Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dream Kitchens

I have collected these photos as inspiration as we think about what we want in a kitchen...

This is my absolute favorite kitchen, designed by Eleanor Cummings, of Houston, and featured in House Beautiful. I love almost everything about this kitchen, especially the iron stove hood, the big window with dark panes and a big arch, the limestone countertop, the shiny drawer pulls. Every room needs a little bit of shine! How cute yet subtle are the iron cow and pig?

This kitchen below, featured in Southern Living, has a totally different vibe, but I still love it. It's much more casual, humble and earthy. It still has a staircase leading into the kitchen, exposed ceiling beams and a wooden island with shiny pulls, although here the pulls seem to have lost some of their shine. Turquoise really works here for an accent color. I like the tall door with the transom light above. I like the simplicity and casualness of this kitchen, although the practical side of me wonders, where are all of the cabinets? Where would I store anything?

Oh, white kitchen, how I love thee? This kitchen was designed by Susan Dossetter and featured in House Beautiful as well. I love the sink looking out to the window. I love the double basin farmhouse sink. I love the polished soft silver sink fixtures. I love the shiny pulls and the crystal knobs. I love the marble countertop. I like the variation of width in the cabinets. Would it still look this white after Little Man tore through? I wonder...

OK, this one is from a house in San Francisco that was featured on Hooked on Houses this month. I love the brightness, the symmetry, the variation in height of the light fixtures. It looks like a good working kitchen and also one that makes entertaining easy.

OK, so I don't love the style of this kitchen (below), but I do love the layout. I love the stools that face the island. I love the separate work areas. I love the sitting area/breakfast nook in plain view of the chef. And I love all of the light coming in.

This (below) is from Southern Living. To me, this looks like a good working kitchen. It looks easy to move around in and accomplish things. This is important to me, because cooking is my creative release. I also like it because you can serve breakfast, still be working and talk to those sitting in the banquette. I think there is a window into the other side (which I think is a dining room). So you can open it if you want to socialize with guests, since everyone always wants to be in the kitchen at a party -or- close it if you just want to put your head down and get the cooking done without guests nosing around your dirty dishes.

This backsplash is perfection. This kitchen was featured on House of Turquoise this month.

I L-O-V-E this hutch.

and this one...

and this one. The interior design below was done by Betty Burgess and featured in Veranda.

...and these wide saddle stools, for my wide saddle.

We need help!
What is your favorite kitchen in the world?
What do you look for in a kitchen?
What is your favorite part of your kitchen?
What could you not live without?
What do you hate?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Luxury of Baths and Closets

Even though we generally want a small house, a generous master bathroom connected to separate walk-in closets is my dream and the one thing on which I will not compromise.  It would be a luxury that I would soak up into my bones like sponge and savor all day.  The one time my husband and I went on a date this year, he laid on the bed and watched me get ready while I chased Little Man around.  The romance is officially gone.  I long for the day when I can get out of my luxurious bath, put on a bathrobe and sit in privacy in front of the vanity to primp and then head to the closet to get dressed without ever going in my bedroom. 

I love the simple elegance of this bathroom.  I think it is by Gianetti Home (Velvet & Linen).

Look at all of this light coming in through these continuous windows.  Also, check out that hot (and totally out of my price range) copper tub.  I love clawfoot tubs, with or without the apron.

This bathroom is done by Eleanor Cummings and featured by House Beautiful.  How funky.  What an uncoventional use of space and color!  The wood in front of the bath rub and the shutters make it look so rustic, but the combination of the arch with the courageous use of color add personality.  I find it to be romantic and fun.

This is Goran Visnjic's (Dr. Luca Kovak on ER) bathroom.  I love the color.  Can you tell that purple is my favorite? I also love the Mediterranean feel, with the colorful tiles and iron in the windows.  Would it blend well with rural Pennsylvania? Maybe not.  I swear I was meant to live on the Mediterranean.  I love the arches, the wrought iron, the beautiful glass tiles.

Now this - this would blend.  This is the genuine authentic real thing.  With the clawfoot tub, clapboard siding and billowing white curtain, this bathroom would totally fit in the house I grew up.

I love this too (below).  This is from Trina at A Country Farmhouse.  She renovated this house, and it is absolutely an inspiration.  She has such attention to detail.  Everything from the fixture on the wall, to the wainscoting, the hexagon floor tile,  the air grate, the clawfoot tub, and the victorian table.  I am pretty sure my mimi (grandmother) had that foot stool.

This is also from A Country Farmhouse.  She really has a way.  I love the privacy shutters on the bottom half of the window.

Still from A Country Farmhouse.  Check out the walk-in closet with vanity at the end of the wall.  Armoires and dressers work in the place of built-in cabinets for a lot more charm and authenticity.

From a practical viewpoint, the natural light coming in (below) where you do your make up has to help with the end result.  ( I need all of the help I can get - I am terrible with make up!).

This walk-in closet is a dream.  You should know my existing closet is so narrow the hangers don't fit with the door closed - it's at most three feet wide and eighteen inches deep.  I dream of a bathroom that I can walk directly out of into a closet like this to choose what I am going to wear.

By the way, From the Right Bank has a great post today on renovating her closet. 

What is your inspiration for a master bathroom and walk-in closet? 
What is your favorite bathroom?
Your favorite closet?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bittersweet Flower Friday

Sorry for the spacing, I'm having technical difficulties.

Today, my flower goes to Shauna Niequest,   the author of the book, Bittersweet,  in honor of my winning her new book in the giveaway by Abby and Her Boys.  Notice the photo effects? Courtesy of picnik, and the tutorial posted by Andrea at Faded Plains.

These flowers are fitting, because they are bittersweet.  They are from my mother's garden, which still blooms from spring to fall despite my infrequent and inexperienced attention.  They are another reminder of one of life's greatest lessons, which I learned in the garden, from my mom - you can't have the sweet without the bitter.  We all love her sweet, sweet flowers that still bloom three years later, and we've earned them.

I can't wait to read the book.  Thank you so much Abby and Shauna!  And thanks to Laura for hosting Flower Fridays!

Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy it, and all of the wonderful women in your life.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bedroom Inspiration

I can totally see this vignette as I walk through the door into the master bedroom.  By the way, does anyone know where these curtains are from?

As you walk a little further, you might find something like this:

or perhaps a vaulted ceiling? I find the painted boards charming.

or painted exposed ceiling beams?

I love this use of space.

Another Eleanor Cummings design that is absolutely stunning.  Perfect.
If we lived in Texas, we would have this:

House Beautiful

If only we lived in Greece, then we would have this:

Or in New York City, we might have this:

House Beautiful

Simple beauty.

Hot hammered headboard.

Pottery Barn perfection.

What inspires you in the bedroom?

By the way, I started collecting these photos a long time ago and don't have the sources for some of the images.  If you can help me with some of the unsourced images, I would be grateful.  Thanks in advance.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Required Reading Begun

I started my self-imposed required house-building reading.

If you have read any of her other books or even watched her television series, you know that Sarah Susanska is not so swayed on the big houses emblematic of the building bubble.  Not because of the economy or even global warming – she simply and passionately believes smaller is better. 

In Creating the Not So Big House, she illustrates how to use space creatively to build a high quality house of substance through twenty-five examples, including innovative floor plans and clear concept descriptions.  Notwithstanding, she may have been even more persuasive if more of the house owners had also hired interior designers.

Now I have the lingo and context to impress our architect.   If you are about to design any size house and don’t already know what spatial layering or visual weight is, then this book could help you create a home to nurture the spirit, but is 1200 square feet really a small home for a single woman?

I am still looking for good reads...what have found helpful/informative/inspiring in designing your favorite spaces? 

Happy Friday!

This flower goes out to Abby and Her Boys, my new favorite blog, where she shares her home projects, design inspirations, favorite blog posts and a ups and downs of family life.  Head on over, and check out the link for "New Readers" and you will love her as much as I do.

From the hanging basket in front of my house, earlier in the year.

This post is participation in Flower Fridays at A Place for Tea. 
If you have a blogger you would like to appreciate today, head on over, and share a flower.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Industrial carts and more...

I decided to share my Craig's list finds with you again, since I can't buy them (which is killing me).  No room until we build the new house.  We are storing so much stuff in my sister's basement, we could practically live there.

Check out this industrial cart which could be used as a coffee table - only $125!  Industrial cart tables at Restoration Hardware frun from $700 - $1700.  I love this look.

These 50s retro bar height dinette and two matching stools are only $40.  I love them.  How fun for a small apartment or a basement bar.

The post by the owner of this 1954 Yellow Mid Century Lane Cedar Dresser is hysterical.  She knows she has a great piece, and it's killing her that there is no interest...Worn down, she's willing to sell it for $1.  Worth the read.

Mirror, mirror on the wall...this gold mirror reminds me of Snow White, and is $85.  How perfect for a little girl's room.

This church pulpit chair could add a unique twist to an office or even a dining room for $75.

Just in time for the weekend.  Check them out, pick them up the weekend, bring them home, take a snapshot, and let me know how you like them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Great finds!

I love perusing Craig's list.  It's like window shopping at a flea market.  Sometimes I am amazed by the finds.  And since we have no more room in this tiny little house until the new one is built, you all (at least in the area) are the beneficiaries of my finds this evening, ladies.

1920s vintage crystal chandelier - $65

Gorgeous Gold Framed Mirror $100

Leopard Chair - Perfect Condition - $65

Old School Desks - $10

50s Retro Kitchen Table and Chairs - $150

 It's so cathartic.  I feel like I went shopping even though I didn't spend a dime.  Tell me, have you scored any great Craig's List finds lately?