Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kitchen design

Kitchen of Donna Brown, owner of The Gray Door in Houston, Texas. When Donna moved into a new townhouse - she ripped out the perfectly fine brand new kitchen and instead brought in antique furniture from her store to finish out the room.









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Welcome to Week #9 of the Skirted Roundtable! This week, we are going back to our original format of two topics at 15 minutes each. We don't have a guest host this week - it's just us - Linda, Megan, and Joni. The Design Topic is Kitchens!


15 comments:

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

I love so many different kitchens-least is modern. I like a great room kitchen for big crowds, I like working in a cozy and efficient galley (alone) and I love those old-fashioned square kitchens with tall, tall cupboards and big farm sinks. I would much rather have miles of counter space and no upper cabinets. I'd also love to be able to have an extra/extra long communal table that could have mult-functional uses. I am so surprised to hear that 'blue' is not one of Linda's favorite colours! I adore it. Haven't rambled on here...I think I would be a very confusing client for you..I like too many looks and things!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh Wow, you've sure got me dreaming! So many fabulous thoughts in this cast. (I hate to say this, but I have some blue lower cabinets in my kitchen!) I'm always amazed that someone dislikes the color "blue". It may be a "Linda" thing. We know another Linda who doesn't like blue and has already told me to paint my lower cabinets a different color! Fun post. "Ya'll" just sound like you're having so much fun. So are your listeners. laurie

Terry said...

Wow, y'all were hot on this one. And it's great to hear about life with normal non-magazine kitchens. Those high-style, spotless, magazine-ready kitchens are inspiring but make me feel really small.

Did y'all dis' tile? I mentioned to Architect Design that we've flung tons of greasy stuff into every niche and cranny in our kitchen while raising our children How can anybody with tile get the grout clean?

susan said...

Of course kitchens are my hot button issue, since I think of them 24/7! Some good and interesting ideas in this "session!" I try VERY hard on my blog to try to get people thinking in alternative ways in their kitchens. One way I do that is to regularly feature Scandinavian kitchens, which run the gamut of style, but often do "eclectic" amazingly well. The key is to find your own personality for your kitchen and not let trends guide you. That's key. The right kitchen designer can diplomatically, carefully, and patiently, guide that process.

Again, good ideas....one more thing. I've often suggested using wall sconces, highly decorative ones that you would use elsewhere in the home, to surround a kitchen window. Brings a bit of the living room into the kitchen.

Lauren said...

oh i wish you would've kept going!!! :) love the idea of the range as a focal point. I also think it's really important in kitchens to figure out what works for you & your family (like Megan with the small fridge)... some things are really important to others & mean zippy to you. We're plannning on ditching our combo oven/ range and trading it in for a flat cooktop and a separate small convection oven/ microwave.

We just ripped out the uppers in our kitchen & did beadboard & shelving instead. I'm still loving it despite comments that everything will "get dusty!" (It really doesn't because almost everything up there gets used and I don't mind rinsing out the occasional cakestand)

Also, Joni, I think I found the color to replace the gray-beige the cabinets currently are--- it's a really pretty green-gray.

haha ok, totally rambling but you ladies get me all excited!!! hahah off to listen to the next one!
-lauren

Joseph said...

You have started a very interesting discussion on kitchen design. I'm a cabinetmaker who really does not want to make kitchens for a living, because the most of what is done in the US is just boxes with a "choice of doors and drawer fronts," the most of which are made in a factory somewhere. Boring. I want to do something else if I can, but what?

European design just absolutely blows my mind, and I find myself reading quite a bit on it, even though these are often modular kitchens that one would simply send away for and have installed by a local craftsman. But what fascinates me is the utter innovation of those designs, so I find myself returning to them quite a bit.

I am also looking to design a kitchen for my wife in a too small space in a tract home, which necessarily lets out those wonderful European designs that excite me so. And whenever I find myself going out on a limb with some idea or another for our kitchen, my wife always grounds me by saying, "If you stick with the classics, you won't grow tired of them."

So, what do you do that is different and yet timeless and practical and stimulating to make if you're a cabinetmaker? Damned if I know, but if I ever figure it out, I mean to make it for us and splash that baby all over the Internet!

What you've written, though, has given me quite a bit to think about, and I thank you for sharing your concepts.

Teacats said...

As the owner of a very basic suburban kitchen -- I was delighted to hear all of your budget-minded suggestions! We have painted the cabinets white -- but still need to add hardware. We still have plain white tile counters and backsplash (which is VERY easy to clean with a spray-bottle of bleach and water!) And white tiles remind me of the old butcher shops and food stores in England! There are very basic white appliances here too! LOL! So we have a long way to go! A few issues back -- House Beautiful featured items that famous designers had bought -- and later regretted -- and most mentioned kitchen items. Nate Berkus mentioned that he had designed his kitchen with a resturant-style stove BUT he never cooks! Good to know that even designers make mistakes! (perhaps a topic for the Roundtable?) Our next-door neighbour is delighted with his two-oven stove -- and new microhood -- both in stainless. He loves to cook and these appliances work well for him. I adore the high-end huge kitchens -- but honestly -- will never have one! (but I do buy a lottery ticket -- just in case! LOL!)

Jan at the plain-ordinary-but hopeful Rosemary Cottage

Mirna said...

I am getting ready to re-do a home builders idea of a kitchen. These houses in this subdivision are all the same golden oak - I love the layout... it works for me. But the cabinets, the backsplash and the sink fixture - all gotta go! Anyway, I found this tile with all little titels and subway marble to add to the backsplash (gettign something to match baltic brown has been excrutiatingly painful), also will be painting the cabinets (I am scared to do this on my own but my budget does't stretch to hiring someone to do it) and as soon as I find a fixture that I really like - it will be changed. Please send me thoughts your way and how would you feel as an idea for a show to send you a pictue of my kitchen and you guys discuss what you would do to it if it were yours. I really need some fresh new eyes and would welcome the input. You would be helping out a desperate homeowner who recently lost her job and is now "forced" to be in her kitchen "all day long" with two kids to take care of. Thanks for all of the ideas... love you all.

M Hill

Linda Merrill said...

I've been searching my files to see if I can find a pic of the blue kitchen. I knew people would be surprised. I've used blue in my design work, but it's not my favorite color. However, the biggest issue I had with the blue kitchen was it's sheer size (it was huge) and as a choice made to help sell a property, it was a very limiting one. If they'd gone with cream or gray, I think it would have been a better investment choice.

Linda Merrill said...

PS - oh, forgot to say, check back on Saturday as we have a "Saturday Short" episode - a little more from our kitchens discussion that didn't make the podcast!

Linda Merrill said...

pps - I found the pics of the blue kitchen I referred to in this epi, which you can see here:
http://chameleon-interiors.blogspot.com/2009/06/kitchen-blues.html

VictoriaArt said...

You are so good at hitting the topics right on....
Kitchens: You know, I used the idea of a perfect kitchen make over, but funds are always elsewhere used and so after almost 10 years in my very small 70/80 kitchen I found the layout quite efficient. It does not look fancy, but we exchanged the fridge with a LG Monogram stainless, and a Miele Dishwasher, the range and Mirco are still the old ones, but ok for the next few weeks....I have a farmhouse sink, but deep set, so you don't see it :( and I have to say I cook every day for the 4 of us and often for more, visiters, friends, kids buddies. Its alive and kicking. I could use a little more storage and maybe nicer cabinets, devinitely new counter tops, but it does not need to get really bigger. I always say 'So far I managed, why go all out?'
Of course that little devil on my shoulder wispers in my ear...island, light, chic...
Thanks for grounding me!
When you look at the makeover I did on the family room, you can see the kitchen partially in one photo.(Blog: May 29TH)
As always: XX Victoria

katiedid said...

LOVE this cast, and not only because of my own recent remodel, but I design alot of kitchens for others. It is very difficult to guide them away from the SS, stained cabinet, and Granite combo that has been so prevalent since the 80's. When I am able to get them away from that, they are much more satisfied with the result. Another bugaboo that drives me crazy: angled multilevel islands. Maybe just me, but I can't stand them! (Only exception: when they are already there and the owner needs to keep it for budget reasons.)Love the photo you show here! Thinking outside the box is always more fun. I have lots of opinions here....but I won't keep rambling. Looking forward to Saturday's addition!

for the love of a house said...

I so remember when Donna Brown's kitchen was featured- I studied it for hours!
Love kitchen design, this was a fun topic!

Dianne said...

I wanted a lantern so bad to help update my kitchen when we repainted recently...because of low ceilings we used 2 lanterns as wall sconces....it worked giving me the look I was after. Loved this segment!