Kitchen Remodeling by Kitchen Design Concepts Dallas, Texas

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Meet Our Designer!

You may see our designers’ photos on our About Us page, but this week we are getting to know one of our designers a little better. Who is she? Well, she’s the talented Rebecca Sutton! We got together with Rebecca and she shared some interesting details on where she gets her inspiration from and who her dream celebrity client would be (which we loved this answer!). Read more about our interview below:


How would you describe your design style? 

I don’t know if I have a set style. As a designer you have to change the rules for each individual client so your “style” always tends to trend towards the likes and dislikes of that particular homeowner. If you could count “balanced” as a style, that’s what it would be. I like designs that have some sort of stabilized and proportional elements to make the space feel balanced and welcoming.

What is your favorite part about working with clients?

Their first reaction to the initial design. Sometimes you have a client who is just ripping and replacing cabinetry or just knows exactly what they want in a design already. Sometimes you have a client who literally has no idea and give you free reign to do almost whatever. Either way, when it comes to that initial design meeting, they tend to be surprised and excited to see something come to life on paper. It really ups the “sales” part of the journey with the fun and excitement of moving along in the design process.

If someone wanted to DIY their kitchen remodel, what advice would you give them?

 Don’t, especially if you are getting new cabinetry. There are so many talented carpenters and millworkers that can build cabinetry, but there’s nothing like custom manufactured cabinets that come with catalyzed finishes and warranties. When it comes to install, I think it’s best to have a professional install who knows how to properly block for support, level, and secure cabinetry to your home. Also, when it comes to the design, there are so many people that have wonderful ideas, but don’t realize that sometimes those ideas come along with trick code violations, safety hazards, or functional inconveniences that having a specialized designer who knows all of these things really helps (see our blog on why you should hire a designer!). I would say that anything turn-key, new cabinetry, or those bigger remodels, hiring a professional is really the best way to go – and there are plenty out there that you can for sure find the right fit for you and your home.

 What is an average day for you like?

It really depends on my schedule. On average, I either start in the office with emails or at a new potential client’s home for a “step 1” home visit taking measurements of their kitchen/bath/etc. taking pictures, and gathering information about the homeowner. I typically end up in the office after and from there I am doing some sort of project management helping schedule the countertop templates, ordering cabinetry/tile/etc., making job books, or going through invoices. Other times I am very “front end” heavy where we are still in the sales process for clients so I am working on designs, picking out material and procuring samples from our vendors, or working on pricing and writing contracts. Normally during a lunch/break time, I shift gears completely and go into our content calendar and work on social media. This includes, but is not limited to, filling out the calendar, downloading pictures, and posting on our social media platforms (go like us on Facebook, check out our Houzz page, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest). 


 What are 3 words that describe you? 

Creative, Logical, and Adaptable

Where do you look to for inspiration?

Wherever I go! But if I’m just in the office/at home browsing online, Houzz is most definitely my numero uno source.

If you could go back to your first year as a designer, what is one thing you wish you knew then that you know now?

 I actually started on the project management side of the industry straight out of college and had an interesting journey from there to where I am today with KDC. That being said, I wish I knew something that I think applies to everyone looking for a job: I wish I knew how to find a place to work that I could fall in love with. I promise, it makes you want to come to work and brings out a better you. Do what you love, and work with people who help you get there. 

If you could have a celebrity as a client, who would it be and why?

Definitely Mark Wahlberg. Not only is he from Boston (sports team dedication is a plus) but the father of 4 has an adorable family, and with his wife being from the fashion industry, she would be fun to work with on the design. Added bonus? He has 11 full and half siblings, so I wouldn’t mind the recommendation to work with the rest of the Wahlberg clan 😉


What is your favorite phase of a project (the pre-design work, the beginning/demo, middle, or end/completion)?

My favorite phase is probably the pre-design work purely because that’s the part that really gets the creative juices flowing. However, if you want to know my favorite singular moment, it’s when we make that final punch list, because that’s when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that everything has come together and your homeowner can finally start using their new space!

When you’re not busy designing at work, what do you spend your time doing?

  I play soccer (both indoor and outdoor) several days a week, so that takes up a lot of free time. Other than that, I love watching whichever Boston/New England or Virginia Tech sport is on television, catching up on my Netflix or catching a new movie, reading, travelling, or just going on adventures around Dallas trying to discover something new.

What does ‘Kitchen Design Concepts’ mean to you?

Exactly what it states: That we are a company that takes your existing space, produces plans to functionally and aesthetically improve the space, and then work with you to move these ideas forward, sell, and make the design come to life. 

Tell me one fun fact about you that no one really knows.

I was not just a double major in college; I have 2 separate bachelor’s degrees. I actually got a B.A. in Philosophy in 3.5 years, the December of my senior year and received my B.S. in Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management – under the NKBA accredited Housing program – the following May.


Thank you, Rebecca, for taking time out of your day and having this fun interview with us!


First Friday Feature: October

In a home that still had the original cabinetry that came with the house, the clients wanted a new modern kitchen to match their style and taste. These particular clients had a love for cooking, so one of their main requirements was to upgrade the kitchen to introduce a better cooking environment. Their wish-list included: new appliances, bookshelf for all their cookbooks, additional cabinets with drawers, a bigger sink, and the list goes on. Today, this kitchen is nearing 2 years old, and we still love the way it turned out!


The cabinetry in this kitchen was matched to a piece of furniture in which they particularly admired the look and finish. Now, we have a huge portfolio of door styles, so we were able to find one that matched perfectly! This kitchen features UltraCraft Destiny cabinetry in a rift cut oak, natural finish, and slab door style.


Our clients had a large collection of modern art, so finding a countertop material that complimented their pieces, while also achieving a high level of quality and durability was a must. The perfect match was a 3cm countertop from Cambria quartz in Bellingham.


Finding a unique backsplash tile to go along with their style was also a must. The search for the perfect tile landed us on a navy metallic handmade tile from Pratt and Larsson. The unique 3×8 sizing and linear installation adds that extra modern element to their kitchen.


The plumbing fixtures were also an important factor to consider when deciding to improve their kitchen environment. Some of their improved plumbing fixtures include: Blanco Quatrus sinks, Blanco CULINA™ Semi-Pro faucets for both the main sink and island sink, and a water dispenser from Mountain Plumbing.


The clients wanted a way to cover up their speakers in the media area without completely concealing them, so we selected some neat architectural panels. These Le Corbusier inspired panels from SteelCrest were installed at tops of the tall cabinets and do a great job of being both decorative and functional.


New flooring that was both contemporary and soft was also on our clients wish list. The floor tile that grabbed their attention was a 12×24 Daltile Exquisite in ivory. The 12×24 size gave them a contemporary look with a soft color.


Lastly, a kitchen wouldn’t be complete without appliances! All of the new appliances were from Dacor, and they include: a 46” Classic gas cooktop, 30” Renaissance double wall oven, 30” Distinctive warming drawer, and a 52” Renaissance ventilator.

We hope you enjoyed our kitchen flashback!

Kitchen Planning Pointers: Zones

The kitchen is a room you spend a lot of time in. If it functions well, life is on track. If it’s difficult to work in, you’ll start and end your day stressed. With today’s emphasis on casual living, cooking and eating habits have changed and the kitchen design reflects this. For a start, there is less need for a separate dining room — today’s kitchen is often an open-plan space that’s being made to perform a multitude of tasks, such as entertain friends, supervise the children’s homework and run the house as ‘the family business’. To make the best use of your space, identify all the activities that will take place there, both cooking and non-cooking, and then allocate the zones.

Food Preparation Zone
Preparing and eating food is the center of the action in a kitchen. Try to gear the design of this area to the type of food being prepared: fresh and fast warrants long countertops with easy access to the fridge and freezer. Worth considering, too, is how many cooks there will be in the kitchen. Plan the countertop storage so it can take knives, chopping boards and utensils. Food storage should be only a step away.


Cooking Zone
This zone depends entirely on your preferred cooking style. Today, there’s more emphasis on grilling food, as well as wok and stovetop cooking, and the consequent multi-burners and indoor barbecues have expanded the potential of the cooking zone. Singles and the time-poor can get by with only a cooktop and microwave, but if you cater for more than five people or you like to entertain, give space to at least one oven or a heavy-duty range.


Eating Zone
Open-plan blurs the boundaries between food preparation and eating areas, so you may want to give back a degree of privacy to the dining area. Consider locating the table away from the mainstream of kitchen activity or partially screening it from the view of people moving through the open space. Locate a cupboard for storing glasses, china and so on near the dining table. And before you buy a dining table remember to measure it to make sure it will fit in the room.


Clean up Zone
Washing up becomes easier if you choose a sink or dishwasher based on the amount of cleaning up you generally do. Even with a dishwasher, you’ll still need a deep sink for washing pots and large platters. To move and work comfortably, allocate up to 1 ½ feet of space on the active side of the sink and above the dishwasher. If you install a smaller rinsing sink as well, this will extend the space. The sink area itself demands lower cabinet storage for cleaning supplies, perhaps a bin for food scraps and a container for recycling cans and glass.


Entertaining Zone
Today, the question of where to entertain is answered quite simply: in the kitchen. Bound up as it is with an increasingly informal style of eating, the kitchen can be dressed up or down, depending on the party. If you enjoy giving cocktail parties, assign the breakfast bar another job. If you have large gatherings, make the focus of your entertaining the dining table and extend the mood to other areas of the living space. For television viewing, restrict the size and position of the set so it doesn’t intrude when guests are around. And if you’re the consummate entertainer, allocate storage for wine, a drinks cabinet and a spot for CDs, DVDs and videos.



Storage Zone
Appropriate storage should be planned around the activity zones of sink, cooktop and fridge. Plan a mix of cabinets, shelves, drawers and cupboards. Storage requirements essentially depend on whether you like eating in or eating out. If you cook with plenty of fresh produce, you may not need a large pantry, but you will need storage areas away from the hot and steamy cooktop. For the busy family or the convenience cook, a well laid out pantry is imperative. Functional storage is all about organization and access; when starting from scratch, sit down and make a list that includes absolutely everything you’ll want to store in your kitchen.



Breakfast Zone
Breakfasting in the kitchen is more than a lifestyle choice; often it’s the place where the family gathers before leaving home for the day. Plan the location of the table early on when designing your kitchen. Consider the best source of natural light and make sure the spot is out of the traffic route. If you have children, include a breakfast bar in the L-shaped or open-plan layout of your kitchen. An island bench under which stools can be tucked is just as good. But if morning rush hour means breakfast on the run, just allocate a food take out space at the end of a countertop.


Cooling Zone
Cold food storage is a lynchpin of the modern kitchen. Before you buy a fridge or freezer, look at whether your cooking is focused on fresh foods or convenience foods; how often you freeze meals; and whether you shop daily, weekly or less often. No matter how big or small your fridge/freezer is, make sure it’s only a step from the food preparation area and can be easily accessed. And if you want a bigger combined fridge/freezer, remember to allocate enough floor space. Under-the-countertop fridges or ones integrated into the cabinets are less flexible but more discreet.


Communication Zone
This zone usually evolves by accident, not design. The kitchen is the center of the home, and it’s where you chat and leave messages for other household members, so consider the advantages of a dedicated communication station here. Set out of the main traffic route, it’s where you can make phone calls in peace and recharge mobiles, receive faxes, use the computer to e-shop, and find keys, shopping lists and school notes in a hurry. A corner spot or a small table is ideal, but remember to factor in the position of power points and cables and storage for disks and stationery.