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?


Direct Buy: Pay $5,000 to Save

September 18th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Over at the Consumerist Blog, there is a discussion on whether the discount buying club, Direct Buy, is worth it. In it, they cite a report from Consumer Reports on the Direct Buy hard sales pitch. Consumer Reports went undercover to evaluate the company. Read the report for the full article.

The problem with Direct Buy is that they purport to save you up to 70% off of list price. Well, if you were to research your purchase by getting a quote from 2-3 different sources, you will find most stores never sell at full list and in fact that the price you save from many stores can be as much as 70% off as well. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

The one thing that matters most to consumers beside a good price is service. Aren’t we all just a little tired of getting bad service? Sales people with very little knowledge and even less enthusiasm to educate themselves on their product knowledge base. When making a purchase you want to know that you can rely on that store to stand behind their product, provide excellent customer service, and provide reasonable prices. My time is so valuable, that I don’t want to have to get the run around, call 5 different numbers, get the run around again, have to ship something back to the manufacturer myself. That to me is no bargain! I am willing to pay a little bit more if I know I am getting better service. That to me is priceless!

Direct Buy: Pay $5,000 to Save

September 18th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Over at the Consumerist Blog, there is a discussion on whether the discount buying club, Direct Buy, is worth it. In it, they cite a report from Consumer Reports on the Direct Buy hard sales pitch. Consumer Reports went undercover to evaluate the company. Read the report for the full article.

The problem with Direct Buy is that they purport to save you up to 70% off of list price. Well, if you were to research your purchase by getting a quote from 2-3 different sources, you will find most stores never sell at full list and in fact that the price you save from many stores can be as much as 70% off as well. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

The one thing that matters most to consumers beside a good price is service. Aren’t we all just a little tired of getting bad service? Sales people with very little knowledge and even less enthusiasm to educate themselves on their product knowledge base. When making a purchase you want to know that you can rely on that store to stand behind their product, provide excellent customer service, and provide reasonable prices. My time is so valuable, that I don’t want to have to get the run around, call 5 different numbers, get the run around again, have to ship something back to the manufacturer myself. That to me is no bargain! I am willing to pay a little bit more if I know I am getting better service. That to me is priceless!

Do It Your Self Design

September 18th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Want to design your dream residence, plan your renovation, or play around with interior decoration colors and furniture placement? Consulting a professional is always advisable. But, sometimes you just want to play with ideas on your own. Visualizing a renovation is hard to imagine with flat line 2d drawings. What is unique about this product is that manufacturers of products like Forbo and Panasonic subscribe to My Virtual Home so that you can get photo realistic representations of their products in your room. The down side is that their generic catalog is more extensive than the actual manufacturers that subscribe to this product. The photo-realism in my opinion still looks cartoonish, but hey for the price of $0 if you buy it in your September issue of Better Homes and Garden Magazine, you can’t beat it, Regular price is under 10 bucks! Although, you will have to have the system requirements on your computer to run this software. I use 2020 that costs on average $4,000. I can customize and show photo realistic rooms but even then it has it’s limitations. Some designers have gone beyond 2020′s limitations by adding .gifs, animations, photoshop edits and so on. See Michael Martinos web site to see how he has taken his drawings to the hilt.

But for easy and quick results if you want to play with layouts yourself, My Virtual Home is a product to try with virtually no investment.

See real products
Because the MyVirtualHome software uses the latest graphical rendering technology, all the products you see are near photorealistic representations of real products from manufacturers and suppliers who are members of MyVirtualHome.

As well as being able to see the product in your home in various lights and from all angles, you see comprehensive and detailed information about each product that is listed.

If you have ever played with videogame architecture such as the Sims or Second Life, then you will be able to navigate this product. My Virtual Home is a budget-priced option based on videogame architecture (instead of CAD), providing an easy-to-use, walk through approach. You can experiment with the placement of real products via a mouse driven drag and drop system. This software is for PC’s only. There’s a flash animation of how it works at

www.myvirtualhome.com


MyVirtualHome, Free with November’s issue of Better Homes & Gardens

The very latest version (v1.7) of MyVirtualHome will be given away free with the November Issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. The Magazine goes on sale from the 19 September 2007 through to the 16 or 17 of October unless sold out. Some of the new features included in MyVirtualHome V1.7 are:

  • HomeShare, functionality that enables you to save your home file online and then share it with friends or businesses listed in the MyVirtualHome directories.
  • ProductShare will enable you to download products from websites where you see the MVH logo. Once downloaded you are then able to include them in your designs and projects
  • The Panasonic Air Conditioning Calculator enables you to select the most suitable air-conditioning unit from the Panasonic range within MyVirtualHome.
  • Radiosity lighting and reflections have also improved making MyVirtualHome even more realistic

You can use MyVirtualHome to experiment with design ideas presented in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens to see how they suit your existing home or new project.

mvh1-7cover.gif

Click here for more MVH News.

Do It Your Self Design

September 18th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Want to design your dream residence, plan your renovation, or play around with interior decoration colors and furniture placement? Consulting a professional is always advisable. But, sometimes you just want to play with ideas on your own. Visualizing a renovation is hard to imagine with flat line 2d drawings. What is unique about this product is that manufacturers of products like Forbo and Panasonic subscribe to My Virtual Home so that you can get photo realistic representations of their products in your room. The down side is that their generic catalog is more extensive than the actual manufacturers that subscribe to this product. The photo-realism in my opinion still looks cartoonish, but hey for the price of $0 if you buy it in your September issue of Better Homes and Garden Magazine, you can’t beat it, Regular price is under 10 bucks! Although, you will have to have the system requirements on your computer to run this software. I use 2020 that costs on average $4,000. I can customize and show photo realistic rooms but even then it has it’s limitations. Some designers have gone beyond 2020′s limitations by adding .gifs, animations, photoshop edits and so on. See Michael Martinos web site to see how he has taken his drawings to the hilt.

But for easy and quick results if you want to play with layouts yourself, My Virtual Home is a product to try with virtually no investment.

See real products
Because the MyVirtualHome software uses the latest graphical rendering technology, all the products you see are near photorealistic representations of real products from manufacturers and suppliers who are members of MyVirtualHome.

As well as being able to see the product in your home in various lights and from all angles, you see comprehensive and detailed information about each product that is listed.

If you have ever played with videogame architecture such as the Sims or Second Life, then you will be able to navigate this product. My Virtual Home is a budget-priced option based on videogame architecture (instead of CAD), providing an easy-to-use, walk through approach. You can experiment with the placement of real products via a mouse driven drag and drop system. This software is for PC’s only. There’s a flash animation of how it works at www.myvirtualhome.com


MyVirtualHome, Free with November’s issue of Better Homes & Gardens

The very latest version (v1.7) of MyVirtualHome will be given away free with the November Issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. The Magazine goes on sale from the 19 September 2007 through to the 16 or 17 of October unless sold out. Some of the new features included in MyVirtualHome V1.7 are:

  • HomeShare, functionality that enables you to save your home file online and then share it with friends or businesses listed in the MyVirtualHome directories.
  • ProductShare will enable you to download products from websites where you see the MVH logo. Once downloaded you are then able to include them in your designs and projects
  • The Panasonic Air Conditioning Calculator enables you to select the most suitable air-conditioning unit from the Panasonic range within MyVirtualHome.
  • Radiosity lighting and reflections have also improved making MyVirtualHome even more realistic

You can use MyVirtualHome to experiment with design ideas presented in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens to see how they suit your existing home or new project.

mvh1-7cover.gif

Click here for more MVH News.

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!

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!

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.

Appliance recalls

September 16th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Here are the latest recalls to watch for:
Asko Cylinda recalls DW95 series Dishwashers due to fire hazard.

August 24, 2007

The hazard associated with the recall product is that

an electrical component in the dishwasher can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The firm has received 21 reports of dishwasher fires. Product and property damage has been reported. No injuries have been reported.


BSH Home Appliances Corporation, of Huntington Beach, California, today announced a voluntary recall of Thermador(r) Brand Built-In Ovens.

August 22, 2007

The name of the product is Thermador(r) Brand Built-In Ovens.

The quantity of the recalled product is about 42,000.

The hazard associated with the recall product is that the

oven can have gaps in the insulation where overheating can occur and when used in the self-cleaning mode it can cause nearby cabinets to overheat. This can pose a fire hazard to consumers.

BSH Home Appliances has received ten reports of incidents including one which resulted in a fire that caused extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Appliance recalls

September 16th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Here are the latest recalls to watch for:
Asko Cylinda recalls DW95 series Dishwashers due to fire hazard.

August 24, 2007

The hazard associated with the recall product is that

an electrical component in the dishwasher can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The firm has received 21 reports of dishwasher fires. Product and property damage has been reported. No injuries have been reported.


BSH Home Appliances Corporation, of Huntington Beach, California, today announced a voluntary recall of Thermador(r) Brand Built-In Ovens.

August 22, 2007

The name of the product is Thermador(r) Brand Built-In Ovens.

The quantity of the recalled product is about 42,000.

The hazard associated with the recall product is that the

oven can have gaps in the insulation where overheating can occur and when used in the self-cleaning mode it can cause nearby cabinets to overheat. This can pose a fire hazard to consumers.

BSH Home Appliances has received ten reports of incidents including one which resulted in a fire that caused extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported.

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