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Monday, July 27, 2009

Hutches beware, chic storage is found!

This wall unit was designed for maximum storage use, and having it centered on the wall close to the dining room table, it also serves as a large buffet area while entertaining.

Vertical lift storage with frosted glass keeps this wall unit functional as well as gorgeously chic. Having six drawers (three shallow for silverware, etc, and three deep for dishes/platters, linens..oh my!) creates instant organization and keeps with the horizontal flow of the design.

Shown below is the stone. We used a beautiful remnant piece of millennium cream granite here, for under $600 installed. By being flexible on our color choice and choosing a chic 3/4" material, we were able to save about $1,275.00 for stone alone.
Below is the "Before" shot...
Doesn't your stemware and entertaining dishes deserve a better home?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NYC Kitchen of the Year by "House Beautiful"

As a kitchen designer, and a general home enthusiast, I am always sooo curious as to how do people live? One of my favorite places to visit is NYC and I often find myself trying to sneak a peek into the lovely brownstones to see what kind of kitchen they have? In the latest issue of "House Beautiful" we have a photographic tour inside the replicated kitchen/home of foodie TV chef, Ina Garten of "Barefoot Contessa."
I thought I would post this to see if this inspired any of you. Her kitchen (the one below is on shown in NYC, but her actual kitchen is in the Hamptons) is simple, timeless, organized and extremely functional.

Ina and her husband, Jeffrey arrive in NYC

Ina's kitchen, beautiful white painted beadboard cabinetry that fades back and allows her food to take center stage.

However, behind closed drawers, are function and organization. The cabinetry door detail doesn't have to speak volumes but the inside should.

Keeping items on open shelves allows for an easy everyday use and what better way for heirloom pieces to close at hand to use for dinner, or to just admire daily and remember fond memories.

Like many homes are remodeling towards, the trend of having the kitchen open and connecting into dining rooms, family/living rooms is shown beautifully here. How great to be able to sit and nibble on breakfast just steps away from your kitchen and your fireplace?

To see a video on Ina's thoughts of color in the kitchen, click here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's look of Quarter Sawn Oak

This dream kitchen was done for my family first, client second, designed in Evanston, IL.

These wonderful home owners decided to remodel their beautiful Evanston home. True admirers of Frank Llyod Wright, Mission Style and fine culinary creations, this kitchen encompasses their passion of architecture, design function and flowing muses for the love of cooking.

Architecturally, we couldn't change window height, so we created a custom large drawer for pots/pans on either side of their Viking Range. The hood above fits neatly into a wood hood but still provides the functioning blower vent required.

Using Quarter Sawn Oak provides a true Mission look dating back to 1895. The farmers sink adds such a warm touch, and paneling the new Dishwasher gives the function of the appliance without noticing it's there.
Below are the "Before" images of the same kitchen..what a difference. Fortunately the same elements in both kitchens are the wonderful home owners, their memories of cooking, entertaining and family time. All of that will be brought into the new design :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Getting "Boos" is great!

How lovely and warm is wood grain with its ancient curves and cathedrals running smoothly like telling a tale of it's time.
Using wood for cabinetry is beautiful, yes, but also unique and functional as a countertop!
This island below begs to be sat at with a steaming cup of coffee and the latest great read..."Twilight" anyone?

In the past many people worried about bacteria on wood surfaces such as cutting boards but did you know, bacteria actually dies quicker on wood than on most surfaces?!

Occasionally layer your wood top with an inch of coarse kosher salt overnight to remove any lingering smells of garlic, onion, etc.

How perfect is this multi-height countertop on this the bench for seating!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A lilliputian kitchen-only 48 square feet!

I came across this kitchen in one of my favorite magazines, "House Beautiful" and was so impressed with what a fellow kitchen designer did with her own space.
This tiny but highly functional kitchen is located
in NYC (again, a favorite place of mine).
I couldn't help but think; how clever, and sweet and still modestly elegant.

We often complain about how small our kitchens are, but perhaps what we need to do, is appreciate the space we do have, and do something GREAT with it!


A few fun facts about this bite size kitchen:
  • A mirrored backsplash, an electric cooktop that doubles as countertop, and simple cabinetry give the illusion of grandeur in this tiny kitchen.
  • There is a specific space for every pot, plate, and peppermill.
  • Four-inch-deep drawers, with slides along the sides rather than the bottoms, hold spices, tea, hot pads, and assorted cooking paraphernalia; slots provide tidy storage space for cookbooks and serving trays.
  • Deeper drawers substitute for lower cabinets to give easier acces
  • The refrigerator is just outside the kitchen, in the pantry. She stores table linens in closets in the hallway.
  • The "pantry" for dry goods consists of two cabinets that slide out over the countertop. Bins for trash and recyclables similarly pull out beside the sink.
  • The wood floor was handmade by an artisan in Brooklyn to showcase the family crest, a way of putting a personal imprint on the kitchen design.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What inspires your design thoughts?

In design, anything can trigger an idea and a flow of thoughts.
Below are some beautiful inspirations for new finishes that we design with.

Chocolate truffle anyone?
This 'Truffle' finish, below, will satisfy your craving and keep you in your skinny jeans

To enjoy a glass of Cabernet with your loved one at a vineyard...

Or using the classic and traditional 'Vineyard' finish in your home

Admiring the unique coat pattern of an Appaloosa horse in a nearby field

Bringing that warm speckled finish of 'Appaloosa' into your next design, perhaps an island for your family to gather around.

What is your unique inspiration...