Adding Color to the KItchen

Essence Professional Colorful Faucets

Kitchens are becoming more and more colorful.  A few months ago, we loved finding ranges in literally a “range” of colors to suit just about anyone’s taste.  And, now we found beautiful, sleek architectural faucets from Grohe which became available in July of 2017.  The Essence professional faucets come in a rainbow of fun colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue purple and pink. The silicone hoses are interchangeable which allows for easy maintenance and also offers homeowners the option to add small pops of color to an otherwise neutral kitchen.

Of course, these faucets are not just big on personality, but they offer superb GrohFlexx technology featuring a 360-degree turnable spring for a fully rotating spray and their EasyDock magnetic system.         

Photo Credit: www.grohe.com/us

grohe essence faucet.jpg


Crosstown Farmhouse Sink

Adding a splash of color to a kitchen is so easy these days.  We recently wrote about colorful ranges and then about the Essence Professional Faucets that come in a rainbow of colors.  And, now we learned about the Elkay Crosstown Farmhouse Sink. With its interchangeable aprons, this innovative sink is an industry first and perfect for homeowners who want to alter the look and feel of their kitchens in an easy way. It is as simple as loosening and re-tightening two wing nuts so adding that splash of color whenever the mood strikes could not be easier.

The aprons come in Glacier, Champagne, Graphite, Platinum, Sapphire, Scarlet and Sunset to fit the several different models of the Crosstown Farmhouse Sink that have the interchangeable apron feature.  The sink and aprons are sold separately.

Perhaps, a new range, a new faucet, or even a new sink is in the cards for your kitchen.

Photo Credit: www.elkay/crosstown

Ruggables

 

We love rugs – they are an essential part of all home décor.  We often tell our clients to start with the rug when designing a room as they provide the foundation upon which furniture and the rest of the room sit.  Their aesthetic appeal can be truly amazing.  While rugs do come in many styles, price points, and materials, they all may be difficult to maintain.  Ruggables may be a very stylish and affordable solution for people on a budget and for families with young children or pets.

Jeneva Bell, the founder of Ruggables, tells the story of how her dog ruined her new, very expensive rug.  She, along with her team of industry experts, came up with this innovative two -piece rug system. With one removable rug cover and one cushioned non-slip pad, this technology makes it possible for area rugs to be washed as easily and frequently as bedding.

Connie Chen from Business Insider tried out a Ruggable rug in her own apartment, and she found that the system was as easy to assemble and to maintain as was touted on the Ruggables site. Take a look at their website to see all of the sizes and styles that are available.  Just a few of the many designs are traditional Persian ones, contemporary geometric patterns, nautical and coastal designs, and fun patterns for kid’s rooms and playrooms.  These area rugs and runners can be purchased at many online sites or stores such as Wayfair, Amazon, Home Depot, and Target.  We have not seen these in person yet, but we are planning to check them out for ourselves soon.

Photo Credits:

   Noor Rug in Ruby, one of the traditional designs – www.ruggables.com

   This rug system is put together easily – www.businessinsider.com

   Ruggable in a child’s room – www.akronohiomoms.com

Colorful Ranges

Colorful Ranges

 

Beautiful spring colors are popping up all around us, and brightly colored ranges are also popping up. They are more than just appliances and can be a jumping off point for an entire kitchen concept for people who are very comfortable with color and do not want the standard white, black or stainless steel range.  Keep in mind, however, that these ranges are definitely not for all of those who are not color shy.  Price points we have seen go from around $3500 to a whopping $54,800! 

We have found a virtual garden of ranges in colors for every taste. Here are a few of our picks.

This range from Smeg’s Portofino Series is a dual fuel model – we show it in yellow, but it is also available in orange and red for those who gravitate towards bright colors.  We found it at www.applianceconnection.com for $3999.

For those Aga fans who love radiant-heat cast iron ovens and hot plates, this one in Pistachio would be lovely in the garden or in the kitchen.  It sells for $17,999.  www.aga-ranges.com

Remember all of the pink, aqua and other pastel kitchens from the 50’s and 60’s?  For those who would love a retro look, www.bigchill.comhas a huge inventory of pro ranges as well as retro ones in a multitude of colors.  Color swatches can be ordered for each of their lines – the custom colors can be ordered on one of their ranges for an additional $400.  This retro range from Big Chill is in Beach Blue.

And, now for the Rolls Royce of ranges – La Cornue.  La Cornue has been hand-crafting these masterpiece ranges in the French culinary tradition since 1908.  There are nearly 40 colors in their premium collection. The more modestly priced CornuFe model in Provence Blue is from Williams-Sonoma for $10,400, but this Le Chateau 150 60” range in Roquefort is a whopping $54,800. www.lacornueusa.com

Florals Fabrics for Spring

After another long Pittsburgh winter, spring is officially and finally here – and what do our thoughts turn to but beautiful gardens that are just beginning to bloom.  Gorgeous floral fabrics and wallpapers can transform any room into a delightfully fresh and lush garden.  We love to balance florals with softened geometric patterns, stripes or solids for an eye appealing and sophisticated design. Mixing these patterns in a space will add interest, color, and depth.  Even though the patterns don’t necessarily match each other, the scheme can work as long as they go together. The main thing to remember when mixing florals and other patterns is for them to complement each other and not compete.

We always follow these guidelines so the room will not look jarring or uncoordinated. Odd numbers look best so using three different patterns in varying scales is a good way to begin. The largest pattern can be the anchor pattern with all of the colors in the selected palette.  Then add a medium scale pattern with some of the colors and finally a small scale one with two or three of the colors. The intensity of the colors should be the same – for example, do not mix pastels with jewel tones. Also, it is always a good idea to break up the patterns with some solids or tone-on-tone fabrics. 

One of our favorite companies for fabrics and wallpaper is Thibaut.  We love their new Paramount Collection of coordinating wallpaper and fabrics. With its highly styled nouveau flower motifs, and beautiful colorways, it is perfect for spring.  This lovely dining room with patterns in aqua and green really says spring to us.  Notice how the mix of floral and other patterns in this room demonstrates the importance of varying the scale – the Desmond fabric in the drapery panels is a really large-scale pattern with an 18” horizontal repeat and a 44.5” vertical repeat while the Hillock wallpaper pattern is very small with only a 2” repeat.  The chairs are upholstered in Ebru which has a vertical repeat of 15” and a horizontal repeat of 25.75.  ( www.thibaut.com )

These pictures from www.tidbitsandtwine.com  illustrate the importance of intensity as well as of scale. The fabrics in the picture of the headboard and pillows are in pastel colors with the floral being the largest scale with the most colors while the chevron and the geometric print are smaller scale and have one or two of the colors.  The other picture shows a wallpaper background in a bold and bright print behind the bed. It is the large anchor pattern with a mix of smaller patterns in coordinating colors.

 These vignettes are all so lovely for spring.  And, the best part will be when winter returns, your room will still speak spring to you.

 

Pantone - Color of the Year 2019

Pantone – Color of the Year 2019

For 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product, packaging, and graphic design. The Pantone Institute is basically a “think tank” that studies the emotions and psychology of color.  Each year, the experts at the institute search the world over to find new inspiration to influence their choice. While, the institute does not make any of the products, all of these industries jump on the bandwagon each year with new product lines when the new color is announced.

The color of the year for 2019 is Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral.  Warm, comforting, joyful, optimistic, and playful are words that the Pantone Institute has used to describe Living Coral. Somehow it is vibrant, yet mellow.  

Whether you would like to paint the whole room in this bold color or just add a smaller pop of color, these are just a few examples of the many options that are available.

Photo Credits

Living Color –www.pantone.com

Tommy Bahama Home Chest –www.perigold.com

Pop Color Modern Ceramic Table Lamp -www.shadesoflight.com

Granger Rug – www.wayfair.com

A Few Trends from Highpoint Market

We have been following the Style Spotters who were at the recent fall market in Highpoint, North Carolina.  They reported on new trends that they found to be redefining the shape of home fashion – it seems that what is old is new again in many cases.

So, here are just two of their new product picks.

Internationally renowned designer and forecasting expert Stacy Garcia focused on pieces that featured unexpected pairings of materials and finishes.  We particularly liked the contemporary, yet rustic Double-Sided Bookcase Room Divider by Artitalia Group which combined the natural elements of raw wood with a modern material of steel.

Three other noted style spotters all selected this Egrets pattern from York Wallcoverings, but for somewhat different reasons.  Mary Douglas Drysdale chose it for its historical reference to eclectic romanticism. Designers Bria Hammel and  Holly Hollingsworth Phillips noted that designers are now introducing color more than ever into their projects. They both liked how this wallpaper packs so much punch into a space and reflects fearless design and whimsey. Designers and their clients who choose this wallpaper don’t shy away from color or pattern. These two designers feel that “it’s all about bravery and color this season.”

Photo Credits

www.highpointmarket.com

www.yorkwall.com



 

 

Tete-a-Tetes, Then and Now

When we think of tete-a-tetes, we usually think of Victorian times, but there are many more modern versions as well.  Tete-a-tete literally means head to head in French, and it is a two-seat sofa, basically consisting of two chairs joined together. Its primary use was for private conversations as its other names suggest.  The tete-a-tete is also known as a courting chair or a gossip couch. It was developed during the early 19th century in France and was popularized during the Victorian era. The Victorian ideals of modesty and controlled courtship are illustrated by the shared armrest which provided a slight barrier between the couple sitting on the sofa!

One of the most famous examples of a tete-a-tete is this one which was made by John Belter, an American cabinetmaker, around 1850-1860.  His extravagant use of carved ornamentation is typical of Rococo Revival style.  It is displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

In many mid-century modern versions of the tete-a-tete, the shared armrest for modesty is gone – in fact this Edward Wormley tete-a-tete from 1950 looks more like modern double chaises we see today.  We saw this one for sale on www.decaso.com for $15,000.

We thought this ultra-contemporary tete-a-tete that we saw on Houzz is a very unique and dynamic art piece, but we could not find any information about where it could be purchased.

The rattan Confident armchair from Maison Drucker that we saw in Elle Décor comes in a range of colorful options as a part of its outdoor bistro seating collection.  It is priced at $3912.

For some, two heads may be better than one!

Dark and Moody Floral Wallpaper

We have always loved dark and dramatic walls, and they are definitely on-trend now. Deep, rich backgrounds lend an air of drama and sophistication to any room and give the space a strong identity and real sense of character.  This is especially true of these moody florals which are reminiscent of still life paintings from Dutch Masters of the Golden Age.  Oversized and printed on a background of decadently deep shades, these wallpapers are not for everyone, but they are truly beautiful. Somehow, they are traditional, yet modern and luxurious, and they are clearly not your grandmother’s wallpapers.  They can make a major statement in a small powder room or can be used as an accent wall in a living room or behind a bed in the master bedroom.

Here are a few of our favorites.

Photo Credits:

This vintage-style bathroom has a feature wall that looks like an antique painting – www.shelterness.com

Dutch Love is one of Ashley Woodson Bailey’s collection of six photo-based wallpapers.  The flowers practically jump off the wall – ashleywoodsonbailey.com

Noted designer Ellie Cashman says that “her designs are meant to serve as narratives of optimism and celebrations of beauty.” She has created a series of florals including Dark Floral II Black Saturated Wallpaper – elliecashmandesign.com

A moody floral may not be the first color one would think of for a little girl’s nursery, but it is gorgeous – greenandmustard.co.uk

This floral wallpaper is lovely, feminine, sumptuous, and sexy as a backdrop for the bed in a master bedroom – www.shelterness.com

 

The Minimalist versus The Maximalist

Over the years, design trends have waxed and waned and there have been many times when minimalism was popular as well as times when maximalism was in vogue.  Today, we have been seeing both styles in shelter magazines. There are often spreads on beautiful and sleek contemporary spaces as well as wonderful “over the top” maximalist rooms.  “Less is more” is absolutely the way to go for some while others follow architect Robert Venturi’s credo that “less is a bore.”  We say to each his own.

Minimalism highlights the essence of a room, stressing clean lines, clutter-free spaces, and a limited color palette.  Designing a beautiful, functional home in a minimal way is not easy. Skill, restraint, and a great deal of discipline are needed to pull it off.  We love this living room by Tara Benet Design in New York City.

Minimalist Design .jpg

 

Maximalism is the antithesis of minimalism with its audacious display of bright colors, bold patterns, and a love of artful clutter. Maximalist spaces reflect their occupants’ travels, pasts, and quirks. Exotic Bohemian glamour comes to mind when thinking about maximalist design - rather than trying to achieve a perfectly coordinated space, maximalists strive for a layered look to embrace a beautiful, cozy chaos as can be seen in this photo from Architectural Digest.

Maximalist Design .jpg

 

For more examples, take a look at the White Glove section of the May/June issue of Traditional Homeor the April issue of House Beautiful which featured a home in Philadelphia.

Which style speaks to you?

 

 

Refrigerator of Art

Dolce&Gabbana, the Italian luxury fashion house that was founded in 1985, has teamed up with the high-end Italian appliance manufacturer Smeg for the design of a special edition of the FAB28 refrigerator, transforming it into a work of art.  While the two companies belong to different creative sectors, they both have strong values and a tradition of “Made in Italy” excellence.  The hand-painted refrigerators feature images of lemons, the trinacria symbol (which is located in the center of the Sicilian flag), cart wheels and medieval knights done by Sicilian artists. This colorful and super high-end refrigerator is clearly not for everyone as it can cost $34,000 or more!

If that price point is above your budget, it is possible to purchase a range of small kitchen appliances that could turn your counter into a work of art. This toaster or electric water kettle can be found at Williams-Sonoma for a mere $600!

Who can ask for anything more – Smeg quality and technology combined with Dolce&Gabbana style!    

 

 

 

 

 

And, Finally, Pantone!

 The Pantone Color Institute is a consulting service that forecasts global color trends. After numerous announcements from many paint companies, several weeks ago Pantone finally announced their eagerly anticipated choice for their Color of the Year 2018!  They chose Ultra Violet, a super-bright purple which Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Institute, says "communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking."  This year's color was not chosen because it is regal, though it does resemble a shade that has historically been considered to be majestic.

As a color that can take you in so many directions, Ultra Violet makes a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness. While it is clearly dramatic and provocative, it is a difficult color with which to decorate, and there have been many diverse opinions expressed about this choice.

Would we choose this color in our designs?  It would certainly depend upon the client and how they feel about it. So, because it mixes well with grays, soft shades of green, and other neutrals, we would love to use it as an accent - perhaps, a soft mohair throw or a few pillows.  Ultra Violet can be softened with other shades in the same family such as mauve or lilac.  It could be pretty and feminine in a young girl's room when used in this way. What do you think of this shade?  We would love to hear your opinion.  But, just remember - no matter what our opinions may be, we will be seeing Ultra Violet everywhere in home design as well as in fashion this year.

Photo Credits:

www.apartmenttherapy.com - This purple upholstered bed certainly does pop!

www.housebeautiful.com - This living room has a lot of purple, but it is pretty and tasteful.

www.the penneyhoarder - Touches of purple in this mostly white teen room is a conservative way to use this color.

www.pantone.com - Paint chip

 

2018 Colors of the Year

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Caliente AF-290, is strong, radiant and full of energy – and RED HOT!

A collision of rich blue with jewel-toned green, a color that is both accessible and elusive, Oceanside SW 6496, is Sherwin-Williams pick for 2018 Color of the Year. 

 PPG Paints,  named Black Flame (PPG1043-7) their new "it" shade. They describe it as an "unprecedented, statement-making black with deep tones of indigo." 

Meanwhile, Glidden Paint has selected Deep Onyx (00NN 07/000), which they describe as a no-fuss shade of black that encourages a "less is more" approach to decor.

Union Trust Building

While walking in downtown Pittsburgh several weeks ago, we decided to pop into the Union Trust Building to see firsthand the $100 million renovations we had heard about. Wow!  What a beautiful old building with spectacular renovations. Many of the original interior features were retained while the lobby space was updated with Pittsburgh themed artwork and a fabulous palette of bright peacock blues, purples and pinks.

This historic building was designed and erected in 1915-16 by Frederick Osterling for Henry Clay Frick.  Most Pittsburghers will recognize the Union Trust Buillding with its amazing mansard roof boasting terra cotta dormers and two chapel-like structures housing mechanicals. But, we were completely blown away by the interior lobby with its central rotunda and stained glass dome. The Davis Companies completed the stunning restoration

We applaud the architects and designers and recommend stopping in sometime if you are downtown.

Photo Credits:

 Exterior and Roof  -https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=172346

Lobby - thedaviscompanies.com

Rotunda - www.jekko.com

 

 

 

 

 

Tie Pillow

Ellen had this patchwork pillow made from her retired pediatrician husband’s old ties.  When he was practicing, he always liked to wear “kid-friendly” or doctor themed ties.  But, since he had retired, they were just hanging unworn in the closet.  Our wonderful seamstress made the pillow. It was a fun project, and a huge success with Ellen’s husband.  Let us know what you think!

 

 

Fifty Shades of Green (and Brown and Gray!)

While on a walk in Swallow Falls in western Maryland, we were inspired by the beautiful colors in nature that were surrounding us.  After taking numerous pictures, we immediately went to our trusty Sherwin-Williams app – Color Snap!  Using this app, it is so easy to create a paint palette for any room.  Take a look at these photos and the corresponding paint colors we pulled from them.  Very cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Gingerbread

 

While walking around in the quaint town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, we came upon an enclave of gingerbread cottages.  We learned that these colorful, delightful homes are historically significant, representing a unique style of architecture known as Carpenter Gothic Revival. Built during a burst of activity between 1867 and 1872, most of these homes are privately owned and have been or are currently being meticulously restored.

We have not actually had the opportunity to do any design work for a client who has a period home like these, but it would be interesting!

 

 

Bedroom Colors

What is your favorite color for a bedroom?  Should it be light and airy or dark and dreamy? Personal taste is so different for everyone, and it is important to get it right so your surroundings are perfect for YOU!

 

We saw this beautiful smoky blue bedroom in House Beautiful. It was designed by one of our favorite designers, Tobi Fairley, for a client who wanted a little bit of Hollywood glam with a soft and airy color scheme.

We saw this beautiful smoky blue bedroom in House Beautiful. It was designed by one of our favorite designers, Tobi Fairley, for a client who wanted a little bit of Hollywood glam with a soft and airy color scheme.

We saw this bedroom on Pinterest, and loved the contrast between the dark blue walls, bedding, and window treatments and the light carpeting and tufted headboard. 

We saw this bedroom on Pinterest, and loved the contrast between the dark blue walls, bedding, and window treatments and the light carpeting and tufted headboard. 

Two Color Schemes - One Classic and One a Little Bit Out There

From sophisticated black and white checkerboard flooring to more casual black and white ticking stripes, this color scheme has been a lasting one throughout the decades.  Design icon Dorothy Draper used black and white in her decorating schemes in the 1930’s, and today, many designers use black and white as their “go to” color scheme. New black and white furniture pieces from a number of manufacturers were spotted at the Fall Furniture Market in Highpoint, North Carolina.  Highland House, a high end furniture company is no exception. Nathan Copeland, president of Highland House says that “the color black helps to ground a room, giving it a focal point, while white provides a sense of freshness.”  Black and white can stand alone or is amazing with pops of bright color to punch it up.

We all seem to have a pair of colors that we use often – in our clothing or in decorating our homes.  Sticking with traditional pairs like black and white may be a safe bet, but maybe it is time to move a little bit outside our comfort zone.  The Crimson and Deep Violet duo we saw on the Domino Magazine website is beautiful, untraditional, and complementary. It could be risky, but, in smaller doses and in the right place, it will be stunning.  The magazine suggests “filtering in accent pieces that belong within the spectrum of the two shades.”  We also suggest using lots of neutrals to balance the brightness and boldness!

The Beaufort Center Hall Table by Highland House Furniture is a contemporary take on a design classic.  www.highlandhouse.com

 

 

Times Square – Black and white checkerboard floor by Emser Tile – This is the tile that designer Tobi Fairley is installing in her foyer as a part of the year-long renovation of her home.  She is chronicling her project as the newest columnist of Traditional Home magazine.

Times Square – Black and white checkerboard floor by Emser Tile – This is the tile that designer Tobi Fairley is installing in her foyer as a part of the year-long renovation of her home.  She is chronicling her project as the newest columnist of Traditional Home magazine.

Toile Fabric is a timeless choice in black and white – This Bouvier comforter set by Thomasville at Home can be found at www.wayfair.com. 

Toile Fabric is a timeless choice in black and white – This Bouvier comforter set by Thomasville at Home can be found at www.wayfair.com. 

Crimson and Deep Violet - unexpected color pairing - Domino copy.jpg

This is the unusual color scheme that caught our eye on www.domino.com.

A Fabulous Find for Your Bathroom

Stone Forest Sculptural Soaking Tub

We saw this beautiful bathtub in a recent edition of Traditional Home and did a little bit more research.  Stone Forest is a group of artisans and designers focused on bringing the elegant simplicity of natural materials into the bath and garden. The Papillon Soaking Tub is carved from one block of stone – granite, Carrara marble, limestone, sandstone, or travertine. With its curvy and sexy lines, it is truly a work of art that also offers a relaxing spa-like soak.

 Credits:  Silver Travertine Papillon Tub

 Stoneforest.com

Stone Forest Papillon Tub.jpg