22 July 2009

Guest Post: Susan Palmer Design Blogs

Gold Notes celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, and I invited some of my favorite design bloggers to the party! So... For the rest of the month, this space will be mostly filled with their brilliance, not my usual banter!

I'm so grateful for their contributions.

I hope you're as excited as I am about these design celebrity cameos. Guest posts give readers the chance to discover voices, resources and talent that may be new to you. Each of these bloggers is also an incredibly-talented designer who could be of tremendous service to you, your friends or your family. In each posts are links to their blogs and their design sites. Please take the opportunity to browse both. You'll discover a wealth of ideas from Hawaii to the Northeast, Florida to Canada. It's like traveling the design world without jet lag!

Introducing Susan and Adrienne Palmer...

Today, we'll start our anniversary guest post series with the phenomenal mother-daughter team of Susan and Adrienne Palmer of Susan Palmer Designs, Inc. The Palmers live and design in Honolulu, Hawaii, and publish the Susan Palmer Design Blog. Susan is a Certified Kitchen Designer and Certified Bath Designer, a multiple design award winner and a college design lecturer. Adrienne is working toward her AKBD certification and is a product specialist, blogger and partner in the firm.

When I asked my contributors to tackle one of five questions for their guest post, this dynamic duo leaped in and tackled all five. Over-achievers!!! That earned the Palmers the first posting of the anniversary-edition guest series. Thanks, ladies!

Favorite design find of the past year

Sara Baldwin / New Ravenna Mosaics -- New Ravenna Mosaics, headed by the ├╝ber-talented Sara Baldwin, not only revives, but takes mosaic tile art to the next level. Every single item and design theme offered by New Ravenna is simply amazing, from the field patterns such as Thatch, to the glass fields such as Brighton Wave. All are just beautiful. Commissioned works and larger mosaics such as Twiggy, and the complex Peacock or Paisley designs, truly show off what Sara and her talented team's expert use of color, materials, and design combine to create beautiful works of art in tile form. We think we will be seeing a lot more of her work in the future and that is really exciting!

Brighton Wave by Sara Baldwin for
New Ravenna Mosaics

Prediction for next year's top design trends

* I think we will continue to see the addition of alternative finishes like oil rubbed bronze, platinum, and distressed nickel in fixtures for both the kitchen and the bath from manufacturers.

* For the clients who want modern style kitchens and baths, I see a trend moving more towards kitchen cabinetry as furniture integrating with other rooms, utilizing horizontal wood grains, and a focus on White Oak and Teak woods.

* For clients who want a more traditional style of kitchen, I see them moving more towards rustic, natural finishes on woods like Knotty Cherry, paired with interesting toe kicks and furniture style legs and details.

* In general, I expect to see more ethnic or vintage materials and techniques revived and used in modern applications, such as mosaics that utilize stained glass in abstract styling, or regional textiles from Africa used in poly-resin architectural panels.

This Susan Palmer-designed kitchen showcases
many of the latest design trends!

Favorite Gold Notes post of the past year

Definitely had to be Top 3 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes. It's simple, straight forward advice that so easily answers and explains some of the more complex questions and issues facing clients when remodeling their kitchens.

We also loved reading all of your new product finds from KBIS. Since we don't always get the chance to go, it's great to read Gold Notes and find out first hand from someone who has the knowledge and the experience to help filter out the good from the bland!

Favorite post from your own blog

This one: Rustic Asian Modern Faucets and Plumbing Fixtures Here in Hawaii, we have so many different cultures that overlap and blend into each other, it is a true melting pot that yields to a particular style of design. The Japanese furo style bath tubs made of concrete are a perfect example of east meets west and old meets new! We were really happy to see the positive response locally, and that the post excited other design bloggers as well.

Oil Rubbed Bronze faucet and Furo Tubs
by Sonoma Forge

Coming next... Guest posts from these top design bloggers

Paul Anater - Kitchen & Residential Design Blog
Joni Webb - Cote de Texas
Kelly James - Design Ties
Amir Ilin - European-Kitchen-Design


  1. The Palmer women are best in class so far as I'm concerned. Adrienne particularly is a never ending source of ideas and cool new stuff. Brava to Hawaii's queens of design!

  2. ok now I am blushing ... Hawaii queens of design ... oh you are too funny .. thanks Paul, but I learn so much reading your blog!

    Congratulations Jamie on 1 year! Sorry I didn't read the fine print and did 5/5, but we can't be labeled overachievers since there are 2 of us, it's an unfair advantage to begin with! :) And thank you for all of your support and the late night emails, I cannot thank you enough for all of the positive help and encouragement you have so freely and openly given me, Mom & I wish you all the best!

    Heres to another great year!

  3. Well yeah I guess remodeling your house adds value to the place and makes a better living as well. Recently I got my Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling done and I am a very happy camper now. Just love my new place.


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