Create a Jewel Box

Have a small kitchen? Work with it! Use shiny fixtures, glamorous tile, and unexpected color to create an elegant but inviting space!

This glass Mosaic back splash is stunning!

{Excerpt from a 2005 article in The New York Times – Design Section} Miles Redd’s kitchen demonstrates these qualities beautifully. It doesn’t get much more glamorous then this!
You may have seen this article – it’s a bit old but his kitchen is still amazing and so are his tips.
Champagne and Mirrors
Glass countertops, glossy wood floors, and a silver sink: Miles Redd’s thirties-inspired version of the glamour kitchen.

The sink: From German Silver Sink, it traditionally came double wide. The new versions keep the S-curve but have a more manageable size. The faucet is from Gracious Home.
Decorator Miles Redd’s kitchen has less in common with the Formica-and-maple spaces of our collective youth than with the highly stylized bars of his neighborhood. It’s a drink-in kitchen—the fridge always filled with mixers and champagne—built for visual entertaining. “You know how everyone always ends up in the kitchen at a large party? My kitchen doesn’t feel like just a kitchen; it feels like an extension of the rest of the house.” It used to be somewhat more subdued—celadon walls, a bleached floor—but after he installed Chinese wallpaper in the foyer, Redd began dreaming of something more graphic. “I had been meditating a lot on black and white. It seemed right in relationship to the other elements of the house, as a foil to my pink living room.” And it references his favorite period, the thirties. “It is a Hollywood version of a thirties English kitchen,” he says. “I was inspired by the kitchens in Gosford Park.”
Why glass countertops?They’re hardly the most practical . . . In college, I had a cheap piece of furniture, and I had a piece of mirror cut for the top. I loved the way it reflected light, and that it gave the room sparkle. It works here—it is a black room with a black ceiling, but it never feels like you are in a cave.
Any other countertop surfaces you recommend? I like stainless steel. It has an old-fashioned quality, but at the same time it’s modern. I love stone. I love lava stone. I love butcher block in a country kitchen. I have used black granite in a kitchen, honed so it looked like soapstone. When you get into colored granite, it tends to have a Sopranos quality.
Favorite self-cooked meal?I’ll sear a steak. I’ll make roast potatoes and sautéed kale.
Favorite champagne?Veuve Clicquot is kind of standard issue around this house.
1) The appliances: Redd has a G.E. ice machine, a KitchenAid dishwasher, a Viking stove and Sub-Zero fridge (neither pictured), and a Miele washer and dryer. The Miele “really does clothes in a professional way. It doesn’t dry things all the way, so nothing shrinks. But do you remember Maytag dryers? The towels would come out all fluffy and hot, and I miss that.”
2) The wood floor: Painted white and sealed with an oil-based polyurethane, which has held up well. Chris Pearson painted the neoclassical star and stripes on the floor, Redd’s homage to his favorite American architect, David Adler.
3) The lights: Redd chose not to have under-cabinet lighting, and illuminates the counters instead with these thirties Venetian crystal lamps, bought at Tepper. “I like the idea of lamps in the kitchen. It makes it more like a room.”
4) The TV: An Aiwa. Redd could use it to watch the Food Network, but he doesn’t, preferring American Idol. The door pulls: From Urban Archeology

Images: House Beautiful – Miles Redd, Elle Decor, New York Times
The two pictured here are available through Circa Lighting
I still love the look of lanterns used indoors and out! There are an array of new, custom and old versions available!

This lantern’s the perfect choice in this graphic bedroom full of americana influences.
A custom version of this beautiful light is available through Brown’s in Texas
I loved the set design of this kitchen in the movie “The Holiday”. The lanterns punctuate the space beautifully.

Pagoda Styles are a favorite for me. Brunelli Designs

An over-sized version adds a bit of drama to this dining room

Images: Ashley Whitaker, Vanessa De Vargas, Elle Decor, Elle Decor

Where I’d like to…

I love how clean + functional this kitchen looks.
I often think about my “dream kitchen”. Plenty of storage + prep space, beautiful lighting + seating, gorgeous counter tops, clean pulls…I could go on + on…
I love the crispness of black or charcoal cabinets but I don’t know if I could pass on a fresh, white kitchen!
Maybe I’ll mix the two and design a custom island in black..hmmm?? Don’t you just love design day-dreaming?

Images: Robert Stilin, Domino, ?, House Beautiful, via Design Sponge, ?

Where’d I’d like to

Relax with my family

There are a number of reason’s I’m drawn to this image..For one, the quality of light is wonderful. Natural light lifts a space like nothing else. Secondly, this dining area feels attainable, lived in and realistic. And finally, I love the dialogue between the rustic farm table and the sculptural Eames chairs.
Photographer: Annie Schlechter

Where I’d like to….

I’m starting a new weekly post on Tuesdays..dubbed “Where I’d like to”… Like most design junkies I’m constantly perusing magazines and the web. Over the past few years, I’ve compiled three large “looks books” and folder upon folder of photos and tear sheets..So I thought I would share a new {some will be fresh + some will be classic favorites} space with you each week. Enjoy!
This week I’m pining over this dreamy kitchen. Maybe it’s because my kitchen is dated and dysfunctional {eventually I hope to have the funds to perfect it} but for now I just tear droves of photos from my favorite magazines, dream and sketch.
* The two things I would tweak in this kitchen are the lights over the island and the seating set up. I would place three large, evenly spaced pendants over this hefty island, instead of two..I also love the concept of the modern, comfy stools, but there isn’t enough leg room provided in this photo..
* I’ve always wanted to have an over sized multifunctional island. I envision it being the “hub of the home”, for food prep, eating, socializing, home work etc. This island is great – love the look of the casters.