Upcycle is a catchy new word I really love. According to dictionary.com, it means to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original. I am always inspired when I see artisanal furniture created from reclaimed wood and fabulous lamps made from old woodwind instruments but had never really thought about how to reuse materials from my own job sites. While working on the remodel facelift of a kitchen in an old Long Island estate house, my client looked at the pile of rubbish cabinets we were creating and said, “You know, it’s too bad we can’t use those for something. Too bad we couldn’t find a way to make a sideboard out of all of that instead of ordering something…..” As the words were coming out of her mouth, I grabbed my pencil and sketchpad and started to draw. I had an idea to create a dish pantry in her breakfast room and she loved it. A talented carpenter, some new molding and a coat of paint and Voila! Our beautiful upcycled dish pantry gave what would have been a pile of junk new life.
If you are a foodie, a kitchen that makes you happy is a true necessity. Having gadgets and makers, a few great cookbooks and recipes, along with great cookware and a good set of knives are essential in my view. Gramps always said that you need the right tool to do a good job. I find that there is nothing like standing at the rangetop and grabbing the wisk from the adjacent drawer as you whip up that Hollandaise! Or looking into your well organized, partitioned drawer and grabbing your pancake flipper just before that batter starts to bubble. Maybe you need a lowered counter surface for baking and rolling out dough. A cookbook shelf may be something you need or a spot for that European style coffee maker you just have to have? What about that cheese curler you can also use for chocolate. Such a great gift, just what you wanted but where, oh where, are you going to put it? Designing a kitchen that flows with organization and looks like a dream is where I come in. I am knowledgeable and actually passionate about such things as warming drawers that will take a full sized catering sheet, ventilation cfm’s and convertible refrigeration. I will discuss your shopping habits, fresh food needs and storage requirements for both the things you already have and those you haven’t gotten yet because you had no place to put them. And then? I bet you’ll be truly happy in your kitchen!
Given a big great room-kitchen addition and a blank slate, I was dreaming up ideas for a client that loves to cook for her family. I started thinking comfort food…. Rice pudding? Chicken soup? Steak and eggs?
Then I thought of honey. As a kid, I would happily watch the golden drizzle puddle on my toast. That rich amber tone of a glistening bottle of organic honey became my inspiration.
The water jet deco glass tiles in the splash really bring that honey amber tone to life. Paired with the milky tone of the glazed white cabinets, it was a natural. These warm tones mixed with the cinnamon in the stone tops create homey warmth that doesn’t overpower in a large room that doesn’t have a high ceiling. All in all a recipe for comfortable family living.
Creating dream kitchens for single family palaces is a good portion of my work. Giving that expansive feel to a smaller footprint is a challenge I enjoy as well. To do that I really need to feel how you function. I want to feel how you live and interact. I want to create a space that has room for kids’ art, pet bowls, Costco runs, phone chargers, PTA calendars and still suits all your entertaining needs. I want to know who is cooking what and when so we have a tv for the morning news or easy access to the outdoor bar-b-q. I want to know if wine storage is important or if a built-in coffee system would really make your kitchen special and keep you from running out to Starbucks in your yellow fuzzy robe! Feeding our family and friends really feeds our soul and makes us happy. I want to help you outfit your kitchen to make the most of home celebrations and everyday living.
So, here I am with Ellen, talking about how we made her kitchen function for her specific needs.
My great appreciation for the work of Rick Spence and deepest thanks to the team at Houzz.com for featuring me in this promotional video.
I am thrilled to be on page 72 of the K+BB Magazine April 2013 KBIS editiion! The recognition means so much after designing over a thousand kitchens over the years, in everything from local firehouse to some single family palaces. I love kitchens! The kitchen is where the action is. Friends are celebrated with food and drink. Firemen share stories over a pot of spaghetti and meatballs. Intimate news of love, life and true confessions are all shared at the sink during cleanup after a holiday meal. Interior Design is truly my passion and I love to start with the kitchen to transform a shelter dwelling to a stylish, comfortable home. Thanks again to Janet Groeber at K+BB Magazine for giving me the platform to share my love for design. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201304/index.php#/74
Working with this client was wonderful. She came to me through an architect friend to create her dream kitchen. My client has wonderful taste, preferring soft subtle hues and rich texture and detail. She wanted a pallette of soft greys with dark wood and white for contrast. An addition would give us the space we needed but marrying ceiling heights and choosing and locating windows to create something truly special was the challenge. I created a kitchen “L” as a work triangle, a large island and a window wall incorporating a table height counter and long glass cabinets to showcase the windows and frame the view to the yard. The creation of a contemporary “mantle hood” with sheetrock structure and stainless and tile detail give an up to date but unique feel. The glass backsplash and hood detail add that “subtle sparkle” that makes the room really special. Dream kitchen…….and dream client!