Showing newest 11 of 14 posts from February 2008. Show older posts
Showing newest 11 of 14 posts from February 2008. Show older posts

More on Small Space Kitchens

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Minimalistic Kitchens that have a personality. Here are a few of my current favorites. Enjoy.

Edgy, Bold, Bright in such the small space. What a great chandelier!

Grenich Village Loft

Domino Magazine, Feb 2008.
Key Features that give this kitchen personality: The play of contrasting materials surprise and delight. The acrylic Philippe Starck chairs for Kartell paired with a deep stained rustic farmhouse table.
Medium stained walnut cabinets mixed with white cabinets. The Pagani Quartz and Bronze pendant lamp in contrast to the stainless steel pulls. A reason not to get too neurotic about matching the lights to the hardware to the appliances and so on. An eclectic minimalistic kitchen perfected.


The News on Lighting

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A new LED recessed can light made by LLF is finally here. Last week I was treated to a show of new lighting products available for kitchen and bath remodels and I am very happy to report I am very impressed at the capability of the LLF product. Peggy Deras, at Kitchen Exchange, has written a very informative article on the new LLF LED can light and I would encourage my readers to follow the link to the article. LED Recessed Lights are Here- REALLY HERE!!!


Where are my Keys?!*!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We have all been there. The frantic last minute rush out the door. You were supposed to leave the house five minutes ago, and then the realization sets in...the keys, where are they, phone...argh. Here is an idea to love.

File this under good ideas.

You packed her lunch last night, put her shoes and backpack by the door, and you were just about to get your 2nd grader to school on time for the second day in a row when you realized you might have to call a cab because your car keys had vanished into thin air.
Avoid the frustration of missing keys, lost cell phones and forgotten lists with the sturdy, canvas Doorganizer. Hang it on the front door to keep your keys, sunglasses and shopping list nearly impossible to miss, and hang one on your office door to keep your PDA and mobile phone in easy reach. A strip on the back can hold paperwork, notepads and mail.
They’re also great for keeping kids organized. Hang one from the bedroom door to keep handheld toys, music players and homework right where they can find them.
Buy online at See Jane Work


It's time for Girl Scout Cookie Season!

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's an annual event that has been around since 1936.

Girl Scout cookies are an American Icon, a worthy purchase that goes back into supporting local Girl Scouts in your area.

I look back at my Girl Scout years fondly. There was so much creative spirit and camaraderie in the tasks and events we were involved in. The friendships, the camp outs, will there ever be a better time in a young girl's life?

The girl scout cookie campaign is where I found my competitive edge. Earning my badges was a thrill, the cookie campaign was exciting when I filled out the whole form and needed another page for more orders.

A bit of trivia: Look who else was a Girl Scout:

Sandra Day O'Connor

Madeleine Albright

Laura Bush

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Chelsea Clinton

Tipper Gore

Elizabeth Dole

Gloria Steinem

Ann Landers

Barbara Walters

Star Jones

Jane Pauley

Katie Couric

Candace Bergen

Mary Tyler Moore

Celine Dion

Sheryl Crow

Natalie Merchant

Rebecca Lobo

Venus Williams

Susan Taylor (Essence magazine)

Virginia Edwards (Education Week)

Absolutely count on me for buying a box or three of thin mints, no-the samoas, or maybe the peanut butter patties. Oh what the heck, I'll buy them all! I can give them away as gifts.

All of the proceeds—every penny—from a local council's cookie activities remains in the area where the cookies are sold. This revenue is used to benefit girls, some of it directly by remaining in the Girl Scout troop/group treasury and some of it indirectly by subsidizing the cost of providing the Girl Scout program in the local area.

To buy the Girl scout cookies in your area, go to Girl Scout Cookies
Photo Credit:


Small Space Kitchen Options

Sunday, February 10, 2008

In a small kitchen, more than not, compromises have to be made.

Not all compromises are a bad idea. I love small space kitchens and they can be executed with charm and function.

The benefit of a small, but well designed kitchen, is that they can be efficient with fewer steps between the appliances, and fewer but well designed counter and cabinet storage space. The problem with small spaces if designed poorly; poor storage, lack of counter space, and inefficient appliances can send one through the loop trying to prepare a simple meal.

Photo from THS Sensational Space Saving Kitchens

Photo from THS Sensational Space Saving Kitchens

A client befuddled with her small space condo. kitchen, came to me for help. She said she is considering eliminating her dishwasher to gain much needed drawer space. You could do this if you do not use the dishwasher much but I think a dishwasher is good for resale value, so in a small space I have some other options for you to consider.

I have walked into many condominium kitchens and suffice it to say, many builders stick to the same cookie cutter and most decidedly ugly and awkward kitchen layout imaginable of: Narrow Pantry or no pantry, the 30" Range cornered between a refrigerator with a 39" x 12" deep cabinet above it, and one Blind Corner base, a 39" Sink Base , a 24" dishwasher and maybe one or two base cabinets 12" or 15". And in today's market, buying a condominium priced at exorbitant prices with these pathetic kitchens is highway robbery. There is no thought, no creativity in these kitchens, never the less, it is done time and time again. So let us look at what can be done.

So you say your kitchen storage is lacking in storage with blind corners, narrow drawers or not nearly enough drawers. Here are some design options that will expand your storage and still afford the luxury of having a dishwasher without compromising drawer space.

In this kitchen, designed by chef Michael Lomonaco, the plan for the 7-by-10 foot galley kitchen was simple: use every available space efficiently, without changing the basic layout. So he moved the sink faucet into the corner and the microwave to over the range—the only configuration changes he made—freeing up counter space for food prep. Photo from THS: A Chef's Small Kitchen

Let me preface, I do not recommend shrinking a dishwasher to 18" if you have proper base storage already in your kitchen. What is adequate base storage? Besides your sink base, a small kitchen equipped with at least a minimum of one bank of drawers 15" or larger for storing flat ware, dishtowels and small hand appliances, or bake ware.
Besides the sink base, at least one 21" or larger cabinet to store pots and pans with top drawer space for cooking utensils. A third drawer or cabinet with roll out trays would be optimal for additional storage needs. Photo credit: THS

No space to build out in your small kitchen? Consider using an 18" dishwasher in place of a 24" dishwasher to pick up another 6" of base storage. This makes a huge difference if your small kitchen has only one narrow bank of drawers. You can gain 3 sq ft of additional storage in a standard 24" deep base space. This makes a huge difference in terms of better storage capabilities.
An 18" dishwasher generally is adequate for 2 - 3 persons and can hold up to 6 or 8 standard place settings.

Bosch Special Application Dishwasher, srv53CO3UC measures 18" wide.
To accommodate large or oddly shaped dishes, RACKMATIC® allows you to raise or lower the premium upper rack at the touch of a lever (even when full), giving you up to 14" of space on the bottom or 10" on top. Features: QuickWash: allows you to wash six place settings in just 30 minutes. It’s perfect for times when you need to wash a small load quickly.

Miele Slimline Series offers two models. Model G818SCVi Dishwasher is fully integrated with the control panel concealed at the top. Model G 832 SCi locates the control panel on the front.
Features of the Miele Slimline:
  • Upper basket features:
  • Deep, height adjustable basket
  • Fixed spiked inserts
  • Two, single-section cup racks
  • Lower basket features:
  • Hinged spiked insert
  • Removable spiked insert
Standard feature in the slimline dishwashers have a device that measures the hardness of the water intake at every stage of the program and manipulates it, when necessary, with a salt additive that makes the water optimal for dishwashing.
The flat ware tray at the top frees up space for dinner ware or pots in the bottom rack.

The removable spikes are great for modifying the baskets.

Ge Monogram Model no. ZBD180GSS has easy to use controls- the mechanical dial turns easily to the desired wash cycle: heavy, normal, light, china/crystal and rinse. The racks are adjustable to accommodate for taller items. The silverware basket is located in the bottom basket.

GE Spacemaker Model #GSM1860JSS
The upper rack is completely removable. Pulls out completely to allow for washing large items.

China/Crystal selection — Protects delicate glassware and dishes by lowering the water temperature during the cycle

Pots and Pans Cycle — Scours off burned-on food with hot water and maximum water pressure

Frigidaire Model No FMB330RGC features
  • 4 Wash Levels
  • Adjustable Rinse Aid Dispenser w/ Indicator
  • Convection Drying System
  • Detergent Dispenser
  • Leveling Legs
  • Stainless Steel Interior
  • 4-Level Direct Feed Wash System
  • Space-Saving 18" Design
  • UltraQuiet III™ Sound Insulation Package

Fisher & Paykel was the innovator of the dish washing drawer. Model No. DS605SS fits in a 24"W x 16"H space. It has a bevy of cycles: Heavy, Delicate, Fast, Normal, Rinse, Heavy Eco, Normal Eco, Delicate Eco, Fast Eco. A single dishwashing drawer accommodates long stemmed wine glasses, hold plates as large as 12", holds 6 place settings and has interchangeable racks.

EZKleen Stainless Steel



Saturday, February 9, 2008

Yes, I do admit it, I do not want to cook every night of the week. Some nights I want someone else to cook for me. My take out menu's clipped to the side of the fridge is not really the best system. I grab one from the clip and the lot slips out all over the kitchen floor. It is getting a little out of hand. I banished my junk drawer, so I refuse to start shoving the menus in the drawer anymore, the manila folder concept was just as messy.

I found a menu organizer at last that I think deserves a spot in my kitchen.

Yes, I could get a generic binder and be done with it, but this is so much more stylish and fun.

Now I have a quick and easy way to reference my favorite dish, Pad Kee Mao at White Elephant Thai and remember to tell them "hold the chili" as well as my others family members favorite dishes.

The bestselling Takeout Menu Organizer proudly acknowledges the fact that most of us don’t cook every night (or any night). Like a modern-day recipe box, the Menu Organizer neatly unites everything necessary to feed oneself via telephone or Internet. The perfect hostess, housewarming, or party gift—and a great self-purchase—the Menu Organizer is an essential tool of the contemporary kitchen.

For more information, order on line from Knock Knock


Make the most of small space

Friday, February 8, 2008

A view out the back from the kitchen.
(Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)

I love sharing clever ideas. This small L shape kitchen benefits with a flood of light on the counter tops without losing wall cabinet storage.
Well done!


Peninsula Swap

Thursday, February 7, 2008

published in Domino, February 2008

This Kitchen designed by Linda Woodrum, for a home in the Florida Keys caught my eye. This is what I call a creative swap. I love this! The sink and dishwasher were placed in the peninsula. In the short part of the "U" where the sink typically resides, an under cabinet convection/microwave oven makes good use of the space. Inventive and practical for a narrow kitchen.

What law says the sink has to be in front of the window? Designer Linda Woodrum has resolved a peninsula conundrum by giving the dishwasher a proper home next to the sink. The problem for older kitchens with the sink typically in front of the window, the narrow "U" prevents the dishwasher from being placed next to the sink. The dishwasher would end up perpendicular to the sink and logistically behind the sink. The narrower the space, the more awkward it becomes. Nothing is more awkward than having to back up from the sink and turn about. Or if you are not inclined to move your feet, it becomes a twist around, sort of a "bunny bend". An awkward sway back motion with your arm and twisting at the waist to load the dishwasher. Or you could turn the tunes up, dance the Texas Two Step as you back up and load your dishwasher and make the best of it.

But for heavens sake, a sink and dishwasher go together like peanut butter and jelly. There is no law that says the sink must be in front of a window. So, if you don't have the space to increase the footprint, consider swapping the sink to the peninsula.

Another excellent example of turning the peninsula on its ear, comes from Kitchen Designer Moorea Hoffman.
Notice the range placed in front of the huge bay window. This Peninsula kitchen is a "two sink kitchen" dream! The clean up zone has the main sink and dishwasher out of the way of the cooking zone. Notice the prep sink is in the peninsula opposite the refrigerator and close to the range. This is ideal for a kitchen to have two sinks. One for prep and the other for clean up. Function first, great layout.
These are two designers who think out side the box. Now that is a good peninsula swap!


True Luxury in Concrete

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The concrete countertops were cast in place and finished with an acrylic sealer and a special wax. To maintain the patina, they're rewaxed about every two months. As seen in House Beautiful.

Looking for inspiration for your shower?

This shower by Grotto Designs shows that concrete can be shaped, stained, embellished.

For more inspiration visit Grotto Designs

Concrete is adaptable and timeless. Picture above and below from Robert G Laurain Custom Concrete


Sliding Doors

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Looking for the perfect solution for lofts and other open areas where room dividers make the space complete.
To make it less corporate, and yet still light emitting, imagine a Lumicor insert...
Consider customizing the panels out of elements other than frosted glass.
This one designed by Jhane Barnes for Lumicor.
Or this one called Infinity White.
Or how about something more Botanical.
This one is called coastal. The reeds are very zen like. Troy Adams used something similar. See below for a photo.

This one is called Bamboo Rings. How fun and whimsical would this be fun in a post modern design.
Translucent Tree Leaves. Beautiful pattern for a contemporary or transitional design.

This slider as shown at Troy Adams
lets the light transmit from the panels but allows for privacy.
For more information on Lucite, visit Lumicor
For more information on Sliders visit The Sliding Door Company


Set Design Influences Residential Kitchen Design

Monday, February 4, 2008

Every so often a movie or television series comes along where the set design starts to acquire as much press as the stars themselves.

"Brothers and Sisters" on ABC is one of those shows. The kitchen, is garnering it's own fan mail at ABC from admiring fans who want to copy it. The kitchen is beautiful but not fussy. Production Designer, Denny Dugally along with Set Designer Bryan John Venegas say they purposely created a home environment that did not look to perfect.

The October '07 issue of Traditional Home was the first alert I had about this new star set design kitchen. For further research, since I am always missing Sunday night TV, I took a video tour of this kitchen via the internet. I like this kitchen. The link is attached below.

The original production designer, Scott Chambliss, set the tone for the color palette used thoughout the Walker residence. Dugally and Venegas are responsible for the show's overall look. The story line has the Walker residence set in Pasadena, CA. I can definitely see myself driving down Euclid or El Molino Street, in and about the tony neighborhood of San Marino, and passing this house as I drive down the curvy tree lined streets. While the exterior is very formal, the interior, although traditional in designed in an inviting and unpretentious way.

The kitchen cabinetry is finished in a creamy white paint.
Designed with a recessed panel door with a unique triple panel front.
Very unusual. I like this door! The perimeter counter top and back splash is set in high gloss cream colored tiles. The walls are warmed with pale yellow grass cloth, (in a kitchen you ask?)
Yes. Grass cloth.
This textural element was used to make sure the actors skin tones would not blend into the surroundings.
The island counter top is a terra cotta color. In set design many items are "fauxed" to look they they have the appearance of wood or stone.
This could pass for a wood top.

The color pallet used throughout the residence uses earth tones and colors of blue, gold, beige and green with pops of orange on the furnishings and walls.
The furnishings are pulled from high end manufacturers such as
Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Barclay Butera, and eco-friendly upholstery from Cisco Bros. in Los Angeles to the ultra hip but affordable Target Stores.

For an up close and personl tour visit: Brothers and Sisters Set Tour


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