A Chat With Kitchen Designer Joanne Smith of Joanne Smith Design 310-383-3014

Published: 02nd April 2012
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1. Let’s say I’m a new home owner starting to work on my cabinets. How do you choose the right style and color to accommodate a kitchen?

“First and foremost, know the style of your house. The style of the kitchen should be based on the style of the house. The two themes should go hand in hand so that the designs flow together. This tip is not only an important cosmetic feature but also a money saver. Consider this: It’s more economical to work with a pre-existing kitchen base and make specific stylized adjustments than it would be to start from scratch. Work with what you have and make the improvements from there; a few key changes can make a huge difference in the finished product.”

2. How would you select colors that best suit my space?

“Kitchen colors should be chosen based on the floors. Generally we suggest complementing color schemes. For instance, dark wood floors go well with light furnishing choices and light-colored tile floors go well with dark-colored furnishings. These scheme tips help to make unique shades more prominent. As always these suggestions are dependent upon personal preference and/or budget.answer of working with your home’s existing style, you could always pick a specific architectural feature that you want to highlight and make that element more prominent in the kitchen. For example, if your home has many beams or unique crown moldings replicate those aspects in handle choices or decorative elements. Keep in mind that if there is already a large amount of wood in your home and your goal is to tone down that element; a simple solution is to paint the cabinets. Earth tones are usually a good stand-by choice for any home.”

3. How do you establish a budget and how would you accommodate someone on a low budget?

“What is your home worth? Budgets are derived from the value of the home and your cash flow. If money is tight, make a list and put major priorities on top to make sure those items are taken care of before anything else. It is advisable to set aside twenty percent of your budget to handle the unexpected to be more safe than sorry. There are always budget saving options available such as: using maple butter blocks, countertops made from recycled material, or utilizing tile for a back splash in place of the more expensive marble options.”

4. How long does the kitchen remodeling process usually take?

“Generally the time can fluctuate depending on how much work needs to be done on a particular kitchen. Keep in mind that if you decide to choose custom cabinets, they should be the first item ordered since they take the longest to make. An average job can take two months so prepare your meal options accordingly.”
“Generally the time can fluctuate depending on how much work needs to be done on a particular kitchen. Keep in mind that if you decide to choose custom cabinets, they should be the first item ordered since they take the longest to make. An average job can take two months so prepare your meal options accordingly.”

5. Do you incorporate eco-friendly aspects in your design and what are you favorite products? Are you an advocate of eco-friendly solutions?

“Double yes. I can truly get behind the eco-friendly products and often suggest this option to clients. There have been many advancements in price alternatives these past years making eco-friendly a more viable option for everyone. My most recommended options are countertops made from recycled materials and formaldehyde-free plywood for cabinets. Plywood is my choice because it’s easy to work with and good for people who have allergies.”

6. What are some new trends that have been popular in 2012?
“Definitely functionality over design is a major trend that has played into this year. More clients are not over-designing and less over-stylized concepts are currently being applied to kitchens. Less bells and whistles sort of speak.”

www.joannesmithdesigns.com

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