Todd Hallett, AIA, President of TK Design & Associates, Inc. ( has been designing award winning homes for over 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of their homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was President of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with Builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. His Lean Design blog appears weekly at Todd welcomes your feedback at or 248.446.1960.

Lean Design Blog: A quick kitchen idea - the 'upholstered' pantry

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With Costco, Sam's Club and all the other "buy in bulk" stores out there today pantries are becoming larger and larger. Builders are finding it tough to compete if they are offering standard cabinet pantries (even in smaller homes). The answer to this is to provide a corner pantry. It takes up relatively little real estate and eliminates a blind corner.

The problem with the corner pantry is that the Kitchen can end up looking chopped up with the floor to ceiling walls that interrupt the cabinetry. A cool idea that I have seen several times is to skin the pantry with the cabinet material. I have a builder client who has a clever term for this - "upholstering" the pantry. It looks fantastic and adds value to the home by making the Kitchen feel very custom.

After all, everyone needs a place to store a 36 pack of paper towels or a 40 lb. bag of Fritos, so why not make it look great?


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February 2017

This Month in Professional Builder


Builders and architects report on what's been happening with expenses, square footage, and buyer demographics.

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