The Kitchen Designer

The VERY Latest Kitchen Design T...

This is truly breaking news, and truth be told, I am THE force behind what will prove to be a movement in architectural and interior design starting the moment this post gets published.

I predict what is already beginning to surface is this: Henceforth, and from now on:

There will be a kitchen in every room in the home.

If not a full size, then, well, something a little smaller, whatever, forget the details for now, I'm busy with the concept.

Kitchens are the nourishment, the heart and soul of the home. It is the most important room in the home. It is SO important, that it only makes sense to expand the concept! The advantages are really where our society is moving, anyway. Here are the advantages:

  • maintaining one's privacy-once and for all! You know all that privacy talk you hear? Now, there's one more way to be private.
  • have your own stash of food
  • decorate the kitchen however you want - seek out and express YOUR inner kitchen
  • design it to suit YOU, functionally, not for a group such as that family concept thing. Want the sink between the refrigerator and the double oven cabinet? Go for it.
  • the appliances are your orchestra and you are the conductor-cooking alone has its advantages.
  • you wouldn't have to unload a dishwasher filled with other people's dishes
  • with the kitchen in a living room or library, one can theoretically be on the social floor of the home but still be alone, that is, if hours for your use are posted in advance and doors are in place to seal the room off
  • you can happily combine cooking and YOUR choice of accompanying media. No more music/tv controlling people in the kitchen
  • you cook what you WANT, not what you are told to cook. She likes tofu, he likes meat? See ya later.
  • everyone ends up in the kitchen...what's so great about that? Crowds? Fighting to be heard? So not fun.
  • you have to eat three times a day, too frequent to have to stop what you are doing and go to another room
  • kids? Playtime is learning time...they need to have the kitchen in the place in the home where they learn the the rumpus room. They'll figure out how the appliances work - kids are curious! 
  • no more topics of discussion you don't care to be included in, no more worries about being invited to join in a conversation, finally.
  • you know that person's laugh you can't stand? Finally, no more laughter in the singular kitchen.
  • no more exhaustion of relating to one another - it's OVER.
  • with all these kitchens I'll be designing, I'll finally be rich, I tell you, RICH!

Hold your applause...There are, indeed, many more compelling reasons to proceed in this direction. Thus, I am beginning an association called the following: The Anti-Kitchen Kitchen. No, that sounds too negative...


April fools!


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

A Dream Kitchen?

I started reading the New York Times' blog, Dream Home Diaries, late last spring.

Let me say that I truly wish Alison and Paul, the homeowners who built a home in Anna Maria Island, Florida, the very best. I hope they love their kitchen, that it works well for them, and I wish them all good things in connection with their home.

I've been a regular on the Dream Home Diaries blog on posts that had to do with the kitchen. My motivation was to help out Alison and Paul, who asked for help, admitting to being completely clueless to building a home, as well as educating the public at large. Many of us helped out. What a great resource of information (and smart alek-y and snarky comments) they had before them. Man, this blog is so entertaining, I'll be sorry when it's gone.

I found myself feeling quite annoyed at times at the authors' complete lack of response to my and others' advice. Advice on fundamentals! Let me give you an example. Alison wrote that John, their builder, recommended that the kitchen not be designed until the plywood was down in the kitchen and then one could mark it up to feel the space.

I've never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life from a builder of a custom home. And, at that moment, the builder will be screaming for rough ins of electric and plumbing. I, and others, oh what's the word, valiantly campaigned to the authors to get a kitchen designer NOW...and I offered specific advice on how to hire a designer.

Unbeknownst to anyone else, I offered my own services way back (not free) because I was so concerned that the kitchen plan was simply not being attended to...and it really bothered me. I wrote and said I would not wish to be known in the blog as the designer, but I'm here if they needed me to step in (which was before they got a designer.) It was a brief, but sincere, offer, which was met with no response and was not published. I have so many complaints about the way things were done by the authors, I won't even bore you with it, I promise. And, my general negative attitude throughout the blog about how this kitchen design process progressed had nothing to do with my rejected offer. Anyone who has read my subsequent impassioned posts know that I care a great deal about the value of making the most of the time available pre time breeds creativity, attention to detail, and a whole lot of other good stuff.

The bottom line is that, given the amount of money they spent on their kitchen ($60,000?) I feel it was wasteful, very much so, to not have hired a kitchen designer early on, to have had the luxury of time to plan their "dream home" kitchen and not to make use of that time. If you take a look, you'll hear me whining, cajoling, almost pleading at times to pay attention to this or that. Although, educating the readers was always a goal as well. It's really funny how into their kitchen process, or lack thereof, that I got!

Also, one thing to remember is, what looks shiny and new doesn't necessarily mean it's fundamentally sound design for the kitchen as a separate entity or for the architecture it is surrounded by. But, it's their kitchen and they are the ones to be happy with it, no one else. But, they could have known so much more along the way....

This blog gave a lot of us lots of raw emotions from time to time. I also laughed, got impatient, angry, and always hoped for the best. Take a look before it's gone...



Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Products For Kitchen Inspiration

Here are a few things, either new or cool, that I think are definitely worth noting.

elecgrommet.jpgFirst, take a look at this receptacle. Good for an island situation or other areas around the kitchen. It makes countertop receptacles possible. Not for every installation, but I can think of a few it would be perfect for, a long island, for one. This kitchen receptacle will do a good job being sealed off from liquid spills. By Doug Mockett & Company.






Harmony.jpgLook at these Harmony Wood tiles, by Anchor Bay Tile, aren't they cool? It's a real wood tile that is mounted with mesh, something your tile man will thank you for, that is, after he criticizes you for buying non ceramic tiles, of course. Just tell him they are made of wood from sustainable forests, and he'll feel better..we can dream. 

American%20Clay%201.jpgAnd, I really love this product, American Clay. It is a natural earth plaster, made of natural clays, a green product, recycled and reclaimed aggregates, and contributes to Leed points on your project. It is such a beautiful, sort of suede like finish for your walls, and again, it is healthy for your home. I'm seriously thinking of using it in my home this spring. In fact, someone is coming to my home today to take a look at my walls!

curbly%20chalkboard.jpgI also love the idea of a chalkboard wall, or section. My immediate thought is to do a post just on chalkboards in kitchens, and I may, but I also know that if I say, good idea, it won't happen for a month, so here's the idea now. I'm also seriously thinking of doing this in my kitchen too. The image is by booizzy. Here are a couple of other places for inspiration: Martha Stewart (but, of course) and Apartment Therapy (always.)

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Eye Candy

I need some kitchen eye candy. I've worked solidly for two days (this weekend.) Tons of detail work doing an electrical plan, plotting very specific dimensions for lighting and appliance centerlines, switching, and receptacles, only to have beams be in the way, I'm sure! Also, uploading plans to my out of state clients.

I also designed a kitchen within an entire space, designing around a structural column in the middle of nowhere, adding in furniture for the family room, again for context, as it is important to understand the negative space as one moves around furnishings, cabinetry, etc. That negative space is equally as important as where to put kitchen cabinets! You have to see it all. Remember that, in your great room design not forget to have the surrounding spaces/furniture drawn into your plans. Otherwise, you're driving blind, so to speak.

But, I'm wild about my monitor. It's truly the best thing I've done for myself in years! So fantastic, so crystal clear, so vibrant! But, I digress...I need some mindless kitchen eye candy, so let's look at it together and think some really luscious kitchen thoughts...Scandinavian kitchen thoughts, something I have not shown you in some time.

From Vakre, a magazine so beautiful on every page, I can hardly describe it...

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Tech

My world has changed today. My computer arrived a week and a half ago, but my new monitor arrived TODAY. I had been using a Sony monitor that I paid $2,000 for about 5 years ago. You'd think it was a good investment. I noticed over time, it was getting increasingly dimmer and dimmer and adjustments made no difference. It wasn't terribly dim, you wouldn't notice it, but put a new, cheap, really cheap, monitor next to it, and there was a huge difference, the cheap monitor blew it away at this point.

FlexScanSX2761W.jpgSo, I researched and researched. And, as I work with images all the time, it was best to have a certain color management ability/setting. And, since I'm always working on my kitchen design drawings, clarity was equally important.

I'm boring you now, I know it! Anyway, I ended up getting an Eizo 27" monitor, a brand that is well known for both photography and cad use. This thing is crazy! It's so bright! It's so crystal clear! I see this BLOG so differently, like, WOW, look at my blog, what colors! (I'm glad it was a GOOD reaction.)

I spent the same amount, I did 5 years ago, around $2,000. But, monitors have come down so far in price (in general), and a good monitor is so much better on the eyes (not to mention so much fun) and makes everything look so much better and realistic, especially all those products, textures, colors that are involved in the kitchen, it's a good reason to upgrade.

This monitor is changing my entire experience on the web, on my blog, in my design program, I'm so thrilled and I just had to share it! Now for the second monitor to put alongside it...maybe a 20" should do it.

Many of our lives are so internet-heavy these days, and I forgot how important a monitor is. Although I hated to replace something that was still functioning, bottom line, this was a good decision, a wise decision!

And, kitchens? They just look fabulous, dahling, on this monitor! Good weekend...

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago
Certified Kitchen Designer