Nook Eating in Kitchens

Develop your nook eating area

You can be so creative in a small nook area. You might even want to “build-in” a nook on one of your short walls that you are not really utilizing in your kitchen. Group your accessories….find a flea-market chair or two….use a small pedestal table and find that seamstress that loves to make seat covers and pillows. Red accents, lime-green accents, scarlett & grey fabric (you can tell I’m an Ohio State fan!).  Build a window seat about 18-inches high (add for a foam fabric seat pad) and create a back with beadboard trim. Viola! A cozy coffee corner to read your newspaper or Ipad. Enjoy.

Leave room for the glass!

Glass inserts for cabinet doors always add interest

Glass cabinet door inserts can make a huge difference in the kitchen. You don’t have to settle for plain clear glass any longer. I personally have been reintroduced to Bendheim.

Choose from a myriad of glass for doors and shelving in cabinets. I personally like their VintageWire Decorative laminated glass for the creative, jaw-dropping look in a traditional vintage styled kitchen. I am also going to begin recommending for busy families to use Bendheim’s magnetic glass marker boards and writing surfaces to be mounted inside a cabinet door. It beats yellow sticky notes!

Check out Bendheim Cabinet Glass and let me know what you think.

More About Islands

Add detail to your new kitchen island with decorative posts, baseboard, glass doors, lights and counter curves. Also remember that islands are also for storage, so don’t forget the base accessory items such as roll-out shelves.

 There is no trend towards making your kitchen island appear like a separate piece of furniture, with changing of the stain or paint color of cabinetry. To see details in cabinetry trim, quality of construction and current design, visit a local showroom that has kept it’s display areas current. I suggest visiting Studio 76 Kitchens and Baths in Twinsburg, Ohio. (

Studio 76 Kitchens and Baths

Added Deco Posts for a gorgeous island

Colors for the Kitchen

Bold colors can offset stainless and create interest in a neutral kitchen

Did you ever tour a kitchen with bold colors and say, “I love it, but I would never do it in my kitchen”. Well, never say never….is my motto!  Unless you want your kitchen to look extrememly neutral because you are selling your house , there is no reason to be boring with your accessories or colors.

Stainless is best complemented with color… especially jewel tones. Also, consider an accessory such as window blinds in various shades.

Don’t be shy … use Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2012, “Tangerine Tango” for an accent wall in your eating area, or flowers on your island. The key: contrast your kitchen wall paint color with your countertops. For example, if you have “UbaTuba” or Black Absolute” granite for surfaces, consider the Sherwin Williams colors of “Ivoire” or “Restrained Gold”.

Don’t worry, be happy (choosing colors for your kitchen, that is!)

Summer Kitchens Are Here!

For decorating your kitchen for summer, who can resist bright colored placemats, pink and yellow flowers, colorful tablewear and fresh fruit. I am loving to shop for special things for my kitchen at Mackenzie-Childs and Pier 1.

Sizzle your decor for summer. Don’t know how? Here are two Ohio gals that blow me away with their design creativity. For my central Ohio readers, Donna Rosenthal shines with her vision for room decor.  For design help in Northeast Ohio, by all means check out Candy Sveda from Hudson.

Call these designers for their skills and keep them as friends!

Welcome to summer 2012!

Kitchen Hoods …. Hide the vent!

Hide the venting with cabinetry and details

For those of you who like a more “unfitted” or furniture look in the kitchen, consider hiding the ventilation with cabinets. Pictured here is a kitchen with Mouser cabinetry. ( There is a metal lattice inserted over solid panel doors and and a simple arched valance. A vent with ducting to the outside wall or up the ceiling and through to the outside of your house can then be inserted. I personally like a 400-600cfm vent by Broan or Vent-A-Hood. (

Here’s the thing….any kind of vent or hood needs to be “bumped forward” when designing with the cabinets for capturing the most odors, steam and gasses. That’s where beautiful crown moulding comes into play.

Who to hire to remodel your kitchen…5 tips

Qualified and experienced installers,tradesmen and kitchen designers are necessary for a successful kitchen remodel

This could be a difficult decision unless you really know and trust someone already to “do” your kitchen. I grew up in a builder’s family, so even around the dinner table, conversation often turned to electrical codes, studwalls, and plumbing problem solutions. (Lucky me!)

 Here are 5 tips to get you started:

 -Experience counts. Find out if the remodeler that you are interviewing for your own kitchen remodel project really has been doing just that…..remodeling kitchens. My experience through many years is that it’s much easier to take a clean, new space (addition or building a new house) and put a kitchen in that space. Remodeling an existing space requires a person who is really experienced at solving problems and working with existing mechanicals. Many remodelers, or general contractors, use sub-contractors. Now you will need to qualify those tradesmen as well!  Take your time with these talented people….make sure you will be able to communicate easily with each and every one.

 -Don’t be shy. Ask your remodeler contractor for references (personal references and job references) Ask to see a couple of kitchens they recently installed over the past couple years. Please remember, most tradesmen are not designers. The guys I know love to see a well thought out kitchen cabinetry layout with mechanical & lighting design. 

 -Personality differences. It could make a difference in how your kitchen remodel “goes”. If you need that daily communication, and wish to get your phone calls returned and your emails replied to, by all means take your time in getting to know your remodeler. You will need to end up trusting him or her.

 -Code. Whoever you hire needs to be familiar with it….and do the appropriate work. Every city, village or township usually has it’s own building department and you can also ask for trades references when checking on permits that need to be obtained for your project. Experienced kitchen designers are also familiar with codes.

 -Get the paperwork. Tasks that need to be done should be itemized on your remodeler/contractors quote or contract. Many times, I see a short verbal or written estimate that homeowners get and there is hardly any detail on it. Since you’re reading my personal experience blog….I will say, “Get a detailed estimate for the work to be performed”. Period.