Skip to main content


Kind words from our clients and collaborators.

We needed to replace an original 1920's kitchen - one with an actual ice box - in our home near Crocker Highlands, but had no idea how to begin. I learned about Carlene from a friend who had worked with her and had beautiful results. Carlene helps you completely rethink the space. It never occurred to me that we could fit an island into our small kitchen before working with her and now we use it *all the time*. We also opened up the breakfast nook, which had become a giant, messy pantry, and it is now seating space at a peninsula where the kids can do homework. We wanted to keep the aesthetic of our 1920's kitchen (we are in a small, bungalow-style house), but needed to bring functionality into the 21st century, and Carlene's suggestions were spot on. She's also very collaborative. She will incorporate your ideas / wish list items into the plan. You get several design options, and when you make your final choice, you have extremely detailed plans in hand for your contractor to bid on. She also has recommendations for how to proceed after you receive your plans: recommended contractors, where to look for counters, appliances, etc. She's not just a designer, she's a facilitator as well!Read More

We couldn’t be happier with our new kitchen! We contacted Carlene on the advise of a friend after we had tried to come up with a design ourselves as well as some work with other designers! Carlene could immediately see what would make our kitchen a showplace ---- More light and moving large appliances to opposite side of the room. She had those and many other helpful ideas. We loved her ideas instantly and knew what had picked the right designer. We are now working with Carlene on plans to redo the master bathroom.Read More

My wife and I live in Crocker Highlands/Trestle Glen and had gotten great reviews from others in our area about Carlene. We had never renovated before and were intimidated by the entire process of finding a designer, general contractor, and then surviving through construction. Carlene made all of that easy. We interviewed several others but Carlene was by far the most experienced, resourceful, affordable, and accessible. She helped us articulate our priorities for both the kitchen and bath and then customized designs for both; revised the designs maybe a dozen times and anticipated other needs; provided us with a list of vetted GCs and vendors (cabinetry, countertops, tile, etc.); and helped us solve some minor issues that came up during construction. Overall, an extremely positive experience and I highly recommend. Don't hire anyone else!Read More

Carlene Anderson Kitchen Design was recommended to us by several friends and neighbors who had used — happily — her design services. Our 1926 house featured a cramped, dark kitchen, and we looked to Carlene to open the space and add contemporary features without compromising the integrity of the architecture and era. Her years of experience & depth of knowledge were invaluable in the planning stages, and her wide network of resources (from architects and contractors to appliances and lighting) saved us so much time throughout the entire process. She was very collaborative, and always available for the “What do you think of this …” questions, with thoughtful, practical and helpful answers — and she’s a master at balancing the high/low, helping keep the project on budget (ish), advising where to spend and where to save. At our first meeting she reminded us that while the kitchen could certainly be beautiful, it must be functional — and the end result surpassed our expectations on both fronts!Read More

My husband and I were dreading our kitchen remodel. We feared all of the decisions that would have to be made, the disruption in our lives and or course the bills. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we hired Carlene Anderson to design our kitchen. Her solutions for our unique kitchen space eliminated having to make many decisions, they all made sense. Carlene is a veteran designer so I trusted her experience and this allowed me to not feel like I had to run around to every kitchen showroom to compare options. I wanted to keep the process simple and the design too. She did not push us into expensive appliances, materials or design, in fact her services are very reasonable and I only wish we had expanded our project with her initially. When we went into demolition, we realized some opportunities to move walls and this was not part of her design. We possibly could have saved a little bit more construction cost if Carlene had been able to draw up our expanded plans and submit to contractors for bid. Our goal was a timeless kitchen that didn't have a date stamp, I think we achieved this so sadly we won't have an opportunity to work with Carlene for a long time. Hmm is there a bathroom that can be remodeled???Read More

We had a unique problem with incorporating design thoughts into a credible solution. Carlene was confronted with a Dodecagon which is a twelve sided totally open room of approximately 38 feet in diameter. Each side was approximately 10 feet. Her capability on AutoCad provided the means to create an elegant design solving many of the angular problems as well as add unique design thoughts for dish storage and microwave under counter. We were then capable of getting multiple quotes for the cabinetry and the documentation and blueprints created confidence that the design was going to work in a very unique environment.Read More

I have had the good fortune to work with Carlene on multiple projects and am pleased to endorse her qualities as a designer. Extraordinarily knowledgeable, she brings clarity and purpose to design development. Integrity and client focus are the hallmarks of her approach to her work.Read More

I undertook a large home remodel with some trepidation. A year or so ago I hired an excellent architect and a superior contractor he had worked with before. I am not experienced in design and in making all the decisions and choices it entails. I knew I needed some help and when Carlene joined the team, it was marvelous for me. She blended with the men perfectly. She is very talented, has wonderful design abilities and knows the field intimately. Carlene has extensive knowledge of what is available, where to find it, and who are the top experts and workmen to go to for specific design problems. She was always there when i needed her and constantly " went the extra mile". She is a joy to work with and made what could have been a difficult experience for me an absolute pleasure.Read More

I highly recommend Carlene Anderson and her design associate. I felt she created a highly functional and lovely kitchen that met my requirements in a surprising and creative way. Using Carlene to create the design, plans, help finding contractor, and craftsmen, then overseeing the work, schedule, facilitating and problem solving as the work progressed was the most cost effective part of our remodel. In one instance, one craftsman was running very late, it held up the entire project -- Carlene stepped in, used her experience and prior relationship with the craftsperson to get the installation without further delay. At the end of the project she came over helped me unpack and put things away in a very systematic and practical way. I got exactly what I wanted -- a beautiful, light filled space with wonderful functionality. I appreciated that she respected my input and ideas, and enriched them with her extensive experience, and excellent communication skills. The kitchen fits the existing footprint, has a clean modern look, with expansive windows, french door, skylight, stainless steel countertop, and ironstone topped island. the cupboards are custom made vertical grain fir with stainless handles.Read More

Recommendation for Carlene Anderson of California Kitchens We would like to recommend Carlene Anderson in the highest possible terms. We completely remodeled our kitchen last year. We hardly knew where to begin, so we sought suggestions from friends. One of our friends suggested Carlene. What a fortunate day the day of that suggestion turned out to be for us. We called Carlene, who came to our home to look at the kitchen that we had at the time. She spent an hour and a half listening to our concerns and needs and asking follow-up questions. Then, she asked to be left alone for some time to sketch out some thoughts. Before she left, we had a roughed out drawing of Carlene's recommendations for the new kitchen. We simply could not believe that she could come up with that much detail in less than an hour. We told her we liked the overall plan. She then suggested that we come to her office to look at detailed plans in two days. Two days later we appeared in her office and received very detailed plans for the new kitchen. Our general contractor thought that these plans were as good as any he had ever seen in many years of remodeling. We spent two hours that day going over the plans with Carlene. We jointly decided to make a few changes to better fit our lifestyle. The revised plans were available the next day. Carlene then went on to suggest retailers we might use for appliances, stone, flooring, cabinets and so forth. She provided us with specific names and phone numbers, which we used to begin our search for suppliers for our project. These names were very helpful. As must inevitably happen in projects such as these, we ran into delays and difficulties which we could not foresee. In every instance, Carlene had constructive and immediately practical suggestions to solve the problem. In at least one case, we saw no solution at all, but she found one anyway. Carlene reappeared regularly during the reconstruction. Her ideas were so helpful that we began to take notes every time she came. She is a fount of practical wisdom. We never made a significant decision without her direct contribution. We marvel at our new kitchen. It is a complete change from the kitchen we had formerly. Everything is so convenient. The drawers for the knives and silverware are in the island directly across from the dishwasher. The cabinet holding the China and glassware is next to the dishwasher. Unloading the dishwasher is a breeze. The refrigerator now stands next to places where we can place groceries to go in or storage containers to come out. The island fits a somewhat limited space perfectly. Every cabinet is designed for maximum efficiency. As Carlene always told us "don't store air". We have drawers for special purposes in the cabinets. Everything is magnificently functional. What a benefit Carlene was to us. In addition to being a superb designer, Carlene is a joy of a personality. We don't think she's ever had a bad day. She is always positive, friendly and helpful. We always look forward to her visits. In summary. We can only say "thank goodness for Carlene Anderson".Read More

I met Carlene back in the 1980s when I was an editor at Sunset Books. I published a number of her kitchens in our books, as the designs were always thoughtful, practical, and beautiful. Now that I work as a remodeling designer, I have used her for several recent projects in the East Bay, all of which have turned out beautifully. Carlene has my highest recommendation. If you want some kind of flavor-of-the-month, fashionista designer, look elsewhere. But if you want a kitchen designed by a trained home economist with decades of experience, one who can give you a beautiful kitchen that really works, call Carlene. She is a joy to work with, and, after all these years, still the most talented kitchen designer I know. I expect that her clients will tell you same--and those clients include George Schultz and Charlotte Maillard, just to drop a couple of names.Read More

Became acquainted with Carlene Anderson's work through a kitchen tour in Piedmont, California. She did my kitchen, designed bay windows, lighting, stemware display and linen storage in dining room; vaulted ceiling and created points of interest with stone in living room. I have worked with many professionals and have never yet seen an equal to her ability to visualize space, function, and livable comfort. I worked with her in 1986/87 in the Oakland Hills and am thrilled to be working with her again in the Napa Valley in 2015.Read More

I have worked with carlene several times over many years. three kitchens and three bathrooms. new construction and remodels. I have always found her to be a source of practical, functional designs coupled with exciting visuals. she is generous with her expertise and experience. I have recommended her to many friends as well as architects that I have worked with. working with Carlene Anderson Kitchen Design will give you a great project with a good deal of fun along the way. ask her for my telephone number if you have any further questions. debra kRead More

Kudos to Carlene! She was professional, timely and listened to what we wanted. She asked many questions and came to our house numerous times, including meetings with the contractor. Carlene also respected our budget. She had many wonderful suggestions and is thoroughly knowledgeable about where to shop for what including contractors, appliances, tiles, lights and flooring. She was on top of the project the entire time. Carlene is a true kitchen expert!! We would have made many mistakes without her guidance!!. And, best of all, we love our new kitchen.Read More

I hired Carlene (after consulting two other architects/designers) to remodel a 1927 kitchen which had been remodeled in 1950; we added a commercial stove when we moved in in 1983. WE are both cooks and wanted the kitchen to be both lovely and profoundly convenient. The remodel included total rewiring, plumbing and also included the master bath and closet. Carlene was a master at utilizing space and encouraging us to hire necessary consultants. For instance: the cook of the family wanted airport lighting in the kitchen and she found us a lighting consultant who was an LED expert.She was also happy to work with the designer who was doing the rest of the house so design is cohesive. Difficult to do in a very old tudor house. Fortunately the rest of us can dim the lights when he isn't cooking. Carlene sussed out how to utilize all of the space to add the required 36 inch fridge and the 18 inch freezer along with double ovens and a cooktop. She was on top of the job, and worked with us when we had any (and there were many) problems with the contractor. We love our new kitchen and praise Carlene to whomever asks. first picture is of old kitchen .Read More

Carlene is a consummate professional. She has years of experience, stays current and listens to what you what makes you unhappy in a kitchen and what you need. She is well connected within the building and supply community so knows exactly where to send you to look at products and materials- saving time and frustration. She really smooths the construction road- and her designs are functional and aesthetically pleasing.Read More