I received the below email today from an editor at Consumer Reports' ShopSmart Magazine.
I had visited DIYnetwork.com, Doityourself.com and WikiHow; but the new BeJane.com and ExpertVillage.com were new to me!
I have a soft spot in my heart for do-it-yourselfers because I started on the path toward my career as a kitchen and bath designer by DIY remodeling my old and decrepit house when I couldn't afford to hire the pros.
Next thing I knew, all my neighbors were hiring me to design and remodel their kitchens and baths.
BeJane walks women through lots of DIY projects with language they can understand.
Maybe you too can make the transition from surgical nurse to kitchen designer via the hands-on route!
Great additions to the DIY universe.
Sometimes it pays to just do it yourself. But what if you don’t know how to replace a faucet or fix a running toilet?
The Web is loaded with how-to resources that can make those jobs easy.
Google “replacing a faucet,” for example, and you’ll find all kinds of help to bring out your inner plumber, including Doityourself.com.
The November 2008 issue of ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, reveals the other DIY sites that are worth a look the next time you need to fix something, whether it’s replacing a doorknob or installing a new tail light.
You might decide the project is too complicated, but at least you’ll know what you were up against.
One warning: You may have to wade through ads to find what you’re looking for.
DIYnetwork.com has countless how-to videos and articles on home projects, gardening and landscaping, and crafts too.
Expertvillage.com offers short video clips and articles on just about everything you might need to fix things around the house and make car repairs.
WikiHow.com lacks the glitzy design (and ads) of some other sites but covers a huge range of home, car, and computer repairs.
BeJane.com was re-launched just as we went to press. It’s a DIY site aimed at women.
If you choose to use these tips, we ask that you credit the November 2008 issue of ShopSmart.
Kitschy Kitchens is a blog where I critique the worst of the worst in kitchens. Poor design, an assault on the eyes, wrong colors, wrong materials; they all can be found there. Take an amusing detour to discover what you DON'T want in a kitchen.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I received the below email today from an editor at Consumer Reports' ShopSmart Magazine.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This Old House online has a great post on working with a kitchen designer.
It's called 9 Steps to Getting the Kitchen You Want.
And remember, we all do things a little bit differently. For instance, I don't usually use a questionnaire...Just a lot of listening and note-taking and throwing out ideas to get your reactions and establish the "rules" I will work by.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Below see the latest trends in kitchen and bath product, material and color selection from NKBA.
Kitchen & Bath Style Barometer Survey
By Edward S. Pell
Traditional, contemporary and Shaker styles were the three leading styles for cutting edge kitchens and baths during the Spring of 2008. That’s according to the NKBA Dealer/Designer Style Barometer, which polled 200 dealers and designers about their clients’ style and color selections for kitchens and baths during the period April-June, 2008.
Forty-seven percent of the dealers and designers who responded were certified, and 86% designed both kitchens and baths; 12% designed kitchens only and the remaining 3% did baths only. Average kitchen job designed by the panel was priced at $51,710, and the average bath job at $30,344, confirming the elite status of the projects created.
Asked to characterize the three most popular styles of kitchens this Spring, 67% said traditional, 48% said contemporary, and 35% said Shaker. Arts and Crafts was mentioned by 25%, Tuscan by 21%, and Cottage by 16%.
The three most popular color schemes for kitchens this Spring were beiges/bones, cited by 55% of respondents, whites/off-whites (50%), and browns (39%). Bronzes/terracottas were cited by 34%, mints/greens by 19%, stainless steel by 18%, Sepiatones by 12%, reds by 11%, and saffrons by 11%.
Ninety-eight percent said wood was the most popular type of kitchen cabinet. Asked to pick the three most popular woods, respondents named cherry (77%), maple or bird’s eye maple (72%), or alder (37%). White or red oak was named by 19%, birch or mahogany by 12% each, and hickory or walnut by 9% each.
Glazed was the most popular cabinet finish, named by 77% of respondents, followed by medium natural (55%), dark natural (45%), white painted (40%), other color painted (31%), light natural (30%), and distressed (18%).
Some 90% of respondents reported clients had asked for glass doors on wall cabinets, and about the same percentage said crown molding had been requested.
Some 88% said their designs had incorporated tall pantries, 85% said pull-out racks, and 84% lazy susans.
Seventy-seven percent said clients had requested furniture look pieces, 54% said clients had requested wine storage, and 37% said an appliance garage.
The most popular type of flooring was wood (cited by 90% of respondents), followed by tile (81%). Laminate flooring ranked third at just 19%.
The most popular countertop materials in kitchens designed by our elite panel were granite (89%), quartzite (62%), and solid surface (28%). Old standby laminate ranked fourth at 16%, followed by wood butcherblock (14%), marble (12%), other natural stone (11%) stainless steel (6%) and concrete (5%).
Interestingly, tile ranked number one in backsplash materials, with 87% of our panel ranking it among the three most popular materials. Granite was cited by 39%, glass by 29%, other natural stone by 21%, quartzite by 16%, and marble by 11%.
Some 86% of respondents said they had specified standard dishwashers this Spring, 78% said they had specified ranges, and 77% each specified gas cooktops, built-in refrigerator/freezers, double wall ovens, and disposers. Sixty-seven percent they had specified undercounter wine refrigerators, 59% free standing refrigerator/freezers, 58% warming drawers, 57% single wall ovens. Drawer-type dishwashers were specified by 47%, electric cooktops by 46%, drawer-type refrigerator/freezers by 38%, compactors by 22%, induction cooktops by 21%, full-sized wine refrigerators by 11%, and steam ovens by 10%.
Among other products specified, 92% said stainless steel sinks, 86% said pull-out faucets, 73% said pendant lighting chandeliers, 62% halogen lighting, 48% incandescent lighting, 45% water filters/purifiers, 43% high necked pot fillers, 42% standard windows, 42% standard faucets, and 40% LED lighting.
Satin nickel was the most popular kitchen faucet finish, cited by 82% of the panel, followed by stainless steel (56%), bronze and (41%).
Six out of ten kitchens done by our elite panel had an island, 38% had an island with a cooktop and/or a sink. Forty-five percent of the kitchens included a family room or activity area, and about the same percentage had a television or other electronic entertainment incorporated in their design.
One out of every three kitchens done by our panel had a computer or built-in internet access.
Asked to name their most unusual kitchen request from a client during the period, several noted pet-related wishes, including a doggie door for a Great Dane that matched the cabinetry, custom dog gates, dog beds, elevated pet food and water bowls, and a special cabinet door that allows a cat access to the cat litter box inside.
One designer was asked for two separate islands, one for people and one with built-in dog crate and a concealed pull-out drawer that holds pet food dishes. Another received a request for an aviary in the corner of the kitchen, while another was asked to provide a bench in the mud room with two drawers above for the dog accessories, leash, etc. and a shower for the dog outside to wash his feet.
Other unusual requests included hidden doors to other rooms that blended with the kitchen cabinetry, a cork backsplash that resembled a lizard with “google eyes,” secret drawers with built-in invisible locks, and a round island with gas cooktop that would allow guests to gather around and grill their own food on skewers.
Asked to name the three most popular styles in the baths they design, 71% cited traditional, 59% cited contemporary, and 23% said Shaker. Seventeen percent each said cottage, Arts and Crafts, or Asian fusion were among their three most popular bath styles.
Beiges/bones were the most popular bath color scheme, followed by whites/off-whites (52%) and mints/greens (32%). Other color schemes mentioned as popular were browns (31%), blues (25%), bronzes/terracottas (18%) and sepiatones (12%).
Sixty-six percent of our elite panel said a master bathroom was the most often requested bath design, while 25% said a master bed/bath suite was most requested. Five percent said another full bath was most requested, and the remaining 4% said powder room.
In all, our panel said two out of every five clients asked for a master bed/bath suite, and 44% asked for a separate room for the water closet in their bath projects.
Granite was the most popular vanity top material this spring, cited by 72% of our elite panel. Marble was cited by 46%, quartzite by 44%, solid surface by 34%, cultured marble or onyx by 17%, and other natural stone by 15%. Glass or laminate were each cited by 7%.
Ninety-three percent of our elite panel put wood vanities into some of their bath jobs this Spring, while 77% specified linen storage cabinets, 63% medicine cabinets, 33% toilet topper cabinets, and 24% console tables.
Forty-two percent said clients were asking for vanity knee spaces for seated users. Ninety-nine percent said tile was the most popular bathroom flooring; wood was second with just 11%.
Eighty-eight percent had specified toilets this Spring, 85% undermount lavatory sinks, 85% wall lighting, 82% ceiling lighting, 77% shower doors, and 69% shower stalls. Vessel-type lavs had been specified by 65%, hanging mirror frames by 60%, underfloor heating by 57%, pedestal lavs by 46%, integral sink/tops by 45%, and standard tubs with shower surrounds by 41%.
Thirty-five percent had specified jetted tubs with shower surrounds, 32% full wall mirrors, 31% steam showers, 29% free-standing jetted tubs, 26% heated towel racks and 25% each drop-in lavs and free-standing standard tubs.
Tankless water heaters had been specified by one in five, as had lighted wall mirrors on a swing arm. Sixteen percent had specified a bidet between April and the end of June.
White was the most popular plumbing fixture color for 84% of our panel, followed by bisque (57%), off-white (35%), bone (23%), and beige (6%). Satin nickel was cited by 77% of respondents as the most popular bath faucet finish, followed by polished chrome (46%), bronze (44%), polished nickel (30%) and stainless steel (29%).
Among unusual bath design requests reported by our panel was a request for a “wet room,” open to the shower and tub, but protecting the cabinetry at the same time. Another was asked to design around antique Chinese chairs and shrine cabinets (used as medicine cabinets) for a his and hers bath. Several reported requests for bathroom TVs or internet access, and one said his client wanted a hand shower at the water closet as a bidet/washlet alternative.
One respondent noted that the client wanted a bathroom that would be reminiscent of a Caribbean cave. And another noted that it is now common for clients to ask for a large walk-in shower without a door in lieu of a tub in the bathroom.