Friday, April 24, 2009

The Treehouse: Kitchen Inspiration

We're moving to our new house in only 6 short days!! I wanted to show you what I'm planning on doing in the kitchen.

(The image above is a chandelier thought for the dining room. ) To give you an idea of what we're dealing with: Our budget is really tight right now & so we're doing things like temporarily painting over linoleum & using what we have until we can afford what we really want. Below are some photos of the kitchen now:

The beautiful flourescent light will be one of the first things to go (I might use this vintage chandlier I found with Eddie in NY-- It'll look much better once I clean it up!! :)
Below is another view of the kitchen into the living room/ dining room:

The cabinets are newly installed, but they aren't right for the house. The crown moulding & arched uppers don't suit the house, which is simple, and very contemporary & natural-feeling.

To give you an idea of my color scheme, I want to show you some of the fabrics we're using in the living room (below), since the kitchen is open to it.

The fabric below is a creamy-warm-beigey velvet with a hint of white sparkle to it. (Depending upon the way the light hits it, it can look cream, golden or white.) This image does simply not do it justice:

The fabric below is a simple, white linen: (haha, can you see it??)
This fabric is a oatmealy-gray super-nubby, burlappy linen:
The fabric below is an overscale linen toile that I'll be using on the reverse: (I tried to play with the image to give you an idea of what it looks like on the reverse) There are hues of all of the other fabrics we're using in this fabric & it was the inspiration fabric I started with.

(I'll be posting my living area plans later & will go into more detail about what each fabric will be used for, but hope you get the idea for now.) I'm going for old-fashioned meets simple-clean. (The image below is my Grandma Maestranzi's old platinum china that I have now & love. --Cannonsburg Wild Clover- I think it really embodies what I'm going for: simple, clean but with some intricate, old-fashioned detail.)

I want to have some beautiful florals & borderline "grandma" fabrics & antiques & accessories mixed in with clean-lined pieces and fresh, crisp natural fabrics. The overall look will be fresh & happy & light & airy.

At first glance the space should feel fairly transitional/ modern & very natural, but upon closer inspection, I hope people (ok, seriously probably only my design-loving friends) will notice that there is a real hommage to tradition & days gone by, but in a fun & playful way. I want to feel comforted & reminded of certain things & people from my childhood, but don't want my home in another era either.

SO- now that you get the feeling/ mood of what I'm going for, here are the details! To start with, we'll be painting the linoleum floors white. There's a breakfast nook in the kitchen: (scary in this pic, yes I know)

I'm ditching the cornice above the window, trimming out the window in simple square boards & lining the walls with paper. I'm leaning towards these finalists & would love your input:

1) Cowtan & Tout's Botanique Spectaculaire (Thank you Dana for finding out the name!!) and I just love the sunflowers- so happy & beautiful!! I also love how wild they are...

2) Studio Printworks' Pinapple paper. Again, I love it & I love how happy it is & pineapples are my favorite fruit & it's a kitchen... Yet I worry is it strange because I live in Virginia to have pineapples on my wall??? **** UPDATE: I FORGOT TO MENTION IN THE ORIGINAL POST: I would be using a smaller-scaled version of this pineapple (called "pineapple petite") but don't have photos of it in use********

so fun though!!
3) The paper below is a custom wallcovering from and I'm IN LOVE. I've emailed them as to price (I'm scurred!!) and haven't heard back yet. I might want it a hint warmer.

4) The image belown is from and its more of a mural. beautiful!!
--- hahaha, ok this is too funny!!! my husband just walked in & surprised me with a bouquet of sunflowers for my birthday!!! I think maybe Botanique Spectaculaire is meant to be!!----------------------- (ok, but I still need your opinions!! ;)

So for the window, we'll probably go with simple white linen roman shades & a window seat & cushion (in a fun white vinyl) underneath:
For the table, I'm seriously considering going for a Saarinen-type table.

It's totally Tom Scheerer's fault (see below.) When I saw this image for the first time in House Beautiful, it was the first time I actually like the tulip table. It was the combination of modern & traditional elements that did me in. Now, I'd also love some input here. I know we won't be buying the real thing. Andy thoughts on the knock-offs? I'm leaning towards a white marble top and would love to find a vintage knock-off, but what do you think?? Is it "go all the way or go home" in this case??

We already have the Swedish chairs below, and I think their simple clean lines will work:

We're ripping the doors off of the upper cabinets (hahaha love how I'm like "ripping"?!! Can you tell I want them OFF?!!) & will keep the shelves in place and paint them gray so it will look something like this: (both kitchens below are Martha Stewart's)

I have lots of white dishes, bowls etc & will stock up the shelves. (There should be room for more though!! ;)

For the cabinet paint, I'll pull a gray out from whichever paper we do settle on. If we go with the sunflowers, I think the Ralph Lauren color (below) looks perfect.

Above, it's Ralph lauren "Mountain Sage" (SF02A)--(and although it looks good on the screen, I think the actual color has more green & so we'll most likely be looking for a color that looks like this color does on the screen)
For the backsplash, I'm leaning towards white hexagonal tiles or some other white tiles. (If I go with the marble topped saarinen table, marble would be pretty, like below)

For an island, I found an antique walnut blanket chest a couple of years ago in Antioch, IL where my dad lives. I planned to use it in his kitchen but he really wasn't into it, so now it's mine! (It has better lines than the one pictured below-- not so much into the country legs at the bottom in the photo-- but is of similar shape & color)

Eventually, I'd like to top it with a thick slab of marble:

For the countertops, we've been going in a few different directions. Originally I was dying for soapstone (below), but now I'm also considering more white marble.

I'm still leaning towards soapstone because I think it would be beautiful with the black in the wallpaper and provide a nice contrast against all the white and I LOVE its look... NEED the laundry sink, below, in my kitchen, whether it be stainless, soapstone or porcelain:

BUT... If I went with soapstone, would I have too much going on with the gray cabinets, walnut island and 2 different counter colors? And would the kitchen be more pulled together if at least one of the 2 moveable pieces- either the table & island- had some connection to the grounded cabinets?? (I'd love to hear thoughts here!) I'll get an idea of the look because we already have black formica. yum yum!

We definitely want to go with stainless steel appliances... you would be surprised though how cheap some standard stainless fridges are now that there are bottom-freezer models!!

There's definitely more to come & I'll post fun details as we make more decisions. If you get the chance, can you let me know your thoughts - and especially on the wallpapers, countertops & saarinen table?? I really do value your opinions- you have no idea how much!! :)


update: THANK YOU DANA & SUZANNE!! :) It's Cowtan & Tout's Botanique Spectaculaire!! (and below is the image from House Beautiful I was thinking of)

I'm searching & searching for a particular wallpaper & I'm pretty sure some of you know it. It's a sunflower toile.

It reminds me of this Studio Printworks pineapple paper (below) but instead, it's sunflowers.

It was featured in a House Beautiful article (a year or 2 ago??) in an attic type room on the walls, ceilings if I'm remembering correctly. (My magazines are all packed up!! arg!!!) I think it was a guest house??

Darryl Carter also used it and it's pictured in his book, The New Traditonal, on page 85. (No scanners working right now & am not sure what I can do??) If anyone else has a pic of the wallpaper, could you send it to me?? Or if you know who makes it??

thanks so much!!!