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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« Random Kitchen Meanderings | Main | Kitchen Blog Anniversary »

Decor8 Blogger House Party!

Decor8 is having a blogger house party, and I was tagged to do the virtual kitchen! As usual, I may be a bit late to the party, but it was fun doing it. OK, here's the client info:

Home owner: Young single mom (cookbook author) with a son living in a 18th century Georgian townhouse in Savannah Georgia approx. 2000 sq ft., 2 floors, 3 bedrooms (one is an office), and a large patio off of the kitchen. She loves to entertain, enjoys pastels and Swedish decor, decorating on somewhat of a budget but she can splurge on one expensive item per room. Loves pattern and feminine touches but can't deal with too much clutter.

Since I only had a few finishes to select,  I thought I'd go a bit further and design this kitchen from scratch, exclusively for decor8's virtual client.

Let's go with dessert first...the one special item chosen for the kitchen was a (pricey) 36" induction cooktop from GE Monogram. For THIS client, a cookbook author, it's a dream come true. The super high power burners with faster response than gas, green technology, and super safety attributes (thinking of her child,) won, hands down. She's psyched and ready to cook up a storm!

Interested in living green, where she can, the countertop is made of recycled materials by Avonite. The cabinetry has green components, is painted with low VOC paints, and her appliances are all energy star rated, all this just for starters. The kitchen was designed to cover all sorts of activities beyond cooking. Our heroine will be able to:

a. do the cooking in an "open" setting, gazing out toward her child or the lovely patio beyond

b. prep at the island as well with a great line of sight all around

c. clean up at the sink with a nice expanse of windows

d. have good, and quick, access to all of her cooking items, tools, and cookbooks on the open shelving section

e. communicate with her child

f. watch tv cooking shows easily

g. hang out in the seating area with a laptop

h. spend quality time with her child

i. Have storage addressed in a variety of ways, maximizing storage, yet maintaining an open feeling

Oh, her aversion to clutter? Once she saw the storage and access possibilities of open shelving, she loved the look! She may be storing items in decorative baskets on the shelves as a compromise. So, here we go! But, first, take a look again at all these really great ideas and inspiration in the other rooms of our heroine's home, over at decor8.  Thanks Holly/decor8, it was fun to dream for a bit....

And, let me obsess just a little more on the cabinetry. Look at the floorplan. It IS a very old, Savannah Home. Maybe we need to section off (in terms of a color), say, the sink base section, or the shelving section, and put another finish on the cabinets there. They could be a glazed, golden yellow finish, something like that. May go really well with the supersoft gray finish, shown below. Imagine for a minute...



And, here is a modern version of the informal, Swedish, cotton kitchen rug:

Recycled countertop has bits of yellow, lots of white, and a very interesting grain pattern, unlike most engineered stones

Yellow kitchen tools/accessories!

So, what do you think? Let's do a little more brainstorming. What do you like/don't like/would change, etc?

Participating bloggers were:

decor8, Creature Comforts, Style Files, Design For Mankind, Perfect Bound, Bloesem, SFGirlbyBay, AphroChic, Gracious Inspiration, Design Is Mine. and Making it Lovely.  and moi.

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Reader Comments (10)

Love the layout and the induction top, the Swedish rug, the white floor and the yellow KitchenAid but I think the white cabinets and white beadboard with the white floor is too sterile. I'd keep the plain white cabinets but paint the beadnoard the pink or one of the yellow tones from the rug. And the table and chairs - maybe too much sage green there? Perhaps paint the legs another colour or use a brighter fabric?

February 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermodernemama

Love the Design.I think the idea of having the back wall to be all shelves is great.It is so open.
For Me the cabinets above the Ref is a little heavy, with the closed doors.May be have them glass with lights inside, or mullions to match the window, or nothing at all to help bring the light from the window.
By the way , What kind of software are you using?

February 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterM2008

I LOVE the coffered ceiling and the large windows. I like the pastel touches too... what about painting the back of the bookshelves in a pale yellow as well?

February 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWanderluster

modernmama, thanks for the comment! Actually, I didn't mean to include all the other elements, and I should have mentioned that. I wasn't assuming the bead board or the table and chairs...it was just those items I pointed out. But, you have good ideas! :)

February 10, 2008 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

M2008, absolutely, one could have glass doors in that top row of the refrigerator, why not? I use Planit, a sort of kitchen industry software program. I've used it since the early 90s, with upgrades of course! Thank you very much for your ideas.

Wanderluster, LOVE that idea. I just told a client to do that. They were thinking of ordering the back of an open shelving cabinet in a certain color. I said to wait till it arrives and paint it themselves, looks more authentic. People think it's blasphemy to paint a factory finish, but in areas of a cabinet like that, it's a great look. Thanks for the tip.

February 10, 2008 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

I love the countertop but can't figure out which color it is on the Avonite site. Please let me know!

February 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermudrick

Another great layout, Susan, and I really like how you kept it child-friendly. Lots of kitchens seem completely adult and serious...this one (and most of your designs) are friendly and unpretentious. The yellow is fun...what about throwing some Swedish blue in there for furnishings, and maybe upper shelf paint. Love the bookshelves in there...adds immediate warmth and personality. I was looking for one of your trademark cabinet end towel racks inset somewhere! Nice work!

February 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

mudrick, under the recycled products, it's called Cottonwood. It's a little more earthy to me, yet, light. Maybe when I go to the kitchen show in April, I'll see a bigger piece of it.

Wendy, thank you! You know, at one point I was looking at furnishings for the seating area, but there are some ideas on decor8's site for a breakfast nook (not having seen my plans in advance) and yes, I actually picked out a rug, not shown, with a blue and yellow theme to it. This one, from Target. As this client is on a budget, I looked for some budget items, and Target has so many rugs, and nice ones, I couldn't believe it.

Thanks again for the nice words, Wendy.

February 11, 2008 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

It's terrific, Susan. I especially like that countertop. And, the open shelving. And, the yellow.

February 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkathleen

kathleen, thanks! Now, I didn't get to spend weeks on it, or months, for that matter, as I usually do. This was put together in a much shorter time period, so that's my disclaimer! I'll tell you, I really like the countertop too. It's not the typical engineered stone/solid surface look, which also has its place. But, this is just a bit more organic in its feeling, maybe that's the word.

February 11, 2008 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

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