Color Concept Display – Hot Colors for 2014

Back in the spring, Peter from Hollywood Sierra Kitchens and I started working on a project for one of the cabinetry lines we represented called Quality Custom Cabinetry (QCCI). They asked for our help to design a concept display based on the Color Marketing Group’s forecasted “hot” colors for 2014. I got started right away looking on Pinterest for inspiring rooms in the color palette we were given, see that board here.

Out of the 20 or so colors we chose four main colors for the display, a bright teal blue, a medium gray, a light seafoam green/gray and a warm medium brown/taupe. The theme is “California Cool,” which incorporates “beachy” neutrals that represent the local aesthetic. We chose to showcase a best selling door style called the “sonoma” in a new way by changing the door proportions, selecting contrasting molding colors, door panel materials and installing the hardware in a unique way to create a fresh contemporary look.

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We selected decorative large scale tiles to be hung as artwork, which allowed us to incorporate more of the colors as accents. The Knoll “sway” wallcovering we selected for the walls under the chair rail molding also incorporates more of the colors and gives the space a strong horizontal element that represents the horizon line that you’d see at the ocean. To continue the ocean visual we chose a gray porcelain tile from Porcelanosa that has a wave relief texture.

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Here’s how it turned out!


The main color pop is the teal island cabinetry which incorporates glass fronted cabinets, LED lighting, metal capped feet and an oiled finish woodtop.


The color of the woodtop brought in the warm medium brown/taupe color as well as the chair rail and base molding on the walls. The countertop material on the cooktop table is a recycled glass composite that ties in with the “contemporary/beachy” theme.


The cooktop cabinetry is the medium gray color with contrasting molding on the drawer fronts in the same teal as the island. The center panel is a Knoll wallcovering with a woven metallic gray texture. The linear square edged hardware was installed across the panel to create a new modern aesthetic. The posts on the side create a console or table look while showcasing beautiful cookware like these pieces from Le Creuset.


Here is a detail of the Knoll “asterisk” wallcovering in the flat panel of the drawer front. Quality Custom Cabinetry is excellent at construction and finish details as evident here.


The tall cabinet was built into the wall so it only appeared 12″ deep but houses a Thermador microwave drawer. Lighting was not only incorporated at the top but also below the cabinet to accentuate the legs and the open look. The wallcovering above the chair rail is also from Knoll and is a softer less textured version of the “asterisk” called “alias”.


The hinges on the top doors open out to reveal the micro drawer and a contrasting gray stained interior that resembles driftwood. This detail coordinates with the theme and showcases another one of Quality’s gray finishes. These door panels are sized similarly to the cooktop base but are oriented vertically instead of horizontally for a cohesive look between the furniture pieces. The cabinetry is the a neutral light gray to quietly tie the colors together. The contrasting molding is the same medium gray as the cooktop base and the flat panel is glass painted the light seafoam/gray color.


These are the left over colors that we couldn’t incorporate (they are still hot 😉 ) What do you think? Which of the hot colors are your favorite?

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Ventilation Tips

A few weeks ago I attended my first Washington/Baltimore National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Chapter meeting since moving to the area. The speaker was from BEST Range Hoods, who inspired me to share a few simple yet important tips on proper ventilation in the Kitchen. Here goes!

duoDuo hood by Zephyr, one of my favorites since you can add a piece of wood for a stacked look that ties in with your cabinetry and finishes.

IMPORTANCE – Ventilation systems keep grease off your cabinets and countertops and out of your home. They also remove smells, moisture, smoke, dust, bacteria and heat. They replenish oxygen, remove carbon dioxide and improve indoor air circulation.

WIDTH – Use a hood that is at least as wide as the cooktop, I like to oversize it 6″ to 12″ to make it more functional and give the area more visual importance.

DEPTH – The hood should be deep enough to completely cover the rear burners and half of the front burners. I usually specify 21″ or 22″ for custom hoods, standard pro style hoods depths are 22″ to 27″.

This is a custom hood I helped to design in the front of the Hollywood Sierra Kitchens showroom in West Hollywood (where I used to work before the big move). This hood is 48″ wide, over-sized 12″ from the 36″ Miele induction cooktop. It is 21″ deep, made of brushed stainless steel with polished straps.


ISLAND HOODS – Should be over-sized 3″ on all sides of the cooking surface.

DUCTING – Always duct the hood to the outdoors with an internal or external blower. Allow for proper make-up air to eliminate backdrafting. Round ducts are more effective than rectangular ducts.

CFM – Stands for “cubic feet per minute” a unit of measuring air flow. To calculate how many you need for your hood, divide the number of BTUs of your cooking surface by 100. If you have a griddle or grill with your range add 200 CFM’s to the total. For example, this 6 burner Wolf dual fuel range that many of my clients use has 84,200 BTUs, that divided by 100 is 842. So you would need to use a 900CFM ventilation hood with that range.

DOWNDRAFTS – Avoid them when possible, since they are located behind the back burners where many don’t cook. They also aren’t very powerful or effective since heat rises.

MICRO HOODS – Since these aren’t ducted they should be avoided. (Plus they are usually loud and ugly)

TECHNOLOGY – Hoods are “smart” and getting smarter. Certain hoods by BEST have a setting where they turn themselves on automatically when needed and also have a light that tells you when to change the filter and how well it’s working.


This is the Cirrus hood from the Sorpresa collection by BEST, it’s installed in the ceiling so it’s intended for installations like this with the cooking surface on an island or peninsula. Since it’s installed in the ceiling or in a soffit area it doesn’t obstruct the view, whether that’s into your Family Room or onto a lovely ocean view like this.

*Photo from Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry and BEST

Here’s a Youtube video of the Cirrus hood in action installed in an 8ft ceiling.

Horizontal Shower


Last week I got to check out an innovation in shower design, the new horizontal shower by Dornbracht. It features six shower heads that are installed equidistant in a lowered soffit. The soffit is parallel above a bench that creates a bed for the user. The six heads each release 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which is a standard volume although you usually have one head and not six. The unit has a keypad that controls the volume, temperature and “scenarios.” The scenarios are three different setting options that provide a unique multi-temperature and pressure experience for the user. There’s “balancing,” which is similar water pressures and warm temperatures, “energizing,” which is a mix of hot and cold and “de-stressing,” which is mostly hot. The mix of temperature and pressure in the six shower heads all working together is touted for its hydrotherapy benefits.

This particular installation I saw at Snyder Diamond’s Santa Monica showroom includes a large rainforest shower head and a hand shower. The L- shaped marble bench and floor are heated for added comfort. The large rainforest shower head offers the user the option of a standard “vertical” shower as well. It releases 12 gallons of water per minute, so this is definitely not a water conserving fixture. Watching the model lather up, I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to shower in that position but I’m sure it’s extremely relaxing to be able to lay on the heated bench and have all those shower heads going. This shower installation could offer the disabled better useability since it not only includes a bench and hand shower, but a larger space to sit or lay on and closer access to an overhead shower head. However the price tag on these units is rather high, so it’s not a unit most could afford.


Here I am with the guys who made this possible: Russ (top right) owner of Snyder Diamond; Jim, (left) the plumber; and Larry, (right) the contractor. Jim went to the Dornbracht headquarters in Atlanta to learn how to install this shower, he is currently one of very few that know how to install such a detailed system.


What do you think about the horizontal shower? Would you want one in your home?

*Top photo by Dornbracht*


KBIS 2013 Trends



I was so lucky to be able to attend this year’s KBIS show as one of the “30 Under 30.” Above is a picture of me with a few of the others chosen, I’m right under the nostril of the joker 😉 One of our responsibilities in being chosen was to collaborate with 9 others and create a 30 minute presentation at the show’s center stage on Sunday. My group presented on “Kitchens and Bath Innovations and Trends.” Working in a group can be difficult with so many different personalities and strengths but I really enjoyed walking the show with a few of the members of my group that also worked at or owned Kitchen and Bath showrooms similar to HSK. I was able to get their take on industry trends and we could compare notes on how design trends vary regionally. Here are some highlights from the trend spotting portion of our presentation.

Products like this passage door set from Keeler allow you to lock and unlock your exterior doors remotely with your smartphone. We saw that touch faucets are becoming more common in residential use not just in commercial applications. This technology is in line with universal design principals (designing for people of any age and ability) and is a good product option for the aging baby boomer.


Besides bidet type cleaning features, the latest TOTO Neorest toilet is made of a material that in conjunction with special integrated lighting actually does a type of self-cleaning.

IMG_4844Calacatta and Carrara marble are so popular right now in kitchens and baths. Both materials are beautiful but neither one is stain-resistant, non-porous or easy to care for long-term. The new Caesarstone colors, “Frosty Carrina” and “London Grey” made of a Quartz composite offer a solution. The have the organic veining and coloring of real marble but without the maintenance issues.



At the Caesarstone booth two of my new friends from my 30 Under 30 Team (Courtney Foster of Atlanta and Ashley Avery of Chicago) and I had the pleasure of chatting with the famed Kitchen Designer, Mick de Giulio. His book, “Kitchen Centric” is a fantastic design book full of inspirational Kitchens. I had the pleasure of attending the Subzero Wolf Westye F. Bakke Center in Wisconsin a few years back for product training and I got to experience a few working Mick de Giulio Kitchens. Below is the one of their demonstration kitchens designed by Mick, that I got to cook in. This picture really doesn’t do it justice, it was gorgeous in person with the over-sized stainless steel hood statement and calming contrast of the natural limestone and dark stained wood. The back-splash featured sliding slab panels which are one of my favorite design elements that I see him do over and over. It’s so slick looking while still being functional, I can’t wait to incorporate one in one of my designs.

swBack to trends, my group members and I noticed a lot of faceted details at the show, in hardware, bathroom sinks, lighting and faucets. Below is a new faucet by Perrin & Rowe and some decorative knobs by Richelieu.



Kallista also had some nice faceted designs like an octagonal sink and a circular sconce. Below are a few other faceted hardware options from Richelieu. I can’t wait to use these on a project, they are so unique.



The 30 Under 30 group became rather close over the course of the 4 days we were at the show together. We even made it out to Bourbon street together 😉 Great times!

IMG_4917Did you go to KBIS too? What were your favorite trends?

30 Under 30, NOLA Here I come


Tonight I will be leaving for New Orleans to participate in the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show or “KBIS” put on by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. In February I was very honored and excited to be chosen by the “NKBA” as one of the “30 under 30” – Exceptional Young Professionals in the Industry.” Here are the bios of the other 29 winners.

This will be my first time to New Orleans, so I am very excited! I’m anxious to meet the other 29 participants and to take in the sights and delicious Cajun food. After we all meet for the first time Thursday we’ll split into three groups and will spend our time at the show doing research for group multimedia presentations that we will be giving Sunday morning at center stage. I will be in a group that will spend our time at the show focused on finding and identifying new “Kitchen and Bath Innovations and Trends”. The other two teams will be forecasting the “Showroom of the Future” and the “Next Generation of Universal Design”. I have been to the KBIS show three times before; twice in Chicago, 7 years ago and 3 years ago and once in Las Vegas two years ago. With the introduction of the 30 under 30 program this year, it’s sure to be memorable. Stay tuned for our findings..

Hopefully I’ll get to meet some of these fabulous bloggers that will be there as well for the Modenus Blog Tour. I’ve been told to check out Antoine’s, Galitoire’s, Acme Oyster House, Bon Temps and Cafe Du Monde. Any other suggestions?! Thanks 🙂

*photo courtesy of NKBA

New Concept Door Styles


Today my protege Christina and I went down to Orange County for the Crystal Cabinet Works dealer training. We saw a lot of really cool new concept door styles that I wanted to share. Concept doors are new product offerings as well as sometimes “out there” looks to open your mind to the manufacturer’s capabilities.

This one is a modified take on a traditional raised panel door with pilasters meant to look like the London Bridge. The carved metal valance is actually wood made by Enkeboll.


This door is a rift cut oak door with four frame only panels in a black stain with contrasting red stained edging. It’s a mix of the classic Asian colors of red and black with a modern/contemporary edge from the glass panels.


This door was my favorite, I loved the colors and the graphic mullion design. You’d have to do this door in a small space like a Butler’s Pantry or Bar where you don’t have too many cabinets in a row since when you put them together they create a circle shape that could get pretty chaotic in a whole Kitchen.


This is a 5 piece door style with a beveled molding detail and a sky blue glass center panel. I like the idea of mixing colored glass in with a wood door. Although like the “Bubbles” door, I think this design is best utilized with just a few wall cabinet doors or full height base doors so it doesn’t get too busy.


This door was actually 3 dimensional and was inspired by Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street Building in New York. This design is very sculptural and probably not extremely functional since the door design itself is so deep. However if you have two base cabinets together and the curve design was going in opposite directions to make a v-shape for a tv console or island furniture piece I think it would be pretty cool.


This door was my uncle Peter’s favorite. I really like it as well, it was made from actual reclaimed wood from a barn! I can really see this look working for our clients in Malibu and Palos Verdes that like a driftwood style, rustic look. The blue paint on the door was also a very soft contrast with the gray of the oak. I asked the manufacturer what would happen if we actually sold a Kitchen of this, would they have to go looking around the factory in Minnesota for an old barn to tear down? They couldn’t really tell me so stay tuned if we ever have a client that wants this door.


This one was our rep Steve’s favorite, he had a heavy hand in coming up with these concepts (what a fun job!). I like the two tone stain and the geometric/organic simplicity of the leaf mullion design. It is a mix of Contemporary and Craftsman styling to me.


“Beams” is a Shaker style knotty pine door with a raised batten molding that creates an Asian meets Craftsman styling. Steve said he was inspired to create this style when he was up in Mammoth Lakes for the first time in the fall. Seeing this made me miss having Mammoth jobs to work on! I love the Mountain esthetic and miss the opportunity to do something so different and rustic like this.


This door is unique but not necessarily something our clients usually have an interest in. Maybe if we had more clients in the beautiful Pasadena craftsman style homes we could use this door. It would probably look totally different in a high gloss black or dark brown stain. Possibility more Asian or contemporary.


Here are a few close ups of the “bubbles” door, I love the crispness of the small mitered frame edges. The background wood is an engineered veneer, which is made of little pieces of wood glued together to make a “wood sandwich,” this also gives it the linear quality.


Here are some close-ups of the “Barn door,” I love the subtly of the paint wearing off and the nail holes.


Which one is your favorite?

Westweek Fun


My protege Christina, my dear friend Raul and I went to the Pacific Design Center last Tuesday night for the start of the annual Westweek festivities. New this year is designLAb, not exactly part of Westweek but an art show put on by the collection of art galleries which were formerly vacant spaces on the second floor of the blue building. A new show is being putting put on every two months, so far the first one was January 17th and the next one is May 16th. Raul and I enjoyed the first show so much we decided we had to go again. Once again we had a great time, there was a wonderful variety of art from painting to sculpture, video art, mixed media, textiles, prints, you name it. Very impressive work for a free show! Here are some images Raul took of the work.

3D Videos by Young Projects, yes the glasses were a fun accessory!

Young Projects


Beautiful intricate sculptures made with rope and plastic.


LEFT: SCREENPLAY by Oyler Wu Collaborative

RIGHT: Swerve by Caroline Cox

The paintings of natural stone materials were so realistic and beautifully composed. Unfortunately I didn’t remember the artist’s name on these pieces.


Next was the Westweek Kick-off party hosted by Architectural Digest at Michael S Smith’s beautiful showroom, Jasper, which is named after his dog. Michael has many designs books which I love especially, “Kitchens and Baths.” His showroom is filled with so many wonderful things but my favorite is probably the lighting.



Lighting and the strawberry cocktails 😉


We also managed to run into a very lovely textile designer, D. Bryant Archie and her husband who were in town from Brooklyn, NY. Her beautiful line of handwoven alpaca pillows and blankets are now being sold at Jasper. She told us how she found artisans in Peru to create these textiles and since Raul is from Peru they had a lot to talk about. Here are some items from her lovely (and very soft) line.


What a fun night! Thanks Raul for the photos, xo.