Suellen's Art Works

Painter of Stuff


If you are looking for a kitchen that doesn't  look like a castle, if words like "high-end", "grand", or "upscale" make you yawn, then this is the page for you.

After years of dragging through "high-end" design, what I really wanted to do was down-to-earth designs for real people who actually use their kitchen! Here you will find real kitchens that work for the people who use and enjoy them. You won't find snob-appeal here; just the very best design for your home and your lifestyle. OK, well...a couple of them may be pretty snazzy, but it's variety of design that you are looking for; not some cookie-cutter, kitchen-showroom stuff. And these kitchens, no matter how pretty, are real work-horses.

You already know that your kitchen is one of the biggest investments you will make in your home. Not only does it have to function for you, but you need to feel comfortable and at home there. It has to reflect your  personality and lifestyle; not mine!

Have a look at some of my designs; you will find each one to be suited to each individual it was made for, not a magazine page.

The kitchen below was a real doozy to design. It was an 8 foot wide corridor with a hallway in the shape of a "T". The client needed snack bar space, a big baking area, and a nice space for all of her desk items, since she was very civically involved.

Here is the kitchen before:

 And now...

The first photo shows the desk in the background with a large pantry adjacent to it. This area used to be a dark and dinky rear entry. Here my client has room for food and office supplies, each in their own space. Next is the sink area featuring her lovely antique window. To the left of the sink are cabinets fashioned to resemble a hutch. Note that those cabinets are stained a mellow cherry color. I stained and antiqued the brackets myself, just to get the right touch.


The second photo shows the baking area. Note that I added a bar sink adjacent to the cooktop, and a counter-set pot-filler. This way, my client wouldn't have to run to the sink to fill or empty pots, and always had quick access to water for baking, as well as cooking. Set on a little platform is a TV on a swivel, for viewing either from the work area, or from the snack bar behind the cooktop. Technology has changed  swiftly, so today there is a flat-screen TV there, which is even more functional.






The third photo shows a spice shelf set into the wall within grasp of the cooking area, and it really makes a lovely display. I lettered each spice jar with calligraphy for a unique and personal look. Next to the spice cabinet, the refrigerator and freezer are set into a wall that was just empty space behind a stairwell!

You just never know what you will find when you start tearing down walls!



Here was a fun project!

This is a kitchen in the Adirondacks, near Lake Placid.

What a challenge this kitchen was!

This is not only a vacation house, but it is used all year round by many family members. When they congregate as one happy group, there can be over twenty people of all ages at a time here. So there are many large meals, and lots of cooks, each with their own specialty.

 An unusual space, a post in the middle of the room, and weather extremes all made for a real challenge in design.

The cabinets were made on the job from local woods to harmonize with the cabin style of the house. This was so much fun for me, as I was able to do things here that you might not do in a more suburban setting!

Note the open cabinets, the use of beams for the pots and pot rack, and the open sink area with the curtained bottom. There are two full-size sinks here for large equipment and multiple cooks, with an additional sink on the island.

An antique butcher block was cut to fit the "T" part of the island, while native slate was used for the rest of the counters.

A really fun design project!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       











Now, this kitchen is admittedly very stylish...but you might as well see what I can do in lots of situations...

We actually moved the kitchen from its original location, to the breakfast room. But first, we tore down the old breakfast room and built a new one! The old kitchen space became the breakfast room. This is an historic house, and the owner wanted to keep the outside of the addition completely in harmony with the existing structure. I added the window design to give the addition a barn feeling, and we designed the kitchen around that. Note that I am using the term "we", because this client was involved in every phase of the design. This was real teamwork, and the results speak for themselves.

While spacious and glamorous, this kitchen functions for a variety of uses. Not only does this room contain display space for the owner's antique kitchen collectibles, but there is also a complete home office in its own nook, a vestibule with a built in bench and coat rack, a "command center"; a place to drop off keys, lunch bags, and everything that seems to come and go in a kitchen. This is a real working kitchen for an avid cook, entertainer, business person, wife and mother.



This is the view of the book case and desk area.

A complete U-shaped home office sits to the left of the book case, and to the right and behind the bookcase, you can see the "command center" that is part of the entry vestibule.   






This is the coat rack and storage bench in the entry vestibule.  There are cubbies below the bench with mesh doors for air circulation. Note the woodworking and trim which makes this kitchen very distinctive!