Tag Archives: Design

It’s all about Fixtures & Finishes

 

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!

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Nate Berkus Returns to TV: Renovation Nation

This week brings good news to fans of designer Nate Berkus.  The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Berkus will host and executive produce a new design competition on NBC called Renovation Nation.  Devotees of the designer were disappointed to see him leave the airwaves when his design show, The Nate Berkus Show, was cancelled last spring, so many are anxiously awaiting his return to television.

Nate certainly has been busy.  News of his upcoming show comes just a few months after he sat down with designer Tory Burch to discuss both the release of his latest New York Times Best-Selling book, The Things that Matter, and his recent collaboration with Target on a line of bed, bath and décor items for the home.  In that conversation they talked about Nate’s design style, which can be best summarized in his own words as “assembled and collected over time.  Not heavy on color, very heavy on layering and texture.”  

I think that the kitchen above, which was designed by Nate Berkus, exemplifies this style in how “collected” it looks.  In his design he combines classic elements, such as the parquet floor, crown molding and marble countertop, with more unexpected items such as the windowed partition between the kitchen and living spaces, the use of mixed metals (which has become a much more accepted practice today) and the rolling cart in place of a fixed island.  Most people would have left the kitchen open to the living room, but what Nate did with that window adds so much more character to the space — it’s my favorite element!

I, for one, am delighted that Nate will be returning to television.  I look forward to learning more from him and to being inspired by his design.  We all can take a lesson from Nate’s core design principle that  “your home should tell the story of who you are.  What you love most collected and assembled in one space…the philosophy that things do matter…They represent where we’ve been, who we’ve loved, and where we hope to go.  They make us happy, and I can’t think of a more beautiful way to live than that.”  Thank you, Nate, I agree!

 

 

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