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Why they never show pictures of you using your kitchen in a design magazine

February 2, 2010

One of the reasons I went to LA a week ago was to see the renovation that was done on my cousin’s house.  I helped them with the design over the course of about two years and I was excited to see the end result.  They added a second floor to the house within the existing footprint and made most of the ground floor into lounge/dining/kitchen/playroom with one space flowing into the other.  I really like the design with the very spacious lower level and the compact upstairs which fits in three bedrooms, a tiny study, laundry and two baths with no wasted space (my New York small apartment training kicked in while working on the layouts).

Once the basic design was done they had a local engineer take over, but I helped with advice on some materials and also worked with them on the kitchen design through quite a lot of back and forth selecting materials, refining the layout and maximizing the storage.  Above on the left you will see one of many of the design renderings for the space, below is the actual kitchen on the night I was there and we cooked up a big family feast.   Its obviously not quite what you see in that particular rending, but the huge island and the basic layout of cabinets is the same.

Orli did an amazing job sourcing appliances and tile for the kitchen — she must have checked craiglist every day until she found what she wanted.  She also found tile she liked and arranged a trip to the showroom to buy a selection of their seconds and overstock which (when matched with some similar tiles found online) provided the bulk of the finish for bathrooms and kitchen.

I can’t show the picture of our feast without a mention of the deliciousness of it all.  We did our shopping at the farmer’s market (that is  Mollie on the right communing with the cauliflower) and created a menu with everything we brought home including mashed blue potatoes, an amazing orange salad, my favourite alien vegetable: romanesco cauliflower, beautifully multicolored chard and berry tart.

–By Talia

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2010 1:57 pm

    I so agree with your title! All of these amazing kitchen designs out there, and usually a picture with like a solitary apple or something artfully placed on the counter. Your cousin’s kitchen looks great – even better since there is life in it!!!

    • February 2, 2010 2:01 pm

      thanks – i’m glad you like: it was such fun to be there and get it all dirtied up! (we did stay and clean though, for the record)
      as for design magazines: I came across this while surfing today and it made me laugh…

      • February 3, 2010 1:09 am

        That’s funny 😉 the captioning is spot on. Makes me want to tear apart my MetHome’s and do the same, but they so rarely have any life-forms in their photos- unless they are completely blurred, or a dog.

  2. lbfromla permalink
    February 2, 2010 5:26 pm

    I for one know that the kitchen really works well and can adapt well to every age group reperesented in the family… by day it is very child friendly and can accomodate children snacking, doing art projects,and building with Lego. By night it morphs int0 a sophisticated eating area where adults can enjoy cocktails, and snack on cheese and crackers, while adding the finishing touches to a delicious meal. Remarkably, it bears a wonderful resemblance to the original design. Well done and Bon Appetit!

    • February 2, 2010 5:31 pm

      Thanks! It really was a treat to see some of all that action in person. Hopefully I can come again in the not too distant future!

  3. Debra permalink
    February 3, 2010 6:41 pm

    It was such great fun to cook with you in Orli’s kitchen! It’s cool to see your rendering against the final design and it was really fun to put the kitchen to the test. Here’s to many more feasts! I’m definitely hunting down that romanesco cauliflower on Sunday at the farmer’s market. You need to send me the recipe for the yummy drinks!

    • February 3, 2010 6:49 pm

      Debra: hi! so good to cook with you as well. and in that kitchen… I never get to make my clients kitchens filthy!

      the stockholm 75 recipe is here: and if you find the cauliflower this recipe is a fun way to use it
      i’m wracked with jealousy at the thought that you get to go to such a good farmer’s market sunday… it’ll be months before we have so much at ours!


  4. JPR permalink
    February 9, 2010 8:51 pm

    I need more pictures! I have seen too many incarnations of the designs for this house. MORE MORE MORE! It looks gorgeous in the dinner shot.

    • February 9, 2010 9:07 pm

      Ok, Jennifer, thanks for wanting to see more… I put up more photos at — though I am so embarrassed to say I took none of them myself. Why do I never properly document my work??! Anyway: a taste of the house.

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