I am an independent kitchen and bath design consultant based in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area. Specializing in clean, functional layouts, my background as a PhD in Cultural Anthropology is an unusual asset in working with clients to create attractive spaces that maximize utility and comfort.

My path to planning kitchens and baths has not been direct, as you might guess with a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. For many years my interest in design and aptitude for space planning took a backseat to other academic and athletic pursuits, including literature, languages, social theory, and soccer.

Fortunately, however, I eventually found my way to designing spaces. Though there are many obvious differences between cross-cultural Anthropological fieldwork and creating kitchens and baths, they are similar in that I meet and work closely with people to learn about how they live. Every project is as unique as the people involved.IMG_2883

 I am a conscientious observer and listener, enjoying and appreciating the distinctive needs and specific challenges of each individual project. My approach to designing is based in my effort to live a thoughtful life: respectful of the relationships we are part of and considerate of the resources and materials we use.

Part of the reason I chose to specialize in kitchen design is that many of my most favorite activities and experiences involve food — growing, preparing, savoring, and sharing it. My work as a designer is an extension of my enthusiasm for the physical, social, and psychological benefits that food can bring. I take pleasure in helping clients create spaces that meet their needs, elegantly solve problems, fit their style, and foster connections in their home. A skilled listener and observer, I can help clarify key aspects and goals of the project, creating a personalized design for your specific needs.

In my life and in my own kitchen I like to learn new skills and how things work. As an avid home cook I have fun making food from scratch, trying new ingredients, and experimenting with recipes. Outdoors, I enjoy running, biking, organic vegetable gardening, composting, and soccer.

In my professional life I am also inquisitive and seeking greater understanding. I appreciate learning about new (and old) design ideas, innovative materials (both natural and technologically made), and building methods. I am certified by the NKBA as an AKBD (Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer.) Achieving the AKBD professional designation involved intense preparation, immersing myself in the details of residential construction to be able to help clients that much more.


I am also a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS), so I can help modify a home to be more enjoyable to a wider range of people.  With my knowledge and experience in this area I help people think through remodeling considerations that make their home more accessible for anyone living in or visiting the home. Other times I develop solutions when life has brought changing needs that most traditional homes are not built to accommodate. I believe that design should seek to elegantly eliminate barriers, while also providing a supportive and comforting environment. If you, a friend, or a family member needs help creating a home that is affirming, safe, and satisfying, please let me know.

Since 2013 I have served on the board of the Southern New England Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). I am also a member of the Willimantic Food Co-op, CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmer’s Association), and since 2003 various Connecticut farms (currently Shundahai Farm CSA .) I also enjoy spending time exploring the world with my Little Sister through the Connecticut chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Se habla español.

Please get in touch to talk more about your project. The pictures you see are of projects I have designed. Karen Warner Design LLC is gradually exploring social media on Facebook, Houzz, InstagramPinterest, and Angie’s List.

Remodeling and Home Design
Kitchen & Bath Designers