January 2009’s Featured Books

Real Life Kitchens

Lyn Peterson
Clarkson Potter/Publishers
New York, NY

In the current economic climate, homeowners are increasingly choosing to remodel their current homes instead of relocating to a new space. Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Kitchens can help remodelers and designers ease their clients’ fears before, during and after the remodeling process.

With floor plans, checklists and planning lists throughout each section of the text, the author provides tips professionals can share with their clients to educate them about topics they may not otherwise be aware of. Full color photos showcase how remodeling can transform a kitchen into a space suitable to meet today’s challenges.

Detailed information on renovated home case studies offers creative design ideas. For instance, one featured kitchen includes a uniquely designed pantry cabinet, which adds balance to the space while providing additional storage.

The book also looks at key questions clients may have, including information about cooking styles, schedules and surface areas. All features and functions of kitchen products are addressed, including appliances, cabinets and countertops.

A discussion on green appliances, specifically trash compactors and garbage disposals, is also provided to help designers create an eco-friendly space.

Mexican Style, Sustainable

Tina Skinner
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Atglen, PA

Mexican Style, Sustainable by Tina Skinner is a book offering design ideas about how to create sustainable design with a southwestern flair.

According to the author, Norma and David Butterfield set out to find a perfect place to retire. Finding this place, they began building an entire community without destroying the culture and history of the existing area. From this, a Trust for Sustainable Development was created and the couple continued their design inspiration throughout the Loreto Bay area. With full-color photographs, the book describes how the couple implemented their ideas and shows what is possible with sustainable design.

The text provides quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Kofi Annan on sustainable development and discusses the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic, including how to ensure economic growth, improve social welfare and establish a foundation to carry out these practices. Showing kitchens and baths among its projects, this book presents a challenge to all industry professionals to see what they can do with sustainable design.

One kitchen showcased in the book embodies wood, stucco and tile features found traditionally within the region while incorporating modern appliances. Within village homes, four examples of whirlpool tubs are provided, showing the blend of old and new. Featured designs are also seen in vanities in the washrooms of the area with locally manufactured tile and porcelain sinks. These designs give all builders, designers and remodelers an opportunity to consider sustainable design and what it means to them for the future, particularly for their business, their designs and their ability to capture their clients’ dreams in a unique way.

Creating the French Look

Annie Sloan
CICO Books
New York, NY

Created to put French design sensibilities into a historical context while aiding kitchen and bath designers as to how to best apply these traits into future projects, Creating the French Look, is a valuable resource for those who are passionate about French design. Available from New York, NY-based CICO Books, the book beautifully presents French design styles; styles developed over hundreds of years and which range from luxurious grandeur to sheer simplicity.

With an explanation of the various French styles, including Chateau, Country, Provencal and Parisian, the book explores each style from room to room, including the kitchen and bath, with special projects outlined. Some of these projects include stained and varnished furniture, an armoire with stenciled doors and a gathered skirt lamp shade. The book offers a background on each style and how it should be incorporated, right down to the final details. For instance, the Parisian kitchen design features a colander used as a lamp shade and red gingham and lace used for the finishing touches around the room. A deep color on the walls and a black table top finish the design with finesse.

In a Parisian bath, white walls and black metalwork come together with the black, white and beige marble, and marble, oval-shaped tub to create a unique art deco design. A blue glass chandelier adds a splash of color to the bath.

The book encompasses some 25 home projects on topics from decoupage and distressed furniture to tea towels and paint, and includes over 250 color photos of projects incorporating the French design style.

The Dealer’s Voice

Brent Jackson
Companion Cabinet Software
Charlotte, NC

Including a collection of 11 articles from various industry publications and Web sites, The Dealer’s Voice by Brent Jackson is packed with information on how dealers can best promote their kitchen and bath firms. Geared toward cabinet dealership owners, the book offers principles that can be applied by anyone working in the kitchen and bath industry. The book offers sound advice for designers, managers and salespeople.

Specifically, the book features tips for making more money by taking common problems and finding practical solutions.

For instance, one section of the book discusses the 10 secrets of a successful operation and how to implement these practices in everyday business.

This guide, available from Charlotte, NC-based Companion Cabinet Software, is published annually and applies generally accepted managing practices to the ordinary issues arising in the industry. The book also provides information to help kitchen and bath pros understand how to work more effectively with customers, vendors and employees, applying sound management strategies.