Tuesday, June 14, 2011

local and lovely — farmington kitchen & garden tour

The 13th Annual Farm­ing­ton Kitchens and Gar­dens Tour hosted by the Friends of the Farm­ing­ton Library was held Sat­ur­day at six pri­vate homes and seven pub­lic gar­dens and muse­ums. The old­est home dates back to 1659 and most were in the Vil­lage, as we refer to the cen­tral, old­est part of Farm­ing­ton CT.
An incred­i­ble vari­ety of both kitchens and gar­dens, from mod­ern to stately to eclec­tic pro­vided a draw for many despite the early rain.

I can't tell you much about the event other than my lit­tle cor­ner of it. We were on the tour for the first time. Imag­ine hoards of gar­den lovers drop­ping in to see your out­door spaces, and then check­ing out your kitchen too. I'm a designer, and I was stressed out ahead of this event!  But, as always, I have a team I can rely on to make things happen!

First, the delight­ful and fun Cyn­thia Dodd from Plantscapes arrived to design and exe­cute stage 1 of "The Plan". For me, hir­ing a designer for the first time was a novel expe­ri­ence. As we dis­cussed choices, I made a con­certed effort not to ask for changes that would com­pro­mise the design — even when I could not visu­al­ize the fin­ished project. I will admit I did hem-and-haw about the foun­tain color, but we laughed through the whole thing and we even­tu­ally com­pro­mised on a color that suits us both. Hav­ing some­one else dress up my home was a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence! I can't imag­ine why every­one doesn't hire a designer!

Some peeks at the garden:

the new fountain

the new foun­tain in the foun­da­tion gar­den — this bed was com­pletely renovated

one of the planters on the front porch

one of the planters on the front porch

love this green planter!

love this green planter!

more greenery beside the front door

more green­ery beside the front door

some new gems in front of the studio

some new gems in front of the studio

the kitchen garden - I can't handle more than 3 tomato plants!

the kitchen gar­den — I can't han­dle more than 3 tomato plants!

these ligularia will spread in the shade behind the studio

these ligu­laria will spread in the shade behind the studio

more new perennials behind the house

more new peren­ni­als behind the house

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new planters complement my panton chairs on the back patio

new planters com­ple­ment my pan­ton chairs on the back patio

Stage 2 of the new gar­dens will bring even more color and energy to our land­scape. And maybe in 3 or 5 years, as the newest plants mature and fill in, we'll be on the tour again.

To add some flo­ral zing to my kitchen, I called on the über-talented Robin Weir of Haworth's Florists. She is amaz­ing! I show up with a vague con­cept ("give me funky"), and a fab­ric sam­ple, she deliv­ers orig­i­nal, ener­getic and all-around fab­u­lous arrange­ments. Here are the three she designed for my kitchen:

in a corner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

in a cor­ner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

on the island, this arrangement garnered many compliments

on the island, this arrange­ment gar­nered many compliments

detail from the arrangement on the kitchen table

detail from the arrange­ment on the kitchen table

A few details from my kitchen — I'm a lousy pho­tog­ra­pher, so can only show snippets!

new pillows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thompson chairs

new pil­lows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thomp­son chairs

newly reupholstered side chairs

newly reuphol­stered side chairs

my crow foot table in the seating area

my crow foot table in the seat­ing area


tibetan chest from kips bay quickly accessorized from around the house!

tibetan chest from kips bay quickly albeit scant­ily acces­sorized from around the house!

I under­stand from the orga­niz­ers the Farm­ing­ton Kitchen & Gar­den Tour was a suc­cess and hope sig­nif­i­cant funds were raised for the libraries in town. Many thanks to the vol­un­teers who looked after my home!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

architectural digest home show 2011: bornholm kitchen

It was my very great plea­sure to visit Susan Serra (@SusanSerraCKD), Pres­i­dent of Born­holm Kitchen, at what was essen­tially the débu­tante party of her new line. Show­cased for the first time at the AD Home­Show, Born­holm Kitchen's story is multi-faceted. Inspired by clas­sic Scan­di­na­vian style, this line of cab­i­netry and van­i­ties is at once smooth and mod­ern, warm and ele­gant. With chameleon-like ease, these pieces blend into their sur­round­ings, from Euro­pean coun­try to Shaker sim­plic­ity, while still mak­ing a design statement.

bornholm kitchen with inset cooktop

born­holm kitchen with inset cooktop

The Born­holm line is the per­fect choice for a fitted-furniture kitchen. A depar­ture from the look of tra­di­tional Amer­i­can kitchen cab­i­netry, Born­holm can be con­fig­ured to offer all the stor­age you need.

bornholm kitchen pantry

born­holm kitchen pantry

Another ter­rific fea­ture of Born­holm Kitchen is their sus­tain­abil­ity story. U.S. made, the cab­i­net bod­ies use soy-based resins instead of urea formalde­hyde. The durable oil fin­ish is 100% VOC-FREE and con­tains no toxic chem­i­cals. Addi­tion­ally, the Born­holm Kitchen fac­tory has been awarded the ESP (Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship Pro­gram) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by the Kitchen Cab­i­netry Man­u­fac­tur­ers Asso­ci­a­tion (KCMA). Beau­ti­ful for you, beau­ti­ful for the environment.

bornholm vanity fitted with vessel sink

born­holm van­ity fit­ted with ves­sel sink

Intrigued? Can you see your­self with a fit­ted kitchen? To see more, visit the Born­holm Kitchen.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

something lovely…spotted at modcraft

I have a soft spot for dimen­sional tile. It offers the chance to add tex­ture in places usu­ally rel­e­gated to flat-plane sta­tus like show­ers and back-splashes. This won­der­ful pat­tern is named Hud­son, refer­ring to the Hud­son River's undu­la­tions. Some might con­sider it mod­ern, but it works in a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent styles. Can you pic­ture it ver­ti­cally in a shower? (FAB!) Made nearby in Bea­con NY, Mod­Craft uses stoneware clay because of its strength and durablility.

modcraft ceramic tile hudson in white

mod­craft Hud­son tile in white

closeup of modcraft tile hudson in lobster glaze

closeup of mod­craft tile hud­son in lob­ster glaze

Look­ing for beau­ti­ful tile, I also found a sus­tain­abil­ity story. Mod­Craft strives to oper­ate in an envi­ron­men­tally friendly way. They recy­cle all pack­ing mate­ri­als and only use recy­cled cor­ru­gated card­board or corn­starch peanut mate­r­ial.  They also reuse clay and glaze to reduce waste and sell or donate sec­onds to local mosaic artists and chil­drens' projects. All their mate­ri­als are made of non-toxic com­po­nents and are lead free. Sus­tain­able design can be beautiful!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Kitchen Design — in Progress

Here are a few pic­tures of another client project. Although not yet ready for prime time, I wanted to high­light the incred­i­ble glass coun­ter­top cho­sen for the island. First the before:

BEFORE: basic builder white cabinetry

The basic white, builder-grade cab­i­netry was not hold­ing up well with an active fam­ily. Among the many func­tional and aes­thetic chal­lenges in this kitchen design were the under-scale island and the giant dou­ble soffit.

A space this large ben­e­fits from a focal point, and the island was the nat­ural choice. The client was not enam­ored with the idea of a gran­ite slab, and was very intrigued by pic­tures seen at Think­Glass, par­tic­u­larly this one:

This Cana­dian com­pany is a leader in glass coun­ter­top pro­duc­tion, and their unique designs offer some­thing for the adven­tur­ous kitchen client look­ing beyond gran­ite, mar­ble or solid sur­face coun­ter­tops. After many back-and-forth dis­cus­sions on shapes, col­ors and designs, and the twelve week lead time, the slab arrived and was installed.

glass island installed — quite the focal point!

I think the glass top adds tremen­dous drama to the new kitchen. Looking for­ward to see­ing how great the fin­ished kitchen will look once the tile and paint are complete!

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