Designing a kitchen takes more than just picking out great-looking cabinets and a slab of granite. Just ask Jason Landau, owner of Amazing Spaces, LLC, a kitchen design firm based in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
"Good kitchen design is all about interior flow and visual communication between rooms," he says. Landau's award-winning kitchens have been featured in "Women's Day" and other national and regional magazines. "Most people cannot visualize space, nor do they have any aptitude to shape it," he says.
When selecting a kitchen or interior designer, Landau recommends doing research into the person's training. Many kitchen designers are self-taught or rely on computer programs to design kitchens. Especially in big box stores, such as Home Depot or Lowes, the in-house design staff is focused on selling cabinets and not on designing a standout kitchen that flows into the rest of the house.
Some might say that Landau is overqualified for his profession. He has a master's degree in architecture from Tulane University and is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Not so, he says. "Kitchens are a great sub sector for architecture as they are technical and involve a lot of space planning."
Landau became interested in the complexities of designing kitchens during his first job with an interior design firm. When he and his partner split up, Landau kept and expanded the kitchen showroom.
Landau has seen trends in kitchen design come and go. The trend now is towards simple details, he says. "Long gone are the over-designed spaces with lots of intricate moldings and corbels." Door styles are simpler, too, with Shaker being the strongest seller since it is easily adapted to many stylistic variations.
While all-white kitchens are shown in many design magazines, Landau says that dark stained woods also are popular at the moment.
How about cherry? Will it come back? "Cherry has never gone out of style," Landau says.