Counter Attack

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More decisions today are made in our kitchens than in any of the board rooms across this country. This is especially true as life becomes more digital. How many times have you paid bills, planned trips, checked school assignments and synchronized calendars working off your kitchen counter? We confess, much of this blog gets written in this exact way. Early mornings and very late nights standing doing last minutes edits or notes for the next great idea we have. With our kitchens being the command hubs, counters have to take on so many different functions.  Because this is a design blog…we say those counters need to look good while doing it! So what better way than to make a counter look good than to have a cake on it?!

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Your Tailor is Waiting

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Wait a minute…are we talking about our homes or our wardrobes?  Anna is no doubt talking about what we wear.  We think there is a huge connection in what appeals to each of us.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Why not the fashion icons of the world or the flawlessly messy French girl we all swoon over?

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Friday Night Cat Fight

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It’s been said working with two designers is like putting a pair of cats in a bag and letting them work it out. It’s not a pretty thought.  While we can see how this might happen, nothing could be further from the truth with our partnership.

We bring two perspectives to each project. Most times the overall foundation of our concepts are very similar. However, no matter how many times we work together we can always count on each other to look at the same thing just a little differently. Such was the case recently when this kitchen in Houzz caught our eye.

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What if there were no StSt Appliances

 

A Pretty Nice Kitchen

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kitchen by  slimrandles

Before anyone gets upset and starts hyperventilating, this is not going to happen.  If it did, the HGTV shows of house hunting would have to look for all new clients.  I can count on one hand the shows where buyers were NOT looking for “stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops”.  Manufacturers have enjoyed a really long run of this most desired metal.  In the U.S. 123,000 appliances are sold daily.  I can’t find the number of how many of these are stainless but I know its high. There are many, many kitchens that are just outstanding using stainless…but what if we stretched outside of the box a little and said no to these finger printing  gleaming machines?

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8 Days A Week

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 Everyday Must Haves

Just like the Beatles song, we all have a few items we need everyday of the week, and then some.  These are items that make our days start off better, run more smoothly and finish off nicely.  They can be consumable items, furnishings or the latest technology.  What they all have in common is that we count on them and look forward to using them on a daily basis. These things are woven into the design of our homes and lives.  Let’s take a look at our favorites.

Happy Friday!

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An Open Door Policy

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.-Milton Berle

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Houses are full of doors.  Entry doors at the front, side and back of a home welcome everyone into our lives.  Interior doors provide necessary privacy.  Other types of doors cover the less than tidy places in our home.  We use a lot of doors!  Yet, doors can be one of the most overlooked ways to add design to a decor.  Let’s take a look at these examples where the doors are featured and ever so attractive! (photos in this post compliments of Pinterest and AD)

 

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Soft Muted Color

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Need a little Nooky

 

 

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If you’re like me, you love a perfect place to get cozy. After a long day at work, or on a cold day, there is nothing like snuggling up with your cashmere or fur blanket and hot cup of coffee or even glass of wine :).

Nooks are the perfect place to curl up with your favorite book, magazine or iPad for some undisturbed reading time. Spending time in a nook is not wasted time. It is spending some “me time” to de stress, relax, reset and recharge. Nooks take very little space in your home.  An unused corner in your bedroom, living room or even kitchen can be turned into a fabulous reading nook and add charm to your home. Let’s take a look at some nooks calling my name.-Kristen 

A reading nook with a beautiful view.

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A creative desk & reading nook combo.

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Enjoy the sunlight while reading.

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Dark paint, in a closet rehab, makes for a cozy little nook.

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A sunny corner.

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Don’t overlook an entry.

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You don’t need built-ins to create your own cozy nook, all you need is a cozy place to sit!

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A nook is also an alcove, defined as recess, typically in the wall of a room or of a garden.  Ah, an outdoor nook!   Let’s think about these possibilities as we head into spring.  It’s so vital in this busy world to make time to decompress. Having a space to look forward to helps me make this part of my day.  This habit is something I want to pass onto my children and grandkids.  A nook, alcove, a spot, a hideaway …whatever you want to call it, I hope you have one carved out somewhere to enjoy!-Laurel

Plan some Seating within your Garden this Season

Or what about one of these?

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What cool clubhouses these could be for the cyber junkies we all are!

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Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with us!

Ebony and Ivory

This Friday’s Favorite is also a Find!

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I lived in a one bedroom apartment my junior and senior year of college. Starting from scratch, I began purchasing the essentials that I needed to live on my own.

One of my favorite first purchases, that I still use today 6 years later, is the Frank Dinnerware from cb2.   I bought the whole collection.  It includes dinner plate, salad plate and soup bowl. I soon fell in love with the simplicity of my white porcelain dinnerware! The most unique feature of this collection is that it is stackable. They can be stored as a compact group. The salad plate also doubles as a lid for the soup bowls. How neat is that?!  For the minimalist (sometimes hidden) in all of us… this dinnerware collection is great quality for a great price!- Kristen

Frank Dinnerware

Available online at cb2

 

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White Dinnerware Perfect in Any Decor

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This is one of the times when fate is more powerful than words.  I also purchased the same Frank Dinnerware the first year it was available and continue to use it everyday.  I’m pretty sure having the same daily dishes is not a partnership requirement, but it is touching none the less.

This dinnerware pattern is inspired by the Bauhaus school of design, circa 1920s Berlin.  Along with the versatile salad plate as lid for bowl feature,  is the fact that it is both microwave and oven proof.  There are also medium size serving/baking bowls the same design as the dinnerware bowls.   Agree wholeheartedly that white dinnerware, no matter the design, works in all decor.  The possibilities are endless using a simply chic dinnerware as a foundation for your table.-Laurel

Let me sneak in another favorite dinnerware!

 

One last thought.  We have clients who have been designated the family keepers of china…sometimes several sets.  Others who ask us what to do with China that is packed away and was “expensive”.  How about let’s use it in our everyday lives?  Unless it has gold/silver on it, it can go in the dishwasher. (some with these metals can even go on gentle cycles so try it) But what if a piece breaks?  So what?  It will be a nice story to tell your kids/grandkids that would not have opened the box of these precious gems you passed on otherwise.  They might even be the ones to break a piece and your legacy can live on in memories for years! We suggested a client use one of her multiple sets at her lakehouse….what fun she has had with this!   Mixing china patterns and adding them to the above ebony or ivory pieces could be ever so chic.

 

Go ahead and get your china moving!

 

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How are you using your China?


 

 

Curry On

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Benjamin Moore Dash of Curry 2159-10

As designers, some colors simply strike us. Often, for me, they are colors that I can almost “smell”.  Spices have such depth.  When a color grabs our attention, we can see visions of how wonderful these hues will be in a decor.  Dash of Curry is one of these such colors.  I’ll admit I am on the verge of obsession about this one!

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These puppies will make it into my pillow hoard.

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Now this might be an “heirloom” to create that will be passed on.
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An Entire Wall of this is the Bomb

(but no cords showing please)

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Whomever gets to “grow up” (no matter their age) in this kitchen is eons ahead of the rest of us on the happiness scale!

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Artists Love these Pigments

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Installed on Clip Rings these Panels could be put “on” when the mood strikes you or “off” to change up the decor.  So progressive of you!

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How about the next spice over …a bit of Nutmeg?

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Or dark chocolate with cayene pepper?

(Yes, we might be a tad obsessed !)

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All Kristen’s Photos- Pinterest

 There are so many ways to use this bold, rich color successfully.  It can be used  as accents in otherwise neutral color pallets or become the neutral in a room.  Either way, likes it’s mentor, this color is timeless.  Don’t be afraid to use it in decor furnishings or as full force statements with paint and in tile.  Dash away and brace for impact!

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The Inspiration

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Miss Metalology

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Silver and Gold

Is it okay to mix the metals in your homes decor? Of course! Do the metals of your faucets, light fixtures and cabinet hardware really need to match? Of course not!

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You may believe that the best way to coordinate your home is by having all metal in the same color and finish. Often, however, this will create a less interesting and too monochromatic of a look. Incorporating silver, gold, brass and iron is a great way to add visual interest and depth to your space. Let’s look at a few good ways to start mixing!

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A good place to begin incorporating metals is with faucet finishes, cabinet hardware and lighting. Mirrors, metallic accents, textiles, artwork, picture frames and wallpaper also offer so many options to personalize your decor. Mixing metal finishes and metal textures creates a unique and personal aesthetic for your home. As an alternative to a polished finish, add in some of the matte, hammered and brushed finishes. Mixing metal is a way to have new pieces in your home look like they’ve been collected for years! -Kristen

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Girlfriend, you have chosen such a universal topic and one that we get asked about daily no matter how much “training” we provide!  I think the idea of having all the “metals” being the same was thought  up by doorknob companies and know there are graveyards of hinges somewhere.  Of course mixing metals is always more interesting…but it has to be done with either precise planning or accomplished by sheer luck from the things your super chic Nana has passed along. Here are some of the examples I have in my hoard of photos. I am not sure where they came from. Before the digital world told me I should always save the source I was a rogue “collector”! -Laurel

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Iron, Stainless and Polished Chrome -Classic

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Love the vintage hardware on the island and the modern mix of brushed and polished stainless on the hood.

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Matte Gold and Polished Nickel

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Let’s not forget Copper…a personal favorite metal.  Polished, hammered, burnt, brushed.  I crave them all.

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Aged Brass with Brushed Stainless

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Polished Brass (yes its starting to look gummy! how grand) and the most fantastic white metal pitcher.  What a combo.

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One last comment…if you have real silver..get it out and use it.  You can mix your own metals.  Polish a few and when you give out…mix in the tarnished pieces.  Seems the idea of mixing metals in not so new!

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