Kitchen Dreams (not nightmares)

Our first qualification as kitchen designers is that we love to cook. Our design qualifications include a 5 year professional degree in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, 30 years experience in fabrication, fine furniture craft, sculpture lighting expertise, and the fact the we develop all our designs in 3d so “What You See is What You Get.”

In any design project our greatest ambition is to see a huge smile on our clients faces at the end of the project. To achieve that we provide options. There is no worse feeling than feeling ‘Meh’ at the end of a remodel that has involved time, money and disruption. Why go for that if you don’t get something great.

Kitchen myths: Ikea has the best value, and Home Depot the lowest prices. Drawing my kitchen on a napkin will get me the result I want. I know what I want. Hiring a professional is a waste of money, it isn’t that hard. Designers are dictators and I’ll get their style not mine. I can’t afford a true custom kitchen. I don’t believe that having a professional design can actually save me money, as well as protect me from that terrible feeling that I spent money and effort and lived with the remodel and got a lackluster result.

Value: my main job is to provide you options, establish a budget, and get things done with excellent quality and a lasting transformation, that makes your life better every day when you’re preparing food and entertaining people.

My job is to show you relatively unlimited options, sources I have acquired over three decades of experience in architecture and design.

My job is to guide material selection and draw details that are clear, so that everyone involved in the project is ‘on the same page.’

What made our most recent kitchen project success?

We didn’t scrimp on design time with clients. We had a dialogue with each other. Seems that we all really enjoyed collaborating. For the first time we outsourced to a high-tech manufacturer. That means that the cabinets are built with the same precision as super custom cabinetry imported from Europe. And instead of taking 3 months which is the normal European kitchen lead time, the cabinets are ready in 10 days. The fabricator is less than an hour away from clients on the Westside, which meant delivery was easy.

As designers, we have to know that the materials, the details, and the dimensions are exactly correct. Frankly, most non-Pros would have a lot of trouble getting the data down right, which isn’t due to a lack of intelligence, it’s the difference between working on your own project, possibly a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and having the experience of working on several hundred projects.

What do we want as designers? The number one thing is a big smile from our clients when we’re done.

Sculptural Lights – part 3

We’ve been working on these for a long time. Thanks to a new toy, a laser cutter, we can precisely cut any shape we draw in Acrylic, and have it in our hand a few minutes later. By heating it afterwards we can bend the pieces, most of which are leaf-shaped into almost any form.

SconceLaserCutHack

Just a sketch quickly thrown together. I was thinking of buying a nice stock sconce, then heat bending some of my acrylic ‘leaves’ to amp up it’s color and form.

I’ve been looking through my past work, and now that I’m realizing I can lean on other people’s expertise, I would like to design interesting interactive features.

I saw a number of interesting effects at the Enchanted Forest displays at Descanso Gardens in December.

Interactive Lighting at Descanso Gardens Luminous displays at Descanso Gardens

 

some Doors we’ve made…

Over the years we have built a number of custom doors and gates. You can order pretty nice solid wood doors from a door factory, but the downside can be that nobody bothers to match the boards very well. I prefer to select the lumber myself, and spend some time making sure the color and grain works well together.

A similar process is involve in building a hardwood gate.

Here are some examples:

Table designs by mKieley Studio…

Looking back through the many tables I have designed / fabricated over the years. I am excited about using new tech tools like CNC machines, 3d printers, and laser cutters, but I also love traditional woodworking; something I have done since I was 7 years old.

My latest project is variations based on what I believe is an image of two sculptural tables by Rudolph Schindler, perhaps my all time favorite architect. I’m thinking of applying unusual patterns from Italian veneers and laminates to the sober forms of Mr. Schindler.

Schindler Table variations

Here is a gallery of tables, including a few that inspire me for whatever comes next…

 

 

Art, Studio Furniture + Objects