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As we move into fall and cooler outside temperatures there are still a few hot topics in kitchen design that will heat up conversations at least in the kitchen design world.

1)  The new building code requiring a replacement air system for all hoods more powerful that 400 CFM’s still creates confusion and tough choices for kitchen designers and their customers. The new code protects the public from the powerful hoods used by many designers and sold by appliance salespeople. The hoods were chosen to compliment professional ranges and cooktops but were poisoning customers with the carbon monoxide exhaust from their furnaces.

2)   Many cabinet lines now do custom color matching for little or no extra charge. Main Line Kitchen Design carries several of these lines giving customers the entire spectrum of paints and stains to choose from.

3)  The invention of inset 6 way adjustable hinges now makes inset cabinetry only a small percentage upgrade in many mid range cabinet lines. In the past inset and beaded inset cabinetry was only available from very high end custom cabinet lines.

4)  Buffered hinges now give the popular buffering option on the cabinet door hinges themselves eliminating the pistons many customers found intrusive before.

5)  Although not available in the design software kitchen designers routinely use yet because renderings and price catalogs would take too long to load, CAD programs can now create images of  kitchens that are hard to distinguish from actual photographs. Once this technology becomes available in the CAD programs that contain kitchen cabinet pricing, kitchen designers will be able to show customers nearly photographic representations of what their proposed kitchens will look like. Amazingly many cabinet company catalogs no longer contain photographs of actual kitchens but are CAD reproductions.

The photos above are of an actual kitchen beautifully photographed by Scott Fredrick Photography and designed by Paul.

Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween and of course as Julia said ….

Bon Appetite!

Paul, Ray, Mary, Tom, and Julie

Main Line Kitchen Design


It generally only takes a few minutes to realize the initial value of working with experienced kitchen designers like our designers at Main Line Kitchen Design. Each of us has decades more experience laying out kitchen space than the builders and architects who are needed for the other phases of a kitchen project. Architects create and consider the exterior elevations, supply drawings for additions, or the beams necessary for the permits. Builders and contractors supervise or do the physical work and a myriad of other tasks that go into the complex process of creating a lasting beautiful kitchen.

But we can not emphasize enough – if your kitchen designer isn’t available to see you through the entire process, you’re in for a rough ride! The same goes for customers who, once they have plans in hand, don’t realize they need additional assistance. To get a kitchen from conception to actuality requires even more expertise than creating the design itself.

For example, builders can encourage ordering cabinetry before walls are framed often creating substantial additional costs that your kitchen designer can help you avoid. Frequently changes take place during the initial construction that affect the cabinetry order. And, designers are experienced enough with delivery time lines to assure that everything will be inhand weeks before it’s needed.

Every kitchen is a unique creation so the components are never “off the shelf”.  And those components aren’t going to be the right components if you don’t have an experienced designer guiding the manufacturer on your expectations and having your best interest at heart. There are literally thousands of parameters.  Consider just the sides of your cabinets: Which are unfinished and which are finished. Which are recessed and which are flush. Do they have integrated end panels or applied doors? Do the side panels and doors line up with the doors on the front of the cabinets? The ordering process is so detailed that good designers either have an elaborate checking system or a second set of experienced eyes assisting with all orders.

And then there’s the installation. Some of the smallest things can pose challenges like following a recipe you’ve never tried or assembling a toy. Multiply that by the scope of a kitchen and you can understand what the construction team you’ve hired has to deal with. It’s certainly a simpler and more successful task when the designer makes him or herself available to assist with the process.


At Main Line Kitchen Design, we know that making our customers happy usually requires spending as much time processing orders and consulting during construction as we spent working on that kitchen’s design. The only thing you’ll gain if you stop working with your kitchen designer before your kitchen is complete is aggravation.

We look forward to helping you every step of the way,

and of course as Julia said . . . Bon Appetit!


Paul, Ray, Mary, Tom and Julie

Main Line Kitchen Design


Below are three clips from Murder by Kitchen Design! A speech I gave to the Pennsylvania NARI chapters at the Fretz Wolf and Subzero showroom in Philadelphia. The talk discussed the 8 most common ways kitchen designers endanger their customers. It was meant to be informative and humorous although I believe some people in the audience were offended having made the dangerous mistakes themselves. The first clip below is the “frightening” introduction:

As noted in the second clip many architectural firms and other kitchen design companies actually have some of these dangerous mistakes displayed on their web sites showcasing their incompetence.

The third clip below is the conclusion of the talk. It highlights the TV show with the worst kitchen of all time and answers the two most common questions I get asked about bad kitchen designs.

Another question I get asked is why we chose Julia Child cookbooks to give to our customers when their kitchens are complete.  The reason is simple:

Julia Child influenced American cooking more than any other chef past or present. She was knowledgeable and passionate about cooking. I believe it was sharing her passion that was so infectious. At Main Line Kitchen Design we try to share our passion about kitchen design with our customers. That why it’s Julia’s cook books we we send out and why my blogs usually end with…..

Bon Appetit!


Being mentioned in the Philadelphia Inquirer is nothing new for award winning kitchen designer Ray Gardner.  Ray’s Lafayette Hill Pennsylvania kitchen won the NARI 2014 award for the best kitchen renovation in Bucks and Montgomery counties. Main Line Kitchen Design is happy to once again be featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Erin Arvedlund’s Inquirer article highlights the decision process that went into creating the award winning kitchen.  Link to article below:

Award Winning Lafayette Hill PA Kitchen






The best kitchen showroom in your area is closer than you think. The four designers there are some of the most experienced award winning kitchen designers in the Delaware Valley. They design in and sell 6 national cabinet lines. And their pricing for cabinetry is slightly less than at home centers in apples to apples comparisons. Where is this kitchen showroom and how come you don’t remember seeing it when it is so close by? It’s in your own home!

                                   A recently completed kitchen by Main Line Kitchen Design


Main Line Kitchen Design brings all the same samples you select from when you travel to other showrooms to your home. We make design changes on our laptops in 20-20 CAD with you present usually in the very kitchen being renovated. Understanding what designs will look like and how sample kitchen cabinets, doors, and finishes will look in your home is easy when you are standing in the very room being renovated. Design changes can be emailed to you to print out and discuss with friends and family if you choose. Best of all our design time is free since it is incorporated into the very competitive pricing of your cabinetry when you purchase a kitchen from Main Line Kitchen Design.

Finally there is a kitchen business model and design team that carries the highest quality cabinetry, is experienced, convenient, and reasonably priced. Call us today and find out why we get the best reviews on the internet or Google us and check. We look forward to working with you.

As our company tag line says:

“The world of kitchen design is changing…”

The Knotthink family has several members who are in design or building. Guy Knotthink, the family patriarch, is now retired but his son Will Knotthink is a general contractor and Will’s sister May Knotthink is an interior designer.  Will’s other sister Ivana Knotthink is an architect.  I’ve selected several photo’s of actual projects from the family’s portfolio.


Some of the Knotthink family’s most distinctive work is evidenced in bathrooms:


Kitchens are common project’s as well:

 But the most dramatic work of all of comes from architect Ivana Knotthink’s portfolio:


Here’s one of Ivana’s projects as seen from Google Earth:






Although the Knotthink family has traced their ancestry back over 500 years it still remains only speculation that this famous building was constructed by a Knotthink ancestor:

At Main Line Kitchen Design we make sure your kitchen project has all the planning required to make it a success.  Have a wonderful summer …… and of course as Julia said…..  ”Bon Appetit!”

Paul, Ray, Mary, Tom and Julie

Main Line Kitchen Design



Why are most kitchens so terribly designed?  And why do architects, interior designers, contractors, and even some kitchen designers place so little value on good and even safe kitchen design?  One of the reasons may be that we are bombarded with bad kitchen designs from almost every TV show and movie we watch.  Seeing these problem designs thousands of times  may legitimize bad kitchen design and make it seem more acceptable.

Below are some of the most famous TV kitchens and why they are poor designs.  And what’s wrong with the I love Lucy Lucy kitchen seen above?  There is a window over the range with curtains, a fire hazard, and no countertop on either side of the range which is also dangerous.









The Brady Bunch home needs to have at least 9 inches of countertop in back of the cooktop to be considered safe.  Shame on Mike Brady he was an architect!








The Huxtables on The Cosby Show have the same problem as well as no countertop on the side of the cooktop. With the cooktop burners right next to the phone and the refrigerator it is a good thing Cliff Huxtable was a doctor.










Both Paul and Jamie on Mad About You, and Francis and Claire Underwood on House of Cards have ranges without countertops on either side making them unsafe.  The Secret Service is overlooking one possible danger to their charge.











The Partridge Family has no countertop on the right side of their cooktop.  Again the wall phone is right next to the flames.  If the Partridges catch on fire they won’t be able to “get happy” as their theme song implores.











Seinfeld and How I Met Your Mother have the same problems mentioned above.  And Friends which followed Seinfeld on TV Thursday nights had Monica and Rachel with no hood and wood only a few inches over their powerful professional range.




The low hanging cabinets left of the refrigerator in Dexter’s kitchen below are dangerous to anyone over 6 feet 4 inches.  But should we really be surprised that a mass murderer has a dangerous kitchen?



I guess  all these TV characters should just be happy they didn’t have the ugliest TV kitchen of all time.

That would be poor Alice Kramden’s kitchen on The Honeymooners.

Does your favorite TV show’s kitchen have any of the problems we saw above?   Chances are better than not that it does.


Hoping your real life kitchen is safe.  And as Julia said…..

Bon Appetit!


Main Line Kitchen Design is thrilled to be profiled in the May issue of Kitchen and Bath Design News, the most widely read national publication on Kitchen Design.  The article written by Kim Berndtson and photo spread elaborate on Main Line Kitchen Design’s unique business model and the challenges of running a successful dealership without a showroom. Here is the link to the complete publication.  The article featured in the Industry Profile section starts on page 28.

 Kitchen and Bath Design News / May 2014


The KBIS  Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas was back to its former strength, this year. The recovering economy, the Las Vegas setting and combining the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show with the Builders Industry Show all helped make the show a sellout.

The highlights for me were the gadgets. Hardware and cabinet interior convenience companies like Hafele, Revashelf, Blum, and Richelieu displayed some brand new and many improved versions of past conveniences. Lift doors, fold up doors, pull down shelves from upper wall cabinets are now better made and motorized. Pantry pull outs, sliding tall pantry doors, and pull out and slide pantry doors are also improved and touch activated as well as motorized. Island countertops that  slide out to create island seating and to expose primary and secondary sinks are now also available. It was also exciting to see tables and benches that pull out of cabinet fronts creating an eat in kitchen for tiny apartments. Dozens of under cabinet lighting systems, under cabinet power strips, and pop ups provide more options then ever.

Pop up TV and pop up electric below:



My Three Favorites

There is now an electronic device that can be built into an acrylic countertop for charging your cell phone simply by leaving it on the countertop over the device.  Another option available is an outlet and phone charger that builds into the back of a drawer.

I am also excited about a built in coffee system that fits into a wall or the front or side of a cabinet. It hooks up to your water supply, has an attractive stainless steel insulated pot and uses a very small amount of space. The best part is it retails for $399.


Kitchens are more exciting then ever.  Imagine Julia Child having these options in her television kitchen.

And so as Julia said … Bon Appetit!

Main Line Kitchen Design won two awards in February.  Senior Designer Ray Gardner and A.J. Ahrens owner of Amberwood Builders won the Bucks and Montgomery County National Association of Remodelers CotY Award for the best kitchen between $40,000 and $80,000.  Ray and A.J. often work together and always achieve great results. The kitchen was beautifully photographed by Bob Graham Jr. Photography and appeared in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article on kitchen design. The CotY Award winning kitchen is shown above.

Link to Philadelphia Inquirer article by Samantha Melamed:

Below A.J Ahrens, Paul McAlary, and Ray Gardner with A.J. and Ray’s award:

(Photo courtesy of Bob Graham Jr. Photography)

Main Line Kitchen Design also won the Best of Houzz 2014 award for customer satisfaction.  This is the second year in a row we have received this honor.  Comments such as ”Main Line Kitchen Design has an extraordinary gift for designing kitchen layouts” helped us win.   And what truly makes our profession so rewarding are comments like  ”The end result is a space that blows us away every single morning.”

Hope you have power, a warm home, and of course…….

Bon Appetit!





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