Howard Kaplan Designs: A new classic

May 4th, 2009 § Leave a Comment

In a time where conspicuous spending is beginning to fade, and consumers are purchasing classic designs rather than trends, Howard Kaplan Designs will be at the forefront of this shift. Visit www.howardkaplandesigns.com to learn more about Kaplan’s refined design aesthetic and unique pieces.

With a love for Parisian bistros, European kitchens, and New York inspired lighting, Howard Kaplan Designs not only add function to today’s homes, but act as focal points and pieces to spark conversation among guests.

Here are a few of my favorite furniture pieces. Be sure to view the full collection on line at howardkaplandesigns.com

Europa Pot Rack
The Architect Base Table
Beautiful details. As shown: In Tiger Maple with Light Tiger Maple Finish; as the optional “Flip Top”; opens from a console 19 1/2″ x 72″ to a 39″ x 72″ dining table seating 8. The addition of the two end leaves makes it a 39″ x 96″ seating 10. It is perfect for a foyer, dining room, or behind a sofa.Available as a plank top table, with center leaves available.

Bistro chairs are so very french cafe.

With so many weave options available, you can create your own one of a kind chair or bar stool to match your style.

I love this pub table. Absolutely beautiful craftsmanship. Nautical details.

Howard Kaplan’s favorite activity in England, France, or anywhere in Europe is sitting in a pub and having a drink. His inspirational “Pub collection” will give you the same pleasure. The best bar in Paris is at the Ritz Hotel, where the rich and famous gather. The quality of craftsmanship of this collection is only rivaled by the quality of the drinks at the Ritz.

These Pub stools are typical of old- world bars in Europe.

Finishes Available: Polished Brass, Satin Brass, Antiqued Brass, Polished Nickel, Satin Nickel, Antiqued Nickel, Oiled Bronze, Copper, Chrome.

Quaker Base Table
Thomas W. Neuman Tables.
Howard Kaplan says “Thomas and I have worked together for 30 years creating this line of custom tables. Tom likes to say he is creating “heirlooms of the future.” Each table is created from a single tree chosen and cut by Tom. These unique pieces express the love of wood I have experienced throughout my career as an antique dealer, decorator and designer.”

More about Howard Kaplan.
For more than 30 years, Howard Kaplan has been designing home furnishings and accessories. With a keen eye for original and inspirational pieces, Kaplan has introduced many interior styles to the U.S., most notably the French Country design aesthetic. His work has been featured in countless interior design and lifestyle publications, and he has decorated the homes of many prominent society figures. Kaplan’s mission is to bring the many styles that transverse the worlds of interior design into the homes across America. The textures, details, and superior craftsmanship are what makes a Howard Kaplan Design truly unique. It is why, when people speak of a “Howard Kaplan,” they speak about an effortless sophistication that is instantly recognizable – a treasured heirloom from the moment you see it.

Updating a 60′s kitchen

December 29th, 2008 § 6 Comments

This year one of my projects was a kitchen remodel in a 1961 ranch style home.
Poorly planned, and then updated once in the ’70′s, this kitchen was stuck in a time warp.

Sink and cook top location in tight quarters.

A peninsula partition, anchored between a double oven and a desk cuts the kitchen in half.

An energy efficient refrigerator will replace this one.

Booth seating remodel from the 70′s. Homeowner added seating in the kitchen in place of the washer and dryer. Everything about this kitchen was cramped.

The jog in the wall behind the bench seating is the water heater room.

View of the kitchen window, exterior door to side yard, and water heater room. Budget was cost prohibitive to expand the kitchen footprint out another 6 ft. Next best plan was to frame out the bay window.

One of the goals of the project was to make this kitchen pet friendly. The design changed slightly from the original concept to include a doggy door direct to the side yard for the family dog, Angel. Another feature added to the project was the inclusion of a desk and a doggy diner. The water heater was jettisoned to the garage to gain a desk.

Selection of the new cabinet color is discussed. None of these colors were selected. Cherry wood in Nutmeg stain by Dynasty by Omega in the Brookside door was ultimately selected.

The slabs are selected and the deposit is paid.

View into the kitchen. This door will be closed off in order to get a better floor plan. The doggy door access was included again in a new door.

Demolition begins. The water heater accessed from the outside will be relocated to the garage.

Water heater gone. The footprint for the water heater closet now part of kitchen. Sheer wall framed. Electrical wiring underway.

The bay window wall framing begins. Gas meter relocated. Framing for side door in place.

Door to garage is framed.

Red flag up on mail box. Message from Lead Carpenter to Homeowner.

Bay window in framing.

Renewal by Anderson Windows are in.

The kitchen was very small, apartment sized, due to the peninsula wall holding the double oven and awkward counter space.

Arched opening enhanced with double wall framing.

Peninsula gone, drywall in, kitchen beginning to take shape. Temporary sink left on site for homeowner’s convenience.

Cabinets are being installed.

The cabinets are measured for granite and the fabrication of the counters begins by All Natural Stone Design.

The completed kitchen. Cabinets from Dynasty by Omega in Brookside Raised, Cherry Nutmeg. GE Appliances from Warehouse Discount Center.


Furniture selection, upholstery and window coverings by Interior Designer Holly Higbee Jansen, of Higbee Jansen Design.


The exterior door to side yard and to the garage is in place. Notice the clever repetition shown in the detail of the window curtain duplicating the arch of the adjacent door. Your eye is distracted from the rectangular shape of the glass insert. A creative way of handling obstacles.

Client’s wishes accomplished: Desk, Banquette, Dog Diner, Dog door, Island, Double ovens, 36″ cook top.

Project complete.

Pillow Talk

May 29th, 2008 § 2 Comments


Now that spring is before us, we look around our homes for a fresh approach.
Short on cash and big on ideas does not mean you are limited for a fresh look.

Human beings have an innate desire for change. We want to try out the newest restaurants, see the latest movies, we change our clothes to fit the season, we change our hairstyle to lift our spirits and remain current, why not freshen up our furnishings to welcome the new seasons?

Fresh flowers are temporary, paint is a weekend project, slipcovers are costly.
Pillows are the answer. Pillows are one of the few items you can count on that is easy on the budget and delightful in your space to bring in a fresh design statement. Pillows in the kitchen? Well, but of course!

Feel free to try something new. Do you have a banquette that could use a little more comfort? Add two or three toss pillows for cushy back support.

Has anyone been able to sit in a Ladder Back or Windsor chair and can say without wincing that they are comfortable for more than 15 minutes? A little back support goes a long way on a Sunday morning while reading The Sunday Times from cover to cover. I added a new toss pillow for my desk chair at home last month and love the extra comfort level and like looking at a cheerful new pattern. Will I keep that pillow forever? No! They are so inexpensive, I bought mine for under $20. I will toss when I am tired of the look and select another.

The pillows shown here are from a lovely web store called Pillow Decor. I am impressed with the multitude of colors, patterns and shapes. Great store. Have a visit and see for yourself.
Cheers!



Pillow Talk

May 29th, 2008 § 2 Comments


Now that spring is before us, we look around our homes for a fresh approach.
Short on cash and big on ideas does not mean you are limited for a fresh look.

Human beings have an innate desire for change. We want to try out the newest restaurants, see the latest movies, we change our clothes to fit the season, we change our hairstyle to lift our spirits and remain current, why not freshen up our furnishings to welcome the new seasons?

Fresh flowers are temporary, paint is a weekend project, slipcovers are costly.
Pillows are the answer. Pillows are one of the few items you can count on that is easy on the budget and delightful in your space to bring in a fresh design statement. Pillows in the kitchen? Well, but of course!

Feel free to try something new. Do you have a banquette that could use a little more comfort? Add two or three toss pillows for cushy back support.

Has anyone been able to sit in a Ladder Back or Windsor chair and can say without wincing that they are comfortable for more than 15 minutes? A little back support goes a long way on a Sunday morning while reading The Sunday Times from cover to cover. I added a new toss pillow for my desk chair at home last month and love the extra comfort level and like looking at a cheerful new pattern. Will I keep that pillow forever? No! They are so inexpensive, I bought mine for under $20. I will toss when I am tired of the look and select another.

The pillows shown here are from a lovely web store called Pillow Decor. I am impressed with the multitude of colors, patterns and shapes. Great store. Have a visit and see for yourself.
Cheers!



Seating Arrangements in the Kitchen

April 23rd, 2008 § 2 Comments

When personalizing a kitchen, the seating area is the area to make a statement.
Embellish,
Streamline,
Simplify,
Colorize.
Expand.

Take a kitchen from functional to fabulous.
Here are some of my favorites.

SO INVITING…

At the far end of the kitchen, an 18th-century French farm table is lit by a three-bulb version of the pendants over the kitchen island.
The reproduction Thonet dining chairs came from Paris. Notice the dark wood hutch, a family heirloom, with gleaming white ceramic and ironstone pieces the homeowner collects.
As seen in House Beautiful.

CLARITY…
Modern dining room featured in House Beautiful December 2006 issue.

COLOR + TEXTURE = A+

AND MORE COLOR…

On the cabinets, high-gloss paint–Benjamin Moore’s White Dove–easily wipes clean and is set off by custom-colored grass-green walls.
The 48-inch gas range is by Wolf. The Country Kitchen sink is paired with the Amarilis Heritage faucet, both by American Standard. Click here for House Beautiful article.

MINIMALISTIC = MAXIMUM IMPACT

Bruck Rainbow LED lights hang over the island. The Onda stools are from Design Within Reach. The white stacking vases are by Pascal Mourgue, from Ligne Roset.
Featured in House Beautiful April 2007 issue.

MONOCHROMATIC MINIMALISM CAN BE COZY

New traditional kitchen featured in March 2006 House Beautiful issue.

WHERE LESS IS MORE

Modern open-plan kitchen featured in House Beautiful April 2006 issue. For link click here.

A CASUAL GREAT ROOM WHERE THE KITCHEN BLENDS IN


It’s easy to live in designer Eldon Wong’s kitchen because it blends so seamlessly with the family room. For more information, click here.

PARTY OF SIX? PONY UP TO THE SNACK BAR!

The client’s love for Swedish style inspired the cabinetry, custom-made by Kevin Ritter. The 5-burner Diva de Provence induction cooktop delivers over 89,000 BTUs. The 36-inch dual convection oven is by Wolf. Wilt pendant lights from LBL Lighting. As seen in House Beautiful.

FORMALLY ATTIRED AND NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Seating with the added feature of storage is the added bonus.
This from Better Homes and Gardens where you may view some 50 plus styles of banquettes and seating areas.

WHERE INNOVATION IS THE MOTHER OF REINVENTION.
This is Susan Serra’s kitchen. Cozy!
Great place for luxuriating over the Sunday paper. Love it!

Seating Arrangements in the Kitchen

April 23rd, 2008 § 2 Comments

When personalizing a kitchen, the seating area is the area to make a statement.
Embellish,
Streamline,
Simplify,
Colorize.
Expand.

Take a kitchen from functional to fabulous.
Here are some of my favorites.

SO INVITING…

At the far end of the kitchen, an 18th-century French farm table is lit by a three-bulb version of the pendants over the kitchen island.
The reproduction Thonet dining chairs came from Paris. Notice the dark wood hutch, a family heirloom, with gleaming white ceramic and ironstone pieces the homeowner collects.
As seen in House Beautiful.

CLARITY…
Modern dining room featured in House Beautiful December 2006 issue.

COLOR + TEXTURE = A+

AND MORE COLOR…

On the cabinets, high-gloss paint–Benjamin Moore’s White Dove–easily wipes clean and is set off by custom-colored grass-green walls.
The 48-inch gas range is by Wolf. The Country Kitchen sink is paired with the Amarilis Heritage faucet, both by American Standard. Click here for House Beautiful article.

MINIMALISTIC = MAXIMUM IMPACT

Bruck Rainbow LED lights hang over the island. The Onda stools are from Design Within Reach. The white stacking vases are by Pascal Mourgue, from Ligne Roset.
Featured in House Beautiful April 2007 issue.

MONOCHROMATIC MINIMALISM CAN BE COZY

New traditional kitchen featured in March 2006 House Beautiful issue.

WHERE LESS IS MORE

Modern open-plan kitchen featured in House Beautiful April 2006 issue. For link click here.

A CASUAL GREAT ROOM WHERE THE KITCHEN BLENDS IN


It’s easy to live in designer Eldon Wong’s kitchen because it blends so seamlessly with the family room. For more information, click here.

PARTY OF SIX? PONY UP TO THE SNACK BAR!

The client’s love for Swedish style inspired the cabinetry, custom-made by Kevin Ritter. The 5-burner Diva de Provence induction cooktop delivers over 89,000 BTUs. The 36-inch dual convection oven is by Wolf. Wilt pendant lights from LBL Lighting. As seen in House Beautiful.

FORMALLY ATTIRED AND NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Seating with the added feature of storage is the added bonus.
This from Better Homes and Gardens where you may view some 50 plus styles of banquettes and seating areas.

WHERE INNOVATION IS THE MOTHER OF REINVENTION.
This is Susan Serra’s kitchen. Cozy!
Great place for luxuriating over the Sunday paper. Love it!

I would love to have a Butcher Block but…

October 7th, 2007 § 3 Comments

…I am afraid of the maintenance. So say many clients who love the look but not the maintenance. Well, the truth about wood is that periodic maintenance is required. But the benefits soon out weigh the drawbacks if you are a cook.

Personal Chef Sally Cameron selected butcher block as a key element designed into her island.

“I wanted a big chopping block because it gives me a lot of work space. My large (57-by-18-inch) cutting board is made of end-cut, solid black walnut from a company called Spekva. We had the bottom routed out so it would drop in a stay in place, yet I can lift it out to turn it around to spread the wear, or have it sanded if needed in a few years. All I do is oil it once a week. It takes a lot of abuse.”

For full article and design info, click on OC Register Link here.
For a full walk thru of Chef Sally’s kitchen, click on the Video link.

A dark wood butcher block island acts as a counterbalance to the classic white cabinetry and dark stained wide plank wood floors.

Wood radiates warmth and is an ideal surface not only for chopping, but also as a dining surface. What better place to rest your hands on while enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning. Sure beats the chill of granite!

A good tip before you order your butcher block is to know the difference in finishes available for your wood top. The one shown in this picture has a lacquer finish and should never be used for chopping. Also key words to watch for: semi-gloss and varnique will be a tip off to watch out for. A penetrating oil finish is what you need if you want to chop on your wood top.

Additional tips from Boos Blocks in selecting your wood top:

SELECTION OF FINISH

John Boos & Co. offers two unique finishes. One is perfect for your application.

Penetrating Oil: If you wish to use your butcher block top as a cutting surface, this is the only finish to purchase. Just like cutting boards and butcher blocks, the natural wood surface is protected by oil, which is actually absorbed into the fibers. It is advisable to periodically re-oil your butcher block tops to preserve their beauty and durability. If, after heavy usage, you wish to remove cut marks, just sand off the top and re-oil. It will look like new.

Varnique: This beautiful semi-gloss finish is virtually maintenance free. It is impervious to most household chemicals. Cleans up easily with mild soap and water. The fine furniture look makes it the choice for kitchen island bars and eating counters. Cuts into the finish should be resealed immediately to prevent the exposed wood from absorbing moisture. John Boos EZ-DO a wipe on poly gel is recommended for use.

A smart idea in leveled work surfaces. Chopping Block surface installed 30″ – 32″.

Conceptual Design of an Unfitted Boos Block set at one of an island.

For small space design consider a smaller butcher block that can be routed into the counter top and easy to remove for cleaning. Photo courtesy of http://www.smallbone.co.uk/

Clever installation shown here. The Peninsula is wrapped on the seating side with wood counters and is expertly seamed into the granite on the sink side.

Butcher Block can add whimsy to your kitchen too!
This is Maple Hardwood and Wenge Checker Board.
Photo courtesy of http://www.craft-art.com

Craft-Art’s eight new green counter top offerings: wood reclaimed from old barns, mills, river bottoms, swamps and even pickle vats. Species include quarter-sawn antique heart pine (shown here), sinker cypress, antique white oak, pickle vat redwood, barn red oak, barn white oak, American chestnut and tobacco barn beech.

THE AVERAGE PERSON CAN LENGTHEN THE LIFE OF A MEAT BLOCK 5-10 YEARS THROUGH OBSERVING THE FOLLOWING RULES IN ITS CARE.

Periodically (once every several weeks, depending upon the use and household conditions), apply an even coat of mineral oil or Boos Mystery Oil to the work surface of your butcher block. Sponge on with a rag!

  1. DO NOT allow moisture of any type to stand on the block for long periods of time. Don’t let fresh, wet meats lay on the block longer than necessary. Brine, water and blood contain much moisture, which soaks into the wood, causing the block to expand, the wood to soften, and affects the strength, of the glued joints.

  2. Use a good steel scraper or spatula several times a day, as necessary, to keep the cutting surface clean and sanitary. Do not use a steel brush on the cutting surface of your block.

  3. DO NOT cut fish or fowl on the work surface of your butcher block, unless you have thoroughly followed the instructions in step #1…as the moisture barrier must be intact prior to cutting any type of fish, seafood, or fowl on the work surface of your butcher block. ALWAYS CLEAN THE BLOCK THOROUGHLY AFTER CUTTING FISH OR FOWL ON THE WORK SURFACE.

  4. Be sure NEVER to cut continuously in the same place on the top of your block. Distribute your cutting over the entire work surface so that it will wear evenly. DON’T use a razor-edged cleaver. It will chip or splinter the wood and produce soft spots. Your cleaver should have dull sharpened edge for best results.

  5. NEVER wash your block with harsh detergents of any type. DON’T wash your butcher’s tools on your block.

  6. At the conclusion of a day’s work preparing meat or food on your butcher block, scraping the block will remove 75% of the moisture. After scraping, immediately dry thoroughly with an absorbent towel. This assures an odorless, clean cutting surface for the next day, and prevents premature quick deterioration of the work surface.

  7. Maintain the same bevel on the edge of your block, as it had when you bought it. This prevents splitting or chipping of outside boards.

  8. Your block, should be turned over periodically to allow even usage to both work surfaces.

Note: Butcher Block cutting boards are not dishwasher compatible.

Resources:
SPEKVA
BUTCHER BLOCK SPECIALIST
BUTCHER BLOCK COMPANY
BOOS BLOCKS
CRAFT ART

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?


Projects in progress

September 16th, 2007 § 3 Comments

Here is one of the projects that I am currently working on.
The before photo shows the typical oak kitchen from the 1970′s. 6 x 6 tan ceramic tiles with wide brown grout lines. This was very popular once upon a time.

This old kitchen is really a “one person kitchen”. It is a small kitchen. My client is a fantastic cook, her daughters are great bakers. The challenge was to make this kitchen accessible for two or three people to prepare food in a small space.

This peninsula says “do not enter”.

The goal was to open up the plan with an island to make it easy for more than one person to be in the kitchen.


The new island welcomes you into the space.

The island is placed but not anchored until the hard wood floors are installed. The island serves as the second work service accessible from the oven wall, cook top or sink. Now, unlike the old kitchen, two cooks can work together comfortably in a small space without bumping into each.


The appliances are installed. We selected an under cabinet oven under the cook top in one area and a separate wall oven and convection/ microwave on the adjacent wall for ease of two people using the appliances in this kitchen.


When my client couldn’t find a hood she liked in the manufacturer catalog, we had them custom build one for her. The curves are just what she wanted to see in her dream kitchen.

Every detail was thought out down to the rope that hides a seam. No one will ever see this seam as it sits at the top of the valance. But this manufacturer thought of every detail.

Different profiles were presented and rejected.


The tile splash was not an easy decision for the homeowner. Many styles were considered. The final selection was a porcelain carved plaque with a simple pewter border. Personally, I wanted to see something with a little more “oomph”. But this is my client’s kitchen not mine. Her taste is more subdued and she did not want anything to fight with the design of the hood.

Still to be added here is the light rail, wall paint and door casing.

Another important aspect to the design, was to minimize the light rail (I took these photos before they installed it). The homeowners wanted only a 3/4″ profile for the light rail. However the under cabinet lights are 1″ thick. They would stick out from underneath the frameless cabinet. So I had the bottom of the cabinet recessed 1 1/4″ to conceal the lighting.

Once the 3/4″ light rail is attached, the bottom of the cabinet will have a very simple clean profile.

The old kitchen had very large windows but still appeared dark and small. Also the kitchen lacked enough storage for plates and glasses in wall cabinets.


The old sink and base cabinet configuration didn’t allow for a trash base or dishwasher near the sink. The window gets moved to accommodate a better layout for wall cabinets and for the positioning of the sink, allowing for a dishwasher on the right and a double trash can to the left.

An extra bonus for the mullions on the wall cabinets: they line up with the shelves!

The dishwasher will have an integrated false drawer and door panel. I prefer to wait till the appliances are installed to measure for panels as appliances specs are subject to change.

Also changed: the window at the breakfast table. Once covered with heavy draperies is now an informal bay window with seating. The bay makes the room appear bigger than it really is. I typically would not recommend reducing the size of the kitchen window. However in this design, the square footage of the window that was reduced was replaced with the addition of a bay window. We solved several issues by moving and reducing the kitchen window. 1. We achieved a kitchen that is light and bright by adding a bay. 2. We solved the problem of lack of storage. We gained better function on the sink wall with more wall cabinet storage and base counter storage. 3. Additional storage will be built below the bay window seat.

For even more storage, we are building custom cabinets between the split level den and breakfast area. The storage has to be accessible from both rooms. We will get rid of the posts shown here. On the den side will be the new buffet cabinets.

Artistic rendering of the new “buffet” two sided cabinets. The engineering of this cabinet was no easy feat. The paper work alone for writing the purchase order and the subsequent faxes back and forth to the factory engineers and order editors was enough to cover two of my desk surfaces. I am anxious to see the product finally installed. It’s almost here! I’ll post more photos of the completed project soon.

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