My pilaster project is coming along nicely and all that is missing is the header. Our local home improvement store discontinued a whole line of molding that I really liked, which really put a damper on things!
My pilaster project is coming along nicely and all that is missing is the header. Our local home improvement store discontinued a whole line of molding that I really liked, which really put a damper on things!
When doing a post, I usually do a lot of research and work on multiple projects at one time, which is why it takes me so darn long to do one measly post! I also like to ponder my projects (I can’t tell you how many mistakes I would have made if I hadn’t thought about some of these for a long time!) and try out materials to make sure I’ve thought of everything possible.
In my research, I found a great bargain that I wanted you all to know about: Krylon spray paint, which I think is wonderful for achieving a gold finish (in terms of paint), is available at Walmart for $3.67 for 12 ounces! Wha-wha-what??? I couldn’t believe it! Currently, Krylon isn’t carried at Home Depot; they sell Rustoleum, which sells for (if I remember correctly) $8/for 8 ounces, and I’m not sure if Lowes carries it.
I sprayed a (white primed) scrap piece of wood for you all to see and took some pictures:
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You may or may not have noticed in my last post a comment thread between me and a reader about her shower. She is updating her bathroom and had a few questions, so I wanted to show her some pictures to (hopefully) give her some ideas 🙂
Right now, I’m going to address the flooring, as she is contemplating river rock. When people hear river rock, sometimes an image is conjured up based upon past usage of the material, where it was too dark, rustic, etc.
Times have changed and this perception is no longer true, given the right application and color scheme. River rock can look sleek, modern, luxurious, traditional, spa-like, rustic (without being heavy-handed and in a tasteful way), feminine, masculine – you name it! I saw an episode of Divine Design with Candice Olson and she used an inset of river rock in an upscale bathroom that was absolutely luxurious! I, unfortunately, couldn’t find a picture of it! Drats!!!
This is such a great example of using river rock in a crisp, classic black and white bathroom.
White river rock floor.
How chic is this bathroom?
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Ozzy Osbourne’s house was put up for sale several months ago, which gives us a look inside his house, designed by Sharon Osbourne’s favorite designer, author, and star of the one time show Million Dollar Decorators, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.
I don’t know what their house looked like in the height of Ozzy’s fame, but this is a far cry from what I would expect, although if you watched the MTV show, The Osbournes, you saw another one of their homes that had some of the same sensibilities.
Love the porter chairs!
I have been planning this house project for a long time, so I was VERY excited to start on it. However, we had my friend over one night, a girls’ sleep over and a school project to finish up for Monday. Come on people! Don’t you see I have some materials here that I am dying to put up!
So, of course it didn’t get finished….sigh. But aren’t you a little curious as to what has my britches in a bunch?
It started outside with these tools – Ok, maybe I didn’t focus exactly on the tools, but how cute is that face 😉
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Georgetown, DC has many historic homes, but this townhouse, recently profiled in House Beautiful and designed by Hillary Thomas and Jeff Lincoln, was built in the 1960s. Since it was in my neck of the woods, I was very interested in the home. While some rooms I found a little “busy” for my personal taste, the home had some ravishing rooms as well.
I thought you might enjoy looking at it as well…
For a small foyer, having a table with an open design is smart…and I love it! Plus, with black and white pieces, you can switch them where ever you want throughout your house – and in the case of this table, even outside. I have several pieces like this that I switch from room to room.
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I’ve seen some pretty unique things, but when I stumbled upon this, I did a double take. I think I’ve made it well known that I love all things old and historic ….but sometimes they do need a facelift and this was pretty ingenious:
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So overdue with this post, but between my lack of photographic ability, my inability to find my camera (!!!), my little imps requiring my attention, my suspicion that my imps may have had something to do with the loss of the camera and life in general, it has been a difficult post!
If you remember, I created these cornices for my daughter’s room:
It’s an easy do it yourself project that I think anyone can do.
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The other day, I received an email from a mother that read:
“I love all of your blogs and creative ideas and I’m wondering what thoughts you would have for designing a room, specifically a bathroom for a special needs child. My daughter is 12 and she’s special needs (mild cerebralpalsy [sic]). She gets around good but does not have as much strength in her body as a child without special needs. Her difficulty is manoevering [sic] around in a bathroom and the assistance bars that you see in handicapped bathrooms as well as tubs aren’t exactly pretty. Just wondering how you would design a room like that to be as beautiful as the ones you have on your blogs. Thanks!”
I read every email when it comes in, but I get quite a few (and a surprising number of WordPress “how to” questions – why, I have no idea!), so even though I read them, it sometimes takes a while to answer them and I respond to them in the order that I receive them. Not the case in this one. I replied immediately due to the nature of the design dilemma. I wanted to post my solution to her in case others were in the same position, whether for a child, adult or an elderly individual.
I asked her what finish her faucets were, but it turns out she was going to renovate the entire bathroom and would go with my suggestion. I still wanted to give her a few options from which to choose, but my very first thought was this:
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Sharing bedrooms is a fact of life for many and can have a lot of advantages as well. The time spent in the room can create the best of memories and instill a sense of closeness that carry with children for a lifetime. My little ones beg – and I mean BEG – to sleep together. The problem? They treat it like a sleep over, giggling, singing and whispering into the wee hours. Overall, not conducive to a good night sleep, so we reserve it for a treat on the weekends.
If space is at a minimum and children are at a maximum, having separate bedrooms just can’t happen. So, here are some beautiful solutions:
The best idea when you don’t have a lot of space is to go up and use as little of a footprint as possible. Plus, children need the precious floor space. Leave no dead space, as illustrated by the drawers below the mattress – however, they could have done something on top too, albeit a wedge.
If you saw my post Pretty in Pink, you saw the the interior design I did for my daughter’s room, which included architectural details and carpet tiles that I made.
Since our second floor is hardwood, when I started planning the design, I searched for rugs, but I couldn’t find whimsical rugs in the sizes that I needed for her bedroom and sitting room. This turned my search to carpet ties, which yielded two things: my shock at the price ($10-$80 a tile) and dismay at the lack of the appropriate sizes and shades. I thought one of the main benefits of having carpet tiles (for me anyway) was that if they got stained beyond repair, you could pop them out and replace them cost-effectively.
Our children’s rooms have gotten more time and attention architecturally and design-wise than our master bedroom, so this post is self-serving, because I would like to address our room at some point. Our foyer is next on my list, followed by adding crown and ceiling molding in several rooms and creating a playroom for the girls. I like to mull projects over and research them extensively.
So let the mulling begin:
A dramatic bedroom of red, black and white…and pink (?), which I would lose. I like just the 3 colors better for drama.
Kids definitely shouldn’t have all the fun! Grown ups like to feel nestled, protected, and imaginative too, like we’re in a fort. So move over girls, we’re taking that image back from little girls and put it squarely where it rightfully belongs: with us adults! We’re not heartless though; we will give them some blankets to make their own tents 😉
The finish on this bed frame looks like an antique mirror and the details on the headboard are so attractive.
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Not having any boys, it would take a lot of thought for me to design a boy’s room, but I have at least two readers that I know of who have three boys! So after spending a little time on girls’ rooms, I wanted to give the boys some attention too.
I’ve selected pictures ranging from rooms from whimsical to classic. But first, my dream room:
This room is beyond luxurious! The dark, moody walls, the rich leather headboard with nail head trim and shiny brass lamp and clock exude a classic, rich look. Although this room is very high-end, there are ways to emulate the look without spending the thousands that were here.
This would also make a beautiful, masculine guest bedroom or master for a bachelor.
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That’s what little girls are made of. So why shouldn’t they have a sweet room to rest the heads? Children’s rooms let you tap into your inner child and, regardless of your budget, there are ways to create looks that are very special.
Maybe because I grew up during the “preppy” craze and lived by the Preppy Handbook, my favorite color combination is pink and green.
Drool, drool, DROOL!!! The fabric on the chair is gorgeous! And I love storage – there is never enough – and dead space or under-utilized space drives me nuts! A window seat can be built with bookshelves to create a reading nook like this, although I would probably install a pretty iron window grille to ensure that there are no accidents. Maybe like this, which I found for $29:
But I would paint it white.
For the little girl who is a princess….
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While I work on my posts for how to make the carpet tiles and cornice boards, I thought I would dig into my files and show you some adorable, simple and inexpensive projects that I thought worthy of saving for future consideration.
Before flat screen TVs, many tried to hide their TVs in armoires. Now, those that bought flat screen TVs are trying to get rid of them!
I searched Craigslist while doing this post, just to see, and there were hundreds of armoires, many of them for free! Try to imagine them with a coat of paint, molding added to the top, different door knobs, added shelves, etc.
Finding one this wide would require patience, but what child wouldn’t love a little nook like this?
Children adore hiding spots, so another option for an armoire, if you can find one with full length doors, is remove the back and place it in front of a door, so it’s a “secret” entrance, whether to a closet or a room.
There were a couple of comments from my Pretty in Pink post, which showed my daughter’s room, regarding readers redoing their daughters’ rooms, so I thought maybe some pictures of additional children’s room may help.
Now, before everyone turns away that is not redoing a child’s room, keep in mind that all interior design photos can show something that can be used in a different application. For example, the first picture has things that would be great for a master bedroom!
Instead of lamps on either side of the bed, there are low-hanging chandeliers! This ingenious idea frees up room on the night side tables, which is especially important if space is at a premium. Now, how many people have the wiring for this though? No one! Luckily, there are plug in chandeliers and ways to address the cord so that it is not an issue.
The stacking of the pictures is also a beautiful feature of this room and would work not only in a master bedroom, but also above most pairs of side tables.
Following up on my previous post, A Peek into My Daughter’s Room, I finally took pictures of one of my little girl’s rooms that were semi-decent. Taking pictures is a skill that I lack!
As I mentioned, this room was a complete overhaul. We even had to do drywall work where the bed is placed because our crappy builder put a duct going right up the middle of the wall! This of course was NOT on our architectural plans.
It took me so long to figure out how to address that awful eyesore, but I finally did. I chose to drywall a larger section to make a wall large enough to accommodate a bed and then build bookcases on either side.
The rug/carpeting I made. I had seen carpet tiles, but they were surprisingly very expensive and the colors were limited. For all this carpeting, which covers the sitting room and bedroom, I think I paid about $700.
The girls love the checkerboard pattern and frequently make up hopping games. I think it gives a playful touch for a child’s room. If you all are interested, I will do a post showing how I did it.
There’s only so much time in the day and sometimes things have to take a back seat. Unfortunately, it’s been my blog!
I have been working on Lockheed Martin’s Cyber Security Initiative into the corporate sector due to the unprecedented number of cyber security attacks, which has been very time consuming since it is a new venture, but interesting, and completely unrelated to aesthetics.
Spending so much time on the technical, I’m so happy to spend some time on creative matters! So, on to my post…
When I was expecting my 2nd child, I knew there was a long road ahead in terms of fixing up her room. I started when I was first expecting and was still at it when I was 8 1/2 months. If only I had taken a before picture!
It was a major overhaul. We added crown molding, panel molding, door surrounds, two built in bookcases and ceiling medallions, I painted chandeliers and made and trimmed chandelier shades, I designed and made a rug, a play table, and (my favorite) three window valances WHEW!!!!
Even though this is a little girl’s room, all the projects I did can be done in other rooms.
I sketched out the design on plywood and made these fabric-covered valances for all the windows. This treatment can be used in any room and with any shape you want.
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Not sticking with any color, just posting pictures that caught my eye for varying reasons, like architectural features, colors, etc.
Barrel ceilings are an architectural detail that are not common, but are gorgeous.
Scale is always something to keep in mind and the mirror above the mantle is over-sized and perfectly proportional for the room. With such a large space, breaking it up into groupings makes it manageable instead of treating it as one.
This also allows the room to be used for multiple uses. I can imagine a roaring fire, one child doing homework at the table (LOVE the check pattern on the chairs), the other practicing the piano and the parents reading on the sofa. A girl can dream, can’t she 😉
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Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate what you have until it is taken away from you.
Growing up right outside of Washington DC, I went to the museums, monuments and the Kennedy Center. And then there’s the White House. I’ve been inside many times times, but the holidays were absolutely THE best time to visit. During December, it was like a fantasy with garlands, trees and gigantic gingerbread houses.
The second best time to go was in April for the White House Easter Egg Roll. I wanted my children to have the same experience that I did and to take them Egg Roll this year, but now, thanks in part to the Salahis crashing the White House, you have to submit applications through your Congressman and jump through other hurdles. You can’t enter the White House with a purse (you will be turned away) and can’t park anywhere near it. Times have changed.
The Egg Roll kicked off the idea in my head of a “virtual tour” because the architectural details, which I love studying most of all, and the design are something that you just don’t get to see every day.
Cross Hall, which looks downright regal.
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Happy Easter Everyone!! For obvious reasons, I’m keeping this brief, but wanted to give you some pastel eye candy of your own!
Following up on the last post, Celebrity Living Rooms, I wanted to show the rest of Jennifer Lopez’s home and the work of interior designer Michelle Workman.
The home is layered with pastel rooms in shades of blue, pink and peach with lots of texture, reflective surfaces (have I mentioned before how I LOVE those?), velvet, silks, leather, dark wood, and furniture with clean lines, giving the Art Deco style a distinct “old Hollywood” look.
So, sit back, sip your coffee and nibble on a chocolate bunny (or three – no judgement here!) and enjoy the pictures:
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Call me nosy, but I love to see how celebrities live. The fashion is great, but I want to know how they live and what’s their style. They obviously have their choice of designers. What designer wouldn’t do it pro bono just for the PR.
Let’s peek in on their style….and be prepared to be surprised (or at least I was)!
I love formal living rooms, but I think they must be an inviting and comfortable space, otherwise it’s a waste. I also subscribe to the belief of full access and my children sit, play and use our living room – I’ve been called crazy more then once because of this! We have silk and velvet sofas and antiques, but I have taught them from a young age not to jump on the sofas, take their shoes off if they want to lie down on them and to take any toys they bring in, out.
Now, my dogs? That’s another story! I let them on the furniture in the rest of my house, but not in there, although at least once a week, I walk in on one of them lounging on a sofa. They do not like to put their tushies on the floor…spoiled puppies!
That’s why when a reader asked me to help her with her living room design and needed some design inspiration, I was more than happy to help. There’s a skew towards blue since that was the color she was dealing with. I hope you enjoy:
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With the reader who requested pictures on black and white bathrooms happy and armed with enough inspiration, I wanted to show a few with color, covering many different styles. This was where the “style poll” and comments were helpful, however, some styles I did not come across or just do not come across intrinsically, but I will keep my eye out for them…
Boy, there is nothing like pulling pictures at 3am, thinking you are on a roll, only to wake up and look at them again and realize you have a whole lot of nothing!! This happened to me two nights ago. Sigh! I am putting together my next post, which I am excited about, although one thing is on my mind: design styles.
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So many, many exquisite bathrooms, so little time! Here is the continuation of the exploration of black and white bathrooms.
This first picture, although I’ve commented below as well, shows a treatment that I will be addressing in a DIY segment down the road, as I am going to do this to one of our bedrooms that has sloped walls. Sloped walls obviously aren’t conducive to crown molding, but I can still add some architectural elements to the room, and this is similar to what I have selected:
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In the comments section of my post, Sophisticated Rooms in Black and White, I had a request (from a blog I follow) if I had any black and white bathrooms. Well, of COURSE I’m going to oblige!
She is going to renovate a bathroom of a new home she is buying (yeah!), but not knowing her taste, I wanted to make sure I gave her enough pictures to work with (all had appealing features). I lean towards traditional with a dash of modern thrown in for interest. And that’s great – for me! But this isn’t my bathroom! So you will see a progression because I have so many pictures. I’m going to try to cover many styles to make sure she has what she needs to be inspired. Warning: some of these bathrooms are not ones that are practical and have shortcomings, but have features and elements that still can be utilized
But, what you will not find is a brushed or burnished finish on any of the faucets. As I mentioned in my last post, I have crow-like tendencies and will fly towards anything that is shiny or reflective. I was the child that put her pennies in vinegar … every single time I got a penny, which if you aren’t familiar with this, it shines those pennies up like nobody’s business!
Please, please forgive my formatting!! I have spent the past 2 days trying to get this out and I have done nothing different from prior posts and have done everything to try to clean this up, but I’ve had a hard time getting it to look good! Then my pictures inexplicably turn to the small blue box with the question mark!?!?! Wha-wha-what!!!! When dealing with a lot of pictures, this is the last thing you want to see (because I like to see/ponder/comment/ on them)!
Well, enough about that! (Drum roll) Here’s the first of at least 2 batches 🙂
It is my belief that every inch of a house should feel the love and it is because of this belief that I paint the insides of my closets. Now, it may take me years for these closets to get my affection, but I eventually get around to them!
This is the case with my kitchen pantry. I did paint it, several times, but it needed a new light fixture, beyond the generic one that had been slapped up on the ceiling to pass inspection…11 years ago!
It hasn’t been for a lack of looking; I have off and on through the years, but have never found something that would sufficiently match the chandeliers I already had in the kitchen and since there is a window in our pantry (and the children have claimed it as their “office” and is large enough to store their toys), the door is open a lot.
Well, I finally found it! And I wanted to share because it is a bargain and there is nothing that I love more than a bargain! It is brass, which is contrary to today’s trend towards chrome, but I’m not redoing all my light fixtures to follow a trend!
I got in on Overstock.com for $39.50 with $1 shipping 😀
I have been pondering so much lately – the outside of my house because of the nice weather, but also a few rooms in my house, which led me to look for some inspiration. Spring always brings on new projects for me – I just get the itch!!
I think dark and light rooms are very smart looking when done right. I also like them infused with a “pop” of another color to prevent them from looking to sterile or serious. Here are some pictures that I have found interesting for one reason or another (but some could use a 3rd color) :
My floors have gotten a little worn, which I like because it gives credence to the house being old, but I do like dark and glossy!
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There are things that can be done in the kitchen that are super easy and inexpensive (beyond the stale advice of a coat of paint) that have a serious impact.
Sometimes small, subtle details can be more powerful than large, and as simple as adding half round molding to the side of an island in a diamond shape:
I’ve shown the picture below before, but it bears repeating, as this is something we all could do.
An inexpensive, round table was transformed by skirting it with colorful fabric. Can’t sew? No problem – you can buy tape to hem the fabric with an iron. How to attach? I’m not sure how they did it, but when I’m in doubt, I use either my staple or glue gun 🙂 A square or rectangular table would be easier. You could even get fancy with ribbon or trim…
A commenter or two said that their kitchens are small and that the dream kitchens didn’t do anything for them.
While it was not my intent for us to take these literally and for us all to go out and emulate the dream kitchens (they were meant to inspire in terms of style, accessories, architectural elements, colors, etc.), I did take note of their message.
So, I started searching for smaller kitchens that would still meet our level of style, but also limitations in terms of space. Needless to say, there were not as many. Some of the “dream” kitchens I had pulled from cabinet manufacturers websites, where they had large showrooms with mock kitchens that literally had everything and the kitchen sink!
House Beautiful had an article about small kitchens, but some of the kitchens that they considered “small”, really were not small! But I did find some that were gorgeous with some ideas that are unique.
Some ideas to maximize space? Use an electric cooktop to serve as additional counter space. With such a small space, try to use special touches, like drawer pulls.
Note on the lower left how a bathroom hand towel holder was used! Unexpected and rich looking with the brass finish! I love it!
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My mother used to say, “Everything has a home and a place.” This is a great philosophy in theory. She, however, did not have my two little ones going behind her taking everything out! My point is, storage solutions need to be easy in order to be ongoing. Otherwise, it was a nice idea that lasted a month or so.
Adding bottom cabinets to your pantry is a nice idea and I believe in making every space attractive. However, I would probably go to Home Depot and get stock cabinets, instead of incurring the cost of the higher quality kitchen cabinets for a pantry. OR there are building “left-over” stores and nonprofits, like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore that run building supply depots.
I also have to comment on the curved cabinet of the kitchen island! I have never seen a cabinet that has a bow before! Gorgeous!! Via AtticMag
Surprisingly, I was bestowed the Kreativ Blogger Award and I am unbelievably grateful and honored. I had hoped that a few would respond to my blog and find my home, architectural details, interior design inspirations and DIY projects interesting, so I am humbled by the comments and followers.
To whom do I owe the honor? A wonderful blog called Children’s Health Naturally that is a forum for parents to talk about their adventures in parenting, as well as a source for tidbits, recipes, remedies and hot topics. Thank you so very much for thinking of me for this award!
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More colorful kitchens anyone? Ok, ok, so they are out of our budget, but does that mean we can’t look, right?
Plus, this eye candy serves a purpose. Just because we’re not going to run out and replace our cabinetry, doesn’t mean we can’t glean ways to emulate some of the architectural elements, accessories, paint colors, styles, light fixtures and artwork. I mean, look at the painting below:
This kitchen belongs to Brooke Shields. Note the glazed tiles used in the range insert and the chimney breast plate, where she displays a Malcolm Liepke painting – a huge one! Why should the kitchen be deprived of artwork? via Architectural Digest
After looking at the beautiful, no expense spared, dream kitchens, I’m coming back down to Earth with a DIY project that (I think) adds an element of interest, value, and sophistication…
With all the architectural activity in our kitchen, the poor, lowly door surrounds really started to look puny and pathetic. They had to be addressed! I wanted to copy the cabinet design, so all the molding currently around the doors had to go – meaning ripped down.
Luckily, all my HGTV viewing had finally paid off and had taught me to do this: Spray warm water around the molding to soften up the caulk and just leave it there for a little bit. With a knife score the caulk around the doors. Then, insert husband 🙂 Works every time!! He then hammered a chisel into the molding in different spots and pried it off.
I am so sorry this took so long!!! I wanted to offset the white kitchens I’ve shown with some colorful options, however, it was not an easy endeavor. I had a few, but I wanted to show a large range to cover everyone’s style….
I had imagined splashes of vibrant colors, but those were usually on the walls offsetting white cabinets. While I did find some with vibrant colors, I mostly found a trend towards dark “neutrals”: greys, taupes and blacks. Buttery yellow and creams were in abundance, but some were so light, that I really thought they belonged in the white category!
So, without further ado:
I think I’ve made no secret about my love for black and white flooring…coupled with black cabinets, it looks sharp! via John Jacob Interiors
This range is just crazy beautiful!!! The brass knobs, the matching hood, the rich, deep color! It’s a La Cornue range and the make them in just about every color. I’ll take one of each 🙂
I love molding – just adore it. It takes a plain box and makes it pretty.
So with the success and ease of adding molding to our plain cabinets, surely the ceilings can’t be that hard. I applied the same principle, except the top piece had a 9″ face. That made corners very difficult…for my husband 🙂 Oh, Lord, were the corners difficult!!
But the beauty of 12′ ceilings is that mistakes are impossible to see and caulk can do wonders! I became a master sculptor, sculpting caulk and putty to fix the corners where we didn’t get it just right.
Following up to my previous post on drool-worthy, dream kitchens, here are more kitchen designs in white/light shades meant to inspire.
Although lovely, they are without a doubt exorbitantly expensive, but all the features aren’t. Sometimes switching out a light fixture, faucet, paint, accessories and/or cushions can breathe new life into a kitchen.
Just stunning! Why? Because it’s different. A new, fresh take on the standard island and cabinet front…
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Unless you are willing to shell out oodles of money (and I’m talking $100k +) for a custom kitchen, you need to work with stock cabinets. But, all is not lost – there are many ways to make them look custom and take them beyond what is the norm. Since I adore historic homes, I had decided upon 12′ ceilings.
At one point in my kitchen design, I had thought about stacking smaller, glass-front cabinets on top (which I still think would look great) but my mother talked me out of it.
(Note to any and everyone: it’s hard enough determining your own likes and style…involving another, ESPECIALLY your mother, makes decisions become painful. She will invariably insert her opinion in everything, like it or not, and it seeps into your brain, making you second guess every decision.)
This is what I envisioned:
Between the ceilings and the cabinets left a great disparity – not so great that I was alarmed, because I knew I had huge copper kettles that I could finally display, but it was noticeable and the scale wasn’t quite right. They simply must be adjusted and customized. My absolute favorite solution: let’s put molding on top! No, let’s put a LOT of molding on top!