Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Just A Thought...

I have a funny little habit of redoing homes I visit, if only in my mind. If I actually had a job in interior design, it would be an occupational hazard. It's not that I think a home or a room is decorated poorly, I just have fun imagining what I would do with a space, especially if it has naturally beautiful structure, or "good bones." Of course, there are places that scream "please, update me!" and those are the ones that nearly make me twitch I want so badly to bring out their full potential.

If I were ever so lucky to be asked my opinion (wink-wink, hint-hint) on a redo of this kitchen/butler's would go something a little like this....

Here's the current (would-be "before" pics)
Kitchen - Cooktop on right, wall oven (hidden) on the left
View from butler's pantry looking into the kitchen
To get a sense of where I'm going design wise, you need to know that the house is on the river, so to me, pulling in the colors of the natural surroundings is a no-brainer. Think river stones, clear, fresh water, live oaks and natural limestone.... I'd hope for a look that's fresh and updated, but will still be classic years from now...

First of all, the kitchen is really small - when more than one person is in there, it gets a little cheeky, if ya know what I mean ;)
Think this wall would need to come out to open up the space. Might be fun to do a breakfast bar on the other side. (Cooks always like to be kept company!) Replace the oven with an all-in-one range on the opposite wall...Since we're keeping it not-too -over-the-top, let's stay away from the mondo stainless ranges...
How about a precious little O'Keefe & Merritt vintage unit?** Let's pray we could convert to gas!

Probably would do a tear-out of the existing, dated cabinetry... and do something in that amazing gray-green you see everywhere - it's a nice, gentle color - and can function almost as a neutral...Think something like this:
I'd probably paint the built-ins in the butler's pantry a very dark version of one of these hues, or maybe even go with black - to make it look more like a free-standing piece of furniture. It would look so striking with the rest of the walls painted a lighter, complementary color. And of course, the glow from halogen spotlights installed would look amazing through the glass-fronted doors.
Please forgive my rudimentary skills with a digital paintbrush

For the countertops, I'd seriously consider some type of butcher block, something in a shade that would work with this as the backsplash:
I know this river stone is most often used in baths, but let's be creative and unique!

O-Kaaay...down to the details...the part I love the most! I'm a firm believer in the importance of fixtures and hardware (I think I may have mentioned this before)....A great design always seems lost to me if there's no thought put into the finishing touches - Like a beautiful hand left bare of any jewels...
Now, my gut instinct would be to stick with the cool tones, and you almost have to pay me not to use polished nickel, I love it that much...but, I'd really want to use a finish that would wear better and better with time - make it a little less predictable - not as "matchy-matchy" - what do you think about unlacquered, satin brass??

Great selection of all hardware here

And, finally - a faucet. We've already got a wall-mount, so let's stick with that....but, freshen it up a bit....

Can't forget lighting - it's an elemental force in design - Schoolhouse pendant over the sink? Yes! And de riguer undercabinet halogens...

Voila! There's my free design services for a very deserving client ;)

Here's some of the other images I used as inspiration

**Would this not be the most fun stove to have...EVER??! I think I may have found the people who restored that gorgeous copper Chambers I blogged about under KGJ. If you want to check others out....go here