Custom-built kitchens-it’s in the design

We know a beautiful kitchen when we see one, but how do we know if it will work the way it looks?


When most folks think kitchen renovation they think of their obvious “pain points”, which leads to the first line of attack; get rid of the dated cabinets and  countertops and bring in new appliances. That is without a doubt, a renovated kitchen. A custom-built kitchen; however, brings together three very important synergistic elements and strategies. First, is applying sound general ergonomic principles that are part of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s guidelines and part of a good design professional’s arsenal. Then we add a balanced aesthetic based on your individual taste and style. And, finally… the most important part of a successful custom kitchen is that it works with your lifestyle.


How will my kitchen function better for me? There are so many things to consider with how it works. Will we gear work flow towards “sous chef” or “baker”? Are you a heat and serve kind of family or do you start from scratch with a myriad of ingredients? These sound like personal choices in lifestyle, but they pertain to fine tuning the ergonomic elements that we address first in a project. We then apply that to the fundamentals of kitchen prep and clean-up which relies on a series of pulling dry goods and fresh goods with a common place to put it all together.


Your style! Our designers have the creative genius needed to help mix the architectural details with the colors and textures our clients want in their home. I often pontificate that this is the easy part once we get a lay-out that works, but the truth is it is a lot of work for the client and the designer to make sure we create a lasting love in these choices. If the tile, cabinets, paint and all the other elements don’t work together- it won’t be that custom space built with the same beauty as the rest of the home.


Lifestyle choices. This is the part of the plan which usually starts with how many people are using the space… and any plans for more kids! You may be an entertainer or a homebody; you might have weekly family gatherings or host once a year. The list of questions and directions is based on a lot of factors such as how many cooks are in the kitchen, where homework and projects are done, what does a typical morning and evening look like? Or how can the space help you get your plan into action. I believe this is why knowing the life plan and the person is the most important part of making a great kitchen and a lifelong friend.


Making a difference. This year all of the choices that go into making a truly custom space are going to help me and my design team create a unique kitchen experience for some folks who need some comfort. We are grateful to make our annual volunteer project a better working kitchen in a shelter that helps victims of domestic violence through a local organization, Voices Against Violence in Framingham.


While preparing design concepts for the shelter, my team asked countless questions about the number of families, typical child count, and views on mealtime prep. The feedback ultimately informed their design work around how all of the residents can be better served by providing a space where they can make a meal and feel “at home”. Not surprisingly, this project intake did not veer far from our daily design profession working on unique situations proving that design principles can be applied universally.


In the coming week we will be formally announcing our partnership with Voices Against Violence and inviting friends of The Wiese Company along with the general public to join with us in late-May for a food and wine fundraiser as we help bring attention to this cause and ask for a helping hand with our renovation efforts. We hope you will join us in this journey and kitchen transformation for the good of our community.


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