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Archive for the ‘Kitchens’ Category

Kitchen Remodel Survey by Class

In Kitchens on April 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm

This month’s issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News 4/10 outlined consumer trends according to class by an online research study done by RICKI, the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence, which is based in Charlotte, NC.

Ultra-High End Consumers invest in products that are a reflection of their personalities.

Income is, predictably, a good indicator of how a consumer approaches their kitchen project, whether or not they hire a designer, use name brand products, and how much they spend of course.  Here is a quick reference to the conclusions of the survey:

Ultra-High End consumers (incomes of $200,ooo or more) are, in large part:

  • Very brand-conscious, believing that brands reflect on their personality.
  • Twice as likely to seek out professional help from a kitchen & bath designer.
  • More engaged in their kitchens, considering it the heart of the home, and possibly their favorite room in the home.

    High-End Consumers tend to not worry about brand names in their kitchens.

High-End Consumers (incomes of between $100,000 and 200,000) and Moderate Consumers (income less than $100,000) are:

  • Less likely to seek out professional design advice.
  • Not as concerned with brand name appliances or materials.
  • Spend a third to an eighth of what Ultra-High End consumers spend on kitchen improvements.

    Moderate Consumers are the most likely "do-it-yourselfers" and penny-pinchers.

As a homeowner clearly in the moderate consumer category, and a kitchen designer who has worked for clients in all categories, I would like to give my own humble opinion, that having a trained kitchen designer come to look at your kitchen and draw up at least some initial plans is a great idea, even on a small budget, especially if you don’t have a natural eye for color or detail.

A good designer can also help you avoid common pitfalls, get quotes, or think up creative solutions for your unique style, like custom storage or shelving.  Custom usually does mean more expensive, but I know lots of designers (including myself) have tricks up their sleeves to get you a better look and more functionality within your budget.

So whether you have $2,000 to spend, or $200,000, the moral of the story is the same: Find qualified design advice if for no other reason than a second opinion to your own.

Happy Remodeling, especially to all the folks in Lake Norman, NC!

Andrea Pack

Eco-‘Green’ in the Kitchen

In Kitchens on February 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Ok, so after posting all of those lovely photos of green kitchens, I’m taking the figurative side of things, with some photos of ‘green’ kitchens (meaning environmentally sound).

The first residence in the Southeast to win certification by the U. S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes project

In kitchen, Lyptus cabinet doors on island with countertop of Silestone quartz; other counters in granite. Backsplash made of limestone. François & Co. cast-stone hood with Gothic detailing. Faucetry by Grohe. Thermador appliances. Wm Ohs cabinetry; boxes made of wood and pressed hay. Leather stools by Four Hands. Chandelier by Erin O’Brien. Limestone floor by Walker Zanger (Taken from Veranda.com by Wendy Goodman).

Custom bathroom lyptus cabinet

Lyptus wood is beautiful and eco-friendly. Love it!

Lyptus wood is harvested from trees that grow quickly instead of slow-growth forests.  It is a great substitute for woods like cherry, mahogany, and walnut.  And in the same price range, too.  Most people don’t know about this wood or they would use it more often.  I think it is more appealing than cherry anyway, and cherry is currently the most popular cabinet species!

Concrete Flooring

So if you are ok with cold hard floors that are a cinch to clean, and you are wanting to go ‘green’, use concrete.  You can also incorporate radiant heat if you are concerned about the cold.  It has quite a modern and minimalist look, I myself favor….

Cork Flooring in Country Living

Cork flooring has to be one of the best floor materials out there.  It is warm, resilient, beautiful, comes in a wide range of colors, and it environmentally sound.  Plus it is not very expensive and is fairly easy to install.

Energy Star Appliances

Energy-Star appliances are pretty easy to come by these days, so there is not much of an excuse not to use them.  They will save water, electricity, and energy so your utility bills will be lower too.  Most brands carry an energy-efficient line of appliances.

Are we Losing the Art of Design?

In Design Features, Kitchens on February 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm

So this article particularly struck me at a time when I am spending a lot of time trying to figure out the best ways to market my new business.

Keep this in mind all of you in business for yourself!  Remember that the more of yourself that you can offer to your clients,  the more marketable you can become.

Are we Losing the Art of Design?

Excerpts By Janice Costa, Kitchen & Bath Design News, 02/10, p. 7

“… For years now, we’ve been told to work differently.  In the boom of the early 2000s, when we could barely keep up with all the customers clamoring for new kitchens and baths, we were told to “work faster.”  When business slowed down and money was no longer pouring in, we needed to “work harder.” When the economy forced cutbacks in resources, it was all about “working smarter.”

“Along the way, experts have counseled us to get back to basics or completely rethink our business model.  We’ve been told to streamline operations, or, alternatively, to expand into other niches.

“We’ve heard that we should concentrate on the long-term picture, or focus on the here and now (or there might not be a long-term picture!).

“We’ve been overwhelmed with suggestions for everything from marketing through social networking to repackaging our services in order to target a different market segment- the eco-conscious, the aging Baby Boomers, the super affluent, the younger, more value-conscious Gen Xers.

“Interestingly, though, no one has talked that much about the primary service kitchen and bath designers offer: design.

“Yes, it’s trendier to talk about green marketing or social networking.  And yes, it’s easier to measure financials than design creativity.

“But great marketing is useless unless you have something special to market.  And as important as the financials are, you don’t make money if you don’t have something of value to sell, beyond the same products that consumers can buy from dozens of other places, both online and off.

“In fact, the only thing your clients can’t get just anywhere… is you.  Your ideas.  Your creativity.  Your design talents.  Your ability to fuse your knowledge and skills with their needs and desires to create a vision- and to transform that vision into a real life space that’s uniquely personalized to their needs, their dreams, their lifestyle.

“Sure, that may seem a bit intangible.  Yet the intangibles are, at the center of it all, what you sell.  And that’s why, in times as challenging as these, perhaps it’s time to remember what’s at the core of this business called design….”

Going Green in the Kitchen

In Kitchens on February 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Yeah, I mean in the literal sense of the word.  The color green.  I have been told this is all the fad right now on cabinets, and yet I cringe just a little because I am not a huge fan of the color.  But being an interior designer, I decided to open my mind and seek out some green kitchens that I think are done in good taste.  Here goes.

Fun and Casual Kitchen

Ok, this one is fun and fresh and I like the fact that it isn't ALL green. Great color concept for a beach home.

So I saw this one in Domino several months back. A designer's own home. I have to say, he's done it in a way that makes me no longer despise this particular shade of green. Really sexy.

Not only the cabinetry, but the paneled walls in green too. I really think that's what makes this kitchen amazing. Even I could live in it. Please?

Now let’s be honest with ourselves.  Unless you have a green addiction and your whole family does too, and you don’t plan on selling your house (ever), then green cabinetry is probably a huge mistake.  But you can still get your fix in a less permanent way, like in the examples below.

The cabinets are done in timeless white but some fun shades of green are on the walls and on the glass. Awesome and fresh!

Just have a green island! Kitchens are so fun when done in two shades, and in this way, the island can be changed out for another color in the future fairly easily.

So, I hope that this post has helped or hindered some of you planning on going green (literally).  We’ve seen that it can be done tastefully and professionally, in some pretty amazing kitchens, but it’s definitely not for everyone, and probably not for me.

Mid-Century Modern Kitchens

In Kitchens on February 2, 2010 at 2:06 am

Natural light, horizontal lines, pastel color, and globe lights make this kitchen bright and modern.

Lovely shade of blue on the modern cabinets complemented by Saarinen tulip table and chairs.

Another kitchen with clean lines and the right light fixtures.

Here’s the number one reason I love these mid-century modern kitchens: they’re just plain fun.  The kind of kitchen you can just imagine is for making candies and sweets and homemade bread.  Makes me nostalgic for a time when I wasn’t even alive.