December 10, 2012:

Breaking it Down -  #PKG

I trust you all had a wonderful weekend. Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it. We hit up the extended Fam for a little Dredel Dredel Dredel ourselves despite my indefinite guest - Phillis Von Phelgmistein refusing to leave. I even managed to get all five of our winter urns done which felt like Rocky on the top step when the last one was done let me tell you.

So hopefully by now you have purchased, received or subscribed to Style at Home and taken a look at the January issue. I shared my foyer piece that is included but I thought I would delve into some of the details of the #PKG spread.

I know a pink and gold kitchen is not everyone's cup of tea, however, many of the details that we included in the design of it could easily be re-interpreted in a wide variety of kitchen styles if you are thinking about undertaking a kitchen renovation.

All the photos are by the amazingly talented Donna Griffith for Style at Home. The styling was done by Tara Ballantine - I may do a separate post on just her food styling alone because it was off the charts insanity. BLEW. US. AWAY. GOOD.

I remember when this shot was taken. Oh how I love it. The Solna faucet in Brushed Bronze from Brizo is spectacular. However, it wasn't the same gold as the hardware and other golds used in the kitchen. Matching metals is something that clients often get hung up on. Don't let it. We have polished brass housings around the pot lights. There is tarnished silver (the real thing), uncoated brass, polished silver, stainless, hammered brass I don't think we've missed a metal. The brushed bronze however presented one challenge to us - we couldn't go with a stainless sink. That would have looked odd so we opted for a cast iron white sink. The sink ties into the countertops and lets the faucet look like an accent piece. Problem solved. We also repeated the brushed bronze on the pot filler over by the stove which ties everything together rather nicely. The hardware on the china cabinet also has a similar finish so once you've got three of the same finish around the room, you know your job is done.

They tried this shot out for the cover. I remember when they put the masthead up on the computer screen - Christine and I squealed to ourselves quietly. They opted for her living room instead but I still am blown away by this shot and how big it makes the space feel. Adding an area carpet - so long as it is the correct size for the space - always makes a space feel bigger. The antiqued over-dyed rugs that are all the rage now (this one is from Weaver & Loom) are perfect in a kitchen. They will be very forgiving, are already worn in some areas so a little patina won't hurt them and they are easy to clean. Perfect for family living. Christine had had a big harvest table and chairs all around it before but it pushed the table too far into the kitchen. We extended cabinetry with the idea in mind that we would add a banquette (custom designed by MHD) so that we could push the table back toward the window. However, that table just wasn't meant to be in the end. So we quickly changed gears, found an oval table with a pedestal base to allow for many legs all under it at once and then added in the West Elm chairs. I'd seen a fabulous chair in an issue of Rue Magazine I think it was or maybe Lonny and did a blog on how to DIY a West Elm chaise to look like it in it's goldness. Christine gold-ified the matching dining chairs to make my blog idea into reality. She did have to eventually have them sprayed professionally though. The spray can stuff was sticky forever and then started to come off. Not sure what the problem was but may have to do with how the chairs were finished themselves. A word to the wise if you are thinking of trying it!

The campaign island. I remember Christine mentioning it to me and my immediately loving the idea however, executing it was another matter. I mean it's one thing to draw something up that a client likes and approves of but then you have to factor in a built in microwave and functional drawers and it becomes another matter entirely. One draft of the island had my husband telling me I couldn't have the same sized drawers & me losing my shizzles over such a suggestion. In fact, there are a lot of 'tricks' to this island. The drawers all appear to be drawers, some are fakes. All the drawer fronts are the same size - however the boxes are not all the same - if you pull them out you can see that we have had to cheat things here and there all because of the fabulous Electrolux microwave on the backside of the island. If there was space, we made the drawer functional but some we had to sacrifice. TOTALLY worth it. The bookmatched Calacutta marble on it in a waterfall - also required a few designer/fabricator secrets to make happen. In the end, a little planning, ingenuity and voila it really does look like you can fold cashmere on it. The chandelier over said island - well we kinda stole it. Someone had put a hold on it but no money down. We whipped C's card out faster than you could say shizamm and got it into the car before the person returned.

In planning the functional aspects of C's kitchen we knew that she needed a place to hide the ugly (aka food and well all those things that we seem to collect in a kitchen from who knows where). We also knew that C has a collection to rival the Smithsonian when it comes to pretty things. We designed two pantries that would flank the fridge and a bar area but how to treat them was the dilemma. Obviously we wanted one to have display so glass but the other we didn't want to see into. I didn't like the idea of designing a symmetrical set of cabinets but then treating them differently. The solution was to add Antique Mirror to both - the display would get it on the inside back of the cabinetry to mirror out all the sparkle that would be lit up from within. The other to receive the mirror on the outside, set into the door panels themselves. The effect is amazing. What elevates them all the more are the antique handles that Christine found I think on Ebay or Etsy.

Here's a look at the display pantry. Of course I'm not paying enough attention to the stunning Chinoiserie panels which I had made for the space. Griffin & Wong one of our sponsors here on Sashay was kind enough to give them to me. They arrived in tubes as wallpaper and then I had to take them to my framer with very specific measurements for either side of the window. Of course the measurements weren't the same, so we had to strategically choose how much of each panel would make it into the panels and what to lop off. There wasn't much room for error. They turned out perfectly. Of course they are also complimented by the drapery in the space which is 11 yards of silk that I hand painted in an hommage to Kelly Wearstler's foyer wallpaper. I used the family's monograms to make the design. Painting silk is not for the faint of heart especially when you need it to repeat.

Christine was not short on ideas. Quite the contrary. There were times when there were too many and we needed to pair down and focus on what she loved, what she was fond of and at times what was it gonna cost. (Ideas are great but sometimes they are budget killers - some hardware we liked for example). When we were deciding on backsplash many different ideas came into consideration. Christine found a picture of a bathroom that had an elaborate marble backsplash made from the same slab as the counter material and that is what lead us to the shelf idea. It was great in that A) it gave her another surface for potential display B) practical for cooking as an additional surface C) it allowed us to have a slab backsplash feel without having to buy yet another slab of this delicious but pricey marble. Our fabricator doubled up the marble corbels for strength & for finish and voila. Custom & unexpected backsplash. If you lost all the pink in the kitchen, this would totally lend itself to a rustic/country kitchen so it's worth the investment!