Case Study: Kitchen Design Inspiration from the Square

Most designers have studied the Elements and Principles of Design when getting their design degree or diploma.

The Elements: Space, Line, Shape, Texture, Light, Color and Pattern are the tools the designer uses to create the visual enviroment.

The Principles: Scale & Proportion, Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis and Harmony are the basic rules for achieving the goals of design.

When I take on a design project, the Elements and Principles of Design always play a part in achieving the look I am after.

Read on to see how the Elements and Principles of Design played a big part in the design of this project.

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Do You Need to Hire a Coach for Your Kitchen Design Business?

Last week I had the pleasure of joining DESIGNER DISCUSSIONS on Clubhouse, to contribute to their discussion on “What is it like to hire a business coach?”

We had a great chat on the topic and as a Business Coach myself, I wanted to share some of it with you.

As an FYI, DESIGNER DISCUSSIONS convenes a Clubhouse Room every Friday at 12:30 PM CDT.

The founders of DESIGNER DISCUSSIONS are Jason Lockhart, Maria Martin and Mirjam Lippuner.

Check them out individually online and don’t forget to dial into their Clubhouse room on Fridays, or pop by their Facebook page for more information.

If you would like an invite to Clubhouse, reach out on my contact page and I’ll arrange to send you one.

So, should you consider hiring a business coach for your Kitchen Design Business?

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Designing a Kitchen for the Home Canner

Many years ago I purchased an acreage where I took up gardening.

I must admit I became a bit obsessed and by the end of my 5 years on the “farm” I had a 200′ by 200′ vegetable garden, a small orchard, a berry garden, a herb garden and multiple flower gardens.

With an abundance of produce being produced from the acreage, I needed to figure out what to do with it all!

This is when I learned how to preserve my harvest through home canning.

And being a Kitchen Designer was a great asset for planning the storage of my canning equipment and bounty.

Now with so many people taking up the art of canning due to the global pandemic, knowing how to plan a Kitchen to accommodate this trend is an asset.

Read on to get inspired to help your canning clients design the Kitchen of their dreams.

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Banishing the Cookie-Cutter Kitchen Island!

The Kitchen Island is the most asked for element by homeowners for their new Kitchen.

And the L-Shaped Kitchen layout with an Island is the number one layout for today’s Kitchens.

Based on this, Kitchen Designers need to have more than one island solution to present to their clients.

Without options your Kitchen Designs will begin to look “cookie-cutter” and do nothing to bring in referrals.

And who really wants a cookie-cutter Kitchen?

Not consumers looking to hire a Kitchen Designer!

Read on to see how you can begin presenting Kitchen Island options to your clients that they will love.

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+ backsplash shelves

Incorporating Backsplash Storage into Your Kitchen Designs

The backsplash area is usually not the first place Kitchen Designers think about when developing a storage plan for their client’s Kitchens, but maybe it should be.

A couple of years ago I visited EuroCucina at the Salone Del Mobile design show in Milan, Italy were I saw multiple examples of backsplash storage ideas.

Reviewing my pics from Milan Design week along with a few other examples, got me thinking about this lost opportunity.

Read on to see how you can start utilizing this space for storage in your Kitchen Designs.

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Revisiting the Closed-Off Kitchen

I have been talking to a lot of Allied Professionals in the home design industry lately, and the post-COVID Kitchen has been a hot topic.

Something I have found interesting is how often the Closed-Off Kitchen has been creeping into the conversation.

When I began my design career, the Kitchen was a room that 9 times out of 10 was closed off from the rest of the home.

If the room was an eat-in Kitchen that was a bonus!

Most of the renovations that I designed in the early years remained within those 4 walls with better function of the space a top priority for clients.

With Design Professionals starting to talk more about the Closed-Off Kitchen I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my past solutions.

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The Best Open Shelving Options For Your Kitchen Designs

Open shelving has become very popular in contemporary Kitchen Design.

It can serve may purposes including breaking up a run of closed cabinetry, providing a place to display collections, filling in an awkward space or just allowing homeowners to see what they have for easy retrieval.

As Kitchen Designers we need to understand the purpose for including open storage before we randomly place it in a Kitchen design.

This post will discuss a variety of open shelving options to help you decide the best approach for your client’s Kitchen design.

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+ Wine fridge on end of island

Kitchen Design Case Study: West Coast Contemporary

A large part of my private design business includes Kitchen and Millwork design for high-end spec homes.

I love the process of working with the developer to design a home that meets the needs of his buyer persona and sells for top dollar.

One particular developer that I work with purchases older homes in established neighborhoods and converts them into desirable luxury homes.

Read on to see how this home’s design developed into a spectacular West Coast Contemporary!

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What Does It Take To Become A Top Kitchen Designer?

One of the reasons I founded VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN was because of this question:

Jan, How can I become a Top Kitchen Designer?

My answer is always:

Have a passion for learning!

When I look back on how my career evolved, it was all about a systematic approach to learning everything I could about the profession.

The following is the steps I took to become a Top Kitchen Designer.

I share it to show you that there is a lot to learn in this profession, but also to encourage you to start your own design career journey.

Read on to see the steps I took and the key learnings I gained at each stage, and how following a similar path will put you on the right track to excel as a Kitchen Designer.

And remember, I’m hear to help you with your journey!

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Placing the Microwave in Your Kitchen Designs

Before I dive into where to place the microwave in your Kitchen Designs, let’s look at the history of this appliance.

  • The first commercial microwave oven was introduced by Raytheon in 1947
  • Commercial microwaves were intended for use in restaurants and for reheating meals on airplanes
  • In 1955 the first consumer microwave by Tappan was introduced
  • This first consumer microwave was expensive at $1,295 (over $11,000 today) putting it out of reach of most people
  • Amana introduced a countertop model for $495 in 1967 enticing the upper end Kitchen buyer
  • Prices dropped dramatically in the 1970’s making the microwave a standard part of a new Kitchen
  • By 1986, 25% of households in the United States had a microwave oven
  • By 1997 over 90% of American households owned one

The issue with this appliances is that the Kitchen Designer still struggles with where to place it.

Read on to see how you as a Professional Kitchen Designer can find the best place for the microwave in your designs.

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The Best Seating Solutions for Your Kitchen Designs

Of course, the Kitchen is where cooking takes place, but the Kitchen is also where people gather to eat, socialize, work and relax.

As a Kitchen Designer it is important to think about these activities and design appropriate seating solutions for everyone’s comfort.

Since there is not a one size fits all approach when it comes to designing seating areas in the Kitchen, the Kitchen Designer needs to get creative.

Let’s explore some of my favorite ways to approach the design of seating in the contemporary Kitchen.

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Specifying Appliances: What Influences a Kitchen Designer?

Appliances play a major role in any Kitchen Design.

With the chaos of choice in appliances I am often asked:

What influences you when specifying appliances for your client?

Influences are many, including features, finishes, size, aesthetics, availability and the client’s budget.

But when it comes down to it, what influences me the most is how much I know about the appliance.

This comes down to how well educated am I on a particular brand.

Read on to see how certain manufactures really excelled on educating me and in turn, giving me the knowledge and confidence to specify their appliances.

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