Do you love touring Model Homes as much as I do? Fresh spaces! Soothing colors! So many ideas! I can’t wait to show you my latest tour!
Anne-Marie Brunet of Sheridan Interiors in Cornwall, Ontario, wrote an excellent blog post about choosing a refrigerator for a small kitchen. I’m a BIG fan of counter depth refrigerators: I’ve got one myself and love how it looks in our kitchen.
What I always tell families is that the upside is they fit so nicely and increase the visual space of your Kitchen. The downside is that you might need…
Decorating mistakes are fun to read about, but let’s be honest: they’re just little areas or issues that we haven’t paid attention to in a long time because life is busy and we’ve all got things to do. Often something was a big trend, we jumped on the wagon and never thought about it again.
Design however, is just like life. It’s always changing and hopefully often improving. On top of that, contractors and builders often play “designer” and harried homeowners go along with their recommendations which are…
A Kitchen update doesn't have to include tearing out cabinets and replacing appliances. Let's look at this recent project.
Above is the "Before" of Jody's kitchen. She wanted to make it feel fresh and a little artsy and she didn't want to rip out the wood cabinets nor take down the coppery mosaic tile backsplash. Jody does want to replace the white formica countertop with butcher block and she would love to see a piece of stone at the end of the counter. She saw that idea online and thought it was pretty cool. Her designer (that would be me) was worried that adding a detail to the end of the counter in a small kitchen would stop the eye and make it appear even smaller. Jody persisted, won me over and we got it done.
Here's the "After!" Isn't the Carrera marble at the end of the counter some kind of wonderful? Jody was right! It's a cool idea!
We specified White Oak counters with a clear, catalyzed conversion finish. Signature Custom Woodworking in King, North Carolina made and installed them and they're absolutely gorgeous! We removed the old formica backsplash, replacing it with very affordable brick tile (64 cents per piece!) and a not-so-affordable copper pencil tile on top to transition nicely with the older mosaic tile. A very successful transition!
Another photo of the "After." Jody had the painter give the white cabinets a fresh coat after everything was in. Now this kitchen reflects her personal style which is warm, interesting and fun.
We wanted to use a farmhouse sink in this project, but they weigh A LOT more than other sinks and would have required adding serious support in the existing base cabinet. Jody didn't want to lose that much storage space, so we switched gears and chose this fabulous Blanco Granit sink. It's a great choice. It doesn't have a shiny white finish like porcelain. It's faintly speckled.
We took down the heavy woven woods valance over the kitchen sink and replaced the dated track light with a pretty multi-colored glass pendant that adds some nice sparkle. A new oil rubbed bronze faucet and soap dispenser add more warm tones. And isn't that sweet pig painting by local artist Ana Peralta an awesome addition to this kitchen? I'm calling him Wilbur (not very original, but it fits).
Sean, our super duper handyman did the demolition work on the old counter and sink. It was his idea to router out the space for the marble piece so it could sit level with the counter. Genius! We were all very excited by that idea.
Wanting to keep the artsy vibe going with splashes of color, we added this sassy little rug by Company C at the sink. Isn't this kitchen SO pretty now? Nice update, right?
The kitchen table is right next to the new counters and in a lovely bay window, overlooking a spectacular back yard (think trees, flowers, fire pit, eating and grilling space). All we needed to do here was to replace the light fixture.
The new fixture is by Dailey and blends oil rubbed bronze with mercury glass lamps brilliantly. Sparkle and texture baby!
THEN, we moved into the next space, adding two wood beams to the ceiling and updating the ceiling fan. The world is filled with bulky old ceiling fans and I'm making it my personal duty to draw attention to them and replace them with new ones that are more modern and visually lighter!
The way these rustic beams from AZ Faux Beams work with Jody's woven wood blinds is simply awesome. I didn't get a very clear picture of the beams. Let's try another one:
The beams are stained Fall Leaf Brown. They add so much character to a room and you would never know that they're made out of high density polystyrene! Sean has installed beams on several projects now and he says they cut like butter. He always does a fantastic job. Attention to detail makes all the difference.
Not every project has a huge budget - this one probably cost less than $10,000, with the biggest chunk going to the wood counters (and worth every penny). However, every project has a homeowner with a personality and a desire to create a beautiful home that makes walking in the door at the end of the day a pleasure. Jody didn't want a space like everyone else has. She wanted to update her kitchen and end up with a space that looks like Jody lives there.
Now we're moving on to the front of the house to make some changes there. I'll show you what we do when it's done!
Investing in a design consultation during new construction provides ideas that can make a big difference to the end result. I want to show you a couple of pics I took last week of a new construction project I consulted on. The homeowners, John and Diane, were wonderful to work with and the builder, John Dunning of Dunning Custom Homes, did a spectacular job. When Diane invited me to come see the finished results, I was happy to accept!
I've been crushing on stainless cable wire for a long time now, but it still gives me a thrill. When I mentioned this idea to John and Diane, they jumped right on it. Diane said waiting for it to be installed was like waiting for Christmas morning!
Another idea they ran with was to paint the barn door leading to the pantry a true red. This is Sherwin's Heritage Red, which is gorgeous, gorgeous. Most of the other doors in the house are hickory with a protective coat of polyurethane. The door to the garage, as you ca see, is white. I LOVE it when doors DON'T match! And look at that hickory floor. Again, just a clear coat of poly. Amazing.
Here's a better view of a hickory door in the house.
We talked a lot about using beams in the house. Final decisions can't be made until sheet rock goes up and everyone can really see the room taking shape. These are in the Kitchen and look great!
John and Diane are big fans of wood. They put this yummy walnut on the island counter. Love it, love it, love it.
The light was really mucking around with my trusty iPhone camera, the art isn't up over the mantel yet and decorating isn't complete, but I wanted to show you that built in shelving doesn't have to symmetrically flank the fireplace. My suggestion was to have the cabinetry and shelving on one side to display and store what they wanted, but to leave the other side open to create a cozy nook to curl up with a book. It's going to be a sweet spot in a beautiful room. I also convinced them to skip putting a soffit at the top of each niche. Bring the eye up!
I take no credit for this brilliant bit of great design in the Kitchen. It's built under the stairs and is out of the way from everything else in the room. Microwave, wine fridge, glassware, etc. - you can be pouring wine, heating things up, pulling out tableware, napkins, small plates, etc. and still be completely out of the way of the master chef. Like I said, brilliant!
That's soapstone on the counters. Lovely handcrafted shelving with puck lights make everything sparkle. A Wolf cooktop looks right at home in the center of it all!
The house, upstairs and down, is filled with great ideas, successfully executed. It's a wonderful example of attention to detail, creative thinking and pride in workmanship.