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24 Sep 2017


By Gracie Carroll

Why We Decided to Renovate And Create A Smart Kitchen For Our Family

By Gracie Carroll

Leave it to me to squeeze in my first home renovation right after the holidays and just before heading to Europe, all with a five month old baby and two furry pets in tow. Even though we’ve been homeowners for over six years now, of course it just so happened that our first major renovation in our home would take place only a few months after welcoming our first baby into the world. We’ve never been afraid of adding to the madness of our lives, and when we were approached with an incredible opportunity to revamp our kitchen with help from Whirlpool Canada and HGTV designer, Jo Alcorn, how could we say no?

Our small home in downtown Toronto features a small and narrow galley kitchen that gets used a lot by our growing family. Ever since we moved in, the kitchen has been one of the areas of our home we’ve wanted to renovate and update the most due to its dated look and severe lack of storage space. Somehow there just never seemed to be enough time or money to make it happen, and six years later here we are!

For this renovation we decided not to do a full gut and instead went for a retrofit option that would help us achieve a great update that worked with our budget. We wanted to create a fresh look that would not only include smarter storage space, but a smarter kitchen for our family. Up until now, our home has been fairly smart-tech free (beyond the use of wifi, our laptops, phones and TVs, etc), most often because the idea of ‘smart’ appliances often made me wonder if all of those bells and whistles would actually be helpful in our home.

Early stages of the reno: the old upper cabinets and backsplash were ripped out

However, becoming a mother for the first time has taught me a lot of things, and that includes discovering a new level of what it means to juggle a multitude of tasks at once. Along with getting to replace our old, mismatched appliances with stunning Black Stainless Steel appliances from Whirlpool, we chose the Whirlpool® Smart Slide-In Electric Range for a sleek look that includes smart technology that’s both practical and beneficial for a busy household, stuff we’ll actually use!

As someone who truly loves to cook, I’ve found my inability to cook often, or easily, since becoming a new mom (mostly due to never having free hands, running up and down to tend to baby in the evenings, being too tired, the list goes on…) has been frustrating and upsetting because I really do miss it. What attracted me to the smart tech built into this range is that it’s simple, and will actually help me get dinner on the table more easily–hooray!

I can’t even tell you how many times over the past five months that I’ve had to run downstairs with a crying baby just to frantically turn the oven on or off which really isn’t ideal when you’re trying to care for your child but also feed yourself so that you too can stay alive. By being able to control the oven temperature from anywhere in my home through the Whirlpool app, this will no longer be an issue (hallelujah!) and I can use customized presets that learn my cooking habits to quickly get the oven ready for the right dish without worrying about my #MomBrain messing it all up.

Our old lighting was replaced and the walls and ceiling were freshly painted white

We wanted to keep our granite countertops so the bottom cabinets have to stay to make it work!

Our new kitchen will have a completely updated and modern look thanks to the Black Stainless Steel appliances from Whirlpool® that will replace our fridge, dishwasher (with a full size one at that!) and range with smart technology, and a new washer and dryer (in white) that fit under our counter to replace our old ones. With a new baby in the house, I am particularly excited about the (super) ‘smart’ feature of the black stainless steel appliances which is that they are fingerprint resistant! This will be such a game changer as Ruby gets older and starts to crawl around, but I also love that it will help keep our kitchen looking clean without any extra work.

In terms of design, our main goal for the outcome of this renovation is to update the look overall, create a lighter and brighter look, add more storage where possible, and include newer and smarter appliances that are better suited to our lifestyle as a busy family with a small baby.

Can’t wait to see how Whirlpool’s black stainless appliances will update the look in our kitchen

Working with Jo, we’ve decided to replace our upper cabinets with fresh new white ones, while keeping our lower cabinets the same in order to keep our granite counters. We will also be updating our backsplash (something I’ve been wanting to do since we moved in!) and bringing in black matte accents to tie in with our new black stainless steel appliances.

Thankfully we have a tight deadline for this smart kitchen update so we won’t have to wait too long to start living our best lives in our beautiful new kitchen! Stay tuned for our full reveal coming very soon.



(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)

*Please note that this post has been brought to you in partnership with Whirlpool Canada, all thoughts and opinions are our own*


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