Ways to Make Your Kitchen Greener

According to the Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, 49% of homeowners say that using eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchen is important. If you want to make your kitchen renovation project more eco-friendly, follow these tips:

For greener cabinets:

  • Choose adhesives or glues that have no- or low-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde-free.
  • Refinish cabinets with no- or low-VOC, water-based paints and stains.
  • If you use reclaimed wood, find out where the wood came from. Old wood may contain toxic chemicals.

For greener countertops:

  • Look for countertops that are made from recycled or sustainable materials.
  • Avoid using formaldehyde-based glues and adhesives during installation.
  • Seal stone with water-based, low-odor sealant.

For greener flooring:

  • Traditional linoleum is durable and easy to maintain.
  • Cork is another green option, but make sure that you use cork that was manufactured in Spain and Portugal, where environmental and health regulations are stricter than in other foreign countries.
  • Bamboo is a great choice. Just make sure it wasn’t made with formaldehyde-based binders.

Look for the Energy Star® certification on the appliances you buy. These appliances are energy efficient, which may mean more money in your pocket!


What’s trending in kitchen renovations? 

  • 77% of kitchen renovations involve opening the space to other rooms
  • 65% of people plan to incorprate stainless steel appliances into their kitchen
  • 50% choose granite countertops and 36% choose quartz
  • 35% choose hardwood floors, followed closely by 32% who choose tile
  • 75% choose a decor that is soft and neutral

3 Questions to Ask Before Your Next Kitchen Remodel

Thinking of renovating your kitchen? You’re not alone. The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms of the house to remodel. Whether you’re updating your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint and more storage or you’re in for a complete overhaul, here are three questions to ask before you get out the sledgehammer.

1. What does your dream kitchen look like?

Make a list of everything you want in your ideal kitchen, including the floors, countertops, appliances, fixtures, backsplash, etc. Flip through interior design magazines or look online for inspiration.

2. How much of your dream kitchen can you afford1?

A basic kitchen upgrade

What’s included? The kitchen footprint stays intact, but the space gets a basic, DIY cosmetic makeover including new budget-friendly appliances, a lick of paint and new hardware and fixtures.

Cost, on average: $5,000 to $15,000

A midsized renovation 

What’s included? It’s a step above a basic upgrade that may include new flooring, cabinets, countertops and appliances in addition to new paint and fixtures.

Cost, on average: $15,000 to $35,000

A major remodel

What’s included? This is a major overhaul that involves changing the current footprint of the room, such as tearing down walls or relocating appliances. Everything in the space is new, from cabinets and appliances to hardware and fixtures.

Cost, on average: $35,000 to $75,000

3. Do you have to hire a professional?
While most homeowners can do minor improvements themselves, it’s often best to leave the bigger jobs to the professionals.


A minor kitchen remodel has a cost-value ratio of 75.4%;     a major kitchen remodel has a cost-value ratio of 68.9%.2

Sources: 1. Houzz. “How Much Does a Kitchen Makeover Cost?”
2. Remodeling Magazine: 2013 Cost vs. Value Report

Love is in the Air!

Sigh…. I love this time or year.  Romance, pink and red hearts on everything and candy what could be better?

By no means am I a culinary connoisseur or even a real foodie but I do like to eat! I thought this week I would suggest my fave romantic restaurants in Calgary.  

Alloy Fine Dining

Don’t think you have made a wrong turn as you approach Alloy – keep going and inside you will find a modern restaurant with sleek finishes and a very creative menu.  I always feel like a bit like an uneducated diner as I am the one, in any dinner party, to ask a million questions about the menu.  In the case of Alloy, it is because everything sounds delicious and because I’m sure it would be uncouth to order one of everything.

Chef’s Table

Nestled in the boutique Kensington Riverside Inn property, this restaurant caters to those with a sophisticated palate.  For Valentine’s Day Chef de Cuisine Michel Nop and Executive Chef Duncan Ly have developed a special seven course menu.  You will need a reservation, but I know for sure that any set menu that starts with a Lobster Bisque is sure to blow you away.

Sky360 Restaurant and Lounge

With stunning and ever changing views of our beautiful city there isn’t really much that compares. It says “the Sky 360 menu takes culinary inspiration from international cultures while maintaining a fresh & local ingredient base. Prepared through contemporary French techniques, this menu takes international cuisine to the next level” and I must say that I agree! Remember if you have a reservation you will not have to pay the elevation pass to go up the Calgary Tower.

CHARCUT Roast House

Any list would be amiss without this restaurant, ranked the #5 Best Restaurant in Canada and winner of the Best Female Chef in Canada it serves local, chef-driven, urban-rustic cuisine. My suggestion is to start with the Charcut Board and then anything else that suits your fancy – you really can’t go wrong here!


Making a stop in my Calgary neighborhood – Inglewood – is a must. At Rouge expect a warm European like atmosphere and a gourmet menu with incredible local ingredients (some even from the backyard garden). If you are new to fine dining do not hesitate to go to Rouge when you get a chance, you will not be disappointed.


Making your sweetie’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean taking them to any of my favourite restaurants (although that is a nice gesture) it means taking some time to let them know they are special to you.  For other great date ideas this weekend in Calgary visit The Valentine’s Day Guide.


To all my friends and family – love ya xoxo