Posted in Banquettes, Glamour, Kitchen Trends, New Products, Sunset Idea House

Week 2: Sunset Dream House

So this is week 2 over at the Sunset Dream Kitchen. The kitchen has a clean slate in spic and span “remodel mode” ready for the work to begin.

Last week was your chance to vote for the floor plan. Mind you, the process shown over at Sunset Dream Home is a condensed version of the remodeling process. In theory, it would be fantastic if decisions where made in rapid sequence, so don’t fret if you were not as quick as this. Also, what I would have liked to have seen was the initial step, establishing a budget. The drawings are absolutely stunning and all equally expensive, but in order to get to that step, and spend the time drawing up these options, the qualifier is establishing the budget. Otherwise, no matter how phenomenal the design, if the client can’t afford it, it will never get built. End of reality check. Onward.

Obviously, this is for show and Sunset has the budget. I mean, we are talking “The Dream Kitchen of the West” with sponsors including GE Monogram (appliances), Teragren (counters), Kohler (plumbing), Armstrong (flooring), and Benjamin-Moore (paint). Ah! Don’t wake me up, let me dream.

“We wanted to come up with a 21st century take on our original Idea House
concept,” said Katie Tamony, Sunset’s editor-in-chief. “The Dream Kitchen of
the West is our Idea House 2.0.”

I liked two of the plans and it was a toss up as to which one was my favorite. I liked plan 1, The Eco Kitchen because it had banquette seating and island seating. In a large space, it’s great to have room to spread out with two seating areas. Not every one likes sitting at an island for too long.

But, plan two is also pretty awesome as well. Who wouldn’t love this entertainer’s dream kitchen? With two wine refrigerators, a beverage center, and ice machine for the ultimate cocktail party. Oh, go on! Someone bring me a cocktail. Not to mention the professional range and warming drawers, double ovens and a secondary prep sink at the island. Fabulous amenities perfect for catered parties. Even Martha would be envious of this layout.

The viewers agreed, Plan Two, The Entertainer’s Kitchen took 36% of the vote and shows that glam is in, baby!

This week is your chance to vote for the cabinetry finishes. I have already voted for my favorite, have you?

Each week for ten weeks, new sponsor products, kitchen finishes, features and colors will be presented on the website for an online vote. The completed kitchen, which will incorporate the winners of each vote, will be revealed the week of June 1 on Sunset.com and will be featured in the October issue of Sunset Magazine.

In addition to casting their votes on the Dream Kitchen of the West website, users can visit the site to watch the Dream Kitchen come to life via photos, video, articles and blog posts.

“Whether remodeling this year, or farther down the road, Sunset’s Dream Kitchen gives visitors the opportunity to practice making smart design decisions as they consider all that goes into designing the most important room in the house,” continued Tamony. Visitors to the Dream Kitchen of the West website can register daily to win $10,000 and one day of on-site consultation from a Sunset style editor. The sweepstakes winner will be announced June 10, 2009.

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Posted in Historical Influence, Kitchen Trends, White Kitchens

Blog Hopping Wednesday


I found a new blog to follow: The Little Big House. Anyone who knows the travails and triumphs of home improvement can relate to her farmhouse renovation. Good stuff there with beautiful photos from her idea file. Take a look. I look forward to more updates on the renovation.

Posted in Kitchen Trends

Friday detour: Rewind to groovier days

Oh, you have to love this post brought to you from Retro Renovation! Take a trip in time with more kitchen and bath trends from 1968. Blues and greens were hot then and they are still hot now. The shades of blue and green have changed a bit, and the names have changed as well. But as trends come and go, contact paper on appliances is a trend I hope never to see again.

Blue and green accents in the kitchen. Circa 1968.

Remember when contact paper was the material of choice to line cupboard shelves? Contact paper on appliances? Ugh.

Homeowners still love their blue.
Powder Blue, circa 2008.
Lapis Blue, circa 2008.

Not to mention Thermador Blue knobs on their ranges.

Or we keep it blue concealed behind the oven door.

And when was there a time when we did not love green?

Avocado Green, circa 1969.
We loved our green, even in paneling.

Or this Apple Martini Green from Caesarstone, circa 2006.

Wasabi Green, Circa 2008

As we see, muted greens and vibrant greens are still popular today.
This door shown in Tea Green, by Durasupreme, circa 2009.
A variation from the old avocado green we saw from 1969.

Or my favorite, updated version of blue and green.
A much more subdued, almost muted blue shown in
Lagos Blue by Caesarstone with a lemon green wall accent color. Circa 2008.

Posted in Color Marketing Group, Durasupreme, Kitchen Trends, Paint, Style Notes

COLOR MARKETING GROUP PREDICTS HOT COLOR TRENDS FOR 2009

Durasupreme Cabinetry: Perimeter cabinets in Quarter-Sawn Red Oak in Mission Stain. Island Cabinets in Maple Tea Green Paint with Espresso Glaze and a rub-thru finish.

Would you believe that the state of the economy and ecology are key drivers of color trends for 2009? This fact will be reflected in the choices in colors available for cars, purses, fabrics, upholstery, including new color tones in paint and stain finishes for cabinetry.

According to the report released this December by the Color Marketing Group, the leading international non-profit association of color design professionals that forecasts color trends up to three years into the future for its members, states in its prediction for color choices in 2009 are driven by concern for economy and optimism for the future. The report can be read here in it’s entirety.

How do cabinet companies stay current with fashionable colors and avoid being trendy?

Trend analysts at Dura Supreme located in Howard Lake, MN., keep a close eye on prominent color trends in the kitchen and bath. Cabinetry is a fashion industry and popular colors and color combinations are evolving constantly. Because cabinetry is a long term investment, Dura Supreme’s cabinetry color palette does not follow trendy “in today, out tomorrow” color fads, but looks to include more timeless renditions of popular color directions. That is why we are seeing gutsy oranges and purples in the fashion industry, but we won’t see them become classics in cabinetry. They work well for decorative treatments that can be easily updated (i.e. paint and sofa pillows) but not on the major investment items.

Durasupreme Cabinetry: Island shown with Silverton Door in Maple Mineral Paint Finish, and Perimeter in Craftsman Panel and Craftsman Beaded Panel in Maple Antique White.

“The wise investor is careful to select colors that are up-to-date and yet will be timeless classics in the years ahead… ” Karen Wistrom, Vice President of Marketing for Dura Supreme cabinetry and a member of the international Color Marketing Group (CMG).

Dura Supreme’s new finish colors include several different directions. Several rich, medium-tone colors were introduced for Cherry and Maple wood species. And a new hand-detailed collection of finishes, “Patina” finishes, are available for a variety of wood species. The most notable changes to the color palette include several gray tones added to the paint collection.

Top Left: Graphite (with Country Traditions detailing), Top Right: Cobblestone (with Charcoal Glaze), Bottom Left: Mineral paint finish, Bottom Right: Tea Green (with Espresso Glaze).

Wistrom states: “All of these new colors look great when paired with a stained finish, but they can stand on their own as well. The new paint colors are available as a basic paint – and also paired with glazes and Country Traditions. Graphite is a dark, charcoal gray that will give our Black paint a run for the money. Cobblestone is a medium tone gray that is used as a great neutral tone.”
The new “Mineral” gray paint is one of those “chameleon” colors that has a subtle spa blue quality to it but could also be used in place of a white paint. A gray-green paint called “Tea Green” was also added and has become a popular selection.

“The global color palette has been drifting toward the gray hues for some time now,” explained Karen Wistrom, ASID, Vice President of Marketing for Dura Supreme cabinetry and a member of the international Color Marketing Group (CMG). “Blues and greens have become more subdued and instead of showcasing their vivid hues, they have become more of a subtle blue-gray or green-gray. The wise investor is careful to select colors that are up-to-date and yet will be timeless classics in the years ahead. Gray has become that timeless classic.”

Located in Howard Lake, Minnesota, Dura Supreme is a second-generation, family owned company that manufactures semi-custom, framed and frameless cabinetry for a nationwide network of dealers.

For more information: www.durasupreme.com.

For more information: www.colormarketing.org

Posted in Celebrity Kitchens, Hot Topics, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Trends, Men in the Kitchen

Do men like being in the kitchen?

Over at Hospitality Net, there is a question posed to the reader in an article called ‘The New Food Tourist – Gordon Ramsay Eat Your Heart Out! | By Dr Ian Yeoman, Futurologist:

Do men like being in the kitchen?

Sure they do. I am not a social forecaster but as a kitchen designer I can testify to the fact that more men are actively researching and going out to the appliance stores and doing the research on the internet just as much as women. Maybe even more so than women. I have noticed that men are less cost conscious of appliances than women are, in that men are more concerned with getting the best quality and features, and will pay more to get them. Women tend to be more focused on the interior features of the cabinets, focusing on ease of access and the colors in the kitchen and similarly will pay more for cabinets than men will. I do believe men are more focused on the mechanics of the gadgets in appliance design, less so on color of cabinets. Also I do think that it is more than a single focus for men, it does involve self-fulfillment in showing off creative cooking skills and entertaining.

The article states: As pollster Mark Penn observes ‘micro trends are based upon the idea that the most powerful forces in our society are the emerging, counterintuitive trends that are shaping tomorrow before us’. Therefore moving into the future, tomorrow’s food tourist will be the upwardly mobile male, aged 26-44 who will see cultural capital and social cachet in America’s food experiences. In general, men are becoming more interested in food. This means more connectivity between food and wine, whether it is as an incentive product for those involved in business tourism or just more men taking food tours. Deluxe kitchen manufacturers will probably offer cookery lessons with the celebrity chefs in a wonderful location so you can learn how use all those gadgets. Cookery schools with probably offer ‘Man Food’ courses for those that want to know how to ‘cook a decent curry’ for those on urban weekends. Restaurants will be taken over by budding Gordon Ramsay’s, who will fight it out just like ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Those budding celebrity chefs will pay for the privilege for doing so and they will invite their friends and relatives to consume that food (which you will charge for) and you will then sell them a DVD of the experience.

There has been a social overhaul of the kitchen from the isolated domain of the happy homemaker to the shared open space of The Great Room. Residential kitchens are being designed for two cooks. He has his requests, she has hers. There is a social shift in who does the cooking at home, to shared responsibilities. In contrast, in hospitality kitchens, male chefs have always dominated the industry. It was always harder for women to earn the top spots in fine dining restaurants. The competition to keep women out was fierce. Still, women have proven equal rank in some of the highest rated restaurants and hotels, creating greater competition for the top spots. Cooking shows are equally populated with male and female contestants vying for the title of Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen Champ. The cooking competition shows have contributed to a new enviable social status with a celebrity like presence. Have you seen these twenty something hot shots? I think this will influence how more young men might think about a culinary career like never before. These shows are culinary boot camp. Brimming with competition, bravado and throw down, the kitchen is no place for wimps. The men on these cooking shows, some of them have a mystique to their persona similar to a rock star. Mavericks, swarthy, dead serious about food, enviable knife skills. They make cooking skills look cool. Rock on! It’s all in the competition.

This translates to what men will be requesting in their own kitchen. I do believe the kitchen is a new way for men to show off status and fashion as an extension of their personal identity, the same way a car has been a reflection of one’s identity. Poggenpohl knows this with the first Porsche designed kitchen, designed especially with men in mind. With the return in popularity of the dinner party, and the trend of the great room where the kitchen is included in the living space, I do believe men will play a bigger part of the kitchen scene. No longer will they want to be relegated to the bar-b-que. This will surely be another reason to keep marriage therapists busy.

Posted in Celebrity Kitchens, Hot Topics, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Trends, Men in the Kitchen

Do men like being in the kitchen?

Over at Hospitality Net, there is a question posed to the reader in an article called ‘The New Food Tourist – Gordon Ramsay Eat Your Heart Out! | By Dr Ian Yeoman, Futurologist:

Do men like being in the kitchen?

Sure they do. I am not a social forecaster but as a kitchen designer I can testify to the fact that more men are actively researching and going out to the appliance stores and doing the research on the internet just as much as women. Maybe even more so than women. I have noticed that men are less cost conscious of appliances than women are, in that men are more concerned with getting the best quality and features, and will pay more to get them. Women tend to be more focused on the interior features of the cabinets, focusing on ease of access and the colors in the kitchen and similarly will pay more for cabinets than men will. I do believe men are more focused on the mechanics of the gadgets in appliance design, less so on color of cabinets. Also I do think that it is more than a single focus for men, it does involve self-fulfillment in showing off creative cooking skills and entertaining.

The article states: As pollster Mark Penn observes ‘micro trends are based upon the idea that the most powerful forces in our society are the emerging, counterintuitive trends that are shaping tomorrow before us’. Therefore moving into the future, tomorrow’s food tourist will be the upwardly mobile male, aged 26-44 who will see cultural capital and social cachet in America’s food experiences. In general, men are becoming more interested in food. This means more connectivity between food and wine, whether it is as an incentive product for those involved in business tourism or just more men taking food tours. Deluxe kitchen manufacturers will probably offer cookery lessons with the celebrity chefs in a wonderful location so you can learn how use all those gadgets. Cookery schools with probably offer ‘Man Food’ courses for those that want to know how to ‘cook a decent curry’ for those on urban weekends. Restaurants will be taken over by budding Gordon Ramsay’s, who will fight it out just like ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Those budding celebrity chefs will pay for the privilege for doing so and they will invite their friends and relatives to consume that food (which you will charge for) and you will then sell them a DVD of the experience.

There has been a social overhaul of the kitchen from the isolated domain of the happy homemaker to the shared open space of The Great Room. Residential kitchens are being designed for two cooks. He has his requests, she has hers. There is a social shift in who does the cooking at home, to shared responsibilities. In contrast, in hospitality kitchens, male chefs have always dominated the industry. It was always harder for women to earn the top spots in fine dining restaurants. The competition to keep women out was fierce. Still, women have proven equal rank in some of the highest rated restaurants and hotels, creating greater competition for the top spots. Cooking shows are equally populated with male and female contestants vying for the title of Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen Champ. The cooking competition shows have contributed to a new enviable social status with a celebrity like presence. Have you seen these twenty something hot shots? I think this will influence how more young men might think about a culinary career like never before. These shows are culinary boot camp. Brimming with competition, bravado and throw down, the kitchen is no place for wimps. The men on these cooking shows, some of them have a mystique to their persona similar to a rock star. Mavericks, swarthy, dead serious about food, enviable knife skills. They make cooking skills look cool. Rock on! It’s all in the competition.

This translates to what men will be requesting in their own kitchen. I do believe the kitchen is a new way for men to show off status and fashion as an extension of their personal identity, the same way a car has been a reflection of one’s identity. Poggenpohl knows this with the first Porsche designed kitchen, designed especially with men in mind. With the return in popularity of the dinner party, and the trend of the great room where the kitchen is included in the living space, I do believe men will play a bigger part of the kitchen scene. No longer will they want to be relegated to the bar-b-que. This will surely be another reason to keep marriage therapists busy.

Posted in Architects, Builders, Kitchen Storage, Kitchen Trends, Natural Lighting, Small Kitchens, Style Notes, Sustainable Design, Windows

Throw out what you know about the kitchen window

Feel constrained by your kitchen window? Lack of privacy? Do you have a sun baked kitchen in summer? Have a less than attractive view of your neighbor? Tired of conventional kitchen plans? Challenge yourself to think with a new view. You could pick up better storage, more task lighting, increased energy efficient windows, and a better view.

Start by throwing out what you know about your kitchen window. The sink does not need to be centered at the middle of the window. Once you allow yourself to throw convention “out the window”, a whole new window of possibilities for a better kitchen plan can be yours for the asking.

Here are some fabulous kitchens presented by Remodeling Magazine, one of my favorite trade publications. Follow the hyperlink to the article by Nina Patel, Back Lighting: narrow backsplash windows bring natural light to the kitchen while maintaining privacy.

And by the way, enjoy the view!

John Rogers, Rogers & Labarthe Architects

Both photos above and below: Phil Rossington, Rossington Architecture

Phil Rossington, Rossington Architecture

Alison Rainey, Merz Project

Both pictures: exterior and interior shots.
Iris Harrell, Harrell Remodeling

Click HERE to be directed to the slide show that provides written commentary by either the responsible architect, designer or builder on the project. Once there, click on the slide commentary to be directed to each company web site.