17 May 2016
Designer: John & Lynn Hammerschmidt/Photo by Charlie Gibson
Even if you don’t have room for an office, a small dedicated space in your kitchen can serve as your family’s “Command Center.” It can serve as a writing desk, high-tech hub, homework zone and first aid station. It creates the ultimate multi-tasking space! Pay bills, sort mail, schedule appointments, and shop online all while your dinner in simmering. Here are a few options if you are considering incorporating an office area into your kitchen:
Stand-Up Station Designer: David Raymond/Photo: Laura Moss
For folks on the run, a stand-up message center, armoire-like may be the answer. No space required for sitting and the extra bookshelves makes good use of space. With a corkboard backsplash and open bookshelves recessed on all three sides, provides immediate access to binders, calendars, and everything one might need to get out door in the morning.
The Convertible Photo: Shenandoah Cabinetry
Requiring a little more space, is this desk situated at the end of a long countertop. Close to the action but out of the working triangle, the beauty of this layout is that it can also be used as a buffet, or to prep food or roll out a pie crust, by just stowing the office supplies in the drawers. The counter top is high enough to function as a standard kitchen counter, or a counter-height stool can be used for seated tasks.
Mighty Movable Desk
To add an office area to an existing kitchen, a mobile desk is a good way to experiment. It can also transform into an impromptu bar or buffet for entertaining!
Looking for more kitchen office ideas? Homedit Interior Design & Architecture’s article, 20 Clever Ideas To Design A Functional Office In Your Kitchen, will convince you that an empty wall, small table, and a comfortable chair are all you need to incorporate an office into your kitchen.
* To coordinate the style, you can use the same table legs used at the nearby island.
* Designers generally recommend a desk height of 28 to 30 inches and a knee-hole depth of 25 inches.
* A desk “backsplash” made of custom corkboard, chalkboard or dry-erase board keep communication organized. Visit Pinterest for unique bulletin boards creations.
Kitchen Office Organization
Specializing in storage and organization solutions
The Container Store features elfa storage and organization systems which function beautifully in the kitchen!
From Meredith@unOriginalMom Creating a Command Center that Works for Your Family
01 Mar 2016
Talk about an explosion for the senses… With over 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space to cover and over 500 vendor displays, Suzette attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry show to compare new products, get answers straight from the manufacturers, and hear about advances in technology and sustainability in the kitchen and bath industry.
Below you will find just a few of the products our designer wants to share with you.
The Gridscape from Coastal Shower Doors is a multifunctional door that is on the forefront of bathroom trends. This sleek window pane configuration can be ordered as a stand-alone panel, room divider or as a bypass shower door.
All Gridscape divided-light shower doors are available with a choice of three glass types: clear, satin, and smoke grey. The clear glass option combined with the black anodized finish is perfect for those wanting an industrial-modern factory windowpane look; alternatively, the satin frosted glass provides the feel of a Japanese shoji door, and the smoke grey glass contrasted with a chrome metal finish is ideal for those seeking sleek and modern vibe. One key to the success of the design is the versatility. It can be intermixed with an endless number of tastes and styles ranging from industrial modern/steampunk to rustic shabby chic.
Grand View Entries
www.gventries.com Grand View Entries products are unique. GVE is the first patio door manufacturer in the USA to offer both, “custom-sized” shades between the glass and blinds between the glass as a viable option to traditional patio door blinds or shade systems.
Here is a quick summary of the benefits of one of GVE premier products, Café Shades Between the Glass
- A better view! GVE Café Shades are engineered to “raise”from the “bottom-up” and not “lowered” from the “top-down” as most all blinds between the glass systems are designed. GVE Café Shades when lowered will not obstruct view, and allow you to fully take advantage.
- Control. Whether it’s your office, your classroom, your business, you should have control of your domain. With GVE, you control the amount of light, vista, privacy and security to each room.
- Ambiance. GVE Café Shades provide for a softer, warmer, more elegant “feel”. GVE patented Café Shades are made of a pleated fabric and are not your typical aluminum louvers.
- Affordability. When compared to average quality window/door coverings, your cost will be lower.
- >Better Functionality for all types of door systems. Are you thinking about opening up that wall and putting in a large accordion type folding or bi-folding door system? Perhaps a multi-slide pocket door? A new set of French Doors? These multi-panel door systems are large and typically are designed to go floor to ceiling. But what to do about door coverings? GVE has the solution.
- Safety. it is a well known fact that child safety and cords from blind systems has been at the fore-front of consumer safety for years. There is no need to take chances. GVE Café Shades between the glass system is a child-proof system, in the sense that there is no danger of entanglement. If you are a pet lover, the same can be said about protecting your fury friend.
- The Health of your family So lets see, the shades are “in between the glass”? YES! That means they never need cleaning. No dust. No Allergens.
GVE also offers Blinds Between the Glass as well. These have the same benefits as the Café Blinds but they tilt, raise & lower blind operators provide you the maximum ability completely control your light, your view and you privacy by allowing “Tilting” of the louvers while the blinds are in full or partially suspended position.
While KBIS was full of such functional items as hardware, cabinets and sinks, there were also some grownup toys.
Warning: if you are trying to “disconnect” skip this section!
“Mirror, Mirror on the wall…”
Now your mirror can actually talk back to you! Take a look-see at MirrorVue – A mirror with a built-in TV. MirrorVue is a fully waterproof LED TV. Made to order in almost every size and shape with a large selection of beautiful frames to match any décor. Can you image the TV completely vanishes when the TV is turned off. No need to have bulky TV’s hanging and taking up space.
An extraordinary showpiece from Miele
The DA 7000 D Aura island Rangehood combines sleek, stylish elliptical design suspended by four virtually invisible wires, with the ultimate in recirculation technology, ideal for kitchens where ducting is challenging.
offers innovative products, a relentless commitment to quality and a broad range of exquisite surface coverings at an affordable price. At Pera Tile, they “believe in spaces with a soul and a story”. With over 600 SKU’s in their product line, from classical to ultra-modern, it will be pretty easy to find a Pera Tile product that will tell your story. Click here to view Pera Tile Inspiration Gallery. The local rep for this product is Tile Fantastic www.tilefantastic.com 2910 S. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA.
is now the European leader in reconstituted decorative stones. MODULO offers a comprehensive range of manufactured stone veneer products and accessories for historical and modern walls, in line with the main decorative trends. MODULO offers a wide range of products that are easy to use and suits all budgets. The result is sure to add value to your home.
With consumers wanting easier and faster solutions, Modulo’s Easy Fix is the answer: a stone veneer that can be installed without grout or glue.
Check out Modulo’s online catalog and you will be amazed at the indoor and outdoor applications available.
Design Milk’s Best of KBIS 2016
Design Milk rounds up editor favorites from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2016: includes Wilsonart (antimicrobial & durable laminate surfaces), Bosch (new small space appliances), Brizo( gorgeous new bath hardware) Wellborn Cabinet (cabinetry that is adjustable!) and Ann Sacks tile(serious eye candy.
Modenus BlogTour KBIS 2016
(KBIS on Pinterest)
If you’re looking to see the most cutting edge design techniques from Design & Construction Week in a real-world application, our friends at @IBSVegas have the ticket: The New American Home® is back for 2016! You can tour the 33rd home in the TNAH series, a 5,050 sq. ft. design wonder.
2016 KBIS Bath Trends
Go behind the scenes with The Editor at Large TV as they spoke with experts at this year’s show about how durable, innovative new technologies and products are emerging for bath design. Check out the footage here:
2016 KBIS Kitchen Trends
Walking through this year’s show, certain trends for the future of kitchen design in 2016 were clear. The Editor at Large TV spoke to some of our industry’s leading designers to find out how kitchen design will shape how we live going forward. Watch here:
01 Feb 2016
The term “Aging in place” refers to the preference of most adults that they remain in their home of choice as long as possible. In fact, 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age. Many considerations regarding aging in place, such as health and wellness, general assistance, and transportation are outside the realm of remodeling. This article focuses on home improvements and remodeling that facilitate the ability to stay in one’s home and provide resources.
As we age, our bodies and capabilities change. Examples of changes you might experience are:
- Reduced vision and hearing
- Decreased muscle strength or endurance
- Reduced mental processing capabilities
- Increased risk of falls due to balance
- Increased risk of illness
- Decreased mobility
Some or all of these changes happen to most everyone. Knowing that this is the case and choosing to have a plan to allow you to stay in your home means you will have a greater chance to control your quality of life and independence. Planning also presents you with an opportunity to lessen the burden on your family by outlining how and where your needs are met as well as, lessening the need for emergency assistance from community resources.
When we’re vibrant and independent, we rarely give consideration to aging-in-place concerns. However, it’s best to make changes in advance rather than when there is a crisis. Many of these ideas could benefit everyone, not just the elderly, but they become increasingly important, as we age. Here are three areas to consider as a starting point for aging in place changes to your home: Decluttering, Accessibility and Safety.
The first step in facilitating aging in place improvements in your home is decluttering. Decluttering will allow you to assess how much space you really need if you are considering downsizing to a smaller home or retirement community.
AARP’s HomeFit Guide offers advice on how to prepare a home for aging in place and reminds us that decluttering and organizing your belongings while you are young enough to tackle the job allows you to:
- Access what you want easily.
- Enjoy memories stored in mementos, photos, letters, videos and other treasures.
- Reorganize possessions for safe reach.
- Maneuver more easily through the home in case you become disabled.
Once you have tackled decluttering your home, look for ways to organize your items to make them accessible. To make things easy to reach, you’ll want storage that’s not too high and not too close to the floor. If you’re able to remodel your kitchen, the AARP suggests that you hang your upper cabinets 12 to 15 inches above the countertop instead of the normal 18 inches and place your lower cabinets six inches above the floor.
You could also install Pull Down Shelving in existing upper cabinets. For lower cabinets, adding rollout shelves (or replacing the cabinets with drawers) can make things much more accessible. Anne-Marie Brunet at Next Avenue provides numerous examples of how lower cabinets can be replaced or redesigned.
When it comes to the clothes closets, storage solutions that get the shoes off the floor are generally a good idea since bending becomes harder with age. Pull-down closet rods can make clothes easier to reach in closets where the rods are fairly high. Most people will be satisfied with far simpler solutions, but it’s still interesting to see the innovative storage products that are available to keep things within easy reach.
Safety and Lighting
There are many risks for injury to older adults in the household that impact their ability to successfully age in place. Among the greatest threats is falling. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injuries leading to death among older adults. Common features in an everyday household, such as a lack of support in the shower or bathroom, inadequate railings on the stairs, loose throw rugs, and obstructed pathways, and poor lighting are all possible dangers to an older person.
Additional railings, grab bars, a hand-held shower head, walk-in bathtubs, curb-less showers with seats, nonskid flooring, removal of throw rugs and clutter, and increased lighting with accessible 3-way switches are all improvements that will create a safer environment.
Seniors need two to three times as much light to see as well as younger people. Low lighting may contribute to slips, trips and falls by lowering visibility of hazards such as unexpected steps or sudden changes in floor surfaces. Ways to increase light in the home include:
- Consider toe-kick lighting in the bathroom or kitchen to provide visual cuing and an additional reference point for judging distance or depth when entering a space or approaching objects.
- Add a skylights or solar tubes in dim hallways or dark rooms.
- For nightlights, SnapPower makes an outlet cover with a built- in night light.
For more lighting recommendations, check out Lamps Plus 25 Lighting Tips for Seniors.
Decluttering and Organizing
StorageMotion Inc. is a company that is dedicated to creating all types of products that improve closet and home design and dramatically increase the amount of useable space. Their products are automatic and power-assisted so that anyone can use them.
Whether you have thirty seconds, one minute, five minutes, or fifteen minutes, this organizing daily devotional offers tips, checklists, weekend projects, quizzes, and encouragement that will help you find the time, motivation, and permission to let go of sentimental clutter, set up storage solutions, and establish routines that make sense for your life.
National Association of Home Builders
We are fortunate to have several quality senior programs in the Bay Area, including Avenidas Village.
Avenidas supports seniors in various aspects of senior living. Last year, as an approved contractor, Hammerschmidt Construction was invited to participate at their vendor fair. It was at this fair that we found a comprehensive check-list of Home Safety Recommendations for Aging-in-Place, complements of Nancy Goldcamp from Coldwell Banker.
Did you know that seniors and the homebound residing on the Peninsula and in the South Bay may request free assistance with household tasks through REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP)?
2016 RSVP week will be in May. (Look for more info in the Los Altos Town Crier next month)
RSVP 2015 sample BROCHURE
Senior Helpers is an in-home care-giving franchise that recently moved to Los Altos. They offer personal care and companion services.
01 Jan 2016
For the first time, Pantone the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems for the selection and communication of color across industries, has chosen a pair of baby-hued pastels as the Color of the Year — Rose Quartz (a kind of mineral pink) and Serenity (a light blue).
The team at Pantone see this as “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”
We need all the help we can get. It’s a good thing that Leatrice Eiseman is looking out for all of us. Who is Ms. Eiseman? For the last 30 years, she has been the Executive Director at the Pantone Color Institute. Lee is widely quoted and is recognized by Fortune Magazine and the Wall Street Journal as one of the most influential people in the world of color.
“We wanted compassion, which today a lot of people are looking for,” Ms. Eiseman says. Pantone’s news release describes the colors as “inducing feelings of stability, constancy, comfort and relaxation,” and argues that they “create balance in a chaotic world.”
Rose Quartz and Serenity Color Pairings
Whether in soft or hard surface materials, the pairing of Rose Quartz and Serenity brings calm and relaxation. Appealing in all finishes, matte, metallic, and glossy, the engaging combo joins easily with other mid-tones including greens and purples, rich browns, and all shades of yellow and pink. Add in silver or hot brights for more splash and sparkle. View Pantone’s website to learn more.
Below are 10 home furnishings to match Patone’s latest selections. Do they invoke a sense of tranquility and inner peace?
- Ambit Pendant Lamp by TAF Architects for Muuto
- Aalto Vase by Alvar Aalto from Iittala
- Denim Cushion from BoConcept
- Askew Vase from CB2
- Nairutya – Citron Pillow from Eskayel
- SMEG Toaster
- Ruché Chair by Inga Sempé for Ligne Roset
- Tallow Candle by Ontwerpduo
- Pivot No 1 Shelf from Hay
- Hai Chair Razzle Dazzle by Luca Nichetto for Hem
Leatrice Eiseman is the author of several books. Below are 2 of her 9 books on color.
KitchenAid’s stand mixer in Guava Glaze.
Check out this Diebenkorn piece that incorporates flashes of both colors. At ART.com you will find how to accent with these colors and to find art that incorporates both shades.
01 Dec 2015
Next time you’re in a spectacular space, maybe visiting a stylish friend’s home or a beautifully designed restaurant, take a moment to notice the lighting. Chances are the furnishings, color palette, or artwork will grab your attention before the lighting. But, without a well–planned and well-executed lighting scheme, none of those design features would shine.
Particularly in the kitchen, as we have moved towards redesigning the kitchen and dining area into one great room, there is a bigger area and more objects to highlight. A well-lit kitchen begins with under cabinet lighting. With relative ease and a modest monetary investment, under cabinet lighting can have an amazing impact on a room’s style and functionality:
- It provides task lighting on the countertop for food prep and reading recipes.
- As accent lighting, it illuminates and showcases countertops and backsplashes. Used in display cabinets, it showcases art and sculpture.
- It is an ideal source of ambient lighting –the perfect night light for late night snackers.
Photos: Curtesy of www.yaleappliance.com
Under Cabinet Light Comparison
|Halogen||CFL (Florescent)||LED (Light-emitting diode)|
|Average Price: $1.50||Average Price: $3.00||Average price: $20.00 +|
|Lifespan: 2,250–3,500 hrs.||Lifespan: 8,000 hrs.||Lifespan: 25,000-50,000 hrs.|
|Energy Used: 30 - 75 watts per hour||Energy Used: 13 - 15 watts per hour||Energy used: 8 watts per hour|
|Pros: Inexpensive; produces crisp, white light.||Pros: Uses less power and last longer than incandescent||Pros: Energy efficient long life, low heat output.|
|Cons: Produce significant amounts of heat; can be dangerous in some applications.||Cons: Contain mercury; takes time to fully brighten.|
Most CFL bulbs sold today are non-dimmable
|Cons: Higher up-front cost; not all LED lamps are dimmable.|
While fluorescent and halogen lighting are still being used, LED strip lights and LED tape or ribbon lights are leading in popularity because of their versatility and ease of installation. LED strip lights have a transformer built into a metal casing with covered glass. It is simple to change out an existing incandescent or fluorescent light, because the connections are the same. And, since they have a glass cover, they are easy to clean. LED tape lights come as an adhesive strip that can be shaped and even cut-to-size to tuck neatly beneath your cabinets.
Look for damp location-rated designs for an added measure of safety in the kitchen or dimmable and multi-color designs to add an ambient touch to any room. Long-lasting and using as little as 24 watts, these energy-efficient designs offer an inexpensive way to brighten your space. For a full report and to get the low-down on high efficiency LED lighting view Houzz’s article Focus on High Efficiency LED Lighting.