Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Designing Kosher

Happy New Year to all my readers and visitors, I truly wish you all a healthy & prosperous 2013!

I am kicking off the new year with a kosher kitchen.

I am not Jewish, but as a designer it is my duty to try and understand different cultures. This is especially important when designing a kitchen, the central command station of the home.

The main idea in a kosher kitchen is to keep diary and meat preparation separate. In a spacious kitchen this is easily achieved however in smaller city homes it may be prove to be a challenge. I have had my share of 'galley' kosher kitchens whilst working in Manhattan.

The kitchen I am designing has plenty of space making it easier to include all the wishes of the client. I am creating two distinct meal preparation areas, one for diary and the other for meat. A 'Parve' station is also helpful when preparing other foods not including meat or diary, such as bread, fruit or vegetables that can then be consumed with either the meat dish or diary products.

The main thing you will notice when designing kosher is the large number of appliances. Imagine fitting in all the appliances you will usually have in a kitchen and then times that by two. 
In the meat section I have included a large stainless steel sink, a dishwasher and pull out trash. A cooktop, vent, double oven, microwave, refrigerator and freezer. Pans, utensils, cutlery glassware and dishes need to be separate from the diary cookware.  A similar list of appliances is repeated in the diary section.

In order to end up with a cohesive design, the kitchen needs to be designed to look like one space, and not two kitchens sitting side by side.
I chose the meat section as my 'main' cooking area and selected a large Wolf range top as the focal point, with the larger of two islands sitting directly in front of it. The diary section is more low key with a next to invisible induction hob and a hidden down draft, SubZero drawer refrigeration in the smaller second island which is covered by custom panels.  The dishwashers, freezers and refrigerators are also paneled to avoid an overwhelming array of appliances. 

Even though there are essentially two prep, two cooking and two clean up areas there is usually one person cooking. So the configuration of the space and the flow is vital. Two smaller islands instead of one enables the chef to get around easier, separate fridge drawers near the diary will save leg work back and forth from the main refrigerator which in this case is located near the meat section on the opposite side of the kitchen.
A central dry food pantry makes loading and unloading food quicker and gives plenty of storage space for small appliances and larger pots.

They are also lucky to have a spacious butlers pantry with an additional sink and dishwasher, so cleaning up after a dinner party is a breeze!

When choosing materials, granite or marble is preferred for the counter tops and stainless steel for sinks. In a large space like this using two tones for the cabinets is ideal, wood grade for the islands and light paint color for the perimeter cabinets. I am including 5 stools for the grandchildren, and space for cook books and coloring books nearby.

A desk with a pencil drawer and a wood top finishes off the design nicely.

Culinarium by Christopher Peacock

Culinarium by Christopher Peacock

The project is in the planning stage, I hope to be able to share some pictures when it is complete, the cabinets are from the Culinarium Collection from Christopher Peacock, with whom I am employed as a Senior Designer.

Any kosher design suggestions left in 'Comments' are appreciated!


All writings are my personal suggestions and do not reflect the Christopher Peacock Company in any form.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pulling The Plug {Post Hurricane Sandy}

"Pulling the plug: a sustainably built, off-grid farmhouse

A carefully planned 17th-century conversion is not only sustainably built, but off-grid, too." The Telegraph 

In the wake of hurricane Sandy, I cant help to think about our complete and utter dependence on electricity. 

Fishing around for the answer I came across this amazing Farmhouse set in the remote countryside in the UK. 
This ingenious owner rebuilt this old derelict farmhouse into a self sustainable home, the only bill they pay is to the local council (property tax). 

No heating, no electrical and no water bills...

They used a wood burning Rayburn Stove for cooking and heating water, a well with an automatic pump and a product called 'Waterpebble' that warns you when water levels are low and more...

Take a look at the link below for the full article and images taken from The Telegraph UK.

Image Via The Telegraph

Pulling the plug~ A Sustainably built off grid Farmhouse


Friday, October 5, 2012

Bathroom Inspiration {and how to organize your ideas}

Renovating a bathroom is probably one of the most challenging but at the same time most satisfying rooms to redecorate; bringing not only daily pleasure to those in the room but also increasing the value of your home.

Inspiration comes from the latin word Inspirare meaning ' to breath into '. We inspire to breath new life into our home when we embark on a renovation project. 

Wherever you look, images of stunning interiors make you fall in love over and over again, one day it may be a clean lined contemporary bathroom and the next day an elegant classic design. There is an abundance of design inspiration online, in books and magazines and on TV, and then there is the inspiration around you, from the outdoors to a vintage tablecloth your grandmother gave you. Using something you love as the basis of your design can spark a myriad of ideas, it may be the colors or textures, or even the memory of a place you visited can be the 'lift off' for your bathroom project.

I advise my clients to hold on to anything that inspires them, it may be a brightly colored scarf, a ripped out page of a magazine with that gorgeous glass tile on it or even postcards from their vacation. But how do we deal with the torrent of ideas that stem from online resources such as ours and others like Pinterest? 

  • It is important not to get overcome by the thousands of design websites available, chose your sources wisely.
  • Try not to take other homeowners comments on designs to heart. Their taste or experience will be different from yours!
  • Browse through the Professional portfolios, look closely at the designer and company and check out their work and credentials.
  • Go to bathroom frontrunners product websites such as Franke or Kohler and see what is new on the market.
  • If you are looking for a designer to ultimately work with you on your bathroom project browse the work of designers in your area and not across the country! It is invaluable to find a designer that suits your style and who is located close by.
  • Before and after photos are really inspiring, this is what your bathroom could look like!
  • Save the images you absolutely love in an Ideabook, it is very easy to save hundreds of photos in a span of a week and not remember why you chose them in the first place.
  • Edit your images every now and then, as you become more familiar with what you like and don't like you will become more select in your choices.
  • Organizing your inspiration is key to a good meeting with your designer, you will have limited time so make use of it wisely.

Here are some tips on how to gather and organize your ideas.

Contemporary Bathroom design by Denver Interior Designer Andrea Schumacher

Browse randomly through images saving all the bathrooms that appeal to you. On a single day you could be focusing on a one particular item for your bathroom, for example floor tiles or bath tubs and the next day it could be wall colors. Open a folder and save these under a particular heading for example 'Vanities' or 'Shower Fittings'. This method will keep you organized and prevent you from getting overwhelmed. It will eventually also help narrow down your choices come final selection time.

Traditional Bathroom design by Columbus General Contractor Michael Matrka, Inc

Organize your favorite images by style. A 'My Style' folder can contain anything you love, be it contemporary, classic or a mix of both, your favorites will come to light automatically. Sometimes you will save the same images over and over again. This is an indication of what you really like and you are forming your style. I would take time to note down the design company responsible for your favorite pictures and browse through their work, their style may be just right for you.

Modern Bathroom design by Miami Interior Designer DKOR Interiors Inc.- Interior Designers Miami, FL

Look for trends in your collections, you may be gravitating towards marble floors or mosaic backsplashes? You will see that many of your images start to lean towards a particular colorway or that a similar product keeps reappearing in your collection, this is not a coincidence, you are carving out your personal preferences which in turn starts to define your style. Some websites are tagged with product information as this can take hours off sourcing for a particular item. Make a note of these materials for future reference, as finding that particular floor tile once again prove difficult.

Eclectic Bathroom Tile design by Los Angeles Tile Stone And Countertop Filmore Clark

Inspiration can be found everywhere, from online sources, great stores and glossy magazines, for me simply finding a tile that excites me is a great starting point for a great bathroom design. Let me know what you think, I hope I have helped you to channel your inspirations!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Guest Post on Canoe Design & more..

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by design blogger Anna at Canoe Design to guest post on their FURNITURE FRIDAY's  series.

Take a peek

On another note, I have been invited to join Christopher Peacock Home as their Senior Designer for their fabulous new showroom opening in the D&D building in Manhattan NY.
I anticipate great things happening in 2013 and I would love to share this new exciting journey with you.

If you are not familiar with his work, visit

Happy first day of Fall!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fall Color Trends 2012 {Neon Shmeon}

I am an 80's girl, leg warmers, leggings and headbands were staple pieces in my teen closet. You could say I gave Madonna a run for her money. But by 1986, I admit I was far from sad to see that color trend end, and looking back on photos of myself requires sun glasses and comes with a warning.

So you can imagine how I took to the news that NEON is back this Fall. Maybe I'll just skip it altogether, after all I heard that black, white and navy are still in. But before you all sigh a collective sigh of relief, give Pantone a chance to explain themselves, innocent until proven guilty no?
Pantone is quick to tweak neon, calling it Nouveau Neon (no doubt to avoid scaring away any designers born between 1960-1970)
But only as Pantone can do, they hit the nail on the head. Spot on. Each Nouveau Neon more pleasing than the next, Asian-inspired bamboo yellow-green meets Posicle Orange both vibrant and fresh and then brilliantly adding a soft butter rum tan to tame the firecrackers citrus and raspberry.

Lets wait and see how this plays out, I cant wait to use Camelia Rose or Citrus somewhere soon!

PANTONE Fall Color Trends 2012


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sweet Tea & Lemonade

JUNE, how I have been waiting for you, dreaming of SWEET TEA and LEMONADE, swinging ever so slowly back and forth on the porch with a love romance upside down by my side as I nap......
JULY, even more inviting, no running for cover for the odd shower, I know its going to be a nice day and I am about to share it with  the butterflies and the bees.
On my own with nature, not even my favorite songs (sorry Adele) are welcome to spoil my peace.


Image & Recipe Via Food Network Magazine
Photograph by Jonathan Kantor   

Remove wide strips of zest from 2 lemons with a vegetable peeler (do not remove the pith). Make 2 cups simple syrup (recipe below), adding the lemon zest before heating. Let cool, then pour into an ice-filled pitcher. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 cups each fresh lemon juice and water, and some lemon slices.
Simple Syrup: To make 2 cups simple syrup, bring 1 1/2cups each sugar and water to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Let cool.

Victorian Swing ~ Source Unknown

Source Unknown

FABRICS & Accessories
Clarence House Fabric
Coral Tieback ~ Clarence House


Communications Design graduate student Claire Kelley created an app—Summer Fiction— highlighting interactive content from five novels being publishing this summer by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Click here

Take a nap, read a book, go for a walk, relax....



Monday, June 11, 2012

Free Flowing Form ~ EGO Paris

I like smart, I like functional and I certainly like SEXY!
All this PLUS fun colors and pretty can't possibly beat that!

Ego Paris is just Fabulous! I heard of them through one of my favorite online mags the New England Home Magazine.
Just take a look at these, I mean seriously! Free flowing form sunshades reminiscence of seagulls in flight. Design forms that blend in with the waves, this chaise is not called 'Fish" for nothing.

Fish Chaise Longue

Are you sitting down? I would recommend you do it NOW.
I don't mean to be mean and I know its Monday and that there is a WHOLE week left of school before anyone can even dream of flying away on vacation, but I cant keep it secret any longer.
Its my duty ahem as a designer to part with glorious products to my readers :)

Take a look at this and come kick me if you don't like it...(Not too hard please, my knee is playing up)
Give me my latest issue of AD a Margarita and come get me September 1.

Eden Nest

Backrests and tables included
True to my love of function and form, KAMA Quattro Modular Collection has a smart and versatile collection, the table is my favorite piece.

Video for KAMA

Video for KUBE

Find the complete collection at


{PS I only write about products I love, I am not sponsored & if I am I will let you know!)