Kitchen Design- It’s All About Planning

Happy Monday friends.
What a gorgeous weekend we had here in the Northeast and a forecasted warm week ahead. I’m simply not ready for fall because I just love the warmth of summer and long days at the beach. But since fall has officially begun, I intend to embrace it and start cooking more than I do in the summer months. I’m thinking about yummy soups, stews, braised dishes and cold weather foods. I love a spontaneous get together as much as anyone but if you love to cook then you know that planning ahead is everything and can make things run very smoothly in the end. It’s not about pulling off a “Martha Stewart” like event as it is about being able to relax and enjoy your company. So yes, I think planning is important. So here’s my message today to all of you who may be endeavoring to begin a kitchen renovation. Plan, plan and then plan more.
So kitchen design, like entertaining, the devil is in the details. The more planning you do with a professional kitchen designer the better the your kitchen project will turn out in the end. Planning, listening and great communication are the backbone of what I do.
I still do “old school” hand drawings and when available I use a CAD draftsman. For some reason people just seem to like hand drawn.
Here are the drawings (not final ones) of how I work through a project with my clients. In addition we have cabinetry samples, tiles, countertop selection and appliance selection “field trips” to my go to resources, lighting selections, paint colors…. and on and on.
Yes I do it all on my projects from start to finish.


Planning a Kitchen Renovation

Its All About the Planning

Since I began writing this blog I rarely have featured any of my own work and I thought it might be nice to finally.
Today I wanted to share with you a kitchen I completed a little over a year ago. I’ve completed hundreds of kitchens in my career and am always proud of all of them especially because my clients are happy. That’s the point, it’s not about me but what my client’s wants and needs. Often a project comes along that I personally love and would really enjoy “living” in. Fortunately for me I can live vicariously through my finished projects and one day I hope to have the time to cook in many of them.
This past March I was thrilled to have one of my local projects featured on the cover of
Kitchen and Bath Ideas

New Canaan Kitchens project designed by Rebecca Reynolds

A beautiful kitchen designed by Rebecca Reynolds of New Canaan Kitchens

Kitchen and Bath Ideas, as you can imagine is one of many of the  Better Homes and Gardens magazines I love. I’ve  read and scoured their magazines for years for ideas from the other successful designers they feature. I’m always learning something from others in my industry and  I’m thrilled to say I know alot  these designers from around the country. I’m honored to be among them and on this cover.
Today I wanted to share this beautiful kitchen with you and some of the beautiful elements that made this kitchen so special.
Did I mention that my clients were fantastic and a pleasure to work for? They were and this has been my experience with all my clients for my years of designing kitchens and at the end of the day what makes my work fun and why I love it.


Did I happen to say that I LOVE tile? One of the things I really love doing on my projects is the tile design. It can be a little time-consuming but really fun and it can either be a quiet backdrop or the jewelry in a kitchen. This tile is from a company called Stone and Pewter Accents, a company I’ve used many times in the past.
This along with many other gorgeous tiles are available from my local CT supplier
Tile Designs by Laura.




I was fortunate to have the best photographer shoot this project, Michael Partenio whose work is in the all of the best design and architectural magazines as well as New England stylist Karin Lidbeck-Brent. To you I owe a thousand thank you’s for making my project come to life.


A view of the sink wall with a classic Rohl farm sink and faucet. Bisque painted custom cabinetry by New Canaan Kitchens  and Cherry distressed Island for a feeling of warmth. This was the first time I designed a kitchen with a GE Monogram range and I have to say it was gorgeous. Sleek, not bulky for a pro range, My client is quite a cook and I know she loves it

Some of my favorite elements in this kitchen are the island pendant lights, by Urban Electric of Charleston, SC and the custom metal range hood by Rangecraft available through Albano Appliance in Pound Ridge, NY. The most knowledgable and nice people in the business I’m lucky to be able to work with.


When drawings are completed, every detail is discussed and communicated with the client so there’s so no MIS-commuunication about how something will look or whats included with their contract. More detailed drawings are supplied for the contractor for the installation. The installation is one of the MOST important parts of the project. It can take longer than clients expect sometimes with complicated details but in the end it’s well worth the extra time.

Close up kitchen details

Adding the reclaimed hemlock to the ceiling was a detail that really warmed up this large kitchen, gave it personality and provided me with an opportunity to create a nice beam and soffit detail. Ceilings are often overlooked in kitchen design and one that I’m paying alot more attention to in current projects. This wall housed a 36″ SubZero Refrigerator and GE Monogram wall ovens. Not shown is an area across the kitchen deemed the self-service “kids morning breakfast area”
I put a pair of under-counter SubZero refrigerators and a wall cabinet down to the counter with pocket style doors hiding the toaster, microwave and breakfast goodies.

I’ll leave you with one last photo that shows a signature piece I created for this project. The wine “STUD”. If we can’t be lucky enough to employ a live in sommelier I think every girl needs their own wine studded cabinet. I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed designing the project.


In the 18 years I’ve been designing kitchens, I can’t remember a project that a client was ever unhappy or that the job didn’t turn out as planned or that the actual kitchen was different from what they expected it to be. Why? Because I spend alot of time, hours and hours and hours to get it right and to convey the concept clearly to the client, hopefully minimizing miscommunication. Now don’t get me wrong, I make mistakes and I have since the day I started doing kitchens. There’s so many details and parts and pieces that need to come together perfectly down to a 1/16th of an inch that it’s almost impossible to cover every little detail. I’ve been a mother for almost 30 years so you know “I have eyes in the back of my head” but sometimes things still get missed. Fortunately they’re never biggies AND I stand behind it, take responsibility and make it right. This is the best you can hope for and expect. Good luck with your next kitchen renovation.

Coming On Oct. 20th, I’ll be able to let the cat out of the bag images-4

about a new nationwide business venture.

 If you’re looking to begin a kitchen renovation project for Spring 2014, now is the time to get on the calendar to begin your planning.
Send me some information about your project and indicate if you’d like to set up an in home consultation.


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