“Kitchen-Centric”: The New Standard for Home Design

The role of the kitchen in the house and in the family has changed. Where kitchens of the past were rooms of utility, hidden away in the recesses of a home, now designers and families are recognizing the beauty and function of this space as the core of a home. Almost any host can attest that, try as they might to prevent it and encourage guests into other rooms, the kitchen draws us in. We gather around islands and the kitchen becomes the emotional center of the home. Kitchen-centric design reflects this feeling and creates a space that is as comfortable and well lived in as any living room. In the late 20th Century, the idea of the open kitchen came about, and the walls between family rooms and kitchens were torn down. Now, this idea has evolved, and kitchens are becoming integrated rooms that are completely livable as architecture Continue reading

Eco-Chic: Sustainable Design for the Bathroom

In bathroom design, “green” is more than just a color. With homeowners adopting a heartfelt commitment to environmental sustainability, manufacturers are following suite and providing solutions for modern families. Creating an eco-friendly bathroom can save money and resources without sacrificing an ounce of performance or elegance. During a bathroom remodel, an easy way to go green is to select low-flow fixtures. Switching to water-efficient plumbing fixtures could save the average household as much as $50 to $100 a year on water and wastewater bills, and also reduces the environmental impact of the household. One beautiful, new option from manufacturer TOTO is their DuoFit In-Wall Tank System. TOTO is the only plumbing manufacturer to receive the EPA’s Water Efficiency Leader Award and this design, released this year, reflect what TOTO calls a “commitment to great design, water savings and making life easier for our customers.” This system features a high-efficiency dual Continue reading

The Designer Kitchen: Custom, Quality, Personal.

The kitchen is often the heartbeat of the home; it is where memories are made, where friends gather and where family members connect. Something this personal should not be one-size-fits-all. A designer kitchen takes a family’s needs into consideration instead of using a standard mold. “Designer” equates to a kitchen where the finishes are thoughtful and unique to the client, where the space performs at the highest level and still looks beautiful, and a comfortable and functional workspace is created. While builders or general contractors may have seen hundreds of kitchens, they don’t have the same design sensibilities as a designer, says Debra Toney. Designers like Michelle Ku ask specific questions geared toward getting to know a client well before the design and finishes are considered. Everything from how often you play bridge to how often you clean is relevant in designing a kitchen that’s catered to your needs. A Continue reading