Aimee Israel and her family embarked on an eight month renovation project to bring their 70’s North Toronto home into the 21st century, so it can stand up to the growing needs of their busy family.
Not only did they completely remodel their kitchen by extending the exterior walls 10 feet into their backyard, they pretty much overhauled the entire main floor. But Aimee feels that the change was most dramatic in the kitchen, attributing to a combination of improved function, modern design and lots more space. The results, after months of hard work, are simply spectacular.
We sat down with Aimee to talk about kitchen renovation, the wonders of high-end home appliances and all the interesting impromptu things that can happen when you get a brand new kitchen.
Q: What do you love the most about your new kitchen?
A: There are so many new “loves” that it’s hard to pick just one.
I love all of the sleek new appliances including our KitchenAid refrigerator, a convection microwave, wall oven and warming drawer combo, and not one but two Miele dishwashers.
I love our walk in pantry outfitted with a “mission” control station for notes, charging devices, etc. that’s quickly becoming our go-to nook to keep things on track and exchange notes.
We installed built-in sound system throughout the main floor and in the kitchen, so I can enjoy streaming music while cooking and entertaining in the kitchen.
Our red oven hood, we did not want a “white” kitchen and we now have one with a lot of personality.
Glass pocket doors for when we want to be somewhat closed off from the family room (open concept is nice in theory but when kids are watching noisy cartoons sometimes it is nice to be able to close off the space).
Q: Which appliance has impressed you the most so far?
A: I am amazed by the KitchenAid induction cooktop. It is sleek and stylish and very easy to operate. It heats up and boils water, for example, very quickly and is easy to keep clean as nothing gets baked on or stuck in the burners. We saw a demo of its cooking power in the store and were very impressed. We also love the cookware that came with the purchase as an added incentive.
Q: What was the first meal you cooked in your new kitchen?
A: I had my family over and made wild mushroom soup and a pasta dish with a homemade tomato sauce and sautéed shrimp. It was delicious!
Q: What would be the one recipe you’d like to master on your new appliances?
A: I had not realized that the KitchenAid warming dish has a setting to operate as a slow cooker. My family loves pulled beef (brisket) sandwiches and I look forward to trying it out.
Q: What occasion or holiday are you looking forward to celebrating in your new kitchen?
A: All of them!!
Q: If you could invite 3 famous personalities to dinner, who would they be?
A: I watch quite a bit of news to stay in the loop with what is happening around the world, trends and quirky stories so I would love to have Matt Lauer (from the Today Show), Brian Williams (from NBC Nightly News) and Jon Stewart (from the Daily Show) over for dinner. I watch them each almost every day and I think they would make for a very engaging dinner.
Also, it would be nice to have some eye candy, like Bradley Cooper, join us.
Q: Tell us about your kitchen renovation process? How long did it take? What were the major roadblocks, if any?
A: Our entire renovation project has taken 8 months (12 months from conception, drawings, approvals, etc.). It was an incredibly smooth process. The guidance and insight we received from our contractor Winchester House, our decorator Lisa Stevens and our kitchen designer Nima Kitchens was instrumental at every step along the way. We added over 10 feet to our kitchen and now it is so spacious that the first time we had my family over for a birthday dinner a spontaneous dance party broke out around our island!
Q: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to people looking to renovate their kitchens?
A: The one piece of advice I would give anyone embarking on a renovation is to work with a team of professionals you trust and like spending time with. It can be a long process with a lot of tedious details, a myriad of decisions along with way and hard earned money spent but if you have experienced people to guide you through then the end product is worth every penny.