Color Palettes that Appeal

April 24th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

When it comes to finding a color pallet that speaks to you for your kitchen, step out of the kitchen and look to furniture and textile manufacturers for inspiring color pallets. Scroll the images that follow and see what inspires you.

Kitchen cabinetry finishes that complement this classic design pallet shown above: You can’t go wrong with cabinetry in White or Black paint, Cherry Woods, Knotty Alder, Distressed finishes, Glazed Finishes. Classic raised panel doors, or recessed doors, less ornate detail, simple clean lines.

We all dream about great antique finds. Take a closer look, could be these pairings are old pieces being rescued… at estate sales, in attics, and from old barns. We thrill at the discovery of found treasures and look forward with anticipation to the special place these pieces will have within our hearts and homes.

Go for kitchen cabinetry finishes that have a sense of history. Cabinetry that starts off with an aged appearance. Distressed finishes. Matte finishes. Aged ivory, walnut stain, amaretto stain, dusty sage, English pine.

People will ask where you made these wonderful finds, so tell them… at an estate sale, in your grandmother’s attic, out in a barn. Only you and your furniture will know the truth.

Contemporary decor requires sleek, unbroken expanses of space and surfaces bare of distracting clutter.

Go for kitchen cabinetry that carries through with this theme with spare details. Deep truffle stain on Cherry, Exotic woods such as Wenge, Pomele sapele, Honduran Crotch Mahogany or Lace wood. Or go for reverse color scheme with blond wood tones with satin sheens. Anigre, Quilted Maple, or Curly Maple Veneers.


Warm, modern comfort.
Smooth, sleek, dark glossy wood provides a rich backdrop for brighter notes: an accent of gleaming brushed nickel…or a snowy expanse of white cushions. Curious, isn’t it, how modern design can be so welcoming?
Picture your kitchen in complementary maple wood stained a straw or honey color. Notice the accent chair in a straw tone next to the dark armoire? See how they complement each other.

My choice for the kitchen in this home, I would keep the dark wood limited to accent pieces in a dining table, or a smaller element in the kitchen, to prevent the dark wood from overpowering the cheeriness of this warm modern palette.

Modernity: take the chill off. Warm up a modern pallet with wood and glass. Select simple slab style doors. In a large kitchen, a bold use of dark wood would be a handsome fit. Accent with a a cool back painted glass back splash and light color counter surfaces. Accent the monochromatic color scheme with a flash of color. It could be a single wall painted a bold color, or the color could be from a subtler source such as the dinnerware on display all in one color.

Or, once again, white Shaker style doors would suit the kitchen in this monochromatic home. I see three colors here: shades of white, deep wood tones, green in the foliage. Well, actually four: the shiny surface of glass and brushed nickel serve as a useful hard surface counterpoint.

A great room gets a room divider.
The simplicity of the panels and it’s deep rich tones on the mahogany room divider with clear glass panels is what anchors this bright and light open space. The kitchen that will relate to this space may have a very similar pallet. Choose cabinetry in bright white with wall cabinets routed for clear glass to show off a collection of bright glazed dinnerware. Anchor the kitchen cabinets with a Mahogany stained wood island.



Sophistication Meets Warmth.
The curvy credenza dressed in a rich, aged, hand-decorated ivory finish, brings wonderfully inviting warmth to even the loneliest alcove or corner. For the kitchen palette, select handed wiped glaze finishes on paint.
A romantic painted color palette is required here. Colors such as Cappuccino Glaze, Amaretto Glaze will provide the softness this design requires. Cabinet details with curves, decorative elements, mitered raised panel doors suit this design style.

Redefining Cozy.
Cozy isn’t always small and quaint. As you can see, a spacious room with lots of light can also fit the bill. Arrange plush, cushiony upholstery (dressed in warm spicy colors) around a big, bold statement-making cocktail table. Build a roaring fire, sip an apple brandy cocktail, and settle in for a …yes, cozy evening.

Take this theme and make it work for your large kitchen. Warm up the walls with muted plaster colors. Warm wood tones of alder, oak, hickory or medium toned maple sets the stage. Crown the whole room with matching moldings stained to match the cabinets. Do add textural elements of stone floors or back splashes, pewter or wrought iron cabinet hardware, paneled appliance doors for the dishwasher or refrigerator. Add a comfortable seating arrangement with upholstered chairs around a table or a banquet in the kitchen and this room will be where you will want to start and end your day.

Photos courtesy of Ethan Allen and Century Furniture.

Color Palettes that Appeal

April 24th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

When it comes to finding a color pallet that speaks to you for your kitchen, step out of the kitchen and look to furniture and textile manufacturers for inspiring color pallets. Scroll the images that follow and see what inspires you.

Kitchen cabinetry finishes that complement this classic design pallet shown above: You can’t go wrong with cabinetry in White or Black paint, Cherry Woods, Knotty Alder, Distressed finishes, Glazed Finishes. Classic raised panel doors, or recessed doors, less ornate detail, simple clean lines.

We all dream about great antique finds. Take a closer look, could be these pairings are old pieces being rescued… at estate sales, in attics, and from old barns. We thrill at the discovery of found treasures and look forward with anticipation to the special place these pieces will have within our hearts and homes.

Go for kitchen cabinetry finishes that have a sense of history. Cabinetry that starts off with an aged appearance. Distressed finishes. Matte finishes. Aged ivory, walnut stain, amaretto stain, dusty sage, English pine.

People will ask where you made these wonderful finds, so tell them… at an estate sale, in your grandmother’s attic, out in a barn. Only you and your furniture will know the truth.

Contemporary decor requires sleek, unbroken expanses of space and surfaces bare of distracting clutter.

Go for kitchen cabinetry that carries through with this theme with spare details. Deep truffle stain on Cherry, Exotic woods such as Wenge, Pomele sapele, Honduran Crotch Mahogany or Lace wood. Or go for reverse color scheme with blond wood tones with satin sheens. Anigre, Quilted Maple, or Curly Maple Veneers.


Warm, modern comfort.
Smooth, sleek, dark glossy wood provides a rich backdrop for brighter notes: an accent of gleaming brushed nickel…or a snowy expanse of white cushions. Curious, isn’t it, how modern design can be so welcoming?
Picture your kitchen in complementary maple wood stained a straw or honey color. Notice the accent chair in a straw tone next to the dark armoire? See how they complement each other.

My choice for the kitchen in this home, I would keep the dark wood limited to accent pieces in a dining table, or a smaller element in the kitchen, to prevent the dark wood from overpowering the cheeriness of this warm modern palette.

Modernity: take the chill off. Warm up a modern pallet with wood and glass. Select simple slab style doors. In a large kitchen, a bold use of dark wood would be a handsome fit. Accent with a a cool back painted glass back splash and light color counter surfaces. Accent the monochromatic color scheme with a flash of color. It could be a single wall painted a bold color, or the color could be from a subtler source such as the dinnerware on display all in one color.

Or, once again, white Shaker style doors would suit the kitchen in this monochromatic home. I see three colors here: shades of white, deep wood tones, green in the foliage. Well, actually four: the shiny surface of glass and brushed nickel serve as a useful hard surface counterpoint.

A great room gets a room divider.
The simplicity of the panels and it’s deep rich tones on the mahogany room divider with clear glass panels is what anchors this bright and light open space. The kitchen that will relate to this space may have a very similar pallet. Choose cabinetry in bright white with wall cabinets routed for clear glass to show off a collection of bright glazed dinnerware. Anchor the kitchen cabinets with a Mahogany stained wood island.



Sophistication Meets Warmth.
The curvy credenza dressed in a rich, aged, hand-decorated ivory finish, brings wonderfully inviting warmth to even the loneliest alcove or corner. For the kitchen palette, select handed wiped glaze finishes on paint.
A romantic painted color palette is required here. Colors such as Cappuccino Glaze, Amaretto Glaze will provide the softness this design requires. Cabinet details with curves, decorative elements, mitered raised panel doors suit this design style.

Redefining Cozy.
Cozy isn’t always small and quaint. As you can see, a spacious room with lots of light can also fit the bill. Arrange plush, cushiony upholstery (dressed in warm spicy colors) around a big, bold statement-making cocktail table. Build a roaring fire, sip an apple brandy cocktail, and settle in for a …yes, cozy evening.

Take this theme and make it work for your large kitchen. Warm up the walls with muted plaster colors. Warm wood tones of alder, oak, hickory or medium toned maple sets the stage. Crown the whole room with matching moldings stained to match the cabinets. Do add textural elements of stone floors or back splashes, pewter or wrought iron cabinet hardware, paneled appliance doors for the dishwasher or refrigerator. Add a comfortable seating arrangement with upholstered chairs around a table or a banquet in the kitchen and this room will be where you will want to start and end your day.

Photos courtesy of Ethan Allen and Century Furniture.

Kitchen Backsplash Tile Wall Murals

April 15th, 2007 § 4 Comments

Looking for a unique back splash for your Tuscan or Province inspired kitchen design?
American artist Linda Paul will produce a tile mural sized specifically for your project.

Click here to visit her web site, Linda Paul Studio.

Not to be overlooked, the outdoor kitchen is a wonderful opportunity to add a Mediterranean style mural to make your dining alfresco complete.

The above pizza oven exhibits a scenic tile mural as a focal point, painted by Linda Paul. Imagine if the mural wasn’t there. It would be nondescript without it.

If whimsy is more your style how about a rooster taking flight over the cook top?

Rooster designed and sold through Studio Tiles.

Design Tip: notice the placement of the murals placed proportionately behind the cook tops. If you have a splash guard attached to your range top or a free standing range, these splash guards will disguise the beauty of the mural. Plan the height carefully so that your mural is not obscurred by the cook top or the hood.

Kitchen Backsplash Tile Wall Murals

April 15th, 2007 § 4 Comments

Looking for a unique back splash for your Tuscan or Province inspired kitchen design?
American artist Linda Paul will produce a tile mural sized specifically for your project.

Click here to visit her web site, Linda Paul Studio.

Not to be overlooked, the outdoor kitchen is a wonderful opportunity to add a Mediterranean style mural to make your dining alfresco complete.

The above pizza oven exhibits a scenic tile mural as a focal point, painted by Linda Paul. Imagine if the mural wasn’t there. It would be nondescript without it.

If whimsy is more your style how about a rooster taking flight over the cook top?

Rooster designed and sold through Studio Tiles.

Design Tip: notice the placement of the murals placed proportionately behind the cook tops. If you have a splash guard attached to your range top or a free standing range, these splash guards will disguise the beauty of the mural. Plan the height carefully so that your mural is not obscurred by the cook top or the hood.

Loft Living In LA

April 13th, 2007 § 3 Comments


Biscuit Lofts Tour is now open.
The emergence of loft living in downtown Los Angeles is now a reality, with several updated building to select from. The newest renovated downtown factory building, situated in the Arts District, the Nabisco Biscuit Factory, has been transformed into the latest downtown hip place to call home. Click here to link to Los Angeles Magazine, a sponsor of DesignLofts 2007: Biscuit Lofts Tour

TOUR UNIQUE VISIONS OF LOFT LIVING BY L.A.’S HOTTEST DESIGNERS PLUS A “SUPER LOFT” GALLERY FILLED WITH ART BY TODAY’S MOST INNOVATIVE EMERGING TALENT.

Loft Living In LA

April 13th, 2007 § 1 Comment


Biscuit Lofts Tour is now open.
The emergence of loft living in downtown Los Angeles is now a reality, with several updated building to select from. The newest renovated downtown factory building, situated in the Arts District, the Nabisco Biscuit Factory, has been transformed into the latest downtown hip place to call home. Click here to link to Los Angeles Magazine, a sponsor of DesignLofts 2007: Biscuit Lofts Tour

TOUR UNIQUE VISIONS OF LOFT LIVING BY L.A.’S HOTTEST DESIGNERS PLUS A “SUPER LOFT” GALLERY FILLED WITH ART BY TODAY’S MOST INNOVATIVE EMERGING TALENT.

Getting Organized

April 13th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Where do you begin? Take stock of your kitchen. What worked for the previous homeowner may not work for you. Kitchens are a personal space. If it doesn’t suit your cooking or entertaining style, designing a generic kitchen with new boxes on the wall and new counter tops can be a waste of good money. Editing your needs on paper is the first step in understanding what’s important to you and paramount for communicating your needs to your kitchen designer. I have created a design questionnaire to help my clients take inventory of their needs and wants. Feel free to print and take with you to your kitchen design appointment. So let’s get started! Start collecting your notes and magazine pictures in a file folder.
And for those really serious about getting ready to remodel: I advise starting a notebook to keep everything together. Grab a notebook binder and fill out the 8 tabs (Cabinets, Appliances, Counters/Splashes, Floors, Lighting, Construction Bids, Contracts, Punch List.)

Improving or Moving

April 11th, 2007 § 2 Comments


I was recently asked, “How much should I invest in my kitchen remodel to get the best return on my investment?” That is an excellent question. How do you know where to stop? Should you buy that new Viking Range you have been ogling? Should you spring for a new built in refrigerator? Where do you draw the line? I say start with a plan. What are your goals for this house? Are you moving in 5 years or is this the family homestead where you will raise your kids, have the family gatherings, and the only way you plan to leave is feet first? You can gauge how much of your own personality and pocket book you want to invest in your remodel if you know you are planting roots.

For short term goals where return on investment is a major consideration, then plunking down too much may mean being upside down on your remodel investment. Check with your Realtor. Find out what comparable houses in your neighborhood are selling for. Given the current market conditions as of Spring 2007, we witnessed a slow down in new home sales in 2006, and thus a 20% reduction in returns on remodeling projects compared to 2005. Follow the link to Realtor.Org for a comprehensive cost verses value report covering 25 popular remodeling projects performed in 60 US cities. 19th annual cost vs. value report

The report shows that you can expect a 75.8% return on your investment for an upscale (major) Kitchen Remodel, 80.4% return for a (major) midrange kitchen remodel, and 85.2% return on a (minor) Kitchen remodel. For a downloadable report by city, click here. Not ready to tackle your kitchen yet? James and Morris Carey recently published a great article on “modest” repairs and “safety upgrades”. They did reiterate of all the possible remodels, Kitchens and Master Baths, are still ranked on the top of their list.

Remodeling will always be a good investment, but a little research in advance goes a long way. I’ve walked through plenty of Realtor open houses and wondered what the homeowner was thinking building an “ode to marble”, over building in an neighborhood that does not warrant a mega mansion. Remodeling choices should take into consideration the integrity of the neighborhood and style of the house. Style can be achieved on all budget levels. Style does not mean buying the most expensive fixtures and finish materials. On the flip side, I have witnessed some atrociously cheap kitchen remodels in estate style homes that screamed “rip out and replace” and wondered how much of a buyer’s credit will be negotiated. A good return on your investment does mean good planning, functional layouts, well-built cabinets, updated appliances and fixtures and most importantly the finished remodel should show that it was professionally installed. Lifting tiles, lipping, cracked grout, poor lighting, peeling paint, painted shut cabinet doors or windows, missing crown molding or baseboards are signs of the “do-it-your-self” weekend warrior who never finished the project. If you can’t tackle it from start to finish – don’t start.

Whats Old Is New Again

April 8th, 2007 § Leave a Comment


Have you ever been to a place and feel as if you were transported back in time? Here is a wonderful source for finding reclaimed materials for your project. Historic Tile Company and La Voy Construction at 4524 Brazil Street – Los Angeles, California 90039, specializes in the reclaimed tile and stone. Take a look at their web site to see how wonderful reclaimed architectural salvaged materials can be in new construction.

Whats Old Is New Again

April 8th, 2007 § Leave a Comment


Have you ever been to a place and feel as if you were transported back in time? Here is a wonderful source for finding reclaimed materials for your project. Historic Tile Company and La Voy Construction at 4524 Brazil Street – Los Angeles, California 90039, specializes in the reclaimed tile and stone. Take a look at their web site to see how wonderful reclaimed architectural salvaged materials can be in new construction.

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