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Kitchen Case Study: Tips and Products that Can Bring Your Design to the Next Level

Designing a kitchen is a bit like solving a puzzle, eventually all the pieces come together and it all makes sense from both a visual as well as a functional perspective.  This new kitchen design in Wellington Florida is a great example of that. Today I’d like to share with you an inside peek at the process and how we got from drab to amazing in ten million easy steps.

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In the classic bar song Closing Time by the Semisonics, it says “every new beginning is another beginning’s end”.  It’s that time of year again and for me it’s always a bittersweet mix of what could have been and hope for what could be.  It was a banner year for us here at Brendan Donovan Furniture & Cabinet Co.  We have broken every record in the amount of business we were blessed with.  Thank you to our amazing clients and all our partners in the business who help us get it all done.  Personally I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog.  I know there are thousands, probably millions of blogs and I am honored.  Thank you also to Blanco, Bosch and Brizo who give me a rare opportunity to learn about their products in depth and the chance to interact with some of the most talented individuals in the industry.  Which brings me to a big thank you to all my fellow bloggers.  I learn from your excellence everyday.   We survived the end of the world.  Now we look forward to a fresh new year sure to be filled with new challenges, changes and chances.  I’m looking forward to sharing with you some changes you will see at Kitchens for Living in the new year. More later!



Slate appliances by G.E.

As you know, I’m always on the prowl for the latest in the kitchen and bath industry.  You may have noticed all the articles lately about the decline of stainless steel as the “go to” finish for kitchen appliances.  Everyone from the Wall Street Journal to The Daily Beast  is touting the hunt for THE new finish that will supposedly unseat stainless.  Yes, stainless steel does have a reputation, and rightly so, for being fingerprint prone and hard to clean.

Tip:  Never clean your stainless with any product containing ammonia or chloride.  For best results use mild soap and water and dry with a dry cloth.  For tougher jobs you can also use find stainless steel wipes at your local grocers.  Never use steel wool as it will scratch the finish.

This said, there have been lots of improvements and attempts to address these issues with special coatings and claims of “finger print resistance”. True or not, we’re ready for a change and several major manufacturers are taking a stab at what will be the next big thing.  Personally, I think stainless will continue to be a predominant option but I also believe we’re going to continue to see many new choices.  Here is what 5 major players are doing:

G.E. Slate is one of my favorites.  I like it because it’s fresh and different yet not SO different that it will clash with existing stainless steel.  Brushed metal touch points can also tie a new appliance into the mix  in case you’re not in the market for a complete suite.  They also claim the Slate finish is fingerprint resistant and easy to clean.

Slate Fridge by G.E.

This neutral “slate” color plays well with other finishes.

SubZero Wolf– The Mercedes Benz of appliance brands introduced the “Black Glass E Series Ovens” a year ago. Clearly not the best choice for households with children!  Built in ovens are available in 30” standard or flush inset application, the Black Glass model comes adorned with a black glass tubular handle and, wait for it, a COBALT BLUE interior!

Black Glass by Wolf

In addition  to the oven, Wolf also offers black glass trim kits for Warming Drawers and 30” Convection and Standard Microwaves. Glass may be print-prone but it’s also one of the easiest surfaces to clean. No word on if this finish has been popular enough for them to offer refrigerators in Black Glass.

White Ice by Whirlpool

Whirlpool White Ice is hot.  It’s the new white.  I think in general, people are taking another look at white which is also hugely popular as a cabinet finish.  Just think how seamlessly it would integrate with white cabinetry. On the other hand a contrast highlights the best of both worlds.  I must spill the beans, however, White Ice isn’t really glass, it’s just metal that looks like it. If you want real glass Jenn-Air makes the “Floating Glass” collection & does offer a choice of white or black glass fronts to them. They no longer offer the contrasting stainless tubular handles however. The handles are now a euro curved powder coated finish (that won’t discolor like plastic)

Durable and colorful glass front refrigerators by Bosch haven’t yet made it to our shores.

Last but not least, my fave appliance maker Bosch featured a line of UBER glass finished appliances  just a few months ago at IFA,   the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances in Berlin.  This is strictly a European offering so far and I don’t believe we’ll be seeing it here anytime soon.  A kitchen designer can dream though.  Bosch has applied their good old German practicality and efficiency to create a seemingly indestructible and beautiful product. Here’s video filmed on location at IFA


Check out this line up, also as seen at IFA this year in Berlin.  Can you imagine a purple refrigerator?  I hear they also deduct calories, just kidding…

Haier foursome at IFC photo by



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