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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Visualize Your Kitchen Design!

I picked up a new pair of eyeglasses yesterday. They are bold (for me), funky, and remove "good looks" as a (normally) important factor when I wear glasses, instead, replacing that concept with "a" look. Going down this road definitely messes with my head because I've always thought of glasses to be something to enhance my looks (if they had to be worn). So, this is a little getting used to for me. It's out of my comfort zone, too, as I've never purchased glasses with a dark frame as I've always had light colored hair.

Which then made me think about the design of these glasses as compared to design in our homes. Does beauty in our homes (as one's quest is for facial beauty) need to be the singular goal we aspire to? Do you let beauty guide your decisions because it's easy and safe? More importantly, do you define beauty in only one way?

Another piece to this quest for beauty is this - with interesting glasses, as with design, there is sometimes a fine line between cool and, well, odd or ridiculous, don't you think? I observed my thoughts as I tried on the glasses...over and over. Did I look ridiculous? Were they cool? Where they awesome? Which one of these adjectives?

The voice of reason came to me and said, what else...beauty (or an interesting look) is in the eye of the beholder (as is coolness, ridiculousness and awesomeness!) That was my answer. The glasses gave me enough of a "fun" boost to persuade me to buy them.

Two recent glasses purchases-one blue, one tortoise shell, dark, and rounded!

The Kitchen Design Link

I think in the design of our kitchens, there is more to strive for than simple, safe, beauty. We should (and I rarely use the word "should") challenge our traditional view of beauty from time to time, and all across the board in our lives, from eyeglasses to kitchens. And, then, question if we really care about "beauty" as a concept in favor of a different feeling. We can then be open to new ideas, new design solutions, opportunities to explore and thus, expand our personal aesthetic.

Tell me your thoughts about what the word "beauty" means to you and its importance in your life and your home! I want to know. I like enlightening experiences, especially small, everyday, ones.

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Reader Comments (9)

Beauty to me means a pleasing combination of style, design, color and usability. If kitchens are beautiful yet not user friendly then they're a waste of money. I personally like the Tuscan Old World style and hope one day to renovate my kitchen. Until then I can dream!

December 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan McGee

Interesting thought to ponder, as I realized how out-of-date the prescription is on my glasses after an irritation forced me not to wear contacts last week. My glasses, four years old, are still pretty hip -- and were really fresh-looking when I bought them! -- but not so functional, obviously. Teaching me that all the beauty in the world can't forgive dysfunction. I think the same goes for kitchens, right?

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Warner

Interesting thoughts. I personally think that beauty is subjective and sometimes as we move through phases in our life what we see as beautiful changes and we should be brave enough to change our surroundings accordingly.

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkitchen bar stools

Love the new glasses! I buys lots of cheap readers and stash them around, so some are cute pink and others are funky leopard print. And I think having that little unexpected touch that isn't necessarily beautiful is an essential element to an overall success of a person or a room. Merry Christmas!

December 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Merrill

As a bathroom designer I think we have as equally as hard, if not harder job to convince clients to focus on beauty and style. Yet what better rooms than a kitchen and bathroom to be able to give people the wow factor, from my experience people will always comment on a bathroom or kitchen when explaining the house. So in the home it is undoubtedly important and to have rooms that the 'Jone's' would never dream of having is what it's all about for me. In terms of beauty in life in general well my husband tells me he can tell when I feel good because it is when I look good :-)

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl de Val

I totally agree, beauty is definately subjective. I bought a pair of glasses which I get compliments from some as seeing them as cool and others think they look nerdy because of the thick black frames. But I like them and that's what matters most.

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy @ As Seen on TV

I agree with susan, beauty should mean a pleasing combination of style, design, color and usability

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDominic

Beauty is absolutely subjective. And has always been enormously important to me. As my art teacher already pointed out when I was not yet a teenager: "Connie is an aesthete." That only got "worse" throughout the years, or rather decades, when I became more and more aware of what I like and why, and realized the importance of proportions.

The interiors of our homes, which I do myself although I'm not a designer (missed my true profession, I think), are close to minimalistic but not bare, well balanced, relaxing, and easy to use/ live in at the same time. I'm convinced that you can design kitchens, or any other room, in a beautiful style without sacrificing their usability. After all, that's what real good designers do every day.

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

I really need to get myself new glasses! These bent and barely see-through 10 year olds arent really "good looks" either.

January 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRichy

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