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

Follow my personal profile here on Google+ for LOTS of fresh content! Google+




Subscribe by Email


houzz interior design ideas

Follow on Bloglovin

Interior Design Blogs
Kitchen Design


Our webshop of handmade Scandinavian rugs and ceramics


Scandinavian inspired, warmly modern kitchens


Custom kitchen design by Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS

« Small Kitchen Storage Tips | Main | New Style White Kitchen - Scandinavian, Of Course! »

Ten Simple Steps to a Feel Good Kitchen - New OR Old

I confess, I am addicted to CNBC. This is being written as the Dow fell nearly 700 points, most of which happened in the last hour of trading. I admit to feeling that I am living in a dual reality...the writer of a blog talking about the virtues of owning a fabulous kitchen filled with fabulous products and the other extreme of hearing that we may be in for a severe recession (one person's opinion) in 2009, probably affecting many people's lives. So, where do I go from here?

I'm a positive thinker (believe it or not) combined with being a realist. What I'm feeling now, at this moment, is that regardless of where you, the reader are, whether you are planning that fabulous kitchen or wondering what small tips you can get from this blog in an effort to either keep your kitchen for a longer time, in good shape, or prepare it for a home sale, there are common threads in these two extremes. 

I think, which I hope has been an underlying theme in my blog, that one should look at one's kitchen or kitchen design, and get back to basics.

Use the catalogs, magazines and fabulous internet images of kitchens as inspiration, not the word "should." You know the slow food movement? Get into the slow kitchen design movement. Here's how:

  1. Take your time on every decision connected to your kitchen
  2. Make sure it's a personal decision, not one based on, most importantly, a trend, although resale decisions require mainstream aesthetics
  3. Seek out materials that are long lasting, make your money work for you
  4. Watch your stress level. Can you defer decisions? Do so, if you need to.
  5. Say goodbye to matching, say hello to authenticity and blending
  6. Find professionals in whom you trust and who have that important quality of patience - and yes, professionals know how to save their clients money
  7. Get organized in terms of food preparation equipment, it's location and access for a sense of security
  8. Find perspective...put more weight into long term investments, a more casual approach to shorter term purchases
  9. Go out to the garden and pick flowers, leafy branches or another natural collection to keep things fresh in your space
  10. Little luxuries go a very long way to make your kitchen "new again" and can be defined in many different ways

I'm not sure, actually, if I'm making a whole lot of sense in this post, but, the metaphors of the "slow kitchen design" approach and "back to basics" perhaps will provide a bit of insight and opportunity for some to keep things on an even keel.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (8)

You are making PERFECT sense Susan...We are all watching the DOW plunge off the cliff, each from our own places, and wondering: What next?

We feel rudderless and don't know who, or what, to trust.

I read something this morning that calmed me. Maybe it'll do the same for you.

Here goes:

In April 1942, we were at war and we were losing. Germany had overrun France. Our Pacific fleet had been crippled at Pearl Harbor. Inflation was rampant. Companies faced wage and price controls and excess profit taxes. In that bleak month, with no clear or compelling reason, the market simply reached the bottom of a long downturn and started to rise again. By the end of June 1943, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 54%.

Jim Rothenberg
Chairman and Principal Executive Officer, Capital Research and Management Company

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Deras, CKD, CID

Your post definitely resonated with me. I have been planning my kitchen renovation for about a year now. I have pretty much all my appliances in my house already. The last step was ordering the cabinets. However, the company I work for has not been doing well and I will more than likely be out of a job next week. For whatever reason, I never did place that cabinet order. So now I am at least in a position to take another look at my layout, determine what I really need now, what I can sort of "mix and match" in from other sources and what I can put off to a later date. Even though I am extremely sad that I will be losing my job, I am happy that I actually have this time to re-evaluate where I want to spend my money. Thanks for your post. I thought it was very timely and insightful.

October 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

Hi Peggy, thanks for this little gem of perspective. And, it is about perspective in the end. I wish I could remember a few words of what someone said last night on tv. Yes, here it is. This financial expert said something to the effect of the following: "Those who loved you this morning still love you now, regardless of what the stock market has done in between" so the correct response is simply "ouch." I liked that!

Leslie, make it into a positive experience, a joyful one, a rewarding one. You can do it. The next plan for your kitchen will reveal itself to you, perhaps piece by piece, but you'll get there. You may want to consider consulting with a kitchen designer for some ideas on keeping the budget in line or alternative design ideas. In any case, the slow kitchen design process, like slow cooking, may produce a more creative end result than the fast track approach. :)

October 11, 2008 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

You're absolutely right about searching the Internet for ideas. I have been designing a new kitchen and bathrooms for us for some time now and doing just that. I do have a leg up on most, though, because I'm a cabinetmaker, so I can do my own cabinetry, which is the heart of a kitchen. One of the things I have been finding, though, is that there are just a ton of ideas out there. I have been working on this for some time and trying to share my ideas with others. I have hopes of a glorious kitchen for us. But we'll just have to see how it turns out.

October 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

My wife and I said in our book that homeowners should look at the remodeling project as a "journey" instead of a destination. We all know that in remodeling, like in life, stuff happens. One can count on materials being late, or cabinets arrived damaged, or subcontractors getting delayed by other jobs. The point is that there will be things that are not in our control, so don't get all worked up over them. The journey will be happier if one understands that some obstacles and setbacks are out of our control, and we just handle them as they show up, not bemoan the fact that they happen. Instead, focus on the things that you can control. It is important how one approaches remodeling, and your attitude will influence your remodeling experience.
Ignacio Arribas
Author, The Happy Remodelers

December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIgnacio Arribas

If anyone is looking for a no nonsense way to make money fast, these guys are the best
it took me a few days to get going, but they were very helpful. Two weeks in and i just
got my first $1,000 check. This works by spreading the word, so I'm spreading the word.

Check it out here: http://www.17getmoney.info

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLoagogymn

Just this past weekend, I purchased a beautiful hand crafted chopping board. Deep, dark inlay against light wood. Thick and heavy with wonderful artsy ball shaped feet. Not too big, the perfect size to sit out on the counter 24/7. The artist, like myself, just lost his primary income as a carpenter and was presenting his wonderful work at our local farmer's market, as a means to supplement what income he has. I helped him, through this purchase. He helped me by providing me with a beautiful, artful, yet affordable kitchen focal point that helps me to take my mind off of the remodeling plans that have been shelved for now. It is all good!

January 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterconnie lou

kitchen is an important place for a wife lol, i like your post, Susan

February 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterloveisintheair

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>