Tag Archives: House Beautiful

How Do I Love Thee…A Kitchen That Has It All

lymankitchenThis post should really be titled “how to add character and warmth to your white kitchen,” but really that title would be kind of boring.  What truly grabs my attention about this kitchen which was featured in the June 2012 issue of House Beautiful Magazine is how designer Samantha Lyman used numerous elements to make this space truly unique and incredibly inviting.

How do I love thee…let me count the ways!

  • Dark stained oak floors in contrast to the white upper cabinets make a dramatic statement
  • Antique French armoire custom fit to nestle in-between the modern, shaker style cabinets adds character
  • La Cornue range in stainless steel is both traditional and industrial at the same time (a statement piece in itself)
  • Walnut island countertop stained dark brown adds a richness and a warmth that complements the cooler marble perimeter countertop
  • Gray painted island is a nice contrast to the white painted upper cabinets and grounds the island in the space
  • Vintage pendants made of copper and enamel over the island give the kitchen a rich history and add even more character
  • Honed Calacutta marble countertop is a classic material that develops a beautiful patina over time
  • Starfire glass backsplash back-painted white gives a clean, contemporary look and reflects light in the space

Samantha Lyman has created a stunning kitchen that is functional, beautiful, interesting, and unique all at once.  The overall look that she has achieved demonstrates that by adding interesting elements to a kitchen with clean white cabinets, you can create a space that is both warm in its overall feel and ultimately full of character.  And wouldn’t you want every space in your home to feel that way?  I would!

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Take a Risk: Make a Bold Statement with Color

milesreddgreenkitchen

Would you consider making a bold statement with color in your kitchen?  Just how far would you go?  Few might be brave enough, or confident enough in their decision, to commit to a color-drenched kitchen such as this kelly green lacquered beauty by Miles Redd.  Some people are naturally adventurous with colors, while others are perfectly happy staying with a quieter, more neutral palette.  Do you fall into one of these two categories, or somewhere in-between?

Let’s face it:  it’s a lot easier (and certainly more cost-effective) to change an entire room by adding color to your décor with a can of paint, or a fresh batch of fabulous pillows.  Worst-case scenario: if it doesn’t work, you can re-paint or re-cover, but it won’t break the bank.  Taking a decorating risk in the kitchen, however, can be a bigger commitment and one that isn’t as easy (or inexpensive) to change.  So, how do you add color to your kitchen in a way that challenges your comfort zone a bit without sending you into a panic?

 Tory-Burch

Tory Burch added a pop of color to her white kitchen with this high gloss green floor and painted cabinet interiors.   Wow, what a statement!

La Cornue ranges come in a rainbow of fantastic colors.  This kitchen designed by St. Charles was featured in the 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse and certainly made a bold statement.  These custom, hand-made-to-order ranges and coordinating cabinetry are most-certainly an investment, so pick your favorite color and make your own statement. 

 whittakertile

Tile is a great place to add a big splash of color.  This beautiful bar designed by Ashley Whittaker uses stunning blue Aladdin tile from Waterworks.  How unexpected and beautiful at the same time!

 South-Beach

In a twist to adding a splash of color with a can of paint, House Beautiful featured a white glass-front kitchen cabinet with the interior painted in Benjamin Moore’s South Beach.  What a great way to add color while showcasing your dishes!

 tommysmythe

And if you’re not quite sure that you want to commit to something bold, how about adding some color in the form of a fun light fixture?   The custom-painted antique red lantern in this kitchen designed by Canadian Tommy Smythe is the perfect accent in this Victorian home.

Whether you just dip your toe in, or jump in feet first, why not add a splash of color to your kitchen design?  Chances are your colorful design element will make a statement and at the same time appear a little bit unexpected.

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Mad Men Inspired: Stainless Steel…Then and Now

Today I’m thinking about the season premier of Mad Men.  Devotees of the show have been waiting with bated breath for Season 6 to begin, and last night’s first episode did not disappoint.  I thought, like many other bloggers, that it would be fun to dig up a photo of a kitchen from the 60s, which I did, but I also found this great 1960’s ad from McLouth Steel Corp. in Detroit, Michigan, touting the virtues of stainless steel.  “If she takes pride in her home — give her a kitchen of stainless steel!”  Who would have known that using stainless steel in the kitchen would have lasted the test of time like it has!

HB60skitchen

The October 1961 issue of House Beautiful magazine featured this kitchen, and if you look closely you’ll notice that stainless steel is used in several different applications.  The cooktop, sink, counter tops and hood (I’m not sure if the faucets are stainless or chrome) are all made with stainless steel.  Look at the scalloped edge on that hood!

ina-apt-2

Fast-forward fifty years to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Fan favorite, Ina Garten, chef, cookbook author and Food Network TV personality, allowed Town and Country magazine into her Paris flat in 2008 to discuss her love of Parisian life and, of course, cooking.  Photos reveal a fabulous kitchen with a stunning La Cornue range and…stainless steel cabinets, hood and backsplash!  What fascinates me is that this material that’s been used for decades, continues to be employed in many different applications.  Whether it’s used for appliances, counter tops, fixtures, cabinets, tiles or backsplashes, stainless steel in the kitchen has certainly endured.

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This Month’s Featured Kitchen: The New Traditional

When the April issue of House Beautiful  arrived, I was excited to see that this month’s featured designs reflected a celebration of “the best traditional style now.”   I waited until I could find a quiet moment to savor every page, and when I saw this kitchen designed by Connie Newberry of Gerald Bland, Inc., I knew I had to write about it.  There are just SO many things to love about this beautiful space.  

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

  1. Wide plank floors — aged to perfection!
  2. Farm table with fabulous (and somewhat unexpected) chairs
  3. Paneled banquette with a raised back — to hide all of the pots & pans used to make every delicious meal
  4. Vaughan lamps placed on the countertop — I love different types of lighting in a kitchen!
  5. Wire door fronts on select cabinets  with a contrasting paint color on the interior adds just a pop of color
  6. Simple cabinet door style and hood (I’m liking the exposed hinges, too!)
  7. Is that a bar area off to the left with a separate sink and dishwasher?  Delightful!
  8. Small kitchen desk with just enough space to get things done but not enough for piles of paper
  9. Striped rug underneath the table adds just the right amount of casualness to the space (great mix of high and low with the more formal lyre-back chairs, don’t you think?)
  10. The use of both mahogany and stone countertops adds just a little bit more interest and warmth
  11. And finally, I love the clean lines of the goose-neck faucet and simple polished cabinet hardware

Who says traditional has to be old-fashioned?  I think today’s “new traditional” is a lasting look.  House Beautiful is definitely onto something!

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