It’s become a running joke now in my family. They all think I’m crazy. Well, that’s nothing new. I am the only female in the house, so it stands to reason that they all would think I’m crazy. They simply don’t understand. I have a thing for beautiful lamps.
A few weeks ago my mom came to visit from Rhode Island and brought a huge box for me. I had been waiting for weeks for its arrival and it was finally here. It was my first Hwang Bishop lamp and I was so excited to see how it had turned out.
This summer I was fortunate enough to have a personal tour of the Hwang Bishop factory in Warren, RI. A close family friend, who is related to owner Felicia Hwang Bishop, kindly brought me along for an inside look at how the lamps are made. The only other time I have been this excited for a studio tour was when I first toured the studio of Christopher Spitzmiller, who set the gold standard for beautiful, hand crafted lamps, and who helped me to fully understand the craftsmanship that goes into making such a stunning product.
My visit to Hwang Bishop was great fun, as I got to see all of the beautiful lamp base styles in person. While these lamps are sold at showrooms such as Shumacher and Niermann Weeks, it was a treat to see them up-close and to understand the process of hand-crafting each lamp to order. When it came time to make a purchase, it wasn’t easy narrowing down the list of favorites to just one. After much deliberation, I decided to buy the Honey lamp for its unusual shape. And while I didn’t step out of my box and select from one of the many stunning colors available, I am so pleased with the creamy-colored crackle finish that I did select. It coordinates perfectly with the rest of my dining room. I suspect that this pretty Hwang Bishop lamp won’t be my last!
Progress continues at Calvary Church, and happily we are on target to re-open the Sacristy and South Ambulatory for Christmas Eve. The painters have been busy at work staining all of the woodwork and patching and painting all of the plaster walls. We had a slight detour last week after Mother Nature unleashed both snow and heavy rain on the roof, resulting in a leak into the powder room. Thanks to the efforts of the painters and roofers, the leak has been repaired and the ceiling replaced — happily we remain on schedule for our big reveal in just a few short weeks.
A decision was made to re-finish the floors, which were in horrible shape, so now the area is closed off to all foot traffic so that necessary repairs and prep can be done. With a heavy dose of sanding, some new stain and a few coats of polyurethane, the floors will be spectacular!
Work continues at a fevered pace, and we are all excited for the project to be completed so that everyone can see the transformation. Stay tuned for the big reveal!
When Ina Garten, otherwise known as The Barefoot Contessa, makes a delicious meal, she points out that often times the best recipes employ good quality simple, fresh ingredients, and that the focus should be on those ingredients. The same same strategy can be applied to great design. The most successful kitchen designs are based on three basic elements: the layout, the fixtures and the finishes.
If you look at the kitchen above, designed by Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors, and break it down into its basic elements, you can see why together they make such a beautiful kitchen design. First, the cabinets have a classic shaker-style design, painted in a very current shade of green-gray (Retreat by Sherwin Williams), which anchors the space. It’s the combination of the fixtures and fittings with the decorative finishes that ultimately makes this space so special. Consider first the classic white marble countertop paired with polished nickel bridge faucets. Now add to that the custom brushed stainless steel hood fabricated with graceful curved lines, likely designed to balance the many angles formed by the cabinetry. The show-stopping pendants from Urban Electric have a subtle watery-blue interior that reflects the same color of the fish scale tiled backsplash and ties the entire design color scheme together.
One thing is for sure: the design and execution of this kitchen clearly demonstrate that a considerable amount of time and effort was spent coordinating all of its unique elements. So, if you’re planning to do a kitchen re-model, make sure you dedicate the same effort to the selection of the light fixtures, cabinet hardware, plumbing fixtures, tile, etc. that you spend working on the design and layout of the cabinetry. These elements are just as important to the overall design of the space and should be by no means considered an afterthought. Yes, a kitchen renovation is often a daunting task, by the end of which homeowners are often weary of making decisions, but as I always remind my children: your hard work pays off!