PostHeaderIcon Bosch Appliances – Cooking Up A Storm!

I just returned from the fabulous new Bosch showroom in Irvine, California, a beautiful facility that includes state of the art appliances and beautiful kitchen vignettes which showcase the full line of Bosch appliances. 

There is a hallway describing and celebrating the Bosch commitment to precision engineering and sustainability, specific areas for training purposes including a theatre with chairs one can take a nap in easily, and the centerpiece...a huge (huge) kitchen outfitted with Bosch appliances including an amazing wall mounted herb garden. One can test appliances...and then clean up using the gorgeous BLANCO sinks and faucets, seen throughout the entire showroom.

The Bosch central testing kitchen

The kitchen images will follow in my next post with lots more good information on Bosch appliances, but I think you'll understand that my instinct in writing this first post follows with my wanting to show you the result of all of these precision and user friendlly appliances - the food!!! Let's go there first. Below are Carmen Natschke and Andie Day hard at work!

Carmen Natschke from Decorating Diva and Andie Day from Lifestyle blog

Together, we all (members of the media invited for the very first look at the Bosch showroom, flown in from around the country) cooked lunch together and wow, many types of food were cooked fast and with precision. It was an incredibly delicious lunch - after all, that's what the appliances are all about: performance, ease of use, and we need the fun factor in there too that operating great appliances bring to the party!

An upward look at a floating, nearly floor to ceiling herb garden

And, below, this is how a good number of us cook....

Oh yes, I do love to go to these brand retreats - I come back wiser (most important) and definitely well fed! More soon on Bosch appliances and BLANCO sinks and faucets AND gorgeous kitchen shots from this beautiful showroom.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Outdoor Kitchen

Porsche Design Studio may have stretched a bit in naming their first Grill an Outdoor Kitchen.

This collaborative endeavor between Porsche and Grand Hall Co. combines Porsche’s impeccable detail and style with Grand Hall’s advanced grilling technology in the powerful X-Series Grill.

The X-Series features 4 Crossray® laterally mounted infrared burners, integrated concealed rotisserie with rechargeable battery pack, LCD display and counter balanced hood.

“Even the first sketches by Porsche Design opened up
a new era for the Grandhall outdoor kitchen.”

The grill features 1,120 square inches of cooking space with four ceramic infrared burners that deliver up to 52,000 BTU of highly controllable heat. It is available in black or Stainless Steel.

Jump for Brochure

PostHeaderIcon Workbench Cutting Board

workbench_cutting_board.jpg

If you're looking to spend $300 bucks for a cutting board that is truly a kitchen gadget/contraption all in one than look no further. This cutting board made of ash has 3 places to store the various food you chop, and has a scraper to make sure you get it into the right place to store away while you prep.

We love the deep design, and think to ourselves - why don't we have this cutting board right now. We're ready to prep fruit, salad, and other delicious items and have them organized while we do so.

Via Gizmodo at Gadget Review

PostHeaderIcon Touring a yacht galley

Have you ever wondered what kitchen galleys are like on those massive luxury yachts? You know, the ones where the owners want to entertain 150 people on deck? Of course as you might imagine, the answer is — they’re modern and spectacular, with fancy appliances and granite throughout!

We recently had the opportunity to look around a modest 163 foot yacht’s galley and here are the photos. It seemed to have two of everything, and naturally had drawers cabinet doors that don’t slide open when traversing rough waters.

As you can see above, the main sink has plenty of counter space around it, and there was a separate countertop across the walkway to put finished dishes before serving. Another counterspace was located beside the range for convenient prep work.

An eight burner magnetic induction range with full digital controls allows for quick and efficient cooking for quite a bit of food. The touch controls take a bit of getting used to, but if you can learn to use an iphone you can learn this.

The walk-in freezer will make sure guests remain well fed even when crossing the ocean. Current contents included some remarkable prawns from Italy.

And the walk-in fridge is ready for big party preparation, as you can see.

Here’s a shot showing the range area again, with a little more perspective. This gallery had dual dishwashers (12 minute wash cycles for quick turnaround at events) and the usual assortment of trash compactors, oven, microwave, etc.

And here’s the head chef preparing food for the crew. This kitchen is too nice to leave idle, it stays in use even when in port.

PostHeaderIcon Nate Berkus & #Nateday921 #Nateshow921 #Nategate #designbloggers

I'm going to try this again. I wrote a post already on the Nate Berkus "event": the, approximately, 100 design bloggers who gathered in New York city from all around the country, for the purpose of being in the audience for a taping of Nate's show. I deleted the entire post, due to a suspected troll in the comment section, when I should have just removed the single comment. I want to put down my take on this event once again.

This was begun by the (twitter handles) @moggitgirls and @creategirl by declaring a "NateDay" in which design bloggers would blog about Nate Berkus in support of him and his forthcoming show. Mission accomplished and major kudos to these ladies for their hard work and vision!

Later, word spread that a date was set by the producers of the Nate Berkus show to accommodate us bloggers in appreciation for NateDay. We came en masse...a force of 100 or so design bloggers to celebrate Nate. Supporting/celebrating Nate via attending a show taping was the first reason to gather together. A secondary, but, surely, more important reason to gather was the opportunity to meet one another, a fantastic benefit of the trip. That was by FAR, for me, a wonderful experience, seeing so many blogging buddies, seeing old friends and making new ones!

My Feeling About Nate Before the Taping

He's a design talent; there is no question about that. His work is wonderful. He's GOOD. He seems approachable, kind, with a big heart, and for me, there is really nothing not to like or respect. 

The Day of Taping

We watched the taping of the show, which, to me, was very interesting, especially all the behind the scenes action. How fun is that? It was an experience.

Here's my take: The show, both the producers and Nate fell short in not acknowledging on air that a) he had an audience of design bloggers (not 5 pharmaceutical sales bloggers, but 100 interior design bloggers) who paid him a pretty incredible show of support by blogging about him en masse on one given day about his forthcoming show and b) that design blogs are a good thing. To me, personally, it shows a lack of awareness of the importance/relevance/power of social media and a lack of basic manners that in this case, transcends corporations, stars, and doing business as usual.

When done en masse, as this was done (probably representing millions of unique visitors to our blogs combined) in support of the Nate Berkus brand, a very public thank you is appropriate, which could have lasted all of 10 seconds. They have to be kicking themselves about this. "Look what this audience did for me, many thanks...and aren't design blogs amazing?" He SHOULD brag about this tribute to him, why not? At the same time, throw a crumb to design bloggers.

I do want to note that I am one of the ones who did not expect the show to be about design blogs. I expected it to be a regular Nate style show. Once I realized the force that was sitting in the audience, I then thought, hmmm...we should be mentioned briefly, of course.

It simply needs to be said. What am I feeling now? Mild annoyance which will be ancient history very quickly, but again, it must be said, in my opinion, given the efforts, albeit unsolicited, that people made for him and his brand.

Another reason why it is appropriate to make mention of design bloggers is because bloggers give back. In my case, I'm a design professional and have been blogging for 3 1/2 years. I share my professional expertise, tips, resources, how tos, and so much more, with many, many people. I help many people who cannot afford a high end designer via my blog and via my one hour consulting service. I know my blog is appreciated and valued because I get lots of emails saying thank you, you helped me figure "it" out!

Blogging takes an enormous amount of time away from my business and it brings in very little income each month, nothing to speak of, actually, in my case and in most cases. There are countless design bloggers who have this similar situation/model. You don't have to be a professional to help people and those who are not design professionals contribute valuable insight and information to the public as well. We give back every day and perform a free service to an enormous number of people. 

I'm not emotional about this. They dropped the ball, not me. This incident does not affect me directly in any way. But, it's a good opportunity to talk about how we design bloggers play a vital role for many people who aspire to have, simply, well designed, homes that they can feel proud of and comfortable in. It's a public service that we provide, yes it is.

My Feeling About Nate After the Taping

My positive feeling hasn't changed. Nate is a person of authentic talent. Speaking of authenticity, after the show, Nate came out on stage, sat on a stool and took questions for a good 20 minutes. My perception is that he spoke from his heart, he was a good listener, and he shared experiences with us. His answers were thoughtful and not rushed. I liked him more than I did before the taping and I still feel that way as I write this. I think he's a good guy, a smart guy, that could have received better advice, and could have asked his staff to tell him about/research the value of design blogs. Doesn't make him a bad person. Nate being in a position of having reach to millions of people warrants this (fair and balanced) analysis. I hope he understands that. 

Say la vee...(yes, I know it's supposed to be cest la vie..someone once corrected me on that!) everyone makes mistakes and I'll put my mistakes up there with ANYONE...just try me, mine will be better than yours!! This one was a good one, though, given how we gave to Nate and how we do give back to the general public as a group. 

Moving on, I'd encourage Nate to engage with design bloggers again. His brand can go to new heights that he never would have imagined, influencing a whole other category of people who may not (currently) watch his show but may hear of him in another way, via online initiatives, within segments of his show, from the show's website, or other interesting ways to showcase the value of design bloggers. His new and old fans will love him even more! Just some suggestions...

 

Comments are closed here due to the previous troll, but please comment on my facebook page, where this will show up shortly...and "Like" me while you're there!!

PostHeaderIcon Nate Berkus & #Nateday921 #Nateshow921 #Nategate #designbloggers

I'm going to try this again. I wrote a post already on the Nate Berkus "event": the, approximately, 100 design bloggers who gathered in New York city from all around the country, for the purpose of being in the audience for a taping of Nate's show. I deleted the entire post, due to a suspected troll in the comment section, when I should have just removed the single comment. I want to put down my take on this event once again.

This was begun by the (twitter handles) @moggitgirls and @creategirl by declaring a "NateDay" in which design bloggers would blog about Nate Berkus in support of him and his forthcoming show. Mission accomplished and major kudos to these ladies for their hard work and vision!

Later, word spread that a date was set by the producers of the Nate Berkus show to accommodate us bloggers in appreciation for NateDay. We came en masse...a force of 100 or so design bloggers to celebrate Nate. Supporting/celebrating Nate via attending a show taping was the first reason to gather together. A secondary, but, surely, more important reason to gather was the opportunity to meet one another, a fantastic benefit of the trip. That was by FAR, for me, a wonderful experience, seeing so many blogging buddies, seeing old friends and making new ones!

My Feeling About Nate Before the Taping

He's a design talent; there is no question about that. His work is wonderful. He's GOOD. He seems approachable, kind, with a big heart, and for me, there is really nothing not to like or respect. 

The Day of Taping

We watched the taping of the show, which, to me, was very interesting, especially all the behind the scenes action. How fun is that? It was an experience.

Here's my take: The show, both the producers and Nate fell short in not acknowledging on air that a) he had an audience of design bloggers (not 5 pharmaceutical sales bloggers, but 100 interior design bloggers) who paid him a pretty incredible show of support by blogging about him en masse on one given day about his forthcoming show and b) that design blogs are a good thing. To me, personally, it shows a lack of awareness of the importance/relevance/power of social media and a lack of basic manners that in this case, transcends corporations, stars, and doing business as usual.

When done en masse, as this was done (probably representing millions of unique visitors to our blogs combined) in support of the Nate Berkus brand, a very public thank you is appropriate, which could have lasted all of 10 seconds. They have to be kicking themselves about this. "Look what this audience did for me, many thanks...and aren't design blogs amazing?" He SHOULD brag about this tribute to him, why not? At the same time, throw a crumb to design bloggers.

I do want to note that I am one of the ones who did not expect the show to be about design blogs. I expected it to be a regular Nate style show. Once I realized the force that was sitting in the audience, I then thought, hmmm...we should be mentioned briefly, of course.

It simply needs to be said. What am I feeling now? Mild annoyance which will be ancient history very quickly, but again, it must be said, in my opinion, given the efforts, albeit unsolicited, that people made for him and his brand.

Another reason why it is appropriate to make mention of design bloggers is because bloggers give back. In my case, I'm a design professional and have been blogging for 3 1/2 years. I share my professional expertise, tips, resources, how tos, and so much more, with many, many people. I help many people who cannot afford a high end designer via my blog and via my one hour consulting service. I know my blog is appreciated and valued because I get lots of emails saying thank you, you helped me figure "it" out!

Blogging takes an enormous amount of time away from my business and it brings in very little income each month, nothing to speak of, actually, in my case and in most cases. There are countless design bloggers who have this similar situation/model. You don't have to be a professional to help people and those who are not design professionals contribute valuable insight and information to the public as well. We give back every day and perform a free service to an enormous number of people. 

I'm not emotional about this. They dropped the ball, not me. This incident does not affect me directly in any way. But, it's a good opportunity to talk about how we design bloggers play a vital role for many people who aspire to have, simply, well designed, homes that they can feel proud of and comfortable in. It's a public service that we provide, yes it is.

My Feeling About Nate After the Taping

My positive feeling hasn't changed. Nate is a person of authentic talent. Speaking of authenticity, after the show, Nate came out on stage, sat on a stool and took questions for a good 20 minutes. My perception is that he spoke from his heart, he was a good listener, and he shared experiences with us. His answers were thoughtful and not rushed. I liked him more than I did before the taping and I still feel that way as I write this. I think he's a good guy, a smart guy, that could have received better advice, and could have asked his staff to tell him about/research the value of design blogs. Doesn't make him a bad person. Nate being in a position of having reach to millions of people warrants this (fair and balanced) analysis. I hope he understands that. 

Say la vee...(yes, I know it's supposed to be cest la vie..someone once corrected me on that!) everyone makes mistakes and I'll put my mistakes up there with ANYONE...just try me, mine will be better than yours!! This one was a good one, though, given how we gave to Nate and how we do give back to the general public as a group. 

Moving on, I'd encourage Nate to engage with design bloggers again. His brand can go to new heights that he never would have imagined, influencing a whole other category of people who may not (currently) watch his show but may hear of him in another way, via online initiatives, within segments of his show, from the show's website, or other interesting ways to showcase the value of design bloggers. His new and old fans will love him even more! Just some suggestions...

 

Comments are closed here due to the previous troll, but please comment on my facebook page, where this will show up shortly...and "Like" me while you're there!!

PostHeaderIcon House Beautiful Kitchen Of The Year 2010

"I never thought of myself as a designer." So says Jeff Lewis, host of "Flipping Out" and designer of House Beautiful's Kitchen Of The Year 2010, unveiled on Monday, July 19, at Rockefeller Center. Jeff, and his team set out to create a kitchen that reflected his personal aesthetic - a warm, modern kitchen with super clean lines, sleek surfaces and most of all, a minimalist and most importantly, easy to clean, design. 

"I really thought of myself living here," Jeff says. Jeff's lifestyle is one of often serving drinks and hors d'oeuvres before going out to dinner with friends, or taking in sushi, and when catering an event at home, having someone there to clean up immediately as the kitchen gets messy. The kitchen in his own home is wide open to the living area, and Jeff must have his kitchen "always stellar" as when he entertains, "everyone ends up in the kitchen."

FLICKR SLIDE SHOW - 9 million pictures!

Jeff talked about it being a challenge to design a contemporary space that is warm. I don't agree with that as a professional kitchen designer, but it brings up a great issue. Do you see this kitchen as warm? Here is what I think:

My Take

First, let me say that design is highly personal and highly subjective and my opinion is only ... my opinion! I think the kitchen is stunning. I love the use of neutrals and I also love contrast, especially when tempered with, in this case, the textured floor and the quietly textured backsplash. These elements, as well as the reclaimed elm table, add needed texture, and the floor, needed warmth. 

FLICKR SLIDE SHOW

The juxtaposition of these elements (including deep, rich, brown Kraftmaid cabinetry, and the coolness of Kohler's wall mounted Karbon faucet, SUPER cool and functional Crevasse prep sink with Cynchronus rinsing technology and Caesarstone's amazing island countertop, make life in this kitchen FUN! The Jenn Air appliances add to the fun with super functional ovens that will tell Jeff exactly how to cook anything (say, if his housekeeper is away on vacation if he gives her one)  ;)  without having to waste a second of time and the one-of-a-kind ductless cooktop.

The island shape and size is EXACTLY what is coming on strong today in kitchen design. While Jeff's lifestyle is more entertaining and quick food oriented (he doesn't cook) where the island can serve a use as a buffet, and hang out area, for my own personal demographic, with 3 grown kids and their SO's visiting fairly frequently, a large island serves an important purpose for socializing and meal preparation. This design serves many lifestyles well.

Once one experiences this fabulous, large island, really, who wants to prep or wash or cook, while facing a wall? I think this is one of the questions of our current time as socializing in the kitchen becomes even more important than it ever was before, which my perspective of kitchen design in the past 25 years points me to. Although in the vast majority of kitchens, some food tasks must be done against walls, (and many prefer to keep a mess more toward a concealed area) I predict, and have, in recent years, that islands will get larger in the foreseeable future solely due to an awareness of the importance of connecting with our friends and family, at the same time that we continue to be interested in more casual living. The integration of kitchen and living spaces is all about socializing. We may not all fully realize that we are feeling that desire more and more as we contemplate renovating our kitchens, but I'm seeing from where I sit, that we do indeed feel a push in that direction.

It brings up the question, which I am hearing from my clients, about "the mess" in an open plan kitchen. That is today's design conflict for sure. Jeff deals with it by having his housekeeper vigilant to the presence of clutter and mess! He's a VERY practical guy.

From a personal perspective, disclaimer already noted, I feel that the kitchen lacks a touch of soul. It's a "type" of kitchen design that is appropriate for many people, of course, but I would have liked to see less cabinetry and more interesting (yet still simple) design/storage solutions, particularly near the table. Cabinetry was the only design tool used to fill the main wall here, going from one end to the other. I would have liked to see the introduction of another material, still maintaining a simple design. That said, I love the large soffit above.

FLICKR SLIDE SHOW

The white dinnerware and accessories and rustic wooden bowls say "stylized" to me rather than "personal" or even "creatively quirky." The focus of the kitchen and cabinetry design seems to be a geometrical "frame of reference" lesson of coordinating dimensions. That said, that is absolutely a viable design philosophy. Maybe because I'm a kitchen designer, I see and interpret some design concepts in a different way and look at what the design process might have been. So, is it a warm/modern design to my eye? I would say more modern than warm...again, completely subjective.

There is no doubt that it IS beautifully designed for the lifestyle of its owner. In that respect, it's a winner!

What do you think??

 

PostHeaderIcon Oxo SteeL 7-Piece Barware Set – Serve Drinks like a Pro

4122CGPW7ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg

We've been looking into getting a new bar set, as our current bar set is missing most of the things we need to use. This OXO Barware set features a cocktail strainer which has a raised lip to prevent liquids from dripping, mixing Spoon with non-slip handle, and the jigger has a soft grip and measurement markings. There's even a dual function bottle opener for bottles and cans, and everything is dishwasher safe. We really like the brushed steal look, and think this might just be the barware set for us in the future.

At Oxo SteeL 7-Piece Barware Set


PostHeaderIcon Oprah.com Home and Garden Feature, and more

Hello visitors from Oprah.com! Angela Min, interior designer, and I, certified kitchen designer, welcome you! Angela and I are a design team, focused on our specialized areas of residential design. You will soon find Angela's insights on design in this blog, her first post to be seen within days.

Angela and I both offer design consulting services, from one hour phone consultations (see the right sidebar) to full turnkey design services. It's just amazing what can be accomplished during this hour as we get our clients focused and work through one creative idea after another, whatever the client's budget. Good design does not have to be expensive! And, we work as a design team on projects too! Thank you, Oprah.com visitors, for visiting, and please leave a comment! Topic suggestions? Let us know.

It's a good time at this point to also make mention of my daughter, Kelly Donovan. Kelly, my buddy, friend, daughter and all around super smart and savvy gal, will also be joining us on The Kitchen Designer blog to share her unique insights on living in no less than five small urban kitchens (in New York City). Kelly is a foodie, a truly passionate cook, mom of a 9 month old, and will share her information and insights on living and cooking in a tiny kitchen! I've often wanted to focus regularly on small kitchens in this blog, so I am thrilled to introduce my readers to Kelly!

Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

I'm happy, plain and simple! I am writing this on a plane en route to the KBIS show in Chicago. To say I love going to this show is an understatement. It's THE place to go if you are in the kitchen and bath industry. I get reenergized, see colleagues, meet new ones, attend seminars, while having no other distractions. I am as excited about going this year as I ever was, and I guess this is my 19th year attending KBIS. Add some press events into the mix, and we're talking serious fun!

This year I will be serving as a judge for K+BB magazine, a sponsor of KBIS, to judge the best products in the show. I serve as a judge for K+BB magazine at the end of the year to evaluate the most innovative products of each year, so it is another honor to be asked by this venerable kitchen industry magazine to serve in this capacity. Fun!

While at KBIS, I will be visiting the autokitchen.com exhibit. Contact autokitchen.com for a special KBIS price on the latest, and very innovative, version of their software. I have chosen autokitchen.com to work with in my design practice for a number of reasons, but, ok, truth be told...it's the incredibly sexy state of the art photorealistic graphics that had me when I clicked on to the website! Take a look (allied design professionals) and tell the U.S. representative, Miguel, that Susan from The Kitchen Designer blog personally sent you.

KBIS, here I come, and Oprah.com visitors, please bookmark this blog for much more professional design advice on both kitchens and interiors.

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