The Kitchen Designer

Thank you blogging buddies!

DSCF0972a.jpgI think I'm the only one I've come across who refers to "blogging buddies." I do like the sound of it! I would like to thank my blogging buddies, Holly from Decor8, the gals at Blink Decor, and Linda from Surroundings, for showing my kitchen design work and/or my images from Denmark.

Thanks to Blink Decor for showing the images of my currently published kitchen. I'm glad they enjoyed it! I have to take a moment to say that I'm really crazy about the layout of their blog. I love the colors, it's very exciting, it always revs me up, and it's very user friendly. Good stuff on there too, and always thoughtful and informative advice. Thanks, gals.  

Thanks to Holly from Decor8 for creating that big, fantastic, post on Danish home interiors (images from some of my familys' homes) and for showcasing some of the great, Danish, furniture that I photographed in the fine, home furnishing stores. My cousin's comments on sources and designers of her home furnishings are very interesting. What a thrill to be on decor8! It's always a destination for me. Need to keep up to date and see what's happening design-wise!

And, last, but definitely not least, to my very good blogging buddy, Linda, from Surroundings. I laughed out loud when I saw the title of Linda's post, about the rotten state of Denmark, and wish I thought of that myself! Thank you Linda, for both showcasing my white kitchen and for linking to the Danish inspired posts on the blogs. Always a go-to source for interesting, eclectic, design information, and, I appreciate the mentions, Linda (each live link links to a different post). Surroundings takes the pulse from many sources and makes sense of it all to the rest of us!

You know, I really need to ask this question. Due to the enthusiasm over "things Scandinavian," I am often confused, because I'm SO tied into the culture and the beauty of it all. So, tell me, what do you all love about it? Do you see Scandinavian design becoming even more of a factor in today's design interests? Do you see it moving forward in everyone's design focused radar screens? Or is it just the classic beauty of it which will always be appreciated? Is everything old new again, or is it fresh, new, Scandinavian points of view that you are seeing? I'd really love to hear your thoughts.  

The image is my cousin's dining room, with some of our family, a beautiful Danish home interior.

 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Dining Inspiration via R...

DSCF1708a.jpgKnowing Design*Sponge has a love for restaurant interior design, I offered to snap a few shots of restaurants while in Denmark. Here's the result of passing by fantastic restaurants, during two weeks of strolling through Copenhagen and beyond.

See the whole slide show of my images via Design*Sponge.  

Now, down to the issue...can one get inspiration for one's home from restaurants? Of course! How many times have you gone to a hotel or other public area, including restaurants and been inspired by the colors, textures, or other interesting or beautiful feature of a public space? It's a fantastic source, truth be told, of inspiration. Keep your camera handy, snap what "speaks to you" and save it in your file of ideas. The interpretation of the design can shift from larger proportions to smaller in most cases. No, you won't have 50 tables in your own dining area, but if you are observant of the interior design, and are open to it, these areas can be a valuable resource of ideas. Remove the white table cloths, and you have a great kitchen dining spot which can be tweaked to be more or less formal as you need.

This image, below, is a room for a larger party in the restaurant. Both images are from the restaurant, Madklubben.  Thanks for the mention, d*s!

Kitchen%20Dining%20Area 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Dining Inspiration via R...

DSCF1708a.jpgKnowing Design*Sponge has a love for restaurant interior design, I offered to snap a few shots of restaurants while in Denmark. Here's the result of passing by fantastic restaurants, during two weeks of strolling through Copenhagen and beyond.

See the whole slide show of my images via Design*Sponge.  

Now, down to the issue...can one get inspiration for one's home from restaurants? Of course! How many times have you gone to a hotel or other public area, including restaurants and been inspired by the colors, textures, or other interesting or beautiful feature of a public space? It's a fantastic source, truth be told, of inspiration. Keep your camera handy, snap what "speaks to you" and save it in your file of ideas. The interpretation of the design can shift from larger proportions to smaller in most cases. No, you won't have 50 tables in your own dining area, but if you are observant of the interior design, and are open to it, these areas can be a valuable resource of ideas. Remove the white table cloths, and you have a great kitchen dining spot which can be tweaked to be more or less formal as you need.

This image, below, is a room for a larger party in the restaurant. Both images are from the restaurant, Madklubben.  Thanks for the mention, d*s!

Kitchen%20Dining%20Area 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

A White Kitchen by Susan Serra, ...

BH--G-Better-By-Design074aba.jpgI arrived home last night from my vacation to see one of my favorite recent kitchens I've designed, finally, in print! The feature just came out in the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It's in a section called "Better By Design."

I designed this kitchen a variety of different ways for the client, in an extensive design process, and in the end, the client decided not to change the existing location of windows, doorways, and appliances. BUT, that was only the start of the story. Maintaining these same locations, I wanted there to be a renewed excitement and importance to the kitchen design, but, based on good design principles, rather than easy, but, uninspired "runs" of cabinetry as you can see in the "before" pictures. I also wanted to "lighten up" the area above the refrigerator, which was achieved. A much more spacious feel on that side of the kitchen than before.

Other Ideas Which Didn't Make It:

Some of my ideas were not implemented that I would have liked, but I have to remind myself, it's not my kitchen! I had recommended that the rear wall, rather than subway tile, be some sort of subtle stone, a slab material, although the end result looks great. I also did not want to connect the cabinetry on each side of the range to each wall. I thought it would look interesting to be open, a bit unfitted. Then, I suggested open shelves with the wall showing behind, and no toekick. In the end, the client wanted a more "connected" look, but we did maintain the open shelving below, which makes it.  

New Ideas 

New design ideas were developed and explored, based on the proportion and scale of the space as well as taking into consideration the architecture and style of the home. I also created a personal style interpretation for the client, which bridges the concepts of tradition, a nautical feel, a bit of a "commercial" look, and some real beauty included in the mix too. Please see all of the images in the gallery.

BH--G-Better-By-Design067.jpg 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Design Diversity

I think I'm fortunate to have a fair amount of diversity in my extended family. As I end my trip to Copenhagen, it occurs to me just how important it is to design kitchens suited to the needs of the users. In my own extended family, I have these diverse personal situations, all of whom work in their kitchens in different ways for different reasons.

 

 

  • Daughter/son-in-law in an apartment in an urban setting, concerned with healthy living and healthy cooking, with demanding jobs, and then, early evening, exercise routines, speed and efficiency in the kitchen being the goal, and leisurely cooking as recreation,
  • Son, 21, and girlfriend, moving in together soon, who both cook up a storm nearly every night, with a health conscious and multi cultural focus due to their different cultural/ethnic backgrounds and green philosophies, (without a time concern, as I can attest to, having a recent meal with them at nearly 11 pm)
  • A cousin and her (yes, her) wife (legally married in Denmark) who are expecting twins sons soon, sharing domestic responsibilities, as all married couples do, in a countryside setting by the sea, with one spouse working, the other not,
  • My 93 year old uncle, living alone, preparing traditional Danish meals and also hosting weekly get togethers at his apartment, the apartment he has had for, oh, maybe 60 years or so,
  • Another cousin and her husband, empty nesters, and retired, moving back and forth between an urban apartment and summer house in Denmark, with interesting food storage issues to solve,
  • Another cousin's busy working life with two young children and a husband (the traditional "subjects" for all previously held kitchen design ideas) with the woman's mother as frequent helper and occasional chef,
  • A recently widowed aunt, who lived a long life, preparing from-scratch meals for two, now, for one,
  • A male cousin, single, 30s, in a new urban apartment, with a new kitchen, planning his kitchen HIS way,
  • A male, 22, single, student, who owns an apartment and lives with rent paying roomates, but plans to live there a long time, later with a girlfriend, and just planning a kitchen now,
  • Me and my husband, nearly empty nesters, soon to be spending more time in our city apartment, redefining "home" as well as our cooking habits.

 
Designers need to understand that there is no longer one family "model," but many, and oftentimes multi-cultural, multi-generational, perhaps a non traditional lifestyle, and sometimes all of these mixed together. It is imperative that each personal situation be dissected to uncover the needs for function and aesthetics which are unique to he/she/them alone. I do believe the time has arrived where both homeowners and designers are understanding the wide realm of new design possibilities that can be tailored to one's unique way of living in the kitchen.

Are you planning a kitchen? Look more deeply into your/your family's personal needs. Take time to do that. Don't settle for standard, typical, or one size fits all. Ask for , look for, plan for, personal design solutions.

Vive la difference! 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago
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