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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Kitchen Design and Style

I received my copy of Better Homes & Gardens, which is sent to me automatically since I'm subscribed to Decorating Inspiration, a good resource by the way, and I saw a major featured kitchen in this issue that was also on display at KBIS. I had taken photos of this kitchen, which are the top three, below. This issue is out now with lots of other images and information on this kitchen. It is the August issue.

The real point I want to make about this kitchen is to encourage my readers to consider its style. My sense, which I hope I can communite effectively, is that this is one of a "type" of kitchen style, that, is just that, about (kitchen) style alone. It's not about history, architecture, or about one's unique personality being reflected in the kitchen design.

It's simply all about how to style a kitchen, end of story.  It's the kind of look that I know it when I see it! I've seen it many times before, and to me, it is a distinctive look, this all encompassing theme of "kitchen style," for style's sake. It's a really beautiful kitchen in many ways. It's not for me, personally, but then, I have the luxury to sit here and go into the nuances of all things kitchens and dissect it all! There are a good number of clever and interesting elements in this kitchen. It's beautiful in many ways, and certainly highly functional, but I cannot find the soul. It is subjective, don't forget that. AND, after all, it's a "set" kitchen, made to showcase products' versatilities, which it does quite well.










What are your thoughts?


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Reader Comments (10)

I agree with you. It lacks that personal spark that transforms a room from simply a collection of things into a world that surrounds you and expresses the people who made it and live in it.

July 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

i like this kitchen style ...
for one i think it's very a practical kitchen where everything is conveniently located making the kitchen layout a well functioning one. i for one love open shelves and the clear glass shelves on the window for herbs and plants is a great idea. i bet those plants grow really well :)

the cabinets look almost animated the way the jump out because of the dark frame detailing. i like it very much.

July 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

The look seems kind of busy, at least for me.

July 20, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkathleen

Hi Susan-
I agree with you. I do know exactly what you mean. This kitchen looks to have been made for a convention display.Therefore, the intent was to appeal to as many people as possible. I becomes generic as a result. Some interesting ideas here, but impersonal.

Thank you fo visiting my blog! I am thrilled to have discovered yours as a result! I am linking you on my blog so I can remember to visit often!

July 20, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkatiedid

I saw the kitchen in the issue - I thought it was OK. Somethings about it just seemed silly.

July 20, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkatherine

I agree. I almost put it up on my blog, Kitschy Kitchens, but reconsidered when I saw who designed it.

You are brave, Susan, to comment on it. So I'll be brave too.

It reminds me of a '70's kitchen, most of which were truly kitschy.

The 70's were our first real stab at kitchen design for the masses...Mostly by men in those days.
70's kitchen designers didn't do kitchen design very well. We were just learning the art.
70's kitchens looked staged, like a set for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Like this kitchen.

The thing that bothers me most is the strange backsplash behind the farm sink.
It is bumped out to back up the farm sink, and all the way up to the window sill. Too high. Then it is covered with tile that looks like pegboard in these images.

It becomes the main focal point in a room with too many other focal points.

It is fortunate that this kitchen was really a "set" at KBIS and not a real kitchen. Because that farm sink, with the countertops meeting with the sink at each side, would leak in a real kitchen. It is not possible to caulk those seams in such a way that they would not eventually leak moisture down into the sink cabinet.

July 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Deras, CKD, CID

When I saw this in the magazine, I immediately thought of your (late lamented) weekend 60s-70s Kitchen postings. It is so overdone and contrived. A fence over your range to evoke the garden? Just not nice -- home on the range, don't fence me in!

July 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJeane

I have seen numerous kitchens that are beautiful, but when I stop and take on how I would work in those kitchens I find that most are not really that functional. We have remodeled our house in stages during the past 20+ years and my wife and I discuss this issue of function and form in our book The Happy Remodelers. Homeowners should get clear on the function of their remodels before start to work on the form it will take.
Ignacio Arribas
Author, Tha Happy Remodelers

December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIgnacio Arribas

I can only think because you all sound like working women, no offense, then you are not women who spend all day in their kitchens as I do. For me, as someone who practically lives in her kitchen, I think this kitchen would be divine to work in.I feel like almost the opposite of what you are saying is true, that is this is a functioning kitchen with a ton of soul and the kitchens you admire feel to me like they have just been styled for the sake of it. However, that being said, I think some of those glasses on the top shelves are unreachable!

February 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranita

Although this kitchen is not my personal style from an aesthetic standpoint, I really appreciate the forward thinking...this would be a great UNIVERSAL DESIGN kitchen with the flexible roll-under items. This kitchen would function for those of all abilities, and that is appreciated! I also love the herbs on the glass shelves in the window.

January 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

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