October 27, 2011

Guest Post: Color Filled UK Rooms

Hi, I’m Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, where designers and design lovers from around world can share projects and ideas for inspiration. Stop by—it's free! I'm so happy to be here at Enzy Living, one of my favorite design blogs. Today I'm writing about color filled UK rooms. The British have a long love affair with color and pattern. They boldly mix the two to create interior designs that are quintessentially British. These are some of my favorite ways the Brits fill their rooms with color. Enjoy! British Living Room Design The British don't shy away from color when it comes to decorating. Or pattern. Love the lemony yellow curtains mixed with reds and pinks in this sitting room. Union Jack Design The Union Jack is a beloved design element that sets the color palette for this living room. Reds and blues pop against creamy whites. Union Jack Design Playing off the Union Jack pattern, this colorful DIY chest of drawers creates a charming touch in a UK inspired room. Haymarket Hotel Design Love the mix of yellow, white and mauvey browns in this colorful bedroom at the London boutique hotel, Haymarket. A modern take on the British love of florals. The Designers Guild Living Room Design English rose pink looks lovely paired with light grey and olive green in this colorful UK interior design. Styled by The Designers Guild, an amazing design house that loves color and pattern. Soho Hotel Design A riot of colorful stripes and zig zags makes this apartment at the Soho Hotel in London uber chic. Using either the striped sofas or the zig-zag curtains would give a room a colorful pop of UK style. Blue and White Living Room Design Blue and white is a classic English color combination inspired by china patterns. Love the classic Chesterfield sofa, another fantastic British design. Canvas Painting Design Decorating ideas from a canvas? While this interior is a painting, it is a gorgeous example of the British love of color and pattern. Love the blue walls behind the green chaise. “Evening at home” (Edward John Poynter, UK, 1836-1919) [ Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 ] This post was created by Design Shuffle, a social-media site where members can connect with a variety of interior designers including San Francisco interior designers and Boston interior designers.

October 24, 2011

White & Wenge Modern Kitchen Remodel

I am so thrilled to finally be able to share this project with all of you!  Usually, you're lucky if you get one of these 3 things in a remodeling project:  good client, good design taste, or good potential in the house.  In this case, I got all 3, and I'm so grateful to interior designer Cody Beal for bringing me into this remodel project.

I have to give Cody a lot of credit and a lot of respect.  He's a great designer, and part of his success comes from knowing how important having a good team of people is.  He doesn't claim to be able to do everything himself, rather, he's assembled a team of people he knows he can count on, who are experts in their own specialty areas, and he gives these people flexibility to add their own touches to the project.  When I first met with Cody, he showed me his vision, and then explained to me that he wanted me to make suggestions and changes based on my expertise.  I was given the freedom to design what I thought was best, and because of this collaboration, the client couldn't be happier, and the kitchen looks AMAZING!  And.. it's functional too!

At first glance, you see a simple, beautiful kitchen.  What you don't see is the hours and hours of work that went into this design.  Simple and modern styles take a lot of critical planning in order to make sure everything fits together perfectly, especially in tight spaces.  When doing modern design, you don't get the liberty of fluffy moldings and appliques that might hide any inconsistencies.  Add in the fact that straight ceilings and walls are virtually non-existent when it comes to remodeling, and you've got an enormous challenge.  I love the challenge and find projects like this one so much more rewarding because of this.

So you'll never know all the tiny details such as how we modified the island sink cabinet in order to recess the wine rack into the end of the island, or how we spent an entire design meeting discussing how high the wall cabinets should be in order to maximize storage based on the clients' heights, or how the base cabinets are custom designed in order to accommodate the aluminum trim at the top and a thicker-than-standard countertop, or how we had to tweak things in order to guarantee the dishwasher would integrate into this non-standard cabinet design, or how we customized the wall cabinets in order eliminate cabinet hardware and leave space for LED lighting and plugmold outlet strips.  I could go on and on...

Obviously, I love this kitchen.  And again, I'm so grateful to have been a part of the team, which included Cody Beal, Lew Shurtliff (general contractor), and others.  The cabinetry is by Hallmark Custom Cabinets, through Arendal Kitchen Design.  The guys at Hallmark were a great help with the technical little design details involved in EVERY cabinet.  And Adam Erickson did an incredible job with the installation.

And to add even more to the wow-factor, here is a before photo:

Yes, it was really cool, just not very functional, and soooo small.  Would you believe the new kitchen is in that same room?

A few more details:
Yes, that is a remote control on the countertop - it's for the dimmable LED undercabinet lights!

Notice the recessed finger pull behind the door, the integral LED lighting, and the recessed plug-mold in the back.

This hood, by Thermador, is perfect for clients of different heights, because the glass screen is adjustable.

October 19, 2011

The Best Online Magazines (In My Opinion)

There's been an increase in online magazines in the last year or so, and I worry that people who aren't in the design industry, or those who don't read blogs regularly, might be missing out on these wonderful, inspirational, (and free) publications!

I think many might agree with me when I say my favorite is Lonny.  Lonny is a lifestyle & home decor magazine that I can always count on Lonny for bold and lively color spreads, like these screenshots from their latest issue:

Leaf is a new magazine focusing on outdoor gardening, landscaping, and entertaining.  Even if you don't have a yard, the pictures are worth looking at.  Beautiful landscapes and patios such those shown in these screenshots from their current issue:

Nesting Newbies
Nesting Newbies is a "cooking, entertaining, and decorating how-to" magazine.  In this mag, you'll find recipes, entertaining tips, table setting inspiration, and featured entertainment spaces (kitchen, dining, etc.).  Here are some eye-catching screenshots from their latest issue:

 I know there are other great online magazines out there as well, and I would love to hear what your favorites are!

October 13, 2011

Lighting: The Finishing Touch

I visited a job site this morning.  This is my first visit since the light fixtures were installed earlier this week.  The project looked great before, but now that the fixtures are installed, all I can say is "Wow!  Wow Wow Wow Wow!"

Hudson Valley Lighting, Esopus

The importance of lighting is two-fold.  One element is the light itself (not the fixture, but the light produced by the fixture), which is critical, especially in task-oriented areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.  But the other element is the decorative aspect of the actual fixtures.  Light fixtures can be pieces of art in themselves, and can add the perfect finishing touch to make a project really truly stand out.

LBL Lighting, Bonn

Each of the fixtures shown here was used in my Master Suite remodel project.  I hope to have final photos in a few weeks.  I really can't wait to share it!

Golden Chandelier 8981-3PBRI

In this case, I must say we nailed it in both these elements of lighting design.  Thanks to Cora Stjernholm from elume Distinctive Lighting for her guidance!

This makes me think of an article I recently read in Builder Magazine online, "Design Details:  Lighting", which emphasizes how lighting can be an affordable way to makeover a room, as a new fixture can significantly change the entire atmosphere.