Rebecca’s Reflection: Timeless Kitchens

To mark our 25th Anniversary, I have selected the following two projects for examples of our early work, because they both presented issues that challenged me, as a designer, to think ‘outside the box’ … in a way that I had not previously explored.  This resulted in personal growth as a designer as well as…

Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence An Owners Reflection When Bob and I bought our company, 25 years ago, we experienced a seamless transition because I had been already been working in the business & running the residential side of it for the previous 6 years.  One day Patrick Contardo owned it … the next day,…

“To hire or not to hire … that is the question”

“To hire or not to hire … that is the question”   Okay … it’s time. You’ve discussed this home improvement on and off for quite some time.  You’ve clipped pictures from magazines, created an ‘idea-book’ on Houzz® and written lists of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.  Now it’s time to take action and pursue the ‘dream…

“…and the 2014 Color of the Year is…”

“…and the 2014 Color of the Year is…” Unlike the Academy of Motion Picture’s announcement of ‘best picture of the year’, Pantone’s annual announcement of ‘Color of the Year’ is a bit of a ‘non-event’… creating little if any stir with the general population. And to say that professional designers wait with baited breath for…

‘The Dream Stage’

  ‘The Dream Stage’   Tired of winter? One way to escape the doldrums of cold and ice is through dreamy thoughts of a new project in your home.  With the holiday season well behind us, perhaps you are thinking of ways to improve entertaining in your home.  Perhaps it isn’t even inside your home…

Considering a ‘Fixer-Upper?’

  Considering a ‘Fixer-Upper?’  There’s a certain appeal to owning and living in one of the beautiful century old homes gracing Duluth’s hillside.  In their glory, these homes were rich in architectural details and solidly constructed. I often encounter folks who desire to purchase and restore an older home.  Rarely an impulsive decision, it does…

A Designer Looks Back On 2013

A Designer Looks Back On 2013   The kitchen and bath industry is forward thinking and fast paced with something new always just around the corner.  As designers, one of our challenges is staying on top of the continuum of new products and technology while honoring timeless design. Sometimes it’s a balancing act … to…

Emerging Kitchen Technology Improves our Quality of Life

  Emerging Kitchen Technology Improves our Quality of Life Nowadays it is hard to imagine a kitchen without a microwave oven or automatic dishwasher.   Add the long list of small appliances designed to save us time and personal energy… from food processors to immersion blenders … and it is clear that advancing kitchen technology has…

Storing Your Craft Beer

 Storing Your Craft Beer   When my husband and I were college students, we had a good friend who adapted an old style, vintage refrigerator into a beer tap.  It allowed him to keep fresh keg beer ready for the draw whenever friends dropped by for a visit.  Somehow he rigged up a tap that…

Fanciful Fruit Salsa – Yum!

Fanciful Fruit Salsa – Yum!   As a professional kitchen designer and Home Economist, I have a unique connection to the kitchen … and like many of my clients, for whom I’ve had the pleasure of designing fabulous kitchens … I, too, am a ‘wannabe’ chef! Harvest time is the crème de la crème of…

De-bunking Some Renovation Myths

  De-bunking Some Renovation Myths   After a few ‘sleepy’ years of deferring home improvement projects, you might find yourself among the folks who are ready to initiate a long delayed project.  Whatever you are considering – be it a kitchen renovation, family room addition or landscaping … don’t allow yourself to experience anything less…