Jaden Hair, professional recipe developer, television chef and author of the blog Steamy Kitchen recently decided it was time for a kitchen makeover for her Florida home. She enlisted the help of designer and BLANCO Design Council member, Susan Serra to help her create the perfect kitchen that’s fit for a hard working chef as well as a busy family of four. Jaden only had two requests, a wide open space that would accommodate both family activities and still maintain a large enough area for prepping and cooking, her second request – no laminate!
Q: What’s the recipe to working with a designer to bring your vision to life?
Jaden: I’m such a DIY gal, that I briefly considered designing this kitchen on my own. But within an hour of doing research and sketching out a design on paper, I realized that we’d be putting ourselves at risk if we didn’t hire a professional designer.
Susan flew to our home in Florida from NYC and flew home the same day. We spent about 3 hours measuring, re-measuring the kitchen and discussing ideas.
She knew the right questions to ask, many of them were “lifestyle” questions that I would have never thought would be so important to kitchen design!
For example, we talked about our love for gardening (which led to the Blanco compost feature), where the kids do their homework (which led to the large center island) and the serene mood we wanted to evoke in the space (which led to the Top Knobs Chareau collection).
I think the most important part is to trust the professional designer’s process. Just like in cooking, there is a method, a step by step that helps you get to the perfect end result. Because I trusted in Susan’s process, we were able to create a design that beautifully, seamlessly fit in our lifestyle.
Q: We saw your one requirement was “no laminate!” Did you face any other design challenges during the remodel?
Jaden: We wanted a kitchen design that was timeless: modern but not trendy. This kitchen should fit our tastes and lifestyle – but also future homeowners as well. My specialty is Asian cooking, but we didn’t want the kitchen design to be too Asian inspired. We ended up adding the Asian touches with a Happy Buddha statue carved from a piece of bamboo that my parents hand-carried from China (sits on top of the cabinet) and a Chinese hand-painted silk piece that we framed and hung on the wall. The rest of the kitchen is clean, simple, yet elegant and refined.
Q: As a chef, I’m sure you have specific needs to create the perfect kitchen environment. How did BLANCO help create that?
Jaden: BLANCO’s compost bin has changed our lives! No more ugly, smelly compost buckets! We compost nearly every single vegetable scrap and eggshell. The BLANCO compost bin is hidden, sturdy and eliminates all odors. We add to it several times a day but only empty it once a week. My garden is very happy.
We also really love the BLANCO faucet’s flexible hose. It’s given us so much “flexibility” when it comes to wrangling big pots, washing produce and even just cleaning out the sink. I love that it keeps the faucet attached with a magnet. Our old faucet had a retractable hose that would never stay put!
One of the best design principles that Susan created was that the kitchen should look like part of our living space. That’s why we chose the BLANCO sink design. It’s simple lines and rich color blends beautifully with the countertop. The raised area for draining produce gives us the perfect amount of space for vegetable prep.
Q: What is your favorite part of your new kitchen?
Jaden: That’s such a hard question! The gardener in me says, “the compost!” but the girly girl in me says, “the kitchen jewelry!”