The Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen remodeling can be a tricky balance of value & style. With so many options, and so many elements to design…a simple kitchen can quickly become a culinary cathedral. Here are a few tips from The Design Coach on the best ways to maximize your kitchen makeover, regardless of your budget. 

1.)    Realize that a custom look does not always mean paying a custom price. When replacing your Kitchen cabinetry, try to stay within the standard box construction, drawer and door sizes offered by the manufacturer. In addition, upgrading to a custom finish package will give your cabinetry a higher-end appearance. Designer Resource:

BLOG PIC OCT 3Geneva cabinet

2.) Think of your lighting as the ultimate accessory. Believe it or not, there is life beyond the pendant light. Choose fixtures that give you both ambient and directional lighting at the same time – you don’t have to sacrifice style to get a good look at what you’re preparing at the island. Be brave in your lighting design! Designer Resource:

 BLOG pic OCT.Currey  Co  light

3.)    Embrace the backsplash! Installing a dynamic accent tile between the cabinetry and countertop is one of the best ways to achieve a magazine quality look in your Kitchen. Subtle or dramatic, try to select a tile that gives a triple visual threat…texture, pattern and color. Designer Resource:

4.)    Coordinate your horizontal surfaces. Look to visually connect two of the most important and prevalent canvas’ in your Kitchen. Coordinating your countertops and flooring will act as a “style anchor” and will set the stage for all of the elements to sing out loud. Designer Resource:

5.)    Window treatments and fabrics are essential. The right fabric package, in both upholstered elements and window treatments, adds much needed softness to the cleaner lines typically found in most Kitchens.  Designer Resource:

BLOG PIC oct 2Kravet Photo

For more information on Kitchen Design, check out Philip’s interview the Peggy Helgeson of Geneva Cabinet Company on the link below. 

Answering The Age Old Question: What Am I Missing?

During a recent workshop, I outlined one of my basic strategies for creating environments of interest. Sometimes advice like this is easier expressed than executed. But for those of you who feel your design may be missing something, maybe this will help.

In general, I tend to look at spaces more like an artist approaches the composition of a painting. I look for opportunities to create Interest -Color/Pattern/Texture, Balance -The appropriate percentage of colors throughout the interior, and Scale-The right size pieces that make the room function based on a desired design intention. But beyond the obvious, I also seek out areas in a room, where the client and I can make personal & authentic statements which may or may not include the well placed store-bought accessory. Here’s a quick overview:

1.) A visually tight color scheme starts with softer, more neutral colors on the walls. Paint manufacturers do a great job drubbing into our heads that room-color means wall paint. It may sell a lot of gallons, but it more often than not makes for simplistic and sophomoric spaces, where the wall color detracts from, or even worse, dominates the interior. I like to derive my color schemes from inspiration fabrics and flooring textiles. I then look to extract the accent colors in deliberate percentages to add interest and balance to a room. Textile design is a wonderful place to start because they seamlessly blend colors in interesting and beautiful percentages. So before you head to the paint store, find a great rug and coordinating inspiration fabrics.

2.) Most of the existing rooms that I design, even the ones presented to me by a builder or architect, are typically under lit. Usually to keep the cost down. However, since a poorly lit room can kill a good design, I like my lighting to be both functional and inspiring. So, if your light fixtures and lamps are visually underwhelming…you’ve missed a huge opportunity to add “functional personality” into your space. Think of lighting as performance art.

3.) I learned early in my career that not all walls are created equally. So I tend to look for the wall space within a room where I can launch a really big idea. The kind of design statement that not only makes the jaw drop, but one that also gives some personal insight into the lifestyle of the client. If your best wall space is littered with forgettable elements, chances are the room is too.


4.) The most impressive way to change an interior may be right over your head! Ceilings create big design opportunities. Not sure who thought “ceiling white” was inspiring, but the once chic and minimalist statement, has now morphed into an icon representing gutless/default design. You can do better. Paint a color, add molding, and find a way to treat the largest canvas in your room with the respect it deserves.


5.) And lastly, window treatments matter. Time to lose the swag of fabric over the window and invest in a look that is more tailored than toga. There is no better opportunity to finish the look of a room than with the right window treatment. It takes the color, texture and sophistication of an interior to a whole new level.