Once cabinets are installed, spaces really start to take shape! You might think with the many years I've been designing that the process would start to loose its appeal for me...but it never does! When I walk on to a job site, its like Christmas morning (with the exception of those times when someone has gone rogue and hasn't built, or installed according to what was planned…but fortunately that's rare). I'm usually ooohing and aaahing like crazy! Its incredibly rewarding to see the plans and elevations that I've worked on for months, and some times years, finally come to life!


I love how kitchen design has developed over the years. They're often one of the most beautiful spaces in our homes.  When designing kitchens, I like to create feature walls…and one of the best ways to do it is to place the range or stove top on a long wall, as opposed to placing it in an island. This isn’t always possible, but it’s definitely worth trying to make it happen.

When it’s all said and done this feature wall from Project Shake Front will have a lovely custom hood with a combination of stained and painted finishes, and behind the hood will be full tile splash.


Even with the most careful planning sometimes during the build process unexpected changes happen that cause a chain reaction requiring problem-solving and flexibility. Doing regular site visits with the architect, or designer for the project makes it possible to catch any unexpected challenges and make correction before they becomes harder to fix. 

For instance, a situation happened with the wall light we had planned to go over the floating shelves…the refrigerator got shifted too far towards the open shelves and caused the centerline of the electrical box to be off.  

To make things right again would mean having the electrician move the box so it centers properly over the shelves…not a bad idea since we're doing a full tile backsplash behind the shelves which would eliminate the need for a perfect drywall patch…but with the shift of the refrigerator, the already narrow floating shelves got even narrower. After looking at it we decided to ditch the wall light completely. We were disappointed to loose it, but given the situation it was the best decision.



When planning a kitchen design it’s usually best to keep tall items together like the pantry, wall ovens or refrigerator so as to avoid cutting up the counter / work surfaces between them…but in this case we made a conscientious decision to break from that given that the kitchen has ample counter space. We included open shelves between the refrigerator and double ovens to add interest and depth, and to provide a landing place to accessorize.


Its always best if the primary sink is placed at a window, an island or in a peninsula like we’ve done in this project. That way it allows the person at the sink to either have an exterior view, or be a part of the interaction and activities of the kitchen and surrounding spaces.



  • During the build process, plan frequent site visits and walk throughs with the designer on the project. This will make all the difference with troubleshooting. The success of the project hinges on it. This is a good place for me to also interject the importance of relying on the design experts on your project for all design decisions, as opposed to the general and sub-contractors. In saying this I don’t in any way mean to take away from the building experts…it’s all about relying on the appropriate expertise as things come up…and in many situations there'll be a cross-over amongst those on the project.
  • Remember the saying that goes something like, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…while that goes for kitchens too…you might say that the open shelves and the free-standing hood is the play…they are both features, that will add tons of interest and style to the space. 
  • If at all possible, locate the primary kitchen sink so it doesn’t face a blank wall but instead looks out towards a window, or into the space.

To see more post about this project, go here, here, and here.


Just a little teaser showing what's to come...