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How to create a luxury design: indoor and outdoor tips from luxury designer Danny Wang
Hestan brand partner and California-based designer Danny Wang of Danny Wang Design is an expert in luxury and innovative home designs. We got to know Danny in Part 1 of this three-part series, and in this second blog, Danny dives even deeper to walk through the process of developing stunning designs. And, he highlights his Top 5 design tips for your own dream indoor and outdoor kitchens.
Developing a Design
How do you kick off a project with a client and begin the design process?
Danny: Typically, we start off with the wants and needs with the client. Establish a rough budget, then we come up with a design that suits both needs and wants.
How important are the functionality and flow of spaces in your indoor and outdoor kitchens?
Danny: Functionality of space and flow are so important because how a space gets used is more important than how it looks. Especially in kitchens because it is utilized so much. The relationship of the chef and their surroundings, such as where the appliances are located, where the eating areas are and the storage, is crucial. The aesthetics can come afterwards. Although, we are seeing a trend where we design and build a secondary kitchen and the main kitchen is mostly for looks.
What do you look for when integrating appliances into a space?
Danny: When integrating the appliances into a space, I look for relation of how the function and design aesthetic will be relative to the surrounding. Functionality-wise, we look to put appliances in the most serviceable areas. Design-wise, it depends on if the client wants to emphasize it and create a focal point for the kitchen, or make it look integrated and blend in.
How do you weave someone’s existing home style and/or personality into your designs?
Danny: I take existing cues and their style and blend it with what I think might enhance the look. Oftentimes I am there to enhance their existing home style and not give them a new style that might look out of place in relation to other parts of the home.
Do designs ever change throughout a project?
Danny: Designs always changes throughout a project. It’s an interactive process as the clients begin to see the vision, and what they may have thought was a good idea might be a bad idea or vice versa. As the design is being implemented, changes happen.
What’s your favorite way to unveil a finished design?
Danny: Unveiling a new design is like story telling. I like to unveil a finished design at the home because most of the changes are so drastic. It is easier to point and layout where I envision the new location of the area I am designing and tell the story. If it is a brand-new home, I like to go to the home site and paint out the design so the clients can visualize it. Seeing is believing.
What are your Top 5 tips for designing indoor kitchens?
- Always make enough room for prep space.
- Distance from sink, cooktop and fridge are crucial.
- Bigger is always better.
- Innovative storage ideas can save wasted space.
- It is important to understand the view point of the person in the kitchen. What they see when they are at the sink, what they see while cooking and what they see while serving.
What are your Top 5 tips for designing outdoor kitchens?
- Plan for weatherproof storage spaces.
- Make ample prep space.
- Area for interaction between the cook and the guests.
- Be considerate of the location because it’s outside. Be mindful of where the sun and shade areas are.
- Location of the outdoor kitchen in relation with the indoor kitchen. Many people use the outdoor kitchen as a supplementary kitchen versus an independent kitchen.