Home for the Holidays

What are you dreaming of this holiday season?

My to-do list is almost as long as my wish list to Santa. I am so behind on my holiday gift shopping, cards and even further behind on updating you with some more ideas for gift giving this season. (Post on Holiday gifts under $25 to follow this one)

We have been busy bees with holiday parties and home improvement projects to spice up our home for the holidays. Our kitchen desperately needs more functional space. Whoever planned it back in the 40s, probably never used it to actually cook much less plan a holiday feast. We have plans to gut it out completely to turn it into a chef’s kitchen sometime in the future, but for now we are making some minor changes to the layout.

We also are finally getting around to painting some of the rooms- living, dining, kitchen and guestroom. And because of all the decorating projects, we have to wait until they are almost done before we can get holiday stuff up. Never the less, I am truly enjoying this experience. Mr. Mochatini, aka Paul is really a good sport with all my experiments. I picked a silver tin gray paint for the wall with the fireplace. After I saw the first coat of paint, I thought I made a big mistake, but Mr. Mochatini’s assurance and looking at the finished product got me right back on track. “Trust your instincts you must” he says.

We are what you might call “nesting” and totally loving it. Updates on these projects soon. Here is a glimpse of work in progress.

How are you getting your home prepped for the holidays? Comment comment and share! I want to know.

Come back later for holiday gifts under $25 and reader contest results.

What’s in your Kitchen?

As a designer, I encourage clients to bright, safe, functional and sustainable kitchens.

When planning a kitchen, creating a functionality list is not only helpful but essential. How many members of the house use it, if at all? And for what purpose(s)? And yes sometimes I take into account answers that disclose using the oven as shoe storage :).

Is it just for dinners and weekend meals? Or is it the center of activity? Multi functional? Pets? Kids etc..

As a couple, we love to cook together, entertain, and experiment with our culinary skills. I am a sucker for gadgets, tools and appliances, that add to this experience. These factors and more influence the design of my kitchen.

Some of the points on my list for a kitchen are: it needs to be an organized, equipped, functional, bright and modern space. A space that inspires creativity, entertaining, recycling (compost and glass bottles) and health.

I need lots of storage space. For all daily and occasional china, beverage crystal and daily glasswares, pots and pans, appliances, and a decent sized work counter. I love to add life by keeping some of my herbs in the kitchen. Having fresh herbs handy encourages me to use them more in my cooking.

I would also love to walk out to a garden or comfy lounge seats from my kitchen. See image# 9 & 11.

So enough about my kitchen.

What’s in your kitchen? The one you have, the one you would like to have? What is important to you in kitchens? I would love to hear about your kitchen concerns.

Meanwhile, take a look at some of these for inspiration. Some of these are potential options for our new space. The search for which is still ongoing..

I am starting with Ikea. They recently released their 2009 catalog and it looks very promising. I visited their store in Woodbridge, VA to look at offerings in kitchens.  Their collections let you play with so many options as well as mix and match to suit your style and budget.

Have any of you used Ikea’s kitchen installation services? What would you say about their expertise and timelines?

ikea_kitchen

ikea_kitchen

ikea_kitchen

ikea_kitchen

ikea_kitchen

ikea_kitchen

images courtesy of Ikea.com

And if you have deeper pockets, and want an upscale, cutting edge, and the very best in quality, I recommend the God of kitchen design – Poggen Pohl.

I went to one of their showrooms in Manhattan with my interior design sourcing class (NYU). We all fellin love with each display. The finish and design are exceptional.

Poggenpohl is the innovative designer kitchen “made in Germany”, synonymous with international luxury and representing top aesthetic and technical quality. The feeling of owning a Poggenpohl kitchen belongs to style-conscious individuals who “know what counts”. In over 60 countries across the globe.

poggenpohl

porsche-poggenpohl-kitchen

poggenpohl-kitchen

poggenpohl-kitchen

poggenpohl-kitchen

And finally feast your eyes on these gorgeous kitchens by Snaidero – Italian kitchen designers.

snaidero_kitchen

PoggenPohl

Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl

Snaidero.com

Change your mind about take-away yet?