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G.E. HELPS YOU FIND YOUR DREAM KITCHEN

This modern kitchen features G.E. Profile appliances.

As a kitchen designer and writer,  my inbox is always filled with news of all the latest products, websites and all manner of things to do with our favorite room, the kitchen.  G.E. has always been known as the bread- and- butter of the appliance world.  Not only have they been around forever but they have evolved with the times.  Today they still offer the basic affordable options as well as higher end appliance packages under the names G.E. Profile,  Monogram and the new Cafe’ Series. These offer a wider variety of functions and integrated modern styling.

Early days (Note dangerous placement of stove! Sliding in between cabinets would have been better!)

Another thing that really makes them a 21st century contender is their state of the art website.  There is a wealth of information here whether you aim to use their products or not.  Of course they hope you’ll be seduced once you have entered their “web”, so to speak.

Play with this design on the G.E. site. They left room for art. I love it!

One of my favorite features on the site is the kitchen design function.  Simply choose a kitchen which is similar to your own space.  Then simply click on the various color choices.  It’s a lot of fun and a great way to start to narrow your choices and make the big decisions like dark vs. white cabinets, black vs. stainless appliances.  You get the picture (literally).  You’ll also find lighting ideas, safety tips and even recipes.  Oh, and the “must have’ G.E. product in my book is the Advantium Microwave Oven. My clients love it.  You can use it as a regular oven or as a microwave, so it’s like two ovens in one!

This bachelor client opted for TWO Advantiums, one built-in to the pantry and one over the range!

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FLORIDA KITCHEN CHARM

Thank you  for the out pouring of love and concern for our family.  No matter what happens the sun always rises again and we begin another day.

White cabinets and a shiny blue glass tile backsplash lend a coastal feel. Photo by Southern Accents

As you guys up in the northern regions are beginning to crank up the heat,  I thought I’d share a little warmth from down here in sunny Florida.  If you love warm tropical beaches, even when there’s snow (instead of sand) on the ground, here’s how you can bring this ambiance to your “anywhere” kitchen.

Blue & White will give you an instant feel of sun and surf.  White cabinets are hot!  Blue calls  to mind the ocean and may be added to your backsplash, walls or even used as  accent color for an island or hutch cabinet.

A modern version with Balthaup cabinets. Photo by Elle Decor


A sea view is a must and you can have one even if you don’t live by the sea.  Think art!  That way you can choose the sea view of your choice.  It can be a painting, a photograph or even something more abstract like a mixed media work of art.

I wish I was at the beach by ABSTRACTINC from Etsy.com

Gifts from the Sea are fun ways to add a beachy feel.  Shells, starfish or even bits of beach glass are great accents.  Try using a shiny glass tile backsplash for a watery feel or tiles with more of a honed finish look like glass that has been eroded by the sand over time.

seashells, starfish and beach glass tell the story of the sea

Burled Beach Corian countertop by Dupont

Throw some sand into the mix with solid surface counter tops in colors like Dijon from the Elements collection by Denova or Burled Beach by Dupont’s Corian.

Dijon from the Elements collection Denova Solid Surface Counters

The nice thing is you can add a little or you can pull out all the stops.  If you have “Floridified” your kitchen sent me pix.  I would love to show and tell.  Oh, and by the way, it’s nice to be back!


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SPELL IT OUT IN THE KITCHEN



Photo courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com



Lately I’ve been reading a lot about something called TYPOGRAPHY which is  the art and technique of arranging type, type design and generally playing around with letters, numbers and symbols.  It’s bold and exciting and can define your kitchen in a new way.  You can buy unfinished letters which can be painted  and creatively arranged to add a little intrigue to the heart of you home. Here are just a few ways you can bring typography into the mix for minimal investment.



In case you were wondering, it's A French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking. For more visit http://rangermikedesigns.com/page/2/


Fun with food!  There’s nothing like a giant letter garnish to start a dinner conversation.


photo from apartmenttherrapy.com

Just a few BIG letters strategically placed on a shelf or hung on the wall may be all you need.



Get this print The Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth (1928) from All Posters.com


How about an art print featuring your lucky number or favorite phrase?


Photo by kitchenchalkboard.net

Use a good old fashioned black board if you want to write your own text.  This allows you to change it up.  Invite the family to contribute.  Heck, it could even be your grocery list.  The point is that the writing is the decorative element.  Make your own blackboard with chalkboard paint by Benjamin Moore.

Drop me a line and let me know your decorating type! (Sorry)

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5 TIPS TO IMPROVE THE LIGHTING IN YOUR KITCHEN

Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of sipping a Starbucks pumpkin spice soy latte while chatting with my favorite local lighting expert Marcia (that’s MAR-see-uh) Exelrud .  (Click here for previous guest post by Marcia.) As we discussed how to save the world from poor kitchen design and bad lighting , I asked her to come up with  a list of the TOP 5 Lighting Fixes for your kitchen. Here’s what she had to say:






Matching white trim blends recessed light fixtures into this crisp white kitchen ceiling. Photo by Apartmenttherapy



1. Replace trims and bulbs in existing recessed fixtures. New trim will give you a fresh updated look.  Replace bulbs so that they are all the same type for uniform and even lighting. Remember that the most up to date fixtures and bulbs will usually also be more energy efficient.  The initial investment is greater but they more than pay for themselves and save you time and aggravation in the long run.

2. Move or add fixtures to add direct light where you need it. Take a moment to study your kitchen both during the day and at night with the lights on.  Does your current arrangement work or do you need to make some changes?





Note pendant fixtures over island, cove lighting above cabinets and lights below upper cabinets. Photo by Apartmenttherapy


3.  Add cove lighting with an LED or xenon strip light fixture. Do you have space above your cabinets?  This is a perfect opportunity for cove lighting.  LED or Xenon strips are perfect for this area.





This kitchen has good "bones" i.e. storage and counter space. The plastic covered fluorecents need to go. New cabinets (or just a reface) and tops will give this kitchen a totally updated look. Photo by picdigger




4. Remove unsightly dropped ceilings.   You know what I’m talking about, those plastic squares set into a metal grid concealing fluorescent tubes.  Yeah that’s them.  Remove them and you instantly create an open feeling!  Replace those tube lights with some recessed high hats for better light. Welcome to 2010!  A word of caution, if you have a concrete ceiling you may have to lower it just enough to recess lights.  If that’s not in the budget consider a surface mounted fixture.





Recessed lights provide main lighting. Red pendants add task lighting over the island and a punch of red in this black and white kitchen. Photo by Apartmenttherapy


5. Install lighting under the upper cabinets and above islands.. Never install open fixtures such as pendants, spot lights or recessed lights witout lenses directly over cooking areas.

If you have questions about any type of lighting you can contact Marcia at

http://marcia@brightlightdesigns.net/

You can also find her listed under LOCAL RESOURCES  at Kitchens for Living

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TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVE ZONE

I live in a hectic family household  but Sundays are sacred.  Joe is off at work and kids sleep late, sometimes really late.  That is when I am blessedly alone.  That is when my spirit flies.  I catch up with all the blogs I haven’t been able to read during the busy week, maybe I do a little art and I dream.  Despite all my financial responsibilities,  my parenting realities and my work I get into a place where, for a moment,  I think just because I’m alive I can do ANYTHING.  Here are some things I become capable of on Sunday morning:

1. Going back to India to take up where I left off.


Glo in India 2001

2. Buy and decorate a hip Mid-Century modern apartment in Miami


My MCE Dream, Courtesy of Apartmenttherapy

3.Become a full time artist exploring and developing my many ideas and musings at my leisure. This is one of my collages.  If you want to see more visit www.papermoongoddess.blogspot.com


This is Hope

4. Go back to California to study more art


Glo at Encaustic Workshop in Carmel Ca. 2008


Ok, you get the picture.  When you want to create or remodel your own kitchen or design a kitchen for a client this is a very good space to be in.  Get in the mood and the ideas will come.  This is truly the first step in the Intuitive Kitchen process. When you have returned to earth you can edit.  Trust me it works.  Now tell me, don’t be shy (that’s counter intuitive). How do you get in the zone?

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