The Kitchen Designer

Kitchens - Go Ahead and Vent!

elica%201.jpgAt KBIS, I took a 1/2 day sort of refresher course on venting. There is not a whole lot new in venting concepts, but, it did reinforce and remind me of the "ick" factor, which I'll explain. 

Here's what's happening. First, our kitchen floor plans are more OPEN to other rooms. This means that pollutants from cooking have more opportunity to freely move about your home, hanging out in your furnishings, your artwork, your pillows, walls, flooring, you get the idea. Just as an fyi, grease from cooking turns into vapor and floats in the air as particles for as long as 72 hours!

ADD TO THAT, the tighter construction of newer homes, which can encourage mold growth and trap pollutants, and your health becomes at risk for allergies, asthma, lung disease, and who knows what else.  A very impressive ick factor, yes? AND, if that is not enough, indoor pollution is considered to rank within the top 5 environmental risks to the public, according to the EPA.

miele%20hood.jpgHoods now do very cool things. They sense heat and turn on automatically. They sense cool temperatures and turn off automatically. They are much quieter than they used to be.  They operate via remote control. Some have hidden controls with a memory feature. They have a delayed shut down mode and a 24 hour anti pollution mode. Some hoods move up and down at the touch of a button to get out of your way, and some hoods move in and out. And, some are energy star rated. Hoods do amazing things these days. Look more deeply when you are in the market for a hood. It's substance, not only style!

More to the story are cfms, duct runs, turns, duct diameters, and other elements and information with which to design a proper venting system, but that is for another day. Today's purpose is twofold: 1) to get you aware of all that is floating in and around the kitchen after you cook and 2) to show you some new hoods (which you really, really, need!)

Please run your mouse over the image to see the brand names.


elica%202.jpg miele-hood-1.jpg miele-2.jpg sierra.jpg zephyr%202.jpg
Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Resources - By Readers

I want to just take a moment and thank my readers, all of you, for passing on your own tips, suggestions, and favorite resources in an effort to help others find solutions to this crazily, and incredibly, detailed endeavor known as a kitchen renovation! 

I can't say how appreciative I am. I continue to learn from you, and we all benefit from one another. Your participation helps to make this blog better and better, serving as a great resource for many, as I am told via private emails and public posts. Your willingness to share is inspiring. The quality of your ideas and the information you bring to us all is simply fantastic. I'm not looking to gather compliments in return, please don't go there. I just want to take a moment and express these thoughts. Your thoughts and information you bring to this blog are always welcome, always.

Today is a good day to be Reader Appreciation Day!

What else can I say but thank you!

Here's something for you. It's what you remind me of, many beautiful roses in my garden. This is an image I took last June. Thanks for "sitting on the bench" and chatting awhile. Visit me anytime!


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

KBIS 2008 - Green Kitchen Products

This just in...New York Times' Sunday magazine, "The Green Issue" is here:

Please take a look and register if you need to, it's worth it.

I was all set to blog about green kitchen design theory today, but Maureen, my assistant, took home a bunch of green kitchen information this weekend (on her own, just wanted to read up on it, isn't that great?) and I can't find what I'm looking for. You'll meet Maureen soon, I'm sure. Maureen brings her own container of water to work every day (yes, don't worry, I give her more water if she wants it during the day. No, I DO.) We talk about environmental issues here and there, and Maureen brings a lot of good green living insight into our company. SO, till then, I'll show you some green, or healthy living, products I saw at KBIS.


U1570LS.jpgRohl has a new triflow faucet, which offers hot, cold, and filtered water from a single faucet, offering consumers a healthy alternative and a more green alternative than drinking tap water or wasting water bottles. The faucet has a dedicated filtered waterway with no risk of contamination. The filtration system sits under the sink and produces water that tastes good.



Tempest%20Sonoma1.jpgStaron Surfaces (by Samsung) has added ten new colors to the line for 2008, but the most exciting news is the Greenguard certification Staron has just earned for their countertop products. The certification covers the full range of products by Staron. Here is one of the new colors, called Sonoma, from the Tempest line, new for 2008.



bronze%20light.jpgDid I tell you browns were everywhere? Well, take a look at this product. It's brown AND green. Kichler introduces new LED cabinet light fixture. It's energy efficient, lasts, oh, 40,000 hours or so, emitting a soft, white light. It is for use under wall cabinets, as task lighting, and it comes in a variety of sizes. It also has a very low profile, about 1/2" thick. How about a lifetime warranty and a snap together installation? And it also comes in nickel and white, as well as bronze. You're welcome in advance for this one!


That's it for the moment...I have tons of work to do! Enjoy the weekend! 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Draper DBS Sub Zero Booth Kbis 2008

Quick the weather's 73 degrees and not even 11 am(!) I like to lighten up the here is a fresh, crisp, change, along with some small new images just below the main image. It feels like summer already to me!

Here is the other Sub Zero booth from the 2008 KBIS show last week, by Bill Draper, of Draper DBS. Bill Draper shares his, always unique, always interesting, vision, creating a mix of materials, a fusion of smoothness, texture, shine, shimmer, waves, and grids in a simple, yet strong, kitchen design.

There is movement in this's in the "wave" drawer fronts, the rounded, amazing, Sub Zero pieces, made as one, the "moving" glass features, even the carved artwork of 3 people in slight movement. The colors are clear and warm, and the lines are strong. Bill Draper's designs for Sub Zero always delight the senses. We, in the biz, KNOW it will be something special if Bill Draper is attached to a project. His cabinetry is wonderful, and he has a policy that his factory will create anything buildable...just go ahead and dream...

Take a look at the Flikr slide's a quick one, only 7 images.

















UPDATE: I had a request to see the drawer fronts on this project. I did not focus on them, so they are not as sharp as they could be, but it's not bad. kbis%2008%204831.jpg

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

My Midlife Crisis ... In The Kit...

Not a crisis, it sounds so dramatic, but a period of transition, a kitchen designer, that is. I'm no longer so concerned with the kitchen triangle, and haven't been for awhile. For the most part, the kitchen triangle is fading away in relevance. Why? Because of several things:

  • a client's increased confidence in expressing one's preferred work habits (a good thing)
  • the introduction of so many different shapes, sizes, and types of appliances in response
  • designing multiple work stations into a kitchen
  • multi generations cooking together as fun rather than as a task
  • the kitchen becoming even more the center of the home, attracting people like ants to a picnic

But, it's funny, the thing that is really making me totally rethink the kitchen is its role as a social place. We've all read the magazines talking about the kitchen as the "gathering place." We've heard that for years, and there is the island with a few stools, etc. etc.

But, my eyes have been opened even further, since last August after having visited the Hansen showroom in Copenhagen and speaking often, since then, with Knud Kapper, architect behind Hansen, and his team. I now find myself thinking far more about social interaction in the kitchen design phase, putting its importance right up there with other functional issues as well as aesthetics, which they do at Hansen, and in a big way. There is more to this philosophy, but, as you know, I will go on forever if I say much more. This kitchen is not, in total concept, the "Hansen way" but an interpretation.

Here's the point for today. Remember this kitchen I told you about? I found myself designing in more opportunities for social interaction, with the occasional traditional thinking thrown into other plans, which many people enjoy. Today, I met with my client, and this is the plan she chose, just below. It was my favorite, but I'm not always asked what my favorite plan is, and do not offer it unless asked. It's subjective, after all.

Every plan has its pros and cons, and this is no exception. In fact, the social kitchen, often with large and/or multiple islands, does sacrifice storage. That's the way it often is. But, the critical you really need all that stuff? In this case, we reclaimed a large wall just off the kitchen for needed storage space. At this preliminary point, it's all about shapes, forms, aisles, and appliance locations, really nothing more. There were others, but these are most of them. In one case, not shown, I put the cooktop in the bay and took out the rear window to have the sink closer to the cooktop in a different plan. Remember, function, social, aesthetics, the order of each is yours to define!


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