A tip for adding non-structural pizazz to your ceilings.

October 7th, 2008 § Leave a Comment

Kitchen Design Notes: Ceilings Need Attention Too.
In posting my topic on ceilings, it turns out there is more to be said, and Kelly over at Kitchen Sync blog has offered some fine tips on ceilings.

A valuable discussion Kelly, thank you.

Ceilings Need Attention Too.

October 6th, 2008 § 6 Comments

Many times the ceiling is the overlooked surface in kitchen remodeling.
Here are some lovely examples of designing with the 5th “wall” in mind.
If you are graced with 10′ plus ceilings, there are more options available. But, if you live in a two story home with standard 8′ ceilings, take heart, there are still options available for you.

This space designed by one of my favorite designers, Patricia Gray, shows off a floating ceiling. What a fabulous technique.

Another view into the work of Patricia Gray. The wood tones adds warmth to the otherwise glistening reflective space with nearly floor to ceiling spans of windows.

In this rambling California Ranch with cathedral ceilings, rough hewn beams (the very top left of the photo), were added to ceilings. Additional accent lighting above the cabinets sends the accent lighting upwards. The focus directs your attention up.

A two story home, although the ceilings are standard height, this vintage inspired kitchen plays up the molding detail, wrapping around the angled details. This kitchen, designed by my associate, Liz Tiffen, will be on the Tour of Kitchens, October 19th. For tickets and more information about the Tour please visit www.NKBAccv.org.

For many of us who have had the 1970′s recessed 4 x 8 fluorescent light tubes covered with plastic panels, an interesting update to the ceiling is the use of coved drywall finished with crown molding accenting the inside perimeter. Additional recessed can lights can be run inside this recessed area or as shown here, pendant lights and accent lighting behind the molding.

In Southern California, our older Spanish style homes, Art Deco or Craftsman style homes built in the 20′s and 30′s had great detail included: coved, art deco tray or beamed ceilings . If you are lucky to have a home with good bone structure to start with, lucky you.

If not, there are so many lovely styles to select from, it’s a shame to neglect the ceiling.

Here are some more examples of great ceilings.

From ValeyTinWorks.com

A barrel ceiling by Capital Improvements, in Dallas Texas. (In Texas where they really do everything big).

From Euro Builders, Texas

From the Vaughn Group, Dallas, Texas.

From the Traver Group, Texas.
And of course, I cannot end this series of ceiling details without showing the lovely, over the top (literally) faux painted sky ceiling. This one feels like a trellis above with the vines trailing down onto the wall. This one is just faux you.

I have been holding onto this photo forever. I think the kitchen is charming.
This is from YesterTec. A furniture company that specializes in amazing workstations hidden in armoire designed furniture.

Designers of Distinction Day

February 2nd, 2008 § 2 Comments

Thursday afternoon I was invited to tour the Enkeboll Castle in Carson, California.
The Enkeboll Company, founded by Raymond Enkeboll, produces legendary wood carved architectural products.

Getting to tour the facilities where some of the most beautiful carved wood products are made was worth clearing my calendar for the day. I felt like a kid getting to go behind the mysterious gates of Mr. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Fascinating. It has that same sense of mystery, anticipation and excitement. I was waiting to see if the Oompa Loompas would appear.

Upon entering the wrought iron garden gates, a stone and brick pathway gently winds its way to the hand carved front doors of this authentic styled Tudor Castle.

The front of the castle is truly special. From the floors to the hand carved beams in the ceiling.

Security was very serious. I have been sworn to secrecy not to reveal anything. Cameras were not allowed. These photos are courtesy from the Enkeboll web site. I toured the front offices, the showroom, the factory floor and the Master Carver’s wood shop. I wish I could show you photos of the employee kitchen. Let me just say, these folks are soooo happy to work here. Many have been with Enkeboll from 15 to 25 years. They are a lovely group of people. They treated us like family, so proud to show us around, and so helpful and really offering their help with future projects. I received first class service. Our tour guide, Felipe, who began his career with Enkeboll over twenty years ago as the lowest man on the totem pole; now runs the show as plant manager. He showed us the inner workings of the plant, and remember I am sworn to secrecy not to reveal trade secrets. So to keep “Willy Wonka’s Slugworth” at bay, sorry, but mums the word about the plant.

Upon completion of the tour, one of the highlights was getting to meet highly acclaimed, accomplished kitchen and bath designer and our guest speaker, Ellen Cheever, CMKBD. I have admired her work and contributions to our industry for a very long time. I considered her an industry giant and I have to admit, I was a little bit intimidated to talk with her. And so when she personally reached out to greet everyone who came, I was so impressed with her graciousness and wonderful kind spirit.

We were treated to an interactive creative design session learning to use molding in new ways. Mrs. Cheever was helpful in showing her own design mistakes with molding and tricks to avoid making them. We then formed into small think tank groups. We had the run of the molding showroom, coming up with new ways to use these amazing moldings. A designer’s candy store at our disposal. It was fabulous!

But wait, it gets better, I was able to work with the Master Carver, who created the Vineyard series. I learned how to correct a molding piece that was installed wrong. I learned the proper way to sand and hold carving tools. He was so patient, making sure I did not impale myself with his carving tools. Such a doll!

And so to end our day, back to the castle, we drank wine and delectable appetizers, and yes, there was chocolate! My very own Willy Wonka experience come true. However, there were no Oompa Loompas, (at least not during the day), and fortunately, unlike Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket tour, nobody in our group fell in the chocolate river, or got sucked into a tube, or turned blue, or sent down the garbage chute, or miniaturized. We did make new friends, chatted with other kitchen designers from Los Angeles and had an all together wonderful time. So thanks to John Pujol, President of Enkeboll, for opening your doors to us, and thanks to his wonderful staff and to Omega Cabinetry for giving us a golden ticket of an experience that I will never forget.

The New Ranch House Part 2

January 27th, 2008 § Leave a Comment

The L.A.Times Real Estate Section had a feature on The Ranch, Refined.
Have we come a long way in building a better ranch? Oh yes we have. This Somis residence designed by architect Zoltan Pali, says the structure fundamentally is a country house responding to its setting. “Rural has always been associated with simplicity, sparseness and function,” Pali says. “That is this house. I see it as a simple architectural expression with elements boiled down to their essence.”

The countryside is ever-present in Pali’s free-flowing plan.
Here, the living area naturally leads to the open kitchen.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

14 ft ceilings, clerestory windows, wide open passage ways from one room to the next are my favorite features.

Remodeling the Ranch Style Home

January 20th, 2008 § 3 Comments

The challenge of a Ranch Style kitchen.

The challenge for many who are ready to update the ranch: keep budgetary costs down with minimal structural and mechanical changes while improving the layout of the kitchen. Here are some ideas from my own collection of jobs and from around the net that show small space Ranch Kitchens with maximum impact.
Newspaper ad from 1962.
A new ranch style home for sale

In California, ranch home subdivisions exploded like wild poppies all over the state in the 1960′s and 70′s. Some better than others. Big lots, huge backyards, massive windows and sliding glass doors welcomed indoor/outdoor living, vaulted ceilings, 2 car attached garages, walk-in closets, spacious formal dining room, living room and den to boot.

The Klawitter Home in Long Beach, CA. An example of the best part of California Ranch House style: The indoor/outdoor living.

Ironically, the kitchens in these big, beautiful ranch homes usually shared the same impossible U-shaped footprint or narrow galley kitchens. Peninsulas with blind storage corners, massive sink base cabinets centered over a pass-thru kitchen window intended for ease of entertaining and serving to the patio. Before: Clerestory windows. Vaulted Ceilings. Views of the backyard make for a good beginning.
Goal for the new kitchen: Improve the layout, add counter space.

After: continue the clerestory windows into the kitchen allows the light to flood the kitchen.

Before: Three entries into the kitchen makes for an awkward layout with small counter space, small pantry and limited space for appliances and storage.

After: Third doorway closed off allows for bigger range and powerful vent hood, microwave and warming drawer allows the cook more flexibility for cooking large meals and entertaining. More counter space, open airy space with new half wall into dining room.

Before: Soffit over the sink area and wall cabinets close off the
kitchen and make it look smaller.

After: Soffits gone, glass front and sides of wall cabinets allow light
to bounce off reflective surfaces.

Before: Awkward and incomplete.

After: Additional counter space and an easy place for guests to relax with you in the kitchen.

Customized storage makes cooking easy.

The storage in this kitchen was doubled with customized features.

Accessible and Durable Storage: Lighted corner cabinets. Heavy duty hinges.

An 1965 newspaper ad. The Valley News, San Fernando Valley, CA .

A 1970′s Raised Ranch with it’s original kitchen layout.

Cabinets with impossible storage corners.
The peninsula and large spans of windows prevents needed wall cabinet storage.

During the remodel: the peninsula with the blind corner banished allows for the sink wall to be outfitted with a giant lazy susan corner and a trash base to the left of the sink. The new position of the dishwasher is given a proper home to the right of the sink, followed with drawers to the right for cutlery.

The cook top location remains at the same location but gets a boost of cooking power with an under cabinet oven. The old kitchens with the typical 70′s dropped fluorescent oak trimmed light fixture.

The new hood becomes the focal point.

No space for a double oven?
If it’s been a while since you shopped for a range,
the new double oven range offers unequaled versatility in one convenient package.
Introducing GE’s hottest new innovation in cooking convenience! This new GE Profile™ double oven range allows you to cook two different dishes at two different temperatures at the same time.

The stunning kitchens below are from www.bauerdesign.com.
Here, a U shape Kitchen with functional storage in every usable inch!

This mahogony stained kitchen is fabulous.

Small u shaped kitchens are no place for tall oven cabinets. This under cabinet oven makes way for spacious counter tops. Lou Ann Bauer and her staff at Bauer Interior Design was recognized by Interior Design Magazine as one of the nation’s top Kitchen & Bath design firms. For more inspiring views visit http://www.bauerdesign.com/news.html

The Best of Ranch Style

Rancho Style: Modernism Meets the Ranch House.
I am a huge fan of the Cliff May homes. They were certainly inspired by the Western ranch house, but they are unique in their modern interpretation of this California design. The Long Beach Cliff May’s were built in the early 1950s and reflect the modernist influences of the time with open floor plans, exposed post-and-beam ceilings, clerestory windows and floor to ceiling glass.

Floorplan Design and Placement
Many Cliff May designs are L- or U-shaped and are positioned to the back of their lots, a design layout which he envisioned would provide for more open outdoor space and an enhanced relationship between the homes’ interior and yard.

Appreciation for Design
As more people become interested in design—whether it‘s a toaster or an automobile—more are wanting their homes to reflect what they value. These individuals tend to share a common aesthetic and appreciation for form and function. They are, in large part, the new breed of owners who are shaping the future of neighborhoods such as the Ranchos. And somewhere in the great beyond, Cliff May is undoubtedly cheering them on.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ranchostyle.com/lbranchos.html

The Eichler Home: Distinctively different from the Ranch Home, the Eichler shares the same beauty of indoor/outdoor living with Atrium courtyards. A midcentury modern home built by developer Joseph Eichler and his Eichler Homes, Inc. built nearly 11,000 single-family homes in California, beginning in the late 1940s. In Northern California, they can be found in areas in and around Marin county, the East Bay, San Mateo county, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Three small communities of Eichlers in Southern California stand in Orange, Thousand Oaks, and Granada Hills. In addition, there are three Eichler-built residences in New York state. Together these thousands of “Eichlers” reflect the beauty and uniqueness of the Eichler design and the integrity and daring of the builder behind it. Fifty years later, the house that Joe built endures as a marvelous legacy.

More Talk Around the Blogs on What Else? Color in the Kitchen

October 17th, 2007 § 1 Comment

Have we gone so neutral that we are starved for color? Kitchens never have to be bland. Ok, so the ranges above are a bit wild and may not sell in Iowa, but the point is we have freedom of choice to add color where ever we want in appliances, paint on the walls, choice of artwork, tile splashes, textures and colors for counters, cabinets and hardware means that you can personalize your kitchen with color in any form you desire. Me? Color me happy with anything other than white walls. I tend to shudder when clients want white walls and white ceilings. Give me white appliances, white cabinets and white sinks, but I would really rather eat paste than paint my walls white. Wild pattern on appliances , I am not so inclined to take the plunge preferring muted color pallets instead, but colored LED lighting my water is groovy!

Here is what is going on in the world of design: Over at Design Undercover, the talk is about Cookers in Britain (that’s a “range” to you and me in America), coloring up in new shades. The Cooker as Couture? Inspired from the Catwalks of London, Paris and Milan to Britannia’s new line of Couture Ranges. Leave it to the Europeans. Ooh, la, la!

Britannia says: “Get your inspiration from anywhere and we’ll match it!You’re free to take your colour inspiration from absolutely anywhere and it can be as outrageous or subtle a colour as you like.”

Over at Trendir the news is on Italian new colored Temperautra Colorata Faucet by Guglielmi.

Within this modern form, the Guglielmi Kitchen faucet features an integrated LED light which reveals the water’s temperature through the use of color. Cool water appears brilliant blue, warm water a vibrant violet, while hot is a fiery red. A wonderful faucet for children, the simple use of color adds both a safety feature and a modern glamour. A clever and dynamic design, the Temperatura Colorata faucet by Guglielmi uses LED technology to create an innovative kitchen fixture.

Back in the States: the statement in color for 2007 is more subdued: The newest colors introduced this year: Jenn-Air introduced Oiled Bronze appliances at the 2007 Kitchen and Bath Show.

Jenn-Air combines the traditionalism of bronze sculpture with the polished look of stainless steel accents to create a unique, enduring Oiled Bronze finish for kitchen appliances.

The depth of bronze hues, coupled with the stainless steel handles and hardware, allows the Oiled Bronze kitchen suite to balance with other design features in the kitchen. This versatility allows consumers to outfit a full kitchen of Oiled Bronze appliances or add an Oiled Bronze offering to soften kitchens with stainless steel or black appliances.

The Oiled Bronze finish is available on refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, cook tops and hoods.

Perlick also introduced Amethyst and Copper into their line up of under counter refrigeration systems. Amethyst? Yes, This isn’t the first appearance of tints and shades from the purple family of colors. We’ve seen AGA’s Aubergine and Heather and Caesarstone’s Mulberry Mist.

Not sure how to integrate color into your kitchen? Take a look at these sources for some additional help.

Christopher Lowell has a magnificent talent for coordinating color. Go to the Room Designer page, to help you visualize what the coordinated colors will look like in a room,

“we’ve developed our Room Designer feature. We’ll show you how the colors of the walls, ceiling and trim look together. It’s easy to use. Just roll over the wall color below and watch the room change. Is this cool or what?”

Dunn Edwards offers a Palette Previewer that lets you upload photos of your room and try out a multitude of color combinations on the walls and trim moldings. Fabulous!

Download Benjamin Moore’s Ensemble Winter 2007 catalog for inspiring room combinations.


Another Product Warning

October 14th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Oh God, here we go again, more products to watch out for. Please click on the link above to follow the link to LA Times: Pardon Our Dust: Southern Calif. Remodeling Tales by Kathy Price.

Also just released: Florescent Ceiling Fixtures Sold exclusively at Home Depot recalled by Lithonia Lighting due to Shock Hazard

Even my beloved Pier 1 Import store has a recall listed in the updates.

Sorry to be the bearer of gloom and doom.
Bookmark this link and check in at least once a month to see what else turns up.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Kitchen Do’s and Don’ts: Series # 2

September 29th, 2007 § Leave a Comment


This little space shows they maximize every square inch with storage. Nothing wrong with that. But, the range needs counter space. This is awkward and dangerous not to have a clear landing space between the range and the wall. Was the refrigerator once here and they moved the range in? Awkward.
For Code Requirement check your state and local codes.

A better archway. The range has proper spacing. Great way of handling the corner too. Who says cabinets have to be wall to wall? The spice niche is great. It would have been very boring if the cabinets went into the corner with a lazy susan base and corner wall cabinets. This arch feature is much more attractive.

Here are floor to ceiling cabinets with a better arrangement for the range. I don’t know about this step ladder though, I can see someone tripping on it. Same goes for the area rugs.

The range is still tight, but at least the counter to the left is at least 12″ and to the right there is at least 36″. I would prefer a 15″ minimum on the counter but at least there is an island for additional landing space for something hot out of the oven.

Kitchen Do’s and Don’ts : Series # 1

September 19th, 2007 § 5 Comments

What went wrong here? This small kitchen has some big problems.
The sink is wedged between two protruding appliances making it impossible to stand at the corner sink. I like white in a kitchen, just not on these appliances here. Yikes!

Think you can’t do anything because you have a small kitchen? Not so.

The sad thing about this kitchen is it looks like the homeowner remodeled and spent money on refinished hardwood floors, new appliances, new tile floor, and new counters and plumbing fixtures. In my never to be humble opinion, they threw money away by not planning this out properly and are stuck with an ugly & dysfunctional layout.

If space was a problem and the homeowner said they didn’t want the kitchen to grow an inch, then it’s time to get creative and think outside the box. If this was my client, the first thing I would do is have them fill out my questionnaire. Do you cook? How many people live here? Is this a “fix up for sale” or you staying long term? Do you entertain? Have you set up a budget?

Once we know what the parameters are for the project, then the design process begins.

Here are some of my ideas if this was my client. Let’s say this is a guest or studio apartment for one person. No need for a large refrigerator like the one in the subject kitchen. I would eliminate it in favor of an under cabinet refrigerator to gain more counters and base storage. A kitchen needs counter space and adequate space between appliances. If this is a studio set up for one person, most busy urbanites never find the time to cook in their homes anyway, opting for take out instead. Although if I could increase the footprint, I would prefer a regular but compact refrigerator, preferably counter depth.

If a family of two or more are living here then a full size refrigerator is a must. Shift it over to the left 18″. (Ok, so I am making the kitchen bigger!) Make it counter depth. Sub Zero 30″ 611G shown below. Check out the message board on the side. Great!

If the budget is tight, consider a retro style refrigerator. (Careful, some retro refrigerators are more expensive than standard refrigerators). Have it painted a stand out color. Look at that beautiful wall color (shown below) with the punch of green on the refrigerator. Delicious! If you saw either of these two bold colors on a paint chip by themselves you may be afraid. But wait till you pair them. Wow! Here is where white pops and looks so great with the vibrant and dark colors.

The two images above and below I found at a creative blog dedicated to small spaces called Small Space Style. Small spaces can be fun to design. Resources abound! Anything can be beautiful if you try. And it doesn’t mean you need to break the bank if you get creative.

The small kitchen could have gone country as well. Simplicity rules with details such as open shelves in place of wall cabinets. You don’t need to have wall to wall cabinets. Play it up with paint. Butter Cream Walls. Pick a theme. French Country, Italian Country or Montana Country; why not keep the materials simple and rustic? Keep the budget “shoestring friendly“. Or simply splurge on good appliances as shown in picture above. (I do hope that dishwasher shown in the picture above clears the knobs and oven door pull on the range. I would have put the dishwasher on the left, or swapped it with the drawers). Looks like an Ooops!

Case in point: Small Kitchen with too many door ways creates awkward space for appliances.
Here are the before photos. Unbearably small area for breakfast table. In place we used a hutch.

Maybe a hutch found at an Antique Store on an opposite wall for additional storage. Use shelves instead of cabinets as we did with one of my clients. Simplicity.
From rendered view to completed kitchen. I favored a sage green for walls while my client liked the bold red walls. She won. I wish she used stainless steel outlet plates though and dropped the height.

The old space had a small peninsula. No space for a dishwasher. It was used as a mini island.
We put in a door to the side yard. That’s her potted herb garden you see. This kitchen used to have three entrances. We close one. It used to have a tiny peninsula and a breakfast table and a huge plate window in front of the table. We 86′d the breakfast table, put in a door in place of the window, made way for a hutch and then opened up the wall off the dining room for seating and openness to the kitchen. Everybody wants to be in Rosie’s kitchen!

With another client we claimed storage on a narrow wall with a built in narrow hutch. We gave it height and depth variation for interest. Wall base cabinets save on space in a narrow kitchen.
In the subject kitchen my advise would be to change out the 42″ high wall cabinets that only emphasize how small this kitchen is. I don’t like the corner wall cabinet or the solid doors. Give corners visual interest.
I would take away the verticalness of the 42″ high wall cabinets and in place “cheat the eye” to emphasize a wider space than it really is with horizontal lines by using 30″ high wall cabinets. If it’s modern, I like the horizontal look of swing up doors.
Small cabinets can make a BIG STATEMENT with Details. Try a base valance at the toe area. The high ceilings are an opportunity and yet the whole kitchen shoved into the corner makes this space unbearably cramped. This is what you call a punishment corner! The tile floor looks funny and with the refrigerator half off of it, this emphasizes the cramped space. The floor should be one material. They should have made this hardwood as well since the rest of the floor is wood. Small spaces don’t have to be ugly.

Another photo from Small Space Style. Notice the 24″ range and 30″ Wide Sub Zero. Love the detail of the semi-backsplash at the island. Tre Chic!

If there was an opportunity to increase the budget, I would expand out this kitchen along the refrigerator wall. Banish the L shape shown and replace with An island separating out the kitchen from the living space would allow for more counters, a proper place for the sink and maybe even some barstools on the back of the island for seating.
If there is no space for an island, I would stretch the length of the L shape to reposition the appliances. Here is another view of my customers small kitchen while we were in progress. The bag from Nordtroms on the range is holding the tile samples. Don’t worry, the gas is not connected! (PS., yes, that is marble, yes it is honed, and yes, it is staining. But my client is Italian and would not have it any other way. )

For a larger budget, I would add some clerestory windows along that wall where the refrigerator sits. Placed at ceiling level around the edge of the room are very effective ways of bringing in natural light without sacrificing wall cabinet storage. They could also be vented to add a natural way of cooling the space.
Here is a great idea for a small kitchen (picture shown below). Loft style. Monochromatic with a punch of color. Textural elements with the wood fireplace mantel and sheer draperies add warmth to the space. Clean details with the white cabinets, white walls and stainless steel make the small square footage of the kitchen become one with the rest of the room, making it appear as one large space. Great details for a small kitchen! This kitchen says “Ahhhh!” Who wants take out when cooking in this space looks so tantalizing?

Afraid of dark stained cabinets?

September 16th, 2007 § 1 Comment

Never fear dark stained cabinets as long as you know how to balance light and dark together.
Take a look at some kitchens that have successfully incorporated dark stained cabinets.

This kitchen, is located at the Residences at Victory Park. at the posh W Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The project became personal when design architect, Eddie Abeyta, of the W Hotel & Residences at Victory Park chose to make a condo in the South Tower his home.

Notice the lightness from the light horizontal shape wall cabinets, the 24″ high back painted glass back splash that reflects light. Not all of us can enjoy the soaring ceilings, but these ideas are transferable to a standard ht ceiling. I love the sculptural light over the table.

Dark-stained kitchen cabinetry pops against white paint and stainless steel. Eddie Abeyta’s favorite piece at home is above the dining table, where Ingo Maurer’s sculptural Oh Mei Ma Weiss pendant light casts a chic spotlight. (Photography by TERRI GLANGER / Dallas Morning News (MCT) )

We can take our cues for Residential Design from Public Spaces.

Notice the blend of light and dark in the restaurant, Craft, located at the W Hotel in Dallas Texas.

This kitchen is in a Terra Linda Eichler.
Notice the use of light wall cabinets that contrast against the dark base cabinets, high backsplashes, lots of glass, lots of stainless steel.

This kitchen is all dark cabinets against light floors, light counter surfaces and light walls. Minimalistic features keep this kitchen from feeling closed in. even if they warmed up the walls with a little bit more color, a warmer white perhaps, this would still feel bright. This is a comfortable modern kitchen.

This contemporary kitchen incorporates frosted glass horizontal bifold doors against the stained wall cabinet frame to keep things light. Again, notice the repetition of light-dark-light. Light floors, dark cabinets, light counters and splash.

Small spaces can use dark cabinets too. This is different. Notice the dark cabinets are on top! They work well, look at the inserts. They are a stainless mesh screen. Notice the repetition here from bottom to top: light/light/light/dark/dark/light. Light floors, light base cabinets, light counters, dark splash, dark wall cabinets, light ceiling. This kitchen is just so darn cute! It has great elements: beautiful wood tones, large slate tiles on the back splash make the space look bigger, bright off white counters. The counters would be too busy if it as a granite. The curve in the counter for a lap top is great. The blinds are wood and the tape is a contrasting fabric that blends with the cherry cabinets. No crown, no light rail. Simpler is better here. The stainless selection on the hood, cook top and sink are perfect. White or black would have been a bad note in this lyrical space. Whats wrong is the client kept the ratty old bow back spindle chair. This one needs to be banished in favor of a contemporary chair. So cute!

So far we have looked at Modern spaces. But traditional kitchens can also incorporate a little color ingenuity by combining colors in the design. The effect is welcoming. The lighter wood is Rustic Alder with a smoky-hued finish. Beautifully paired with a full-bodied finish on Lyptus to create a superb combination for this kitchen.

This transitional kitchen benefits from the flood of light coming in from the full walls of glass panels. The light honey blond of the floor and the light counter tops sets a beautiful counter point to the medium dark stain on the cabinets. I think this is one of my favorites yet!

This kitchen is beautiful but I would have suggested to the client they go a little further to complete the look. Something is a little off in this kitchen. Can you find it?
The refrigerator looks like they ran out of money and had to keep the old one. Folks, when you go this kind of expense, don’t skimp on the appliances. I would have ordered a built in refrigerator and applied integrated panels on the doors. The space is narrow and I want to see that refrigerator blend in, not stick out like a mistake. Also, the dark molding at the top of the refrigerator isn’t working either. It should match the white cabinets. The floor is maple natural and not the right tone. It is too light and contemporary looking. I would have gone with a shade or two darker and a wider plank. A hickory, cherry or oak floor would have looked better to complement the the traditional style of the kitchen.

Here is another one of my favorite kitchens. It has got all the elements, cleft stone walls in the back ground, a fireplace, painted cabinetry, stainless steel, dark wood tones, concrete, granite. Designed by Sandra Lutchens, this kitchen uses elements of oyster white as the primary cabinetry color. Anchored with a deep tone of Truffle on the island, paneling and trim, this kitchen is a dream. Notice the dark crown molding from the oven extending over the length of the range top wall. Great transition with shorter wall cabinets left and right of the hood. The island counter is a saturated coppery brown to match the island cabinets. Notice the dual sinks. Fabulous design!

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