The Kitchen Designer

Kitchen Faucet Trends

dornbracht%20kitchen%202a.jpgTake a look at this little piece on faucet trends from HGTV featuring "moi" as a contributor! I'm frequently asked for kitchen related information by writers from online and print media outlets, but this was my fabulous (lol!) deput on HGTV's website!

The author is the superb wordsmith, Leah Hennen, from More Ways To Waste Time, an interesting, and often provocative blog.

And, yes, I did notice at the last kitchen show in the spring, how faucets are becoming even more modern, wtih a sculptural sort of look. And, yes, the finishes, well, just take your pick, there are so many to choose from.

Gone are the days when you have to match the metal finishes throughout the kitchen (faucet, lighting fixtures, hardware, hinges, sink, and whatever else is a metal.) SO gone! Sure, keep a keen eye on what's happening with your metals in and around the kitchen, but you are set free to explore the world of finishes, and manufacturers who make faucets understand this trend toward personal expression.

Likewise, consider mixing modern faucets with a traditionally styled kitchen. There should be some sort of eclectic theme going on first, but, your faucet style surely contributes to your overall design "message."  A more utilitarian type faucet may be a better bridge aesthetically to blend with a traditional kitchen than a super sleek style. That's possible, but again, needs care and caution in selecting your materials to achieve an eclectic look that makes sense.

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Dwell Videos - Design Perspectives

I was just approached by Dwell magazine and was asked to take a look at a series of three videos, featuring innovative design concepts, explained by the designers themselves from their personal and professional perspectives. The first video is by landscape architect, Andrea Cochran, second is an Airstream interior design by Christopher Deam, and the third shows a prefab house by prefab architect Michelle Kaufmann.

To me, good design is good design, and oftentimes concepts can freely move from one discipline to another. Andrea Cochran talks about layers in her design work, the juxtaposition of warm and cool elements, warm being, perhaps, lone plantings placed nearby strong, simple lines in the hardscape. It is a lesson for interiors as well, kitchen design absolutely included. It is a philosophy which is clean, yet not cold. 

Layers of visual interest are designed in, after the foundation of the design is created. This is what I tell my clients about their kitchen design...but, if possible, project forward toward that next layer of visual interest, to understand that the foundation, being simple, is often necessary. 

Take a look also at the Airstream video. You'll see a very interesting kitchen, which conforms to the Airstream's proportions and lines.

The prefab house by Michelle Kaufmann is a sustainable, healthy, home, meant to be able to be reproduced for mass accessibility in terms of cost, with the benefit of sustainable features. The kitchen can also be seen and uses a paperstone countertop.

Take a little time, open your mind to the design concepts and how they can be translated, learn a little something, and enjoy the beauty of these projects as well. Don't forget Dwell's new kitchen blog!


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Designer/Client Synergy ...

I had a meeting with a client today, one whose project has stopped and started over many months. Now, we're on a roll, finally.

This client is lovely. She's high spirited, often opinionated and always positive. She obviously really enjoys the process, which is delightful to see.

Here's the thing...I guess I understand what an actor on the stage means when he/she says that he/she "feeds off" of the audience, and the audience is different every night.

My energy, my creativity, my spirit, in large part, is fed from the client. If the client is positive, I'll double that feeling, resulting in lots of real enthusiasm and quite possibly, enhanced creativity. If the client is reserved, nervous, or negative, the stage is set for me to try to bring us to higher ground, where we can connect and become real partners in this venture. I'm at my absolute best with a positive, engaged, interested client. It becomes magic!

Today, I brought forth ideas rapid-fire, I exulted and exclaimed loudly when we hit on a great idea, all in response to a very motivated and positive client. Serious/reserved/"professional demeanor?" I'd rather exclaim, "look at THIS, wow!"

I enjoyed myself immensely today. Clients, motivate your designers with a positive demeanor. You'll get the best work from your designer, and you'll have some fun too. Relax, relate, reap rewards!

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Professional Range Love

Many kitchen ranges got a big workout this week. Remodelista has put together a nice collection of some hot (pun intended!) ranges for your viewing pleasure. Color is seen in this collection too. Can you live for 20 years or more with a lime green range?
Think twice about that one.

Bertazzoni.jpgI've used cobalt blue, marroon and recently khaki (very nice) on Viking ranges in kitchens I've designed. There IS so much more out there than stainless. To warm up your kitchen a bit, reducing that stainless-steel-everywhere look, you may want to consider, if not a color-color, then think about cream, khaki, brown, neutrals available on ranges, having more staying power (and probably much better for home resale purposes) than a strong color.

This is not to discourage you from choosing color, if that's been your pro range dream. Then, embrace it! Just don't tire of it in five or ten years...that would be a bad thing.

The other great news about this neat collection is seen in the varying styles and configurations of these ranges. There is a whole lot more choices available now than the "typical" style professional range we're so used to. I enjoy seeing these creative alternatives. 

And, some of the prices are not much more, or even less, than we're used to. Can it be that there is life beyond Wolf, Dacor, Thermador and GE? Maybe they're the meat and potatoes, and these "alternative" ranges are the spices...

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Inspiring Eat-In Kitchens

Do you need a formal dining room for your Thanksgiving dinner for a small group? No! Over the years, I've had one long table, as well as multiple tables, and I'll tell you what is best: it's whatever works! And, if that means eating in the kitchen, so be it. Here are inspiring eat in kitchens good enough for today's main event, the Thanksgiving meal. Images from Desire To Inspire and the (departed) House & Garden. Enjoy!


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