Friday, May 25, 2012

Professional Ranges for the Home

One of the most interesting appliance categories we offer is the Professional Range for the Home.   So often this is the first appliance our client mentions as a starting point of their kitchen design.  While
some people are interested in the pro style to give their kitchen that "commercial restaurant" look others are interested in getting the "commercial performance" so they can cook like they own a restaurant.

BlueStar Pro Range doesn't have to look like it belongs in a restaurant. 
Each of these customers has very different questions and desires.  The customer going for that "pro look" is usually curious about options in colors and trims while the "pro cook" wants to know how many BTUs are available and what temperature can the infrared broiler achieve.
So  you can imagine how excited I was to get an invitation to the BlueStar Factory in Reading, PA.  Prizer Painter, the manufacturer of BlueStar products, has been making high performance cooking products for commercail use since the 1880s.  They decided to bring this process under the brand of BlueStar and make a true handcrafted, restaurant quality professional range for the home in 2002.

The factory was a star in itself due to their long history of manufacturing cooking products for over 130 years in the very same buildings.  I really enjoyed hearing the "Made in America" story with locally sourced products such as American steel...and, my patriotic side admired how BlueStar corporately, actively works with the local VA to hire returning Vets.  All of this set in a picturesque, historical city like Reading, PA where Abe Lincoln's father and grandfather lived.

BlueStar Red Range and Oven sitting pretty as the star of the kitchen.

With features such as their big 22,000 BTU bad boy burners and their low, low simmer burners as low as 135 degrees, your true inner chef will be inspired.  If that wasn't enough, choices of over 190 colors, French door options, burner configurations and many trim accents will surely make the BlueStar the star of your kitchen design.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Designer Galley Sink Systems

I wear many hats for HomeWerks and one of my favorite tasks is looking for products worthy of HomeWerk's offerings.  It has to be a premium product -  energy efficient and water wise - no planned obsolescence...and of course be very cool!

Looks like The Galley Sink is going to fit the bill!  Cutting boards, racks and bowls slide above and below each other on two tiers creating a functional workspace for food prep, serving and cleanup all within the sink system.

Whether your kitchen is indoors or out...large or small...the Galley Sink would bring hyper fucntionality to your kitchen work area.  Depending on the kitchen design, an apron front version and an undermount installation is available in three sizes:  4 ft,  5 1/2 ft, and 7 ft. in a heavy duty 16 gauge stainless steel with angel hair finish.        

I love the fact that it is a "Made in America" product!   Did I mention that The Galley Sink is beautiful?  Which makes this another way cool offering at HomeWerks...Really Cool Stuff for the Home!

The sink is on it's way to our HomeWerks Gallery and we couldn't be more excited!   We'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Designing Today's Kitchens with Color

I went to the largest party thrown by the City of San Antonio last night - Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA) - during Fiesta Week.   I mention this because I was still in my "work uniform" of black and gray with a string of pearls as I went straight from work to the celebrated event.  I felt so out of sync with all the fun, colorful fiesta clothing everyone was wearing...once again realizing how important color can affect our moods.  Color can make us feel many emotions from somber to party mode!

Since I'm in the world of designing and coordinating kitchens, I am always looking for inspiration of color parings and trends.   Many clients want to bring color into their design but end up assuming the "deer in the headlights" mode in their decision making.

Color can be brought in through the appliances, counter tops, flooring and paint.  Even the selection of light to dark wood brings color to the design.  Material selections are endless from quartz countertops to wood veneers with just as many colors and textures to choose. 

Making a choice can be overwhelming!  What gives clients the most angst?  Whether or not they will be able to live with the color for the life of the kitchen and the lack of confidence in their color selection...often just settling for stainless.  While stainless is very popular, color could make their kitchen design sing!
Even a safe choice of a black range over stainless can make the "old world" look the client is trying to achieve come alive.  Or, the choice of  a white range in a very contemporary kitchen can make more of a "Zen" statement.

While I love to offer my 2 cents to the conversation, my best advice is to choose colors that you have always seem to be drawn to and look at colors that can be found in nature for your color palette.  Choosing natural materials like stone or wood is usually a safe bet...look at how older homes with wood and stone floors have held the test of time.   A great source - and probably worth more than my 2 cents is HGTV's  decorating and advice site for designing with color: 

Ok, so you just can't make that color selection?  Paint a wall...all white cabinets in a cocoon of color such as a fun tangerine or a sophisticated taupe would be stunning.   And, we all know how easy it is to change paint color...almost as easy as it is to change our mind!