Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Living Kitchens

I am old enough to remember the first time my parents wore jeans as adults. My  Mother eased into denim by first sporting a polyester pant suit  printed to look like denim in the 70's. It wasn't too long until she was sporting Mom jeans with elastic waists. Dad being the more practical one opted for wranglers eventually adding suspenders to finish off his personal style.

Casual Fridays led to casual work weeks...and with it came the demise of the formal living room. In my house the "living room" would be more aptly named the "dead room".

The Living Kitchen has evolved.

.Kitchen seating has transformed from practical wood chairs and bar stools  to fully upholstered pieces comfortable enough to lounge in.

And now the sofa has snuck in......

And the wingback....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Perfect Paint Peek

Some thought I was crazy,
I even doubted myself.
As I painted and painted
And then painted some more.

The Temporary Before

During the week of grey where my curtains look so yellow

The After

                                          Subtle color change between curtains and wall color

Antique chair in orginal finish with burlap and linen upholstery ribbon trim with nailhead detail.

Antique sofa original finish upholstered in greige linen with creme cotton linen basketweave bench cushion and bolsters. Assorted embroidered pillows. Vintage candelabra not yet hung bought at auction.

Romance Redux

One of the keys to romance is change...
 Stale bedroom ...stale love life

The inspiration for my color palette change. Yes, this is the room I painted grey only to repaint a week later. And yes it is repainted finally ...all 24x14 feet with 10 foot ceilings. Even the ceiling is back to the original custom creme shade it was painted 10 years ago, then repainted incorrectly 5 years ago, then grey for one week. I just couldn't live with the cool feeling of the room and the contrast of all the creme silk curtain panels on the windows. The grey will come in fabric, rugs and accents. Oh and I have been promised that the wall gates will be installed next week.

Master redux inspiration
Subtle cool with warm color palette
Exagerated height on either side of  bed created by stacking art over side tables
Slipcovered side tables in horizontal stripe
Simple painted light fixture
Handmade Morrocan striped rug

My interpretation
Creme walls with pale grey accents
Gold iron wall gates on either side of the bed that will end right below the ceiling
Simple grey painted side tables covered in slipcovers
Crewel pale grey and creme zebra rug

New Additions

Simple grey painted dresser to use either slipcoverd in linen or not in front of gates

Ten foot tall antique gold gates for either side of bed

Zebra rug for foot of bed
Stay tuned. I promise to post the picture once the gates arrive.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ride like the wind...

I'm off.... for our annual Spring Break ski trip to New Mexico.
Sorry about the short posts this week but getting work done and things ready was all I could manage.
See you in about a week.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Surfboard Chic

Photo credit Velvet and Linen.
If only the surfboard under my bed was this color....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Black doors


                                                            Chalk black vs glossy black

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My favorite New Color Palette

Cool with a warm...

Deliciously subtle and sexy perfect for a bedroom...or a night out. Fashion illustration by Sandra Suy

Dog Days

The perfect pooch to match my new love...
 weathered woods, pale greys and creams.
Do you think a pup should match your home?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pop Quiz

Those who know me well.. will attest to the fact that I am fairly opinionated when it comes to design. Ok and possbly other things...especially after a glass or two.

Todays soapbox: trendy, trend, or timeless
What does the noun trend mean?

1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
2. A general tendency or inclination.
3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.

I was purusing the web and found a man concerned about using subway tile because he thought it was trendy. Subway tile for me is a design classic - many of the 1920's homes where I grew up including mine had it in kitchens and bathrooms and still do. Currently, it is "trendy" being featured in a myriad of colors,
sizes and composition in many different styles of decors. But I gaurantee that good old plain white subway tile will be just as classic once the trend dies as will marble. The other colors ..might not be so lucky.

I think a trend is dangerous ( meaning easily dated in a short period of time) when it is combined with several trends from the same time period. When you design or decorate the iems you select should be things you love...and some should be new and some should be old. Homes like people need to constantly change and evolve or they become boring, stale or just plain creepy. Furniture and decor choices shouldn't all match and please do not purchase everything for your home from the same store.

While reading"House and Home" I came across an artcle by Lynda Reeves...she had some great thoughts on this subject." If you have to redecorate a room to acomodate a trend, you should think again.Seek out tends
that you can easily inject for maximum effect."

My interpretation of this is pick what you love that is new ...add it to the mix and everything else will look fresher. Do this continually...for the non designers who abhore change something annually: pillows, lamps, rugs, paint..even art. This could be as simple as burning all your silk flower arrangements and replacing them ...with nothing.Changing your lamps to a sleek modern/ vintage murano glass one, or a industrial style nickel one.

Now for the test. Select  the decade each if the kitchens were designed from. A-1960's B-1970's C-1980's D-1990's E-2000's for the photos listed below. Answers are at bottom of page.
                                                                       Kitchen #1

                                                                      Kitchen #2

                                                                       Kitchen #3

                                                                   Kitchen #4

                                                                  Kitchen #5

Kitchen #6

Kitchen #7

                                                                        Kitchen #8

Kitchen #9

Kitchen #10

                                                                   Did you pass?

Answer Key

1.) 1979

2.) 1989
3.) 1981
4.) 1984
5.) 1990
6.) 2001
7.) 2002
8.) 1990
9.) 2002
10.) 1992

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Come together right now over here

As the concept for this kitchen fills out...I thought I would share some more of my sketches. Yes, they are still pencil and the perspective is not perfect but you get the idea. Pencil is more soulful than a computer generated drawing by the way. A quick reminder of the before kitchen.
Bye, bye wall and hello space

View through the doorway..on the opposite end of the kitchen

Mirror, Mirror on the wall..
Which is the most beautiful of them all,

I am picturing lots of detail in a weathered finish maybe something like this mirror fromRestoration Hardware

Twinkle, twinkle, little light
I wonder how much cost you might,

Vintage mercury glass pendant Wyeth -New York

All a girl needs is a little black dress and pearls..found here in a drum shade
Makes me think of the TV series "That Girl" with Marlo Thomas


Eeeney, Meeney, Miny, Moe..I pick you

Vintage style barstool with a padded natural linen seat slipcover .....two for under each end of the island.

Sundance Catalog

T.L.F.True Love Forever

   Big comfy monogrammed slipcovered wingback chairs at the breakfast table with fabulous Bohemian printed washed out pillows..if they aren't used here they will be in my house.

Windsor Smith collection for Kravet ( featured above) or without arms Postobello through Drexel Heritage

And thanks to my devoted readers my followers has increased by 100% YIPEEE!!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cuddle Class

I could cuddle here....

or even here...

this would be nice for cuddling...

and cuddling here would not be a problem either...

but here might be a problem...

Welcom to Air New Zealand's "cuddle-class".
The seating arrangement in its coach cabins allows a couple to purchase three seats abreast for a small premium (an extra 25% per passenger). The  footrests come all the way up to the seats in front, ( airplanes with recliners) to form a place to cuddle. Sure beats waking up with your head on the stranger next to you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Sparkle with Delight

The tiniest details are often the tastiest.. Credit House Beautiful Magazine

Tasty delight #1 Unexpected sparkle... white glass tile placed inside the cabinet below the sink.

Tasty Delight #2 Unexpected sparkle...oversized mirror in the kitchen

Tasty Delight #3 Unexpected sparkle...table lamps on a kitchen island

Last night was a perfect weekday night. No hockey practice, no homework, my 3 year old son let me workout to Jillian Michaels on my laptop.... without  pouncing on me.

Simultaneously," Something's gotta Give" was on TV.

Latley, I have been in the mood to try new recipes and  have tried three since Friday. One was ok, one was really good and of course the unhealthy one....I made last night was amazing. The only credit that goes to me is for going to the grocery store and picking up the neccessary items. Lynda Cameron-Bayer and BHG get the gold medal for this recipe..

Our first Tasty Tuesday Recipe

Sweet Bacon and Pear Pizza

Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 15+12 minutes


Nonstick cooking spray

5 slices bacon

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1 pear, cored and sliced

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 12-inch Italian bread shell (Boboli) (I used Pillsbury pizza dough)

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil

Honey (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line bottom of rimmed baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Arrange bacon slices on pan; set aside. In small bowl stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Generously sprinkle brown sugar mixture on bacon slices. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned; remove and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

2. In small bowl toss together pear slices and lemon juice; set aside. In medium bowl stir together cream cheese, onions, and black pepper to taste. Place pizza crust on clean baking sheet. Spread cream cheese mixture on crust. Chop bacon and evenly sprinkle on cheese mixture. Arrange pear slices on bacon. Top with pecans and feta cheese. Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.

3. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Sprinkle with basil and pass honey for drizzling.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Diamonds Or Ductwork

Today is definately a Monday. Somehow I managed to self-destruct the post I had written and replace it with a confusing disorganized mess. My apologies to anyone who read it.

I have been designing a kitchen for my home in my head ...with a few doodles here. And a  few there for the last few months. My current kitchen has a back splash that I  wanted to replace 11 years ago ...
The inspiration for my new kicthen. Peek way, way back in this photo. There are two steel shelves mounted on a wall tiled from floor to ceiling in subway tile. I have a thing for heavy metal always will and also for functional design. These shelves meet both criteria. Plus they look fabulous.


Now for my kitchen, I want to tear down the upper cabinets above my cooktop and tile the whole wallcounter to ceiling in zellige tile..The subtle color varations and the way the light is reflected off these handmade Moroccan tiles is breath taking.

Now for the third element. Weathered wood to cover the vent hood and contrast against the sheen of the tile. Only one small problem with this idea...I have a downdraft ventilation system currently. Pretty sure it vents through the slab foundation. Two right angles and the venta hood won't work...not enough draw.

Here is how the conversation between my husband and myself will go.."Ok honey, calm down. We only need to cut through the first floor walls. the second floor walls and the attic." Better yet I will wait for my anniversary no diamonds for me just simple ductwork for a new vent.