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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The Secret To Making A Selection

I met Grace, my client, and her best friend at the tile store today. She had to choose a floor for her family room, which is somewhat open to the kitchen we're working on. I wasn't purchasing it for her, but she's a great client, and I wanted to help her out, so I readily agreed to meet with her at the store, gratis. Happy to do it.

How does this relate to kitchens? The whole house relates to the kitchen and the kitchen relates to the whole house. Grace had her cabinet samples and granite sample with her.

Here's what we looked at. She wanted a porcelain tile for the floor (the family room is on a slab and the dog mostly stays in that room.) We quickly found three that we liked:

  • A red with multi colored soft tones in it,
  • a very elegant, sleek, tile, very large, very light, very subtle, but with a beautiful light and linear greigy color (my choice-a less is more kind of look),
  • and an in between tile which was quite busy.  All gorgeous.

Long story short, we chose a fourth tile that the store owner uncovered for us, from behind other large displays. Textured but fairly consistent. It had a texture unlike anything else we'd seen, and different, unique, is a good thing. It has warm terracotta and warm gray tones in it, so although cold to the touch, it will feel warm, visually. It works great with the colors of the kitchen, just beyond the room.

At first I admonished myself that I didn't take photos, but, it's not really about what we chose.  

The Secret

The last tile just "spoke" to all of us, equally. We had a visceral reaction to it.  The secret to making a selection is that you want that strong, sort of organic, reaction to reveal itself.  It will come and find you. Be patient, keep looking, and keep the faith. You owe it to yourself to wait for that feeling to surround you. It's unpredictable, but, you know it when you feel it. Keep looking until you feel it. You will!

Sometimes, you have to step away for a little while, turn your attention elsewhere, and then return to the item and be aware of how you're feeling about it. Um, like love, you want to be sure of your selection!

I would love to hear your thoughts on when you knew something was the "right" product or material for your project. Please share your experiences with me.  


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Reader Comments (4)

I’m only an architect’s daughter and design addict - no professional designer.
However, our next project will be the renovation of our 1983 Florida retirement home, and I’m into research since we bought it. To collect all important data on stuff I like, I saved thousands of photos from the internet on my computer - furniture and fixtures, tile, colors, materials, fabrics, good ideas and other stuff - with source and price. I add new ones as I find them, and from time to time I delete those I like the least.

Recently I started to use these photos to create some sort of JPEG scrap books, several for every room in the house. It works pretty well and is an interesting experience. It taught me that something is the right product or material when it does best in the whole context. Even if that means to sort out *the* favorite product or material. It’s similar to what you describe. It just "clicks".

November 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

Connie, thank you for that comment, it's very insightful. It's absolutely a work in progress, and, yes, context is also important. The "close up" feeling is important, but context in the big picture quickly follows to change or verify that initial feeling. When both these visionary exercises work out, that's the magic!

November 4, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

does anyone know how i can chat or look up chats about people's experiences with different cabinet companies. did they like what they finally ended up with what would they have changed , kept we r totally confused abt. pricing one place gave us a price the next place charged us for the exact same thing 5000 less who should i trust what should be wary of thanks

April 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhope

Yes, take a look at the gardenweb kitchens forums. That should help.

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

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