Friday, June 8th, 2012
Happy Friday! I’m headed over to the ASID Showcase Home for the last weekend of tours. I can’t believe how the past month has flown by! I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to tour the house and support our organization as well as the charities that benefit from this event.
I wanted to start your Friday off right with some beautiful things that have caught my eye recently.
First, I watched a marathon of Kitchen Cousins on HGTV recently(one of the few shows on that network I can stand because they do real construction with real budgets and show their problem solving in action. Though I don’t understand clients letting them pick the backsplash with no input.) I’m impressed with their building knowledge, creative reuse of historic building materials, and well designed kitchens.
I like this kitchen they did for one of the designer’s parents. They completely flipped the layout of the kitchen, opened up the traffic flow, and utilized a lovely mix of materials. The tobacco stained upper cabinets are lovely. Mixed with the white lacquer lower cabinets and a handmade Moroccan backsplash, it’s a modern yet eclectic mix. My husband dug the wall graphic on the far wall.
The fact that they do the majority of their work in Hoboken, NJ (just across the river from Manhattan) makes the show extra special to me since my aunt lived there for decades and I’d spend my breaks during college hanging out with her there. (I went to Vassar College, which is 1.5 hrs north of the city, up the Hudson River.)
These orange accessories would fit in lovely with the concept I developed for my deck (see the post here). And the nautical hook, blanket and basket seem so perfect for a Cape Cod retreat I can dream of having (though the commute there is rough on summer weekends – round-about anyone?)
This kitchen has a lovely mix of classic white cabinetry and well worn vintage details and an abundance of natural light. The designer really played with scale (the etageres on the back counter, the chandelier) in a unique way that really takes this room beyond the typical.
The color palette, fabric selections, paneling, wall color and high ceilings in this room are so different than anything I’ve seen in a while, and that’s so refreshing! Look how the designers mixed mid-century armchairs with a Jansen style daybed, French iron side tables and Murano glass lamps with a bone inlay table. What an inviting solarium (though I think any solarium would be lovely with all that light spilling in)! The rest of this D.C. town house is equally well designed, so check it out if you have access to a copy of the May issue of House Beautiful. Or just click through to the article on HB’s website. The kitchen backsplash is amazingly transformative.
That’s all for this week, or this post would be a mile long. Next week I’ll share a soon-to-be completed bathroom project that’s ALMOST done and looking fabulous.
1. Bruncon.com – Brunelleschi Construction
2, 3, 4. House Beautiful May 2012
5. Mercury Mosaics 2012 catalog
Tags: Brunelleschi Construction, Cape Cod, House Beautiful, interior design, Kitchen, Kitchen Cousins, living room, Mercury Mosaics, nautical, orange, solarium, vintage, white
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Friday, February 24th, 2012
This bright bedroom caught my eye when I was flipping through my files, and it made me wonder what other bold, colorful bedrooms I had to inspire this winter afternoon with the snow swirling outside my window.
I love the crisp, classic color palette in this room with plenty of white to break up the large expanses of color, such as the bench at the foot of the bed. The inlay design on the nightstands works well with the pattern on the bedskirt. The red detail on the roman shades echos the red border on the sheets. And did you notice they framed the red bench with blue twill tape under the nailheads? Nice detail.
This is an old example from Domino magazine, but I love that they embraced the raspberry and lime palette in a way that could easily be updated down the line. The headboard is faux – a nice detailing using a lighter shade of the wall color. And the bed linens could easily be swapped out for a neutral linen duvet (like this one by Room and Board) to allow the walls to shine. Or a bold green and blue pattern like this duvet from Serena & Lily would emphasize the wall color while introducing a new accent color.
This purple and pale pink room is an odd mix with the bold large scale pattern on the rug and a medium scale more traditional floral print on the upholstered screen acting as a headboard. The pink trim is unexpected, but help to tie in the lighter tones in the floral print. I couldn’t rest in this room, but to each their own.
I love the mood of this bedroom. The Chaing Mai dragon wallpaper from Schumacher is one of my favorite crazy prints, and the almost chartreuse headboard is bold on it’s own, but also serves to break up this bold print. The vintage looking bedside lamp has great personality, and really adds to the room’s style. I wish the nightstand was a bit larger so the lamp didn’t take up the majority of the surface so there was room for a glass of water, a clock and book.
Finally, we have this palm beach vibe bedroom by Celerie Kemble. To me it looks crisp and fresh, just like the first bedroom above. You can see there is pattern introduced both in the headboard (what a task to get those leaves to line up across the creases!) and the wallpaper by the vanity (upper left). Again, simple bed linens with an accent border color were utilized to balance all the green on the window treatments and side chair. I’m guessing this room is typically flooded with light and can handle all this brightness.
So the question is: do you prefer a bright, bold bedroom or a calm softer color palette to ease you into sleep? Or does a balance of the two suit you best?
1. House Beautiful 2-12 by Lindsey Coral Harper.
3. Living Etc. 3-09
4. Schumacher, Design by Christopher Kennedy.
5. Celerie Kemble, “To Your Taste”
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 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.
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
I just realized how quickly time passes when I went to post my favorite images from the latest issue of House Beautiful and realized that I never shared my favorites from the previous issue! Tisk, tisk, Colleen! But at least I’ve read both issues cover to cover, which doesn’t usually happen this quickly. Thanks are due in part to our local cafe North Washington Cafe where we’ve been going to listen to live music, enjoy a little dinner and wine and catch up on reading (me) and work (the husband). If you are in the area be sure to stop in for live music Thursday nights or any of the other events they are adding to the calendar. I helped them with design ideas to quickly transform it from the black, royal blue and industrial steel look the previous coffee shop sported to a warm neighborhood wine bar.
These are certainly not your typical sliding panels to divide a kitchen from a dining room. These laser cut oak panels were designed by Thomas Hamel, the interior designer, to reference Indian jalis. With ceilings that high you have a lot of room to make a statement. I’m a fan of a well-designed Klismos chair and these have a great silhouette and finish. I’m not sure what the material is but it looks like aged metal. The custom dining room table has great legs too.
I like the new editor’s choice to do more large photo spreads in the magazine so we can appreciate the details in these rooms, but it does make more work for me! Oh well, some rooms are worth the extra effort. I love this new traditional living room. The sofas have white slipcovers and velvet pillows in icy blues and purples. The wallpaper and the chandelier are traditional but not too fussy. The arrangement on the mantel is casual and the coffee table is downright unexpected (in my mind at least). I would expect to see a glass and metal oval cocktail table or a more refined wood table in this room. It’s taking traditional elements and mixing them with more casual elements to create formal living rooms that people actually feel comfortable living in. Crazy notion.
This living room reflects one of the new trend in interior design for 2011: global world traveler with an emphasis on indigenous textile patterns and natural fabrics. The window treatments are made of burlap. The sofa is a mattress and box spring covered in painter’s linen. Then to mix it up he added a 1960s brass lamp in the back corner with a custom red linen shade and a Hans Wegner Wishbone chair on the left with a bright red finish which add a punch to the room. It’s eceletic and feels authentic. I can tell this is a space that he has filled with objects that he loves over time.
So, could you see yourself living in any of these rooms?