Posted in Back splashes, cabinet hardware, Cabinets, Counter tops, Kitchen Trends, Kitchens, Kitchens Don'ts, Maple Cabinets, Oak Cabinets, Paint, Resale Value, Return on Investment, Traditional Kitchens, Trends in Tile, White Kitchens

Musings on when to paint your cabinets

So your house is not selling. It’s sitting on the market without offers while other houses in the neighborhood are selling while your home continues to linger. Feedback from your realtor says that potential buyers don’t like the kitchen. Realtors advise depersonalizing your home, (remove family photos and personal “clutter”), so buyers can get a better sense for how this home would fit their lifestyle.  But how do you depersonalize your dated kitchen? Your father may have built or installed these cabinets or you may have selected your favorite maple wood stain but does that matter to the buyer?  Remember, they are not buying for sentimental value.

Do you dig in and wait for the buyer who likes your taste to come along months down the line or do you appeal to more home buyers who desire the current trends and get your house sold quicker?

Kitchen Circa 1990’s. Floors Circa 2015. Fresh coat of paint, hardware, new counter tops and splash and this kitchen would be charming!

A former client was shocked that their house is still sitting on the market with really insulting low ball offers while the cheaply renovated neighbors house sold in 10 days. This is a sad case of letting your personal style getting in the way of selling your home. It doesn’t pay to be annoyed that your dated cabinets are better quality than your neighbor’s cheap but cute “ok-Ikea” kitchen. If it’s dated, even though it was in style when you remodeled 10, 20 or 30 years ago, facts are facts: out of style kitchens are a big fat negative for the buyer who wants a move-in ready home.

Are you ready to drop $100,000 or more off of your asking price so you can sell your house? Ready for a change?  Or for a modest investment in paint, cabinet hardware and new counter tops, you can update for kitchen for a quicker sale.

Let’s get started:  Consider what’s fresh and timeless versus what home-buyers consider dated and dreary.

# 1: Consider painting your wood cabinets, (yes I said it, paint your wood cabinets!). It’s ok to paint wood. Hire a professional painter to get the job done fast and efficiently.

Bright white and wood look charcoal plank tile floors as shown in a model home at the Oaks at Portola Hills.

Take a tour of model homes in your area to get a sense of what is trending in your town.

# 2: For a bit more elbow grease, route out the door panels and add clear glass for a vibrant change in your wall cabinets.

# 3: Add cabinet hardware to your cabinets. It’s the jewelry in the kitchen. Brushed nickel or polished chrome knobs and pulls add a nice touch.


Caesarstone Shitake Counter tops, Brookhaven by Wood-Mode Cabinetry

#4: Are your wood stained cabinets in good shape but the counters are Uba Tuba or Baltic Brown granite? Rip out the counters and splash! Install new counter tops in a light quartz. Back splashes with a little pizzazz becomes a focal point in the kitchen.

Cherry wood with Mosaic stone and glass tile for the splash and quartz counter top.
Paint White Cabinets, mosaic & subway backsplash, quartzite slab, polished chrome pulls

Pick up any kitchen magazine and you’ll find a majority of the covers show kitchens with quartz or quartzite counters. Dark & busy counter tops appeal to fewer people.

Even the quartz manufacturer’s weed out dated colors. I just threw out 10 sample blocks from one of my vendors that discontinued colors that were popular 4 years ago but not today. Edit out what doesn’t work.

Solid color quartz counter tops or marble and “marble-like” are in high demand for most of my clients.


3 x 6 white subway tile and honed quartz counter top.

And finally tip # 5: The most popular back splash today: Subway tile! Painted kitchens and subway tile are always a classic winner! A client came to us after seeing our fabulous contemporary display in an appliance showroom, but once they saw our classic white display with subway tile, the decision was done. This style evokes immediate love for classic good looks.

Update the back splash with a classic white subway tile! It is timeless and one of the more affordable back splash tiles available. Paired with new counter tops, paint white cabinets, new hardware, a new faucet and stainless steel sink will transform a kitchen into an appealing space for a home buyer to consider.

And if you are in the Orange County area and need help with your dated kitchen, please give me a call for an estimate. 949.448.9627.





Posted in Healthy Kitchens, Kitchen Trends

Kitchen Trends 2015

A new article claims that super-sized kitchens, breakfast bars and ultra-convenient pantries are not doing our waistlines any favors. Read here. Is it true that your expanded kitchen will expand you waistline? Oh no, what to do, what to do? Blame your kitchen designer, that’s what! Well even though it would be nice to point the finger at someone else for our expanding waistlines, that is not necessarily the truth in why we are fat. It is about personal responsibility in what we choose to put in our new sleekly designed kitchens.

Healthy eating habits are formed regardless of your kitchen space weather modern or old, big or small. The beauty of modernizing your kitchen is that technology and innovation in appliances are there to support your healthy eating habits. You can achieve a smart and efficient design that encourages healthy eating habits even if your space is small. Steam and convection ovens provide healthy ways of preparing our meals. Refrigeration that controls temperatures to protect the longevity of our expensive organic produce we buy for the week. Wouldn’t we all love to stop off at the produce stand daily to buy our veggies but how practical is that? What I wouldn’t give for turning a wine fridge into a wheat grass grower!

What consumers want is convenience and efficiency. I agree that it would be ideal to shop daily for the freshest produce but our fast paced lives prevent us from a daily trip to the market. What my clients want is bigger and better storage. Not just a big cabinet, but a cabinet with drawers. And if you are stuck with a small kitchen with limited storage, how many of you have a second refrigerator in the garage? It’s about being practical, purchasing in bulk is a cost saver for larger families.

People have a desire for good food and how to be more efficient in making good meals. One of my favorite cookbook authors, Mark Bittman, is one of the country’s best-known, most widely respected food writers. His cookbooks are in demand for those of us who love good food and do not have a lot of time for a complicated recipe.

How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food

I don’t have clients asking me for better storage for the FryDaddy. Clients are making sure that there is proper clearance for the taller Vita-Mix blenders that will sit on the counter. (PS., Vita Mix redesigned them so they fit in 17″H space, perfect for a 18″ backsplash. ) For the truly health conscience consumers, they are purchasing juicers and not just one but sometimes two or three! You’ve got to have a juicer, a blender and maybe you even have a smaller Ninja Bullet. Part of that trend in juicing is the need for better functional design and storage solutions for these health related appliances, and with it comes the need for smarter storage solutions as well as easy clean up solutions.

So don’t feel guilty for wanting to open up your kitchen with it’s fancy new features.

Embrace it, eat healthy, entertain in the kitchen, and enjoy!
Houzz Survey: New Kitchen Features
Posted in Consumer Research, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Trends, Men in the Kitchen, Style Notes

He Said, She Said

In an article, He Said, She Said, published at, July 21, 2010, it appears stereotypes about what women and men want in kitchen design is not that different, at least not in the upscale market.

Click the Link below to read what the results of  Top 5 Items Desired in an Ideal Kitchen and the Top 5 Words Associated with an Ideal Kitchen. Where men and women differ in opinion, according to the survey,  focused on cabinet organization and performance. Women it appears in the survey are focused on cabinet storage solutions; while men focused on performance of appliances. While I can certainly sympathize with one dear male reader who would beg to differ with this part of the study, who shouted out one Sunday morning from his kitchen in Minnesota,  “a pan! a pan! I would give anything to find a pan!” His attempt to make a Sunday breakfast became a blog topic and he wrote about the trouble with kitchen cabinet organization. I would say that both men and women would both agree roll out trays and pot and pan drawers are highly desirable interior cabinet features to include in a kitchen remodel.

What can we learn about this study? In our changing economy, the study reveals that at least in the upscale market, one of the motivating factors for these homeowners, who know they couldn’t sell right now if they had to, have made their minds up to stay put.  This is a market to sell to homeowners who are digging in and improving their homes instead of moving.

Article Source:

Posted in KBIS, Kitchen Trends

Live from KBIS, through Tweets!

Brizo Panel Discussion, Form that Functions
Left to right: Janice Costa, Jason Wu, Judd Lord, Cheryl Kees Clendenon

<<<<Streaming news from KBIS via Twitter>>>>  

Here are highlights from the Brizo Panel Discusion held at KBIS 4/17/10, Chicago. Read what’s trending: 
Photo brought to you by Andie Day from Twit Pic, Brizo Panel

@InDetailSays,@brizofaucet, #kbis2010,, Brizo RSVP faucet. Judd sees trend toward less visual clutter and #JasonWu agrees

@InDetailSays,@brizofaucet, #kbis2010,, #jasonWu finds that fashion is iinforming many industries including #k&b industry through color, texture & especially technology !


RT @brizo#Jason Wu on success: design philosophy is qual. vs quantity; creates things relevant for the next 20 years. #KBIS panel


RT @saintpetepaul RT @brizo #JasonWu: “Color and texture – that’s all we do in so many ways.” Sees more mixing than streamlining. #KBIS


Not surprising: #Blogger19 rocks! RT @saintpetepaul: @Modenus: @InDetailSays is bringing down the house at Brizo panel discussion.


RT @brizo#Jason Wu on success: design philosophy is qual. vs quantity; creates things relevant for the next 20 years. #KBIS panel


RT @AndieDay: @InDetailSays,@brizofaucet, Panel agrees that multigen design is relevant -sandwich gen may have adult child & parent home


RT @KitchAnn_Style: {Judd Lord} “There’s a trend for less visual clutter” in product design and home decor#KBIS #BRIZO


@cabinetgal1 @Kitchen_Sync Judd tweeting: Yes, in direct response to it. We are inundated with tech. We want to strip it away. #KBIS panel


RT @brizo: @indetailsays Many clients in her area want to be green but don’t want to bear the expense. #KBIS panel


RT @DebbieSchaeffer: Fabulous time at KBIS! It all started with keynote speaker Sergio Zyman focus on Scientific Marketing. Lots of…


RT @brizo: Jason Wu: fashion and home not two different worlds; designers have a lot in common. #KBIS panel


*grin* RT @brizo: @indetailsays Aging in place can be a touchy subject. Sometimes you phrase it as a recommendation and do it. #KBIS panel

Posted in Hot Topics, Kitchen Trends, Who Knew

Can you get sued for bad taste?

Gramercy Park Hotel lobby

The short answer is yes! You can get sued for bad taste. When you scroll the website of New York City’s Luxury Hotel, Gramercy Park, you immediately get a sense of luxury with photos showing luxuriously appointed rooms and private residences with custom designed bathrooms and kitchens by British designer John Pawson.

If the stellar photos are not enough, quotes from reputable publications flash on the web page confirming that this is the place of true luxury. 

“CHIC SENSUALITY”, Travel & Liesure
“UNIQUE, Another Lifestyle Revolution” Time Magazine

 And then there is the case of power couple, Jon Asgeir Johannesson and Ingibjorg Palmadottir, owners of a swanky New York apartment, (one of the twenty three private residences), located on a full floor in the Gramercy Park Hotel Building. I was tipped off about this story by Sara Blask, who writes for the informative Oyster Blog, Insights from the Hotel Authority. Apparently the couple, hit by hard times, decided to save a buck and install Ikea Cabinets in their luxury apartment. 

There is more irony to be found in this story, so with no further delay, I will point you towards Sarah Blask’s article:

IKEA doesn’t fly at the Gramercy Park Hotel

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 Alternative Backsplash Materials, Art for Living Spaces, Art for the Kitchen, Canvas Prints, Decorative Cushions, Glamour, Glass Backsplash, Kitchen Trends, New Products, Quirky Design Details, Trends in Tile

Teo Jasmin

Teo Jasmin: for the largest choice of canvas prints and decorative cushions.
When your design calls for a bold splash of color or eclectic whimsy start your search with Teo Jasmin.

This next photo caught my eye, (enlarge the magnified image below). Using alternative methods: canvas print sandwiched between glass will make a bold and “splashy”statement to your otherwise plain backsplash. The kitchen backsplash shown below becomes a space for artwork. (although this photo looks to be just canvas-which I do not recommend for practical reasons). GFI Outlet locations can be cut into the glass or opt for a plug mold power strip located under cabinet can be used instead for an uninterrupted appearance. (Check your local code requirements first). I love glass backsplashes.

For more information on the canvas prints, contact TEO JASMIN.