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kitchen design, challenge, architect-on-demand, advice-without-strings

Kitchen design is never formulaic. Every single time there’s a different answer to a question, “How do I put together appliances and cabinets in such a way that they form a whole, which is a pleasure to look at and work with?” It’s a challenge of meticulously planning something to feel effortless.

When it comes to kitchens, form and function go together. Although, there are many standard considerations, unique requirements are always present. I’ve written about the work triangle and the importance of creating coherence and balance, yet every new project calls for a brand new approach and a set of guidelines.

The kitchen I am designing now needs to be respectful of the existing country house with its particular language, details, character. Instead of introducing something sleek and minimal, as I’ve done for this client’s city apartment, I opt to embrace a lived-in rustic warmth of a charming Bridgehampton home that gets better with age and use.

Besides, my client loves to entertain; his entire house should have a casual, inviting feel, prime for get-togethers. The kitchen will set the tone.

Thus, the challenge of kitchen design is to create a traditional space that morphs into a fresh, untraditional congregation spot.

I have a working layout. It’s time to explore cabinetry options that evoke old-world European style. I think of Martha Stewart kitchen cabinets available exclusively at The Home Depot. As such, I make an appointment with a kitchen designer at my local store, Michael Bowers. I’ve worked with him before, he is really helpful, knowledgeable, and thorough! And I do appreciate someone who pays attention to details.

kitchen design, challenge

We look at various door styles and colors first. I gravitate toward a “slender framing detail” of Overbrook design finished in Feather Gray (see cover image). We sit at Michael’s desk for 3 hours! Seriously. But we get it done. It’s a fun process for me, because it fosters subtle fine-tuning and further customization. With Michael’s help the design comes together — I might as well pick the material for the countertops. There are a few options; my favorite is Charcoal Soapstone Suede by Silestone.

kitchen design, challenge

Michael provides me with an estimate for both the cabinets (not installed) and countertops (installed). Next step is to do some comparison-shopping. There’s an excellent kitchen showroom called Absolute Appliances located near me. They are an authorized dealer for Omega Cabinetry. In addition, I’ve emailed a company called Plain English Design (they have just opened a store in New York) to get their take on the kitchen. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


  • Irina Zheveleva
    June 1, 2018

    Alla, I love my kitchen so much. You did such an amazing job with planning, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, every single detail was thought through. Honestly, I can’t even imagine, that somebody can have kitchen more beautiful than mine 🙂

  • Mia S Kazovsky
    June 6, 2018

    I cannot wait to see how the kitchen turns out. I know it will be gorgeous. It’s great to hear how experts at The Home Depot can meet your enthusiasm about a project, and dedicate their time to helping you make your projects happen. I’m sure this goes for all DIYers alike, not only bi-coastally licensed architects!

    • Alla DIY Ally
      June 11, 2018

      The Home Depot is REALLY good that way! Thank you very much for reading, Mia!

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