3 Types of Lighting Every Kitchen Needs

Kitchen Cabinets
Grey Kitchen By Today’s with 3 Lighting Features

We will examine the 3 most important types of lighting every kitchen needs because proper lighting is crucial for not only function but beauty!

  1. Ambient (pot lights in picture above): This will be your main source of light—whether in addition to natural light, or to fill in for lack of it. You want to cast as much of it as evenly as possible from your ceiling. You can do so with a combination of different lights that suit your taste.
  2. Task (under cabinet lights in picture above) : While ambient lighting is used to illuminate the entire kitchen, it often leaves shadows in areas that require more focus. With the help of task lighting, work surfaces and cabinetry are properly illuminated so you can safely prepare meals, read recipes, and easily spot ingredients on a shelf. Common kitchen task lighting options include strip lights and puck lights.
  3. Accent (hanging pendant lights in picture above) : Consider these flourishes the cherry on top of your well-designed kitchen: toe kick lights, cabinet lights and any other light that might accentuate your favorite elements. They also might cross over into ambient and task lighting as well.

Get Expert Advice on Your Kitchen Lighting and Design

If you are considering a remodel on your kitchen, the good news is that fantastic lighting is one of the most inexpensive yet rewarding aspects of the project.

Need assistance planning your new kitchen? Our expert renovators cans assist you in the design, supply and installation of everything. From floor to ceiling we do it all with just one call. It all starts with a free in home estimate.

Please fill out the form below or call us at 906-641-2284 to find out more about our affordable, beautiful solutions and get your project started!


Countertops – The Best Surfaces for Minimizing Germs in Your Kitchen

Your kitchen countertops get a lot of use and with the right surface you can minimize germs and keep the space clean and safe for everyone.

Many beautiful materials, including wood and natural stone that are used for counters are porous which mean bacteria can flourish. It is for this reason we recommend a non-porous countertop surface for your kitchen. Beyond being free of naturally occuring cracks or fissures, these surfaces not prone to etching, staining or divots (all signs of softer, more porous surfaces). So let’s explore:


A Classic Calacatta Quartz Counter – Today’s Designer Kitchens

Quartz is one of the most durable and hygienic countertop surfaces made from a mixture of natural minerals held together using polymers and resin. It’s non-porous and easy to maintain with a non-abrasive cleaning cloth with soap and water.


Corian – Solid Surface Counters – Today’s Designer Kitchens

Corian® a solid surface counter, was developed by DuPont™ over 40 years ago by blending pure acrylic resin with natural minerals. It’s grout-free design make cleaning and maintenance easy plus it’s non-porous and stain resistant. All that is required for cleaning is a soft, cotton cloth and warm, soapy water. They are also ultra-durable, repairable and heat and blade resistant.


Laminates have come a long way and offer a high-end look at an affordable price and although they can be disinfected easily to decrease germs it must be remembered that there are seams. If excessive amounts of water are left on laminate countertops, especially near any seams, the countertop may swell and create more opportunities for bacteria, fungus or mold. So, a great economical choice that can be kept super clean IF you are careful with maintenance.

4 inch backsplash
Laminate Counters – Today’s Designer Kitchens


Granite is a very popular counter choice and is a good germ free selection ONLY if it is properly sealed to reduce porousness. Professional sealing does more than maintain granite countertops’ natural beauty; it helps prevent harmful bacteria and other germs. Granite must also be cleaned with care and harsh chemicals will ruin it.

Granite – Today’s Designer Kitchens

Wrap Up – No matter what countertop material you currently have in your kitchen or are looking to install, we always recommend that you follow the appropriate proper care and maintenance guidelines and hope this overview has been helpful.

For all your kitchen renovation needs, our team at Today’s Designer Kitchens in St. Catharines would be pleased to answer your questions, make suggestions, or even visit you home for a free consultation if you are looking to remodel.

Please fill out the form below for a quick response.


About Today’s Designer Kitchens

Today’s Designer Kitchen was created with a vision to give customers: high quality full service kitchen renovations that are affordable and stress free.

Today’s Designer Kitchens and Twoday’s Bathrooms have been providing quality home renovations to the Niagara Region for over 10 years and guaranteed their customers the best renovation experience at the most competitive prices in the market.

We undertake work in all scopes and budget ranges.

Today’s Designer Kitchens Showroom

239 Carlton St Suite #1

St. Catharines, ON

 L2R 1S1



Kitchen Renovation: The Four Most Important Things

If you’ve been dreaming of remodeling your kitchen, here are four key things you need to consider to make your project a success.

  1. Layout

The layout of your kitchen is the most important part of your kitchen remodel.

Since kitchens are used a lot, it is important that the workflow is efficient and works for your needs. A key element here is to use the “work triangle” which takes into consideration the the efficiency between the three major kitchen appliances: the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove. The “work triangle” is a great tool to use when planning your kitchen layout. (see below)

  1. Materials and Finishes

Budget comes into play with the materials and finishes you use, but remember spending more is not always necessary to get the look you want.

Major decisions that need to be made for a kitchen remodel include: countertop material, cabinetry, and flooring. Material options can dramatically range in prices, so it is important to do your research on each option.

Some popular countertop materials include granite, quartz, laminate, concrete, and marble. Flooring options range from ceramic tile, hardwood, linoleum, vinyl, among many others. Cabinets are also available in a wide range of materials including: solid wood, plywood panel, aluminum, wood veneer, and polyethylene.

(Below a galley style kitchen finished in economical Step Shaker White Cabinets made of durable High Density Fibreboard.

Step Shaker White Galley Kitchen
Step Shaker White Galley Kitchen
  1. Lighting

We can’t always have ideal window lighting in a kitchen but we can add brightness with proper light installation.

Kitchens require lots of light for safety when cooking and lighting can set the tone for the entire space (making it important from a design perspective).

There are many lighting options for your kitchen including can lights, pendant lights over a bar/breakfast bar area, and under-cabinet lighting. Lighting is also a good way to make some energy-efficient choices through choosing LED or fluorescent bulbs.

  1. The Small Things Make a Big Impact

The smaller things, ie. finishing touches can make or break a space.

Some finishing touches to keep in mind are: paint colour, seating options, backsplash, as well as other decorative items like pictures, shelving or plants.

A good rule of thumb is to contrast your cabinet colour with your paint colour to add some dimension to your space.

Your backsplash should contrast with your cabinet and countertop, as well as to add visual interest to the space. Of course if you prefer muted tones, you can switch this up.

The finishing touches of the space are a great place to let your personality shine through.

(Below a traditional white subway tile is inexpensive yet packs a punch when set against the dark Step Charcoal Grey Cabinets. The mix and match countertops add visual interest and personality to the kitchen space).

Galley Kitchen
Step Charcoal Grey Galley Kitchen

There are many factors that have to be considered in a kitchen remodel, including: layout, materials, lighting, and the finishing touches.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A kitchen remodel can be an overwhelming and stressful project if it is not planned out, which is why it is important to consider getting a professional’s opinion and guidance.

At Today’s Designer Kitchens, we specialize in the design, supply and installation processes of kitchens across the Niagara Region at unbeatable prices with a fast turnaround.

If you’d like to find out more, or get a free in-home quote from one of our renovation experts, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you promptly.


About Today’s Designer Kitchens

Today’s Designer Kitchen was created with a vision to give customers: high quality full service kitchen renovations that are affordable and stress free.

Today’s Designer Kitchens and Twoday’s Bathrooms have been providing quality home renovations to the Niagara Region for over 10 years and guarantee their customers the best renovation experience at the most competitive prices in the market.

We undertake work in all scopes and budget ranges.

Today’s Designer Kitchens Showroom

239 Carlton St Suite #1

St. Catharines, ON

 L2R 1S1


5 Tips to Renovate Your Kitchen on a Budget


Try these 5 tips to get more bang out of your kitchen renovation buck!


Everybody is crazy about granite, stone, and marble counter tops these days, but did you know LAMINATE is not only much more cost effective but it looks amazing with the advances in designs it has seen.

Other advantages to laminate are that it is long lasting and a solid surface, so it's not porous, and therefore doesn't absorb bacteria and food spills as some natural stone surfaces do making it very family friendly. (below a white ice laminate counter)


A custom kitchen island is every kitchen renovator’s dream, but, did you know you can save thousands by selecting a stock island system and then customizing it to your space?

You can design it to have all the storage and counter space you like and you'll be the only one who knows it wasn't custom made!

(below an Off White Kitchen Island by Today's Designer Kitchens)

Off white kitchen


Replacing lighting, the faucet, the sink and cabinet hardware with fresh new accessories is cost effective and gives a huge lift to any kitchen space for very little money.

To give your kitchen "flow" try to choose complementary pieces that will give a clean aesthetic.

(below, this American Standard faucet features 3 spray options and a soap dispenser and goes great with Stainless Steel Appliances).


Easy and obvious, a new coat of paint is the cheapest and simplest way to upgrade your kitchen and give it a fresh start.

There are so many options when it comes to paint, however we usually recommend keeping it light and bright for a kitchen which never goes out of style, and if you like a bold colour consider an accent wall (red is a popular kitchen choice) rather than doing all the walls in a dramatic shade.


One person’s junk is another person’s treasure – that’s why yard sales exist. And, that’s why you should go out on a Saturday morning and see if you get lucky enough to find a table, or a chair for $50 or $100 that you can make your own and add to your new home renovation. Mirrors and old art are also great thrift finds.

Final Thoughts: Creativity and ingenuity are key to your kitchen remodeling budget.

If you decide that you would rather outsource this big undertaking to the professionals, please give the team at Today's Designer Kitchens a call at: 905-641-2284 or fill out the form below for a free quote.

We serve the Niagara Region and specialize in beautiful budget friendly kitchen solutions.

Contact Today's Designer Kitchens

7 Things to Consider BEFORE a Kitchen Renovation.

Before getting into a kitchen renovation, there are seven important considerations that we will discuss today.


How do you want your kitchen to function? Do you want to use your kitchen to entertain guests? Do you prefer natural light? Can you make room for an island? What works for you now?

Considering your lifestyle and how your family personally will use the kitchen is key to choosing a design and materials that will work successfully in your renovation.


Design is both function and beauty. That being said, because the kitchen is often the focal point of the house, consider your home’s current design and what will blend and work with it in the new kitchen. A modern white cabinet collection or a warm toned wood can all be fantastic choices but they should blend with the current décor for flow and be placed in a way that works for you.

Step Shaker White Kitchen
A Step Shaker White Kitchen

Also, now is the time to consider the layout and think about what you may want to change with the current setup.  New plumbing or electrical must be sorted at the beginning to avoid over spending later.


As a rule of thumb, appliances are important so get the best you can afford. If you want built in appliances they need to be planned for from the beginning. Steam ovens, built-in coffee makers and wine fridges are finding their way into the mainstream market and if your kitchen is your entertainment space, you’ll want to consider incorporating them into the plan.


Next to the bathroom, the kitchen can be one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. With the variety of labourers (plumbers, electricians, etc), materials and time, there are many things going on in a small space. A rule of thumb is to invest approximately 10 per cent of the home’s overall value so that you can maximum value for your investment.


A contractor or designer (if you have one), will always give you a timeframe for the project, BUT always be prepared for the job to take longer than you planned for. This means planning your kitchen renovation at a time that is not so tight in your schedule that if it takes longer you will cause unnecessary stress.

Don’t cut costs!

You may think you can save money by keeping the existing plumbing, lighting, etc. and that may be true BUT, let your contractor determine what, if anything is worth keeping. It may cost more money to work around older pieces or infrastructure. Sometimes cutting costs leads to more expensive, unnecessary issues in the future.

Pay it forward

Consider donating your used cabinetry, appliances and fixtures like faucets and sinks if they are in good condition. Places like, Habitat For Humanity’s ReStore will pick up at your location with notice.

Wrap Up

A new kitchen adds value to your asset, your investment, your home and is an amazing way to improve your everyday life.

Consider these points before you embark on creating your new kitchen, don’t lose your sense of humour in the process and if you need assistance, kitchens are our specialty at Today’s Designer Kitchens in St. Catharines, so please CONTACT US for a FREE in-home estimate.

We not only will fully renovate your kitchen but have a full complement of services to assist you with design and our large supply chain means you will get the best price in town.

A special note with COVID-19, that our business is open and we are undertaking all of the safety measures outlined within the governmental regulations for your peace of mind.

About Today’s Designer Kitchens

Today’s Designer Kitchens located in St. Catharines, ON is a full service design, supply and install team for kitchen renovations.

Our speciality is high quality, prompt renovations that are budget friendly.

We undertake projects of all scopes and welcome your inquiries.

239 Carlton St Suite #1, St. Catharines, ON L2R 1S1
Phone: (905) 641-2284 www.todaysdesignerkitchens.ca



How to Clean Your Kitchen – COVID 19


Right now it is important more than ever to ensure your kitchen workspace and your foods are cleaned properly for the safety of your household as we go through this COVID-19 health crisis.

Here are some of our top recommended tips that we have put together with information gathered from expert sources and as the situation evolves we remind you that these are just guidelines but we hope you find them useful.

Clean the Kitchen More

More people are at home right now for long periods of time and this means extra cleaning is important as  surfaces get touched more frequently.

When we also consider scientific studies published that indicate the coronavirus may remain on some surfaces like plastic or stainless steel for up to 72 hours an accelerated cleaning schedule is the best plan.

Particularly focus on high traffic areas like: counters, tables, refrigerator door handles, knobs, sink handles and cabinets.

What Cleaning Products Can Be Used?

If a surface is visibly dirty, clean it with soap and water first, then use a disinfectant.  For a guidelines on effective cleansers visit the link HERE and always check label instructions to make sure you use them properly and wash your hands when done.

Bleach diluted is another good alternative, although make sure you have good ventilation and gloves are recommended. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diluted bleach, hydrogen peroxide or 70% isopropyl alcohol kill coronavirus.  The CDC suggests mixing 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Let it sit for one minute on the surface until you dry it off.

Be Careful of Surfaces You Treat

Not all surfaces are tolerant of all products, like bleach for example (read the label).For example countertops of engineered quartz can tolerate the diluted bleach solutions recommended, but laminate, Formica and older countertops with a sealant that has degraded may be damaged. Most butcher block counters have no sealant and it’s safe to use diluted bleach on them.

Do I Need Gloves?

No, just wash your hands after cleaning with soap and water.

Dishwasher Sanitation

Some machines have a sanitation feature that uses an extended hot-water rinse to kill germs.  According to The National Sanitation Foundation dishwashers bearing this certification kill 99.99 percent of bacteria when operated on the "sanitize" setting.

Food Containers

Consider transferring dry food in containers that have been sitting (like cereal or pasta for example) to fresh containers to eliminate possibilities of lurking contamination.


Experts say there are no known instances of produce or food itself transferring the virus. Rinsing is sufficient not soaking to clean.

Wash Hands and Repeat

After cleaning or handling food items wash for 20 seconds and clean hands with a fresh towel.

Final Thoughts:

The good news is that the coronavirus is vulnerable to soap and disinfectants so be vigilant and feel good that it is an effective measure to clean for your household's safety! For updates on COVID-19 please reference the website HERE.

We hope you found this information useful and are looking forward to seeing everyone again soon for all their kitchen renovation needs.

Although our retail showroom is closed the team at Today's Designer Kitchens are still responding to all of your phone calls and emails and welcome you to contact us if you need to!

Alternatively you can fill out the form below for a quick response.

About Today's Designer Kitchens
Serving the entire Niagara Region, Today's Designer Kitchens is a full service kitchen design, supply and installation company dedicated to the highest quality renovation at the best price.  We undertake projects of all scopes and budgets.
Phone:  905-641-2284 Email: info@todaysdesignerkitchens.ca



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Granite Counters – Top Trends Now


Granite is a gorgeous choice for a countertop in a kitchen and there are several trending types that seem to resonate with many homeowners.

Granite is special in that its naturally occurring variations make each slab a unique piece of art, plus it is very practical in that it is easy to clean and requires little maintenance.

Here are some of the most popular granite colours on the market now.

Kashmir White

This warm white stone has just a bit of texturing and a salt and pepper pattern, making it easily matchable with dark or light cabinets.

It also is great for adding brightness to the room and minimizes the appearances of messes on the countertops.

Steel Grey

A cooler toned granite,  light grey highlights the other shades of darker grays, creating a beautiful, neutral canvas.

White Primata

A classic granite choice with a simple, yet elegant pattern. The black and gray crystals create a beautiful contrast against its white base making it a colour palette that works with pretty much all kitchen design styles.

Black Pearl

With its gold, silver, brown, gray and even blueish mineral deposits this countertop is a lot more than just your basic black.

Black Pearl is a great countertop choice for anyone seeking to incorporate luxurious contrast in their kitchen design.

Desert Brown

Perfect for warmer palettes and with darker kitchen cabinets.

This neutral counter colour has specs of brown with burgundy accents and has a rich feel to it.

Things to Think About

As you search for countertop surface materials for your kitchen project, keep in mind that any granite used for countertops occurs naturally and each one will look a little different.

TIP: The best way to view and select granite countertop samples is in the lighting of your own home to see what works for you!

ALSO: Remember that granite is just one of many types of great countertops that are available on the market today.

Need a bit of help with your kitchen plans?

The team at Today’s Designer Kitchens in St. Catharines welcomes you to contact us at: (905) 641-2284 or fill out the form below for a prompt response on all your kitchen project needs!

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Sink


Whenever you undertake a kitchen improvement project, you will be faced with many choices including what is the best sink for my needs. Here are a few things to think about.


Cast iron or stainless steel? Composite or porcelain? There are pros and cons to each.

Stainless steel is a popular choice. It fits in nearly every style of kitchen, and is durable to boot. While the metal can be scratched, it can also be buffed out. Newer stainless steel sinks aren't as noisy as you might remember, and they're generally easy to clean.

Porcelain sinks are beautiful, and come in many color choices. They work well in traditional-style kitchens. However, they need to be treated gently, as they can chip or scuff easily.

Composite sinks are resistant to scratches and chips, and they don't even show water marks. They're easy to take care of, but some can be expensive.

Cast iron sinks are durable and less noisy than some other sinks. They also come in several different colors.


A Double Sink by Today's Designer Kitchens.


The two-bowl sink is what we all grew up with, and it made sense. It used to be that dishes were washed by hand, so people needed a washing sink and a rinsing sink. With dishwashers, that need is no longer so there are more options.

One single kitchen sink basin is gaining popularity. It's attractive and offers a streamlined look. Plus, it's versatile, and it allows for a lot to go on at once. You can also buy add-ons to make food prep easier.

Two basin sinks are still an option, but you also have the choice of choosing between two equal-sized basins or two basins of differing sizes. Dual basins with a smaller sink allow for food prep to happen at the same time as cleanup. But the smaller basin isn't ideal for soaking large pots or pans. Two basins of equal size give you a symmetrical design, and allow for soaking while prepping or washing.

Triple-bowl sinks give you two large bowls, with a small basin in the middle for food prep.


Rounded corners. Farmhouse. Self-rimming sinks. And more. You'll want to spend some time on Google and Pinterest to discover the many styles available to you. Here are some popular ones:

  • The farmhouse sink. This sink is beautiful and makes a statement.

  • Self-rimming sinks are durable and affordable

  • Undermount sinks are gaining popularity because they create a seamless look from countertop to sink. They're also easy to clean.

  • Integrated quartz sinks. If you're opting for quartz countertops, see if your manufacturer offers integrated sinks. They offer a unique, seamless look.

  • Prep sinks. These are secondary sinks that are often installed in the island. Accessories make them very utilitarian.

Whatever sink you choose, make sure you select a remodeling company who will treat your home with care, use only the best techniques, and will help you make the best decisions for the way you cook and live.

Today's Designer Kitchens proudly serves happy homeowners throughout the Niagara Region.   Give us a call at (905) 641-2284, or request your free consultation online.

How to Design a Social Kitchen


The kitchen transforms into whatever you need it to be. It’s got many practical uses, but with a few design hints it can also become a great social space.

If you have a kitchen with a layout that doesn’t easily permit groups and activity, consider these design ideas to transform it into a more social space.

Kitchen Islands and Carts

A stationary island or a rolling cart can instantly create a more social kitchen and  gathering spot for all your friends and family.  They come in a wide variety of sizes, price points and styles and can add more storage and counter space as well.

Open Plan Ideas

The open floor plan is the ultimate in creating a social environment making it easy for traffic to flow in and out of every area.

But, if you’re not into having all that open space, or want more distinction between rooms you could incorporate half-walls with shelves into the design or consider a glass cabinet or wall which gives the impression of open space but still allows for division of space.

Durable Materials

A social kitchen means you’re getting a lot of use out of the space. To be sure you can entertain for years to come, you’ll want to select materials that are durable with crowd proof features like hard wearing Quartz counters, soft close hinges and even stainless steel appliances.

Seating Options

Sit-down furniture, such as chairs, stools and benches can create social zones.

For example,  banquette seating in the kitchen makes a convenient spot for everyone that prompts discussions and conversations, or a breakfast nook adds a welcoming spot for smaller groups.

Thinking about how you could make your kitchen more entertainment-friendly? For additional social kitchen design ideas, schedule a FREE appointment with a Today's Designer Kitchens expert today.

About Today's Designer Kitchens

Today’s Designer Kitchen is a full service kitchen design company located in St. Catharines, ON that offers high quality kitchen renovations at affordable prices.

Utilizing the vast resources of professional relationships we have acquired over the years with suppliers and professional renovators and plumbing and electric service professionals and then adding to that a team of in house designers, Today’s Designer Kitchens has a mission to give clients the best renovation experience at the most competitive price in the market.

We undertake work in all scopes and budget ranges.


Is it True that WINTER is a Great Time to Renovate a KITCHEN?


Summer is the most common time to take on a kitchen renovation project, but are their advantages to doing it in the winter instead?

There are actually some key advantages to renovating in the winter, like availability, cost, and timing.

Contractor availability
Less competition in the market in getting a contractor for a renovation is a huge plus for the winter season.

Spring and summer are the busiest times of year for home renovations, and contractors’ plates will be full once renovation season is in full swing, which could leave you competing for the best builders.

A renovation project in the winter months may also get you more time and attention from your contractor.

Off-season discounts
When business slows, contractors may decrease their prices a bit to keep their crews busy.

Because there a fewer projects to be had in winter, you’re more likely to score a discount from a contractor.

Also, big time discounts in stores (think Boxing Day) are great times to get deals on things like new appliances.

Timing advantages
For those with children in the home during summer months, it may be difficult to vacate the house for renovations.

Many people travel in the cold winter months as well making it potentially a great time for a contractor to renovate when they have less activity in the home.

So when is the best time for a renovation?
Ultimately, the best time for a renovation is when you’ve fully defined the scope of your project and you're ready to move forward with a contractor you can trust.

How to choose a contractor
Choosing a contractor is a kind of matchmaking process. You’ll want to make sure your contractor has the same standards of quality, experience in the type of work you need, and can work within the timeframe you have.

When reviewing contractors, start by looking for someone with experience in your neighborhood and who has done similar work. This can help you narrow down the field from thousands of general contractors to just a selection of experienced professionals.

Once you’ve found someone you think would be a good fit for your project, take it one step further and make sure they’re a good fit for you. You’ll be working with this contractor for the duration of your project, so you should like them and feel both of your communication styles are a good match.

One of the tougher jobs will be ensuring that the contractor can truly deliver on your vision for the project. Good contractors have good ideas. Spend some time bouncing ideas around to make sure they understand what you’re after.

If you are considering a kitchen renovation, our team at Today's Designer Kitchens are you local professionals and are just an email or phone call away for a free in home consultation to get the process started.

You can call us directly at: 905-641-2284 or email us at: info@todaysdesignerkitchens.ca.