The Amsler Family - The Biniaz Family - The Bruning Family - The Buchanan Family - The Carwright Family - The Cobey Family - The Colarossi Family - The Howard Family - The Katz Family - The Kennedy Family - The Mitchoff Family - The Peters Family - The Seale Family - The Smith Family - Tim McQuay & Julia Shaull - Add Your Testimonial...
After several years of trying to figure out how to update our kitchen, we hired Don to help us. Two different couples whose kitchens he designed recommended him. We had also read his books and liked his ideas of creating a comfortable, functional area for both cooking and entertaining.
Don spent hours with us designing the layout of the kitchen, breakfast area, and dining room into one large space. He then took their shopping for cabinets, hardware, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and paint. Once we started the construction, he visited our home on a regular basis to ensure that design specifications were met. He helped troubleshoot when challenges are rose. Afterwards he cooked a meal with us, including shopping for the best ingredients.
We are now enjoying a new kitchen breakfast area and dining room every day. We are improving our cooking and entertaining skills, and have received great feedback from our friends and families. We feel like we're on vacation every day!
It is rare to find people who have a passion for their work. Don Silvers is truly passionate about designing kitchens. Yet he made us feel special, and respected our input and preferences. His vast knowledge and experience, his keen interest in pleasing us, and the high energy and commitment he brought to our job, were exemplary.
We strongly recommend Don to anyone considering a kitchen remodel. Thanks, Don. We think of you each day as we enjoy our new kitchen.
Tim McQuay and Julia Shaull
14 March 2011
Yes! I know it's been a wicked long time since I have spoken with you. I thought I'd send you some photos of our completed kitchen (and home) here in Portland!
We did move in last May, but it took a bit of time to feel settled and to get final bits and pieces complete. I do hope that we can coordinate a visit with you up here sometime to see it all in person. We also have an opportunity to be featured in The Oregonian's Home & Gardens section in the near future (perhaps in late Spring) and I would love for them to know about you!
I just love the kitchen, the space, where everything is stored! It is an amazing kitchen and the hub of the house - much like we expected! We love the sapele cabinetry. We ended up having custom cabinets made and so we have full depth of the drawers and cabinets! It was much more economical here in Portland to do that than semi-custom cabinets.
Hooray and THANK YOU! We just love our kitchen!
March 3, 2009
I must apologize for not sending this letter to you months ago. I actually have an internal conversation with you every time I enter my extremely beautiful and highly functional new kitchen. The conversation goes largely like this:
"Don, I can't thank you enough for how you've turned a narrow and poorly designed kitchen into a culinary palace. I love how everything is laid out. The dish cabinets opposite the dishwasher; clean-up sink opposite the stove; prep sink opposite the refrigerator and freezer. Even more important are the improvements that you insisted on that I (in my architectural and appliance ignorance) had to trust you on blindly. Moving the entranceway, combining the windows into a seven-foot wide expanse that looks out on the rose garden/bird sanctuary (and creates such perfect ventilation), the two separate sinks for preparation and clean-up, the Miele double oven (Wow!), Miele dishwasher (I didn't know things could get THAT clean), the Capital cooktop (fantastic!), the Thermador refrigerator and freezer towers (absolutely perfect for our family); these elements combine to make a kitchen that is a delight to cook in."
As you know, I am a real cook, and I love to spend time in the kitchen. The big pass-through bar area has made it possible for friends and family to spend time with me when I'm cooking. It's also a great extra countertop for serving appetizers and drinks away from the dining table. I love hanging out there in the morning, drinking coffee and watching the birds or reading the paper.
My neighbors bring people over just to see my kitchen. My husband and children consider it the showcase of our home. I feel very privileged that you agreed to design and oversee our job. It is perfect!
With sincere affection,
5 August 2008
It almost makes one believe in providence.
As you know, along with our real jobs, Judy and I had rehabbed and sold 10 houses in the last 15 years. We had kitchens that we had redone all over our neighborhood. But when we came to our challenging 9 x 20 foot kitchen, the original in our 1922 home, we wanted it to be done superbly.
We looked on the Internet in the national kitchen & bath designers association and put in our zip code. You were the closest! Turns out, for us, you are also the best. We called. You came. We worked. Our kitchen is wonderful. It is beautiful and most importantly a dream and a delight to cook in.
We so much appreciate what you offered to us: careful, meticulous
initial talks about what we might want; more than a half dozen shopping
trips with you for flooring, counters, appliances, etc (all of which
you had wise counsel about with no financial benefit in it for you from
vendors); detailed plans; and always the constant ongoing conversation
of planning, design, revision, decision. We are convinced that no one
could have been as resourceful and skilled as you have been in our kitchen
Your design is superb. Your integrity, flawless. Your friendship, delightful. We recommend you fully and enthusiastically. You are worth every cent of your design fee. Thank you very much.
Daniel & Judith Amsler
Los Angeles, California
19 August 2007
I have had this CD on my desk but did not have my note prepared so there it sat.
I want to thank you for such a beautiful kitchen. I am moved to tears often as I begin to take my place there. It is such a warm and comforting atmosphere. I can truly feel at peace as I spend time in my space. Thank you for that special gift.
I am not a person who feels entitled to such special treatment. I am truly grateful for the manner in which you enabled me to enjoy the whole process. I felt as if you gave me a gift with your time and attention and the way we created the whole room. You were perfect for me and helped me accept the goodness. That is a special quality in you. Thank you.
I loved our New Years Eve party. Our friends and family enjoyed it almost as much as I did. You worked very hard in putting it all together so beautifully and everything was so wonderful and delicious. The raves kept coming in for days! I loved shopping with you and relying on the security of your expertise. That was great fun for me! A party with no pressure! Thank you…
I have enjoyed your company very much and I hope that we can cook again together sometime. A small dinner where I can really pay attention to you would be such fun.
Don, thanks for your gifts, your time and your attention. I have enjoyed you so very much. I am happy that you will be visiting next door so I can continue to see you! Don't go over there without letting us know!
Love and Kisses,
Mary Rotzein and Brian Buchanan
January 11, 1999
La Canada, California
Our kitchen remodel is now complete. All of our friends and relatives have commented on how beautiful it looks. Your design services have been truly invaluable to us.
The design you provided and our labor has created a very remarkable kitchen. The result of our toils has yielded an exceptionally functional and very aesthetically pleasing kitchen. The kitchen space has the ability to expand or compress in order to fit our particular needs at any given time. Your suggestion on the selection and placement of appliances is also very apparent. I believe this is due to your vast skills as a chef and kitchen designer.
My wife and I are extremely pleased we choose you to design our kitchen. We highly recommend you to others who want a functional and beautiful kitchen. Thank you.
Judy & Tony Colarossi
December 9, 1998
To Whom It May Concern: (See their finished kitchen here...)
I am an avid cook and lover of all things in a kitchen. Several
years ago, I had the opportunity to remodel our kitchen. It began as
a research project. However, the more I researched, the more
questions I had.
I was referred to Don Silvers who was in the process [of] working with some friends of mine remodeling their kitchen. I was skeptical of the very concept of a "kitchen designer." After all, it was a working kitchen with all the professional equipment and accouterments that I was after, not just a pretty "designer" kitchen.
Wrong, wrong, wrong...I was wrong. Don helped teach me what a kitchen could be; and he did this in a very logical and professional way. I thought I knew about kitchen equipment and toys. Don was at a different level. He helped me decide what I needed and why. I learned that equipment isn't just equipment; it truly depends on one's needs. I even think differently about how I organize items in the kitchen--from the pantry to the refrigerator--to maximize efficiency and minimize upkeep.
The results far exceeded my expectations, and I also ended up with a beautiful "designer" kitchen. I have just completed my second Don Silvers kitchen--we moved. As a truly fitting testimonial: I can honestly and happily say that there is nothing I would change--both times. They actually improve!
Randall M. Katz
Culver City, California
September 9, 1998
Dear Don, (See their finished kitchen here...)
Our new functional kitchen you designed is finished. It is incredibly beautiful, proving that you have the best of both worlds. Thank you for designing it and walking me through all the steps. With your expertise, we achieved a result even better than anticipated within budget without compromising on anything.
Having been in the design and remodeling business, I have renovated many kitchens, replacing what the builder did. When it came to designing my own kitchen from scratch, I did not know where to begin. Fortunately I read you book Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind. While I learned a lot from your book, I realized with the money I intended to spend, I wanted you to design it. Without your expertise, costly mistakes, far in excess of your fees, would have been made.
With your expertise, design and contacts, we were able to produce a "world class" kitchen more economically than would have been had I tried to "wing it alone". Many people take the "do it yourself" approach with a new kitchen because they think a Certified Kitchen Designer is expensive. Not so! He who designs it himself, in my opinion, is a fool - even if he has design experience! Kitchen design is a real specialty.
What sets you apart from other kitchen designers is your seasoned experience as a professional chef. Everything you put in the plan was logical and had a purpose for being there. Your advice on cabinet and appliance selection is invaluable.
Enclosed are some print outs of digital photographs. After decorative
accessories are in, it will be professionally photographed, should you
wish to use it in your new book.
Many thanks to you my friend for a job well done!
Robert M. Seale
Palm Springs, California
March 12, 1998
I am writing to thank you for the lovely kitchen you created. Although about a year has lapsed since my kitchen was completed, my enjoyment did not begin at that time. On the contrary, it began months before when we met to first discuss the project.
By the time I was introduced to you by one of my oldest friends, Jill Cossman, I had spent several months investigating the various ways available to design a kitchen. I had spoken and interviewed several designers associated with cabinet stores and appliance stores, as well as independent interior designers and contractors, but none gave me any confidence that I would end up with both a functional and beautiful kitchen. When I discussed my interests and concerns with you, I suspected that you would fit the bill perfectly. And you did!
Working on the design and installation of my kitchen with you was a pleasure from the very beginning of the project to the end. As you may recall, the original kitchen in my house was virtually impossible to work in and definitely not a place anyone enjoyed spending time. The space was dark, narrow and not very large. Nevertheless, you were able to come up with a design that makes the room appear much larger, bright and appealing. While no more than one person could work in my original kitchen, several people can work simultaneously in the kitchen you designed, just as you promised.
Your assistance did not end with the design. You took me shopping for all the appliances, cabinetry, counters and floors. Without your guidance I never would have known all of the advantages and disadvantages of the various appliances an products necessary for a kitchen. Since you did not have any financial interest in any of the products I was purchasing, I had complete confidence that you were giving me the best advice possible. With your assistance, the choices were always carefully considered and all of the decisions were well made. Now, a year later, I honestly don't think I would have purchased anything different.
After you prepared a design and helped me make the appropriate purchases, you continued to provide assistance. Although you refused to recommend a contractor, you provided me with assistance on how to select one and on how to plan the actual installation of my kitchen. As you know, the contractor I used, Doug Carlson, with whom you had worked previously, was terrific. As a result of your assistance and the choice of contractor, the kitchen was installed in less than six weeks!
Not only was the process of planning, designing and constructing the kitchen with you a pleasure from start to finish, but the kitchen itself is wonderful. My husband, children and I have already spent many happy hours together cooking up a storm in it. It is both beautiful to look at and easy to work in. I couldn't ask for more! Thanks a million.
Jean L. Carwright
September 14, 1997
Los Angeles, California
From the moment Lucy and I moved into our house I knew the kitchen would have to be remodeled. It was a kitchen that had obviously been designed by an architect who had never actually cooked. I was therefore delighted when I stumbled across your lecture at the Pacific Design Center about designing a kitchen with cooking in mind. Five minutes into the lecture, I knew that you were the person to assist me in realizing my dream kitchen.
I have immensely enjoyed working with you on the design and in particular
The fact that you don't sell anything other than your expertise.
Your strong opinions on what works and doesn't work in a kitchen coupled with your willingness to explain the principles underlying your design recommendations.
Your unusual first step of inviting the client to watch you cook dinner in your own kitchen. I must admit that I was skeptical at first but quickly changed my mind once I realized that seeing you cook caused me to question many of the assumptions I had made about what I wanted for my kitchen.
Your willingness to obsess with me about the details, including the numerous design meetings, countless trips to tile stores and appliance and cabinet showrooms, and the continuing consultations throughout the actual construction.
Although today, as I sit amidst the sawdust, plaster and general mayhem, I vow that I will never again go through another remodel in my life, I actually secretly hope that I will someday move to another house with a deficient kitchen so I can call on your services once again.
August 19, 1997
Los Angeles, California
Greetings from Olympia, WA. In 1994, after reading a book review in the Seattle Times (from an Orange County Newspaper), I called, had a conversation with you, and ordered your book. It has changed the way I look at kitchen design. This year I purchased a house with a great view, but not for the cook.
The kitchen design process (by me) has taken four months, and we loved every minute. Thank you for your ideas on traffic flow, subsystems, counter heights and two sinks. You have helped turn a bad kitchen into a great kitchen for two cooks. And besides that, this cook will have a view of Mt. Rainier from her food prep area.
August 28, 1996
Dear Mr. Silvers,
The kitchen that you designed for my new home is by far the most outstanding kitchen in this geographical area.
Don, I would be most willing to recommend your services to your potential clients. I feel that not only do you offer great designs and support but you are willing to answer questions from would be cooks such as myself.
If the opportunity should become available I would certainly enjoy you viewing the work first hand. I have enclosed multiple photographs for your review.
A great job!
Paul R. "Duke" Smith
Treasure Island, Florida
February 20, 1996
It was very good to receive your note and I am flattered that you would even remember me. Things are going well here in the frozen Mid-west - I am having a little difficulty getting used to the climate out here. Colorado Springs is so much more temperate.
We've been in our home since September and we just love it - especially the kitchen. You would enjoy hearing the many, many compliments that we receive on it. It functions beautifully for Mac and I and yet I had fifty plus people over for a Christmas party and it worked just great for that too. That prep sink is an absolute stroke of genius - Mac and I do not know how we got along without it.
I am enjoying my dynasty range as much as I thought I would - maybe even more. The radiant broiler is like nothing I have ever had and it does and absolutely superb job on broiling meats - as I remember you telling me. We did have some installation problems with the range and the thermostat in the smaller oven was not functioning properly (it burned everything I put into it and when I finally checked the temperature, a setting of 350 degrees went zooming up to 540 degrees before I got nervous and turned it off). The stove people came out and appeared to fix it an we've been humming along smoothly ever since.
I did speak to a lady in Cincinnati that you had referred to me and I hope that she used your services - I certainly prompted it as well as I could.
I hope that your business continues to grow and as I said in a previous letter, my investment in you was the best investment that we made in any area of that house. I will try to keep in touch and will always wish you the very, very best and be willing to assist you in any way I can also.
Pamela A. Bruning
January 26, 1996
You truly have been a life saver to me. I bought a home that had a kitchen designed by one of the better known kitchen designers in my city that made cooking a true chore. Thus, I decided to redo my kitchen.
But after going through two successive architects, I still didn't have a design that felt right.
One Sunday, I came upon an article in our paper that simply said if you want to design your kitchen right you need the book on kitchen designs by Don Silvers. At that point, I was game for anything.
I sent for your book and found it extremely enlightening. Due to my hectic schedule and my loss of faith in the ability of architects designing kitchens, I asked and was pleasantly surprised when you agreed to help me in my design. I truly feel comfortable with what you have done and can imagine stress free cooking in your wonderfully laid you kitchen that incorporated all of my needs and made the kitchen finally workable.
I can't wait until the project is done.
I do want to thank you for all of your continual follow up and genuine interest in making sure this project comes out correctly. You have proven the axiom "don't believe everything you read in the paper", to be false.
March 2, 1995
Our family decided to make the move from Los Angeles, California to Nashville, Tennessee. We anticipated many changes. Topping our list was finding a place to live. We agreed on the location. Now we needed to find a house that would accommodate our lifestyle; a house with a kitchen and a floor plan that allowed us to host gatherings of all sizes.
We looked at dozens of homes ranging from 1800's historical homes
to newly built custom homes, all boasting of renovated or existing gourmet
kitchens. We soon found this to mean beautifully appointed space equipped
with the latest appliances needed to reheat already prepared foods.
By prioritizing the importance of aesthetics over thoughtful planning and quality products, this type of kitchen limited my options as a cook.
The decision was made that we should settle into a temporary living situation while developing plans to build our own home. I began collecting pictures and articles with ideas we could incorporate into our house plans. In the process, I read several kitchen design books. The one that proved most helpful to me was Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind by Don Silvers. The information Don laid out in his book gave me the foundation I needed to create a family cooking environment that would prove to be the heart of our home for many years to come.
I compiled my wish list. I wanted a kitchen that was:
- User friendly
- To provide an intimate family atmosphere, yet would accommodate parties of 8 to 80 without overload.
- I wanted appliances that could stand the test of time while providing me with an attractive environment in which to work.
- I wanted efficient and well-organized work and storage space, making clean-up easy for anyone using the kitchen.
- I wanted a floor plan that tastefully united the kitchen and the adjoining rooms in the house.
- Finally, I wanted a cooking environment that gives guests the opportunity to help cook or simply sit nearby and visit, allowing me to enjoy their company without having to maneuver around them while preparing a meal.
Now all I needed to do was get my totally overwhelming kitchen concept together and hand it over to Don. We planned a trip back to L.A. Don's passion for educating people to fine foods along with his gift of creating a personalized environment that enhances the abilities of a cook quickly became evident. The concerns we had of Don being in another state during the building process were put to rest as soon as we saw Don's plans. Our architect noted the attention Don paid in providing such detailed blueprints. If a question arose on the job site, we called Don and he addressed the situation with concise clarity, getting everything back on track. With the aid of phone, faxes and Fed Ex our project with Don was free of glitches. I only wish the rest of the house came together so effortlessly.
I have numerous examples of bringing in ideas I had pulled together for my kitchen, and Don understanding what I was trying to accomplish. He demonstrated how, in certain situations, I was actually working against myself. The best example of this is in regard to my plan was in dealing with my pantry. I had designed an 8' by 9' walk in pantry, which I was thrilled about. It would hold everything: canned goods, dog food, overnight guests... The possibilities were endless!
After reviewing my blueprints Don suggested that I relocate my pantry to build a built-in roll-out cabinet space, enclosing a hutch I could display dishes in. This would free up the 8' by 9' space to be a baking room. I paused, caught my breath and reasoned... Yes, I love to bake. In fact, I'm a serious baker. But give up my pantry? That one was hard for me. Don assured me that I'd have more that enough storage space. As a result of Don's engineering, my pantry is the highlight of my kitchen. I'm thrilled with my baking room, and our overnight guests enjoy a spacious guest room upstairs.
We moved in a over a year ago and, without hesitation my family would say that the kitchen is the most lived-in space of our home. Whether its homework, after-school snacks, late-night talks or dinner parties, our kitchen is truly the heart of our new home.
We are grateful to Don for giving us an environment where our family and friends can gather, creating memories we will cherish throughout our lives.
Don, our sincere thanks.