The Untrendy Guide to What’s Cool in Kitchen & Bath

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Showcase (KBIS) is the largest tradeshow in North America, and I was lucky enough to attend last month in Las Vegas.  Being it’s the size of -Lord knows how many- football fields and packed to the gills with exhibits, it’s quite the whirlwind.  I’ve finally had some time to digest (and get 1,200 emails from vendors thanking me for stopping by) and wanted to share some of my lasting insights, products and favorite vendors from the show.

What I loved most was all the subtle earthy tones and textures represented.  I’m an Earth sign, and though ashamedly more of an “indoor girl,” I am most at peace when surrounded by nature and a palette of soothing natural tones, stones, textures, and the handmade. 

While a good manmade quartz countertop still holds more aesthetic appeal to me than say an overly grainy granite, I was really drawn to the natural stones and the improved quartz offerings that look like marble.  My countertop fave was this particular style from Cosentino Dekton ,“Laurent,” it’s a jaw dropper.  It isn’t on the market yet (hence the crappy iphone photo) but trust me it’s luscious.  I stopped by more than once to run my hand over the smooth suede finish.

 The entire Antolini exhibit made me want to rethink my entire kitchen….maybe I am more glam than Earthy!

Recognizing the All White Kitchen will never go out of style there is so much beauty to be had with color and texture especially those that hint at nature’s subtleties.  Like the soothing warmth and depth of cabinets in natural walnut, or a good hand-painted rich hue like this kitchen from St. Charles New York, with their proprietary built-in hinges.

Those handmade creations that are consistent, yet one-of-a-kind from Native Trails also stood out, and they too feel great to the touch- like this Native Stone Tub made of a sustainable blend of eco-friendly concrete that is both lightweight and super stain resistant.

And I never tire of the Native Trails signature hammered copper farmhouse sinks.

This faucet is very much on the industrial side but I just love it!  The California Faucets Steampunk Bay – Who can resist it’s durable lines?  It reminds me of the inner workings of a Swiss time piece.

The Krauss booth debuted a fun, color changing faucet that lets you know when it’s hot to the touch.  It was more impressive than it sounds, but so new they wouldn’t even let us snap a photo.  Bridge faucets with pull-downs were also everywhere and I am already a big fan!  We have one of these Elkays in our house and I love it!

Image result for krauss bridge faucet with pull down


If you know me well enough you’re probably aware that I’m not the tech savviest of gals.  I can barely work the remote and it’s not because I’m that old (!).  I just never much cared for it.  Just a low tech girl, living in a high tech world!  I particularly don’t like Alexa knowing my business (unless it’s my dearest friend, Alexa).   It’s bad enough that I can simply think of something and have an advertisement for it arrive in my inbox within seconds, so I personally don’t want to own a “Smart House.”  Nevertheless, I can totally appreciate that Jetson’s style homes are not only here, they’ve damn well perfected them!

“A Smart Home,” sets your perfect water temp & pressure & queues up your favorite smooth jazz before you step into the shower.  You can of course, pre-heat your home, and your oven without the touch of a button, and there are even new options like ranges with touchscreen apps that can have the most undesirable cooks serving up bites of heaven. I was very impressed with master chef functionality of the Fisher & Paykel 48” Dual Fuel Professional Range.  (I believe this range won the top appliance award of the week.)

I also love the built-in sous vide functionality of the new 48″ range from Signature Kitchen Suite.  The demo was oddly mesmerizing and the filet & chicken tastings were perfection.  Evidently guys really dig this sous-vide cooking thing!  My husband has already asked for one.

Also, GE has really stepped it up from their days of supplying the 55+ older communities with their new Monogram line.  This range is really a looker!  Again, please pardon the crappy iphone photos!

Also, GE’s Café Line is darling!  With its endless base and hardware tones (no more stainless steel only) it is totally on trend and works in a variety of kitchen styles.

Lastly, I loved the European premium Power Cooling line from Liebherr.  Maybe it was that their booth was mysteriously quiet, and I found myself hanging out there alone with ze Germans, in a moment of peace from the great masses, but in that time I discovered everything from integrated columns to wine cabinets and undercounter options for sleek, long-lasting, high performance power refrigeration.  Now that’s cool! 

Polished & Put Together? Every single day!

Need to spruce up some space in the house or just feel like you never really tied everything up in a nice bow?  Have you ever wanted to work with an interior designer but felt they were too expensive?  If you answered Yes! The Finishing Touches package is the perfect design service for you.  It’s a game changer and you needn’t have a huge budget for this service.

This is a quick, affordable way to give your home a fresh new look within a few hours, to a couple of weeks.  No more second guessing…Are these the right pillows?  Is this the correct size area rug?  Do these colors work together?  Is this artwork or chandelier hung at the correct height?  What on Earth should we put on these bookshelves, or this mantel?  We will take your existing furniture pieces, accessories, area rugs, lamps, decorative throw pillows art and décor and make magic happen through a bit of rearranging, editing and adding a few new home décor items to give your space a fresh and updated look. 

 Each new home décor item is hand selected by me to ensure that it fits your personal style and preference while working with existing pieces to create a unique curated look for you.  No more spending hours shopping and returning a bunch of stuff or simply giving up, and just living with something that you don’t love (or even really like).  I’ll  take care of everything….sorting, sourcing, shopping, installing!

This service is designed for clients that have all their major upholstery and case good pieces, but feel they are missing the “Wow” factor.  If your home feels void of personality or interest, or simply imparts a feeling of being blah! or incomplete I recommend this service!  It is also a great opportunity to get your feet wet working with an interior designer.

Interested In Having Pamela Day Designs create the perfect room for you?

It all starts with a phone call, text or email to me.  We will briefly chat about the areas that you’d like The Finishing Touches on, and we’ll also schedule the design consultation during this call. A design consultation is necessary so that we can assess the room(s), take necessary measurements and photos, discuss your style and color preferences, budget, and more. We will also schedule The Finishing Touches installation day so that you’re able to plan accordingly.  Typically, it takes several days, to a couple of weeks (depending upon room size and number of rooms) to hunt and gather all the items needed to create your custom curated plan. Once everything is curated for your room, it’s time for installation day!  Most one to two room projects are typically installed within 4-6 hours, depending upon size of room.

Let’s chat!



Tasteful Holiday Decor

Does taste really matter when it comes to holiday decor?  As far as I’m concerned anything that sets your heart a flutter should be splashed all over your home for that one over-indulgent month between Thanksgiving & New Years.  Whether that means your Grandmother’s early Victorian mercury ornaments, your circa-early 2000’s Pooh Bears, or your Home Goods haul from this morning.
With that in mind some of my favorite go-to’s for holiday decorating bring up Christmas memories of yore and the people and places gone by.  Handed down from generation to generation is most meaningful of course, but if you’re lucky you can also swoop up any of these authentic items at an estate sale or flea market.  For that matter, you might even peek around that canny Joanna Gaines section at Target for some decent reproductions….or just search the olde Google.  We really want for nothing these days!
Vintage sleigh (flea market score), old sleigh bells (estate sale score), and a cute little balsam fir from Balsam Hill
  • Sleigh bells– I love those J-i-n-g-l-e bells!  Draped from the door they’ll remind you that Santa Clause is coming to town with every opening.
  • Vintage Sleds, Ice Skates, & Snowshoes (the older the better)!!!
  • On the table – citrus fruits, greenery, some bronze pheasants, white candles everywhere, and there’s no time like the present for the fine China!

Peacock feathers are always a good idea but especially around the holidays, as seen inside the cozy Beverly Hills home of  designer Mary Macdonald. 

  • Garlands draped everywhere from the front door, to the stair case, and around the mantel (basically anywhere you can find a home for them).
  • My personal preference is warm white Christmas lights strung assiduously (not cool white, and not colorful).
  • Poinsettias (loads of them) and sprigs of fresh greens, red and white flowers throughout!
  • Remember not every house needs to look like a Land’s End ad, so throw in a giant lawn blow up for good measure…but only if it makes your heart happy!

This little tree looks just like the one my Grandmother use to have that I had my eye on for years before it was abruptly snagged by a wily New York cousin.  Happily, I found this near replica at Target last year.  
Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Who’s Afraid of a Big, Bold Pattern?

Who’s afraid of a big bold pattern?  Not me!   How about some wild jungle animals for the powder bath?  Do it, do it!

While not everyone in Southern California shares my love for the bold choice, or Grandmother’s chintz and Dorothy Draper cabbage roses, most of us appreciate refined coastal aesthetics, and you can still layer patterns in cool neutrals (blues, greens, greys) and natural materials.

The important thing to remember is that pairing patterns creates more interest than letting a single pattern stand alone.   Layered patterns become more dynamic and feel more personal and more evolved.

Generally, you want 3 to 5 patterns to play together- a large pattern to command attention and smaller patterns to complement and blend into the background.  Keep in mind that natural materials and neutrals can also be a pattern when they have enough texture to them!

Whether you prefer florals, geometrics, hand-blocked batiks or classic toiles make at least one bold choice and then have the supporting cast members tie it all together!

Antiques, Treasures & Heirlooms

Shopping for antiques & collectibles and incorporating traditional elements in my designs brings me immense joy!  I love nothing more than entering a client’s home and finding they have heirlooms worthy of display, or even that they are open to incorporating some traditional designs into their habitat.   Now, I adore modern, clean lines just as much as the next person but it is just so special and meaningful to have a layered home that doesn’t look like it was decorated yesterday all procured from one big box store.
For me, there really is nothing more exciting than finding a unique, eclectic piece like this magnificent bronze statue…

  Or this perfectly patinated limestone bust for a steal!   
I take any opportunity I can to drag my husband to antique stores and flea markets, and am often waylaid following estate sale signs all around the neighborhood.  I hold a high degree of appreciation and nostalgia for the past. Though my husband will tell you I’m not very sentimental. After all, he’s witnessed me depositing the Cabbage Patch Kids my Mother had saved for 30+ years directly into the trash. I believe in sniffing out and saving just the really good stuff! In the words of Miles Redd – “Your grandmother’s Hummel figurine collection? Torch it!”
I’m always on the hunt for a good Oriental screen, Klismo chair or pair of cockatoos.
I find you can incorporate these timeless treasures into almost all settings and they will still hold their own and be completely appropriate. Take the enduring beauty and remarkable durability of the Bouilotte lamp, whose profile I find so attractive and timeless I inserted it into my logo.
Need help separating the proverbial “wheat from the chaff”?  Let’s schedule an in-home consultation and we will make your home functional, beautiful and meaningful!

A Home to Grow Old In- Aging in Place

1 in 3 adults over 65 fall each year and only 1/3 fully recover, and 55% of fall injuries occur inside the home.  Additionally, 1 in 5 Americans needs help seeing, hearing, walking, using stairs, lifting and carrying objects.  Perhaps this email has already bored you to tears because equipping your home to be universally accessible is the furthest thing from your mind (and honestly it’s just not a very titillating topic), but you might consider making your space a more “visitable design,” (or preparing for the off chance someone in your household suffers a broken leg).

My first recommendation is- don’t be the 1!!  But in all seriousness, if you can plan for a Universally Designed home you will never regret it, and you will have a home to gracefully “age-in-place” because you’re likely amongst the 80% of us who want to stay where they are as they age, so longevity is something to think about.

Three Key Features that are essential to the accessible home follow:

  1. At least one entrance with zero steps.
  2. At least 32 inches of clear passage through all interior doors, including bathrooms.
  3. At least a half bath on the main floor that is accessible, and when space allows, a full bath.

Let’s dive a little deeper into each principle, bearing in mind,should the need arises there are tons more recommendations and standards to equip a home at and

Entries and Doors

Exterior Entryway: Build a very gradual ramp designed to seamlessly thread through the landscape (it should not look like a ramp).  If this cant be achieved in front of the house consider modifying the back entry or including a garage entry option- instead of steps, install an actual ramp inside.

Interior EntrywaysRemember the wider the better!  The minimum clearance to remember is 32”, it’s not just good for wheelchairs and walkers, it’s better for strollers, furniture delivery and unmarked walls and moldings.

Doors: A minimum clearance of 32” requires 34-36” rough opening at doors (you lose inches when trim is applied).

Hardware: Lever handles are always easier for gripping and turning (particularly for those with arthritis) or go the touchless route.

Pocket doors or barn doors with long bar hinges to open and close are nice options where space is limited.

Going Potty

Toilet: Consider equipping the W.C. with “Comfort Height” toilets, or a wall hung toilets (to gain more space).  I’m not a personal fan of raising the height of the toilet seat (Squatty Potty anyone?) but for those facing knee or back issues an extra 2”-4” can really make a difference.

Vanities:  If needed, consider shallow sinks or vessel sinks so knees can go underneath.

Shower: A very attractive wet room can double as a fully accessible bathroom.  Make sure the whole room is tiled so it’s completely safe from any water, you need a slightly sloped floor with trench drains.

Bath: Kohler makes a rising wall bathtub if transferring from a wheelchair ever becomes necessary.

Grab Bars: Whether you need them or not grab bars are often handy, and they now come in array of styles and finishes (don’t pick ugly ones!).  If you’re in the renovation/building stage consider them for the future and even if you are leaving them off the wall, have your contractor add extra blocking within the walls for secure anchoring later (never use a suction grab bars).

Flooring: No polished stone on the bathroom floor, opt for a honed finish and lots of grout.

On to the Kitchen

Countertop: If still in the planning & building mode, consider adjusting a portion of the countertop to a lower height in both the kitchen and the bathroom.  Generous counter space is essential.

Built-ins: Reduce cabinets and include lots of drawers, they’re much easier to operate and leave one hand free.  Lower the dishes down into reachable drawers.

Refrigerator/Freezer– Drawers can be built-in to the island or perimeter cabinetry.

Aisle: Widen walkways between island and perimeter cabinetry

Cooktop: Lower the oven to a reachable height.

Upgrade: There is a plethora of useful modifications to make to our existing kitchens look at Hafele and Rev-a-Shelf for inspiration and ideas.


It is oh-so-important to see, and it’s also harder as one ages.  Adequate lighting is essential, and proper lighting may also save you from trips and falls! 

Make sure to sufficiently light stairwells and all key risk areas.

LED strip lighting can assist with visual cues in walkways and down hallways.  There are great in-floor options that can be incorporated and don’t look like airplane aisles.

Leaving a light on for the midnight bathroom run is always a wise idea.  Choose blue lighting as it doesn’t interrupt sleep patterns.

Other Trip Hazards

Eliminate trip hazards– Throw rugs are a big cause of falls- tape them down or take them out.  Another option is to embed into wood floor well.

Make sure there are no cords!

Flatten thresholds between rooms.

Choose low pile rugs.

Fix uneven or cracked surfaces in driveways and remember unexpected water on the floor is an enemy.

To sum up- Universal Design refers to a home that is accessible to all, and one that is designed to age-in-place.  If you’d like to know more about incorporating Universal Design into your home call me for a consultation.  Here is another handy resource and again don’t be the 1!  – Fall Prevention

Stay safe out there!