The Kitchen Designer

Blogging Kitchen Blogs

Let's see who's talking about what in the kitchen focused blogosphere...

K+BB Green's Jeff Holloway, CKD, who blogs on green kitchen and bath products, issues, and ideas, also looks at green focused kitchen and bath issues, but look beyond that post, and you will be enlightened in a green way.

Peggy Deras, CKD, from Kitchen-exchange, has a great post on a free service for lighting questions. Let me tell you, planning lighting for any room in your home SHOULD be given first rate attention. It's a small price to pay (in this case none) to get it right the first time and to "see" clearly what you need and want to see!

Ann Porter, CKD, of Kitchann Style has a very interesting post on opening up, or visually enlarging small kitchens. Now, the conventional wisdom says that one must pack in as much storage as is possible in a small kitchen. As Ann says, it's more about finding alternative storage solutions, with the benefit of a much more spacious look to an otherwise small feeling kitchen. I like this way of thinking!

Laurie Burke, from Kitchen Design Notes, talks about the maintenance of soapstone.  Soapstone is a quite misunderstood material. No need to be freaked out by scratches...with a little elbow grease, your countertop is brought back to life and lustre. Explore, there is more on soapstone in the blog.

And for pure style, one of my fave design blogs, Desire to Inspire always manages to sneak in some great kitchens in their posts, which are a joy to see, especially in the context of the whole house, apartment, or whatever the environment! Take a look and get, well, inspired...  

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Blogging Kitchen Blogs

Let's see who's talking about what in the kitchen focused blogosphere...

K+BB Green's Jeff Holloway, CKD, who blogs on green kitchen and bath products, issues, and ideas, also looks at green focused kitchen and bath issues, but look beyond that post, and you will be enlightened in a green way.

Peggy Deras, CKD, from Kitchen-exchange, has a great post on a free service for lighting questions. Let me tell you, planning lighting for any room in your home SHOULD be given first rate attention. It's a small price to pay (in this case none) to get it right the first time and to "see" clearly what you need and want to see!

Ann Porter, CKD, of Kitchann Style has a very interesting post on opening up, or visually enlarging small kitchens. Now, the conventional wisdom says that one must pack in as much storage as is possible in a small kitchen. As Ann says, it's more about finding alternative storage solutions, with the benefit of a much more spacious look to an otherwise small feeling kitchen. I like this way of thinking!

Laurie Burke, from Kitchen Design Notes, talks about the maintenance of soapstone.  Soapstone is a quite misunderstood material. No need to be freaked out by scratches...with a little elbow grease, your countertop is brought back to life and lustre. Explore, there is more on soapstone in the blog.

And for pure style, one of my fave design blogs, Desire to Inspire always manages to sneak in some great kitchens in their posts, which are a joy to see, especially in the context of the whole house, apartment, or whatever the environment! Take a look and get, well, inspired...  

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Designer Diary - A Day I...

DSCF3701a.jpgFrom time to time I will share with you real life client meetings, like today. It was an interesting day today. I had received a call last week from a woman who asked about my kitchen design services, as she and her husband are planning a kitchen renovation. I was immediately intrigued when she said they lived on Fire Island. Fire Island is a very long, and very narrow, strip of land, beyond the south shore of Long Island, about 1/2 an hour off of Long Island by boat, reachable only by private boat or ferry. No cars are allowed on the island, and there are several small towns. It's all about the beach on Fire Island!

I was born and raised on Long Island, and I had never been to Fire Island, the residential section of Fire Island, as opposed to the public ocean beaches, a totally separate area, so I was interested in going. The trip there and back was time consuming. I live on the north shore of Long Island, a straight shot across the island from the ferry on the south shore. Here's the math:

DSCF3706a.jpg1/2 an hour to the ferry

1/2 an hour on the ferry

2 hours 45 minutes between ferries (once on Fire Island)

1/2 an hour on the ferry back

1/2 an hour back home, once on the mainland

= close to 5 hours and a fair amount of wear and tear!

But, again, I was interested in seeing it, so off I went. I thought I'd be met at the ferry, so after wandering around a bit, I called, and they said they'd be right there and asked if I rode a bicycle. Hmmmm...I dressed in a skirt and had 2 heavy bags with me, but, this was an adventure, so, I must do adventurous things. "Sure, I said, I ride a bike."

DSCF3746a.jpgSome minutes later, up came a man (the husband) riding a big old bike and holding another bike as he rode, a female style bike, bright blue. The husband took my things, put them in his basket and off we went on the way back to their house.

We rode on some beautiful, very small, narrow, paved lanes, typical for the island, past lovely, small homes, with beautiful gardens, such lush growth everywhere, a front lawn with large seashells, tall beach grasses blowing, and passing others on their bicycles too. Weaving from one lane into another, we eventually got to the house, leaned the bike up against the house and went inside.

DSCF3744a.jpgThe home was beautiful in its simplicity, exposed beams everywhere, as the home is not winterized, and it was all in white. There was authentic, and beautiful, mid century furniture pieces by famous designers such as Hans Wegner, and a light by Louis Poulsen. It was very inspiring. We talked, all went well, and I immediately thought of a new line of cabinetry that I will be announcing soon (!) which would be just perfect for this particular setting. The kitchen is wide open to the living room and dining area. I know exactly what to do here. This kitchen needs surgery! The estimate was received well, it was asked that I fully measure, we'll see what happens.

It was a long day, oh, and how can I forget to mention the pouring rain on the ferry trip back, complete with rough seas, thunder and lightning (and let's not forget the below "E" gas fill-up at the self help mini mart gas station where one must go into the mart, fill up, then go back to the mart, then back to the car (in the rain)? Ugh.  

All in all, I had a great day, met nice people, saw a beautiful place, and an interesting home, it's definitely all good. 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Cabinet Order Process

It was a very busy week last week. Of course, a large cabinet order for a kitchen had to be edited while I was away, which I did (while I was away). Then, it had to be looked at in its entirety again right after I got back, to do the back and forth editing with the factory, which I did, and have just finished.

I thought it would be interesting to give you a little glimpse of what is involved in ordering a kitchen, this stage of the order processing, which is the final stage. It's a stressful time. It's decision time, fish or cut bait, do or die, last chance and all that!

I do things the long way. When I put in my cabinet order, it's probably 95% accurate. Usually, that is because I need to rush the order writing somewhat so that I can reserve a particular week for delivery...timing is always critical in my line of business! At this time, the client and I go over the final plans and they place the deposit with me. In the course of going over every final detail, more issues often arise, changes, rethinking, etc. on the part of the client. I permit that, I never discourage it, because I want my clients to have things "their way." I want them to have every opportunity, even if it comes later than it should, to make their kitchen the way they want it.

Sometimes, as in this case, the client kept thinking and rethinking things well after we first placed the order, and I continued to accommodate this client until the day before I left for my trip (a surprise two hour meeting!) And, then we emailed and spoke again while I was away!

When the factory gives me back their interpretation of my written order, and before production, it looks like the image, here! I need to start from scratch with every single dimension for the entire room, taking another look at a couple of hundred+ cabinet order details, and taking everything else (appliance specs & more) into consideration all over again. That's how I do it.  It takes focused concentration for long periods of time.  As a result, I never, ever, have a problem with a cabinet's fit, and I'll often come up with new, better, ways of detailing a cabinet during this time.

There are four pieces of information that I check, one against the other, constantly: the specifications list in the contract, the floor plan and elevations, my order to the factory, and the original dimensions from the space. Back and forth, one to the other and back again.

Sometimes I have not been 100% clear in the order, and sometimes the factory makes a mistake or misinterpretation on their edited copy of the actual order. They check me, and I then check their final interpretation before it goes into production. We communicate via phone and email. To me, it's not over until it's the last day before production (well, the goal is to have it be over when the factory begins their editing process!) You can get a sense of how detailed a designer is if you ask him/her to tell you how he/she edits their orders with the factory. Sometimes I call it engineering the cabinetry to fit, as I design all cabinetry to the 1/8". If they roll their eyes at the thought of this stage of the process, it's a good sign! Now the order is done, and guess what, when the cabinets arrive, I'm doing the whole thing all over again to remember why I did what I did!

Kitchen%20Order.jpg 

 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Cabinet Order Process

It was a very busy week last week. Of course, a large cabinet order for a kitchen had to be edited while I was away, which I did (while I was away). Then, it had to be looked at in its entirety again right after I got back, to do the back and forth editing with the factory, which I did, and have just finished.

I thought it would be interesting to give you a little glimpse of what is involved in ordering a kitchen, this stage of the order processing, which is the final stage. It's a stressful time. It's decision time, fish or cut bait, do or die, last chance and all that!

I do things the long way. When I put in my cabinet order, it's probably 95% accurate. Usually, that is because I need to rush the order writing somewhat so that I can reserve a particular week for delivery...timing is always critical in my line of business! At this time, the client and I go over the final plans and they place the deposit with me. In the course of going over every final detail, more issues often arise, changes, rethinking, etc. on the part of the client. I permit that, I never discourage it, because I want my clients to have things "their way." I want them to have every opportunity, even if it comes later than it should, to make their kitchen the way they want it.

Sometimes, as in this case, the client kept thinking and rethinking things well after we first placed the order, and I continued to accommodate this client until the day before I left for my trip (a surprise two hour meeting!) And, then we emailed and spoke again while I was away!

When the factory gives me back their interpretation of my written order, and before production, it looks like the image, here! I need to start from scratch with every single dimension for the entire room, taking another look at a couple of hundred+ cabinet order details, and taking everything else (appliance specs & more) into consideration all over again. That's how I do it.  It takes focused concentration for long periods of time.  As a result, I never, ever, have a problem with a cabinet's fit, and I'll often come up with new, better, ways of detailing a cabinet during this time.

There are four pieces of information that I check, one against the other, constantly: the specifications list in the contract, the floor plan and elevations, my order to the factory, and the original dimensions from the space. Back and forth, one to the other and back again.

Sometimes I have not been 100% clear in the order, and sometimes the factory makes a mistake or misinterpretation on their edited copy of the actual order. They check me, and I then check their final interpretation before it goes into production. We communicate via phone and email. To me, it's not over until it's the last day before production (well, the goal is to have it be over when the factory begins their editing process!) You can get a sense of how detailed a designer is if you ask him/her to tell you how he/she edits their orders with the factory. Sometimes I call it engineering the cabinetry to fit, as I design all cabinetry to the 1/8". If they roll their eyes at the thought of this stage of the process, it's a good sign! Now the order is done, and guess what, when the cabinets arrive, I'm doing the whole thing all over again to remember why I did what I did!

Kitchen%20Order.jpg 

 

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