Celebrity Kitchen Design?

I was wondering if anyone's ever heard of the celebrity kitchen designer Stephen Rabinowitz who designed a kitchen for Frank Sinatra?? Tell me if it is just a fluke that she knows, but my mother-in-law says she used to watch Chef Tell in the 1980s and that was a Poggenpohl kitchen designed by Rabinowitz that was featured on the television show. I was looking on eBay for something to give my husband for Christmas who is a chef and wants to get our home kitchen redone, especially since he loves Frank Sinatra. He always talks about how 99% of kitchens are poorly designed and how you can't just have an inexperienced person at Home Depot or Lowe's design your kitchen on a computer videogame and expect to get a well thought-out design....
A hand-drafted design from a famous designer seems so cool. I feel like I should jump on it before it goes up. The link's below. Any thoughts???
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category202&item#64643064
Rabinowitz evidently gives speeches all over the world about "ill conceived kitchen designs." It looks like he will design one person's kitchen in a while as he is in his 60s now (he studied Frank Lloyd Wright and Aero Saarinan in the 1950s and onward at Yale I think) and has attained a level of success.
It seems like it would be a good Christman gift to get our kitchen design for my husband because he could work closely with the designer for a while and get exactly what he wants and then we can actually go to the more major expense of the kitchen itself at our leisure. And he can re-experience the gift every time we are in our kitchen. And on top of that, I think it would increase the value of the house more to have a kitchen designed by a famous designer... Any thoughts on that too?
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"Famous"? Just because I've never heard of him means nothing, but Google appears to be strangely silent on this guy ... beware.
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Like I would pay $4500 bucks to let someone draw pictures (ok cad) of a kitchen. Give him some tools, tell him to bring the cabinets then I'll fork over some bucks..........................maybe!

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David Babcock responds:

Wonder if Sinatra ever used the kitchen? Kitchen design isn't the most complex art going. Spending 4500 on that and then going for the extra thousands for cabinets, appliances, flooring, etc., seems a bit over the top to me.
Charlie Self
"I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem-and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?" Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Charlie Self wrote:

somesuch (granted that it would have a 6 speed tranny and a fox tail on the antenna at that price). The fact that none of us plumbers has never heard of him means nothing. Is there a designer group like the architects have that one might consult? High end furniture/appliance stores often have design services. Perhaps they may have heard of him.
Basically, I say keep looking for a recommendation (or whatever the opposite is). If money is no object, this might well be the Christmas present of a lifetime.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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Definitely an auction for people with more money than brains, and specifically for those fitting that description who spend little time in a kitchen. I find that most serious cooks and chefs have very distinct preferences in style, layout and amenities in their kitchen, and to have some guy long-distance a pen-and-ink drawing for almost five grand seems a bit retarded, when you can do it yourself. I am very serious about cooking and will make the kitchen in my new house the focal point and heart of the house. I don't need to fight with some yahoo across the country who will undoubtedly suggest something very strange to me, and pay him to do so.
Of course, there's always your celebrity types who want a well-designed kitchen for entertaining and don't care what it costs. To them, five large for a design is peanuts compared to the $150,000 you *could* spend on a custom kitchen.
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Jon Endres, PE
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Believe me when I say that you can and while spend a ton replacing any kitchen. After having just done my kitchen, (all the labor by myself I might ad), what with high end cabinets, new stainless appliances, and hightech countertops, it still cost me over $30k. The commercial stove cost $3k alone. Now If I can only teach SWMBO to cook...............actually she's not that bad, but when we entertain, the utensils are held by me.
Dave
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Oh yeah: Custom cherry cabinets: $26,000 Corian countertops: $ 5,000 Appliances: $18,000 Satisfaction of using it: priceless
We did the design ourselves, but not the work. One great tip we got from a friend: go with lost and lost of drawers in the base cabinets. So only a few of the base units have doors. It may be less efficient use of the space (but with a big enough kitchen, we don't miss it), but when you can just open a drawer and pull a stewpot out of it, well, I don't miss shelves at all.
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Dennis M. O'Connor snipped-for-privacy@primenet.com



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It would be interesting to know what that breaks down to per linear foot for both uppers and lowers and a combination thereof?
Thanks.
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At the current price of $300 it's not a bad deal. Unfortunately my experience with the well known architects is that they tend to tell you what you want rather ask you what you want.
I would recommend going into a design place that sells cabinets rather than a big box store that pays Walmart wages. Probably the sales person is a licensed cabinet designer. Try a couple places until you find a person you can work with. Your cabinets won't be any more expensive if you compare apples with apples. I can equal Lowe's on price, beat them on quality, and blow them out of the water on a quality installation.
mike
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