contemporary kitchen
contemporary kitchen
Kitchens, designed for cooking and gatherings,
balanced with sleek surfaces and functional layouts

“Edy Keeler cleverly designed & orchestrated a most beautiful and functional home kitchen renovation. She seems to have an infinite resource of brilliant solutions….which was essential in my situation. Edy’s clarity, sense of wit and considerateness maintained a positive focus for the duration of the kitchen renovation.” -E P

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an older home, a kitchen design project can feel overwhelming. As an interior designer and kitchen design specialist, I’ve helped many clients around Santa Fe and New Mexico navigate this complicated potentially stressful process. An organized and professional approach will help soothe those nerves and make sure your new kitchen is truly your dream kitchen.

Here at Edy Keeler Interiors, we’ll organize your kitchen design project into four manageable steps:

1. Needs Analysis:

During the first phase, we’ll meet with you to measure the space, in a remodel, and discuss your goals and priorities for the new kitchen. We may interview whoever will be using the space, go over your wish list, and talk about any ideas you’ve been collecting. Together, we’ll assess the five functional areas of your kitchen:

  • Pantry: food storage space, refrigerator size and style
  • Cabinet Storage: small appliances and cookware
  • Sink Area: countertop space, dishwasher, sink and faucet design
  • Preparation Area: counter space or island
  • Cooking area: cooktop and oven or range

2. Space Planning and Kitchen Design Scheme

Back at the studio, we’ll use the information from the Needs Analysis to create your new kitchen design. Space planning will incorporate your cooking and storage needs, and plan for traffic flow. Next we’ll create a cabinet layout, and select cabinet styles, countertop materials and other finishes for your approval.

3. Kitchen Design Development

This is the fun part, as we work together to finalize your kitchen design. You’ll review the cabinet layout and samples to make your final selections – including door styles, architectural details, countertops, backsplash, hardware and appliances.

Once you’ve approved everything, my job is to ensure that our vendors, builder and sub-contractors have the correct specifications and understand every detail of the design scheme. We’ll establish a timeline for ordering each component of the kitchen, and coordinate the work schedule with the construction team.

4. Construction and Installation

Once the on-site work begins, I work closely with the construction team to answer questions and handle any issues that may come up. We’ll have frequent check-ins to make sure things are on schedule. I also help coordinate site preparation, storage, cleaning, and deliveries to help your project go as smoothly as possible. For tips on Surviving your remodel, see below.*

5. And at last, Enjoy Your New Kitchen Design!

Your new kitchen is often the largest investment you make in your home. Our professional kitchen design services will simplify the process, maximize your budget, and make sure your new kitchen works for you and looks amazing.

Owners are always pleased to get back to their life, their pursuits,
and their own cooking.

*You have decided to do it: A full kitchen remodel!

Your design is finalized, the contractor is committed and ‘at the ready’. Very soon your old kitchen, aching for rebirth, will be overrun with work crews, dust and debris. To avoid the feeling of panic as the old stove is rolled away or as a sledgehammer slams thru the wall, stay calm. To keep your sanity and optimism up, follow these super handy pre-demolition tips.

Have a chat: Discuss your concerns, basic work logistics and expectations with your contractor. Have a plan and cover mutual expectations together up front and, just as important, to find out what they really need and expect from you. For example, you want a good crew that will tidy up the job site and haul away trash at the end of the day. Also, point out that you need your own space and privacy. So designate at least one room that is just for you and your family. It should be off-limits for workers.

Unless your garage is easily accessible, your builder and vendors will want and need to designate nearby rooms to store materials and appliances for your kitchen remodel. So make sure everyone is clear about these storage areas and be prepared to move furniture to make this space available. Also assure your builder that your children will be kept out of danger zones.

Any experienced remodeler will already know to use plastic sheeting, floor to ceiling, to contain the dust and debris in the work area. Ingenious methods are used to adhere the plastic, and it can come with large-scale zippers that accommodate entry and exit when and where need be. Together, you can set rules about which areas the work crew can’t enter.

Take action with packing: Declutter and pack up your “old” kitchen. As you begin, keep 3 boxes handy for:

  1.  Donations (random coffee mugs are a popular item in this box)
  2. Items for your “temporary” kitchen, see list below.
  3. Trash (broken items that can’t be salvaged). This action will make moving into your new kitchen so much easier! Don’t fill your new, beautiful kitchen with things you never use — I do not believe every item has to spark joy (the Kondo test) but it should be something you really like and use.

Here are basic items to set up a temporary kitchen:

  •  Just enough plates, bowls and silverware for each of you in the household — you will not be entertaining 
  • Platter, serving bowls, and general utensils
  • Can opener, bottle opener, wine opener
  • Cutting board and knives
  • Large tray to carry meals to the table, wherever you decide it will be
  • Foil, storage containers, ziplock bags
  • Dishwashing supplies, and include a dish tub
  • Good-size trash container and trash bags
  • Grilling utensils and an outdoor grill, if available
  • Salt, pepper, a few favorite spices
  • Coffee and tea supplies, with cups and favorite brewing appliances

Create a temporary kitchen. In the beginning, it may be tempting to eat out every day, but it’s hard on your budget, waistline, and eventually it’s even tiring for kids in the long run. We recommend it during the busy work week, just two or three times. For real life and having a consistent routine, you’ll need a large enough spot for your temporary kitchen to make coffee or tea, fix school lunches, and cook simple meals.

Try to locate your temporary kitchen near a sink for easier cleanup. If you have a wet bar or a morning kitchen in a bedroom, you’re in luck! But a laundry room or guest bathroom sink will do if there’s a spot nearby to set up your mini-kitchen. Please consider the season: late spring, summer, and into early fall are better times for your remodel, as you can set up in or near an outdoor area, backyard or portal. Portable conference tables are sturdy and narrow, so they’re perfect for a temporary kitchen. It’s amazing what you can cook with a microwave oven, instant pot, hot plate, and coffee maker. When you’re tired of microwaved meals, switch to your grill as a stove and an oven with indirect grilling. You can make and bake wonderful pizzas on a grill. Find simple directions at

If you can’t keep your old refrigerator handy, and are using a mini-fridge, you may need to shop almost every day. To maintain your sanity, remind yourself that tiny kitchens are the norm for most of the world, and shopping every day like a European is very chic! Also, you may find tricks to make your meals as simple and fresh as possible. Check out Jamie Oliver’s recent cookbook, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food for inspiration. AND you have a major reward at the end of this journey.

The best sanity-saving tip: ‘Get out of Dodge’ during your kitchen remodel. Give yourself a break from the chaos by taking off for a short, or long, vacation, a rewarding business trip, or a visit to your extended family. During stages like flooring installation, your contractor might even ask you to leave for a few days. Remodeling creates exposed wires and holes in the floor that can be dangerous for everyone, especially children.

A few days away from the noise and mess will work wonders for your sanity. Toward the end of this experience, it is a great time: you feel like a marathon runner approaching the finish line! You come back after days of being away and see a big reveal—your new culinary paradise!

Edy Keeler is the owner of Edy Keeler Interiors. She is a designer specializing in remodeling and new construction with an emphasis on kitchen and bath renovations. She is also a color and a materials consultant. Reach her at (505) 577-2167 or [email protected]