The Kitchen Designer

My Day So Far...What Kitchen Des...

IMG_0899a.jpgOh, disregard the last part of the message...I just felt compelled to write that, and I'm feeling punchy, lol! So, here's my day so far...

3:45 AM - I can't sleep, no big reason, but now that's it, I'm awake. Reach over for the laptop (it's ALWAYS fired up) and start the day...

5 AM - Down in the office, easing into the day...

6 AM-7:30 AM - Emailing with Hansen...we've been asked by a prestigious architectural firm to submit a proposal to include Hansen kitchen and bath furniture for a "green" complex of apartments in Washington, D.C. so details back and forth, as they are 6 hours ahead. Meanwhile, I was told by the Hansen marketing director that the press release I wrote in late January had a date of January '07 on it and a release date of 2/28/08! NOT a good thing! I changed the date fast! arghhh, so early in the morning.

8:15 AM - A meeting with a new installer. We had some good conversations in the past few days, but the in-person meeting is very important. How does he look/dress-is he neat? What does his truck look like? Is he messy/organized? Another couple of pieces to the puzzle. I found that this man has a smile even when he's not speaking and almost always when he is speaking. Looks like a very positive person...I like that. Beats the alternative.

10 AM - Met clients at the granite fabricator/granite yard. This is a case where we bought the granite at one yard and another company will fabricate it. The clients (with my help) very carefully chose the granite in December. There were few slabs left. It's gorgeous! And, it's not to be found again, gone forever.

IMG_0900a.jpgAs we walked around the yard, our granite was nowhere to be found.  

I don't know about the person in the yard with us, but my clients and I were silently getting really nervous. The fabricator asked if I was sure they had it, and I said "you have my money, so you should have it!" The fabricator skirted all around, where it could be, yadayada, and my client, the wife, finally spotted my name on it! Just a little drama. We were there to choose a second granite to go on a few different areas of the kitchen, with the busy granite on the island. It will be beautiful.

12-4 PM - Variety of office work...I successfully negotiated downward to have cabinets unloaded from a truck to go into my client's home, and it takes 45 minutes to an hour. $300?? Come on, no way! 

Made a list/picture of window specs so windows can be ordered for a client. I could only go so far, because a few details are unknowable to me, and this contractor may complain, but, he should be able to fill in the blanks where I left off.

Emailed with my son, who is soon building me a new computer. Can't WAIT to get it.

Talked to two press people, one who is doing a story on Hansen, another who is doing a small feature on me, locally, and who gave me ominous news on the state of the newspaper, previously, a very large newspaper. A sign of the times.... 

And, I did other, I have the tv on (I often put it on at around 4 pm, maybe later) and I LOVE this commercial, actually the music. Love it. Want to hear it? It really grows on you.   Ontario Travel 

DSCF4023a.jpgThen there's Sparky, our cat. He visits me now and then in the office. When Sparky visits, he plants himself on top of my calculator with his head and paws! Why? Because I'm frequently using the calculator, which means that I'm ignoring Sparky and he does not want that! He's funny.  So, I have to move his whole body over, and of course, he swipes at me with his paws. :)

5 PM Husband comes home with Starbucks and a chocolate biscotti... 

Spoke with my son for about 1/2 hour on computer specs.  I keep saying, "I want it fast!"

And, now, I'm gearing up for the LONG, second shift. I have a meeting tomorrow, 175 miles away, about 3+ hours, in Massachusetts, where I have a project. I'll leave at 4:30 am. I have to finish (I'm 1/4 the way through) a few electrical plans, just organize a bunch of stuff, samples, and then pack stuff to stay in the city for the weekend, convenient for my return from Mass. tomorrow, because Saturday, I want to attend the Architectural Digest Show!

You'll hear ALL about it! I hope I haven't bored you...just sort of rambling. Add to that, I finished a blog post!  

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Changing The Kitchen Design In M...

Grace's kitchen project is, I guess, 2/3 done at this point. Here was the plan.  I think it was a few days before I left for Denmark in August, Grace didn't feel comfortable with the plan (the cabinets had already been ordered) so I told her to mar%20plan%20a.jpgcome by my office and let's figure it out.  I came up with an alternative plan after our meeting and Grace was happy. 

This entire general design reflect's Grace's desire to have continuous countertops everywhere, yet to keep things interesting over and under the counters. She wanted a sort of country/Tuscan feel, yet with modern conveniences. This type of style was what we were after.


After mulling it over for some weeks, Grace decided to make a big change. She decided she didn't love the entire upper section of the elevation below, she wanted it all gone!

Fortunately, the arch and other built in cabinet next to it was made of plywood, destined to be faux painted. Yesterday, they were dismantled!

We talked about it on and off for some weeks. She lived with it and then said she's just not sure. I said, "Grace, it's's nothing. If you want it ripped out, it's not a big deal at all."

So, it's back to the drawing board for Grace and I.  A big change like this does not have to be daunting, or difficult, or negative. In this case, maybe one cabinet will be sacrificed, and then just the plywood.  This IS a first for me, to do a major redesign after installation, but, again, the sacrifice monetarily is small, so why not? Grace must feel 100% about her kitchen in the end. That's all that matters. I'll update you on what we eventually come up with. I'll add some real life images of the kitchen shortly!

Descriptions: That's a tv cabinet under the arch. Under the countertop under the tv cabinet, those spaces would be faux painted with a special design. Surrounding the grid/rounded wall cabinet is plywood, to be faux painted. A wine refrigerator is directly below. To the right of the wine refrig. are cabinets surrounded by plywood, to be faux painted. And, that wide area to the right is the other side of a 90 degree turn.  




Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Trends 2008 - Organic Sh...

When I look forward, I see shapes, forms, textures, and a blending of styles, often leaning toward nature. I feel it. Just recently, Blink Decor talked about it. Here's what was noted on their blog, as they looked forward to design trends in 2008:

hansen%20walnut.jpg Sticks and Stones: Organic, eco-conscious elements continue to meld with more traditional home decor. Bright white cotton duck looks effortlessly chic paired with aged wood and accented with funky fur pillows. Large river -smooth stones make a great lamp base topped with a classic white drum shade.

Blink Decor then references Bleu nature...take a look at this beautiful site. Now I know why I had this post unpublished for a couple of weeks even being only a few lines, while I galavanted in father loved and collected driftwood for years, only to see this site as I sat down again to think about this post. It was in his yard and in his home. Beautiful pieces everywhere.

I'm not the only one who sees textures, natural elements, natural colors, greens, blues, whites, as being comfortable to live with for the foreseeable future. This is a movement strongly connected to the green design movement. A renewed appreciation of the beautiful materials and textures that are right in front of us.

And, I think it is a powerful pull for all ages and demographics, for lack of a better word. It is for me, one who has been taught well, by our society, to consume. Shockingly, I now walk into my dark office, only turning on one light, rather than all of them in my 18x12 office. It's a start. I'm so rambling...

Hansen's kitchen and bath furniture gets us to that feeling of nature, because it is 100% eco friendly, and, especially because it is meant to last...decades. It is easily renewable years later, if desired. It's green reach expands conventional thinking for kitchens, via Hansen's "collecting" philosophy and intrinsic design elegance.

pic_pi_table.jpgHere are a couple of examples of what I am talking about. Scrapile in Brooklyn, NY, collects and repurposes scraps of wood from New York's woodworking industry to create one of a kind furniture, like this table. I think their practice of using different types of wood in one piece is very exciting.  

This beautiful recycled glass hardware by Paloma Pottery is a great example.  Made of recycled glass, Paloma Pottery's products are environmentally friendly and innovative in design and use of materials.  Their use of recycled glass, plus other natural and found materials reflect their philosophy to maintain a sustainable business model. Check it out.


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Hansen Kitchen Furniture - The B...

I'm back home, so where do I start?? I suppose, from the beginning, that's a good place.

For years and years, whenever I go to Copenhagen, I always take time to go into the kitchen showrooms and take pictures and chat with people who work in the showrooms. Being of Danish descent, and being familiar with Scandinavian design, and loving it, I love seeing what's new in the Scandinavian kitchen world. It always gives me a fresh point of view.

As part of my showroom visits in August, Hansen was one that I knew I must take time to see.  I walked into the showroom, the last showroom to see before my vacation ended in August, and my immediate instinct told me that these kitchens were special, noticeably well crafted, and overall, so beautifully designed.

Hansen_Living%20a.jpgI chatted as usual with the man who approached me (hoping to score a brochure) and after a short chat, in which he told me that he knew of my blog and followed it(!) he introduced me to Knud Kapper, architect, and creator of Hansen's line of kitchen, bath, and other furniture. In addition to the kitchen and bath line, Kapper is an architect of buildings, interiors, and coordinated home furnishings for the homes he designs. One thing lead to another, and Knud and I decided to continue our conversation over time, which actually began immediately upon my return back home to New York.

Even after coming home, you know, you're back to reality, Denmark is far away, but, I could not stop thinking of the Hansen kitchen furniture..."living kitchen architecture" as it is referred to by Hansen. We moved into high gear, developed our plan to launch Hansen into the U.S., Knud came to New York for a week in November, and here we are, having just introduced Hansen this past week, first, via Dwell's kitchen blog and via a personal visit to Denmark from Jill at Apartment Therapy! We are both returning home today after a very good, and fun, time together, having attended a fantastic event for the redesign of Hansen's showroom last Friday night, and spending more time together surrounding the event.

Yes, the pictures of Hansen kitchens are gorgeous, but I must tell see it and to understand the concepts behind the design, is to be taken in by its beauty, by its distinctive aesthetic and its ergonomic philosophy. There is so much more to share, much of which I will share on the new Hansen blog.

There are future, spring, plans for a display, but details are not yet firmed up. Hansen will be exhibiting at ICFF in May in the Danish design section, so make your plans to visit us!

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Introducing The Top Secret Project

It is my pleasure, as I sit here in Copenhagen writing this post, to introduce my readers to a very special new line of kitchen and bath, and other furniture, new to the U.S. as of right now!

Hansen "Living Kitchen Architecture" is a line of kitchen furniture unlike anything in the U.S. kitchen and bath marketplace today.

Hansen is designed by Danish Architect, Knud Kapper MAA MDD. Architect designed, the aesthetic is elegant, modern, yet timeless.

Hansen is 100% eco friendly, using woods from managed forests, to adhesives, to finishes, all eco friendly, to the construction method, which features SOLID WOOD throughout every single piece.

There is so much more to share with you, and I the meantime, please visit the Hansen website.

Last night, I attended a fantastic event, the redesign opening event of Hansen's Copenhagen showroom. More on that event later! Oh, the theme? New York, New York!



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