Saturday, July 27, 2013

Glam Kitchen in the City

Yesterday, I spent the day in the city putting the final touches on a kitchen that we have been working on for several months.   The homeowner and client, Reena, and I fluffed and puffed all day and enjoyed seeing all our design choices come together .  From the beginning of this project, Reena, Laurell, and I have worked closely to choose the elements for the kitchen and I think our collaboration has created a gorgeous kitchen for a city apartment!  It's a weekend get-away for Reena's close family and I am thrilled for her!

 A sleek black city kitchen with a table height island creates a glamorous setting.

City glam all the way! 
As we began this project, we started with an apartment that had been previously used as a rental property.  Here's what the kitchen looked like when we started!
 It was definitely a bachelors pad -with 5 lazy boys lined up in front of a large flat screen.  The large island takes up a lot of space. Notice the dead space to the left of the refrigerator- definitely an opportunity for us! And that overhead light has to go!
The original appliances and cabinets-
 Laurell refinished all the cabinets from a reddish wood color to an ebony black with a gold accent on the rope trim detail.
Reena and I chose this cabinet hardware from Studio 41-  we both loved the design and it worked beautifully on the cabinets.

We upgraded the appliances  to black and stainless and chose a black glass cook top to add sleekness to the top of the counter tops.
 We removed the old island and installed an new "table" height island with storage underneath. All of the flooring throughout the  apartment was replaced with ebony wood. Love it! It makes the place look twice as big!

 The island was re-designed into a dining table height- perfect for city dinners.  We placed storage cabinets and drawers under the "table" but left leg room to slide in comfortable dining chairs that will arrive next week!  Building a lower height island was a risky design decision and I knew it!  But I had seen the current trends of using dining tables as islands in kitchens, and decided it was worth the risk!  Reena really wanted a dining table.  It was a good decision- accomplished storage, a dining table, and opened up the kitchen  to make the space seem twice the size! I love the way it looks!  Can't wait to place the comfy dining chairs around it.

A white quartz  top was used to add to the sleek modern feel of the overall design! The lower height makes the  apartment feel twice as big as the original tall bulky island! Yet we didn't lose any storage in the kitchen. I just love it !  It really opened up the kitchen, and filled one of Reena's wishes- to have a dining table.

We chose a Thermodore  refrigeration, that we  paneled with the mirrored doors and made it seem like a glamorous cabinet in the kitchen.  Then in a little nook to the left of  the refrigerator, we were able to build a slim grey  cabinet that will showcase Reena's wonderful glass collection and serve as a bar. It is beautifully lit and looks like a little jewel box at night!  Also, we wanted to add glamorous chandeliers over the "dining table", but the ceiling was a concrete construction, as most are in the city.  So we asked the contractor to lower the  ceiling  with drywall to conceal the casings and wiring for the chandeliers.  This created a cozy romantic area for the kitchen space.

The kitchen opens into the living room where we have used a black and white palette with emerald green and plum accents.  So the large green vase on the center of the island adds a big bold pop of color!

One of my favorite design elements in the kitchen is the stunning black mirror mosaic back splash!
We found this tile on line  and it is perfection in the space. Sexy, reflective and sparkling, it gives the overall city glamour touch that we wanted.   The lighting under the counters, make it sparkle and reflect the colors in the area. You can see the pretty reflection of the bowl of apples behind the stove.

Another wonderful element that Reena found- this fabulous faucet.  It is perfect!
Voila- a true collaboration at it's best!
Next week, we will put the finishing touches on the remaining rooms.   So stay tuned!  It's looking great already!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tennessee Time

I always drive to the summer gift show in Atlanta, so I can antique along the way and get things home. On the way back from the Atlanta Gift Show last week, we decided to take a little detour .  My friend, Marlene, has this gorgeous home near Cookeville and I wanted my friends, Laurell and Christy to see it!  So we decided to break up the trip and spend a night with Marlene and her husband, Ryan. 

The views from the outside deck are breathtaking!

                                                                   Late afternoon

Early morning light

Marlene makes her wrap around decks look adorable!

I could just sit here forever, especially with Lily- their white and  very fluffy dog.

Tennessee rainbow as we were driving into town for dinner that evening!
We got to enjoy  just a little slice of heaven in Tennessee- then it was back to Chicago the next day for us!
I posted pictures of the inside of Marlene's home on a previous post- if you want a peek-
Thanks Marlene and Ryan for letting us enjoy your little paradise and thanks for ordering the rainbow too!  Now if you could have only ordered a good old Tennessee thunderstorm while we were sitting on your screened in porch?????????????????????

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Most Beautiful Potager and Pool Area

Just getting back from the gift show in Atlanta and I am full of inspiration for our fall and Christmas shows.  But I loved getting home and seeing how much my garden had grown and it makes me slow down and just enjoy summer a bit!  That made me remember to  share some pictures with you of one of the most beautiful potagers and garden gazebos that I have ever seen! A couple of weeks before we left for Atlanta, I went with Katha and Julie to Barrington to a garden walk.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, a huge rain storm happened.  In spite of that,  I  had to take pictures of this breathtaking garden- so you will notice rain drops on the pictures! Due to the rain the pictures are a bit blurry, but just take a look!
You enter the potager by this vine covered structure- so romantic!

The garden is shaped with a center fountain, with 4 quadrants separated by brick walks surrounding the center.  Faux bois benches are perfectly placed to enjoy the garden.
Beautiful iron spirals are placed for the vegetables  to go on.

Fruit trees are shaped espalier style to form naturals fences in the garden.

 Flowers are grown in the garden along with the vegetables to add color and interest.

 The perfect little gardeners cottage is by the side of the cottage- this one is actually a dog kennel!

 When you leave the potager, you walk through this arched walk of trees and enter the pool area-

Potted plants float on weighted inner tubes in the pool- see the rain drops on the water!

 A magnificent gazebo is located on the side of the pool and exquisitely planted.

Inside the center of the gazebo, a multi tiered planter basket hangs over a pottery fountain.

Notice the urn on the roof line!
I was so impressed with the design of this garden.  It was not overly large- just compactly planted with so many interesting plants in lovely combinations! I was very inspired!