Author Archives: pdxcm

Living in your small Philadelphia kitchen

yellow kitchenThe typical Philadelphia kitchen is small, on average less than 10 square feet. So how do you make the most of this space?

The most obvious solution is to use every inch. The most efficient way is to redo your kitchen to have a professional kitchen designer lay it out with special attention to storage. However, if you are not planning on spending $10,000+, what are your options? You can still retrofit your old cabinets with great new storage options. Here are some ideas:

1. Pull out shelves. While technically these might use up more space than plain shelves, the ability to see what is in the back of the shelf overrides this negative. You can’t use what you can’t remember you had.
2. Trash bins in the cabinet. Many of us can’t take a cabinet and make it a combination recycling and trash cabinet, however, we may not be utilizing our under sink storage. You can put a rollout bin to the side of the pipes and make it easier to hide the trash.
3. Many kitchens have dead spaces in the corners. If you are lucky enough to have a cabinet that extends into that area, many manufactures offer up the option of putting in pullout shelves to better use that space. Again if you can see it and get at it, the more likely you will be to use it.
4. There are about 10-20 different ways you can divide up a drawer. Look at each of your drawers and decide what you want in it and there is a special insert to better store those objects, from cutlery, knife blocks, plates to pots and pans.
5. Spices are hard to keep organized. This can be done with a drawer insert or attachment to the door of a cabinet. If you have an entire cabinet devoted to spices, try a pullout (I love pullouts in case you have not realized).
6. Another underutilized space in your kitchen is the backsplash. Instead of putting your cooking utensils in a jar on the counter or in a valuable drawer, consider investing in a backsplash system that hangs them up. Many systems also have places for knives, spices etc.

Now I have just touched on a number of possible ways to perk up your storage space in our “cozy” Philadelphia kitchens. To get more ideas please go to these manufacturers’ websites. These are the ones we use and know they are cost effective and reliable. Hafele is an upper price point with metal and wood finishes, . Rev-a shelf has a lower price and finishes more likely in heavy duty plastic, One final option is Richelieu that is another moderately priced option,

If you have any questions, please let us (Teknika) know…call us, email, facebook, or comment here. We like to be reachable.

How Much Will That Philadelphia Kitchen Cost? Step 1.

By Amy Meade of Teknika Design Group                 February 27, 2012

house money images

A big chunk of the cost is up to You.  What do you need?

Because there are so many elements, products and aspects to a Philadelphia Kitchen remodel, basically so much of everything, budgeting can be difficult. However the true secret is to start with you.

The first step on the way to your new Philadelphia kitchen is to determine realistically what type of consumer you are. We all know there are tradeoffs between sweat equity and dollar outlay and a Philadelphia kitchen renovation is no different.  We all want to be sure that we get the most for our money so you need to know yourself first.  Read the descriptions below and see where you fit.  You might need to adjust your budget expectations, but in order to get the best Philadelphia kitchen for you, with the least amount of stress, you need to be honest with yourself.   Each of these categories has their own pros and cons, there is no right or wrong. However by figuring out who you are early in your kitchen renovation process, time and money will be saved in the long run.  There are three aspects to a Philadelphia kitchen remodel and consumers contemplating this need to decide which they want to do and in which step if any, they want to hire professionals to complete.  These steps are: 1. Design, 2. Project management 3. Construction.  All of these steps overlap and they need to be well integrated.

So what type of Philadelphia Kitchen Consumer are you? 

The first type is the DIY (Do it yourselfer) – Your have the skills to design manage and install the entire Philadelphia kitchen project.  You also have the time to perfect those skills that might need a little tweaking.  You enjoy searching the internet for information on products and going to stores to find out all you can about what is the right product at the right price for you.  You are not fazed by the risks of doing it all by yourself or the increased time it will take to do the design and construction by yourself.   The challenge of getting it right the first time moves you.  You will design your Philadelphia kitchen project, buy the materials and furnish most, if not all, the labor. Organization is the key for you.


  • You will save about  5-30% of the non installation project cost in not hiring a designer
  • You will save about 10-20% of the installation cost by not hiring a project manager
  • You will save about 25-35% of the construction cost by not hiring a professional contractor.



  • It will take you longer to complete the project (on average 75% longer).
  • Your design will not have the benefit of a professional’s training or experience which could add your project’s cost.
  • You will need to wear 2 hats while installing, the contractor and the project manager which can be complicated and time consuming.


The second category is the BYOC (Be your own contractor) – You do not know how to design your Philadelphia kitchen, nor do you want to learn.  However, you love to gets your hands dirty.  You want to do the installation. You have either done a Philadelphia kitchen installation before or you have helped all your friends.  You will also act as your project manager since your organizational skills are tip top.  You will be the contractor and the project manager on your Philadelphia kitchen project. You will make all other decisions and purchase all products.  You will also get the bids for those parts of the job you cannot do (such as the countertop or even the electrical or plumbing) and you will manage those subcontractors while on the job.



  • Depending on the designer you choose, you will get the benefit of their education and experience so the quality of your design will most likely match your needs.
  • You will save about 10-20% of the installation cost by not hiring a project manager
  • You will save about 25-35% of the cost of hiring a professional contractor.



  • It will take you longer to complete the project (on average 50% longer).
  • You will need to wear 2 hats while installing, the contractor and the project manager which can get complicated and time consuming.


The final category is the HAP (Hire all professionals) – You have no desire or time to attempt to do the design, project management or construction on your Philadelphia kitchen project.  You believe that these are complicated jobs best left to professionals.  Selecting a professional firm or individual to be responsible for your project is a big decision; you are going to be “living” together for quite some time. Many Philadelphia kitchen design firms are able to do not only the design, but the project management and the construction.  Make sure you research and interview several. Just because your neighbor or family member chose someone does not mean their choice would be a good fit for you. All professionals have strengths and weaknesses so find out all you can. Inquire about the size and scope of their previous projects and check out the references provided. Be clear about your expectations and assess if they can realistically be met. Ask open-ended questions and assess the responses. You can also split the tasks between a design firm and a contractor you know.  Be sure to make it clear who will be doing the project management.  Do not assume the contractor will be since his job is to install, it will take his time to make sure all the subs (countertops, glass, tile etc) are delivered on time and deal with any changes that might happen.  Some contractors are skilled at this and others, it just adds to the time it takes to get the project done.



  • Because you are hiring professionals you should save in time and even money because the designer will be able to point you in the direction of a product that will save money and still serve its required purpose.
  • The design will be as you want it and should be easy to adapt to from the first day.
  • The construction should go smoothly as the project manager and contractor work together, especially if they have done so before. This is the benefit of hiring the design firm to do it all.
  • The time involved with the entire job should be significant.  It can take as little as 6 weeks from demolition to putting your plates in your new cabinets.



  • You will spend anywhere from 10-60% more by hiring professionals.  However you will probably save in money on individual products as the professionals can point out savings you would not know.



Based on an article by Max Isley on December 01, 2011,

Kitchens and Baths Can Look Amazing If You Hire The Right People


Bathrooms and kitchens are functional spaces. The area needs more than the cute and beautiful aesthetics. It also needs to function according to homeowner’s lifestyle.  City dwellers like residents of Philadelphia are most likely to value their bathroom and kitchen spaces if these are designed according to how they are used.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADesigners for your Philadelphia bath and kitchens should be able to understand your lifestyle and align their design ideas according to your taste. The Teknika Design Group is willing to help you achieve the ultimate design based on your ideas for Philadelphia bath and kitchens. Their website,, is an online resource for many Philadelphia bath and kitchen projects.  The six-step Philadelphia bath and kitchen process guides you from start to finish on how your dream space will be transformed.  You will know what to expect when the construction phase of your Philadelphia bath and kitchen begins. Their designs for the Philadelphia bath and kitchens take into consideration how your family functions in the kitchen as well as the bathroom.    The website also has remodeling tips so you can make your Philadelphia bath and kitchen remodeling project a smooth process.  Their Philadelphia bath and kitchen design incorporates modern appliances that add convenience to the functional aspects of the space.  These modern appliances are not the main selling point of the Philadelphia bath and kitchen design. Rather, their Philadelphia bath and kitchen design philosophy uses modern technology to enhance the functionality of the space, not to overpower it.

Teknika Design Group makes sure that your Philadelphia bath and kitchen will be enjoyed for a long time. This lessens your remodeling costs in the long run.  With their years of extensive experience, you will not look for another design group for your Philadelphia bath and kitchen.  Call them now or visit their showroom at 225 Race Street, Philadelphia for more Philadelphia bath and kitchen ideas.