Kitchen Design Musings...II

Back to contemplating, confronting and exposing potential biases based on this post, regarding a book I was asked to review, in which my immediate reaction to its images was not favorable, having ended with the question "Am I a kitchen design snob?"

I am one who likes consensus, not to follow it blindly, but for the information value it provides. I look for consensus in my own mind, by reacting, then verifying what/how/why I'm feeling, sometimes over and over. It's sort of a "checks and balances" thing, and I'm sure many of you do the same.  Thus, the "kitchen snob" question came into mind to verify my immediate reaction, as I do in my design practice, to make sure my ideas and opinions a) are not too personal to me b) survive the "verification" process I give it c) have real merit. I torture myself! "The images are 'eh' " followed by, "Am I a kitchen snob?"

Each of us, whether professional kitchen designer, or consumer, have, and are entitled to, our opinions...but it's helpful to be open, at least preliminarily, to multiple sides of any issue.

Back to my reaction to the book. I'm a different person than who this book is directed to, and I think I forgot that, when I first opened it up and had a negative reaction to the images. I think each of these images represent dream details or dream kitchens to someone. And that's GOOD. To others, those who do not need to follow the "typical," (and there's nothing wrong with typical, seriously) it won't be satisfying. I also feel the image descriptions are too simple, without any "whys" connected to them, which could have been VERY useful. That makes me nuts, quite frankly. The whys are everything to those just starting their kitchen design journey.

But, regardless of what I or the author thinks, people will buy the book for their own personal reasons known only to them and may not even read the text at all. That's ok too. They may like a rug, or a tile, or a color, or they may read every word, keeping it nearby throughout their process. I think the book has value, but more attention to detail could have been taken in several areas. As a kitchen design professional, I'm bored by the images for the most part and disappointed by the information. Putting my consumer hat on, it has value for beginners in the process, yes. I'm choosing to be honest rather than polite, admittedly, not always easy to do, or enjoyable. I have a couple of other quibbles not necessary to note.

ANYWAY, the flip (positive) side to "am I a kitchen design snob?" is this: I'd say I'm on the right track, as long as I keep those checks and balances happening for the benefit of my clients, encouraging, yet not pushing (for too long!), allowing the client to decide what works for them, and supporting their choices in the end. This secondary reaction I had (the snob thing) is an example of the checks and balances in action..

I couldn't recommend this book for one sort of industry bias that is clearly noted in the book, and which is absolutely, positively, not a "must" for consumers looking to use a professional kitchen designer. The text in question adds confusion and influences consumers buying the book to go down a path that has no compelling merit to it.. Sorry to be a bit mysterious here.

This has been helpful for ME to put this into words, sort of a public dissection, and subsequent reaffirmation of my approach to  issues, as they arise, and what happens next. if it's aided as a nap inducement for some of you, that's good too! 

Posted on January 18, 2008 and filed under Kitchen Design.