The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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A Minimalist Kitchen

I don't think I'd call fellow blogger, Leah, a slacker, even though her blog is named More Ways to Waste Time. I think Leah's efforts definitely look productive, and with some "chic" thrown into the mix. A freelance writer, Leah interviewed me some months back for a piece on kitchen faucets for HGTV's website, yet to come out. Her point of view on home design, I find to be fresh!

Leah went on a walking tour of homes in California's Oakland hills. The homes were "eh", she needed a drink, but it was the last home her tour group went into, which was the surprise of the day. The kitchen stopped ME cold, when I came upon these images, and she said everyone was just wow'd. Simple, elegant, modern, yet, to me, warm. I really love this kitchen.

Things I'd tweak:  The window doesn't do it for me in this setting, but my guess is the owner wanted the home to stay true to its architecture. I don't get the round thing to the right of the hood. Maybe I'd add a run of stainless steel above the tile to go up to the height of the window, as I feel that's an awkward area, below the window. The window is too high. Just, sort of, to integrate the window in a more meaningful way. I'd revisit the plan. The cooktop/oven is unfortunately in a corner. Maybe they could have been centered on the beam...just random thoughts. Overall, very, very nice.


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Reader Comments (9)

And I agree with you, 100%. It's a shame they didn't located the stove under the beam. That is what, up to nine square feet of wasted corner space? Really nice kitchen, tho'.....

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Anthony

Hi Susan,

Thanks for the link! (By the way, the round thing to the right of the hood is a clock.)

All the best,

Leah Hennen

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLeah Hennen

Wow. I hate anything newer than 1900, but I have to admit, I do love this kitchen! Sometimes I wish I was just working on a newer home so I can do stuff like this.

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrh

As a big fan of midcentury modern architecture, I just have to love this house although it doesn't look like a typical Eichler anymore.

I feel the same about the layout of the kitchen and the window issue, but isn't this a nice example of a very inexpensive IKEA kitchen? The glossy white fronts and the stainless appliance (plus the polished concrete floors) work so well with the wooden ceiling. It's a good balance between "warm" and "cold".

October 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

You hit the nail on the head in regard to warm and cold. Just enough warmth to make it feel so good and inviting.

I get the floor, but I just don't know if I love the gray. Maybe in a lighter shade so I wouldn't feel so cold about it. Or maybe a slightly warmer gray, if you look at the wide shot. That may be better for me.

Good example of an IKEA kitchen, even with its limited cabinet configurations available, but it is the durability which will concern me, over time.

October 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Peter did a fabulous job! If you've read the original article then you'd realize that he only had $50,000 of his budget left to do a kitchen and two bathrooms. Eichler owners who embark on any renovation quickly realize that most of the budget gets eaten up by important stuff like roofing, electrical, plumbing & windows - leaving very little left for fancy finishes. We are going thru the same thing at the moment and although we too would love a kitchen by Bulthaup or HenryBuilt - there just isn't going to be enought money left over after all of the infastructure gets rebuilt and the architect gets paid. What I'd love to know (calling all designers out there) is how a person in our position can find kitchen cabinets that don't run an arm and a leg, yet are solidly built AND are appropriate for a modern home. Too many manufacturers out there only offer traditional styled cabinets with sturdy plywood base construction. I've looked at a dozen "mid-range" cabinet companies and the offerings are all too traditional. We want frameless cabinets with flat fronts, that are well built, good looking and will hold up after more than just a couple of years. I am so tired of being shown cheap looking fake wood or ridiculous looking doors with raised panels. Ikea seems to be the only company out there that offers a flat front door with a frameless cabinet at a reasonable price. It would be great if the cabinets were made of something other than cheap particle board, and it would be great if they offered the side panel accsesory for their drawers (too keep linens and such from falling out of the deeper drawers). I guess I'm looking for something more moderately priced - isn't there anything out there that is more than Ikea but less than the fancy Italian or Bulthaup or HenryBuilt? Help please.

October 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Eichler Owner

Yours is an excellent question. Thank you for writing. Yes, I did read the entire article and looked at every picture!

I'd like to get back to your question shortly. Check back please.

October 31, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Again, a great question. Perhaps it means that first, you must hire a creative designer, if you want a creatively designed kitchen. A creative designer can do wonderful things with mid priced cabinetry. I cannot overstate the value of choosing your designer carefully.

The answer does not have to be standard cabinetry with a 4" standard toekick. Why can't one answer be the use of, say, refrigerator cabinets in some areas as lower cabinets...they have a 24" depth, can be suspended off the wall with a little engineering, add some legs if you wish, some roll out shelves, mix it up with vanity cabinets, removing the toekick, but providing you with drawers. Different thinking along those lines will get you to a different place, creatively, for starters. Point being, it's about the designer. And, good design can be achieved with any product. It's also thinking well beyond the "box" as I tried to do in my own kitchen...on a budget.

In regard to a GOOD quality product that is modern, different, affordable, and overall gorgeous, stay tuned:

Cabinetry Preview!

October 31, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Definitely match with the counter and back splash and choose the cook top/oven in a corner

January 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKitchen set

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