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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Electrolux and More...

Electrolux Kitchen Stories

I want to show you kitchen stories - 89 of them to be exact, courtesy of Electrolux, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. SO...these 89 people with stories are all "kitchen stars", but Electrolux needs just one more to reach 90 - will that be you?

I'm crazy about this concept and find it absolutely fascinating looking at all these (real) kitchen stories from all over the world! You can be the 90th kitchen star! To enter, you must have an Electrolux appliance, even a small countertop or small vacuum appliance is ok. I don't love that requirement, but I DO love the kitchen stories! Enter or not, the kitchen stories are there to enjoy.

Susan's in the Houzz

I just started writing/editing ideabooks for Houzz on kitchen design. I certainly knew of Houzz but due to my busy world, did not focus on the site in depth until I was asked to take a look at it and to add my expertise on kitchen design as a regular ideabook (love that name) contributor. 

I think I may be addicted. I have no time to be addicted, and you may not either, but, the site:

  • is too user friendly as well as beautiful
  • is too much of a (truly) friendly, positive, community
  • has too large of a library of great interiors to ignore
  • allows you to hone in on exactly the style you're looking for
  • has great information
  • has ideabooks that are crazy/fun/beautiful/cool/etc.

to not immerse yourself. So, go ahead, you'll be glad you did, and don't blame me for your time lost! I do think it would only be fair for the universe to give us 2 more hours a day - life is very fast paced, more time is needed to take it all in! Here's my first ideabook... 


Here are a couple of recent posts I have written that I'd like to mention.

Small Appliances - Blog Post

This first post was written for my colleage, Kathy Barlow, of the Home Workshop blog. It's about how to deal with those migrating small appliances on our countertops. Take a look! 

Open Kitchen Floorplan - Blog Post

Another post for Decorati that I have not shared with you is an in depth look at the open kitchen floorplan - is it for you? It addresses potential issues, provides ideas for dealing with common problems and gives a fresh look at this emerging concept that many are feeling more and more comfortable with. As a realtor friend told me, "the ad that people respond to is the one that says 'open floorplan' in it." Of course, it's not for everyone, but I think it's a concept worth looking at at this moment.


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Reader Comments (4)

OK, I'm totally addicted to Houzz! Thanks for the reference. I'm a new mama now, instead of being a research hounding designer as before. I like the shortcut via your blog!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamian

Camian, congratulations! A boy? Girl? Name? Are you loving every minute? All the best!

January 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

I must say that the kitchen star concept is an interesting one. On April 3, 1976, a Mexican-American lady I worked with at the time invited me to her apartment to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I have loved Mexican food all my life, but to that point had always eaten it only in restaurants. Well, sir! She served a homemade Mexican meal, and to this day I still firmly believe no one makes enchiladas like she does. A few weeks later I had her to my apartment and served a meal (I’m an old Army cook) that included her favorite, homemade bread. She raves about it to this day.

Later that year on August 14 we got married and thirty-three plus years later we’re still absolutely nuts about each other. I can describe our marriage in one word: fun! Through good times and bad, through big promotions at work and deaths in the family, through every sort of vicissitude that comes from over three decades of marriage, I can honestly say we laugh about something every day. We still cook together, and every Thanksgiving I roll out the pie crust, and she makes the filling for homemade pumpkin pies.

So, even though we don’t have Electrolux appliances, I still do feel that we are kitchen stars in our own right. However, I do believe that Electrolux has come up with a marvelous concept on kitchens. I wrote a blog on them some time ago which I titled "The Evolution of a Revolution" because I really think that’s what they have accomplished with the kitchen designs they now call the “Live-In Room.” You can read it, if you’re interested, at http://cft411.com/2009/07/10/kitchen-designs-4/, if it’s not too self-serving for me to insert a blatant plug!

What I found intriguing about Electrolux, though is that they are working to promote an entirely new way of thinking abut a room that is itself both old and new. One of the things that really surprised my wife and me when we had our house warming party was the utter impossibility of getting people out of the kitchen. It's a small space, but it does have a nice counter, and we ended up with people sitting at the counter while we were inside the kitchen serving various snacks. And no matter how late it got, that's where people stayed that night. I bring that up because the people at Electrolux would be the first to tell us that what we have here is not so much a kitchen as the beginning of a “Live-In Room.”

More and more these days, that is where people actually spend their time, in the kitchen! And, heck, for those who have spent gobs and gobs of money on a major kitchen remodeling, heck yeah, they want to show that baby off! But, mostly, I think, kitchens have just become a place for people to gather. Ours is drab and dinky, but whenever we entertain, that’s where everyone congregates!

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Hi Susan,

I just happened to revisit this comment section and saw your question!

I have a boy, his name is Kaden. He will be a year old this month. He's beautiful. Motherhood has been quite the change of pace. I used to be a GC/finish-out designer, running crews and doing specs here in Albuquerque; now, I'm a stay at home mom. I miss it so much, but am trying to keep my toes wet while completely changing my focus and priorities. Design is still my passion, but being a mother is a life changing experience.

Since checking out Houzz via your recommendation, I got my profile set up, and a good selection of my portfolio uploaded. I think I have about 188 pictures up.... Anyway, it's been so fun seeing people add my work to their ideabooks. It really is a fun site.

Thanks again,

February 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamian Larson

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