Archive for the ‘Kitchen Design’ Category

DIY Network ‘Rehab Addict’ Nicole Curtis talks appliances on Twin Cities Live

February 4, 2011

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I got to tag along yesterday as “Twin Cities Live” toured the lastest renovation project (watch the video) of Nicole Curtis, star of DIY Network’s “Rehab Addict” (watch new episodes Thursday at 9 p.m. CST).

(Also, you can meet Nicole and hear her “5 Ways to Increase the Resale Value of your Home” at our Edina store Wednesday, Feb. 23. )

Nicole Curtis, left, poses in her beautifully remodeled kitchen with Twin Cities Live reporter Emily Engberg.

I couldn’t stop gushing over the way the house now looked, having toured it (kind of) almost two months ago for the appliance delivery.

White kitchen remodel
Built-in microwave cabinet
Gorgeous, huh? The so-called kitchen episode of “Rehab Addict” airs March 3, but we’ll be premiering it with Nicole at our upcoming, in-store event.

Sharp microwave drawers

January 12, 2011

When appliances claim to “revolutionize” kitchen design, skepticism is only fair — except in the case of Sharp’s microwave drawer.

Microwave placement poses a problem (it’s an ongoing series for a favorite blogger of mine, Sarah Lloyd of Kitchen Clarity) for many concerned with the aesthetics and functionality of their kitchen.

Standard microwaves easily clutter an otherwise beautiful design, especially within kitchen islands and open-plan kitchens, when placed near eye-level.

And — I’m sorry — but who in her right mind would put a standard microwave under the counter? Retrieving hot and possibly heavy items while bent down begs for trouble.

So when Sharp introduced the first microwave drawer, it truly did offer a solution to what many consider a problem.

The newest 24″ microwave drawer and 30″ microwave drawer models expand capacity (now 1.2 cu. ft and tall enough for 20 oz. coffee cup) within their existing footprints and include new, feedback-driven functions:

  • Short cut options such as “Warm” to heat maple syrup and dessert sauces
  • Keep Warm function maintains the serving temperature for up to 30 minutes
  • Soften and Melt functions keep me from having to press my face up to the microwave glass to make sure I don’t make a buttery mess all over my microwave
  • Sensor Cook settings expanded to include popular items such as brown rice and sweet potatoes
  • Defrost options available for both boneless and bone-in poultry
  • Opens quietly and smoothly (minimizes messes!) automatically at the touch of a button

I’d personally love to have one of these. I use my microwave mostly for defrosting meats, steaming veggies and softening ingredients while cooking, so I like the idea of keeping it tucked away yet accessible.

What do you use your microwave for?

Does the idea of a microwave drawer seem like a novelty or practicality to you?

A chance to star on DIY Network

December 9, 2010

OK, so maybe we didn’t exactly star, but the past two mornings, Warners’ Stellian has been working with crews shooting footage that will air in two episodes of DIY Network’s “Rehab Addict,” which airs Thursday nights at 9 with new episodes beginning Jan. 20. (See our photos on Facebook.)

Joe Warner and Nicole discuss steam laundry. It's a big deal.

The rehab addict herself, Nicole Curtis, is fixing up a big old house in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis, for which she came and picked out some appliances at Warners’ Stellian-Edina on Tuesday.

Nicole selected all Frigidaire appliances:

The production crew films Dave and Brian placing the Frigidaire 36" gas range in the kitchen.

Our crews delivered her selections Wednesday to a beautiful custom kitchen of white, solid-wood cabinetry, marble countertops, an apron front sink (etc., etc., etc.).

Our delivery guys Dave and Brian truly enjoyed being in front of the cameras and shared some laughs with the production crew, as well.

Nicole will be holding an educational-type event at a Warners’ Stellian showroom in the next couple months, so stand by!

>> See more photos of our “Rehab Addict” taping

Kitchen appliance colors 2010

November 5, 2010

You won’t see color appliances outside white and black in many kitchens, but gee, isn’t it fun to look at pictures to get kitchen color ideas?

I’d pledge my firstborn Le Creuset to someone who could actually produce a photo with this combination of kitchen appliance colors, but for some Friday fun, I assembled a roundup of fall-inspired colored appliances.

Viking Colored Microwave

This little (Viking Pumpkin Colored Microwave) guy’s so festive, I’d like to carve him up and put it on my doorstep.

No, you can’t panel a microwave — and yes, lots of people ask — but Viking Appliances does let you choose among a bunch of colors:

Viking appliance colors

Red Wine never looked so good. (Actually, red wine looks good to me on a regular basis, but it’s still a very attractive range.)

Viking iconic pro-style ranges aren’t the only choice for cooking in colors.

Bertazzoni, an Italian cooking appliance-maker, uses the same paint as car-maker Ferrari to paint its appliances.

(What is it with appliances mixing with automotive design?).

In fact, one of its ranges is even called Ferrari Red.

This Bertazzoni colored range in Wine just seems so cold-weather inspired.

>> See other Bertazzoni range colors

Perhaps Plum is more of a winter color…but I couldn’t resist including a big purple refrigerator.

Back to Viking: Doesn’t your dream kitchen include a built-in colored refrigerator…in plum?

Those not in the high-end appliance market shouldn’t feel left out.

There’s always seasonal dishwasher magnets.

Win tickets for this weekend’s Homes By Architects Tour

September 13, 2010

Note: Tell me why you’d like to go to AIA-MN’s Homes By Architects Tour in the comments by 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 for a chance to score a pair of tickets. I’ll probably choose at random, unless someone writes a super good comment.

Photo courtesy AIA-MN

I’m in love with the kitchen from the Star Tribune’s September Home of the Month (see the photo gallery).

The article talks about how the homeowners worked with Nguyen Architects to open up their fixer-upper Lake Minnetonka home, including adding priceless views to their “cave-like kitchen”:

The most dramatic improvement is that Jen can look at the lake through massive picture windows while she chops veggies.

I guess that’s the benefit of working with an architect (and living on Lake Minnetonka) — changing a sore spot into a functional, thoughtful and of course, beautiful, space.

The Orono home is No. 3 on the American Institute of Architects-Minnesota’s Hom

Home No. 9

es By Architects Tour, happening Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19 from 10-5.

We supplied the appliances for this gorgeous project, as well as those in the kitchen of the No. 9 home.

Get a video sneak peak of this European-inspired kitchen from Carla Warner and architect Rosemary McMonigal, AIA, of McMonigal Architects LLC:

Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door. Plus, we’re giving you several chances to win a pair of tickets (see note above and our Twitter and Facebook) prior to this weekend.

HOW TO: ace the Spaces portfolio review

July 9, 2010

Spaces magazine asked us to host the local shelter publication’s kitchen and bath portfolio review on July 22 at our Warners’ Stellian Edina showroom.

Editor Heidi Raschke and Art Director Ellen Thomson will give designers three minutes to present a project or two, which will hopefully lead to a future feature! To help you best prepare for the review, I asked Heidi and Ellen to offer some advice, which follows below. For more information on the event and to RSVP, visit our events calendar. Good luck!

1. We’re looking for a variety of projects, and we’re looking for good stories. Sometimes a project itself is so innovative or grand or dazzling that it’s strong enough for a story. Sometimes the story behind the project makes it interesting. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. If you’re excited about it, we probably will be interested, too.

2. You only have three minutes to meet us and tell us about your work, so come prepared with a focused presentation. Show us one or two projects that you’re really proud of or that is indicative of your style rather than a smattering. Leave us printouts or discs with photos as well as your contact information and any other information you’d like to share about the project or projects.

3. If you have projects that have already been professionally photographed, that’s a huge plus. Not a requirement, but a plus.

Ellen Thomson (back) and Heidi Raschke (front)

4. If you know the homeowner will talk to us, that also is a plus. We prefer to have homeowners on the record.

5. Don’t be intimidated. The time limits are necessary, but try to relax. You’re helping us get smarter and do our jobs better, and we appreciate the help. Portfolio reviews are fun for us. We really enjoy getting out of the office, putting faces with names and seeing your work.

6. If you have questions in advance, feel free to e-mail Heidi Raschke at hraschke@pioneerpress.com or Ellen Thomson at ellenmthomson@pioneerpress.com.

Hope to see you there,
Heidi Raschke and Ellen Thomson

Upcoming events: Cooking classes, home tours and kitchen workshops

May 10, 2010

I noticed when updating our Special Events Calendar that there’s so much great stuff going on during the next two weeks, an upcoming events roundup was due.

Check out events calendar, let me know if there’s anything else that you think should be listed there. (I’m not just saying this because I update it) It’s a great place to find out about cooking classes, home tours,  expos, seminars and design events, etc.

Metro Magazine Green Home Happy Hours


Photo courtesy Metro Magazine

Hosted by Metro Magazine Wednesdays in May from 5:30-8, the Green Home Happy Hours give you a chance to eat and drink delicious (and free) refreshments while snooping around the gorgeous sustainable home in which its hosted that week.

I went last week and not only had a blast, but I learned a few green tips I can incorporate into my own home.

ASID Showcase Home Tour

This year, for the price of one ticket, you have the unique opportunity to see two homes located just minutes from each other. Though the homes share the same essential locale and each has lake views that inspired 26 ASID designers, the two are distinct in many ways.

The Lake of the Isles turn-of-the-century home is designed for a world traveler. The brand new Calhoun condo is designed for a future homeowner who appreciates clean-lined, sophisticated spaces.

Warners’ Stellian is a sponsor of this year’s event, and we supplied the appliances for both houses.

The tour kicks off Saturday, May 15 and runs Wednesdays through Sundays until June 13.

My suggestion would be to check out one of the various Culinary Nights, featuring food from chefs from local popular restaurants.

Marrakech Cooking Class

The next two Saturdays at two Warners’ Stellian stores, lifestyle expert Ross Sveback will be teaching Moroccan cooking, with recipes inspired specifically by the region of Marrakech.

You’ll start with a sample of salads scented with spices such as cumin and chili powder and then learn to cook:

  • Pot-Roasted Eggplant Salad with Tomatoes, Smoked Paprika and Cumin
  • Moroccan Beef Stew, fragrant with saffron, ginger and turmeric served with Noodles tossed in Sea Salt and Cinnamon
  • Pears, poached in Orange and Clove syrup served with pitted prunes
  • Semolina Pancakes drizzled with Pure Comb Honey
Warners’ Stellian Edina on May 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Warners’ Stellian St.Paul on May 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cost of the class is $50, please reserve your spot by contacting  ross@kon-tent.com

Kitchen Design Remodel Planning Party


An example of a College City remodeled kitchen

Thinking about a remodel? Need some fresh kitchen ideas? Award-winning remodeler and custom home builder College City is hosting another kitchen design seminar Thursday, May 20 at Warners’ Stellian St. Paul.

You’ll get designers perspectives and practical examples as well as an executive chef’s point of view on high-functioning kitchen design (and the chef will also do a cooking demo, so there will be food involved…).

Cost vs. value comparisons on remodeling projects will be presented for those wanting to get the most bang for their buck. I’ve heard good things about this event so far, and College City has a great reputation within the remodeling industry.

The seminar is free but limited to 30 people, so RSVP at http://www.collegecityremodeling.com or call 952-469-6900.

Donate Shoes For Kids through May 23

How can a child focus on learning when she doesn’t have decent shoes? Sadly, that’s the story with a number of students in St. Paul schools.

We’re proud to be a drop-off site for Shoes For Kids, which is collecting gently used shoes for children in grades K-6. Your donations will benefit students of North End, Daytons Bluff, John A. Johnson and Bruce Vento schools who can’t afford an adequate pair of shoes.

Donations will be accepted through May 23 at all Warners’ Stellian stores, Abetto’s Deli and the Eastside Family Center.

What’s it like to remodel?

April 1, 2010

If I haven’t told you, I’ve been looking for a house.

I know it’s crazy, but when I walk into the kitchen, instead of thinking:

“Do I like this?”

I think:

“Do I like what this could be?”

And I’m not alone. Many homeowners envision what their space could be, given a little help.

That’s the story at the homes in the Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase, which hopefully you had a chance to check out last weekend.

Families in the Showcase give us a peek into the “after” of their own partnership with a remodeling team so that people like me can see that maybe falling in love with what a home could be isn’t so crazy.

I enjoyed this interview our friends at New Spaces did with their client, Sue, following her recent remodel, which was featured in the Remodelers Showcase. I think it — along with the “before” photos — lends insight into the process before and during a kitchen and home remodel, rather than just the beautiful results we’re used to seeing in magazines.

I’ve always been curious about what drives people to remodel. What was it for you?

Sue: It was our kitchen — it wasn’t well designed. The refrigerator stuck out from the wall and the door would hit the counter. The island was really awkward — a hipbanger — that’s what our designer called it. The space was cramped, especially for a family of four.

Before

After

How did you find your remodeler?

Sue: We got to New Spaces in action. Our neighbors used them and invited us over on a regular basis to see their work. They really were impressed by the whole process. And New Spaces finished up a week early. When does that ever happen with a remodeling project?

We also saw a house New Spaces remodel in the Parade of Homes. It was similar to ours, and we liked what we saw.

Did you have a look and specific details in mind?

Sue: Our home is about 24 years old. I like the modern look, and my husband leans to traditional styling. So Nicole, our designer, helped us balance the two.

Nicole did a great job finding out what we wanted. She didn’t push her ideas on us at all. Instead, she asked us questions and was observant. She saw some of my art on the wall — I’m a painter — and thought we could mix some artistic touches into the design.

Before

After

It sounds like a thoughtful approach — she really got to know you. Did you ever feel a little challenged with all the decisions you had to make?

Sue: Yes, remodeling our kitchen from scratch was challenging for us because there were so many choices. Nicole used a computer design system to show us how different designs would look. And when we couldn’t decide, she would jump in and make some great recommendations.

What were some of her design ideas that stood out?

Sue: Nicole suggested inlaying a decorative strip of tile behind the stove. It’s a really nice touch. The stainless steel brackets that hold up the granite counter on the island get a lot of nice comments from our guests. I love the long arch over the fireplace in the family room. The wall-to-wall mantel she designed and the arch adds style to the room. Nicole also found a manufactured stone that gives the fireplace surround a more modern feel.

We all know that remodeling can be stressful at times. How did the process work for you?

Sue: Really great. Ed was our lead carpenter and on-site manager. He was in charge of the day-to-day work, coordinating the subcontractors and doing a lot of the work himself. We liked that he always knew what was going on, and he did a great job communicating with us. Having him in charge really streamlined the communications.

Did anything unusual happen during the process?

Sue: Our furnace went out the day before the floors were going to be refinished. I had to call Ed at 9 at night. He immediately rearranged the schedule with the workers and then called me back to confirm a new schedule. He was so professional and nice about it.

When you get up in the morning and walk into your newly remodeled kitchen and family room, what jumps out at you?

Sue: The light! We replaced the kitchen window with a bigger window. And we removed the walls separating the kitchen from the family room, so the space feels more open. There’s more natural light in the space. It’s wonderful. Not to mention more storage.

Love the light coming in on this one...

For an even closer look into Sue’s remodel experience, check out this video:

Warners’ Stellian Apple Valley will host a Kitchen Workshop offered by the experts from New Spaces on Thursday, April 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. We’ve had a great response to these events so far, with attendees walking away with some great ideas and creative solutions from a truly no-pressure approach.

Space is limited, so register now.

You can find lots more events for homeowners at our Education Events calendar.

Parade of Homes and Remodelers Showcase are registered servicemarks of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. They are used with permission.

What do you know about kitchen remodeling?

March 16, 2010

The following is a guest post from president of Minnesota home remodeling firm New Spaces, Shawn Nelson. Shawn is a passionate advocate of professional remodeling who is actively involved in the industry, including frequent speaking engagements and education of other remodelers. E-mail shawn@newspaces.com or find Shawn on Twitter @shawnanelson.

Kitchens are the heart of the home. They are where your family gathers, where you entertain friends — and — of course, where you prepare meals. A well-designed kitchen supports these essential functions of your lifestyle.

A poorly designed kitchen…well, we hear the complaints:

  • “I don’t enough room on the counters.”
  • “I don’t have places to put away the containers and small appliances.”
  • “Everyone walks right through the kitchen.”
  • “When we have friends over everyone is crowded into the kitchen.”
  • “We don’t have enough room for larger family gatherings.”
  • “We only use our formal spaces a couple times a year.”

Floorplan courtesy of the National Kitchen and Bath Association

Remodeling your kitchen provides you with a great opportunity to create a kitchen designed for your family. By using principles like the work triangle (see illustration), remodelers can create cooking areas with the necessary counter space and convenient storage.

By figuring out the traffic flow patterns, the cooking area can be protected from other people getting in the way. For example, some families have two or more people involved in cooking. So, design can create separate work zones.

Form follows function! Great design creates spaces that support your lifestyle and look beautiful. Kitchens offer great flexibility in combining finishes to create a particular style. How the design coordinates cabinets, countertops, flooring, lights, backsplashes — and, of course — appliances will make it “traditional,” “contemporary,” “country” or customized to your unique preference.

Learn about kitchen remodeling solutions for your kitchen. Join us for a Kitchen Workshop:

Thursday March 18, 7-8:30 p.m.

Warners’ Stellian, 3533 W. 70th St., Edina, MN 55435 (Across from the Galleria)

Please e-mail shawn@newspaces.com to RSVP

This is an interactive workshop. After you draw your kitchen, we will look at how design principles can be applied specifically to your home. Space planning and design trend examples and solutions will be covered, with examples from a variety of budgets.

Don’t worry. This workshop is not an infomercial or sales presentation, but rather a fun lesson in kitchen remodeling   from a team that has been doing it for 30 years.

About New Spaces

Fall in love with your home! Remodel your home based on your personality and style with the help of our team of talented designers and skilled lead carpenters. Find out more about us by e-mail, Twitter (@new_spaces) or Facebook.

Why you should care about CFMs

February 15, 2010

Minnesota homes, like others in colder climates, are built air-tight. It’s not really something we think about until we remodel our kitchens.

Oh yes. That beautiful, pro-style range or cooktop. All that power. All those BTUs.

But all those BTUs require a certain amount of another acronym.

CFMs.

Quick! Get a vent!

More heat being produced = more heat needing to be exhausted. But our state code actually says ventilation hoods can’t exceed 300 Cubic Feet per Minute before needing “makeup air.”

Why? It’s kind of confusing, honestly, but Faber Rangehoods’ blog had a good explanation on this several months back:

A situation of negative pressure could also occur when too much air is pulled out of the home and it is not replaced by air from the outside. In today’s construction the homes are becoming more and more air tight and when too much air is pulled out of a home, you need to sometimes “make up” for that lost air by pumping outside air into the home

Before you get really excited about the solution of makeup air, understand that depending on your home, it will cost $2,000 to $10,000.

Passive makeup air, which is less expensive, could work for the 300-600 CFM range. Passive makeup air is basically holes in your house that only bring air in or out depending on air pressure differences.

The safest bet in Minnesota? Unless you want to invest a boat load of money, stick to a 300 CFM hood. This limits you to about 3,000 BTUs of cooking power (using our 100 CFMs per 1,000 BTUs suggestion), but erring on the safe side also protects the investment you make in your kitchen.

Don't be "this guy."

For instance, think about what all that extra smoke, grease and moisture will do to your cabinets. Plus, your house could end up smelling like a Burger King. Is that really what you wanted?

If you’re still not satisfied with that answer, you might be able to cheat a bit by oversizing the vent (i.e. 3 inches of overhang on both sides). This will increase the capture area of your smoke and grease.

Sticking to 300 CFMs gives you fewer options, for sure, but they’re nothing to snub. Previously mentioned Faber makes a 250 CFM insert hood liner. Broan makes an affordable 300 CFM hood.

But if you’re looking to top your pro-style vent with something higher-end, check out Vent-A-Hood. They’re quiet and they come with full, 5-year warranties. Here’s the Vent-A-Hood 30-inch 300 CFM hood.

Photo credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lement/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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