of property upkeep. Whichever reasons you’re facing, make sure you’ve really done your homework before making any decisions. Here’s a list of 10 helpful hints to kick-start that conversation.

  1. Facing Finances

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Take a long, hard look at your financial input and output—especially if you’re on a fixed retirement income. If your savings aren’t substantial enough to constitute a “nest egg,” then tucking away the profits from the property may be the way to go. Downsizing may come down to finances but you should be able to show the evidence, one way or the other.

  1. Community Connections

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

The costs of moving can go well beyond dollar bills. Consider your emotional wealth before taking any critical steps. Ask yourself, “Will this downsize take me away—intentionally or unintentionally—from the family, community and friendship supports I depend on or do I need new support systems for my physical, spiritual, medical and emotional well being?” Downsizing isn’t always about size and cents, sometimes it’s critical for your well-being.

  1. Real Estate Market

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Is your area a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? What can you hope to make on the sale? Finding the right real-estate agent to answer these questions is key. Ask friends and family members who’ve gone through similar transitions for referrals, and try to gather evaluations from two or three REALTORS® to ensure you’re getting a clear picture of the market.

  1. Independent Thinker

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Potentially selling the family home brings up a lot of emotions for everyone involved. Kids don’t want to see their childhood home go and family members are hoping for a chunk of change; it’s imperative that you seek out independent, unbiased advice. A REALTOR® can give you market feedback on your situation without any personal baggage.

  1. Home Maintenance

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Look at the work it takes to keep your current home clean, your garden weeded and your lawn maintained. It is too much to handle, or will it be in a few years? It’s best to downsize before it becomes imperative, because by then, a move will be even more physically challenging and emotionally draining.

  1. Lifestyle Limitations

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Maybe you feel a great wave of excitement at the idea of living near the ocean, or maybe the idea of leaving behind your veggie garden is too much. Moving comes with gains and losses, and you have to be prepared to give up certain aspects of your current lifestyle and adapt to new ones.

  1. Square Footage

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Think through your floor plan and look at different ways that square footage can be used. Can the kids’ old bedroom become a long-awaited art studio? Would the basement work as a private theatre? If you conclude that extra room is more hassle than it’s worth, maybe a cozier home is for you.

  1. Property Payments

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Yearly taxes and property insurance payments can take a chunk out of a modest budget. Would those expenses be less if you lived in a different neighbourhood, on a smaller plot or in a more compact house?

  1. Be a Realist

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Think carefully about the realities of aging. Remaining in a family home as you age often means adapting your home and relying on the help of others. These things can come at a cost, both financially and emotionally. It’s important that you discuss your plans with any family members or friends that might be affected by your decision, and ensure everyone is in agreement with your plans.

  1. Don’t Rush

Things to Think About Before Downsizing

Luckily, you already have a place to live, so take your time and assess all the angles before making such a profound decision. When you are ready to start looking, don’t rush into anything. Sit with your REALTOR® and write down criteria for must haves in your new place. When the time is right, you’ll know.

Thank you to my colleagues at RE/MAX for this great article.

Trending Features in Luxury Homes

Trending Features in Luxury Homes

AY 1

Whether it’s state-of-the-art monitoring systems or an outdoor fireplace, the most extravagant properties have a few things in common. Don’t worry if a luxury renovation isn’t in the cards for you, sometimes even the smallest touches can make your home feel more luxury. Here are some of the latest must-haves in the world of luxury homes.

Professional Grade Kitchens

AY 2

The heart, the crowning jewel of any home is definitely the kitchen. It’s where everyone congregates, where meals are shared, holidays are celebrated and parties are enjoyed. When it comes to luxury homes, everything needs to be bigger, shinier and in the end, fully stocked with some serious gadgetry. Large, restaurant-grade appliances, warming drawers, built-in wine fridges and ample storage in the form of deep, wide drawers, or even a walk-in pantry or butler’s area are what makes these lavish kitchens stand out.

HGTV Canada Tip: If a luxury renovation isn’t in the cards for you, fret not. Sometimes even a small and simple addition, like a standing wine fridge, custom shelving in a pantry or drawer dividers can elevate your space. Think wisely on what would make the biggest impact to your home. If you don’t entertain often, forgo the wine fridge. You want to spend on features that will make your life easier, and impress your guests or potential buyers!

Fully Functioning Outdoor Living Spaces

AY 3

From wood-burning pizza ovens to built-in barbecues and fridges, a major trend in upscale homes is to bring all the comforts of a cozy living room and state-of-the-art kitchen, and take them outside. Sleek, stainless steel prep areas, working sinks, and built-in barbecues that can handle the most extravagant entertaining and living room seating complete with pergolas, chandeliers, fireplaces and even outdoor theatres make fresh air living spaces a luxury home must-have.

HGTV Canada Tip: With a short summer season in most parts of Canada, consider outdoor additions you can enjoy year round, like a hot tub!

Hotel-Like Spa Bathrooms

AY 4

Coast to coast, serene bathrooms that would rival some of the world’s best spas are being replicated in luxury homes. From wall-to-wall stone surfaces, to big-ticket items like huge walk-in showers with multiple jets, heated floors or stand alone soaker tubs, buyers always bring a judgmental eye to bathrooms, so be prepared!

HGTV Canada Tip: If you can only afford one big, luxury renovation, and you’re debating between the kitchen and bathroom, renovate the bathroom. Buyers tend to have very personal feelings about their kitchens, while an all-white bathroom with glossy chrome hardware never disappoints!

Smart Technology

AY 5

Much like our insatiable appetite for the latest gadget, luxury homeowners are looking to integrate sleek technology into their homes in myriad of ways. From controlling the home’s temperature, to unlocking doors or setting the alarm system from the push of a button on your smartphone to mobile monitoring systems that allow you to check video surveillance while at work or on vacation, today’s luxury homeowners want cutting edge technology built into their homes.

HGTV Canada Tip: Advances your home’s technology as your needs evolve. Investing in expensive technology is pointless if it’s not a fit with your lifestyle.

Closets

AY 6

Gone are the days of simple, walk-in closets. In today’s competitive luxury market, the closet needs to resemble the extravagant change rooms at a designer showroom. We’re talking chandeliers, grand islands topped with marble, floor-to-ceiling built-in wood shelving and flattering mirrors galore.

HGTV Canada Tip: This is one space where practicality does trump design. Buyers are looking for lots of storage, in a variety of shelving and drawers. A marble-topped island is just the icing on the cake!

You might also like: The Real Cost of a Luxury Makeover, found on HGTV.ca.

Courtesy of HGTV.ca.

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How to Make Your Home Look More Spacious

How to Make Your Home Look More Spacious

spacious home can be incredibly appealing to potential buyers. No one wants to live in a space that seems cramped and cluttered.

Even if your house is relatively small, there are ways you can maximize the space you do have.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out their top tips for making your home seem more spacious to potential buyers.

Declutter and stage

Clearing countertops, removing knickknacks and getting rid of oversized furniture are key first steps to make your space appear as spacious as possible.

Several Influencers mentioned “less is more” when it comes to furniture and accessories. Your best bet is to leave only a few subtle, decorative items.

“Keep in mind that when showing your house, there could be four or five people wandering through at once. Make sure they can go from room to room without bumping into anything,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Hiring someone to stage your home will likely be a worthwhile investment. It may also be worth it to rent a storage space during the period when your house is being shown.

Brighten it up

Walls that have light colours and good lighting can go a long way toward making your home look more spacious. It’s also a good idea to have window coverings opened to allow as much natural light in as possible.

Eliminate mats and certain area rugs to help focus on floor area; remove large photos to help the space on the walls stand out.

“It’s simple: Clean, crisp colours, open spaces, open window coverings, brighter lightbulbs and less clutter will showcase the space within your house.”

Smaller furniture = larger room

Bulky pieces of furniture are often the culprit for making spaces appear smaller than they are. Depending on the layout, a large sectional couch may be better in the basement than in a main floor living space.

Arranging furniture in groupings, away from walls, can have the desired effect of making your room seem bigger. Also, if your dining table has leafs, remove them to maximize the space. Add crown molding to heighten the stature of the room.

“A great rule of thumb is: The more wall space and floor space that is visible, the better.”

Thank you to my RE/MAX colleagues for this great article.