Main Line Kitchen Design
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0.11 Funny and Heartwarming Posts Posts

Posts that will make you smile or warm your heart.

Listed below are selected quotes from three Masters who influenced, in their own way, the art of kitchen design.


Julia Child Chef, TV personality and the first woman graduate of Le Cordon Blue

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”

“The only time to eat diet food is when you’re waiting for a steak to cook.”

“I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.” Also said by WC Fields

“I was 32 when I started cooking. Up until then, I just ate.”

“A party without cake is just a meeting”

“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.'”

“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?”

“It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions.”


Pablo Picasso Artist

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

Every positive value has its price in negative terms… the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

Everything you can imagine is real.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.


Leonardo Da Vinci Artist, Inventor, Engineer.

God sells us all things at the price of labor.

Not to punish evil is equivalent to authorizing it.

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.


Bishop Beaded Inset Kitchen

Kitchen design is a profession I love. Picasso best expressed the most fundamental rule that applies to kitchen design when he said:

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Every accomplished kitchen designer knows that this truth is vital in designing kitchens. Kitchen designers need to learn the rules of our profession and work as designers full time a number of years before we can become even competent at our job.

Most professionals would feel it was arrogant for a non professional to believe they could do THEIR job without training. Yet many people firmly believe that they can design their own kitchen and manage their kitchen renovation without the help of an experienced professional. Often architects, engineers, real estate agents, and contractors believe their limited exposure to kitchen design is sufficient to create a well designed kitchen. Experienced kitchen designers will tell you that the designs we get from these related professions are the worst ones that we see. Because, as the saying goes, “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

I once received a phone call from an attorney who wanted me to price out his design and use his measurements for ordering his kitchen. He told me that he didn’t need a kitchen designer and was fully capable of designing his own kitchen “as it wasn’t rocket science”. I asked him if he had ever heard the joke about a Lawyer who represents himself in court having a fool for an client. He said of course! Well I said, “A lawyer that designs his own kitchen has THAT same fool for a kitchen designer”. He screamed that HE had never been so insulted in all of his life. “Welcome to my world” I replied.

Our designers look forward to helping customers design a great kitchen and not simply selling customers the kitchen they want before getting the professional help that can open their eyes to what’s possible.

We love what we do, which is visible in the kitchens that we create together.

“Bon Appetit!”

Paul McAlary

Kitchen renovations are complex. This is why it can take a professional kitchen designer a decade of working full time to become good at their job. Below is our test to determine your kitchen design and renovation IQ.

What’s your Kitchen IQ?

Answer the following ten True or False questions. Get 9 or 10 correct and you are a kitchen genius and Albert would be proud of you!

  1. Kitchens need to be gutted and any walls removed before measurements can be taken to order cabinetry. True or False?
  2. Granite and engineered quartz countertops are OK to put a hot pot on. True or False?
  3. If your ceiling is 8 feet high then the largest wall cabinets you can use are 42″ high. True or False?
  4. Your contractor should supply the measurements to the kitchen designer and cabinet dealer. True or False?
  5. Painted cabinets are more easily damaged by water and chipping. This is why it is important to get more expensive cabinetry when you want a painted finish. True or False?
  6. It is important to find cabinets that are Carb 2 compliant and meet off gassing standards. True or False?
  7. For less expensive cabinets, getting cabinets made in the United States is a valuable upgrade. True or False?
  8. Solid wood doors on a slab style stained wood door is important in order to get the nicest looking doors. True or False?
  9. Stopping by a showroom to see what they have is a good place to start before considering a kitchen renovation. True or False?
  10. Researching to find a kitchen designer that can make your dream a reality is always worth the effort. True or False?

Find out your score and your kitchen design and renovation IQ at link below:

All good kitchen designers have one quality in common. Patience.

It takes a very patient person to gently convince homeowners that they need design and selection assistance, because the majority of them believe that they don’t need it.

Customers with a little bit of knowledge can be frustrating. For example, having a customer tell you that since this is their THIRD kitchen renovation that they don’t need your help can make you want to pull out your hair. Kitchen designers know that it takes years for us to get good at our job. A full time kitchen designer could sell and help supervise 50 kitchens a year. And each one is completely different requiring it’s own unique problem solving skills and construction and budgetary considerations. We simply couldn’t be competent at our jobs if the designs and budgetary trade offs we recommended as experienced professionals weren’t superior to what a novice might propose.

Below are a couple of funny examples of kitchen designers and our battle with patience:

Doug Mottershead is a well known Kitchen Design Professional featured in some of our YouTube videos. Patience should be Doug’s middle name. 20 years ago, when Doug and I worked together showroom walk-in customers would often have the following experience:

“Hello, how can I help you?” I would greet them.

The customer would tell me that they had all their measurements and wanted to sit down that moment and have me do a design.

“I’m sorry” I would explain, “but I work by appointment and to make sure that the design work I do is professional I need to come out to your home, see the space, and measure it. Can I make an appointment for you or answer questions?”

At this point the customer would be both annoyed and frustrated and seeing Doug at his desk, quickly by-pass me and ask Doug the same question?

Doug’s response was always the same if he didn’t have a customer presently in front of him. “Oh I would love to help, please sit down! what’s your name?”

“I see from the measurements of the two kitchen walls drawn here that one wall is 10 feet and the other is 12 feet. I need to enter the measurements into my computer in inches so should I put in 120 and 144 inches?” might be Doug’s first measurement question. “Yes” the customer would reply confidently.

“You don’t have a window on either of these walls, is there one we should put in?” might be Doug’s next question.

“Oh, there IS a window in the middle of the ten foot wall”.

“How big do you think it is?” Doug would innocently ask.

With hands stretched about three feet apart the customer would reply uncertainly “About this big”

“That looks about 36 inches” Doug would enthusiastically reply. “Is that including the window trim? and should I put it right in the middle of the wall?” Doug might sheepishly ask next as uncertainly quickly grew on the customers face.

At some point during this interaction the customer would finally ask the magic question “Could you come out and measure?”

“Mrs Jones I would love to visit your home and measure?” Doug would reply, then Doug’s appointment book would come out and the first two appointments would be scheduled.

Flashing forward to about three months later I might see Doug and Mrs Jones finalizing her cabinet order. “Mrs Jones YOU have designed a beautiful kitchen!” Doug would exclaim. At this point I would lean over to see Mrs Jones’s design on Doug’s computer screen. And of course I’d see another signature Doug Mottershead kitchen design and simply smile approvingly.

Doug’s amazing patience has propelled him to record setting sales at every company he has worked for.

The Pickleman

Another person that appears in one of our YouTube videos is Mark “The Pickleman” Mitten. Mark plays “The Engineer” in our video below. As a former stand up comic Mark is very funny and as a good friend of mine he has heard stories about kitchen designers having their patience tried. About 15 years ago Mark used his sense of humor and the information from my stories to torture Ed Sossich a kitchen designer friend of mine that Mark had heard me talk about. Ed is now Main Line Kitchen Design’s Operation Manager.

Fifteen years ago Ed was working as a kitchen designer in a Lowes store when Mark approached him posing as a potential client.

Mark greeted Ed sitting at his desk with the following:

“Hello, since it looks like you aren’t doing anything, I’d like to get you to put my kitchen design on your computer. I have all the measurements in my head and because I have designed a kitchen before and I’m a Real Estate Professional I don’t need any design help from a designer. When you finish putting my design on your computer I would also like to speak to whoever’s in charge to get discount.”

Mark watched Ed’s expression slowly change and the color in his face turn red as he finished his prepared speech. He waited patiently for Ed to absorb everything and just before Ed could respond Mark blurted out. “Sorry man, I’m a friend of Paul McAlary’s and I could’t resist busting your stones. I know you’re a friend of his too.”

Mark’s joke is actually not uncommon. Kitchen designers will sometimes leave voice messages for other designers that they haven’t spoken to recently starting out in a disguised voice and leaving a frustrating message before revealing who they are. As designers we get patience testing calls and voicemails frequently so it never ceases to be funny trying another designers patience. Much like getting a guard at Buckingham palace to smile.

Below is Main Like Kitchen Design’s variation of this inside joke:

What do Kitchen Renovations and Pandemic Haircuts have in common? Both turn out much better when done by professionals!

As a kitchen designer I know how difficult doing a good job at my profession is. Unfortunately many homeowners do not.

People know enough to seek out professional help when they need their car repaired, a complex tax return filed, legal advice, or getting their hair cut. But when it comes to designing and renovating a kitchen, many believe they can do that themselves. Why is it that spending more than $30,000 on a project without professional direction can make sense to some homeowners?

During the pandemic we are all getting to see the results of amateurs cutting hair.

As kitchen designers we see amateur kitchen remodels on a regular basis. I’m sure that to a hair stylist the results of our attempts at cutting hair during the pandemic look much like the amateur kitchen designs we see as as kitchen design professionals.

Crazy Kitchen

Unfortunately as Doug Mottershead says in the video below. At least poor haircuts grow back while bad kitchen design choices stay with us for a LONG time.

Kitchen Designers
Kitchen Designers Paul McAlary and Doug Mottershead

During this stressful time don’t compound the stress by not getting the professional help you need considering a complex and expensive kitchen renovation.

And as Paul says in the video above . . .

“We are here if you need us.”


Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, Lauren, Tom and Stacia

Main Line Kitchen Design

Doug and Paul explain why managing a customer’s regret is one of the primary jobs of a kitchen designer.


Below is a video of Doug Motterhead and Paul McAlary discussing managing customer regret when designing a kitchen and doing a kitchen renovation.


I think it’s surprising to most people that being a truly good kitchen designer is not about giving customers what they think that they want. This is why I don’t like the catch phrase less experienced kitchen designers often repeat. “That they want to make their customers dreams a reality.”


Being a great kitchen designer is about showing customers things they hadn’t considered and helping them to make sensible choices once they have all the options. Seldom do customers choose the design they initially dreamed of once they are better informed. We simply wouldn’t be good kitchen designers if customers didn’t choose different ways to spend their budget and different designs after getting help from a qualified professional.


I think it is also surprising to most customers that telling them what is bad about any particular kitchen design is more important than what’s good about that design. And ALL kitchen designs have there good and bad points. This is what we are speaking of when we talk about managing regret. IE Making sure that whatever the design choices a customer makes, that they are fully aware of that designs pluses and minuses, and have no regrets when their renovation is complete.



Looking forward to helping you get a regret free kitchen.


Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, John, Lauren, Tom, and Stacia

Main Line Kitchen Design


Check Out These Kitchen Related Quotes From Celebrities

White kitchen sink and counter top

“Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important—fun, food, and life.”—Chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud


“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” ― W.C. Fields


“I wish my stove came with a Save As button like Word has. That way I could experiment with my cooking and not fear ruining my dinner.
” ― Jarod Kintz


“It does not matter how expensive your kitchen is if you are a bad cook.” – Loesje


“I love what you might call brutal elegance. Where form and function are really obvious. There is nothing easily broken in this house.”Actress Meg Ryan


“Most people start out wanting to go for their fantasy, but end up painting their walls dove-white.”—Shopkeeper/interior decorator Rayman Boozer


“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” – Julia Child


Wishing the Happiest of Holidays to all our customers and friends, and of course….


Bon Appetit!

Main Line Kitchen Design

Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, John, Lauren, Tom and Stacia

The most valuable part of your kitchen renovation is the design of the kitchen itself. Professional kitchen designers understand that it takes a decade for anyone, no matter how talented, to become proficient at designing kitchens. And yet many people believe that coming up with the best design for a particular space and spending their renovation budget effectively should be easy for non design professionals.


Homeowners, contractors, architects, engineers and real estate agents often believe that a kitchen designer is not needed for their project. And even though professional assistance from a kitchen designer comes free with the purchase of cabinetry from most kitchen cabinet dealers, people can still stubbornly refuse to accept free input from someone who’s been designing and selling kitchens for decades. They believe that they know how they use their kitchen and as every kitchen designer hears several times a day that they “know exactly what they want”.


Here is our funny video that tries to put that belief in perspective. Click on image below:

Kitchen Designers
Kitchen Designers Paul McAlary and Doug Mottershead

At Main Line Kitchen Design we know that you can not be an expert in everything. This is why we refer our customers to expert sales people for appliances, flooring, lighting, and backsplash tile. It is also why we subcontract to or simply recommend expert installers.


When you are working on a complex renovation you need experts in every field. We hope you will let Main Line Kitchen Design be your experts for designing your kitchen and selling you the cabinets that best suit your needs and budget.


Have a great Labor Day weekend and of course . . .

Bon Appetit!


Paul, Julie, Ed, John, Laura, Tom, and Stacia

Main Line Kitchen Design

Blog first posted January 1, 2018


Kitchens are where many of our memories take place. Even the simplest kitchen will host some of our best times and the warmest memories of friends and family. Here is a story written by my mother who passed away this fall about the simplest of kitchens and the happiness that she remembered there.


Our fist apartment was a small, old but affordable, walk-up. Although it left much to be desired, as newlyweds, we were satisfied and even excited about moving in — except for the kitchen! It contained only one cabinet which was situated above the sink and its exposed pipes. We improvised by buying a large standing cabinet and sewing a floral fabric to elastic and wrapping it around the sink. The area under the sink could now be used as storage space for cleaning products, pots and pans, etc.


When our first baby began toddling around, it became his favorite destination. He enjoyed crashing through the curtain, playing with the pots and pans and eating the soap powder. I could not wait to escape from this hazardous kitchen. Eventually we converted the space to a toy area where he sat playing with his cars, trucks and blocks. In fact, that’s where he said his first word, which was “car”.


One night, my husband arrived home from work with a bottle of champagne and wonderful news. He had just received a big promotion and a very substantial salary increase. While eating dinner at our little kitchen table with the baby next to us in his high chair, we toasted to his new job and our new house.


It is now more than 50 years later and I still remember that antiquated kitchen and the joy and happiness we experienced in it.


Jean McAlary passed away in October, but the little boy under the sink still loves kitchens and is of course the founder of Main Line Kitchen Design.


Hoping all our kitchens bring our customers the kind of joyful memories my mother’s 1960 kitchen brought her.


And as Julia Child who passed 17 years ago said  …

Bon Appetit!


Main Line Kitchen Design asks the question: “Do crazy kitchens have anything in common?”


I was looking for an unusual topic for this months blog, possibly with a humorous bent, and so I was inspired to try a Google image search for “crazy kitchens”. Not surprisingly there was no shortage of search results. The 6 photos of kitchens below were the oddest and most unusual.


Being a kitchen designer for going on 30 years, I suspected  the results I would find would all share some common traits on top of just being wild looking. Namely:



  1. The kitchens would all be modern, contemporary, or eclectic in style.
  2. The kitchens would use strange and unconventional colors,  I am not labeling them as tasteless, although some critics might.
  3. The kitchens would not be very functional or convenient to work in.
  4. Useful storage would be at a minimum.
  5. They would not obey NKBA (The National Kitchen and Bath Association) guidelines.


Each of the kitchens below do in fact have these characteristics in common.


How could I predict the offending kitchens would all share these traits? Because the inexperienced people who create the worst kitchens are most often architects and interior designers and these styles and lack of  design considerations are common among those professions.  As the saying goes “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”


The worst design offenses for each kitchen are listed below each photo.


Image result for crazy kitchens


No storage areas for food. Improper venting of cooktop. Freezer door hits wall not allowing complete access. Faucet on side of sink ruins work zone. I suspect cabinetry is not being properly supported.


Color Crazy Kitchen


An eclectic mix of cabinetry and appliances that looks ridiculous. Little storage space for food, plates, and glassware. Drawers  on back of island pull out under countertop overhang. Sink and cooktop are too close. Inadequate cooktop ventilation. Sink faces wall with window too high to see out of. Many more issues.


Interior Designs: Chameleon Crazy Kitchen


Sink faces wall with no good work space on either side. Cabinet left of the sink will be ruined by water damage, Refrigerator door sweeps counter left of sink Freezer door hits cabinet. Window and curtains next to cooktop are a fire hazard. Lack of useful storrage. Seating extends into work area. Just curious, why not put the sink in front of one of the windows?



Tasteless mix of color. Sink faces wall. Inconvenient storage. I suspect cabinetry is not properly supported. Venting of cooktop uncertain.


Image result for crazy kitchens


Effective design for a live-alone octopus. For human beings, not so much. The biggest crime here is that the materials for this tiny kitchen exceed $40.000.00 Other issues include once again no venting for cooktop and most of the function issues listed in the previous kitchens.


Image result for crazy kitchens


Why the posts? They are in the way and prevent a decent work area on either side of the cooktop. Refrigerator placement has door hitting counter and everyone going to the refrigerator interferes with the people at the sink and the cooktop. Storage issues, and like all the poor kitchen designs above, this would be a terrible kitchen to work in.


The bathroom above won Best Bathroom  in the 2014 NKBA national competition.


Unfortunately this demonstrates that kitchen designers and the professionals judging kitchen and bath competitions can be just as crazy as the designers for the kitchens we highlighted above.


At Main Line Kitchen Design we try to do more than fulfill our customers’ dreams, we sometimes try to temper them. A dose of common sense can make the difference between something you might see in a design magazine but would never want your home to look like, and a kitchen you love that you would want to spend time in and enjoy every day.


Hoping your kitchen designer has the strength and common sense not to design you anything like the designs above!


And of course…

Bon Appetit!


Main Line Kitchen Design


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” for two couples who worked with Main Line Kitchen Design.


Both Bob and Jenny Smart and Craig and Lisa Knowbetta began considering their kitchen renovations in late June.


[note – Ladies and Gentleman the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent]


The Smarts went on the internet and began reading reviews of kitchen cabinet dealers and spent time on the web sites and Pinterest looking at photos of kitchens evaluating the styles and colors of other people’s choices. The Knowbettas wanted to get things moving. Thinking they would save money, they  gutted their kitchen themselves to get a “feeling for the space”. Lisa Knowbetta began working on a design using software she found online.


After about a week, the Smarts finished their research on kitchen designers and cabinet dealers. Based on the reviews they read, they made their first appointment with Main Line Kitchen Design. Inside the Knowbettas home, Craig Knowbetta having recovered from  an electrical shock and a few stitches, finished gutting the kitchen while Lisa continued trying out different layouts on her free online software.


Lisa and Craig’s progress



About a month into their kitchen projects, the Smarts had completed their preliminary kitchen designs with one of Main Line Kitchen Design’s designers and were awaiting estimates from the contractors Main Line Kitchen Design and a neighbor had recommended.


The Knowbettas were having trouble getting  contractors to give them bids on their project. They thought they were seeing why contractors got such a bad rap.  What the Knowbettas didn’t understand was that contractors are hesitant to take on the risk of projects with rudimentary and incomplete designs like the one Lisa had produced.


By mid-August, the Smarts had selected their contractor and were finalizing the plans on their beautiful kitchen. The Knowbettas were surprised by how expensive the construction quotes turned out to be. The contractor they hired took their deposit and told them he could start when the cabinets were ready to be delivered. Then using printouts of Lisa’s design, the Knowbettas began getting cabinet pricing from different showrooms and home centers.


September and school began with the Smarts already having ordered their cabinets, appliances, countertops and flooring. Their start date for construction was October 1st. The Knowbettas were finding that kitchen design centers had serious issues with Lisa’s design. The project was turning out more expensive than planned and the family was still living in a construction zone. Dan was also frustrated that his new car had been dented in the Lowes parking lot.


On October 1st construction began on schedule for the Smarts. The Knowbettas were still confused, having problems fixing design issues with their kitchen and finding a cabinet line and doorstyle they could afford. They resorted to going online and found a highly rated cabinet dealer and design firm in their area and called Main Line Kitchen Design.


Months after starting their project,  the Knowbettas found themselves where the Smarts had been back in early July! Main Line Kitchen Design measured the space they had demolished more than three months ago, worked on designs, and gave them detailed pricing for their project. The good news was that the new kitchen design was more beautiful and functional than any design they had gotten from home centers. Best of all the cabinet costs were less! A mixed blessing was that Main Line Kitchen Design informed them that their installation quote could have been less but knew their contractor and that he did good work. By November the Knowbetta design was finalized and the cabinets ordered. Their contractor scheduled construction to start after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving at the Smarts



On Thanksgiving the two families had very different holidays. Family and friends enjoyed a wonderful meal hosted in the Smarts new kitchen. Compliments flowed and the Smarts had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday. The Knowbettas traveled to enjoy the holiday with out of town family. A nice break since they had now been without a kitchen for nearly 5 months and didn’t expect their construction to be finished until early January.


In the end both families got great kitchens, but had very different experiences.


All kitchen designers know that the people who get a finished kitchen first are never the people that start first. They are the ones who planned the most BEFORE starting.


Looking forward to providing you with a Smart kitchen and, of course . . .

Bon Appetite!

Paul, Julie, John, Stacia, Ed and Tom

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