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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« Scandinavian Kitchen - Luxe Living | Main | Kitchen Design - A Brief Pause »

Kitchen Designs - See The Plans!

I'm feeling good right now. I'm seeing a client later this morning. Even though I've been designing kitchens for a long time, I have the desire to reinvent the wheel each time I plan someone's kitchen. Now, that doesn't mean that wild and crazy things are happening in my design process. But, what it does mean is that I try to be open to new ideas, new details, to present to the client.

This stage is, at once, the most exciting and the most nervous for me, for lack of a better word. It's exciting when I know that I did good work and I cannot wait to show the client. I'm nervous because I hope the client is thrilled with the possibilities before them.

And, yes, I provide numerous design solutions. I do this so that what I present is not solely subjective (if I were to present, say, one or two floor plans) and because I feel the client should see multiple possibilities, to avoid a "could have, should have" feeling later. Sometimes, a nuance in the floor plan makes all the difference...

This process for me is fairly slow. It's thoughtful, it's creating shapes and forms to see where we can go with this kitchen. At this first stage, the goal is to select a floor plan. After a plan is selected, then we fill in the blanks with cabinetry. But, for now, the foundation is set:

1) countertop/other shapes, 2) acceptable clearances, and 3) appliance locations, no more!

While the plans look simplistic, much design time and thought lies beneath them. This is nothing, (only) in the sense that more and more design work will build upon the chosen plan.

This is the most important part of the entire process (and that's why I like it clutter free.) Alternative storage ideas are always a part of my design process. Upper cabinets are not always the answer to storage issues and therefore, open up the possibility for entirely new design solutions.

So, at this moment, I'm feeling good. I like what I have prepared for this client (and I'm my own worst critic, trust me.) I'll let you know the response!

These are some of the parameters for this kitchen that I had to work within, although a good size, it has its real challenges:

  • The window cannot move
  • The doorways cannot move
  • The view beyond the table is incredible - expansive views of Long Island Sound (maybe we will change the existing door configuration to the outside)
  • Client wanted the cooking area on the wall shown
  • Seating for EIGHT!
  • Note: Styling is fairly traditional. If this were a modern style kitchen, the shapes/forms would be different. Note too, the wall behind the cooktop is not an exterior wall, I need to draw in the hallway wall, below, and continue the exterior wall on the left side.

 Update: The meeting went well. I laid out all the plans on the kitchen table. They may have been a little overwhelming, but my client quickly got into the groove. Not ten minutes later, (that may be a record) she confidently chose a plan she knew was right for her. She liked this one. Onward!

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Reader Comments (4)

PROCESS...I love it. Thanks for sharing.

September 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMark R. LePage, AIA

What design program do you use Susan?

September 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

I use Planit, it's a program, originally from the U.K., available to kitchen/bath industry firms.

Thanks Mark!

September 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

i enjoy this process so much ~ sounds like you've got a great new project starting. the beginning is always so full of potential & excitement. thanks for sharing!

October 2, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterstudio wellspring

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