THE INNOVATED MICROWAVE

If you’re like so many homeowners, where open kitchen counters are prime real estate, then the last thing you want to do is clutter them up with having a bulky microwave gobbling up your precious space.

The last 3 kitchens that I designed earlier this year were all designed with Microwave Drawers. Since all 3 of my clients wanted stylish hoods to be focal points above their cook-tops or ranges, I had to find a new home for the cookie cutter look of a standard microwave hood for their custom kitchens.

This Bosch (pictured in my kitchen design) 27” wide Microwave Drawer is one of my favorite brands for using a microwave in an under counter application. I happened to use in all 3 applications. It is very stylish with its black glass front surrounded by shiny stain steel. They get installed below the counter in a specially made cabinet just for these super popular Microwave Drawers. With a simple push of a button the drawer slides out effortlessly to accept your dish and just push the button again or simply touch and voila it closes. Just set the timer on the conveniently located panel at the top of the unit making it very accessible for everyone to use.

These sleek microwave drawers are low enough for children to operate. They are a lot safer to operate than having them stand a step stool or climbing up on the counters to take something hot out of the microwave after the infamous beep signals that our food is ready. Which some kids do that when we are not around to help, as I have witnessed this first hand.

These microwave drawers are a great appliance for someone using a wheelchair. Maneuvering around in the kitchen can be challenging, and this works great for them because it’s at a convenient height and easy to use. Where a microwave hood above the cooking would never be an option for someone in a wheelchair to reheat or defrost their food, this is a great alternative.mw-drawer-pic

So…if it gives you more usable counter space in the kitchen, allows children a safer alternative for heating up their favorite after school snack, and allows those in wheelchairs ease of access…then it’s a win-win in my book.

2 PULL or NOT 2 PULL…

Cabinet PullsIf you have been contemplating replacing your old warn out cabinets in your home with new updated ones, then don’t forget the most important feature of all: Hardware and no I’m not talking about the hinges and glides (although they are important), I’m talking about the Hardware Pulls that you attach after your cabinets after they are installed.

It’s amazing how something so small and which may be insignificant to some, are a definite must have in my book. Actually, come to think of it, in the last 20 years of designing kitchens and baths I have never “not” applied pulls to the door fronts and drawers of my clients’ new cabinetry, (and hopefully they are thanking me right about about now.)

Now, I suppose your probably thinking why is she saying pulls instead of knobs? Well, it’s because pulls are “Universal” and knobs aren’t. Meaning everyone from a young child, a person with arthritis in their fingers, or just someone with limited use of their hands can use a pull fairly easily, where as a knob can be very limiting. Since Hardware Pulls are “Universal”, therefore for that reason alone, should be installed on all cabinets.

Now that brings me to my second reason…Hardware Pulls can actually be lifesavers to your cabinetry finish. When our fingers constantly touch our cabinets over and over again in the same area when opening or closing a door or drawer front; the oils in our skin will slowly over time breakdown the finish little by little. Now speaking as a woman, I know far too well about preventative maintenance for my skin…and just as I take care of my skin today for the future, well, the same holds true for your cabinetry. My advice to any homeowner and it doesn’t matter if you spend $5,000 or $25,000 on your new cabinets, if your want to maintain the luster of their finish for years to come, then get your drill bit out and apply some Hardware Pulls.

Wine Space Savers

For the LOVE of Wine!!  Sub Zero Wine Unit

Like most people, it’s nice to sit down with family and/or friends and uncork a bottle of your favorite wine (every now and then) whether it be a Cabernet, Chardonnay or a bottle of Pinot Noir out of our wine cellar. But in reality not all of us have the space in our homes to dedicate entire room for a true walk-in wine cellar, right?  I know that I don’t, every room in my house seems to already be accounted for whether it be for my home office or guest room, etc… Here is my suggestion to all of you wine connoisseurs, when you decide to remodel your kitchen later this year or the next, for that matter…

I have the perfect solution for you!

Install this great Wine Cellar Refrigerator unit from Sub Zero and Wolf in your new kitchen. I have already designed several kitchens with this tall wine unit and my clients absolutely love them. Now, besides these units having UV Resistant Bronze Tinted Glass (to protect your wine), pullout rollerglide shelves (which minimize vibration), and with a flip of a switch turn on the interior LED lighting to display your bottles the BEST part about these Tall Wine Units is that they have the capabilities of storing 59, 120, or 146 bottles of either red, white or combination of both in the same unit, because they come with 2 individually controlled storage zones and dual evaporators to maintain constant moderate humidity.  Okay, okay…i love my wine I will admit! But in all serious, when you open up your wallet and in my case, my purse…for the MSRP $5,595 – $6,965 price tag it’s going to set you back to purchase one of these beauties, you expect it have some bells and whistles,…like it allowing you to link your wine unit directly into your Home Security System.

Sub Zero Tall Wine Units

Whether you select the 18″, 24″ or 30″ wide model for your space, you won’t go wrong this selecting this unit. They are available left hinged or right hinged and come in either classic stainless steel or panel ready to match your cabinetry finish. So…in my book, this is a Wine Space Saver that doesn’t disappoint at all!

 

Bathroom Design in Scottsdale

Part I of III

From the moment I walked through the front door of my Canadian clients home, I knew from an instant what style I would be designing their new master bathroom. Their single story Spanish style home located in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona was completely designed with Southwest decor from head to toe. Now, I’ve learned early on in my career to never assume anything so when they walked me back into their master suite and showed me their bathroom I smiled and jokingly said, “So you want this bathroom to be designed ultra modern to fit in with the rest of your decor?” and they chuckled and said “No, we’ll continue the Southwest theme in here as well.” I always like to joke just a bit when I initially meet clients just to break the ice. As I stood in the doorway and peered into their master bath, it literally brought me back in time and the memories flooded my brain of the times when I would stand in the doorway of my parents bathroom watching my mother get ready for a big night out. There were wall to wall mirrors, cultured marble counters, integrated sinks that were adorned with chrome faucets that had these huge plastic handles for turning the water on along with a large oval tub and shower combo.  Total 80’s…and after my brain absorbed everything, I turned to my clients and asked okay…what are

Scottsdale Masterbath Design

Scottsdale Master bath Design

your must haves?

My clients had 3 basic requests other than it having a Southwest feel. Here is what they told me, “We want a large walk-in shower without a door, some sort of seating in the shower and definitely a vent fan.” So after taking measurements and snapping some before pics of the bath, I returned to my office to begin the design process. After long hours sitting at my computer and shopping for the Southwest materials for the project, I was able create a beautiful color 3D image of the new layout & a few Presentation Boards of materials that I had selected.

I have included the 3D image and the selected materials that made the final cut, after my design presentation. Check back for my next blog in this 3 part series on how I transformed my clients current master bath design in Scottsdale, Arizona and was able to give them the Southwest retreat they so desired!!

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