Category Archive: News

Choosing the right Kitchen Countertop

If you’re deciding on renovating your Orlando kitchen countertops, your available options are endless. Combining style with functionality can be a challenge, but people are now having more fun choosing different styles and combining options that make it more creative. Mixing and matching countertop materials, colors and designs are the fun part, but what type of material would suit your needs and fit your style?

  • Metal: metal countertops have been around a significantly long time. This material is heat proof, hygienic, and offers a clean look to your kitchen. Though if not paired with the right kitchen cabinets, it may end up looking cold and often institutionalized. These materials, whether it is steel, copper or any other type of metal counter, can also easily scratch.
  • Laminate: The cost of laminate countertops is what many homeowners seek when on a budget. Since really anything can be printed on the material, you have a wide range of colors and designs to choose from. The downside to laminates is the susceptibility to permanent burns and scratches.
  • Ceramic tile: Tiles offer a variety of different designs and colors that can be arranged to your particular taste and style. It is also easy to install and could be done by the homeowner, although attention to detail and a certain amount of time is necessary. Tiles are heat resistant, but if not properly taken care of can crack or stain the grout, which may require occasional sealing.
  • Engineered Stone: This material is made up of mostly real rock which combines resin and pigments that offer a variety of color choices. It is extremely durable, including resistance to heat and scratches, easy to maintain, and looks and feels like stone with the added resilience that stone may lack.
  • Stone: This material is very unique and will never look the same in any kitchen. It is extremely durable and can resist heat, although scratches and stains are more likely. It may need occasional sealing but it is naturally beautiful and offers a refined look to your kitchen.

Whichever type of kitchen countertop you decide matches your style, Joan DesCombes will create a kitchen that matches your tastes and provide you with the service and experience you deserve from an Orlando Kitchen design company. Contact Joan DesCombes Kitchen Designs at 407-790-7868 today to learn more about how Joan can help you design the kitchen of your dreams.

Joan DesCombes Published in TADA Magazine

Ms. DesCombes stars as a guest writer in Volume 1, Issue 2 of the quarterly magazine.

2012 1607 300x200 Joan DesCombes Published in TADA Magazine

Orlando, FL (June 21, 2012) – Joan DesCombes, CKD (www.joankitchendesign.com), is extremely proud to announce her appearance in Tile for Architects, Designers, & Affiliates (TADA). TADA is a quarterly publication distributed by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) that serves to provide important technical content to assist professionals involved in the manufacturing and design of ceramic tile and natural stone.

For her article, Mrs. DesCombes was asked to discuss her experience at Coverings 2012 – The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience. At the event, she was tasked with designing, installing, and exhibiting a tranquil outdoor retreat. With the help of Cox Tile owner John Cox, Certified Tile Installers Jay Cerday and Shawn Stonecipher, and design colleague Beverly Alig, Mrs. DesCombes was able to create a space where one could escape, reflect, and relax.

Of her experience at the showcase event, Mrs. DesCombes says, “The relationship between the various team members, from the show producers, to the product sponsors, to our installation partners, and the construction team, was that of a loving, caring, and generous family. Everyone was positive and

2012 2183 300x200 Joan DesCombes Published in TADA Magazinefocused on the end result of a fabulous design.” Mrs. DesCombes is very much looking forward to attending Coverings 2013.

TADA is a free print publication. To order your copy, visit the official NTCA website (www.tile-assn.com).

About Joan DesCombes

For the past twenty years, Joan DesCombes has been a prominent figure in the home design industry. As a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), Mrs. DesCombes is the President of Joan DesCombes Kitchen Design, a Winter Park, Florida firm specializing in custom cabinetry, architectural detailing, and furniture design.  To learn more about her interior kitchen design services, visit her website (www.joankitchendesign.com) or call (407)790-4505 today.

Kitchen Cabinets: Wood or Glass?

As with any interior space, styles within the kitchen are constantly evolving, shifting, and changing. One question that has plagued homeowners throughout the years: Should I install wood or glass cabinets in my Orlando kitchen design? If only the answer were that easy! Both types drastically change the look and feel of your kitchen, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Wood Cabinets 300x175 Kitchen Cabinets: Wood or Glass?

Natural wood cabinets bring a sense of warmth to practically any kitchen. Additionally, wood cabinets are extremely strong and durable; wood base cabinets can support even the heaviest countertop material, including stones such as granite and marble. Small damages, including scratches, dents, and dings are easily fixed because wood can be repeatedly re-finished with little long-term damage. Often less expensive than other options, wood cabinets will likely never go out of style.

Adding glass doors to your cabinets is an elegant way to drastically change the design of your kitchen. Glass can be beautiful and functional, but requires more maintenance and care. Glass cabinets require a high-quality frame, as cheap materials can warp and can potentially break the glass. Obviously, glass is less durable than wood, and is more prone to everyday accidents. However, glass creates a sense of a more open room, which is ideal for those who have a smaller kitchen.

No matter the type of cabinet you choose to upgrade your kitchen with, Joan DesCombes is thoroughly experienced. As a distinguished Central Florida interior kitchen designer, Joan DesCombes creates living spaces that reflect the lifestyle of each and every client. To learn more about how Joan DesCombes Kitchen Design can upgrade your Orlando kitchen, call today at (407)790-7868.

Eco-Friendly Cabinets

Many believe that the terms “eco-friendly” and “all-natural” are words that describe products that represent a passing phase or a trend. Actually, eco-friendly products are here to stay! Anyone that wishes to improve the quality of the air within their home or reduce the toxins that they and their loved ones are exposed to on a daily basis should pay attention to the makeup of their kitchen cabinets—you may be surprised just how damaging a standard cabinet can be to your health. Consider adding these alternatives to your next kitchen redesign.

Formaldehyde-free alternatives. Most cabinets are constructed of particleboard, fiberboard, or plywood—all products that contain formaldehyde glues that release toxic fumes into your home. In fact, formaldehyde is recognized as a known carcinogen—an agent that is known to directly cause cancer! Instead, consider using bamboo plywood or agrifiber boards.

Green Stain 217x300 Eco Friendly CabinetsNo- and low-VOC finishes. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical fumes that are emitted from some materials—including the stain finishes on standard cabinets. To improve your indoor air quality, choose finishes that are labeled as “no-VOC” or “low-VOC.” Water-based finishes naturally have fewer VOCs and are the safest for your cabinets.

Salvaged wood. What could be more natural than wood straight from the tree? Salvaged wood is the most eco-friendly option, and not only is it sustainable—but it also has a history! Consider using salvaged wood with a story that you will enjoy sharing with visitors.

Many do not realize that the products we use each and every day—including easily overlooked items like cabinets—can in fact be dangerous and detrimental to our health. So, next time you’re looking to redesign your kitchen, consider the benefits of adding eco-friendly materials to your list.

Joan DesCombes is recognized as a leader in interior kitchen design, with a specialization in custom cabinetry. To learn more about how Joan can transform your kitchen, give her a call today at (407)790-4505.

Five Simple Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Feel Bigger

Many of us have a kitchen that is plagued with little square footage. We find ourselves scrambling to conserve what limited counter space we have and, even then, are left with little room for a precious resource—appliances. If you’re not prepared for the lengthy process of knocking out a wall to make more room for your kitchen, you can do the next best thing—create the impression of a bigger space with a few strategic decorating tricks.

Replace solid cabinet doors with glass doors. Glass lightens the look of cabinetry and allows the eye to travel through to the back, which in turn helps the kitchen seem larger. However, be careful not to clutter the interiors of the cabinets with unorganized and unnecessary items, as this will defeat the purpose of the glass.

Small Kitchen 200x300 Five Simple Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Feel BiggerPaint cabinets the same colors as the walls. Limiting the cabinetry and wall color to a single hue erases visual boundaries that might stop the eye. Pale colors tend to reflect light and will make the space feel bigger. Dark colors such as black, navy, charcoal, and chocolate will recede visually and create the impression that the walls are farther back than they really are.

Add recessed storage. Try tucking a pantry, shelving unit, or cabinet into the wall of your kitchen to keep it from obstructing the kitchen’s flow. It is fairly easy to achieve this look.

Incorporate open shelving. Open shelves typically reduce visual weight and lend to the illusion of a more expansive space.

Flood the space with light. Whether your kitchen is painted in a pale color or a dark one, light from outside will help create an area that seems much larger than it really is. But, keep window treatments such as curtains as simple as possible or eliminate them completely, so as not to block the sun.

Joan DesCombes is a leader in interior kitchen design, with a specialization in custom cabinetry. If you are looking to renovate your Central Florida kitchen, please contact Joan today at (407)790-7868.

Coverings 2012 – The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience

Coverings – The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience – has invited Joan Descombes of Joan DesCombes Kitchen Design, to be a speaker at its annual conference and exposition coming to Orlando, Florida on April 17-20, 2012. Joan DesCombes’ is speaking at the Installation Design Showcase Roundtable session on Thursday, April 19 from 2:45PM – 3:45PM. Joan has designed an outdoor living area that she describes as “a personal pamper patio—a tranquil retreat where one can escape, reflect and relax.”

Recognized as a leader in kitchen interior design, Joan is president of Joan DesCombes Kitchen Design, a Winter Park, Florida, firm specializing in custom cabinetry, architectural detailing and furniture design. As one of America’s most distinguished designers, Joan’s work appears frequently in major consumer and trade publications. The recipient of numerous awards, Joan consistently receives top honors in the National Kitchen and Bath Association competition, and is a multiple First Place regional winner in the SubZero/Wolf National Kitchen Design Contest.

Additional Coverings highlights include:

  • More Than 800 Global Exhibitors – In just one location over four action-packed days, you can discover the latest tile and stone trends and source the latest products from over 800 global exhibitors.
  • Comprehensive Education Program – Coverings offers the most in-depth tile and stone education program in the Americas and it’s entirely free. With nearly 70 sessions to choose from, you’ll walk away with the education you need to succeed in the industry.
  • Special Programs and Events – From the Installation Design Showcase and the new Coverings Central, to the PROJECT: Green display and the Art Village, Coverings covers it all.

About Coverings

Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

Installation Design Showcase

Joan DesCombes will be one of the designers at the Installation Design Showcase at Coverings this April, 2012. Below is a press release regarding the event:

THREE CONCEPT ROOMS WILL COME TO LIFE IN
THE INSTALLATION DESIGN SHOWCASE AT COVERINGS 2012

(ALEXANDRIA, VA—FEBRUARY, 2012)—A trio of ingenious design ideas incorporating tile and stone will come to life before the eyes of Coverings 2012 attendees with the presentation of the Installation Design Showcase. The special combined live-action demonstration and exhibit underscores how critical skilled installation is to realizing any design project, and it has become a must-see of the international tile and stone expo, April 17-20, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The construction gets underway a day prior to the opening of Coverings, with completion marked for Wednesday, April 18. However, the exhibit will remain in full view through the show’s close.

Matches have been made between three distinguished designers and three accomplished installation teams. Instrumental in making these marriages was The National Tile Contractors Association, a Coverings co-sponsor that helped originate the Showcase three years ago. To participate, installers must have NTCA Five Star Recognition, the association’s highest ranking, and be certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. The collaborations between the professionals will yield an outdoor living area, a master bathroom and a hotel guestroom where tile and stone have star billing.

The Line-Up of Designers & Installers

Joan DesCombes, a nationally known kitchen designer who has her own practice in Winter Park, Florida, is among the highly touted talent in the Showcase. DesCombes is dreaming-up an outdoor living area that she describes as “a personal pamper patio—a tranquil retreat where one can escape, reflect and relax.” Cox Tile and Marble, of San Antonio, Texas, which has participated in the Installation Design Showcase since its inception, once again is assigning a team that will tackle this scenario.

Orlando native and president of Gribble Interior Group, Grant Gribble, ASID, IIDA, is also stepping into the Showcase spotlight. He is planning the “Mod Squad of master baths,” drawing inspiration from 1960s and 1970s fashion. Helping his retro vision evolve into an energetic yet elegant vignette is Collins Tile and Stone, Arlington, Virginia.

The acclaimed firm TVS Design, Atlanta, is sending senior associate Foreman Rogers, ASID, who has envisioned a “sophisticated and luxe” look for his hotel guestroom. It’s a space that aims to highlight tile as “much more than just a practical material but as a true art form.” David Allen Company, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, will lead the installation on this project.

In addition to shining light on the participating designers and installers, the exhibit will illuminate some of the latest and greatest tile and stone products and essential installation elements from Coverings 2012 exhibitors, including Crossville, Ceramics of Italy, Florida Tile and Metropolitan Ceramics. What’s more, QEP, Rubi Tools USA and European Tile Masters Inc will provide the necessary tools to construct the exhibit, while H.B. Fuller Construction Products, Mapei and USG Corp will supply the basic building needs.

“The Installation Design Showcase exemplifies the true mission of Coverings: to bring all segments of the tile and stone industry together and amplify how these materials can transform both our living spaces and our world,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director at National Tile Contractors Association. “The fact that the Showcase will be completed over the course of the show, right on the exhibit floor, offers attendees the opportunity to witness the process first-hand, and to interact directly with the designers and installers. It’s yet another example of the kind of innovative, value-added programming that makes Coverings such an incomparable experience.”

According to Bettiga, all of the materials and products featured in the Installation Design Showcase will have a after-life benefitting Tile Partners for Humanity.

Visit www.coverings.com or www.facebook.com/CoveringsShow.

About Coverings

Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

2012 Kitchen Trends

Kitchens are becoming more at the heart of the home because people are decorating their kitchens to be the entertainment area, rather than designing the “perfect” formal living room. If you are looking to draw attention to your kitchen in order to make this room the focal point of your house, concentrate on colors that make your kitchen more interesting and inviting. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors, which will keep your kitchen stylish from year to year.

Here are some tips for using color in your kitchen:

Black, white, or silver – Since most appliances are black, white, or stainless steel, these three colors are always in style and can be used to create a formal looking kitchen.

Reddish Orange – This color, named 2012 color of the year, is a very bold color. Because of its reddish tone, it is commonly known as the color to stimulate hunger. When paired with white, homeowners can easily use an Asian inspired décor theme. However, when paired with black cabinetry, it is more dramatic and gives an appearance of sophistication.

Blue Grey – When paired with stainless steel and contemporary accents, adding splashes of blue grey will transform your mediocre kitchen into an elegant masterpiece.

There is no better kitchen than a functional kitchen that allows you to be creative, while demonstrating your personality. Joan Descombes can design your kitchen to fit your style, whether it is Asian inspired, artistic, or classic. Call Joan today at 407-790-7868.

Joan DesCombes, CKD Creates New Contemporary Line for Busby Cabinets

Image 4 225x300 Joan DesCombes, CKD Creates New Contemporary Line for Busby CabinetsOrlando – A rare painting can hardly be improved upon by simply adding an extra stroke of a brush, but paired with the proper framework, paint and canvas can become a masterpiece in harmony.

Two longtime leaders in the custom cabinet industry, Busby Cabinets and Joan DesCombes, have united their distinctive styles, and in the process can now offer their clients fabulous projects spanning the entire design spectrum.

For nearly four decades, Busby Cabinets has forged a brand name built on traditional design, expert manufacturing from their 45,000 square-foot factory in North Central Florida,  and impeccable customer service.

And over half of that span, Joan DesCombes was carving out her niche as one of America’s most decorated kitchen designers.

Joan DesCombes – winner of numerous national and international design competitions – has joined forces with Busby Cabinets Research and Development department to create a new line of fresh and inspiring contemporary cabinets. The line includes a spectacular collection of finish combinations at an affordable price point seldom found in custom contemporary cabinet design.

Because of her experience and unique ability, Joan was specifically brought in to counsel the talented staff at Busby with her vast knowledge and concepts in contemporary design. After completing the design, Joan developed a highly motivating full-day seminar to counsel the Busby staff.

Featured “Functional Works of Art”

This contemporary-styled kitchen display is highlighted on our showroom floor. We feel it is important for our clients to touch and feel potential materials and finishes that will eventually become part of their kitchen. The vignette has been designed with an intentional mix of high-end materials to give clients exposure to several choices that will guide and inform their decisions. The lavastone tabletop, in brilliant turquoise, with an inset of BlueKitchen 300x239 Featured Functional Works of Artmother-of-pearl and paua shell mosaics is set off by the neutral tones of the materials that surround it in the display. The adjacent, taller island countertop is made of concrete inset with semi-precious gemstones and a sink cover of aroko wood. The countertop above the perimeter base cabinets is a burgundy slate while the floor is glass terrazzo. Cherry veneer cabinetry has been treated with a high-gloss finish on the island and matte finish on the perimeter.

~Photograph by Everett & Soule

Designed by Roland DesCombes, this opulent two-story library was created to reflect the BrownStudy1 232x300 Featured Functional Works of Arthomeowner’s request for a quiet reading retreat. Conscious of the desire for both beauty and function, the space includes expansive display space in rich, walnut-paneled walls which have been enhanced with classic dentil moulding. The heavy coffered ceiling offers an additional eye-pleasing effect while a spiral staircase curves elegantly upward to a catwalk allowing access to the second-story book shelves. The crowning design element is a heavily carved wooden fireplace surround featuring sculptural human figures.

~Photograph by Phil Eschbach

The new owner of this kitchen opted to tear our the existing kitchen in an effort to transform it into her vision of a more functional, attractive space that flowed into a large BrownKitchen 300x291 Featured Functional Works of Artbreakfast and family room. The feel of the new space combines eclectic elements and the owner’s collectibles, transforming it into a classic American High-Country style. Freestanding furniture pieces have been included in the room: an armoire that houses the refrigerator, a small worktable at the foot of the island that combines marble and butcher block surfaces, and a blue-painted larder. The look is carried through in the blending of cabinetry finishes as well, from, the hand-painted white-glazed wall and base cabinets to the darker-tone stained, antiqued island. We were also able to capture the owner’s expressed wish to have fresh herbs available in her kitchen through the use of an herb garden complete with a built-in drain. The eclectic space fulfills the owner’s desire for the perfect blending of casual elegant styling with detailed functionality.

~Photography by Everett & Soule