The hardest working room in the house is the kitchen. Full of plumbing, electric, propane, electronics and outlets galore. We have come a long way from microwaves. We now have a camera for the refrigerator. It’s suction mounted, and will take a picture of the insides so you can see if you are low on milk. What does it do about the eggs? I don’t know. The camera in your refrigerator sends a picture to your Smart phone. This new techno is by Smarter and they are also introducing a mat for your cupboards. That will tell you when you are low on flour and sugar! Put that mat under your eggs? There you go. I just call the husband and he checks for me. If I bring home an extra dozen, we have quiche one night.
Before we get started on the technology I want to say farewell to granite. Caesarstone and quartz products have finally made it to the top. Granite has long held the favored post at the top but the synthetics are getting the pick because they are more pristine, more anti-bacterial and no need for sealing. Colors come in a very wide range. Suppliers are Caesarstone, WilsonArt, Dupont and others doing wild and wonderful things. See Neolith and Dekton by Cosentino.
Countertops are now plunging over the sides, it’s called a waterfall. Both of these great kitchens showcase such an outstanding feature. (fig 1, 2) Countertop is sold by the square foot. When you want a custom job and it’s a midsize to large project you will be shopping for an entire ‘slab’. If you are designing a bathroom vanity, you might shop for a remnant or half a slab. A typical slab is 54″ x 105″. Jumbo size 65″ x 130″
When working with surfaces, remember if you have a lot of counter, it’s a good idea to mix it up. Put one color (or material) on the island and a different color as the counter for your lower cabinets. These two kitchens (fig 2, 3) demonstrate this beautifully. Stay tuned for more kitchen updates!
No blue in sight but plenty of beautiful basics and lovely organics in this living room/kitchen combination. Neutral colors. Lots of wood. Basic whites. It’s not minimalism but it is so very clean. Simple and straightfoward. New word by me.
Beautiful shapes, pattern and color that meet your eye everyday are ways to keep your heart happy. This is a great example of how you can work with dramatic colors, like charcoal and chocolate and still have an uplifting room – not the expected dungeon. Lots of white and lots of light. The white lounge chair is the centerpiece, and it’s interesting how the designer put it on a white carpet. The same technique is used with the wall treatment, the charcoal media center is against the chocolate wall. Like underlining for emphasis.
This is recycled wood pallets and I found in on inhabitliving dot com. Isn’t it gorgeous? The Chevron pattern is remarkable, the repeated v’s are a bold pattern, yet the repetition combined with the wood tones is soothing. How smart is this?
This black and white chevron pattern below has an energy typical of this pattern. This is a good example of collecting pieces of your design project and forming it into the exact style you desire. The chevron pattern has undeniable energy, but is toned down with the earthtones. The black and white chevron is classic and energizing in this living room.
Wabi-sabi is the Japanese ideology of appreciating what is old, aged and worn.
This kitchen exemplifies this style, this careful – sacred nod to the ancient and the unadorned. The cabinets are rough hewn, the knobs are functional
This is another example of wabi-sabi. These kitchen cabinets are not pristine and shiny-new. The hardware looks like they have were unearthed, salvaged from somewhere and found a happy home. The open display of china is basics, the floral arrangement is cut from the yard outside. Such an appreciation of old and good-enough is a reminder that life is fragile and needs to be gently nurtured and all that is old, is honored.
This room I used as an example of indoor/outdoor fabric in my Aug 4th newsletter, Beautiful Interiors. This gorgeous fabric is by Robert Allen and is indoor/outdoor. Another thing I love after color is art. The threads tying the chair to the art are perfection. Something about art, whether an expensive piece or your child’s art, lifts the heart doesn’t it?
This living room has the basics. At the same time it is quite stunning. The colors have been carefully chosen, the book columns are innovative. The aqua wall painted only half way rather emphasizes the two story window height. The browns against the blues are very energizing. The browns being the console, the wall art, and the brown pattern in the blue carpet. Each of these items standing alone are not particularly noteworthy, but they have been grouped together to create a very lovely room. It’s friendly, it’s fun, it’s functional. There are minimal doodads but plenty to interest the eye.
The far wall covered in the white sheer is like a calming cloud behind the carefully stacked book columns
Not to be omitted is the open staircase. It’s a very important architectural element in the room, if not the best.
Two consoles, a sofa and chair, one piece of art and two lamps. Carpet and paint. Four pillows and a vase. Every room needs books. Simply masterful.
I can’t say I save the best for last, because honest to God, every room is so perfect. This room is quite a stunner, I have to admit. The symmetrical arrangement of sofa’s and the two black urns with a triangle coffee table are simplicity, like one and one is two. But the value of this room is so much more than those easily repeated elements. The textured wall and floor add a huge amount of vitality. The window wall and glass enclosed staircase are magic. The chandelier is the glitter every room needs. Simplicity reflects thoughtful, careful and thorough design and the subsequent beautiful results.