Friday, February 25th, 2011
Looking at the fall fashion show round-ups one trend I was interested in trying was bright colorful pants (no patterns – I’m not talking about Zoobas here!) Perfect for transforming a simple minimal outfit into a statement with one bold splash of color.
Which got me thinking, why are we so afraid of color in kitchens? So I rounded up a few favorite kitchens belonging to homeowners who embraced color with arms outstretched. I’d love to hear what YOU think! Could you be this bold?
Why does the adage “it’s only paint” apply to painting walls but not painting cupboards? Come on, let’s be adventurous!
To slowly transition into colorful cabinets, consider having some of your cabinets in a color while others are wood or white. Perhaps a pantry unit on one wall is red like a great Chinese cabinet that serves as an accent and conversation piece in a living room. Or you could paint just the island cabinets in an accent color.
Or you can go all out in one shade, head to toe (or ceiling to floor, crown molding to toekick, as the case may be.)
Apple green? Yes please!
Love this glossy turquoise color.
This kitchen has so much going for it. Gorgeous walnut butcher block countertops, a wall of subway tile in a warm cream tone that keeps it light and open feeling to balance the dark green base cabinets, and the green and cream floor tiles that pull together both the color palette and connect the indoors and outdoors in one continuous flow.
Isn’t this just like a pair of colorful pants with a cream blouse and brown belt and great shoes (maybe a strappy pair of wedges with green and white overlapping bands)?
Look what a difference the wall tile can make in a room - compare this space with green base cabinets and no wall cabinets to the kitchen above. Obviously the rooms have different spatial qualities, but the colorful tile on the walls here shifts the attention from the colorful cabinets. But the cabinet color supports the tile – imagine this with maple or white cabinets. Ehh. The dark green cabinets ground the room.
Still love this red base cabinet.
This is what I would call modern english country. The cabinet pulls are definitely not traditional. I love that the background is all crisp white and I could see popping just about ANY color on those cabinets and having it all still work. Though you might need to coordinate with a different cereal bowl.
This is exactly the way I think of the fashion trend – bright pants with a light simple top. Maybe a few pins on the shirt to balance the bright lower half (the art on the walls in the room plays the same role here.)
This kitchen is right on trend with Pantone’s Color of the Year – Honeysuckle. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m loving it on kitchen cabinets.
And finally, the piece de resistance, why not paint every door a different color?! You have endless options for accessorizing the room, and I doubt you could feel sad in a fun space like this! Perfect for those afraid to commit to one color… pick 10 instead!
But if you are stuck with a kitchen where you can’t paint the cabinets (aka. a rental property), painting the walls is still a great way to bring in your personality with color. Here inky deep blue walls add a moody quality to an otherwise plain kitchen.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Here are the living room floors after the old carpet was removed, before the subfloor was evened out.
And here are the new wood floors with the newly painted walls before the new baseboards were installed. Quite an improvement, eh?
Here are the guys hard at work installing the cabinets in the kitchen. It was gray t-shirt and jeans day. Accessory of choice? A pencil behind the ear, of course.
And here it is with the majority of the cabinets installed. We relocated the sprinklerheads above the cabinets today to allow them to sit flush in the trim above the cabinets to maintain their full functional range. (This change is not visible in this photo which was taken the day before.) Those are the types of details that can really make a difference on a project if you don’t factor them into your design from the very beginning of the process.
I can’t wait to show it to you again after the tile has been installed. It’s inspired by their time in Morocco and it’s gonna inject a huge dose of colorful personality into that kitchen!
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
It’s time for another edition of my favorite photos from House Beautiful. You can tell we’re deep in the depths of dreary winter when magazine covers look like this. A light-filled room in bright cheerful colors helps remind us sunny days will return, even if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and we’re stuck with plenty more winter ahead of us.
I really like these rooms by Alexandra Angle because they all have intesting but subtle details that add to the rooms rather than detracting. The top left image is a reading nook. It’s difficult to tell with the cropped photo, but it seems like the cushion is much larger than a typical window seat cushion, so you could really relax and spread out like on a full size mattress. I could see a pile of kids on here reading books when they are little, and a group of teen girls gathered here gabbing, reading magazines, and talking about boys. Or maybe it’s where mom escapes to read a little Jane Austen (or Jonathan Franzen) in peace and quiet.
The double office would be a great little space to take care of personal documents, and with a desk for each person you don’t have to worry about someone moving that bill on you. Clearly these aren’t home offices, but most people don’t need that much space and storage for managing their home life. A low bookshelf or cabinet fitted with file storage and boxes for basic supplies would be sufficient to provide a functional work space with these desks. I really like the legs on those desks, the small lamp and the artwork leaning on the desks.
There is a nice symmetry to the bedroom with the matching dressers and rugs, but the different lamps and artwork mix it up. I’m loving the green lamp on the left by John Derian. Where can I fit that in my house? (That’s one of the biggest dangers in being an interior designer – we see soo many beautiful objects, fabrics, etc and it’s difficult to not want to enjoy it all in our own homes.)
The detail on these kitchen cabinets by Garrow Kedigian were inspired by the details on the windows in this NYC pre-war apartment. Paired with slab Calcacatta Gold marble countertops and backsplash the look is fresh but timeless. Pairing this look with an Artemide glass fixture (top left corner of the photo), 18th century bamboo chairs and a modern wood and steel table is truly a contemporary spin.
This is a fun feature they have added to the magazine that really shows how a room can be transformed by design professionals in one (long) day into a more functional and beautiful space, even utilizing mostly off the shelf items. What’s really nice is they break the process down into all the steps that took place over the course of that one day, from analyzing the space, to shopping, to setting up the space and trying out different pieces in different locations, to final staging details. These are the steps we take with our clients but the process is not as condensed, which allows us the time to develop custom solutions and evolve the design over a series of meetings with our clients in which we get to know their lifestyle and personal style in more detail.
Would you allow a designer to make over a room in your home (other than a kitchen) in one day? Would you feel it was a benefit utilizing retail products or would you prefer to mix them with custom or to-the-trade pieces?
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Earlier this year I helped Mercury Mosaics with a client who needed to rebuild their shower due to water damage in the wall behind their tile. Wanting to keep the style consistent with the rest of the bathroom in this old home, but looking to add personality and color at the same time, we came up with a gorgeous final solution. I’m so excited to finally be able to share photos of the final installed project!
If you haven’t discovered Mercury Mosaics yet, you are in for a treat! They are a local Minneapolis company, woman-owned and operated (well, there are a few guys on staff), and every project is custom made by hand to order.
This project is a great example of that custom work. The shower walls and the half wall/bench both have a beautiful band of bubble mosaics in the Klimt Blend and the floor features Honeycombs in several colors pulled from the outside section of the mosaic.
Attention to detail? Oh yeah, we had that covered. Notice that even the bubbles at the front edge of the mosaic of the short wall/bench were given a bullnose treatment so that the seams where the top and front met would be as clean as possible. They even custom made a cove molding piece for the outside base of the shower to tie into the existing baseboard in the bathroom.
There’s a lot of color in their pattern, but all that white subway tile gives the eye plenty of rest and allows them to focus in on the fabulous details throughout the mosaics.
Isn’t this beautiful? If you would like to know more about Mercury Mosaics or using handmade tile for your next project, please feel free to contact me or Mercury Mosaics directly. We can help give your space a stunning update of your own, whether you prefer an expanse of white or the riot of bubbles.
Photo source: Mercury Mosaics, photography by Melissa Mobley Copon.