Posted in Accessable Design, Blum, cabinet hardware, Designing with pets in mind, Home Automation, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Organization, Kitchen Storage, Kitchen Trends, Men in the Kitchen

Kitchens should be fun! It’s so easy, dance if you want to.

The quest for the most efficiently built cabinets never ends. Here is a Merillat ad from the sixties, (maybe someone from Merillat can confirm the year of this ad for us),  that shows modern convenience back then, to the new video from Blum showing us the latest technology and convenience today.

Ok, so a little more news on base cabinets today. Yesterday we looked at corners in action, today we are going to look at a real cute guy in action. (Grin). This video deserves a post all on it’s own. A man who dances and cooks. I LOVE THIS! Servo drive has been around for a few years, but this video was just created in May ’09. Think of the uses, even if you limit the Servo drive to just one of your hardest working drawers, imagine the convenience! With a tap from a knee or a push from the hip, no more water drips on the cabinets near the sink. No more chicken hands on your drawers or cabinet pulls.

The product is showing the new Blum Servo Drive for drawers. Drawers open automatically using an electrical drive.   Sorry, cute guy not included.

If you are having trouble viewing the U Tube Video, click here:

Posted in Designing with pets in mind, Hot Topics, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Faucets, Managing Expectations, Who Knew, Working with a Kitchen Designer

Managing Design Expectations: The Client -Designer Relationship

The Kitchen Designer: Hello, this is Laurie. How may I help you?

Client: Oh Hello, before you come out to my house to take measurements, I have one other request for my kitchen design. At our first meeting you asked us if there was one primary cook or two and if we had any special needs we want you to take into consideration.
The Kitchen Designer: Yes?
Client: Well, yes, we thought about your question and realize we do have a family member that uses the kitchen quite frequently and we think we need to take his special needs into consideration.
The Kitchen Designer: Oh?
Client: Yes, you see we have a cat that won’t drink from his bowl. He drinks from the kitchen faucet. Actually, our cat is very fond of water. The only problem we have with this is that he can’t turn the faucet off when he’s finished. We need you to help us with this. Can you specify a sensor into the faucet that will turn off when there is no motion?
The Kitchen Designer: Well… sensor faucets are on the market and they are becoming more popular…I would have to check specs to see how we could make this work…I suppose…can I get back to you with an answer?
Client: Sure, that would be fine. Here is a video we took of our cat, perhaps it would be easier if we could just show you what we mean. If you can just review this, and maybe if you can also show this around to your vendors to get the best deal, we want the faucet to be triggered by a sensor…our water bill is getting pretty high with the faucet on all day. Can you show us all the best possible options to help us out?

This is a hypothetical story, of course, using a very funny cat video submitted on line by Kim Tasky at You Tube. (She is neither a client nor the person in the above scenario.) I use this very amusing cat story to make a “tongue in cheek” point about a universal problem regarding the client-designer relationship.

The point is this:
There are some clients working under the impression that Kitchen Designers should spend time on your project researching, sourcing, evaluating, planning the best possible options to incorporate a client’s every last desire on the wish list before paying for services. There are no professions that work for free. So why do people expect to be dazzled with a design before paying for it?

You can call a plumber for a service call and he will charge you $75.00 just for the trip charge before he pulls out his plumber’s wrench.

You wouldn’t call your attorney and ask him to review your lease agreement
without expecting a bill would you?
And you wouldn’t tell your attorney “I want to see what ideas you can come up with first and then I will let you know if I will hire you.”
Perry Mason

Kitchen Designers receive a myriad of special requests for a remodel project. Some details more complex then the next to specify and execute. And most every time, the client is on a deadline because they did not budget the time to allow for the design details to be fleshed out. All projects, no matter the size, require thought and research before recommendations can be made. Here in lies the problem. How do you value your designer’s time?

How much free design do you think you are owed before paying a retainer?

Solving Design Problems: What is this service worth to you?
There is a perception problem about what a design is worth to the client. Here is the issue Designers are continually facing: a prospective client has a design problem they want their Kitchen Designer to solve for them. Designers expect a prospective client to interview with two or three designers before making a final selection. Qualified designers expect to be interviewed and are able and ready to prove their qualifications to prospective clients. But ask a Designer to pull out the “dog and pony show” for you and you may get a polite response declining your request. Internally the dialogue going through that Designer’s head may be something to the effect of “I have been doing this for 30 years, I don’t need any more practice to prove I can design.”

Ask a Kitchen Designer their opinion about “HGTV” type shows where three designers are trotted out for the client to compare three fully detailed designs and you will get very opinionated answers.

“Ideas are free but designs must be paid for.” Laurie Burke

Home improvement shows have done a disservice to the design community and have built up unrealistic expectations for clients. You would be surprised to know that a majority of potential clients expect that several design options be presented in detail before paying a retainer to contract for design services. It happens at all ends of the spectrum from the high end client to the budget minded client.

A fully detailed dimensioned design plan with elevations and renderings, before a retainer is paid is just not a workable business model for designers as it involves time without money, and giving ideas away with the ‘hope’ of getting the business is just bad business.

Charles Schulz

Hiring your Kitchen Designer should be based on several factors, creativity being one if them. Secondly, the ability to complete projects in a timely manner and within budget. Third, the ability to communicate with you, your architect, your engineer, your GC or subs throughout the job as needed. Fourth, the ability to manage obstacles as they arise, and lastly the ability to see a project to it’s completion.

Posted in Humor in the Kitchen

Christmas Cookie White Lie Told by a 3 Year Old Child

Cute holiday story. Click on Title to link to the video.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

For the adults, this joke below may be an oldy but a goody,
but I just got this in an email,
so it’s new to me and and I began to read it earnestly
until I realized the humor ensuing.

It’s good to let loose and laugh when we can.
Happy Christmas!

Christmas Cookie Recipe

In case you need to make Christmas Cookies:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 2 cups of dried fruit
  • 1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Turn on the electric mixer…Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar…Beat again.

At this point it’s best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup. Just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the frigging fruit off floor… Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.


Posted in Celebrity Kitchens, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Tours, Kitchen Trends, White Kitchens

Isaac Mizrahi in the Kitchen at

I have to tell you, I cracked up and giggled most of the way as Isaac gives us a tour of his kitchen. His frenetic energy is the equivalent to a double shot of espresso. Check out the video link at the side bar on the left or visit

Lessons learned from Isaac:
We can all learn to live with a little dirt.

Secrets kept:

The contents of his refrigerator.

Favorite features in his kitchen:

His commercial faucet, his enamel white cabinets, the prep sink, his white Le Creuset cookware and home made mint chip ice cream.

Really a fun and creative man, definitely one you would want at a dinner party. Isaac shows that style does not mean we have to break the bank. Splurge where it’s worth the investment, (the appliances and cabinets), and spend a little less in easy care changeable dinner ware and accessories that can change easily as the mood or holiday dictates.


Posted in Back splashes, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Trends, New Products, Quirky Design Details, Who Knew

Go ahead, Write on the Walls

I came across the product that can have some kitchen applications too. Cover a pantry door panel. Cover the side of a wall cabinet, add to a plain painted backsplash.

Write a grocery list, write a message, let your kids draw their art.

Each kit contains 4, 19”x24½” chalkboard panels that can be used separately or combined for a large 38”x38” chalkboard writing surface.

For more information contact Wall Candy Arts.

Posted in Back splashes, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Trends, New Products, Quirky Design Details, Who Knew

Go ahead, Write on the Walls

I came across the product that can have some kitchen applications too. Cover a pantry door panel. Cover the side of a wall cabinet, add to a plain painted backsplash.

Write a grocery list, write a message, let your kids draw their art.

Each kit contains 4, 19”x24½” chalkboard panels that can be used separately or combined for a large 38”x38” chalkboard writing surface.

For more information contact Wall Candy Arts.

Posted in Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Trends, Who Knew

Blog Birthday

April is my one month Blog anniversary. This has been a fun experience blogging, sharing my passion for design and getting to know many people in the process, world wide.

What started as an experiment to log my resources and remodel tips for clients has turned into an enjoyable writing experience.

You will notice some tweaks and tune-ups as I take “baby-steps” learning to teach myself the basics of “HTML” and formatting my blog. Some attempts have not been good, losing some of my favorite links. Hopefully, I will be able to master this crazy HTML thing as time progresses.

Have a piece of cake this month for me!