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Bethany Gardner

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A Fabulous Testimonial!

Just wanted to share this lovely letter I received today from Bethany's clients.

Dear Jill,

We stumbled upon K&B D and it turned out to be wonderful thing. Our kitchen was to be the centerpiece of a whole-house renovation so it was very important to get it right.  We were introduced to Bethany and from the first meeting we knew we had found the right person to help us transform our kitchen.  She took time to understand our vision, priorities, and style.

Bethany not only took the stress out of the process, she made it genuinely fun.  She gently guided us through the process while always respecting our budget.  She educated us thoroughly so we could make appropriate, intelligent upgrades and maximize functionality.

The installation went equally well with Kathy.  She stepped in at the perfect time to work with our contractor and Bethany to identify and eliminate potential problems once the demolition was complete.  She was equal parts cheerleader and drill sergeant.  Both she and Bethany instilled confidence.

Everything came together perfectly. Now that we have been using the kitchen for a couple of months, we can say that there isn't a thing we would change. We never thought we would be able to say that.  Everyone at K&B D was a pleasure to work with.  The end-result was a reflection of their attention to detail and the joy they take in the process of putting it together.  We wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. In a way, we are sad the project is over! 

Sincerely,

Kevin and Mike

 

Thank you, Kevin and Mike, for being fabulous clients! We are so happy that you are enjoying your kitchen! It’s gorgeous!!!

Stay tuned for Bethany's detailed blog about this project!

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Realistic Expectations for Kitchen Renovations

 

Taking on a kitchen renovation is a big task! Anyone who has been through the process knows that well. The choices and decisions can seem endless. Coordinating and planning are definite musts. But after all the hard work, the end result is well worth the energy put into it all.
So, all of this got me thinking... Are there things home owners should know right off the bat in order for the kitchen renovation to go more smoothly? The answer is, "Yes!" And, after chatting with my co-workers, here is what we came up with.

Realistic Expectations for Kitchen Renovations:

1) Decisions, decisions, decisions...
         There are so many! But fear not! That is why you've hired a designer. Our job is to understand your wants and needs so we can narrow down options which work with your specific project. Your job is to let us know what you do AND don't like so that we can go into the decision making process on the same team.

2) There is no such thing as a stupid question...
         And that is the truth! As designers we work with cabinetry, codes, appliances and colors on a daily basis. You, as the client, most likely do not. We totally get that. So, ask away! Make sure you understand exactly what we're talking about while we're talking about it. This will only help to minimize surprises in the end.

3) It's OK to Trust...
         Training, experience and vision all work together to make your designer an expert. So, when it comes to that one big choice and your designer has a strong opinion about it, it could very well be the right way to go. We know it is hard to let go of the reigns, but sometimes, you have to trust that we do know best. And even if you don't go with what we've suggested, at least you've taken the time to listen and consider our ideas. Then, no matter what, you'll know you made an informed decision.

4) Nobody is perfect...
         Not even designers. ;) Although you may feel as though the design for kitchen should be exactly what you have been seeing in your mind, it might not be. So, expect revisions. Anything from a single drawer to the whole layout can be changed in the design process. Don't be discouraged if it takes 2, 3 or even 4 revisions to get to your dream kitchen. This is your opportunity to make it your own space. Just remember the more of your opinions you share with your designer, the faster you'll get there!

5) A House is not a Home...
         Without a kitchen. I believe that is how the saying should go. A kitchen renovation takes THE most used room of a house away. Depending on the individual project, that time frame can be anywhere from a couple week to a couple months. Some clients chose to set up a "mini kitchen" in another room of the house. Others with longer construction phases sometimes decide to stay at a relatives home. Another good idea is to plan for a summer renovation so you can utilize your outdoor grill. Either way, make a game plan and know how you and your family are going to deal with the construction phase.

6) Money Bags...
         This isn't anyone's favorite part of a project. But paying is inevitable. A good thing to keep in mind is that your designer is on your side. We know how to use your budget to its greatest potential. Putting the money in the right places can make all the difference in the world. Most of the time we start with your dream kitchen, including everything you want in the price. Once you see your max cost, we can revise as necessary. (In some cases, not at all!) Depending on your tastes vs. your budget, this could mean compromising, but that is how you figure out your priorities. What are you willing to let go of in order to gain? A kitchen renovation is most certainly an investment. Let us help you make the very best of the money you put into it.

7) Hiccup!
          With a project as large and as detailed as a kitchen, there will be hiccups. The important part is knowing that whether an extra piece of trim is needed or a side panel has been delivered with a crack, we'll be there! Having an entire kitchen renovation finished without a single glitch is nearly an impossibility. We do everything in our power to avoid those glitches altogether but, more importantly, we stand ready to expedite solutions to any issues that do arise.

8) Customer Service with a Smile...
          At KB Details, the kitchens we design are our babies. Because of that, aside from our main goal being to make our clients happy, it is also to bring our design to life in the most flawless way possible. We strive to streamline the process in order to lessen the install time, create a supportive relationship with the contractor, and maintain the good rapport we have already made with our client. So, expect awesome service! We take pride in our work and we take pride in how many of our clients have become friends.

~Bethany~

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Secondary Sinks in the Kitchen

Currently, I am designing 3 different kitchens for 3 different clients who all have completely different needs. While working on each unique design, I have noticed one major commonality between them all.... a secondary sink.

My first set of clients are a married couple who's children are all out of the house living on their own. The husband and wife both love to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. For them, the secondary sink acts as a secondary "prep area". Even though, most of the time, they each have separate duties, they will undoubtedly need the sink at the same time. Now, they each have their own space to work on their own part of the meal.

In my second project, my clients are big entertainers. They love having parties and inviting all their friends and family over. The kitchen as a whole doesn't have enough room for an entire Wet Bar Built-In. So, by designing in a secondary sink, we are able to create a "bar area" for their guests. Now, they'll have a space that is suitable for preparing their guests' drinks and rinsing glassware.

The third kitchen design is for a family of 5. My clients have 3 young children all under the age of 10. Being the fabulous parents they are, this couple has their kids join in on the after diner clean-up. This is where the secondary sink comes in handy. While Mom or Dad are cleaning the big pots and pans in the main sink, the kids are able to rinse off all the dishes and put them in the dishwasher without anyone getting in anyone's way. Having this designated "clean-up center" makes tidying up the kitchen much faster and less of a hassle.

I've added some great "inspiration" photos of kitchens with a secondary sink.

Would you want a secondary sink in your kitchen? If yes, why?

~Bethany~

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Retro Kitchen Appliances

Yesterday I was looking through a Coastal Living Magazine and saw a home with a refrigerator that had belonged to the owner's grandmother. The woman had it brought up from her basement and refurbished so that she could use it in her summer home. I thought that was such a cool idea! Not only was it sentimental for the home owner, but it also looked super cool. Knowing that not all of us are lucky enough to inherit such a cool heirloom, I did a little research. I found a company, called Big Chill , that not only makes retro refrigerators, but other appliances, too. Now, you definitely have to be 100% committed to the vintage look, but by using appliances like this you can really give your kitchen a punch of 1952! Whether you want to just give your kitchen a simple touch of this retro style OR you want to make the whole kitchen feel like a blast from the past, the Big Chill is one option that does the trick. You could even add a pop of color by mixing a kitchen full of modern stainless steel appliances with a vibrant refrigerator or range. Either way, know that by adding something a little different to your kitchen is what separates it from every other kitchen out there!!

~Bethany~

 

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Decorative Hardware... The Jewelry for your Kitchen

Imagine getting all dressed up for a night on the town. You've got it all... new dress, gorgeous shoes, fabulous hair... and no earrings. Actually, lets take it a step further... no jewelry at all. What?! That is just absurd! Well, think about your kitchen cabinetry the same way. A kitchen without the final touches of hardware is, well, naked.  Although it may be the smallest part of a kitchen, the hardware can truly make it or break it.  As you see here in this photo to the left, the linear brass pulls simply gives a very vintage feel to the cabinetry without going overboard. However, one could easily change out these traditional looking pulls for some square polished chrome knobs and take the entire kitchen's style in a whole new transitional direction.

The next example shows very sleek linear hardware. Here, the cabinetry's lines had already developed the clean simplistic style. The addition of such bold pulls successfully completes the overall modern feeling.

In the last photo to the left, these sassy glass knobs are whimsical and airy. But, at the same time, they are also adding a slight touch of "coastal freshness" to the look. In addition, the standard panel door has been modified to a colorful glass door.

As you can see, the hardware does a LOT when it comes to really making a design cohesive. Don't let them become an afterthought! The addition of these little "gems" is priceless when it comes to pulling the look of the kitchen together.

We have an amazing gallery of decorative hardware here at our showroom! Come in and check it out!! Also, If you mention my blog, we'll give you 15% off of your hardware order!!!

~Bethany~ 

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The Importance of Working with a Kitchen Designer

As kitchen designers we are repeatedly asked, what are the benefits of working with a designer rather than a stocked box company? The most important and most clear reason, in my opinion, is customization. Renovating a kitchen is a big investment and we understand that. So, in the process, why not make your new kitchen the space of your dreams?! For this "On The Water Addition" my client had a few specific needs that had to be met in the re-design of her kitchen. 

First was space. There needed to be plenty of seating for her family and friends to sit comfortably while she was busy cooking up a storm in her new kitchen. There also needed to be enough counter space so that the prepared food could be served from a spot in the kitchen other than her work areas. In order to accommodate that, we configured a large asymmetrical island that provided enough space for everyone to sit. Then, we designed a long, easily accessible, built-in buffet. With the windows above, it really becomes the focal point of the room.


 

Secondly, because of that entertaining, she needed to know that the clean up process wouldn't be a slow one. To make sure that didn't happen, we incorporated an additional "clean-up station" in the island. This included an extra sink and full size dishwasher. Now the home owner can be assured she won't be wasting quality time with her guests in order to finish cleaning the kitchen.

Third, the importance of recycling was expressed to me. She needed a place to keep her cans and bottles organized but, at the same time, out of sight. So, designed into the floor plan and disguised by the cabinetry is a base cabinet that allows the family to send cans and bottles to the basement. There the cans and bottles can be sorted into their correct bins. 

 And last but not least... coffee! My client wanted to make her morning routine of coffee making easier and less of a hassle. Her Keurig was going to be decently far from the sink areas. So rather than having to bring the Keurig to the faucet across the kitchen, we designed a faucet specifically for the Keurig itself. Now, no more spilling water on the floor!

I guess my point is that if you're going to be investing your time, money and energy into such a large project, the choice is clear! Work with a professional and make your new kitchen a unique space built just for you!


Bethany Gardner, Designer for Kitchen & Bath Details

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