Lifestyle is thrilled today to learn more about interior designer extraordinaire, Jamie Herzlinger. We receive all her emails, have toured her site, and have found much inspiration from this talented lady. Just recently Jamie’s work has received recognition as one of Trends Top 50 American Kitchen(s).
Jamie stopped by to talk about this project, her approach and share some ideas that may benefit anyone thinking about tackling this important room.
“When I set out to design a ‘Top American Kitchen’ the thought of being awarded an honor or entering a competition is not what I am after, but it is always nice to be recognized for my hard work.
The Fun Part
“There is a specific way I start off the design of every kitchen project. The first is to realize that the fun is in choosing all the pretty components. Things like, cabinetry, hardware, plumbing fixtures, appliances, countertops, edge details, backsplash materials, lighting, flooring and any other decorative components.
Questions to Ask
“I have always felt that the best advice for a remodel client or a DIY client, is to understand that the smart thing to do is assess the existing conditions and draw out a floor plan. This means locating plumbing, gas lines and drains as you will want to use these to reduce costs, and be able to reallocate money towards pretty aspects such as tile, counter tops and cabinets.
“When working with a client in the design, whether it is a remodel or new construction, the same questions apply. For example, do you enjoy cooking alongside another person, will you use the kitchen for entertaining? Will you need a wet bar or an area for additional cleanup that will require an additional dishwasher? Do you entertain now and find yourself always needing that extra oven or extra sink? Do you like to keep plates warm or reheat food? The same could be true of a home owner wanting to start a do it yourself project.
“…do you enjoy cooking alongside another person?”
“Be sure to think of not only how much you cook, but how you utilize your place while cooking. In this particular kitchen I won the award for, the clients entertained a lot, and loved to cook. So I immediately started the design with that specific function and designed the rest of the space around this initial requisite.
“In this particular remodel, as you can see original kitchen was in a horse shoe shape and everything was very dated. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to gut the entire kitchen, so I moved walls, and took from adjacent spaces to incorporate into the finished product.
“If is a do it yourself project, it is worth it to go to a one stop shop, to help facilitate all the trades involved. The coordination of a kitchen remodel is quite extensive and I cannot give enough praise to IKEA for their fantastic kitchen designers and their product, I have seen DIY projects go sideways and a lot of money wasted. I know, right now you are probably saying, “Jamie Herzlinger just said IKEA.” I have to tell you, that I have been on several projects where budget was a real consideration and I wanted the savings garnered from using IKEA, to go to things like the flooring, the light fixtures and the window coverings. Be sure to hire a licensed contractor, because if something goes wrong your insurance will not cover you.
“Jamie Herzlinger just said IKEA.”
“I used a white marble with a polished finish in this kitchen. Most of my recent projects are designed with white marble counter tops in the kitchen. I am often asked how marble will hold up, and my thoughts always go back to my first trip many years ago to Rome and Greece. I had never seen so much marble and it is all still there! You should get a good installer who will know what sealer to put on the countertops, and this should be done once a year.
“Like any product, counter tops need maintenance in order to keep them looking great. You have to know your lifestyle. If taking care of countertops is not what you want, and you want more of a more free material, try solid surfacing. Some option would include Avonite, Corian or Caesar Stone.
The appliances I used in this kitchen are all Gaggenau. These clients loved to cook, so for them, and upscale appliance package really added to their enjoyment of this kitchen. There are many other brands that function beautifully which are not at this price point and are easily serviceable One of my favorites is Kitchenaid, I can’t say enough great things about their product line.
When it comes to kitchen sinks, I am always asked about stainless versus porcelain. In most remodels and new construction I use stainless sinks, for me personally I use white cast iron. You have to know yourself. Stainless will spot and never have that brand new look. Yes, it is easier to maintain as it has a brushed finish, and shiny white porcelain after many years will get dull. But we are talking many not next year.
Most importantly remember to enjoy your kitchen and enjoy all the memories you make in your new space!”
Be sure to visit Jamie’s website for some stunning photos and inspiration: www.jamieherzlinger.com