The Kitchen Designer

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bar none, even Thanksgiving day itself, I'd say Thanksgiving eve is my most favorite day of the year. It's all potential at this point! The kids come home, we all begin to cook, chaos abounds, wine flows, the cat attacks the visiting dog, we get in each other's way, make the list for take-out, make a grand mess, and it's all good.

Thanksgiving%20142aa.jpgIt all happens in the kitchen at a fever pitch. Nowhere else in the house does the combination of working together and relating, occur, except the kitchen, together with the sensory pieces of food, colors, music, and so much love floating around, too, of course. My daughter and I, since yesterday, and probably before then, have been exchanging emails with multiple exclamation marks. Me saying "Come Home!!" multiple times, and she (having an otherwise very responsible job in the city), with equal doses of enthusiastic responses. It WILL be an invasion in just a few hours from this moment.

It's 12:44 as I write this. I guess I should start planning the menu. I picked up the turkey but that's all I've done. I use Thanksgiving as a metaphor for life's issues. When I haven't done a thing, by late afternoon, and I have 20 people coming for dinner, sometimes more, but much less this year (I do Thanksgiving every year, and I do completely it from scratch) I say to myself..."I'm not sure how I'll get this done, but somehow there will be food on the table tomorrow." I just don't sweat, to a fault, I'd say.

At this moment, I'm the only one home, and the quiet is interesting, knowing what's to come.

Thanksgiving%20132aa.jpgSo, yes, the kitchen really is the heart of the home, and not just on Thanksgiving. My kitchen seems to work quite well for me. Maybe a few tweaks could make it function a little better. I could be more organized with storage...where "categories" of items are stored for logical access. Maybe I'll work on that next. Other than that, it serves me well.

Are you planning a kitchen renovation? Do yourself a favor and try to be aware of how you work in the kitchen. What is a habit, and what is a preference? How is your access to food and cookware items? What is stored too tightly together? What items are in the "other room" because there is not room in the kitchen? Who is working where, and do you need more work "stations?" How is the lighting? Try to notice what is working and what is not working in a curious way instead of a frustrated way. Make notes.

But, in between, enjoy every moment. I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful. Please tell me about what you're doing, and how your kitchen works for you for Thanksgiving! I'd love for you to share your thoughts.




Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

What I Did Last Week

I guess I took a small leave of absence that was unintentional! I've just finished a crazy week, crazier than usual.

It started last Wednesday in New York City. I was asked by KBB magazine (Kitchen Bath Business) to be a judge of product innovations for 2007, to be disclosed in their December issue. There were five other judges invited and, I believe, 147 product entries for us to go through. This took most of the day, and included much spirited, open, discussion. I suppose it was sort of what a jury room must be like! The jury foreman (non judge representative from KBB) did a great job of adding order to the chaos, and assuring that everyone was heard. We came with different points of view, a good thing. I could tell you who the winners are...but then I'd have to harm you!

The next day, Thursday, I met a business associate from Europe, and we traipsed down to Washington D.C. to discuss a large residential multi apartment project. We took the 6 am train there and the 1 pm train back. We also took a circuitous route back to Union Station in DC by way of a cab driver (I casually said, give us a tour) who then wanted to charge us $60 when all I asked to see was the Capital, which was right near Union Station! Switched trains in New York and took the train out to my home and went to dinner with my husband and business associate.

Friday found me and my associate in the offices of two shelter publication editors, again in New York, striking while my associate was in town (more details at another time!)

Saturday, again in the city with my associate, looking at beautiful showrooms in Soho, with a first stop in DUMBO to see the Gaggenau/Bosch/Thermador showroom, and take in the incredible view.

Mind you, most of these times I went going back and forth to the city from my home in Long Island, an hour away with no traffic. Sunday, I CRASHED at home, of course, doing work too, and my associate left town after a successful trip. I must note that Friday we experienced (got my husband to meet me to drive home together) legendary traffic. We left the city at 4/4:15, I think it was, and came home at 7 pm!

It's a very good "busy." I enjoy doing other types of work involving kitchen design, it makes things interesting, very interesting, rather than doing one type of work each and every day, although, of course, I enjoy my work too. But, I love to branch out and touch all sorts of peripheral kitchen-related parts of the business.  A number of interesting kitchen related events on my calendar that are coming up too...can't wait.  

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

A New Vision In Kitchen Design

new%20kitchen%205.jpgComing honest, green, kitchen.


A stunningly simple, organic, yet adaptable, point of view.


Solid wood. Solid design.


Available in the New York area (for the first time), in the first quarter of 08! (more details soon!)

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

Kitchen Shelving Trend and Iron ...

iron%20bracket.jpgNow that kitchen shelving is getting more popular, I also seem to be doing more of it! It adds such warmth and personality to spaces. It is a great look to mix both decorative AND useful items on shelving, that's really the beauty of it. Books, and salt/pepper shakers. Dishes and antique bowls. Vases and oil/vinegar botlles. Of course, closed baskets also look great on shelves, adding texture, but not dust!

I've lived with open shelving for my dishes and glasses now for a few years, and I have to say we love it. The dishes and glasses are used so frequently that there isn't time to accummulate dust. Some glasses which are less used, we'll do a quick rinse under the nearby faucet, and that's it. Open shelving is not for everyone, granted.

kitchen%20shelving.jpgI just ordered 14 brackets for a project. The place I mostly go to is Iron Accents. It's a Yahoo store, a very reliable company, and I've used them for years, I can definitely vouch for their product and quality.  

They also have a million different finishes, including colors! Some items are traditional in style, some are modern, and many are inspired by nature. If you use your imagination, you'll see how adaptable they are to many different design themes.

For the project I just purchased these brackets for, I wanted something very simple, especially having 14 of them. Simple, yet interesting, with a hand made sort of look. For me, it's a great go-to source.

Beautiful shelving image found in the beautiful collections of Desire To Inspire! 


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago

Green Kitchen Ideas

Take a look at this green kitchen, isn't it great? I saw it on Apartment Therapy Green, and I had to show it to you. On that link, you can get lots more information in the form of an interview with the owners including some good, green tips at the end of the interview. Take a look here, for images of the kitchen. Another example of a "lite green" point of view. Well, this one  may be a moderate green remodel, but, again, it does not have to be all or nothing. Finding old things to reuse can generate lots of good design ideas.


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 11 years ago
Certified Kitchen Designer