Hearst Castle and the Products it Inspired

July 24th, 2010 § Leave a Comment

Luxury as Defined. Period.

Preserving the history of design and craftsmanship through inspired contemporary design.

How does architectural history translate into kitchen and bath products? View pics at KBB online to view stunning products inspired by the architectural elements found at Hearst Castle. Once the private home of publisher William Randolph Hearst, the estate also known as La Cuesta Encantada®  or “The Enchanted Hill”, overlooks the spectacular California coast and was the shared design endeavor of architect Julia Morgan and William Randolph Hearst. Today Hearst Castle is a California State Historical Monument and State Park.

View of The Hearst Castle overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Some of my favorite manufacturers have been licensed by the Heart Castle Collection to produce inspired reproductions from design elements found throughout the castle. Tilevera, Enkebol, Soko, Barclay Butera Home,  Taracea, and Habersham to name a few. Not everyone can own a castle nor would want to furnish one, but the design details inspired from The Hearst Castle lend themselves beautifully into kitchen and bath projects inspired by the antiquities collected by Mr. Hearst from around the world.

Fortunately for me, Hearst Castle, on the Central Coast of California is a short day trip to escape to. Designers, artists and artisans from all over the world come to Hearst Castle for inspiration for their own reasons. Whether they come for inspiration for a major product line or for a one of a kind studio piece, the one thing they all leave Hearst Castle saying that in their wildest dreams they never imagined what an inspirational design resource it is.

For every client I have worked with there has always been a pivotal inspiration point for the design. Be it a color, a view, a vacation getaway, there is always a trigger point that inspires a design direction. What inspired your last renovation?

Where designers come to be inspired.


Fit for a King: Part 1



Interior and Paint Color Trends 2010 by artist Linda Paul

January 10th, 2010 § Leave a Comment

This year I would like to open up the blog with guest contributors, talented artisans and experts that are only too generous to share their expertise, knowledge and design ideas from their point of view. To get the conversation started, I am delighted to introduce Linda Paul, an internationally recognized American Artist and owner of Linda Paul Studio in Colorado. Without further ado, I welcome Linda as a guest contributor to Kitchen Design Notes.  

As an artist I am profoundly influenced by color and culture. I love studying color trends and  am always trying to predict and influence color.  Color trends are fascinating because they are a sociological barometer of the desires going on in our culture right now. Color is important in our lives because of the way it makes you feel.

Copper farmhouse sinks, copper tiles and stamped ceilings are a fabulous design  trend in kitchens.

Picture left: Check out this copper sink. Copper mosaic tiles run through the center of the backsplash and around the entire kitchen.

Picture at left shows a bit of the copper ceiling and my Tuscan Kitchen tile backsplash mural

click pictures to see larger images

Here are a couple of fabulous wall paint color ideas and samples.

Copper in Art:  In my new painting of autumn falling leaves (underway here) I am using pure copper and 23 karat gold as an underlay for my egg tempera paint.  The glints of copper reflect light beautifully.  It is almost finished

Here an example of how I have used natural metals in my art
I have backed the beveled glass of this heron artwork in pure copper, gold and silver. The center mirror reflects the view out my studio window.

   more info about this artwork

Purple as well as yellow are trendy colors for 2010, but use them sparingly in accents etc.  Pantone favors turquoise  for 2010, but its should only be used as an accent color, not as an interior paint color.

Here is a great quote from Henri Matisse: “Colour helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist’s brain.” 



This is the story of Linda Paul’s artistic journey: Linda Paul was an urban planner and developer in Ontario, Canada. She married and immigrated to the United States in the early 1990′s and found herself without a green card. With boundless time on her hands, she spent many hours walking the beaches in the San Francisco bay area. She would pick up pieces of dried seaweed and examine their shape. Deciding the sea plants looked like people, she decided to haul some home and paint faces on them. If this sounds very childlike, it was! Having painted the faces, she needed something to stick the seaweed people in. Some plaster should do it. Then needing to paint the plaster, she bought some basic kindergarten powder in dark blue, and voila, her first piece of art was born. It really looked like something a six year old child had created,  but it was exactly this innocence and complete freedom that led her on.  Liking the texture of her first “creation” , her brain thought, “I wonder what some plaster carrots would look like on a board. Off to the lumber yard for plaster and the grocery store for carrots!  Her second piece was called “Flying Carrots” (see below) Something in her mind just opened up like a tidal wave and she was smitten with creating. Liking the vegetable theme, she created three more sculpted vegetable pieces and boldly entered them in an art juried art show in Burbank , California. She knew right there that this was to be her new path in life.
15 years later, Linda Paul is now an internationally recognized and collected bas-relief and egg tempera painter. 

Linda Paul Studio, 1613 Centaur Circle, Lafayette, Colorado  USA   80026    phone: 303-604-9958

Teo Jasmin

May 26th, 2009 § 1 Comment

Teo Jasmin: for the largest choice of canvas prints and decorative cushions.
When your design calls for a bold splash of color or eclectic whimsy start your search with Teo Jasmin.

This next photo caught my eye, (enlarge the magnified image below). Using alternative methods: canvas print sandwiched between glass will make a bold and “splashy”statement to your otherwise plain backsplash. The kitchen backsplash shown below becomes a space for artwork. (although this photo looks to be just canvas-which I do not recommend for practical reasons). GFI Outlet locations can be cut into the glass or opt for a plug mold power strip located under cabinet can be used instead for an uninterrupted appearance. (Check your local code requirements first). I love glass backsplashes.

For more information on the canvas prints, contact TEO JASMIN.

Adding Art to Your Kitchen

May 14th, 2009 § 4 Comments

Today I have the pleasure of introducing my guest blogger, Doug Kerwin, founder and President of Fulcrum Gallery.com. Doug and Fulcrum Gallery have been helping clients decorate their surroundings since 2003 and is here to talk about artwork in the kitchen. One of the distinctions in kitchen design today is the simpler, pared down approach. Open floor plans, less utilitarian wall to wall cabinets and more personality to the design. Clients are looking to imprint their own signature style with subtractive details that create this look. As a matter of fact, with the multitude of design magazines showing open shelving, and less wall cabinets, more clients are asking for ideas how to make this work in their own kitchens. As drawers, hutches and open shelves are taking the place of wall cabinets, walls are free to showoff more artwork than ever before. Doug will share his ideas on how to complete the space by adding art to your kitchen.

Doug, the reins are yours today. Thanks for your participation.

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Many people today will find that the kitchen has become one of the most used rooms in the house. Whether you are throwing a party, cooking a meal, or just getting a snack, the kitchen has become the center of all the action. This is why it is important to decorate your kitchen and turn it into a room that is just as entertaining and comfortable as the rest of the house. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to decorate your kitchen is with framed art.

There are many things to keep in mind when deciding on art for the kitchen. First, decide what style kitchen you have, or if you are remodeling, what style you would like to have. Is your kitchen a modern or contemporary kitchen, a Tuscan themed kitchen, or maybe a country themed kitchen? Once you have decided on a style of your kitchen, then it is time to start browsing through the categories of art that will best fit your kitchen.

Tuscan themed kitchens have become very popular in recent years. The deep reds and olive greens that are often associated with Tuscan art give off a warm and inviting feeling that will make you and any guests in your house feel welcome. Some of the art to choose from includes beautiful landscapes of the Tuscan countryside and lush vineyards, as well as paintings of famous Italian dishes and red wine art.

Modern and contemporary kitchens are also becoming more popular as many people begin to remodel their kitchens. As new technologies are developed and new sleeker looking appliances are developed, many people have found themselves modeling their kitchens in new contemporary ways. The great thing about modern and contemporary art is that it encompasses a large variety of work. When decorating a modern kitchen, you can choose from categories like photography, pop art, or abstract art, and you are free to mix and match these pieces from these categories. This wide range of possibilities makes decorating your kitchen just a little bit easier.

One type of kitchen that never goes out of style is the country kitchen. Country Kitchens offer a warm and inviting atmosphere that bring out feelings of being in the country, even if your home is in the middle of a city, and provides a nice escape to daily life. Art featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, rustic old signs, and barn yard animals are great choices for anyone transforming their kitchen into a country theme.

If your kitchen does not fit a specific theme such as the ones listed above, then your possibilities are endless. There are large selections of art from many different categories that fit well in any home kitchen. One choice that goes perfectly in most home kitchens is vintage kitchen art. Above is an example of a kitchen with two vintage art pieces by Kimberly Poloson from her “Fancy Fruits” collection. These two works of art feature vintage looking advertisements, one for cherries and the other for strawberries, and both go perfectly together or separate in any kitchen.

Another example of a piece of art that can fit well in any kitchen is the example of the right. This is part of the Red Wine category, and is an art print by Stefano Ferreri. It is one of many art prints in this category related to wine. This category has art pieces that work well on their own, but also features many wine related pieces that would fit in with any of the themes listed above.

There are a few things you must think about after you purchase art for your kitchen. One thing about having art in your kitchen is that you must make sure that it is framed. There are a lot of things in a kitchen, such as grease, smoke, or splatter, which can ruin a painting or photograph. Having a frame is essential to protecting your piece of art from all these elements.

The last and most important step is deciding where to place your art. It is important that you place your art in a location that will not often be obstructed, and someplace where it is highly visible. Remember, placing it next to a cabinet that opens wide will often block your view of the art. Also remember that placing your art near a stove or sink puts it at risk for damage. Heat and water can be very dangerous to your art, and it would be a shame to have all of your hard redecorating work go to waste.

All of this may seem very time consuming, but it is very well worth it. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, you might as well spend the time to make it an enjoyable place to be. So no matter what kind of kitchen you choose, this information will help you create a space that is warm and inviting, as well as interesting and unique. Good luck!

Thanks Doug for your recommendations.

Here are a few more questions my clients have asked me about artwork.

Q: You recommend a frame is essential for protecting artwork. Before we even begin to selecting a frame, there are different mediums in which we purchase artwork, are there any limitations as to what you would not put in a kitchen? Prints, Lithographs, Serigraphs, Original Artwork on Pastels, Oils or, Charcoals.


I think any medium of art can safely go in a kitchen as long as it’s protected by glass or plexi-glass and the frame. While art on canvas can be framed, it typically does not have any protective glazing, so pieces on canvas are probably best to other rooms. Most art prints can be transferred to canvas and during that process they get a protective laminate covering which would work in a kitchen however an oil painting done directly on canvas will not clean off as easily if exposed to any elements.

Q: What about the effects of a lot of light exposure in my kitchen, would you recommend I protect my art under UV glass?


I would. If you use regular glass or plexi-glass and the piece hangs within direct sunlight, it will start to fade after a year or two. Although it is a little pricey, the best option to protect the artwork from sunlight and give the best clarity in viewing the art is using Tru Vue’s Museum Glass. This glazing option will be available on Fulcrum Gallery by late June 2009, and is currently not available anywhere else online.

Q: If I find something I like from your website, can I just order the art and have it framed locally?


Of course. Although we offer custom framing services, you are always able to just purchase the print and have it framed with your local frame shop. If you are buying the print unframed, I recommend taking it to your local Deck The Walls store for quality framing at fairly affordable prices. If you do choose to frame online with us, and decide that you don’t like it for any reason whatsoever, you are able to return it for a full refund within 30 days. We think this is important when selling art online. Although we try to give high resolution previews of the art framed with your selected moulding and mats, it’s nice to know that if you get it home and it doesn’t quite match the color of your wall or the room overall, you can always send it back.

Thanks Doug for your time, it was great fun to have you come into the kitchen and talk about artwork.


More about Doug Kerwin and Fulcrum Gallery.com:

Doug Kerwin is the founder and President of FulcrumGallery.com, one of the largest online retailers of framed art prints in the world. FulcrumGallery.com offers a selection of over 300,000 art prints, focusing on the selective high-end decorator. Doug and Fulcrum Gallery have been helping clients decorate their surroundings since 2003. Fulcrum Gallery also hosts an art question and answers community called Fulcrum Answers (www.fulcrumgallery.com/answers) where you can ask questions and get answers on art questions and help finding a particular piece of art. Fulcrum Gallery also offers a free service called Fulcrum Designers (www.fulcrumgallery.com/designer.aspx) where if you email us a digital picture of the room you’re decorating and some guidance on the style of decor you prefer, our designers will provide you with recommendations of art to best suit the room.

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