How To Design For Every Culinary Need

By NKBA K+B Insider Patricia Davis Brown

The fourth annual WestEdge Design Fair kicked off this month in Santa Monica, CA, bringing together the best of modern design on the west coast. Over four days, 150 exhibitors showcased the latest in furniture, lighting, kitchen and bath products, outdoor designs and more, and leading brands partnered to sponsor panels and special events.

While NKBA K+B Insider Patricia Davis Brown, CKBD, has attended over 30 Kitchen & Bath Industry Shows in her career, this marked her first time attending WestEdge. We were thrilled to have Patty represent NKBA and share her expertise as a certified kitchen designer on one of the show’s panels, “Kitchen intervention: Designing for Every Culinary Need,” moderated by California Homes Magazine editor Susan McFadden and sponsored by Jenn-Air. Patricia sat along a diverse group of Los Angeles-based influencers, including fellow NKBA member Laurie Haefele, of Haefele Design, star designer Mark Cutler, and Jet Tila of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” to discuss how to create a high-function space that operates as efficiently as a restaurant kitchen.

Below, Patty shares key takeaways from the discussion on how best to design for every culinary need:

Step One: Know the client

Proper design should always start by accessing the needs of the client. It begins with an interview that dissects how the family lives, cooks, and uses their kitchen space. Then the design process begins and you apply what you have learned about the client to develop the proper flow and layout of the kitchen design.

Step Two: Stay current

It is so important for a professional to keep a constant pulse on the latest design methods, trends, and products in order to create the perfect culinary kitchen for the at-home chef. Technology is ever changing in design and products, especially with appliances. My fellow panelists and I all agree that steam ovens are a great value to homeowners considering a new kitchen. Some appliances offer an all-in-one approach, allowing the user to change between convection, steam, or baking.

Step Three: Let there be light

Any chef will tell you that having a well-lit kitchen is a must. The best approach is a layered lighting design that gives you general lighting at pathways, task lighting at countertops, and ambient lighting for mood. All zones should have a rheostat for dimming, giving all users control over their light levels to match the task at hand. As the client ages, the eye’s ability to see changes, and the culinary kitchen should be designed with this in mind.

I really enjoyed sharing the stage with this amazing group of professionals — the audience kept the discussion going with question after question, and it was great energy! It makes me feel good to give back at this stage of my career by speaking on what I know best: Design.

To see NKBA K+B Insider Patricia Davis Brown and Karl Champley’s favorite finds from WestEdge, as well as others, check out #kbinsider and #westedge on Instagram. NKBA will soon announce its 2017 class of NKBA K+B Insiders, who will attend KBIS in Orlando to report on the latest industry trends, hot product launches, and how to take your career to the next level in 2017.

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