Category: Tips


Written by Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, with Timeless Kitchen Design This weekend I just finished being an extra for a few commercials with the Improv Alive group that I’ve been practicing with for the last three years. Whenever I tell people I’ve been taking Improv classes, they say, “Oh that must be fun!” But honestly it’s more about getting out of my…

Optimism in a Color! Pantone’s 2017 Pick

It’s working for me!15380318_10154725740297629_7076341012700362211_n

I don’t always jump to attention or get on the Color of the Year bandwagon, but this color just struck me deeply.  And after reading many articles about it, I quickly realized I was not alone.

To me this color represents healthy foods, being outdoors, being active, spring, new grass, bright green asparagus, HOPE, vitality . . .  my list of right brain descriptive words could go on and on. Simply, it is an optimistic color. And it’s what I needed today as I sit here working from home in the Pacific Northwest. It inspired me to create a fun Pinterest board. And I was laughing because I should be getting ready to head to the gym before it snows tonight, if it snows, and here I was immersed in Pinterest inspired by a field of green, each one making me smile and smile again.

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director who lives in my own backyard, was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “This is the color of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature. It speaks to what we call the ‘re’ words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew. Every spring we enter a new cycle and new shoots come from the ground. It is something life affirming to look forward to.”

In my own business I don’t always chose to introduce these colors to my clients. As my business name implies, I prefer to design timeless and enduring aesthetics. I know many who would not care for this color at all, and most who would never paint it on their walls, but everyone likes different things. On my Pinterest board you can see many varying shades of this green and different uses of it. I hope that something about it makes you smile like it did me.

It makes me think of basil, kiwi, green apples . . . fresh bright, new. Dreams of spring.

I find it interesting how we see these colors in digital media and on the runway sometimes even before the color trend reports start coming out. Years ago it used to take a number of years before these colors would trickle down into our homes and clothes. But in today’s social media frenzy, it’s nearly immediate. Just look at the Pinterest board, you’d almost think someone let the cat out of the bag early and the manufacturers were in a competition to see who could be first.

As I said above, some of these colors won’t make it into our homes. Consumers may decide they don’t want to wear or surround themselves with this particular shade of green. I’ve already seen comments from highly respected Certified Color Professionals who are not fond of this particular shade of green. And you, like others, may have strong adverse feelings about certain colors. Remember some of these from years past?


I’m not suggesting you to go out and buy a new purse, or kitchen mixer, or paint your bathroom in this shade. I just wanted to share some happy optimism. Go eat a kiwi, wear that green scarf tomorrow in the middle of winter, or bundle up and get outside to go for a walk. Off to the gym I go!

Paula Kennedy CMKBD CLIPPS Timeless Kitchen Design #ignitecreativity #greenmakesmesmile  COPYWRITE 2016 ©




picture1We have an interesting relationship with dishwashers. I’m in my 40’s and I remember my grandmother’s fancy new top loading “mobile” dishwasher. We rolled it around when needed and plugged the hose into the kitchen faucet. I also remember many, many family gatherings where we all hand-washed our dishes. Later on I remember Mom thinking our dishwasher wasn’t getting the food off so we rinsed all our dishes. Even today the habit has stuck with me.  Not only am I rinsing the dishes, but I am also using one of those sponges with soap in it and hot water. Other than sterilization, those dishes are pretty clean by the time I load them in the dishwasher.

The problem was, I didn’t trust the machine to do a good job. I hated finding food on the dishes after running the cycle.


DID YOU KNOW? Today’s Energy Star-rated dishwashers are limited to 3 gallons of water PER CYCLE? And that non-Energy Star dishwashers average out at 4.5 gallons per cycle. Your kitchen faucet outputs between 1.5 and 2.2 gallons per MINUTE. Let’s do the math! Older faucets can be even as high as 7 gallons per minute. And yes, that is CYCLE vs MINUTE.

You don’t need to wait till the dishwasher is full to run a cycle. They are pretty smart these days and can sense how much food is on the dishes and adjust the cycle appropriately.


Now this is important! A typical dishwasher cycle will use LESS water washing half a load than it would take you to pre-wash your dishes! EVEN if some dishes come out with food on them and you run it again, you will still use LESS water than pre-rinsing! Crazy, right? Let that sink in!



So this is me trying to learn to practice what I am learning so I can turn around and start preaching! I have to admit to you I grew up with Cascade powder and I have always used powder detergent. I went out and bought my FIRST purchase of Cascade Platinum tablets last month.

And for the first time ever, I bought Rinse Aid! Hopefully most of you already know Rinse Aid really has nothing to do with rinsing and more to do with drying function. It actually helps remove water from the dishes, we should be calling it Dry Aid. Did your Dad ever put Rain-X on your windshield?

I also learned not to use generic brands of detergent, stick with what you know and what works. And many high end appliance manufacturers recommend the same thing. I have been surprised since I started using these products, and loading dirty dishes, at how nice and spotless the dishes come out.

Key take-aways:


I’m not using an overly high end dishwasher in my rental house but it’s a newer one. Previously I thought it was a “bad dishwasher.” Now I know the issue was user error. We all need to learn how to properly and effectively use this wonderful machine.



Paula Kennedy CMKBD CLIPPS, NKBA member 1997, Timeless Kitchen Design, Ignite Creativity


Food preservation and today’s kitchen

Written by Paula Kennedy, CMKBD CAPS, Timeless Kitchen Design in Seattle Spoiler Alert – Kitchens waste food! Today’s kitchens are not designed with food preservation in mind. That may sound strange to say, isn’t so much of what we do focused around food storage? Yes. But, food PRESERVATION, is different than merely storage. I am beyond exasperated with throwing away…

Your New Home Came with an Advantium Speedcook Oven in the Kitchen. Now What?

Written by Susan Cozzi, Manager of the Monogram Design Center in New York City

Like most homeowners at Lennar’s boutique waterfront condo, The Avenue Collection on the Hudson River, chances are you one-touched the reheat button for warming up a dinner and also made popcorn and tea in your Advantium.

To answer the question, the team at the New York Monogram Design Center thought—our chef, your kitchen—let’s have dinner. So Monogram partnered with Lennar to offer its homeowners an onsite chef demonstration dedicated to using Advantium, all while taking in a great view of the New York City skyline.


Monogram Executive Chef Michael and Chef Carl ensured that the menu for the evening covered all of Advantium’s special cooking features. Appetizers started with avocado toast as guests were surprised to find their “microwave” could also toast all their favorites in the morning.


Next, the Cajun marinated prawns with grit cakes were speedcooked to perfection. The door was now opened to all the possibilities for fast, healthy dinners, and lots of notes and tips were taken.


The next speedcooked entree was lamb chops served with ratatouille. Now the conversation got good as guests savored lamb perfectly browned and were surprised at Advantium’s versatility and skill in also cooking the vegetables gently. Owners learned they could also keep their dinner plates or dinner warming by using the warming drawer feature.


Baked apricots with rum and vanilla whipped crème fraiche demonstrated the convection oven baking function in Advantium and showed the value of being able to bake a full dessert without having to turn on a full-sized oven.

Since much of the joy of cooking comes from the process of learning something new, these new homeowners enjoyed the Monogram team stepping in their door and showing them the possibilities.

See more photos of this new community that was once vacant land:

Monogram Dream Kitchen Contest Winner: Tony Crosby

The Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest was created to celebrate the imagination and creative vision inherent in beautiful kitchen design. All designs were required to integrate Monogram appliances and were judged across several award categories. We announced the winners last year and will be profiling each of them on Save Room for Design over the next few months.

The third place winner in Best Transitional Kitchen Design is Tony Crosby from Tony Crosby Kitchens in Blairsville, Georgia.

Tony Crosby, third place winner in the Best Transitional Kitchen Design category of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest

Tony Crosby, third place winner in the Best Transitional Kitchen Design category of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Tony: I think I have always had a design bug in me. Even as a young boy, I was always rearranging my room. I think it is something that is born into you.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Tony: I especially love designing spaces for young couples newly married, or with just young children. One in particular, they are recently married and purchased their first house. We did a total renovation on the kitchen and bar space. She gave me a lot of freedom and I pulled ideas from her and designed a kitchen they will grow into with their family.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Tony: White.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Tony: The past five or seven years the trend has been an eclectic look. Which basically is mixing whatever makes you comfortable and happy. I believe it is here to stay.

SRFD: Tell us about your winning project.

Tony: Going into the project, I was working with an engineer who was one part of the marriage. Her husband was a perfectionist as well. I had just returned from the National Kitchen and Bath Show, so I was very excited about incorporating some of the new kitchen and bath accessories. It also was a complete renovation of the kitchen, down to the studs. An engineered beam had to be installed to hold the second floor, because we removed a load-bearing wall to open up the kitchen to a 180 degree view of the lake. We incorporated a dining table out of eight quarter cherry and married it to the Cambria countertops. We also used all Monogram appliances throughout the whole kitchen. With the help of Kelly and Charlie, we pulled off a wonderful kitchen for entertaining family and friends for years to come.

pic_0004_anthony crosby