"" MaDDI: March 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

No Top Brass for Me!

White kitchens are one of my favorite looks, too....but not sure I agree about the brass fittings. To me, they seem dated and fight with the gloss.

Mother speaks!

"Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." Leonardo da Vinci
This is the quote that comes to mind as I enter the MaDDi blog as partner and Mother.

Kitchen Mood Board

I've got kitchens on the brain today. High-gloss, bright, white kitchens to be precise. Ryan's apartment, for all its charm, is painted a creamy off-white that borders on banana in the right light. And it drives me bananas. Whites that verge on yellow tops the charts of my design peeves.

I so desperately want to submerge everything  in Benjamin Moore's super white. But until we work our way through a number of other priorities higher up on the list (e.g. air conditioning...78 degrees today!), I will content myself with day dreams, mood boards and a blog post.

In my very own personal apartment (yes, that's an Infinite Jest reference), I have an Ikea kitchen. And it's a dream-come-true. Even though it's a rental, I couldn't love it more if I'd designed it myself. Most of all, I love the akurum cabinets in abstrakt high gloss white. They look great and they're a breeze to clean.

So what about Ryan's kitchen? Here are a few inspiring high-gloss kitchens that signal the general direction in which I'd like his kitchen to mosey:
Source: DesiretoInspire.net

Source: Canadian House & Home (Sept 2011)

Source: Madebygirl.blogspot.com

Source: Housecrush.blogspot.com

Source: Lovehousedesign.com

The shared characteristic of these kitchens is the high-gloss cabinets, of course. But there are two additional trends represented towards which I'm gravitating heavily. The first is brass fixtures in a white kitchen. It's unexpected and tends toward either formal or funky, depending on how it's executed. The second trend is white tile with dark grout. Not only is the contrast cool, it's immensely practical! (Dare I say dark grout might even merit a post of it's own? I'll mull it over.) White grout just gets nasty. I'd post a real live example if I weren't so embarrassed about the mold with which tolerantly I co-exist.

If I had to break down my vision for the kitchen, it would be thus:
  1. Subway tiles with gray grout;
  2. Carrara marble countertops;
  3. A splash of color, perhaps in the way of a rug;
  4. High-gloss white cabinets*
  5. A funky light fixture;
  6. Sapele and/or Walnut wood accents; and maybe, just maybe:
  7. Campaign Style Hardware.
*But how to make them shiny? Professionally applied spray lacquer ($$$$)? Replace the existing cabinet doors with glazed MDF doors ($$)? DIY paint job in super white followed by 4 coats of Benjamin Moore clear gloss, sanding in between each coat ($)? (Groan.) TBD.

In other words (or the value equivalent of 1,000 words), something like this:
Sources:
1. Backsplash - Subway tile with dark grout;
2. Countertops - Carrara marble;
3. Clock - Schoolhouse Electric, $275;
4. Stool - Kurf Stool, Organic Modernism, $450;
5. Rug - 5 x 7" Entwined Leaf Rug, Anthropologie, $398;
6. Cabinets - Akurum Wall Cabinet in Abstrakt High Gloss White, Ikea (price depends on size);
7. Campaign Style Hardware - Paxton Hardware in Nickel, $26.99 ea.;
8. Pendant Light - Pil Hanging Lamp, DesignTree, $770 - $857.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trend Report: Moroccan Inspired Bathrooms

I've been seeing a lot of bathrooms with touches of Moroccan decor on the interwebs lately. Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres's house was recently(ish) featured in Architectural Digest, including this shot of their bathroom:

A while back, House Beautiful featured this bathroom by designer Cathy Kinkaid, which is a touch traditional for my taste, but I am feeling the Ann Sacks Moroccan Cross and Star tiles.


But my personal favorite is this reversal of the traditional cross and star motif, with the crosses in black and the star in white.

I can't decide what I like most about this bathroom. The tiles? The weathered wood sink console? Those fricking fantastic drawer pulls? The mirrors? All around tie? You know, I think what I love most is how all those elements interact with each other-- it's sleek, it's eclectic, it's industrial. With an unexpected antique-y feel to it. Here's how I'd recreate the look:


Sources:
1. Marble (background) - Calcutta Marble
2. Sink Console - Maison Single Vanity, Resoration Hardware (with some minor modifications-- I switched out the handles and lopped off the legs to make it more modern. Ha! The joys of virtual decorating.)
3. Drawer Pulls - Ochre Horn Handles
4. Medicine Cabinet - Pharmacy Wall Mount Medicine Cabinet in Burnished Steel, Restoration Hardware
5. Tiles - Mosaic House
6. Flowers - Peonies

Mid-Century Swedish Sconces

I adore these 1950's swedish sconces from Rewire. I stumbled across them on 1st dibs a few months ago and just can't get them off my mind. The asymmetrical shape, the turquoise glass on brass-- they're the perfect combination of sophisticated and playful.
Source: 1st Dibs


God only knows how much they cost. The fact that they are sold on 1st dibs is not a good sign. Remember when 1st dibs dealers used to publish prices? Now it's always "contact the dealer." As the adage goes, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

What are the chances that I could DIY these babies? Granted, I'd have to learn how to blow glass and master the basics of electrical wiring. But it's not impossible...

Entry Envy

My very stylish friend just purchased a 1-br apartment at a very fabulous Gramercy Park address. It's definitely a fixer-upper but with enviable pre-war bones. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at its pre-renovation condition last week (Who doesn't love a good before/after!)

Seeing the raw space just brimming with potential kicked my right brain into high gear. It's a good thing I started this blog as a release valve. Regrettably, I bombarded my poor friend with a series of stream of consciousness emails the next day. Since I know from experience (ahem, Mom) that helicopter-decorating* can be a real buzz kill, I must try to remind myself that no matter how excited I am about my friend's apartment, she is 50x more excited. She wants to let her creativity run wild without everyone and their mom (literally, in my case) putting their unsolicited two cents in. But hey! That's what a blog is for, right? Hmm.

Once the initial wide-eyed awe subsided, I was a little surprised that my mind kept floating back to her entry way. Don't get me wrong, I am indeed envious of the 24/7 doorman, the gym, the walk-in-closet and the key to the park. (Actually, I'd settle for an apartment in which I didn't have to wear ear plugs every night to drown out the sounds of 4am partying, domestic disputes and-- on 5 separate occasions-- gunshots. Most people don't have occasion to discover this, but yes, it is possible to develop blisters inside your ear. And it hurts just as much as it sounds like.)

So why the entry envy? Partially practical. My door opens right into my living room and, as such, accumulates a staggering amount of junk. I'd love to have even the smallest discrete place for keys, mail, wet umbrellas, boots in the winter, etc. What I especially like about my friend's place is that the doorway is at a 90 degree angle to the living room, so it's essentially out of sight from the main living space.

Which brings me to the heart of the matter. The entry is a transitional space. Particularly if it's out of sight, you can just go nuts. Paint the walls neon pink? Crazy wallpaper? A sculptural seat that would turn your rear-end numb in 30 seconds? No problem! You have fewer practical considerations than in other rooms. You need a surface for small things, maybe somewhere to sit to put on shoes and that's it! The seat doesn't even need to be particularly comfortable. So in a sense, it's your most practical space and your most impractical space.

You should keep in mind that it is the first thing you-- and guests-- see when entering your space. Its your apartment's first impression, so you want to send a message about your taste. I think of it as Runway Fashion vs. Pret-a-Porter. Your entry way is your design concept in its most dramatic and exaggerated form, free of (most) practical concerns of everyday life. Unbridled creativity.

I like to think of myself as a less-is-more kinda girl (whether I am or not is a different matter), but I do go in for fresh flowers and/or scented candles in an entry way. It's so not in keeping with the modern minimalist aesthetic to which I aspire. But, dammit, I like it when a house smells nice!

* Yeah, I just made that term up. Helicopter Parenting meets Decorating, with a hyphen thrown in for good measure (aesthetic, if not grammatical).

Okay, enough soliloquy. Fewer words, more pictures. Here we go, a few of my favorite entry ways spotted on Pinterest:
Source: 47 Park Avenue

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: blogs.cotemaison.fr

Source: Design Sponge

Source: Design Sponge

Source: DesiretoInspire.net

Source: Desire to Inspire

Source: Llama Valley

Source: Douglas Friedman

Source: HomeDsgn

Source: Lindsay Bond Intl

Source: Lily.Fr

Source: Ralph Lauren Home

Source: Remodelista

Source: Lovenordic.blogspot.com

Source: the Marion House Book

Source: Remodelista


Source: Design-Crisis.com

Source: Gallery.me.com

Source: Ideastosteal.com

Source: thebrickhouse.tumblr.com

Source: the Marion House Book

If I had 30 seconds to come up with an entry of my own, here's how I'd do it (plus some kind of live edge bowl or shallow dish for keys and mail):

Sources:
1. Console - Room & Board
2. Stool - DWR Tractor Stool
3. Lamp - Don't know the source-- help!
4. Mirror - BDDW Captain's Mirror
5. Wallpaper - Cole & Sons Woods Wallpaper

Monday, March 19, 2012

Plastolux Room Collages + Turned Wood Projects

Tyler Goodro's Plastolux is one of my favorite blogs on design. I was especially excited/disheartened (equal parts) by his recent post with a link to his pinterest page. His virtual rooms put my virtual rooms to shame. Even his board's name-- "room collages"-- sounds classier than "virtual mock-up." I will sulk for a little while longer. Then I will buck up and attempt to draw inspiration from his infinitely superior photoshop skills.

Not to lay on the admiration too thick, but I'm so intrigued by this cut glass lamp project he's got going on. He's looking for a wood turner to make an base about 11" high and 6-7" in diameter. Presumably it will end up looking something like the lamps below?

Source: aprilandmaystudio.blogspot.com
The suspense is killing me! I'd love to be in a position to contribute, but sadly, my wood turning skills are amateur at best and the lathe I work on is too small for the task at hand. Sigh. I did make R this pretty kick-ass black walnut bowl for Christmas:

Next on the docket: salt and pepper grinders. Something long, lean and unfussy. Similar to the ones below, but without the copper ring.
Source: midcenturymodernfinds.com


Assuming the builder we met yesterday comes back with a quote that's within the budget, we're going to install a couple floating shelves in the kitchen. Here's the (amazingly tidy) inspiration:


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Trend Report: Wood Slats

As promised, my wood slat inspiration:

Source: desiretoinspire.net

Source: yellowtrace.com.au

Source: blogs.homelife.com.au

Source: pitsou.com

Source: House Beautiful

Source: Unhappyhipsters.com
Source: theargentinagringo.com

Source: DesiretoInspire.net

Source: Paola Lenti

Source: Houzz.com

Source: HomeDsgn.com

Remodelista.com

Source: thepursuitaesthetic.tumbl.com