Few people come into our lives that have an impact on us from that day forward…Pete Walker is one of those people. I have been a professional kitchen designer for over 25 years and Pete Walker’s Proximity Kitchen System (© 2009) will forever change the way I design my kitchens, now and in the future. Pete is a most generous individual when it comes to sharing his knowledge and wisdom. His insight into almost every aspect of the industry is awe-inspiring. If you should ever have the opportunity to hear Pete speak, turn off your cell, shut your mouth and just listen. The return on the investment will be 10-fold.
When we first stepped into the Dunblaine house, it was through the back door into the kitchen -- and then stayed put for 30 minutes. The realtor was yelling at us to come see the rest of the house, but we were already sold. The kitchen is an incredible work of art - both design and function. We marveled at the beautiful sinks, appliances, and storage system - a place for every single thing and more! A built-in steamer, induction and restaurant power gas burners, a steam oven - wow!
When we moved in, having never heard of Proximity Kitchens or the Proximity System, I moved into the kitchen as if I had been trained in how to use a Proximity Kitchen. The kitchen flows so perfectly, everything goes naturally where it should go, and as you move through the food supply, storage, preparation and serving process, the Proximity System makes everything easier and smoother. The tools, pans and boards that move you from the prep sink to the oven or the steamer are simply marvelous, as well as beautifully crafted.
This kitchen is an absolute delight for people like me who love to cook and entertain!
One of the best vendors I’ve every worked with in all my years in the design business. Pete is the consummate professional – very smart and knowledgeable, honest, thorough, timely and a perfectionist down to the last detail. We collaborated on a project – he “got” our ideas right away, he gave us great advice, he coordinated shipments of components, he built to the specs he devised, and he organized the out of state shipping required to get the piece to its final destination. The piece, created for our second home, came out beautifully.
Pete has way more years in the kitchen and bath industry than I do, so he has always been a very generous source of industry information, ideas, as well as, contacts. Pete is now in the process of developing a new line of cabinetry that will fuse all of the best he has seen over the years into a system of high quality and value. I strongly recommend you contact Pete and check it out.
Pete has a creative vision that is hard to find in a designer. He seems to thrive on a challenging site/situation and can pull all the details together making your kitchen or bathroom a delightful surprise when guests enter. You’re just not expecting a room that makes you stop in your tracks…
Pete is the ultimate matchmaker when it comes to people and their kitchens. My kitchen was designed for me—who I am, what I do, and how I do it. The time Pete took to have my kitchen look and work exactly how I wanted it, even when I wasn’t always sure what that entailed, was invaluable. The result was a giant, innovative step up from cookie cutter designer kitchens. Almost two decades later, it’s still the most functional kitchen I’ve been in—and certainly one of the most beautiful.
I found Pete and Proximity KitchenSystem online and was instantly impressed with his way of looking at kitchen design. It was what I was after - something that paid more homage to function than anything else I had seen. And no sign of the dreaded work triangle that I couldn''t make sense of in my space.
We hired Pete to design our kitchen after an initial consultation over the phone. I found his process to be extremely thorough - pages of questions about how we intended to use our kitchen that dug into every detail. Everything from what type of cooking/baking we did and what level entertaining the space would need to accommodate to what type of small appliances needed to be housed in our kitchen and how tall were its'' users.
I was curious how working remotely (we are in Canada and Pete in California) would impact his ability to come up with a design but he has a very detailed solution for that also. There is some homeowner work required for sure, but it is well worth the effort. We took pictures and very precisely measured our space in order to provide Pete with the information he needed to create drawings of our space. This was executed flawlessly.
Pete will push you to be creative, consider function more than you ever have before and challenge your preconceived notions about kitchen design. You will feel challenged by the process but, in our experience, relieved that someone is actually asking you the right questions. For me, proof that the process works is in the result - our kitchen functions the way we want it to. No more wishing we had more counter space here or the fridge over there - it is all exactly where we want it and for our family it is a perfect fit.
The process was thorough and enjoyable, the price was extremely competitive for design result we received and the end result is a kitchen we are thrilled to use every day. I would highly recommend Pete.
Pete Walker designed two kitchens for me. Both were remodeling jobs that morphed from kitchen design into greater design projects. Pete was a pleasure to work with. I have had experience with architects who didn't have the faculty of mind that Pete has, and who were as a result rather slow and rigid about making changes. With Pete, the design was a collaborative process. He would present ideas and we, the client and Pete, would riff on them from that point. Pete had so little ego attached to what he presented that he thoroughly enjoyed playing with ideas on the fly and trying out any wild idea he or we had. We would play with moving whole rooms around, re-imagining the purpose of the house organically, so that each entry point, use of space and flow area made sense for our life and family. Pete could take a CAD drawing, or a piece of napkin with scribbles on it and just run with it. No idea was off limits and he was never haughty about his ideas over ours. He was, however, a font of knowledge about why one idea might work better than another, and he didn't let the process get out of control. I think Pete knows the basic rules so well, and has questioned each aspect of those rules so thoroughly, that he can be creative and make it work. The results were usable, intereresting, gorgeous spaces.
Pete has a deep knowledge of the kitchen design business. He will work with whatever budget you reasonably provide, and is equally able to sell you fabulous custom cabinetry of his own making or provide you with a plan to help you make selections from other sources.
What I learned from Pete is that, although a design fee can seem high as you go along, a project that doesn't invest that money at the outset will ultimately be huge waste of money. Pete completely understands function and how space "feels" once built. Every foot of space feels a certain way to the human body, and it is amazing how adding even a foot or two radically changes the way the space feels. Given that one's kitchen is the nourishment point for the entire family, the feeling you get there is crucial to the entire house. Working with Pete is a pleasure and a positive experience.
Hire Pete Walker if you want a kitchen that is uniquely yours and the best experience getting there you can have.
I worked with Pete Walker, the principle of proximity designsystem, on the 2011 renovation of my condominium in Chicago. Pete worked with me on everything from discussing building changes with the developer to furniture, carpet, and fabric and wall colors.
The great thing about pds is that Pete knows and understands everything from kitchen planning and design to bathrooms, closets and virtually every other functional space. For example, Pete’s concept of integrating the dining room table into the kitchen island was particularly effective in creating unobtrusive additional seating in the main room (please see images of this design under “Chicago Condo" in the Gallery). His attention to detail is astounding and we left no stone unturned in the process. The built-in furniture and clean, uniform style work well for me. I recommend Pete and proximity designsystem without reservation.
Pete was an absolute delight to work with. His kitchen design went "above and beyond" and one end of our house has been totally transforned. Pete was able to envision the possibilities that our original (cramped and cut up) kitchen/pantry/laundry space held and he rearranged it to bring our home into the 21st century. He took our comments, suggestions, and budget to heart and worked very hard to incorporate all of them in his design. He even assisted us in finding a contractor to do the work. The project is just nearing completion so there are no photos yet, but we are thrilled with the results. We will post photos when they are available. We can't recommend Pete highly enough.
I hired Pete to work with me on the renovation of my kitchen. I initially found Pete as a resource for Semihandmade and I am absolutely grateful I found him. He has been a tremendous resource in sorting through all of the options available as well as providing blunt guidance (respectfully) when needed. Pete has gone above and beyond the effort I would have expected of a typical design professional...proving himself a "not typical" design professional. In the long run, working with Pete will save us precious time and money all the while delivering bold results my family will love for many years to come. He may very well design our whole house renovation plans. But I will deny having ever said that.
Are you looking for a typical kitchen design that has more emphasis on form than function? Would you be intimidated to have someone look at your floor plan and give you a fresh start look at the possibilities? Is cooking just a necessary evil, not a passion for you? Are you content to go blindly on with a kitchen design, without any regard to how you will bring food into it, store it, prepare it, cook it, deal with leftovers, and clean up afterwards?
Then don't contact Proximity Kitchen Systems. Because if you do, you will have your eyes opened to what really makes a kitchen design satisfying and enjoyable to use. Hint - it is not the kitchen work triangle! If you dare to work with Pete, it will be time and money well spent.
Pete Walker is a super affable guy who brought some serious experience with contracting, cabinet making, kitchen remodeling, and energy efficient home design to the table when he designed and helped remodel our fixer-upper dungeon’s first floor into an airy, open, great room and kitchen last year. He approached our project with enthusiasm and an open mind, and frequently consulted with us during the design to perfect the layout and ensure we were happy with it. Most importantly, he came up with an outstanding design for a very limited space and our limited budget. He was flexible with the idea that we would not be able to pay for the entire kitchen at once, and accounted for a staged construction into the design. When we had the contractor in to knock down walls, some tricky construction problems came up, and Pete was there to assist in their resolution. With the kitchen done, we are keeping him on retainer to help us redesign and remodel the rest of our house, a process that may take many years! We are psyched to see how the rest of the house shapes up…