Inviting Kitchens to Wake You Up 

I found it interesting in reading through these that even though “Granite” is supposedly on it’s way out, a number of these kitchens are inspired with granite.   I still love it in a kitchen, as it adds such life!
Inviting Kitchens to Wake You Up 

How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

Working Projects


Ad for BPA

As a working designer, I sometimes forget that it is important to share projects I am currently working on.  This a remodel of a kitchen that is about to start construction. We completely re-designed the area with a sitting area to enjoy the view, lots more storage, and more light.  Can’t wait to see the work begin.  satre Orr Front Door in Color

The front entry will be enhanced with a Store Front door and side windows, to let in additional light and make more of a statement entry.

Satre Kitchen Floorplan

The kitchen is completely re-designed to make the space open and user-friendly.

Kathy_Bill Living Room View 6_20

There will be lots of storage and a raised bar area at the entry to the house.

Kathy Bill Window Wall Cabinetry 6_20

The window wall will give you lots of storage with a view.

Kathy_Bill Kitchen Aisle 6_20

The inside aisle will be a cooks dream with a gas cooktop and two ovens.  I will keep you posted as the work begins.

Happy to help you with all your interior design needs.



Working Projects

Ceramic Tile versus Porcelain

This is an interesting article from Houzz
All tile is created equal, right? Not quite. Porcelain and ceramic may belong to the same family, but they’re two slightly different products. One may be more advantageous than the other depending on where you’re installing it. Here we pose five scenarios and explain whether porcelain or ceramic is the better choice.

But before we walk through each scenario, let’s note the key difference between porcelain and ceramic tile. Though they’re manufactured with different types of clay, the Tile Council of North America defines porcelain in terms of water absorption. Specifically, porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5 percent of water. Ceramic and other non-porcelain tiles absorb more than 0.5 percent water.


Ceramic Tile versus Porcelain

 Granite vs. Quartz

If you’ve recently shopped for new kitchen countertops, you know firsthand how many options there are today. Houzz research says that for most people, the choices often boil down to granite or quartz. Two out of five homeowners choose one of these two surfaces, often for durability and easy cleaning, according to a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. If you have whittled it down to granite or quartz, here’s a quick way to learn all about their pros and cons.
 Granite vs. Quartz

Top Cooktops For the Modern Kitchen

 This is an article from Dwell Magazine.

I personally love the Wolf combination I chose for my kitchen remodel as it gives me more options. There is one large gas burner for using large pans or stock pots, that can exchange for a wok grill on the left.  There are two inductions burners in the middle with two different sizes (water to boiling in under a minute), and two more gas burners on the right (one smaller & one larger).  I wish I had a griddle, but did ever use one enough to make it worth adding. I love this stove and the downdraft works wonderfully.



Choosing to install a cooktop instead of a traditional range can open up sought-after space on your kitchen surface. Whether you opt for electric, gas, or induction technology, our picks for well-designed cooktops are efficient, easy to clean, and versatile.

Top Cooktops For the Modern Kitchen

Top Kitchen Innovations From Milan

Dream kitchens, live presentations of the latest smart-home appliances and cooking demos by famous chefs greeted visitors to EuroCucina and FTK (Technology for the Kitchen), the biennial events that took place during the latest installment of the Salone del Mobile trade fair in Milan, Italy, from April 17 to 22.

We kept an eye open for signs of how the most lively and innovative space in the house, the kitchen, is evolving. Among the exhibits were increasingly flexible setups, commercial appliances redesigned for the home cook and innovative new technologies. Picking up on the current trend of the integration of kitchen and living spaces, designers also presented kitchen features that either blend seamlessly into their surroundings or disappear altogether. Here are some of the kitchen innovations coming your way in 2018.

Top Kitchen Innovations From Milan



This article will be in the next edition of Design | Build on the Kitsap Peninsula

Written by

Diana Kingsley ASID. IIDA. NCIDQ. NKBA. And a Business Marketing


When I graduated with an MA in Interior Design way back in 1985, there were not many interior design colleges offering the degree. There was no HGTV, no cooking channels, no cell phones, no GPS and believe it or not, no internet.  Students did not learn CADD or SketchUp and had to do everything with hand drawing.    Renderings would take hours, and only a few people across the country mastered the techniques.  People had no idea what a professional interior designer actually did unless they worked in a commercial firm.


Back in those dark ages, there were more “decorologists” than interior designers and it was just becoming a professional career.  Then and often now  I think today people think you just have to have a knack for it.  They don’t get that it takes years of training in space planning, lighting, structural design, history of art & furniture & architecture, textiles and you actually have to pass a two-day test to be called a professional.  But what does that all matter if you just watch HGTV and can see how to do it all.


Have you ever seen behind the scenes at Property Brothers or Flip or Flop or even Fixer Upper?  There are thirty or more people all working at the same time on a project. They have sources and they have money.  They have a whole crew that gets the job done.  In the real world, most people do not have a clue where to find the crews or all the cool stuff they incorporate into their designs.


Just take a sledgehammer and knock a wall down.  I will never forget a good friend of mine and a career attorney buying a small beach cottage and wanting to open up the space just started taking out walls.  She just kept taking out walls, not understanding structure till with one wall out too many, her roof began collapsing right in the middle of the house.  Luckily, she was able to get something to support it and no was injured, but it was pretty messy.


Earlier in the day, when I was about to write this article, I was copying some architectural drawings from a house where I am redoing a kitchen, bath and entry. The woman helping me at copy place asked if I was an architect and I said, no I am an interior designer.  Her comment back to me is one I have heard many times in my life: “I never got a degree in design but am pretty good at it.”


In many ways because of all the HGTV television shows people are starting to understand what designers do versus what decorators do. They are starting to understand that you have to have both sides of your brain working to be a successful interior designer. You need to be able to form an artistic vision and possess the math and construction skills to make it happen.


In teaching college-level interior design for eight years, I can honestly tell you that not everyone that signs up for college-level design classes has the “knack”.  Even as a learned skill there are students that are excellent; there are students that good and there are students that could not make it. Not everyone thinks they will be the next HGTV host makes it. Another part of interior design is the psychology involved working with couples that do not always agree. In hiring a designer people are starting to understand that mediation of partners makes it easier to get the job done.


One of the other things I laughed about when teaching were your contacts.  In the “good old” days, your Rolodex was your best friend, and I would call it in class your million-dollar wheel. You had all the good contacts and sources and knew who to call to get something done. Now it is who you have on your smartphone, but the list is still there, and the average homeowner does not have this list. They are starting to realize a good interior designer will have this list to get the job properly done. Professionals have great connections.


One of the questions I keep hoping homeowners will ask is about the education of the person they are about to hire. At the Art Institute, you could get a three-year bachelor’s degree, a two-year associate degree or a one-year certification.  There are a few schools that offer master’s degrees, but not many and very few where you can earn a Ph.D.


Keeping to a budget is another thing people are starting to grasp about interior designers. They work to keep you on budget. When the first woman interior designers designed, it was for the elite and money was no object. Now designers are taught that the budget is almost as important as the design.  You can design the most beautiful room in the world, but if it is two or three times what the client wants to spend then you do not have a workable design.


More people are starting to appreciate that a smart designer will not go over budget, but save you money when they can, and most importantly they will save you time.  I don’t know about you, but I really get tired of constantly searching Online for what I need.  Designers used to take their clients to one of the major design centers to make selections and in most cases, the client was totally overwhelmed.  Even though Online there is a lot to see, you can see it one-by-one.


Building codes and aging in place have become more prevalent in the marketplace and most clients need assistance with that.  They don’t want to put their home on the market and find out at that time that a lot of illegal construction took place. If they want to stay in their home as long as possible, designing it to make it easier to live in as we age is essential.


The NCIDQ is the National Council for Interior Design Qualification and to be a part of it the designer must pass a two-day test. So not only have they studied and earned a degree they are now recognized as a highly qualified interior designer, competent to meet industry standards not only for aesthetics but for public health, safety, and welfare. To date, more than 30,000 people around the world have earned the certification. This organization has been around since 1972.  Ask your designer if she or he has passed.


Knowledge is power; so, as people know more about what it takes to become a professional designer they will trust the industry more.


Throw Away Your Germy Kitchen Sponge


Quick — what’s the germiest room in the house? Written for Time Health

You might be surprised to learn that it’s not the bathroom. Microscopic bugs and bacteria actually favor the kitchen, where you eat and prepare food. And the nexus of all that microbial activity could be sitting right next to the kitchen sink: on the sponge. If you’re washing dishes by hand, your cups, plates, and flatware may not be as clean as you think.

In a 2017 study published in Scientific Reports, German researchers did a germ-analysis of kitchen sponges with some startling results. There were 362 different kinds of bacteria lurking in the crevices of sponges they collected from ordinary homes, in astounding numbers — up to 45 billion per square centimeter. (That’s about the same amount found in the average human stool sample.) Considering the size of a typical dish sponge, that’s nearly 5.5 trillion microscopic bugs crawling around on the thing you use to “clean” your dishes.

That amount even surprised the researchers conducting the study. “It was one to two orders of magnitude more than we initially expected to find,” says Markus Egert, professor of microbiology and hygiene at Furtwangen University, who led the study. When Egert and his team visualized the bacteria under the microscope, the 3D impact was even more alarming. “No one had ever seen bacteria sitting inside a sponge,” he says. “One problem we have with bacteria and microbes is that we cannot see them. And if you don’t see them, you don’t believe they are there.”

Here are the nasty secrets of your kitchen sponge — and what you should use to wash your dishes instead.


Why you shouldn’t use a sponge

The ideal way to sanitize dishes and cups is to run them through the dishwasher. Since a dishwasher cycles both hot water and hot heat during the drying phase, it’s an effective way to get your eating utensils clean. But it’s important to use the full energy cycle to get the best results. Energy savers use less energy and therefore generate less heat for sanitizing. (The heat is important to destroy the microbes.)

If you don’t use a dishwasher, you’re likely to choose a kitchen sponge. But sponges are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, given the amount of food residue that can stick on and inside the porous surfaces, and the numerous moist havens that lure the bugs and provide fertile ground for them to breed. “The sponge never really dries. It’s the perfect environment for bacteria, you never totally rinse the food out of the sponge.”

The good news is that the bugs residing in these sponges aren’t generally the ones that can make you sick. Egert did not find the common bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. Still, it’s possible that these disease-causing bugs were simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of other bugs;  if researchers look hard enough, they would find them in some sponges.


The better way to hand wash your dishes

Use a plastic or silicone brush. Brushes tend to stay drier when they’re not used, and they don’t have as many deep crevices as sponges where water and bacteria can grow. “You can stand brushes up, or put them in a caddy where they are likely to dry out. The material is not as porous as a sponge is, and if something is stuck to the brush, you can see that and rinse it out.” They’re easy to clean; you should run them through the dishwasher once a week or so.

How to clean a sponge

If you insist on using a sponge, you should make peace with frequently cleaning it and throwing it out.

Simple soap and water won’t cut it. Sponges that were cleaned this way harbored more bacteria. These microbes were more likely to be the kind that are more resistant to detergents since they survived the cleaning, and they could potentially cause harm to human health. In other words, if you clean your sponge the wrong way, you’re selecting for the nastier bacteria. Improper cleaning may make the situation even worse. “Cleaning, especially by non-cleaning experts at home, usually does not clean all the bacteria inside because there is such a large amount of microbes. Some survive, and become more resistant; if you do this a couple of times, you might select for more pathogenic communities.” That’s why changing kitchen sponges weekly to avoid bacterial buildup.

Still, it is possible to clean sponges. House-cleaning experts advise that you sanitize dish sponges every few days in a variety of ways, from soaking it in a bleach solution to zapping it in the microwave or running it through the dishwasher.

Good Housekeeping compared these three methods and found that the bleach and water solution worked best in removing 99.9% of salmonella, E. coli and Pseudomonas bacteria they added to test sponges. They created a solution of 3 tablespoons of bleach to a quart of water and soaked the germy sponges for five minutes, then rinsed them out.

The next most effective method was microwaving. It didn’t kill as many E-coli as the bleach method but still destroyed enough to sanitize the sponges. It’s important to wet the sponge thoroughly before zapping, to prevent it from catching fire in the microwave. It’s important to thoroughly dry the sponge before using it to wash dishes again, since the dampness could attract more bacteria.

Throwing the sponge in the dishwasher was the least effective cleaning strategy of the three, although the machine wash did kill 99.8% of the bugs. If you opt for this method, make sure you don’t use the energy-saving option.

You can choose a sponge that isn’t made from paper or wood pulp, which is what’s used to make traditional cellulose sponges. Many are now made from plastics that are less porous and absorbent, and therefore less likely to retain the moisture that attracts bacteria. Plant-based foam sponges infused with a citrus cleaning solution keep bacteria at bay for about a month.

What to do with your dirty old sponge

If throwing out sponges frequently seems wasteful,  use them in other parts of the house where bacteria might not be so important, such as cleaning floors or gardening equipment. As long as the germy sponges aren’t being used on the dishes, glasses or flatware that you eat with every day, your sponge shouldn’t cause problems.






Throw Away Your Germy Kitchen Sponge

How to Choose Your Kitchen Lighting

Pendants, uplights, downlights, LEDs: are you confused by all the options out there in kitchen lighting when it comes to creating the illumination you need to prep, cook and dine? We’ve asked an expert to explain the different lighting types and the main things to consider in planning an effective design.
How to Choose Your Kitchen Lighting