Surround yourself in style. Live it. Wear it. Be it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Housewears Interviews William MacDonald: What's Cooking in Kitchen Renovations?

I attended a trade seminar in Toronto on kitchens recently, hosted by the entertaining and talented Canadian designer William MacDonald. William has a laundry list of credentials, including Colour Expert for Farrow and Ball, spokesperson for Jenn-Air, he's been a featured designer on HGTV's 'This Small Space', 'House and Home TV', 'CityLine', and a regular contributor for Canadian House and Home Magazine, Style at Home, and The Globe and Mail. He also co-starred in the TV series, 'Great Taste, No Money' and currently appears on the Alliance Atlantis show 'Three Takes' on Slice Network. He is the principal of his own interior design firm in Toronto, and his style is described as contemporary new world chic meets traditional European flair. Some great notes from William's kitchen Seminar:

1. The hottest kitchen look: white, punctuated with bold colour.

2. Appliances are varying their finishes and colours -bronze is a new direction for appliance finishes.

Jenn Air's oiled bronze series of appliances.

3. Go green by recycling a vintage item - repaint it or embellish it, to add personality to your space while being environmentally responsible. William recently had a vintage kitchen table painted in a bold colour and added a metal countertop to modernize the piece.

4. Incorporate something unexpected in the kitchen, such as an oversized piece of art or a large sculpture.

Examples of William MacDonald's design.

And now, my interview:

Housewears: As you know, the Canadian Government has given homeowners incentive to renovate with the HRTC (Home Renovation Tax Credit), which saves homeowners 15% on renovations beyond $1000 to a maximum of $10,000. What do you feel homeowners can do to add the "wow" factor to their kitchen to take advantage of this?

William: There are a number of things that can be done, lighting I think is critical, updating your fixtures can change the look significantly. So many kitchens don't have adequate lighting!
Updated, functional appliances are important as well, and small touches like a backsplash can make a difference. We're seeing alot of interesting use of glass for backsplashes. I like putting metal countertops in a kitchen.

Housewears: So many homeowners struggle with the colour of cabinetry for kitchens. Tell me more about your thoughts on a white kitchen.

William: We're seeing many black and white kitchens with red accents, or another bold primary colour that can be changed when you tire of it. Chair cushions can be reupholstered, a wall can be repainted, accessories changed. Kitchen cabinets are a big expenditure, and the simple white shaker cabinet really has longevity, maybe more so than a particular wood stain. It's clean, dramatic, and the look can be changed with accent colours.

Photo courtesy KCK Kitchens.

Housewears: So are we back to the Draper style of black and white and bold colour, traditional with modern furniture?

William: Yes! That was during economic downturn, and here we are again in tough economic times with the bright bold look coming back again as an accent to black and white, we saw so much of it at IDS 09.

Housewears: And speaking of colour, what is a paint chip you've used recently that you really like?

William: There are so many, but 'Fan Light' is a good one, it's a Para product, (P2103-01)it's a soft pale gray, and it goes with everything, it looks wonderful, and changes with lighting. I love this colour.

Thanks so much, William, for taking time to chat with me! Here are some photos of great white kitchens to enjoy!

photo via Brooke Giannetti Love that marble!

Photo courtesy The Kitchen Designer.

Photo courtesy Southern Accents. All white makes the veggies look deliciously fresh!

Photo courtesy Decorpad.

Photo courtesy Living Etc.

Photo via Daily Mail UK by Micky Hoyle.

Photo by Andreas Charalambous .

Photo courtesy Kitchen Options.

Photo Courtesy Design In Out. Solid glass backsplashes are an alternative to glass tile.

Photo via BeachBungalow8 .

Photo courtesy Roxxon.

Photo courtesy Style-Files.
I'm hooked on fabulous white kitchens this week, check out what others are hooked on this Friday at Hooked on Houses, and check out Fifi Flowers for Fashionable Friday!
Stay tuned for the comments of the next designer I chatted with in my "Design By 5" series!


  1. I love your Blog! The pictures are a great inspiration. I look forward to next week.

    From a fan in Toronto.

  2. Great, our white cabinets and appliances are back in style!!

  3. Love those first few white fashionably crisp and clean!

  4. The pictures of the white kitchens are AMAZING!This is the first time I've seen copper appliances - it feels so new! I love it!

  5. The Living Etc. kitchen is awesome. Nice compilation.

  6. I used to shy away from white in the kitchen but now I'm readdressing it again because it looks so fresh and clean. And a 15% tax break? I wish we had that when we renovated last year!

  7. WooHoo, I'm in style! I love my white kitchen.

  8. I always love a good kitchen post, and this one is exceptional. You have a few pictures I have never seen!

    The kitchen with the blue backsplash was designed by Suzanne Kasler, one of my all time favorite designers.

  9. Another wonderful interview! Wow. I really enjoyed this--the notes from his kitchen seminar were really interesting, too. Thanks! :-)

  10. This is so very very nice and very very excellent article. The pictures are great. This is a beautiful kitchen thank you for sharing...

  11. Exhilarating Blog! I am overwhelmed with your depiction.


Leave us a comment!