My old life ............

and why I chose to work with a kitchen designer.

Before the idea of Miss Eff was hatched from this farm ... my life was very different.

I wore skirts and dresses and high heels and stockings.  I knew the layout of the Merchandise Mart.... where to get the best coffee .... where to find the perfect pillow .... on my occasional trips to Chicago to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in the interior design business.

You see ....... before I lived in blue jeans and faded t-shirts ..... before I sloshed through mud to gather eggs .... before my hands were dirty from digging in the garden........... I worked in interior design.

I was obsessed with design!

House Beautiful .... House and Garden .... Architectural Digest .... I read them all!

I loved Laura Ashley .... Mario Buatto ... Bunny Williams and my favorite, Mark Hampton.

I started my design career young when I won an Ethan Allen Young Decorator contest.  I then, worked at Ethan Allen, designed custom draperies for JCP, sold floor coverings for a decade, and finally, I designed kitchens for 4 years.

From 1973 to 2000 ..... I almost always had my hand in some form of interior design.

I may not have known all the answers but I had the sources and knowledge to know where to find them.  And trust me .... most of that was before Al Gore invented the internet (wink! wink!) so you really did have to know where to find the answers!!!!

So ..... when we decided to re-do the kitchen (See, Honey!!!!  I included you in the decision making process!)  I started out with tear sheets and my virtual boards from Houzz and Pinterest.

I decided the look I wanted .... the colors I wanted .... the feel and the budget.  I decided what I needed for storage ...... and what I wanted for fun.

I measured  .... and measured.  I did layouts and perspectives ..... they were rough but I drew one and tossed it away ... only to draw another that I liked better.  And another and another.

I know that balance is important to me ..... I know pretty and practical are also important.  But most of all, my kitchen needs to function well.  Whether I am teaching a class in my kitchen or four of us are canning tomatoes, it needs to work well without running into each other or duplicating steps.

So I called Rachel, Carrie and Gale at CR Cabinetry to help me.

I could have downloaded a program ... and walked into a big box store and said, This is what I want.  

But it is tooooooo easy to get this problem.

First of all, I want to apologize to the owner of this kitchen.  I think this was an existing builder oak kitchen that she painted beautifully to create lovely space.  So I do apologize for pointing out the issue.

Do you see it?  Can you pin point the problem? 

The moment I saw it .... it stuck out like a sore thumb.

I'm sure you see that one drawer does not have a bin pull.

But why???? 

Because you would not be able to open the dishwasher if it did.  The handle of the dishwasher would not pass the bin pull.  Of course, there still is the problem that the drawer will not open without the dishwasher door being open.


Simple mistake of not installing a filler to the left of the cabinet.  One three inch filler would have eliminated the problem.

And ..... I might have not thought of that.  This contractor didn't. He should have.  But he was probably also  worried about drywall and flooring and electrical and landscaping 

In a world of full overlay doors ..... as Rachel said ..... fillers are your friend.

And so are kitchen designers.

The internet is great.  You can learn a lot.  But you also learn a lot from specialized training, keeping up to date on trends, seminars and doing the same job over and over again.

And that is why I used a kitchen designer.

Because 4 heads were better than one.


Michelle said…
My dad is a (retired) kitchen designer – and helped me design my kitchen. Preach it, Miss Eff!
Dan Mays said…
I have used kitchen designers on a number of occasions -- and they are a blessing! I don't care what your qualifications are, you are the worst judge of your own home! While a competent outsider can often see things with instant clarity, an owner remains too emotionally attached. Plus, you are not current with new, better materials and methods. (Of course, the basics never change.)

At one of my past houses (I was doing a major remodeling.), I brought in a designer because the kitchen area was way too small and the layout was a disaster. Nothing worked! It was a kitchen that any woman would complain about. My designer suggested a bow window to make the room FEEL bigger and added an island. WOW! Now every visitor raved to my wife about her wonderful kitchen. When performing well, experts don't cost you money -- they SAVE you money and provide a level of happiness that you never thought you would achieve.
Barb said…
My kitchen WAS NOT designed by a woman, or at least, a woman who cooks/bakes/cans. GGrrrr. Anyway, I am good at adapting but boy, oh,boy....if a windfall came my way I would have it redesigned. But, then if a windfall did come, I would also want to build a proper barn, have some landscaping done, have a big bay window put into the studio so I could have a lovely west view, etc.......sigh.

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