I’ve returned from the latest SKS Design Council meeting in Napa. Discussing new technologies, design and regional trends is just inspiring. Learn about what we’re doing; what we ate, and a bit about wine preservation in my latest blog.
We were just up at Poppy having dinner; a terrific Seattle restaurant. Looking in at their kitchen you can see the huge commercial hoods required to keep the kitchen clean from micro particles of oils and smells. Most clients don’t think about the importance of ventilation in their kitchen. It’s not as interesting as wood finishes, stone counter tops or the range of your dreams. This is the least understood infrastructure of your home.
In the 1940’ and 1950’s your home was probably built with a ceiling or wall fan to remove odors from the kitchen. It wasn’t until the 1960 and 70’s that hood fans began to be installed in most homes. These first hoods were generally under powered and used small scale ducting made them noisy as well.
I believe most people didn’t like hood fans because they were loud and didn’t seem to do much. The noise you hear with a hood fan is the movement of air though the restriction of the ducting itself. The electric fan motor itself is very quiet. With the popularity of commercial style ranges, induction cook tops and wok cooking, ventilation is absolutely necessary. Steam is filled with tiny bits of cooking oil and odors that will stick to your walls, windows and ceiling if you’re not using your hood.
The amount of air that needs to leave your home above your cooking surface is dependent on how many BTU’s of heat you’re creating with your range or cook top. We calculate that as cubic feet of air per minute that is pulled out of your home; CFM’s. If you’re cooking on an island, you’ll have more cross breezes than if you’re against a wall. We add more CFM’s and increase the width of the hood. Some clients don’t want to smell kitchen smells, so we’ll approach the hood as though it was above an island. How about if you’re tall; I hear this all the time about raising the hood up higher than usual. There are ways to decrease cross breezes and increase CFM but the other important piece is to have make up air to allow your hood to work at its peak performance. This can be a system that comes on when you turn your hood on automatically or this can be as easy as opening your kitchen window.
So… you need a hood but don’t like how they look. I get that. In some designs the hood becomes an integral part of the overall design, in fact a real feature of the kitchen. I tend to like to build in the hood into cabinetry using a hood insert that most manufacturers make in many sizes. Sometimes you just don’t wish to have another large stainless-steel appliance in your kitchen.
Here are a couple of solutions I’ve used that feel open and more streamlined than the a stainless steel hood.
The hood alcove
Using a hood insert hidden in cabinetry.
This is open feel and yet the enclosure with the tall cabinets minimizes cross breezes and with increasing the CFM of the hood fan this will work for most clients. Increasing the width of the hood area can also be a factor when increasing the overall height of the hood installation.
It almost disappears…
Another approach entirely is to use a flush ceiling hood as shown in kitchen above. This hood also features concealed LED lighting. It is activated by a small fob and it reaches 1,400 CFM.
Planning for ventilation can be complicated, where to vent and how to vent. Confirming you have the room for the right size ducting and allowing enough room for turns and not traveling too far before exiting the home.
There’s a lot more below the surface of a kitchen or bathroom design and remodel. We look forward to working with you on your next project. Feel free to contact us to discuss ventilation or other aspects of design and remodeling. 206-523-1123
Trends in home design can be expensive and time consuming. Unless you’re already planning on remodeling your home; you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to tear out and replace what you have with the current trending designs. A good place to start is to find the trends you like and are also cohesive with the current layout and design of your home; then find fixtures and products to incorporate. They don’t have to be big ticket items. The fixtures could easily be few smaller items that make for a huge impact.
One of the popular trends is marble. Everything from office supplies to back-splashes. There are a few ways you can incorporate this look into your home, some are large scale while others are simple additions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
This might be the most obvious way to add a little bit of the classic stone into the mix. The light color of the stone in large scale will definitely open up any small kitchen or bath.
Another option of brightening up your living space is adding an accent wall of marble. It’s a classic stone, but still has enough detail to add some visual interest on your walls.
Now if you don’t feel like covering up an entire wall, you can easily add some marble to your backsplash. There’s a bunch of interesting tiles available to choose from.
Coasters, Candles, Vases and Trays
A very simple and inexpensive way to incorporate the trend around the house. Just be careful not to overdo it in one room, try keeping it less than four marble-type decor (but also keep in mind the size of the room and your decor).
Much like the coasters and candles, this is a very inexpensive option. It’s a great way to add some interest to the walls. Try contrasting it among other frames or a clock with gold detailing and hands.
Perfect for adding marble in a larger scale, but without the permanence of a counter top or backsplash.
Tile is so much more than functional, it's fun, it adds interest and texture and pattern. This bathroom with it's sophisticated finishes is kept fresh with the addition of this concrete wave It's projection and shape just makes you want to touch it. The limestone tiles are also used on the entire wall and finishes the window jamb (seen in the mirror) instead of wood casing. There are some spaces that look terrific having the tile or stone fill the entire wall for a continuous element in the room.
This 1907 home felt as though it needed true craftsmen elements with the architecture of the home. These striking tiles were made right here in Georgetown. The floor is a basket wave pattern of Calacata marble and honed logos stone. The shower pan was also don in this basket weave (shown below). The ceiling of the shower matches the curb done in matching Calacuta marble tiles. The cabinetry is Rutt Regency, a khaki stain on mahogany with a glaze and then sanded back through on the edges to show some of the burgundy color of the wood. The top coat is a flat ten percent sheen. Pulls are from Sun Valley Hardware. The plumbing is Kallista Tuxedo with matte black reeded handles in a nickle silver finish. They are stunning.
The details make all the difference in the final look. The single frosted shitake tile color is clean enough to work well with a patterned floor. The shampoo niche has the added touch of a pencil trim mitered at the front edge all all sides. The floor is heated for those cold mornings. Tile adds character, texture, it can be elegant or just fun like the floor shown below . I haven't even touched on the prep work that goes into these beautiful rooms. Dry packed shower pans, water proofing and specialized grout that never needs sealing.
The small area shown below demonstrates how you can create a feature area in the kitchen. I had the mosaics made in this pattern and scale from Calacata marble, clear and grey glass. Each piece was cut with a water jet and pieced together to form the pattern. When you stand to the side you can actually see the full edge of the stone. Combined with the soap stone counter top and white Rutt Handcrafted cabinetry it was a beautiful project.
I hear this question all the time and this year I can answer yes. We don't just want new, we also want better right? You want style and performance. Lapitec does both and some pretty dramatic ways.
Why is this so different from stone or quartz? This is produced using natural minerals without any resins or petroleum products. This provides a material that's incredibly heat resistant, up to 2,500 degrees. Quartz on the other hand has quite a bit of resin and shouldn't have hot pans rested on it. Over 200 degrees or so you have reached the limit with quartz. It is simple to maintain and is resistant to: mold, bacterial, acid, solvent resistant, non-flammable and frost resistant. You can use it around fireplaces or out doors. It is insensitive to UV rays.
This product is one of many that you might consider. No one material is right for every project. Each is different, but this is a new option worth considering. We have samples in our office if you're curious to see what it looks and feels like.
Some of you are saying, "You've got to be kidding me". You're the ones with experience removing it or watching your parents trying to hang it. Trending now is a mix of colors, texture and finishes in all rooms, not just kitchens. The trick here is to get it right; not too much but enough texture and color that enhances your space with visual interest and depth.
I like raffia papers with a bit of sheen. These tend to have tones of color, not a flat color like paint would have. The honed Calacatta marble wall and grey stained ash shelf needed more texture than a paint would provide. The wallpaper is the transitional piece that wraps around and connects the other finishes and elements in the room.
I hope I've inspired some of you to consider adding a bit more color and texture in your next project.
I'll admit it, I grew up in Seattle: born and raised in a city that has rain and cool temperatures. Not this summer. It's hot and most of us don't have air conditioning. I do in the showroom so it's not a bad place to be. My California cousins would be laughing at me complaining about the 90+ degree temperatures but thankfully we have water.
I've been cooking away, trying to find that perfect cold dish or the ultimate gumbo to fit the heat. Actually I've been cooking from early childhood. I'd take the bus down to the Pike Place Market and buy my weight in fresh produce and delicacies from DeLaurenti's. I grew up eating fresh clams my father would dig and even the occasional geoduck. These geoduck's were tough to get and my mother had a special way of preparing them; part of this required a mallet. I can't not mention salmon either, on the grill or poached and served cold with a dill sauce. So good when it's hot out.
So, here's what we've been up to for the last few hot weeks.
I'd love to hear from you, what do you crave when it gets hot? What's your favorite dinner during the summer?
I attended a seminar last fall that brought together new ideas about kitchen design, from materials, layouts and integrated technology. Much of the discussion came from kitchen design shows in Italy and Germany. One of the concepts I found interesting was leaving out corners, just leaving space. This sounds odd and in reality this works if you have a large space I do see clients that are including another room into the existing kitchen area so this concept does have possibilities. In a future blog I'll have pictures of a project that has no inside corners and incorporates many of the themes of the European design shows.
Mixing textures and colors has already been popular and won't be fading anytime soon. Technology may seem like an extravagance in the kitchen but why if we have smart phones and sonic toothbrushes would integrating technology be a a stretch?. Enabling different ways cabinets open, the way a faucet works or lighting that comes on inside your cabinetry just makes life easier. Bringing the living space into the kitchen with causal seating and flexible movable pieces make socializing with the entire family much simpler.
If you have an interest in kitchen design trends for the future, I've included a video of the Eurocucina kitchen design show. It's really worth watching. I hope you enjoy and I'd love to get your feedback so please comment and share.
Here's to the future! Cheers.
I really like what this picture represents: great design and function.. The door style is the Prairie by Rutt Handcrafted cabinetry. It is calm, gently curved both outwardly and inward with small tiny details. The hardware was designed for this door, mortised in to be completely flush with the 1" thick door.
The LED lighting is side mounted, flush with the sides of the cabinet box so it illuminates everything stored in the furniture styled walnut roll out drawer boxes.
It's a simple storage solution we've all seen before but not really like this. When the doors are opened the lighting just appears and disappears just as easily. Furniture inside and out.
These pantry pull outs again show thoughtful design and function. Why does this matter? Today we can build cabinetry and furniture to organize everything from phone re-chargers, dishes to dog food. We are busy and we need to know where things are. If we can design beauty on the outside, why not on the inside. Most of us will live with design decisions for our living spaces longer than we own our next three cars. Imagine if we didn't consider all the details both inside and out.
I hope I've given you something to consider as you consider things you may not have thought much about. Look at your storage areas and pantry if you're lucky enough to have a dedicated room like this. Is it living up to all it needs to? How can those areas be a better resource for you?
To see the Prairie door or more Rutt displays visit our showroom; and here is a short video about the Rutt Prairie series