Danielle Bohn on kitchen and bathroom design | Home Front

Danielle Bohn
Apr 07, 2016

Danielle Bohn is a certified associate kitchen and bath designer (AKBD) and a full-time designer at Creative Kitchen Designs in Anchorage, Alaska. She was a recipient of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 30 Under 30 in 2015. Bohn joins us to answer your questions about kitchen and bathroom remodeling.

Every week, Jura Koncius helps you in your quest to achieve domestic bliss. She and weekly guests whether Martha Stewart, The Property Brothers or Nate Berkus, answer your decorating and design questions. Jura is always happy to whip out her paint chips, track down a hard-to-find piece of furniture or offer her seasoned advice on practical living and decluttering. For more than ten years, Home Front has been an online conversation about the best way to make your home comfortable, stylish and fun. Didn't submit a question? The chat transcript has great tips and ideas.

Good morning Danielle Bohn who is joining us all the way from Alaska this morning. Danielle is a certified associate kitchen and bath designer (AKBD) and a full-time designer at Creative Kitchen Designs in Anchorage. She was honored by a National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 30 Under 30 award in 2015. Bohn joins us to answer your questions about kitchen and bathroom remodeling. Let's go.

Good morning everyone, Danielle Bohn, AKBD here! It’s 7am Alaska time. I’m up before the sun, bright eyed and bushy tailed and eager to chat with all of you. :o) 

I have a 3/4 bath in need of a remodel. We're talking a full gut but no structural changes, out with the old, in with the new. So far I only have two quotes of $12k-$15k and that doesn't include materials (toilet, tile, vanity) etc. This is for a kids bathroom so we've told the contractors we're only looking for something one step above "Home Depot", we're not talking the White House or Mayflower Hotel. This seems really pricey to me. Thoughts?

I suggest obtaining another quote from a third contractor so that you have options to select from. Ask them plenty of question too, as to what their quote all includes. I always advise my clients to at least talk to and get quotes from 2-3 different contractors to compare pricing and to make sure that they will work well with the selected contractor that they have chosen. As to price, it's difficult for me to say whether 12K-15K is too pricey or not compared to living in Alaska things are usually much higher in price since we have to consider shipping items up here.

what colors and trends will we see in future for 9 x 14 master bath?

Gray color tones are huge right now and will not be going away anytime soon. Gray is such a nice neutral versatile hue that works and balances well with fun pops of color, whether it be teal, yellow, purple or even orange! 

I have a very small and narrow galley kitchen. I want to update it, but I don't want to (and can't afford to) knock out walls to open up space and install new high tech units. At a minimum, though, I would like to replace the flooring, cabinets, counters, sink, and appliances, and of course, paint the room. Are there design ideas or photos that address what I want to do, while co-existing peacefully with the current footprint of my kitchen!

I love small kitchens!! You will not believe what you can do and design with a small space. If you want tons and tons of ideas on galley kitchens go check out Houzz.com. You're going to love it if you have not been on that site yet! 

The small powder room in our house has no window. It is about 5x8 feet. There is a dark stained wood and usable vanity and large mirror. I would like to replace the old counter (off-white cultured marble, one piece with sink) and floor (manufactured tiles, white with teal flecks) with something that looks more natural and interesting, but can't have the result be too dark. Any ideas?

Tile flooring that looks like wood are definitely in right now and offer tons and tons of color selections for you to chose from. I suggest looking at some of those in the lighter wood grain tones to offset the dark stained cabinet. It would give you that natural vibe, but still blend nicely with want you plan to keep. Selecting a lighter counter top will also help with keeping the area light. This may surprise you, but marble look alike counter tops are quite popular right now! Engineered quartz products offer various styles and looks if you want to keep things light, so I suggest looking at those. Also, selecting a lighter tone paint color will help reduce the darkness too.  

Hi Danielle. Can you tell me about your kitchen and bath industry show experience. What do you like about the show and does it truly have new and innovative products for designers and k and b professionals?

This year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show was phenomenal!!! I was so honored to be one of the Best of KBIS judges this year, it was such a great experience that I would LOVE to do it again. My favorite part about the show is seeing all the latest and greatest products, trends and features that are being introduced into our kitchen and bath industry. Some of the new products that I saw on the show floor were mind blowing! There are so much new innovations out there for kitchen and bath professional galore. I highly recommend that kitchen and bath professional attend this show, its a MUST see! (In fact I'm already planning for Orlando 2017). 


What do you think about jacuzzi tubs? My late-80s-built house still has the original jacuzzi tub in the master bath. It's in excellent shape, works just fine, and looks ok (if dated). We use it only very occasionally and mostly just to clean out the pipes! Renovating our master bath is just not in the near term plans so it's staying for now, but a few years down the line, should we pull it out? Or in the theory that almost everything in decor seems to have a second time in the sun, should we leave it?

In my opinion, Jacuzzi tubs are on their way out and the free-standing tubs are on the trend. In my most recent bathroom remodels we have replaced Jacuzzi tubs with beautiful free-standing tubs that create the focal point for the bathroom. I've also been removing the tubs entirely from the master bathrooms and replacing them with beautifully tiled walk-in showers with glass doors, that gives the sense that the space is much larger than it actually is. 

Our master bath is extremely small; not even wide enough for a tub. We need to remodel and would like to replace the shower curtain with a half glass wall. However, the shower is very close to the toilet and there isn't much clearance. Do you have any source recommendations for small bathrooms?

Check out Houzz.com, that is where I get a lot of my inspiration from fellow designers in my industry. There are tons of pictures of small bathrooms on that site. Also, I suggest talking to a local kitchen and bathroom designer, they just may have an idea for your bathroom that you may not have considered yet. 

I have a small galley kitchen in a row house in DC. I can't afford to replace the 25 plus yr old wood cabinets, although I've attempted to update by sanding/refinishing and adding granite w/a fresh coat of neutral paint with an accent wall. The kitchen still looks dated to me. Any suggestions?

A simple and quick fix to changing the look and feel of your kitchen cabinets: cabinet hardware. It's the jewelry of the cabinet and can definitely change the look of the kitchen just by making that simple change.  

What were the top 3 trends you saw at KBIS for the kitchen and also for the bath? Did you see particular finishes or colors for the bath that are trending and add to home value?

The most prominent trends I saw for kitchens and bathrooms this year were:

  • Gray tones everywhere
  • Pastel colors such as light pink, and mint are making an entry
  • Textures galore
  • Bold pops of color accents - greens, oranges, yellows
  • Geometric shapes (hexagons) are very popular
  • Wood grain look - on walls, floors, work surfaces 
  • herringbone/chevron patterns
  • Gold (vintage/aged/textures) is making a come back

How often do people really replace their kitchen appliances? Mine are now 10 years old. We had to replace the dishwasher due to it springing a leak, and had to get it in stainless as it didn't come in bisque, which is what all my appliances were. Is it worth replacing the others (stove, microwave, fridge) just to keep them matching? They all work fine but I suppose I could buy upgraded features if we replaced. If so, what upgrades are worth it?

Ten year old appliances is definitely creeping towards the timeline that you may start to see them actually wearing down and showing their use. It one appliance gets replaced it tends to be the domino affect to replace the other appliances as well so that things do not look miss matched in the space. As for upgrades, technology and the integration of "smart devices and phones" is huge with appliances right now and its only going to progress further.  

I signed up for the Home & Garden newsletter this week and since....I have since been getting spammed like crazy. Is this a problem others have? Also haven't received my newsletter. Does it go out on Thursday? Thanks!

Thank you for flagging this issue. I'm the producer of the chat and digital editor of lifestyle. Email me directly at alexa.mcmahon@washpost.com and I'll get you in contact with the right person. 

I have a small kitchen that I'm thinking of re-doing. I do a lot of cooking and would love to have more counter space, but one of the things that limits me is the fridge. While I would lose storage space, I've been thinking about having one or two under counter refrigerator/freezer, either drawer or regular type. The kitchen has stairs (5 steps) leading to the basement where I can put a regular sized fridge if I would like, so I think it seems a reasonable option. Any thoughts or suggestions?

If you are ever planning to re-sell your home, I highly advise not utilizing a under counter/freezer as your main refrigerator source. Keeping a standard refrigerator is a much more sell-able feature than one under counter refrigerator for the main kitchen. If you would like more countertop space, I suggest looking at refrigerators that are not as wide, for example a 30" wide refrigerator compared to a 36" wide refrigerator. Also, while in the long run you would gain countertop space by using those under counter appliances, you would definitely loose a lot of function storage space in the long run. My best advise would be to talk to one of your local kitchen and bath designers, they are professionals for situations like this and with their creative minds I bet they will offer a solution you have not thought of yet. ;o) 

Our powder room is small but has a tall ceiling. Being inside with the door shut creates the sensation of having fallen down a deep well. I've searched online, but haven't found any good examples of tricks to make it seem larger and shorter. The walls are currently painted off white. Any suggestions?

Paint will be your best friend in this situation. If you would like the ceiling to feel lower, paint it a darker hue than your walls. Darker colors make a space feel closer while lighter colors make it feel larger. Even adding a focal point wall behind the mirror or water closet will help the space feel like you are now longer in a well :o). Check out Houzz. com for some inspiration! 

I live in an almost new house and it was suggested that I wait a few years to add the back-splash to let the house settle. I am finally ready to add a back-splash. I have a black granite counter top that has lots of gold, brown, and beige streaks and flecks. I am an engineer, so I struggle with mixing/matching patterns. I think I can handle the color question, but the pattern aspect is killing me... do I use the small mosaic type tiles or subway tiles or a pattern like herringbone? Help! I need the backsplash for ease of cleaning, but I would love to have it be a striking statement.

Geometric shapes like hexagons are VERY popular right now. So is the herringbone/chevron pattern. If you are willing to be bold, I suggest going with one of those options. In fact, my kitchen backsplash in my house is a Antique White Elongated hexagon mosaic tile by MSI. It's timeless, current with the trends and I LOVE it! However, if you would like to stay a little more timeless I suggest going with a simple subway style tile, but select it on a larger scale like a 4" x 12" to keep it current. Good luck!

Thanks Danielle for sharing your thoughts and tips on kitchens and bathrooms . It was all very helpful. Next week on the chat: Brooke and Steve Giannetti from Giannetti Home. Brooke writes the popular design blog Velvet and Linen. The duo has a new book Patina Farm published by Gibbs Smith. Join us next Thursday. 

That's a wrap everyone! Thank you so much for all your awesome questions. I only wish I had more time to answer them all :o)

In This Chat
Jura Koncius
Jura Koncius is a Washington Post staff writer who specializes in home and design. Read her daily twitter feed @jurakoncius for the latest in decorating trends, shopping, decluttering, organizing and DC retail.

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Danielle Bohn
Danielle Bohn is a certified associate kitchen and bath designer (AKBD) and a full-time designer at Creative Kitchen Designs in Anchorage, Alaska.
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