Braeside Reveal: Cartesian X Deslaurier

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After eight months of pouring hard work and love into this project alongside our partner of over 8 years, Michael Splinter, owner of Cartesian Homes, this beautiful home built on spec in Alta Vista hit the market and sold fast.

“This was a very rewarding project to see come together. Worth all of the months spent away from home” says Mike. 

This contemporary gem was a collaboration between Mike and Joey Cooke, AKBD certified designer from Deslaurier Custom Cabinets.

In this chic and sophisticated home, you’ll find white walls with black accents, touches of natural walnut, metal and Carrera marble throughout.

Let’s start in the mudroom.

entrance way

First impressions are important, and this bold entrance makes us want to kick off our shoes (and place them neatly in the soft-close drawers) and stay a while. This mudroom features our most popular door style, Brookfield, in the colour Ebony. The bold colour choice adds the right amount of drama to balance the light flooring and white walls. 

“One of the unique features about this room is the opening to the pantry (pictured below), where stunning open shelving, subway tile, and a built in beverage fridge is waiting to greet us” says Mike.


As we round the corner from the Butler’s pantry we step into the show-stopping kitchen. This trendy kitchen was all about creating a space that felt upscale and impressive but still totally relaxed. The contrast of the dark Ebony coloured island in an otherwise completely light kitchen adds a boldness and richness that we just can’t get enough of.

contemporary kitchen

Joey focused on simple, classic finishes with some statement pieces throughout to make this kitchen feel effortless yet exciting. Gold subway tile accents and a custom Walnut range hood break up the monotony of our Wellington White coloured cabinets, while adding a level of warmth and a simple luxurious touch.

white kitchen with walnut accents

The contrast in this kitchen lends itself to the modern design trends that we are seeing this year.

“The white with warm wood is a very popular look – Mike and I both loved the combination of the Wellington White and the Walnut range hood as a focal point. Adding in the dark Ebony island adds some depth and contrast to the space, making it both fun and timeless”, says designer Joey.

When asked about the strategy behind the layout of the kitchen, Joey says that her and Mike wanted to create visual separation to the area that is similar to a Butler’s pantry area. The tall pantry cabinet pictured below acts as a wall divider to the adjacent area with floating shelves.

Other custom design details:

“The tall oven cabinet was designed so the top door height matches the pantry on that wall.The visual of the line of Walnut uppers was determined by the required clearance height for the cook top. The height of this is more for the final look rather than a functional reason as the cabinets are higher than standard uppers”.

Next on our tour we have the luxurious Ensuite.

luxurious bathroom walnut vanity with marble countertops

This beautiful wall-to-wall custom vanity designed by Joey features Deslaurier’s Walnut grain doors in the same Brookfield style that is used throughout the rest of the house. Sturdy, sleek hardware by Berenson adds some modern bling to balance out the natural and earthy feel of the vanity, while Bianco Carrera countertops and marble backlash in the shower top it all off for a lavish finish. We love the consistent use of white and black throughout the house for that modern and timeless feel, while warm walnut accents throughout give the home life.

A premier home builder and leader in energy efficiency in the Ottawa area for over 3 years,  Cartesian Homes is a valued partner of Deslaurier. We like to work with home builders who match our dedication to quality, professionalism, and customization – and this newly built home is no exception.


How Much Should a Kitchen Really Cost

Posted In Blog


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The longer, warmer days are a promising sign that Spring is on the way. As the snow melts and sunlight spills into our kitchen windows, we often feel the urge to freshen things up.

Enter remodeling season. Maybe you plan on listing your home in the summer and are looking to increase its value with a new kitchen. Or maybe you plan on staying in your home and you’ve decided it’s time to break up with your 1980’s oak cabinets and beige counter tops.

Whatever your reasoning, investing in your kitchen has many benefits:

  • It enhances functionality in your home.
  • It might even encourage you to save money by cooking at home instead of dining out.
  • It can lessen energy costs.
  • It can enhance the comfort and safety for your family.
  • It can significantly increase the overall value of your home.

Expectation vs Reality

While it’s safe to say that no renovation will add as much equity to your home or will be enjoyed as much as a kitchen renovation, it’s also one of the most costly renovations. Most people plan and prepare for the costs associated with the bigger ticket items that fill our Pinterest boards – cabinets, countertops, appliances – but there are other important financial considerations that might come as a surprise to you.

Deslaurier Designer Barb Purdy notes that “many people underestimate the cost of contracting, which can cost an equal amount to the kitchen itself”. Barb also explains that a lot of cost fluctuation is determined by the selection of finishes and accessories people choose – “you can easily add $10,000 onto your bill depending on which details are important to you”.

If you’ve watched TV renovation shows, you might be expecting a glamorous and seamless process where a fully stacked team of contractors and interior designers make your kitchen dreams come true overnight. Although appealing, the budgets and timelines we see on our favorite HGVT shows are often unrealistic. In reality, Nearly one third of homeowners have significant trouble staying on budget when getting work done on their homes—and they tend to allocate most of that budget to the kitchen.

So, where is your money going and how much should you budget for your kitchen renovation?

The 5 to 15 Percent Rule

According to Deslaurier Sales Manager Sam Marrello, your kitchen should equate to 10 – 15 percent of your home’s overall value. shares a similar opinion, stating that you should follow the 5 to 15 percent rule, which means your kitchen remodel should cost no less than 5 percent of your home’s value, and no more than 15.

Here’s what that looks like. If you own a $500,000 home, for example, the lowest number you likely want to spend on your kitchen remodel will be $25,000 to $50,000 (5 to 10 percent). But you probably wouldn’t want to exceed a budget of $75,000 (15 percent). Spending less than 5 percent might not be enough to see your home’s value increase, while investing more than 15 percent could put you at risk of losing money if you decide to sell your home. It’s also a good idea to add 15 to 20 percent to your budget as a safety net to handle surprises or unexpected costs that come up. You never know what could be lurking behind those old walls.

Pick Your Must Have Items Ahead of Time 

You don’t have to splurge on everything. Determining how you and your family will use your kitchen is an important discussion to have ahead of time. You might want a show stopping kitchen island with a built-in beverage center because that’s where your family gathers for nightly dinners and parties. If you’ve already decided that this is a must have for your kitchen, you’ll be more willing to re-evaluate other items in the event that you’re coming in over budget. Maybe you don’t need that high-end stove, or maybe ceramic flooring isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this kitchen cost rule, but when you’re trying to estimate a budget for your kitchen renovation, the 5 to 15 percent rule is a good guideline. Once you’ve decided on an amount that you’re comfortable spending, it’s on to the fun part of the remodel: choosing counter tops, shiny new hardware, and toying with the idea of multi-colored cabinets. Let the Pinterest boards roll.

For kitchen inspiration projects in the Ottawa area, check out our Houzz account.


Author: Kayla Huchenski, Marketing Manager, Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


Designer Debut: Kristen Weese

Posted In Announcements, Blog

Meet Deslaurier’s newest secret weapon, Kristen Weese 

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been in the industry for 4 years now.

I went into interior decorating right out of high school in 2013, graduating from that program in 2015. While in school I worked part time at urban barn selling furniture and helping clients with their interior design needs, and also worked with John from HDD Ottawa and Susan at SO interiors.

It wasn’t until I graduated that I decided I wanted to specialize in kitchen design.

The kitchen is the heart of the home & I love helping my clients create a space that mirrors their lifestyle and personality. Whether it is hosting cocktail parties or rounding up children for nightly family dinners, I want them to make the most of their kitchen. 

Once I decided kitchen design was my passion, I studied kitchen and bath design from 2015 – 2016. Deslaurier welcomed me as a co-op student from kitchen and bath in 2016 and hired me on full time right out of school.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would say my personal style is more eclectic then anything & I prefer to use raw materials in my space.

I tend to get drawn to certain pieces and find a way to make them work within my space.

I love integrating old/vintage pieces into my newer designs. I love high contrast design & the use of black metals in light airy spaces to give it depth and that “wow” factor.

Why did you get into kitchen design?

I’ve always had a passion for design from a young age…I was constantly annoying my mother with wanting to rearrange/repaint my room as my personal style was evolving with age.

I have always been drawn to natural stone. I got into kitchen design when I realized I needed to do more than interior décor. I loved all the calculations and detail it takes to plan out a kitchen design that is both beautiful and functional.

How do you find inspiration when you help a customer design a space?

Finding inspiration is at a fingers touch these days. From searching the web for inspiration or asking fellow colleagues/friends, but I find most inspiration is found from just collaborating with clients and discovering their needs.

There is no better inspiration than simply learning about who my clients are and how they plan to use their kitchen. 

What is the thing you most enjoy about your job?

Seeing a satisfied customer at the end of the design processes when all of their needs and wants become reality is a feeling you cant beat. But turning a house into a home for all to enjoy is by far my favorite part.

You can completely transform someone’s life by giving them a space that functions and benefits them in every aspect.

I enjoy turning dull outdated spaces into beautiful functioning living spaces.

When you are not designing kitchens – what do you do in your spare time? What are your favorite things to do for fun?

When I’m not designing kitchens I love to spend time with my beloved Great Dane Winnie & Lady friends whether it be a night out on the town for dinner & drinks or staying in for a wine & charcuterie night.

Kitchen Accessories

5 Must Have Kitchen Storage Accessories

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5 Must Have Kitchen Storage Accessories for 2020


After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we’re all left feeling a little disorganized. While our kitchen was the center stage during our holiday parties and gatherings, it’s left looking a little too lived in.  

The good news is, a new year brings a fresh start, and for many, a new and improved kitchen. Whether you’re planning a kitchen reno or simply want to make the heart of your home more functional for the year ahead, storage accessories should be a top consideration for your 2020 kitchen goals.

Storage is more than just organizing the clutter in your kitchen. It’s about affordable, modern solutions that can reduce health risks, improve food prep and make cooking and cleaning more efficient.

Organization is Always Trendy

Fads and trends will come and go as we step into this next decade, but useful and organized spaces will remain timeless. Our cabinets and pantries are designed to be anything but standard, which is why we offer customized storage accessories to help make everyday life easier and make the most out of every square foot in your kitchen.

If you’re ready to tackle your kitchen’s organization needs in 2020, then these 5 must have kitchen storage accessories are for you.

Roll-out cabinet shelves

roll out cabinets

First on the list to achieving kitchen organization greatness is the roll-out cabinet shelves. Bending down or kneeling on the hard floor to reach into the back of a lower cabinet only to pull out the wrong item is anything but functional. These roll-out cabinet shelves are the perfect solution to displaying your cabinet contents with ease. No more digging in a dark and compacted cabinet space for the baking powder. Everything you need at your fingertips, with one roll.

Tray Dividers

cutlery trayspice holder tray

Tray dividers are both aesthetically pleasing and extremely functional, ensuring your cabinet design makes an efficient use of space and is protected from the scratches or dents that come with a chaotic mess of utensils. Making sure everything has a place in your cabinets is an important and thoughtful element in kitchen design.  Aside from utensil trays, you can also opt to insert a spice tray divider, which will conveniently display your spices when the drawer is pulled out.

Magic Corner Cabinet

corner cabinet storage accessory

Third on our list of must have kitchen storage accessories is the Magic Corner unit. This unit is made up of 4 trays which pull out of the corner cabinet and let you have extendable storage. They are useful for larger items like pots and pans and have limited moving parts which prevents them from breaking. Although slightly more expensive than the lazy Susan, they are a better use of limited space as they provide more mobility and functionality, bringing all of the contents of the cabinet out of the darkness so you can see exactly what you have – or didn’t even know you had.

Orgaline Plate Holders

plate holder cabinet accessory

This must have kitchen storage accessory is a fan favorite among our clients who value accessibility in the kitchen. The Orgaline plate holder is an ergonomic alternative for storing dishes in lower cabinets, adding comfort and efficiency to your working space. Dishes are securely contained providing protection and can be easily and safely transported from cabinet to table as the holders lift right out of the drawer. Be sure to check with your designer or supplier to ensure your plate holders will fit the dimensions of your cabinets.

Wire Spice Pull Outs

pull out spice accessory

The Wire Spice Pull Out is an efficient use of space for a narrow cabinet that you might want to add. The front of the cabinet can be custom made to match the rest of your kitchen cabinets, and the inside will have chrome plated rails to add a modern polish. This pull-out features full extension sides to provide complete stability and prevent spices from moving when pulling the system out of the cabinet.

These must have kitchen storage accessories will help you create a space that is just as efficient as it is beautiful. We are proud to offer a range of custom storage and organizational solutions designed to simplify your kitchen work space. 

We know deciding which solutions are right for you can seem overwhelming. Our design team will guide you through all options, ensuring a high-functioning, clutter-free kitchen that allows you to focus on enjoying the moment.

Connect with a one of our design experts for a free consultation to discuss your kitchen needs.


Blog – May 2018

Posted In Blog

With 25 years of experience in the Kitchen & Bath industry, Bob has led our team of 16 designers at our award winning Design Centre for the past 9 years. Bob is heavily involved with our local home builders' association (GOHBA), as well as with the local chapter of the NKBA. Bob carries a passion for hockey in his spare time along with his wife and two boys. 


Design Line EuroCucina 2018


It all began in Santiago de Compoestela, Spain with a visit to Finsa, a global distributor of raw MDF, particle boards, melamine, wood veneer board, along with flooring and kitchen components. The sheer size and volume was overwhelming. The largest surprise, which of course should not be, was the automation along with the cleanliness of the factories. “You could eat off the floor” Matt said and then we almost did later that day when we had a wine tasting right in the middle of their wood veneer mill in a glass presentation room that would not compare to some showrooms. The quality was amazing including the options of colour, textures and every wood grain you can imagine. 


Next we were off to Venice, Italy to be hosted by Premline, a leading expert in high end decorative surfaces. They offer innovative products based on PET materials and the result is 100% made in Italy quality, which was no surprise following a full day Venice tour with the family owners. This is where the sightseeing came in… Venice is a place everybody should experience at least once in their life. Once again, visiting the factory was first class as was their hospitality, their products and finishes, and a mirror like product amazed us all including a lot of industry veterans.


We certainly were not prepared for the next treat on our way to Milan, this time by bus, where we had a beautiful pit stop at an amazing resort in the Italian Countryside of Bardolino on Lake Garda. Arca Risto and Grill were our hosts for a few hours and to watch the sunset before departing and hitting the bustling city of Milan ahead of Design Week and EuroCucina.


I’ve been to the Kitchen and Bath International Show in a Las Vegas and Chicago a few times, but nothing like what I was about to see once I arrived at the Salone de Mobile, to find out that the kitchen show called EuroCucina was in 4 halls and the bath was in 2 but there were 24 halls in total. Walking in awe once again and trying to take in the sheer size of this show, I was then taken aback by the first few booths that I saw behind large 2 story walls that seemed to go on for a couple of city blocks and housed not 1 or 2 displays in them, but at least 10 and some up to 15 or 16. Booths included reception and hospitality areas that looked like full restaurants, as well as meeting spaces that were massive. Matt and I tried to soak it in then step in and start to explore the displays by opening doors and drawers then realizing another day or two would be necessary or at least a better plan heading in and making a better decision on which companies to visit.


We were already told by Finsa and Premline, along with Weston, that we would see a lot of black and walnut at the show and they were bang on because it was everywhere. Wood was definitely the theme as there was lots of it everywhere including walnut, but shocking to see a lot of painted oak as well. A lot of wood look-a-likes in melamines and laminates also as prefinished seemed to be the way to go. Still tons of grey tones but no whites and very little blue. Some pastels and no high gloss, but matte everywhere. A lot of moving parts with some automation and large islands with counters that always got larger. Brushed brass decorative hardware was seen with some neat accessories but no doubt again that the highlight and biggest trend was metallic open shelves with glass on the uppers and everything accessible.


We had a chance to catch up with a couple of our quartz suppliers in Milan, Caesarstone and Cosentino, which was nice and at the same time we learned that the entire city of Milan takes part in design week including stores, showrooms, bars, restaurants with many events taking place across the city, not just the Convention Centre. Therefore, the streets were lined just like the show and I would highly recommend any interior designer make their way to Milan for this week once in their lifetime too.


Following a few days at the show we were then introduced to Cleaf, the third and final manufacturer we would meet and visit on our trip. They were close to Monza where Matt and I stayed and the first thing we see arriving at their beautiful facility was a robotic lawnmower cutting the grass. They produce innovative surfaces for the furniture and design industries including kitchens and bathrooms. They make melamine faced panels, laminate and edges to be specific, which was great to see along with their C-Cube inspiration gallery. It included 4 areas: City, Forest, Desert and Glacier to explore and feel their products and colours. What a neat idea and a great way to market to designers and architects as we all fell in love with their samples.


I can’t say enough about the people we met along the way and unfortunately I can’t name them all here either, but our industry partners that we got to network with along the way were fantastic and not enough can be said about our two hosts in Tony and Tyler, as they were wonderful and took care of us always. I’m not only a better person now that I have done this trip, but I’ve learned a lot and am inspired and looking forward to continuing to lead our fantastic team here at Deslaurier with new trends and ideas as well.



Blog – April 2018

Posted In Blog

Chris is a former customer turned employee. He has been with Deslaurier for over 14 years. He is the current Purchasing Manager and is active in countless facets of the business, from purchasing and sourcing, to information technologies, to implementations, to R&D, and beyond. Chris is a wealth of knowledge and is a great asset to the Deslaurier team. Chris is also a Maple Leafs fan, but please don't let that preclude you from reading his piece.


Living Through A Kitchen Renovation


My wife and I recently lived through a kitchen renovation and we are not renovation rookies by any means.  Over the years we have done three major renovations at our house and at some point they have all involved the interior, and we were able to manage.  That having been said, we knew going into it that not having a kitchen would be a challenge.  We certainly did not want to live on take-out but you have to ask yourself, how do I live without a major part of the household operation?

My advice is that timing is everything!  First off, we had a solid design in place before we touched anything.  Knowing there is a lead time associated with the kitchen, we knew an approximate delivery date and from there we worked backwards.  I have a background in construction, so I project managed the job myself given my connections to various trades.  If you do not have that skillset, align with someone who does and has a proven track record.

Our project was a full gut of the kitchen, right back to the studs and subfloor, as the only thing that stayed in the same place was the stove.  All plumbing and electrical locations were moving in the new and improved design.  Our old kitchen was on two walls with a table in the room and contained 13 cabinets.  The new design wraps three walls and there is a peninsula island with a raised eating bar for a total of 22 cabinets.  What is the biggest difference in the new kitchen, is that all but 4 cabinets would be considered organizational, task specific cabinets with embedded accessories in them.  These are key, given that this is not a large room.  So, while we can focus on the aesthetics of the exterior, the cabinet selection and the embedded accessories are just as important.

Close to 80% of all the selections in our kitchen, be it exterior colours, door styles or hardware on the internal components, come from products added to the Deslaurier catalogue in the last three years (with many of them having been in for less than a year)!  Needless to say, we have some very interesting solutions in our kitchen and the combination of cabinet finishes with flooring, tile backsplashes and countertop selections, have all given us a kitchen we are very proud of and pleased with.

Working with a plan in hand, our project took us six weeks from the demo day to the solid surface countertops being installed.  We were four weeks from the tear out to the cabinets being installed, but that does take some execution to do that!  Our laundry room became our kitchen.  We were fortunate to do it in the summer months when the BBQ was our best friend and most of all, you need a great deal of patience for the situation and each other during the renovation.  Not everything goes 100% according to plan, but I can tell you it is all worth it in the end!  Many parties have to work together in projects like this and the team at Deslaurier is there to assist along the way, as a member of your renovation team.


Click here to see the finished product!