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Archive for Kitchen Design

Mar 26 2017

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Designing a Future Kitchen

The future of the smart home might start with the kitchen. With elements like Wi-Fi-connected appliances, intelligent food devices and new cooking methods, the kitchen has a lot of potential in the tech world. But even with all of the technology, a new kitchen still has to take into account finishes and materials that will stay on trend for years to come.

One design firm in San Francisco took these ideas into account in a recent kitchen project. KBB magazine spoke with the designer, I-Ching Ueng, senior designer and studio manager of Poggenpohl San Francisco, to find out more.


KBB: What were the client’s requirements?
Ueng: The client was interested in materials that could stand up to daily use, were warm and inviting and also timeless. Some finishes can be too trendy; in five years you can get tired of certain finishes. We tried to select finishes that would not become an issue in five years.

KBB: What were you challenged by and what were your solutions?
Ueng: For me, it was challenging to come up with a design for a kitchen that was large and in the center of house. It was hard to fill that volume and also not take away from the fine architectural details of the site. We want to step out but not distract from the detail.


KBB: Describe your design for the island.
Ueng: The waterfall counter ties in with the minimalism and modern look of the home – while the easy-to-maintain wood finish underneath grounds it and adds storage and functionality.

KBB: Are there any high-tech features in this kitchen?
Ueng: Beyond the handle-less cabinets that are touch to open, a series of Gaggenau appliances is featured throughout – from a wine storage unit to a coffee center. These high-end appliances offer cutting-edge technology. It’s a true chef’s kitchen.


KBB: What was your favorite part of this project?
Ueng: This was a dream kitchen that was done for future owners unknown. It was fun to work with the client to design a kitchen of the future where potential owners could come back to us and customize further for their personal needs.

Mar 10 2017

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Times Are Changing in the Kitchen and Bath Industry

It’s striking to me how much has changed in the kitchen and bath industry over the past 10 years.

There have been many changes in communication, product sourcing, smart technology and consumer awareness, and they can all be traced back to the release of the first iPhone in 2007. Smartphones have changed the ways we communicate, shop and learn, and they have changed the way we live in our kitchens. Mal Corboy, a well-known Auckland, New Zealand, kitchen designer says all of this evolution has changed the design process. (http://i.stuff.co.nz/lifestyle/home-property/83715964/howmuch-has-the-modern-kitchen-changedin-the-past-10-years)

Most residential design/build project communications used to be done in person, by phone and by email. Dream Kitchen Builders still uses those tools, but now we also use messaging and social media apps, and we use these business tools to communicate via mobile devices.

The amount of kitchen and bath information that’s available to consumers is enormous and growing larger every day. This has made us all educated buyers and given consumers more control of each aspect of a design/build project.

We’re now experimenting with smart appliances and wireless devices in the kitchen and bathroom that use artificial intelligence to help us get things done. I cook, so I give voice commands to Siri to set a timer to adjust my music and more while I’m cooking. I’m hands free, so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing. Smart technology hasn’t gone mainstream yet, but appliance and device makers are designing and producing amazing new kitchen and bath products, and early adopters are trying them out and talking about them to their friends.

Last but not least, every kitchen and bath product seems to have almost limitless options and price points and many include free shipping. Clients are now buying kitchen and bath products online and sourcing them internationally. Kitchens and bathrooms have always evolved, but the changes we are now seeing are so revolutionary that they are disrupting the way kitchen and bath business is done – changing the relationship between professionals and consumers and changing the way we live.

 Scott Koehler is the owner of Dream Kitchen Builders, a design-build firm in North Carolina.

Feb 17 2017

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Victorian Charm


There is something about old houses that captivates us. Despite their captivating histories and stories hidden in those walls, homes unfortunately do not age gracefully. Designer Shawna Dillon of Washington, D.C.-based Snaidero DC Metro is well acquainted with this problem, particularly with a recent project in her area.

“This charming 100-year-old Victorian had all the quaint architectural details you would want, but since kitchens were held in a different regard at that time, the space had not been addressed appropriately to function as an integral part of the home,” Dillon said. “It felt very much like an afterthought.”

Age Issues
Careless renovations over the years left a large refrigerator hindering access to the back door, which served as the main access into the kitchen. The workspace was cramped, and the range was too close to the main sink. This created an unusable corner and limited counter space where clients needed it most. Since the room was long and narrow, navigation through the space was tight. This was partly because of a large peninsula positioned awkwardly in the kitchen.


“We knew that peninsula had to go, which would lead to additional work to the wood floors,” said the designer.

There was also a small window on the main wall, which faced an alley. The clients agreed to brick in the window, allowing the design team to maximize the wall space.


“Once the window was eliminated, the wall immediately transformed into something way more functional,” said Dillon, adding that the refrigerator now sits in front of where the window once was. “We could then move the range further down, which would open up more counter and storage space.”

The kitchen was still long and narrow, and since they could not physically expand the space, Dillon raised the wall cabinets, allowing for a slightly taller backsplash for the idea of more space. She also added a small desk area for seating.


White and Warm
“My main design goal is always to create an end product that looks stunning while improving the way the kitchen functions for the client,” said Dillon, adding that the clients enjoyed cooking and needed the kitchen to have more accessible storage.

The homeowners were creative professionals and craved a modern, all-white space. While Dillon appreciated the desire for the classic white kitchen, she wanted to make sure the end result did not appear clinical. Instead, she suggested a slightly warmer white for the cabinet finish and a white Ceasarstone countertop with some veining to add depth and character to the room. The dark hardwood flooring also warms the space.


“My favorite part of the design is that the kitchen maximizes efficiency on all levels: storage, workspace, cooking and navigation,” said Dillon. “Not once did the client, nor the design, have to sacrifice form over function. There is a perfect harmony between the utilitarian and the aesthetic requirements of this kitchen.”

Source List
Designer: Shawna Dillon, Snaidero DC Metro
Photographer: Jennifer Hughes

Backsplash: Caesarstone
Cabinetry:
Snaidero
Countertop: Caesarstone
Dishwasher: Miele
Hood:
Miele
Range: Wolf
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Feb 01 2017

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He Said/She Said: Successfully Designing for Couples

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In a relationship, many situations require compromise. Designing a dream space for two shouldn’t be one of them. Award-winning interior designer, Christopher Grubb, believes that designing for two is all about successful negotiation and never about compromise. As a Beverly Hills-based designer accustomed to demanding clientele, Grubb draws on his experience to explain to designers, contactors and remodelers what it takes to make both partners feel they’re being heard and that both of their needs are being met.

Some tips he uses when working with couples include:

Have them pull inspiration images separately. I will joke that I’ve seen in some relationships there is a design override between couples. I’m not saying my clients have that, but it helps me understand what they BOTH want. We as designers can quickly see the commonality of their desires in their images to guide the design to satisfy both of their desires.

Answering the question: “What are the trends?” I don’t exactly subscribe to trends but do see “movements” in design. I can point some trends I see but usually ask them what do YOU see as trends? It gives me a chance to hear what they think and what they like and seem excited about. Of course the next question is how on trend do you want your space to be or how timeless to see how much they really want to be trendy.

Never take sides – no matter who signs the check. Designing for a couple becomes a very intimate relationship, and remodels are stressful. I’ve been in emotional situations often, and to disarm the situation, I will respond with my observations of what each has said they like during the process and remind them we are designing as a team effort.

– Playing therapist. Remodels create a lot of stress with the interruption of ones living space, the financial investment, strangers in their home, etc. We all want to design, and the process of the final result is arduous to say the least. Many calls are the client simply venting and wanting someone who will listen. Another successful action I use is to call and ask, “How are you and how are things going?” This reiterates that I care both about the project and my clients’ mental wellbeing.

– Never compromise – always negotiate. Many clients see the grand total or a project, and their first question is “Can we find materials that are less money?” I remind them that the construction is the majority of the cost, and I don’t want them to compromise on a material and later regret they didn’t get what they wanted. They will walk into their space everyday and be disappointed they didn’t get what they really wanted. Another situation is when one of the couples wants something that is more expensive or the other partner feels is unnecessary. One may like the gorgeous tub fill and the other balks. IF you’ve listened, you can negotiate and remind the other that they wanted the towel warmer and add that it is beautiful and functional. They have both gotten what they want.

– Avoid stereotyping. Many think the husband will be all about the cost or succumb to the old adage “Whatever she wants.” Or that the wife will want a bathtub (that actually only 25 percent of people use). My success is listening and not going into a project with any pre-conceived ideas.

Top image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net