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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cherry wood with Mosaic stone and glass tile for the splash and quartz counter top.
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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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

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Posted in Back splashes, Style Notes, Traditional Kitchens

Nora Walker’s kitchen back splash

Nora Walker
Image via Wikipedia

A reader asks what the back splash tile is on the set of  ABC’s Brothers and Sisters.

I have talked about Nora Walker‘s kitchen set before, http://wp.me/pcRAx-1Z,  but I thought I would open it up to my social media design aficionados. What do you think it is?

I see Apartment Therapy has talked about it too, and they are saying the tile is Lanka by tile-shop.com. I disagree, the hand molded tile looks like a Campagna tile by http://www.tile-shop.com/products/campagna/campagna.html or maybe Gramercy Park by Walker Zanger http://www.walkerzanger.com/catalog/ecatalog.php. Or it could be Stellar by Sonoma Tile Makers, http://www.sonomatilemakers.com/PhotoGallery.aspx?prod-line-id=6&IsPhotoGallery=True

Like a lot of my readers, we tune into certain shows just for the set design. This set has  definitely received much attention.  I think you can get the whole series on DVD now. I rarely have the patience to sit through a one hour drama but will tune in just to see what materials are used in sets. It’s kind of fun, like furniture forensics and design deconstruction.  Here are a few snippit photos to check out the most important room, (at least to me), the kitchen. So, what do you say, is this a Walker Zanger tile or something else?

This island is on wheels for getting the best camera angles.

Close up of the Range Wall

Product Placement in Movie and TV Sets, consumers will want to know every little detail shown. It’s a bonus if your product is shown on a popular show.

ABC Drama, Brothers and Sisters
What is the tile they used in this set?
Posted in Cinema Inspired Kitchens, Counter tops, Glamour, Happenings In LA, Traditional Kitchens, White Kitchens

Greystone Showhouse 2008

Shown here is the estate’s principal stairway,
featuring marble stairs and hand-carved ballustrades.

(photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Times, Sunday Home & Garden section announces the opening of the Veranda sponsored Greystone show house 2008.
To purchase tickets, go to www.BeverlyHillsGardenShowcase.Org

Magazine editor-at-large Carolyn Englefield, lined up 28 interior and landscape designers from Southern California and beyond — a list that includes Martyn, Lawrence-Bullard, Suzanne Rheinstein, Windsor Smith, Rose Tarlow and David Phoenix. Englefield’s directive: Create the feel of a Great Gatsby-style home taken into the 21st century.” Her second request, perhaps even harder to fulfill: “Make it feel like a real home.”

As an undergraduate at UCLA, I would steal away time between morning and afternoon classes, drive up the curvy streets in Beverly Hills to have a quiet moment in the gardens, study and daydream about the history of the Doheny Mansion. It was there, I would pullout my sketch book and study the architecture and dream about a career in design.

HISTORY OF GREYSTONE

Built in 1928 for the son of a prominent oil baron, majestic Greystone Mansion today is surrounded by 18.5 pastoral acres of lush, City-owned parkland. The former Doheny estate is now a registered historical landmark and serves as a stunning backdrop for cultural and educational activities, photo and commercial shoots, weddings and public events. Since 1965, when the property was leased to the American Film Institute, Greystone has had feature roles in many famous movies.

Visitors are invited to stroll through two public areas on the grounds—the beautifully maintained formal gardens with their centerpiece fountain, and the pool and inner courtyard area.

PHOTOS FROM THE LA TIMES. For more photos visit: Greystone show house 2008.

Appliances by Dacor and cabinets and countertops by Acquisitions
fill the family kitchen by Veranda.
(photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Detail of the carved hood.

Pictures from past events at Greystone.
Notice the kitchen transformed from a past Design House.
The lights and wall cabinets are original to the home. It appears the floor, paint, island, appliances and base cabinets have been changed from each Design House.

During my college years, the reflecting pond was one of my favorite areas to sit, although not as lusciously appointed as shown in this photo. Peel me a grape!

For a history of Greystone please visit Friends of Greystone Mansion.
The Beverly Hills house will be open through Nov. 16, and admission is $30. For more photos click in the above link to the LA Times.
Posted in Cinema Inspired Kitchens, Counter tops, Glamour, Happenings In LA, Traditional Kitchens, White Kitchens

Greystone Showhouse 2008

Shown here is the estate’s principal stairway,
featuring marble stairs and hand-carved ballustrades.

(photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Times, Sunday Home & Garden section announces the opening of the Veranda sponsored Greystone show house 2008.
To purchase tickets, go to www.BeverlyHillsGardenShowcase.Org

Magazine editor-at-large Carolyn Englefield, lined up 28 interior and landscape designers from Southern California and beyond — a list that includes Martyn, Lawrence-Bullard, Suzanne Rheinstein, Windsor Smith, Rose Tarlow and David Phoenix. Englefield’s directive: Create the feel of a Great Gatsby-style home taken into the 21st century.” Her second request, perhaps even harder to fulfill: “Make it feel like a real home.”

As an undergraduate at UCLA, I would steal away time between morning and afternoon classes, drive up the curvy streets in Beverly Hills to have a quiet moment in the gardens, study and daydream about the history of the Doheny Mansion. It was there, I would pullout my sketch book and study the architecture and dream about a career in design.

HISTORY OF GREYSTONE

Built in 1928 for the son of a prominent oil baron, majestic Greystone Mansion today is surrounded by 18.5 pastoral acres of lush, City-owned parkland. The former Doheny estate is now a registered historical landmark and serves as a stunning backdrop for cultural and educational activities, photo and commercial shoots, weddings and public events. Since 1965, when the property was leased to the American Film Institute, Greystone has had feature roles in many famous movies.

Visitors are invited to stroll through two public areas on the grounds—the beautifully maintained formal gardens with their centerpiece fountain, and the pool and inner courtyard area.

PHOTOS FROM THE LA TIMES. For more photos visit: Greystone show house 2008.

Appliances by Dacor and cabinets and countertops by Acquisitions
fill the family kitchen by Veranda.
(photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Detail of the carved hood.

Pictures from past events at Greystone.
Notice the kitchen transformed from a past Design House.
The lights and wall cabinets are original to the home. It appears the floor, paint, island, appliances and base cabinets have been changed from each Design House.

During my college years, the reflecting pond was one of my favorite areas to sit, although not as lusciously appointed as shown in this photo. Peel me a grape!

For a history of Greystone please visit Friends of Greystone Mansion.
The Beverly Hills house will be open through Nov. 16, and admission is $30. For more photos click in the above link to the LA Times.
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 Cinema Inspired Kitchens, Traditional Kitchens

Set Design Influences Residential Kitchen Design

Every so often a movie or television series comes along where the set design starts to acquire as much press as the stars themselves.

“Brothers and Sisters” on ABC is one of those shows. The kitchen, is garnering it’s own fan mail at ABC from admiring fans who want to copy it. The kitchen is beautiful but not fussy. Production Designer, Denny Dugally along with Set Designer Bryan John Venegas say they purposely created a home environment that did not look to perfect.

The October ’07 issue of Traditional Home was the first alert I had about this new star set design kitchen. For further research, since I am always missing Sunday night TV, I took a video tour of this kitchen via the internet. I like this kitchen. The link is attached below.

The original production designer, Scott Chambliss, set the tone for the color palette used thoughout the Walker residence. Dugally and Venegas are responsible for the show’s overall look. The story line has the Walker residence set in Pasadena, CA. I can definitely see myself driving down Euclid or El Molino Street, in and about the tony neighborhood of San Marino, and passing this house as I drive down the curvy tree lined streets. While the exterior is very formal, the interior, although traditional in designed in an inviting and unpretentious way.

The kitchen cabinetry is finished in a creamy white paint.
Designed with a recessed panel door with a unique triple panel front.
Very unusual. I like this door! The perimeter counter top and back splash is set in high gloss cream colored tiles. The walls are warmed with pale yellow grass cloth, (in a kitchen you ask?)
Yes. Grass cloth.
This textural element was used to make sure the actors skin tones would not blend into the surroundings.
The island counter top is a terra cotta color. In set design many items are “fauxed” to look they they have the appearance of wood or stone.
This could pass for a wood top.

The color pallet used throughout the residence uses earth tones and colors of blue, gold, beige and green with pops of orange on the furnishings and walls.

The furnishings are pulled from high end manufacturers such as
Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Barclay Butera, and eco-friendly upholstery from Cisco Bros. in Los Angeles to the ultra hip but affordable Target Stores.

For an up close and personl tour visit: Brothers and Sisters Set Tour