Kijenga’s Top 5 Kitchen Renovation Trends for 2018


Living in an 80’s oak wonderland and needing an update? Let our experts at Kijenga guide you through our top 5 kitchen trends for 2018.


1] Smart Kitchens

If you’re seriously into tech, consider getting a smart fridge for kitchen. New fridges from LG and Samsung have screens on their doors where you can download apps such as whiteboards, or recipes. The LG fridge screen can turn transparent to let you see inside without opening the doors. It also has a panoramic camera inside the fridge that you can access from your phone. Now you’ll know what you need to pick up on your way home from work in the Saskatoon rush hour. The Samsung fridge connects to your other smart home features so you can view your home cameras, doorbell and turn turn lights on and off… all from the fridge display!

Other Smart Kitchen features, which won’t cost as much include:

  • Motion sensored or one-touch faucets.
  • Kitchen lighting accessed from smartphone or tablet
  • Coffee makers programmable from your smartphone or tablet
  • Voice activated trash can



2] Practical Storage Solutions

No more piling things up! Kitchen cabinets can be custom built to include a variety of features which will optimize your storage. Some of these ideas include:

  • Pull out drawers for garbage and recycling
  • Spice rack pullouts
  • Custom wine rack
  • Custom drawer dividers
  • Vertical pull outs for baking sheets
  • Pot drawers
  • Pulldown or pull out shelves



3] Open Shelving

Floating shelves, especially around a window, can really open up a room. There are many positive features of this trend, including:

  • Inviting – guests know where your plates or glasses are without having to ask
  • Cleaning – typically people use open shelving for plates and cups which are used daily so dust concerns are limited
  • Light – By removing upper cabinets, the kitchen can appear brighter
  • Inexpensive – This option can be a lot more cost effective than cabinets
  • Test Run – Before committing, you can test run this feature by removing your cabinet doors for a few weeks



4] Appliance Styles

Stainless Steel appliances have been popular for awhile now. In 2018, matte black stainless steel is now the trendy colour choice for appliances. The sleek coloring matches a variety of kitchen styles and the softer look of black matte creates a more comfortable ambiance as kitchens become more part of the home’s living space.

Another popular feature in 2018 is smudge-proof finishes. Anyone with a child can appreciate a smudge-proof finish! Who wants to clean fridge smudges everyday? No one has time for that!



5] Island Ideas

Kitchen islands are growing larger and larger as open concept homes become the norm. The kitchen blends into the living space which allows for a larger kitchen island. Some of the other most popular trends include:

  • One level island – keep it one level to utilize for many different purposes and maintain clean lines
  • Pet Friendly – creating space for a pet centre, either a bed or feeding station
  • Waterfall Islands – keeping a contemporary look, the countertop extends to the sides of the island.
  • Two Toned – the island’s counter and cupboards do not need to match those of the main kitchen area



If you’re planning your Saskatoon kitchen renovation for 2018/2019 we encourage you to get creative with your renovation while jumping on board the hottest trends. Submit your kitchen renovation project to us at and let us connect you to our certified home pros!

bathroom countertop

Choosing the Countertop That Is Right For You

With so many popular countertops to choose from for your kitchen or bathroom, weighing the pros and cons of each is recommended if you want to find the one that is right for your home in Saskatoon. Before you make your final decision, consider your preferences for aesthetics and function. Choose the best material for your space – and your budget!



It remains the top choice of most homeowners.  Traditional granite countertops offer a high-end look that adds to your kitchen’s value while providing a durable prep surface. Because granite is a natural material, variation in the stone’s pattern is common and, for most people, adds to its appeal but can make matching up slabs tricky. In Saskatoon, the cost of granite and quartz are comparable but natural granite requires a bit more care than manufactured quartz to keep its good looks — wipe up all stains quickly, especially oils, wine, acids and soda, and follow a regular sealing routine — typically once a year. Granite has a timeless appeal. It’s not only beautiful but it’s eco-friendly and durable. Granite resists heat very well and is not susceptible to scratches. It’s one of the number choices of designer kitchens and immediately adds value to any home.

On the downside, it’s one of the more expensive countertop material options. It’s also vulnerable to cracks and chips and because of its porous material it requires sealing every year.

If you’re looking for a granite countertop for your kitchen, check out Michelangelo Marble & Granite Co. in Saskatoon. They have a long history of outstanding quality and amazing customer service and they are a Kijenga Certified Pro!

granite countertop



If you want maintenance free, a quartz is a great option! It’s not that you don’t have to care for it but engineered quartz countertops are stain, acid, scratch, heat and impact resistant and, thanks to their non-porous surface, don’t need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to fit your space. Quartz typically ranks close in popularity to the perennial top choice of granite.

quartz countertop



Tile countertops are a great choice if you want an inexpensive material that’s easy to maintain. It’s simple to coordinate with or mix and match with different design styles. Best of all, if you’re handy, a tile kitchen countertop is a do-it-yourself project that you can tackle in a long weekend. You’ll find tiles in a variety of materials such as porcelain, glass or ceramic. They also come in an extensive range of colors and sizes, allowing you to design a truly unique countertop for your kitchen or bathroom. The problem with tile is that it does require some maintenance and care. Tiles can get easily scratched and tile grout gets dirty and stained, particularly if it’s white.

tile countertop kitchen



Do you have a specific shape in mind for your countertop? Concrete can be poured into any mold and your countertop can take any shape you want. Concrete countertops are highly customizable — you can choose any stain color and texture. Concrete mixes well with many different materials, such as glass, tile and marble to create a one-of-a-kind look. Aside from its eye-pleasing appearance, it is energy efficient — when the temperature in your home rises, concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools down. Concrete is becoming more and more popular inside your home. The biggest question homeowners ask themselves is “who is going to do this for me in Saskatoon?” Well, luckily for you, Old North Concreteworks specializes in concrete furniture and countertops and they’re based right here in Saskatoon. If you’re considering concrete in your home, give these guys a call or post your project today and we will hook you up!

concrete countertop


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the countertop of choice for an industrial style kitchen. It’s incredibly easy to clean with soap and water and tough on high temperatures. The most appealing characteristic of this material is its ability to inhibit bacterial buildup, making it the most hygienic countertop available. Unfortunately, stainless steel is susceptible to dents and scratches. And because of its material, handprints and smudges can be easily seen, requiring it to be constantly wiped down.

stainless steel countertop



Hardwood countertops give off a natural vibe to any kitchen, making it warm and welcoming. It’s an excellent way to bring in an earthy element into your home. You’ll have a lot of wood types to choose from such as maple, oak, birch, and cherry; to name a few. Many homeowners like the hardwood option for being so reasonably priced.

For a warm, cottage kitchen look, opt for butcher-block-style wood countertops. Both decorative and functional, this hardworking surface is ideal for food prep — properly sealed, wood countertops are sanitary even for chopping meat. Unlike other budget-friendly options, like laminate, wood is highly heat-resistant so you don’t have to worry about putting hot pots and pans on the surface.

Hardwood countertops will require some care as they will stain. They’re also susceptible to scratches and dents. Expect to have to refinish your wood countertops after 10-20 years.



Marble Countertops

With timeless appeal, this stone gives any kitchen a decidedly high-end look and, although the cost is comparable to some granites, marble is porous so staining can be a problem. Regular sealing and special care with anything acidic to prevent etching will keep the creamy surface looking its best.

marble countertop



Laminate is easily one of the least expensive options for a countertop. It’s very easy to install and you can even install it over an existing laminate countertop. By far the most budget-friendly option, laminate countertops are enjoing a resurgence in popularity thanks to new patterns that resemble natural stone, wood or even quartz at a fraction of the cost. Retro, mid-century looks like the ubiquitous boomerang and bright, saturated colors are other trendy choices to consider.

The downside is that it damages easily. Your hot pans can melt the top layer and it is susceptible to scratches. It also doesn’t add much to the resale value of the house. However, if you’re on a tight budget, laminate is the way to go.

laminate kitchen countertop

Kitchen renovation project modern

Steps to Ensure You Have a Stress-Free Kitchen Remodel

Let’s face it, your kitchen is one of the most used and loved rooms in your entire home and it makes perfect sense that you would want to invest in making it beautiful and functional. Many homeowners in Saskatoon dream about remodeling their kitchen one day and fantasizing all of the cool features they would want in their ultimate kitchen.

However, many homeowners hesitate to get started because they think of it as a huge project that requires a lot of preparation and planning. While all this is true, many find that all the time and effort is well worth it once they have a gorgeous new kitchen to enjoy.

Here is a guide of the steps you need to take towards ensuring your kitchen remodel is stress-free.


The Right Contractor

This is where Kijenga can play a key role in your kitchen renovation project. 89% of homeowners in Saskatoon are frustrated with the process of finding and hiring contractors. We make it easy as pie with our online matchmaking service for Saskatoon and surrounding areas. Simply post your project. Our project coordinator will contact you to finalize some details before matching you with certified and reputable contractors that specialize in kitchen renovations. We make sure all our contractors have liability insurance, WCB, a valid business license, GST number and references. We do the homework for you. Once we connect you to our verified pros, they provide quotes on your project and voila. We help you from posting your project details to making the hire and it’s all done from the comfort of your own home. Simply post your project for free and let’s get things started on the right foot.


The Perfect Design

Maybe you’ve put a lot of thought into the design of your kitchen; maybe you haven’t. If you haven’t, an experienced contractor will also be able to help you discover your desired aesthetic as well as make recommendations based on your kitchen’s existing shape, space, and potential. Let us help you. Check out this awesome offer from Krawchuk Construction in Saskatoon. It includes a 2 hour in-home consultation with an experienced and professional contractor to discuss your project. Together you will customize a plan with a detailed project budget and report tailored for your bathroom renovation. You will receive professional 2D and 3D drawings and blueprints to give you a visual representation of your project. It’s truly the best place to start when planning your kitchen remodel.


A Prepared Budget

If you have, in fact, put a lot of thought into your kitchen remodel design, you should have a budget prepared. Your contractor will tell you if your desired specifications will work with the amount of money you are willing to spend. Remember that materials and appliances are significant factors in determining the overall costs of your kitchen remodel.

If you need help planning out your kitchen renovation, it’s best to consult with an expert. As mentioned above, we have a great starter package on our online marketplace. Check it out. 


Detailed Estimates

It is recommended that you request quotes from at least 3 contractors when planning your kitchen remodel. Recognize that whoever bids the lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best company for the job. They might be but do your due diligence. They may be cutting corners or using low-quality materials. This is why you should always ask for a detailed estimate that breaks down all the costs from materials to labour. The estimate should also include the payment schedule and project timeline. Although at Kijenga we certify and verify all our contractor members, it’s best to figure out which contractor is best for you and your project. Once we connect you with these kitchen renovation contractors in Saskatoon, make sure you ask the right questions and leave enough time for them to come by and provide a detailed estimate on the project.

In your first meeting with each contractor, don’t be hesitant to ask for their expected payment schedule and process, how long they have worked with their subcontractors, and a predicted timeline for the project.


The Written Contract

Once you have accepted a contractor’s bid for your kitchen remodel project, a written contract should be signed by both parties, and it should clearly state the following:

  • Project description
  • Details of materials used including costs and warranty
  • Permit information
  • Workmanship warranty
  • Lien waiver for subcontractors
  • Payment schedule
  • Contractor’s license number
  • Both of your addresses

Get it in writing!

Before your project starts, remember to prepare the site by moving aside all of the things you’ll need while the construction is ongoing. Plates, kitchen utensils, and other items you use frequently should be moved to another area. Consider transferring your microwave too so you and your family can still use it while the remodeling crew does work in your kitchen.

While a kitchen remodel is considered a major project, it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. If you find a contractor that you can trust, you’ll find the process enjoyable as you witness your kitchen transform as the work progresses.



glass tile backsplash kitchen

Add Drama To Your Kitchen With One-Of-A-Kind Backsplash Ideas

The backsplash is the area between the countertop of your kitchen and the wall behind the countertop. As trends in interior design change, newer materials are being used for kitchen backsplashes. Today, we will discuss some of the modern backsplash materials and also cover some useful tips that can help you select the right one.

Tips to select dramatic and one of a kind backsplash for your kitchen

  1. Start by taking a look at the kitchen’s existing features. The backsplash you select should not compete with the kitchen features-mainly the countertop and the cabinets. If you haven’t already, choose the countertop material and color first. This will determine the design and color of your backsplash. Naturally, if you plan on making your backsplash the focal point of the kitchen, then select it first and then install a suitable countertop to complement its color.
  2. Consider the scale of the patterns used. If you desire to make a big impact, then select large scale patterns for small areas. Do ensure that the chosen patterns also echo the hues, texture, size and colors of the remaining features of the kitchen such as your countertops, cabinets etc.
  3. Consider the area to be covered. The pattern of the backsplash will also depend on the size and shape of the area to be covered as well as the dimensions of the surrounding cabinets. For example, horizontal patterns are ideal for longer stretches of wall space while random bursts of patterns are ideal for covering textured and geometric grounds for creating a sense of visual order.

Materials in backsplashes

There is a wide range of materials to choose from today in kitchen backsplashes.

Laminates – You can order countertops with backsplashes fabricated in laminates that have a metallic look, wooden textured finish or even a multitude of colours and patterns to complement your cabinets and countertops.

Wallpaper and paint – If you are remodelling on a strict budget, then opt for low cost methods like wallpapering or painting the backsplash. The downside of these is that they stain easily and wear down a lot faster thanks to the humidity, water, grease and other elements typically found in a kitchen environment. As a result, you must spend greater efforts in cleaning and maintaining such backsplashes.

Tile backsplashes – These are the most popular types of backsplashes today and there is a tremendous variety in them as far as colours and patterns are concerned. Tile backsplashes are also very easy to clean.

Mosaic Backsplashes – Instead of a tile backsplash, you could go in for mosaic tiles in different shapes and create unique and colourful backsplash that is the focal point of the kitchen.

mosaic tile kitchen backsplash

Glass tile backsplashes – Glass tiles are a new trend in kitchen and bath backsplashes . Not only are these extremely beautiful; they are also sustainable since glass can be recycled and used over and over. There are also multitudes of styles and finishes available in glass tiles including matte and pearlescent and are an ideal option for the homeowners having a green mindset.

glass tile backsplash kitchen

Stainless steel backsplashes – This is easily the most durable material in kitchen backsplashes and is very easy to maintain and clean. Stainless steel backsplashes give a neat and tidy appearance to the kitchen and are the number one choice for commercial kitchen backsplashes. You would want to use special cleaners in order to keep your stainless steel backsplash looking like new.

stainless steel kitchen backsplash

Copper or tin backsplash – If you have done your kitchen up in an old-world, vintage or European theme, then copper or tin backsplash will be perfect for it. Copper and tin backsplashes are also available in wide range of colors and patterns and you can opt for stamped ones for a rustic and unique look.

copper kitchen backsplash

Slate or chalkboard backsplash – These are practical materials to use for in a backsplashes as they are very easy to clean and are readily available at your local hardware store. The only downside is the installation which takes a bit more work. You can even convert these slate or chalkboard backsplashes in a useful or functional area for writing down shopping lists or simply leaving messages or notes for your family members.

chalkboard kitchen backsplash

Customized backsplashes – These can give a funky and cool look to a kitchen and literally sky is the limit as far as their design ideas go. Choose from bottle caps, corks, cork tiles, mirrors, rocks and bricks. Virtually any material can be fashioned into a customized backsplash to give the kitchen a whole new dimension.

custom kitchen tile backsplash

We hope this brief guide helps you narrow down the otherwise vast field of kitchen backsplashes and choose one that is best suited to your setup.