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To design your ultimate dream kitchen it is helpful to develop a wish list that will be used to create a dialogue between you and your kitchen designer.

This wish list will be the basis for your new kitchen. Your AyA kitchen designer will work with you to help you make the best choices in creating your new kitchen. As professional designers, there may be solutions that they can offer that you were unaware of. List everything you hope to achieve and let AyA's designers find the ultimate solution for you.

Besides the obvious changes (ie. cabinetry, countertop, sinks, etc.), there are other elements that you may need to consider in your kitchen renovation, such as plumbing, flooring, lighting/electrical, and architectural (ie. moving walls, creating new windows, etc.)

Look around your existing kitchen and think about what is the reason for change...




Urban Style


Urban Style


Urban Style


- Clip out ideas that you enjoy





- does someone you know have a style or colour of cabinetry that appeals to you?
- take a photo to share with you designer





- each room in your home is a reflection of who you are and in order to tie everything together it is helpful to have samples of flooring and wall colours in rooms adjacent to your new kitchen





The number of styles and colours to choose from can be overwhelming, however it is important to find a style that is right for you. One of the first places to look at is the AyA showroom or Web Site.


Do you want to relate the interior to the exterior? AyA has grouped looks into categories which may help you relate your homes architectural style to your cabinetry choice. Or you may simply choose an interior style that is unique to you.


Educate yourself on the types of accessories that you like and whether it is available in the market.





All kitchen planning begins with developing a work triangle. The work triangle results from drawing a line between the primary sink, cooking surface and the refrigerator. The ideal triangle should total 26' or less with the longest arm being 9' and no less than 4'. This area should be dedicated to kitchen activities and free from major traffic. In a perfect world, this is realistic but not always possible and should act as a guideline only.



Does the basic plan work?
    • In other words do you like where the sink is placed?
    • Is there a good relationship between the fridge, stove, microwave, sink and dishwasher?
    • Is there an area for informal dining and snacks, or is this even a consideration?
    • Is the current eating space better used for kitchen cabinetry or appliances?
    • Review how these elements relate to each other first. The location of appliances will determine much of how your kitchen works.
    • Is the current eating space better used for kitchen cabinetry or appliances?
Do you have enough storage space?
    • Is there endless clutter because there is a lack of storage?
    • Are there appliances on the counter that could be relocated or hidden to create order?
    • Would items such as pull out shelves behind cabinet doors or pots and pans drawers, cutlery dividers, recycling centers aid in organizing?
    • Is the current eating space better used for kitchen cabinetry or appliances?
Do you have enough counter space?
    • Is there enough counter space?
    • Is there a place to set food near the refrigerator, take hot food out of the oven with ease, place items from the microwave, load or empty the dishwasher, use the sink area with ease?
Do your appliances meet your needs?
    • Are the appliances in your current kitchen going to be used in your new kitchen?
    • What appliances would you want to replace or add and why?
    • Are your current appliances the right size for your lifestyle?
    • What type of cooking do you do? Are you interested in gas or electric appliances?
    • Do you require two burners, four burners or more on your stove or cook top?
    • Do you wish to have a standard range, or would you prefer to have a cook top and separate oven?
    • Do you use a microwave oven often or to reheat?
    • Do you need limited or ample refrigeration? Do you shop every day - once a week - buy in bulk?
    • What small appliances are going to be used in your kitchen? Do you have a coffee maker, toaster, food processor, blender, mix master, coffee grinder? Make a list of all these appliances to determine how many outlets need to be in your new kitchen.
Who will be using the kitchen?
    • Is your kitchen the hub of your household?
    • Is there more then 1 cook?
    • Are there safety needs that should be required for small children or others within your home?
    • Does there need to be an area for casual meals?
    • How many people?
What will your kitchen be used for?
    • Other that meal preparation, are there activities that will occur in the kitchen?
    • Do you want to have a computer in your kitchen? Would other family members access the computer while meals are being prepared, or would the computer be used while preparing meals?
    • Do you require an area to pay bills? Do you need to file the bills away?
    • Is there a phone - wall mounted or on a desk?


These are the types of questions that will enable a successful plan to be developed. In order to create the plan, a floor plan must be created.




1. Over all dimensions - measure the room from wall to wall in each direction.
2. Identify all windows and door openings from the outside of the window casing or door trim.
3. Locate sink and appliances (even if these locations may change).
4. Measure the height of the ceiling from the floor, be sure to indicate if there are bulkheads over the existing cabinets. The bulkhead or drywall box above cabinets can be hollow or contain ductwork which is often difficult to determine without original blueprints, or opening the bulkhead.
5. Indicate where electrical outlets are.
6. If you have a blue print from the architect or builder, this will be helpful but exact "as-built" measurements are a must.





There are as many countertops to choose from as there are door styles, finishes and colours! Once a door style and finish has been selected, it is common to choose a countertop, although it is not unheard of that the countertop is the first design element chosen!


Whatever the sequence choosing a countertop is very important to the overall look and feel of your new kitchen, as the countertop is one of the most prevalent components!

Natural stone has a majesty which cannot be replicated. Natural stone can have varying degrees of porosity, and may require sealer on a regular basis, although when properly maintained will retain its beauty for many years.
Quartz is an elegant alternative to granite. Its stronger than granite, require no resealing, highly resistant to scratches and stains, and come in a huge variety of colours.
There are numerous brand name solid surface countertops available, with compositions unique to each manufacturer. Corian is the most widely known brand name for solid surface countertop material and is a non-porous material, impervious to most household products. Scratches and damages can be either buffed out or the damaged section replaced by a certified fabricator.
The most cost effective countertop material used with either a post formed edge or a square edge. There are many patterns and colours available with some imitating stone or wood surfaces. Post formed laminate cannot be curved, and can only be used for straight run applications. If a curve is used then the top must be square edge. A square edge laminate countertop may have laminate or wood on the front edge.
Terrazzo is a material often found as a floor. This includes using various sized pieces of stone, or glass suspended in a matrix of concrete or epoxy - even a small glass can be suspended in the mix! Terrazzo tends to be heavier than other countertop materials and should be planned for from the outset of your project.
Many tiles are made to be used for countertops. There will always be grout lines between the tiles. A tile specialist can help you choose the tile best suited for your needs.
Butcher block can be red oak, at times, or maple, which is the most durable wood for countertops. A butcherblock top is laminated strips of hard wood and should have an application of mineral oil applied regularly to keep the wood from splitting from lack of moisture.



Choosing a sink can be as simple as picking a stainless steel bowl or choosing a focal point within your kitchen. There are many styles within each material - do you require a single sink, sink and a half, double or even triple bowl? Perhaps two sink locations would best meet your needs. An apron front sink often becomes the focal point within the kitchen, while a stainless steel sink can be made to look more attractive with the use of a plate rack or open shelf above.


Generally, there are 2 ways to install the sink - Drop in and Undermount. Drop in has a lip which acts as a rim between the countertop and the sink. In undermount, the countertop is cut to size and the sink is mounted underneath the countertop (cannot use laminate unless using a sealing ring of solid surface material).

For the most part, a stainless steel is the most popular choice because of cost and serviceability. The lower the gauge the thicker the sink wall will be.
Solid surface sinks share the same properties as the countertop. These sinks can be used with a contrasting countertop material or can be used with a solid surface countertop for an integrated sink.
Fire Clay or Vitreous China sinks begin as clay with glaze applied and fired in a kiln to create a non-porous sink. Often a focal point in a kitchen, clay sinks can be a solid colour or include ornate patterning.
Cast Iron is the base of the sink with enamel fused to the surface. Vibrant colours can be achieved through the use of enamels. It is important to realize the weight of cast iron sinks in the planning stage..


Gas or electric? European or North American? Begin by determining the type of cooking you wish to do to find out the best choices for you. The outcome of the appliance choices is critical to the design of the entire kitchen. All new kitchens require complete appliance specifications in order for the cabinetry to fit! Once appliance selection has been finalized, the make and model number need to be related back to your kitchen designer to make sure all recommended clearances and venting requirements can be made. There may need to be design modifications. Almost all major appliance manufacturers have web site which include installation specifications.

Whatever your choice, remember that cleaning is of the utmost importance in high traffic areas such as behind the range or around the sink. Many tiles can make a design statement that once installed are too porous or uneven to clean efficiently. Make sure that you can seal any porous tile with non- toxic sealer for food use area.

• Paint
• Tile
• Laminate
• Solid Surface
• Mirror


There are many items which need to be considered before undertaking a major home renovation! The cost of the cabinetry is only one aspect of the total amount, depending on the extent of the required changes. AyA means design and every project is professionally designed by one of our talented Designers as part of our service. AyA's in-house designers will work with you to develop a plan that will fit your style and budget. To undertake structural changes, it is best to work with an Interior Designer, Architect or Contractor to create a drawing package from which permits can be issued. Also, this drawing package can help in obtaining quotes from contractors to complete the work.


  For a smaller renovation which does not include structural changes, working with an AyA Designer, you will be able to create a drawing package. AyA designers can help you in locating appliances and plumbing locations, although obtaining all necessary permits for work is the homeowners' responsibility. It is highly recommended that you work with a contractor to co-ordinate the various trades that will be involved in your renovation. You may require an electrician, a plumber, painter, tile installer, new flooring installer, rough carpenter or finish carpenter. Many people will choose to be their own general contractor and will either do the work themselves or co-ordinate outside trades people to complete the work.