Monday, August 31, 2009

Kitchen Concepts, II

I wrote last week about my visit to Kitchen Concepts and decided to split the post up into two parts. Here are pics I took of the large kitchen set up on display. Since I've got kitchens on the brain right now (popcorn is down from my kitchen ceiling!) I was soaking in all the ideas in this room. Enjoy!

Love the cream painted cabinetry, the dark wood floors and built in banquette at the seating area! Meanwhile, my kitchen is about the size of the center island. Hah!

Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Friday, August 28, 2009

Roomscapes Luxury Design Center & Kitchen Concepts

A couple of weeks ago I attended a lovely trade event at Roomscapes Luxury Design Center here on the South Shore. Their new showroom is large and gleaming with kitchen and bathroom displays, plus lots of samples of cabinetry, fixtures and more! Let's take a tour:

The standout for me in this bathroom is the very feminine shape of the sink. The gorgeous marble top and faucet are classics, but I really loved the unexpected filigree pattern on the side of the piece. I don't particularly love the open front - it feels a little like a waste of space but it is still an interesting looking piece. The backsplash tile in different shades of marble is one of my favorite patterns.
Onto another bathroom space, this one features a pair of vessel sinks with wall mounted faucets.

How gorgeous is that bathtub!

Moving onto some other spaces, this little library room features a leather wall - which is just fabulous!

The kitchen display below features all sorts of products and finishes. Note the prep island that has moveable segments and a swing arm faucet.

Here is a side section of the glass counter top above. Pretty cool!
I will say that while this recycled glass countertop is beautiful, I'm not sure I'd want it in the kitchen - too easy to lose things! It would be gorgeous in a bathroom or bar top, however!On the other end of the style scale is this classically inspired inlaid wood kitchen display.

This laundry room is larger than my kitchen! Take note of the river stone counter top.
But don't you love the hidden washer and dryer? This hideaway style is a great idea for city kitchens which often have the washer/dryer in the kitchen.
And this gift wrapping/craft area might make Martha herself jealous! I would say that the counter top needs to be higher for stand up use, but it would be fine if seated.

The color is off, but this dressing room would be the dream of someone's home!
Roomscapes and Kitchen Concepts is not only a showroom of finished displays, but they also have an extensive series of design rooms with samples in all shapes and sizes.

Below is a veritable rainbow of cabinetry...
I particularly love this cabinet. The sweet ribbon molding is darling (okay, I don't love the crackle finish).
In this room, it's all about faucets and sinks.

And in one of their conference rooms, they have a velcro wall with moldings of all shapes and sizes. Mix 'n match to your hearts content to plan our your perfect molding design. Doing this vertically as opposed to laying out on a table makes all the sense in the world. Afterall, you will be mounting in on a wall - so you should look at it the same way.

This was a lovely gathering of design professionals in a beautiful showroom. A big thanks to Judy Whalen of Roomscapes (below, right) for the invitation! Also pictured below are Barbara Jacobs (left), a noted color professional and rug designer, and Doreen Lemay Madden (center), a lighting designer and owner of Lux Lighting Design in Belmont.

I have more pics to come of a gorgeous kitchen space that I thought I'd save for next week.

Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Skirted Roundtable: Chatting with Vicente Wolf

One of my all time favorite design images - by Vicente Wolf

Megan and I sat down to chat with design icon (seriously, he's been so named by this years' Las Vegas Market!) Vicente Wolf. It was like Design Biz 101. Click on over to hear about how VW works with clients, his design process and thoughts on sharing what you know. It was a great conversation!!

Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A great new relationship with New England Home Magazine!

I've been dying to share this news for some while and the time is now! I have forged a new relationship with the fabulous New England shelter magazine New England Home.

NEH was founded only a few short years ago by Dan Kaplan, who has since moved on. But his indelible stamp of quality, elegance and sophistication lives on! As a matter of fact, Dan was introduced to my blog 2-1/2 years ago in that quirky bloggie nature of twisted corridors and strange associations because a post I wrote here about an event that New England Home sponsored was bundled in a Google search with my post on my interview in the Washington Post on the movie Something's Gotta Give. Apparently, when folks Googled me because of the WaPo article, the results came up with both posts and many people clicked over to the New England Home site as well. I then received an email from Dan asking how that was happening - the referrals to their site. And a relationship was born! Shortly after that, I was introduced to their marketing director Katie Dammann and we've been chatting ever since about how we could work together. And, we finally are!

When I first mentioned New England Home on my blog, they offered only a digital edition of the magazine (which they still do!) and it was apparent that additional content was needed in order to bring people to their site and keep them coming back. Over the last couple of years, they have done just that - even thought they have gone through a transition of owners. But, the new owners were smart to keep much of the staff in tact - from Kyle Hoepner who assumed the role of Editor in Chief, to homes editor Stacy Kunstel (whom you can follow on twitter), and Katie Dammann.

Anyway, I was thrilled and honored to be asked if my ::Surroundings:: blog feed could become part of the New England Home online offerings. I take it as a huge compliment, given the quality of the magazine. Below is a screen shot of their web site and if you scroll down, you will see the link to my site and a link to Stacy's Twitter feed. And so, as I blog here on ::Surroundings::, certain of my posts most relevant to the New England high end residential readers will be showcased on New England Home's website as well! And that's not all!

As a second part of this partnership, my kitchen makeover that I've begun to blog about is going to be a featured part of all of this. There are some details to iron out, but I will soon be able to announce the third partner in this project, who will play a large role in my kitchen makeover. While it is definitely still a DIY makeover (no, no hordes of contractors are going to come in and put in a $100K kitchen in my 10x4 space!) I am still very excited about what will be going on. So, (not to be coy), stay tuned!

Meanwhile, please do click over to visit New England Homes's website and take a browse of their digital edition. Purchase a subscription while you're at it - you don't even need to be in New England!!

Subscribe to ::Surroundings::

Monday, August 24, 2009

Open shelving in my kitchen: In or Out?

New England Home Magazine - Kitchen by Molly Frey. Photo by Eric Roth

As I'm preparing to embark on my own kitchen makeover project, I've been thinking a lot about open shelving. My bloggie friend Susan Serra, aka The Kitchen Designer, wrote a post about open shelving two years ago after her trip to KBIS that year. As I've got kitchens on the brain, I've been studying what's going on out there and what tips and ideas I can use in my small little kitchen. Here's a roundup of some great open shelving ideas I've come across:

Julie's kitchen in Julie and Julia

Julia's kitchen in Julie and Julia

So, anyway, there's lots of inspiration out there. My small kitchen could benefit from the openess that open shelving creates, but I don't have enough cabinets to start with to give up the storage space. I may be able to add shelves along the one long wall in the space, but it still leaves questions for me.
  • Do I have enough attractive items nice enough for open shelving?
  • Will I clean/dust the shelves regularly enough?
  • Once I have them, will I continuously be fussing over how they look?
I'd love to hear the pros and cons from those of you who live with open shelves!

Subscribe to ::Surroundings::