Hiring a designer for your kitchen remodeling project

Elle Decor

The kitchen is probably one of the most important and complicated rooms (besides the bathroom) to design or remodel in a home.  Few rooms see so much activity and also challenge designers with such an array of practical, technological, and esthetic considerations.  A new kitchen can be an excellent investment in most homes, which is why it must be a well designed kitchen or it can become a financial liability.  Whether it is a remodel or a completely new kitchen in a new home, designing a kitchen that meets the requirements of being functional, aesthetically pleasing and be within your budget is on easy task.

Because kitchen design can be so highly specialized and complex it is a good idea to hire an independent kitchen designer before hiring a general contractor.   Contractors tend to lack sufficient design experience and creativity needed for good kitchen design.

Kitchen designers understand how a kitchen works.  The kitchen designer can analyze the family’s lifestyle, interests in cooking and entertainment.  The designer can ask questions, discuss needs and goals, appliance integration, and budget as well as considering ideas that the contractor or family members might not be able to come up with.  By bringing in the kitchen designer early in the project it is possible to keep cost down considerably.

The kitchen designer while not having experience in engineering details can nevertheless assist with layout, choice of materials, and how the room will look and function.  Because it is so easy to become overwhelmed by the number of available choices when it comes to design elements the kitchen designer is needed to help the homeowner when looking at design options such as, appliances, cabinetry, countertops, and flooring.  We are trained to take your concept and turn it into a workable vision.  We can coordinate materials and color to the best effect and define the best space usage as well as assist in other aspects of the kitchen design project such as electrical, plumbing, structural, flooring, appliances and tile.

We can manage an entire remodeling project, or just provide design services only.  We have the ability to be able to create a warm, pleasant, interesting kitchen design and at the same time solve problems having to do with storage capacity, accessibility, functionality, ventilation, and lighting.

Rough Luxe

In a recent trip to Napa Valley California, I came across Erin Martin, who is a fabulous interior designer. She has a showroom in St. Helena which I wish I would’ve had time to go to. Her designs capture the rhythm and energy of the space, and are absolutely unique. Here are some projects she has designed….

I would like to read a book here.

Metropolitan Showcase, San Francisco


















Dying over the fireplace and wood walls!


Metropolitan Showcase, San Francisco













Close-up of the stamped concrete coffee table…

Metropolitan Showcase, San Francisco











Love the idea of engraving the wood with such a sweet quote…


Metropolitan Showcase, San Francisco


















Not sure if I love the ram in the bathroom but I do love the walls and hanging mirror…

Metropolitan Showcase, San Francisco


















Love Love Love….

Trinchero house


















Another view…

Trinchero house













Always nice to get ideas on how to make a bookcase look AMAZING.

Trinchero house


















I would like to have a wine party in here….

Trinchero house

Tastefully Terrycloth

Since the weather has warmed up, its time for pool parties and beach days. Don’t forget to accessorize your outfit with the perfect beach towel. If you’re throwing a pool party, be sure to have a few extra towels for guests that can also double as party decor.

Here are some favorites…

MASLIN AND CO. Deluxe zebra hide-shaped beach towel, crafted in 100% cotton. Design is reversible with 100% cotton trimmed edges and measures 54” wide x 70” tall.


The Missoni Home HUGO beach towel creates the perfect spring/summer color scheme. A few of these towels would be the perfect accent in a modern outdoor space. (saks.com)

If price is no object... try to get your hands on the already-sold-out Damier Classique beach towel from Louis Vuitton... Although you may not want chlorine on these collectors item.


If Old Hollywood Glamour is your thing, then a beach towel from the Beverly Hills Hotel will be your perfect beach accessory. The green striped towels will remind you of lounging poolside in luxury... even if you have never been to the celebrity hot spot.


Color Trend- Neon

Neon is showing up everywhere!  We are seeing it  on the runways, home interiors and everywhere else in the world has jumped on the neon trend.

Brightening up your interiors with Neon  will give you an updated look and is simple to achieve.

Here are some rooms and objects using Neon that are inspiring me….

Tory Burch shows us how to add a pop of neon with these barbie pink ottomans at her store in Korea.

I love these Neon Yellow & Silver XO letters from Etsy for wall art or on my work desk.  Click on picture to be directed to store.

Inexpensive way to add neon……paint your front door.

Effortless Elegance on the Upper East Side

Jackie Astier is a fashion stylist and the Style Director for Avenue magazine who has also done some interior design. Her latest project is published in latest issue of Elle Decor. In regards to fashion, Astier says, “It’s all in the mix. Its not what you wear, but the way you wear it that makes one look oh-so-perfect in that imperfect way”. She brings the same idea to the table in designing her family’s Upper East Side apartment.

Jackie Astier high fashion room in Elle Decor. .

I love the jewel-toned velvets and plush textures against a backdrop of strong neutrals. This space feels warm and inviting, but still maintains an air of elegance.

My favorite part of this room is the sofa at the foot of the bed with the glamourous rectangular table. I am also in love with the glossy ceiling and mercurized glass pendant light!



1. Lucite and metal table – Jan Showers Collection.

2. Souk Rug $1299.  West Elm

3.  Wall Burst metal art-  10″- 18″ starting at $160  (available through Blossom Residential Design BRD)

4. Mercurized Glass  3 light pendant-  24” h x 16” dia. $750  (available through BRD)

5. Iron and Leather Stool  23″L x 18.5″W x 19.5″H   $375  (available through BRD)

Glamorous Glasswear

Have you thought of giving glassware as a gift? Or simply want to spice things up for your own cocktail hour?  Here are some suggestions that will stand out amongst the rest…

His and Hers highball glasses by Kate Spade.

Kosta Boda MINE Tall Tumbler. These beautiful modern pieces each have a character of their own. No two swirls are the same.

Baccarat intagible Smoke Highball. Made in France of full-lead crystal, these high ball glasses will make a stunning addition to any dinner party or cocktail hour.


Juliska Amalia Small Tumbler. "mouthblown glass tumbler to create a look that's both traditional and modern"

A Positive Thought

My strategy for surviving in the current economy!

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass;

It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Lets Dance.

“dancing through the storm” {andrew sullivan}

Particulière Look

Designers draw inspiration from all over… sometimes it comes from everyday surroundings, and other times its something a little less usual.

While shopping with a client the other day, I kept finding myself saying, “I love that color! It reminds me of a great nail polish.”  Although it may sound funny to choose tiles or wall colors based on your cosmetics… I think it’s a fun way to bring in a little color.

Image of design by Jeneration Interiors.

Do you love the “Greige” (gray+beige) look of CHANEL’s Particulière?  Maybe you should try it on your walls!! For an edge greige look, use Farrow and Ball’s Mouse’s Back No.40, DownPipe No.26, or Lamproom Gray No.88 from their new colors for 2011.

paint color: Farrow & Ball Mouse's Back

The peachy pink undertones of NARS “Orgasm” blush has a cult following due to its universally flattering peachy-pink undertones. Coral can be a great color to bring into your bedroom for a little pick-me-up.

Ines de la Fressange's bedroom. (image from mirrormirror.typepad.com)

Attracted to the hue of blue eyeshadow, but not sure you want it on your eyes? Try it as your sofa or window treatments. I love the look of deep rich velvet in a shade of royal blue.

Carrie and Big’s sofa in an amazing blue on the set of Sex and The City.

Fornasetti Plates

Piero Fornasetti created 350 different plate designs based on the face of one woman named Lina Cavalieri.  He spent many years of his life thinking of different ways he could remake her image.  Today people use them not only as dinnerware but for centerpieces, showpieces and hung as art on the wall.

Max and Lubov Azria’s house as seen in Harper’s Bazaar.

A collage of Fornasetti Plates.  Decor Pad

Unica Home Fornasetti Plate (82): $230.00

Palazzetti Fornasetti Plate (82): $190.00

Palm Beach Project

Last Year we were lucky enough to work on a project out of Palm Beach, Florida.  I have to say that it was a lot of fun and they have some amazing antique shops!!!!!!  While these pictures aren’t the best quality (taken with a camera phone) I still thought it would be fun to share.  This condo was done mostly  by shopping locally at antique, consignment and our favoirte……Mecox store in West Palm Beach.  Let us know what you think!

This is the Main Living Area.  The colors are bright and fun which goes with the feel you get in Palm Beach.  The coffee table is a vintage piece that we found at Mecox and the mirror was a bargain find at a local consignment shop.

My favorite piece is the Oly Elizabeth buffet in the chalk w/gold detail wood finish.  We had to drill holes in the back of the cabinet for the wiring….my client had a hard time watching.  The little red chair in the corner we picked up at anthropolgie.

We needed some height on the wall, so we put this bookshelf and filled it with interesting pieces from local shops.

Another view of the living area.  The lamps are from an antique shop and we are having custom lampshades made for them.  Lamps are a nice way to bring in a little color to a space.

The window treatments are hung from the ceiling.  Looks very cool!!!!  The installer did a great job… we are looking forward to using him on our next Florida project.

Here is an example of what we give our work room.

Instead of using a sunburst mirror, we used a sunburst ceiling light.  Looks perfect in the space!!!

Cote Jardin Antiques is one of our favorite stores to peruse.  It was so much fun to actually see everything in person after following their online store for the last couple of years.  Also, Kelly Wearstler had stopped in a week before…just missed her!