Archive for the 'Kitchens' Category

Details of kitchen design you may not think of until it’s way too late

Kitchen designer Susan Serra, author of the always-inspiring Kitchen Designer blog, has sat down and thought up 10 "secret" details to good kitchen design that you wouldn’t really think of until you are deep into a project, when it’s hard to make changes. It’s far better to think of these details now, in the planning [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Stupid kitchen layout: Can you top this?

Some kitchen layouts are awkward. Some without grace. But this one, in a Corona tract house, was flat-out stupid. You can see, in the top photo, the kitchen after the $7,000 DIY remodel. It is truly wonderful. But in the next photo you see the kitchen as it was originally laid out. The rough sketch [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does pan drawer beneath cooktop work for you?

I was reading a story about a $100,000, three-year kitchen remodel in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning when I came across this photo. It’s a handsome kitchen, no doubt about it. But I was struck by the pan drawer underneath the cooktop. Of course you have to put something under a cooktop. It can’t [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Report: ‘Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Kitchens’

When considering a $40 kitchen design book, you must ask the question: Is this any better than the countless — and less expensive — magazines at the checkout stand that explore the same subject? "Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Kitchens" is superior to magazines when you read her text: informed, practical and helpful, with none of [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Red and green SoCal kitchens

Here are a few of my favorite kitchens, which happen to be red and green, the colors of the holiday season. Top left: Kathleen Schaaf and her brother Kevin bought a 1923 Long Beach duplex. She took over the top, he the bottom. Her kitchen turned out green, his didn’t. Read the story on how [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger: Colleen jazzes up her kitchen for less than $10,000

Today’s Guest Blogger is Colleen, a stay-at-home mom from Lake Forest, who finally gave in to my pleading for Guest Bloggers. (Was it the praying cat that put her over the edge?)Here’s her story: When we bought our Lake Forest townhouse, everything was perfect except the kitchen. It was beige laminate everywhere (applied over the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

How much does a remodel cost, anyway?

In my 17 years writing about remodels, I’ve been fairly insistent on one issue: The cost of the remodel must be revealed. After all, what value is a feature on a lovely kitchen remodel if you don’t know whether it cost $20,000 or $120,000? Why should I pour carbon into the environment to travel out [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger: Brent’s Hawthorne kitchen remodel: Part 2

Today’s Guest Blogger is Brent, who works in the aerospace industry and enjoys swinging a hammer. His Hawthorne kitchen remodel is in the planning stage: In a chain of events that I’ve jokingly referred to as cascading home repairs, you start out with one task in mind and then discover that you have to do [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger: Brent’s Hawthorne kitchen remodel: Part 1

Today’s Guest Blogger is Brent, who works in the aerospace industry and enjoys swinging a hammer. His  Hawthorne kitchen remodel is in the planning stage: "Sometimes progress slows to a crawl when you do your own remodeling, particularly if your family has to live in the house while it is being remodeled. "Advantages of living [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger: David’s downtown loft: Part 1

Today’s blogger is David Kean, a Realtor in the Beverly Hills office of Prudential California Realty. His previous condo remodel was featured in Pardon Our Dust several years ago. In his new place, he once again created a beautiful urban space. "From the window of my previous townhouse, I watched a vacant 38-story Downtown L.A. [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Remodeling and the single woman

The low-cost remodel of this 1948 Long Beach house has so many things going for it I don’t know where to start. While the hardwood floors were already in pretty good condition when Janet Foster bought this place, everything else you see is her doing, with the help of her dad. Note the one red [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Is bacteria on counters a problem for you?

I love the look of this stainless steel countertop and sink, which I found in today’s Real Estate section. Looking for cleaner kitchen surfaces explains how homeowners worried about bacteria choose this and other counter products for their antibacterial properties. Other materials mentioned include glass, copper and quartz composites like Silestone. Some of these products [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Are your granite counters teeming with bacteria?

I had never heard the words granite and bacteria in the same sentence until the solid-surface manufacturers started using it to sell their products. They claim granite counters are not safe and harbor bacteria, while their composite counters (Corian, Silestone and the like) are safe. Really? Haven’t we been using granite counters for decades, even [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A bar-height table works for me

You know how everyone likes to sit up high on bar stools? But without having to be in a bar? Steve and Marygrace Carpenter like that feeling so much they got rid of their lowly kitchen table during a recent remodel at their Westchester home and replaced it with this tall table. It’s almost like [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Didn’t like my latest Pardon Our Dust kitchen? Try this one

Reader Pat Parrish wasn’t very impressed with my most recent Pardon Our Dust feature about a Santa Barbara dream kitchen. Pat wrote: "I felt that these people paid way too much for what they got: $70,000 NOT including appliances! And 4 months!" By the way, Pat’s was not the only complaint I received about the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Santa Barbara dream kitchen is a team effort

Ann Lippincott recalls the exact moment her kitchen remodel got off the ground. During a Halloween party at her Santa Barbara ocean-view condominium two years ago, Lippincott, who was dressed as a witch, was standing in the kitchen with a friend, Lena Savage, an artist and former architect who was dressed as a punk rocker. [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Sourcebook for Santa Barbara dream kitchen

I present the sources for the Santa Barbara kitchen remodel above in a separate post as an homage to all the professionals who work daily to bring homeowners’ dreams to life. The really great tile setters and plumbers and masons and contractors generally cost more than those less talented and less together. But for some [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Where the money went: Hollywood Hills kitchen

There are many creative ways to pull together a remodel. For this recent Hollywood Hills kitchen renovation, homeowners Renata Kanclerz and Lisa Coleman bought appliances and other materials on their own and then paid their contractor a flat fee for all labor and installation. Here’s how much the homeowners paid for various features in this [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Studio City kitchen shop wins national design competition

Imagine a 1950s house with a brick-lined kitchen. Now imagine that a prominent attorney owns the house and wants to create a suitable kitchen in which to get geared up for the day. You might be imagining this maple and granite kitchen, which won a 2007 first-place award from the National Kitchen and Bath Assn. [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Stone floors, stone counters, but something’s not right . . .

As you can see from the "before" photo below, the kitchen in this Redondo Beach home did not exactly "pop" with excitement. And that might seem odd because the room had a really nice stone floor, counter and backsplash. What could be wrong with that? It was those white cabinets, which didn’t set off the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »