Posted in Ceilings, Molding

A tip for adding non-structural pizazz to your ceilings.

Kitchen Design Notes: Ceilings Need Attention Too.
In posting my topic on ceilings, it turns out there is more to be said, and Kelly over at Kitchen Sync blog has offered some fine tips on ceilings.

A valuable discussion Kelly, thank you.

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Posted in Ceilings, Glamour, Kitchen Tours, Modern Kitchens, Molding, Paint, Traditional Kitchens

Ceilings Need Attention Too.

Many times the ceiling is the overlooked surface in kitchen remodeling.
Here are some lovely examples of designing with the 5th “wall” in mind.
If you are graced with 10′ plus ceilings, there are more options available. But, if you live in a two story home with standard 8′ ceilings, take heart, there are still options available for you.

This space designed by one of my favorite designers, Patricia Gray, shows off a floating ceiling. What a fabulous technique.

Another view into the work of Patricia Gray. The wood tones adds warmth to the otherwise glistening reflective space with nearly floor to ceiling spans of windows.


In this rambling California Ranch with cathedral ceilings, rough hewn beams (the very top left of the photo), were added to ceilings. Additional accent lighting above the cabinets sends the accent lighting upwards. The focus directs your attention up.

A two story home, although the ceilings are standard height, this vintage inspired kitchen plays up the molding detail, wrapping around the angled details. This kitchen, designed by my associate, Liz Tiffen, will be on the Tour of Kitchens, October 19th. For tickets and more information about the Tour please visit http://www.NKBAccv.org.

For many of us who have had the 1970’s recessed 4 x 8 fluorescent light tubes covered with plastic panels, an interesting update to the ceiling is the use of coved drywall finished with crown molding accenting the inside perimeter. Additional recessed can lights can be run inside this recessed area or as shown here, pendant lights and accent lighting behind the molding.

In Southern California, our older Spanish style homes, Art Deco or Craftsman style homes built in the 20’s and 30’s had great detail included: coved, art deco tray or beamed ceilings . If you are lucky to have a home with good bone structure to start with, lucky you.

If not, there are so many lovely styles to select from, it’s a shame to neglect the ceiling.

Here are some more examples of great ceilings.

From ValeyTinWorks.com

A barrel ceiling by Capital Improvements, in Dallas Texas. (In Texas where they really do everything big).

From Euro Builders, Texas

From the Vaughn Group, Dallas, Texas.

From the Traver Group, Texas.
And of course, I cannot end this series of ceiling details without showing the lovely, over the top (literally) faux painted sky ceiling. This one feels like a trellis above with the vines trailing down onto the wall. This one is just faux you.

I have been holding onto this photo forever. I think the kitchen is charming.
This is from YesterTec. A furniture company that specializes in amazing workstations hidden in armoire designed furniture.

Posted in Bathrooms, Molding, New Products, Quick Fix Tips, Style Notes

Inexpensive Bathroom Update. Love this!


Anyone who has a plain mirror with unsightly plastic clips knows that a bare mirror can make a bathroom look downright dowdy. New mirrors with beautiful frames and beveled edged can be over the top expensive. Don’t despair, bare mirrors can be transformed with beautiful new frames available from MirrorMate.com.

Great product if you are on a budget and need a quick and inexpensive bathroom makeover. We love this!

Watch the video for more information at Mirror Mate.com.

Posted in Bathrooms, Molding, New Products, Quick Fix Tips, Style Notes

Inexpensive Bathroom Update. Love this!


Anyone who has a plain mirror with unsightly plastic clips knows that a bare mirror can make a bathroom look downright dowdy. New mirrors with beautiful frames and beveled edged can be over the top expensive. Don’t despair, bare mirrors can be transformed with beautiful new frames available from MirrorMate.com.

Great product if you are on a budget and need a quick and inexpensive bathroom makeover. We love this!

Watch the video for more information at Mirror Mate.com.

Posted in Molding, Tudor Style, Who Knew

Designers of Distinction Day


Thursday afternoon I was invited to tour the Enkeboll Castle in Carson, California.
The Enkeboll Company, founded by Raymond Enkeboll, produces legendary wood carved architectural products.

Getting to tour the facilities where some of the most beautiful carved wood products are made was worth clearing my calendar for the day. I felt like a kid getting to go behind the mysterious gates of Mr. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Fascinating. It has that same sense of mystery, anticipation and excitement. I was waiting to see if the Oompa Loompas would appear.

Upon entering the wrought iron garden gates, a stone and brick pathway gently winds its way to the hand carved front doors of this authentic styled Tudor Castle.

The front of the castle is truly special. From the floors to the hand carved beams in the ceiling.

Security was very serious. I have been sworn to secrecy not to reveal anything. Cameras were not allowed. These photos are courtesy from the Enkeboll web site. I toured the front offices, the showroom, the factory floor and the Master Carver’s wood shop. I wish I could show you photos of the employee kitchen. Let me just say, these folks are soooo happy to work here. Many have been with Enkeboll from 15 to 25 years. They are a lovely group of people. They treated us like family, so proud to show us around, and so helpful and really offering their help with future projects. I received first class service. Our tour guide, Felipe, who began his career with Enkeboll over twenty years ago as the lowest man on the totem pole; now runs the show as plant manager. He showed us the inner workings of the plant, and remember I am sworn to secrecy not to reveal trade secrets. So to keep “Willy Wonka’s Slugworth” at bay, sorry, but mums the word about the plant.

Upon completion of the tour, one of the highlights was getting to meet highly acclaimed, accomplished kitchen and bath designer and our guest speaker, Ellen Cheever, CMKBD. I have admired her work and contributions to our industry for a very long time. I considered her an industry giant and I have to admit, I was a little bit intimidated to talk with her. And so when she personally reached out to greet everyone who came, I was so impressed with her graciousness and wonderful kind spirit.

We were treated to an interactive creative design session learning to use molding in new ways. Mrs. Cheever was helpful in showing her own design mistakes with molding and tricks to avoid making them. We then formed into small think tank groups. We had the run of the molding showroom, coming up with new ways to use these amazing moldings. A designer’s candy store at our disposal. It was fabulous!

But wait, it gets better, I was able to work with the Master Carver, who created the Vineyard series. I learned how to correct a molding piece that was installed wrong. I learned the proper way to sand and hold carving tools. He was so patient, making sure I did not impale myself with his carving tools. Such a doll!

And so to end our day, back to the castle, we drank wine and delectable appetizers, and yes, there was chocolate! My very own Willy Wonka experience come true. However, there were no Oompa Loompas, (at least not during the day), and fortunately, unlike Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket tour, nobody in our group fell in the chocolate river, or got sucked into a tube, or turned blue, or sent down the garbage chute, or miniaturized. We did make new friends, chatted with other kitchen designers from Los Angeles and had an all together wonderful time. So thanks to John Pujol, President of Enkeboll, for opening your doors to us, and thanks to his wonderful staff and to Omega Cabinetry for giving us a golden ticket of an experience that I will never forget.

Posted in Ceilings, Molding, Tudor Style, Who Knew

Designers of Distinction Day


Thursday afternoon I was invited to tour the Enkeboll Castle in Carson, California.
The Enkeboll Company, founded by Raymond Enkeboll, produces legendary wood carved architectural products.

Getting to tour the facilities where some of the most beautiful carved wood products are made was worth clearing my calendar for the day. I felt like a kid getting to go behind the mysterious gates of Mr. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Fascinating. It has that same sense of mystery, anticipation and excitement. I was waiting to see if the Oompa Loompas would appear.

Upon entering the wrought iron garden gates, a stone and brick pathway gently winds its way to the hand carved front doors of this authentic styled Tudor Castle.

The front of the castle is truly special. From the floors to the hand carved beams in the ceiling.

Security was very serious. I have been sworn to secrecy not to reveal anything. Cameras were not allowed. These photos are courtesy from the Enkeboll web site. I toured the front offices, the showroom, the factory floor and the Master Carver’s wood shop. I wish I could show you photos of the employee kitchen. Let me just say, these folks are soooo happy to work here. Many have been with Enkeboll from 15 to 25 years. They are a lovely group of people. They treated us like family, so proud to show us around, and so helpful and really offering their help with future projects. I received first class service. Our tour guide, Felipe, who began his career with Enkeboll over twenty years ago as the lowest man on the totem pole; now runs the show as plant manager. He showed us the inner workings of the plant, and remember I am sworn to secrecy not to reveal trade secrets. So to keep “Willy Wonka’s Slugworth” at bay, sorry, but mums the word about the plant.

Upon completion of the tour, one of the highlights was getting to meet highly acclaimed, accomplished kitchen and bath designer and our guest speaker, Ellen Cheever, CMKBD. I have admired her work and contributions to our industry for a very long time. I considered her an industry giant and I have to admit, I was a little bit intimidated to talk with her. And so when she personally reached out to greet everyone who came, I was so impressed with her graciousness and wonderful kind spirit.

We were treated to an interactive creative design session learning to use molding in new ways. Mrs. Cheever was helpful in showing her own design mistakes with molding and tricks to avoid making them. We then formed into small think tank groups. We had the run of the molding showroom, coming up with new ways to use these amazing moldings. A designer’s candy store at our disposal. It was fabulous!

But wait, it gets better, I was able to work with the Master Carver, who created the Vineyard series. I learned how to correct a molding piece that was installed wrong. I learned the proper way to sand and hold carving tools. He was so patient, making sure I did not impale myself with his carving tools. Such a doll!

And so to end our day, back to the castle, we drank wine and delectable appetizers, and yes, there was chocolate! My very own Willy Wonka experience come true. However, there were no Oompa Loompas, (at least not during the day), and fortunately, unlike Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket tour, nobody in our group fell in the chocolate river, or got sucked into a tube, or turned blue, or sent down the garbage chute, or miniaturized. We did make new friends, chatted with other kitchen designers from Los Angeles and had an all together wonderful time. So thanks to John Pujol, President of Enkeboll, for opening your doors to us, and thanks to his wonderful staff and to Omega Cabinetry for giving us a golden ticket of an experience that I will never forget.