Black French Range in a White Kitchen

black French range by CornueFe in a white Victorian style kitchen – Brooks&Falotico via Atticmag Stove color makes a statement in a kitchen. Black implies serious culinary business.

Over the last ten years, the 2003 Something’s Gotta Give kitchen (actually a movie set) provided a much-copied formula for a popular black and white look: white Victorian-style cabinets with black counters and accents. That scheme created crisp, high contrast drama. The latest variation on the black and white theme is simpler. I’m seeing white kitchens with light counters and only a single dark accent — a black French range. Both Lacanche and CornfuFé offer stunning French-made ranges in a variety of black and near-black finishes, both matte and glossy. Since these ranges qualify as investment pieces, it’s logical to make one the focal point for a kitchen that intends to be elegant and unforgettable. Here are two.

The traditional kitchen in a renovated Georgian-style house [top] has an elaborate arched niche to showcase the imposing glossy black 43-inch CornueFé 110. A manufacturer of hand-made ranges since 1908, La Cornue introduced their somewhat more affordable CornueFé line in 2005. This one features 5 burners and two electric convection ovens. Currently a high-end darling that designers favor for its looks and prestige, the Fé can be customized with satin chrome, or a combination of chrome and copper or brass. This one sits on the axis of a main kitchen sight line in the center of the niche. Under the hood is a concealed vent system which also lights the stove as brightly as a jewelry store counter. When a range has powerful burners, heatproof material is required on the wall behind it. Instead of the usual subway tiles the designer chose 4- x 4-inch white glazed ceramic squares, which keeps things simple and are budget-friendly as well. But there’s no lack of decoration as the niche is embellished with ogee brackets on each side and a high shelf in front where a collection of brown transferware plates is displayed.

White marble counters keep the kitchen light and airy. Those marry well with white cabinets that include well-loved Victorian details such as bracket feet, glass-door upper cabinets, and a chest-on-chest cabinet with a drawer. Our Herringbone Medallion Kitchen (with its big black Aga cooker) is an English prototype for this traditional cabinet look with its built in range niche.

black French range by Lacanche in a white Norwegian apartment kitchen with vaulted ceiling – Klikk via AtticmagIn an apartment outside Oslo, a blindingly white country-style kitchen boasts some amazing architectural features. This kitchen, in a repurposed top-floor living room, houses another black French range — a 56-inch Lacanche Sully. With up to seven burners and two ovens, Sully can use gas or electric with trims ranging from brass to chrome, nickel or stainless steel. Parked below a custom chimney-shaped hood with a charming cut-out for a religious statue, the range is intended to be an attention-grabber but it has plenty of competition.

 Lacanche Sully black French range in a white Norwegian apartment kitchen- Klikk via Atticmag  This kitchen has a knockout vaulted, planked ceiling that makes it so unique. Wood planks are also used on the walls and range hood. Narrow beaded board repeats the look on cabinet doors and refrigerator panels. A white subway tile backsplash wraps both walls of the L-shaped kitchen and topped by open shelves all the way around. Counters are lacquered oak. There are no upper cabinets and the relatively small island was designed to be accessible from all sides. Chalk-white paint, used on the walls and ceiling, keeps the room bright even on the shortest and darkest Nordic winter day. While the pine floors and stairs were stained, cabinets were sprayed with three coats of paint then glazed for durability. Underlying the glamor is also a no-nonsense intensity in this kitchen as well as a sweetness that radiates from the from heart-shaped cutouts on the wood-plank stairway.

(Source: brooks&falotico, klikk.no)

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Stone Wall Bathrooms

stone wall bath with marble sink in an old house – A Detailed House via AtticmagBathrooms with natural stone walls require little adornment – here, the material is the message.

Someone fortunate enough to have, or build, a home where natural stone is a structural component in bathrooms understands the appeal of living with a surface that’s tactile and textured, has integral color, and is as old as the Grand Canyon. Where I live, many stone houses date back to pre-colonial America as I detailed in my tour of  Ulster County Stone Houses (though that was limited to exterior views).  The maxim is that rooms with stone walls stay cool in summer and warm in winter, subject to efficiency of the heating system. Warmth, or the lack of it, is especially key in bathrooms where — while undeniably gorgeous — stone walls are not without certain challenges. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see them very often.

A gently renovated bathroom [top] preserves the character of a very old building while providing updated utility. Rather than a wood vanity, whitewashed stucco is used as the base for an antique marble sink with lovely carved details set into the bay of an old window. Note that the sink is pushed forward so that the windows can open in. This reminds me of Italian houses in pre-Renaissance buildings with curved, tiled ceilings similar in style to the vault over the window – a telltale architectural feature.

stone wall bath with utility sinks – Ryann Ford via AtticmagA more contemporary approach mixes stone in a bathroom with horizontal painted wood planking. This is an expansive bathroom with a separate wet room (below). Stone walls on the ends of the narrow sink area are mostly decorative. So wood is used behind the cantilevered  pair of Kohler Bannon utility basins. Love those sinks but I do find the mirrors hung in  the center of unshaded awning windows a bit bizarre. Even with a glimpse of roof overhang outside, this set up can be murder for shaving or applying makeup. Note the low storage hatch to the left and right of the sinks in lieu of medicine cabinets and additional storage provided by a dark wood vintage dresser opposite the sinks.
stone wall bath with concrete tub and open shower – Ryann Ford via AtticmagWith stone walls, a skylight over the tub, windows on two exposures and a wide doorway into the sink galley, the wet room has the look and feel of outdoors. A cast concrete tub anchors one wall with an open shower (note the drain in the floor) to the right of the doorway. As rustic and atmospheric as bathrooms get, this one might well be a challenge in a climate with cold winters. But I wouldn’t want to bang my leg against the sharp corner of the tub or do a slip ‘n slide on that floor.

stone wall and timber bath with contemporary freestanding tub – On Site Management via AtticmagA custom home in Montana ski country used the Western stone and timber vernacular for a modern bath with a freestanding tub.  Painted stucco over stone keeps the bath from ever looking to “dungeon” and wide-plank flooring with a weathered finish has a hospitable feel during winter months.

(Source: adetailedhouse, ryannford, onsitemanagement)

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Zebra on the Floor

mid-century zebra print kilim in a dining space – AD via Atticmag

Zebra print carpets are so enduring, every shape, size and variation is available, from skin-shape throw rugs to broadloom.

So if I’m going for pattern and high contrast on the floor, zebra print carpets are an  obvious solution. First, they are black and white, which means they go with almost everything. Zebra is a bold carpet pattern but it’s less slinky than leopard or tiger. And while any animal print is a traditional pick, I find the zebra pattern can look quite modern when it’s pushed by other elements. Sublimely abstract in a mid-20th century Persian kilim [top] the zebra rug in a Sagaponack summer house hardly looks its age. More linear than other variations, these narrow stripes enliven a fairly quiet space. In addition to the carpet, other mid-century furnishings includes a 1970 Milo Baughman game table and cabinet (from East Hampton’s R.E. Steele Antiques). Chairs are Laverne International from Karkula. Paint is Benjamin Moore’s Super White (that’s the brightest white available which I used on all my ceilings).

zebra print carpet in Aerin Lauder’s East Hampton dining room – Elle Décor via AtticmagIn many rooms, this zebra print carpet, from AM Collections, would be the immediate attention-grabber and a dominant element. Here, it’s merely a bold partner to the powerful blue walls custom paint guru Donald Kaufman helped create as a salute to the collection of antique Delft vases on display. Both the house and the vases once belonged to the late cosmetics guru Estée Lauder. Now home to her granddaughter Aerin, the idea was to celebrate Grandma’s heirloom blue-and-white, while giving the house the update needed for a young family.  With such traditional furniture as well, Oriental carpets would look too granny whereas zebra has youthful flair.

zebra print hall carpet in Irene Langlois’ Ottawa home – hgtvca via AtticmagI’m not fond of actual or mock “skin” rugs because they never lay flat – plus they’re small. So while there’s a cow skin in the living room of designer Irene Langlois’ Ottawa Georgian-style home, (I can feel myself tripping over edges that stick up) the zebra in the hallway shows how a large scale carpet with a bold zebra pattern can helps enlarge a space.

zebra print carpet in neutral bedroom – Tiffany Eastman Interiors via AtticmagA pale gray, tufted headboard is so boudoir and the neutral color scheme to match seems almost a bit snoozy. In contrast, the  wall-to-wall zebra broadloom looks racy, and thankfully so!

zebra print rug in feminine home office - Room to Inspire via AtticmagHot pink, with chartreuse accents. So girly. And something of a statement for a home office. Hmm. In this room, I’d have been looking for more green but, instead, the zebra-print carpet was used to tie into white cabinets and the black stone counter. It’s a twist and a good one.

zebra print carpet in eclectic bath – My Design Dump via AtticmagZebra print rug in a bathroom? Oh yes. Look closely and it’s clear that the rug is covering an old floor. But this one’s big enough and eclectic enough to give the bath some character with black and white small-scale print draperies showing their support. What’s wonderful, too is the huge  elephant’s ear plant which pushes the bath  towards an ‘Out of Africa’ look.

zebra pattern stair & landing carpet edged in lime by Patterson, Flynn & Martin – House Beautiful via AtticmagWhy a zebra carpet stair runner would have edges bound in light green hue isn’t exactly clear (at least not to me) but here it is in a suburban New York home and it looks wonderful. Perhaps it’s a touch of whimsy on the part of Designer Gideon Mendelson, or a way to pep up the grayscale theme. No matter. The Patterson, Flynn & Martin zebra carpet, with  old-fashioned brass stair-rods, offers a serious, stately home feel.

(Source: AD, elledecor, tiffanyeastmaninteriors, hgtvca, roomtoinspire, HB, mydesigndump)

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French Manor House Bath

Blue French bath in an updated French manor house - inspiracionline via AtticmagIn ancient French bath in a manor house retains its antique atmosphere.

How charming and quintessentially French is this unfitted bath in an updated manor house in Champagne? Of course, it could be Sweden or Belgium too. Styled to look cozy, the room has a settee, a chair and a privacy screen in front of the window. It also appears to be L-shaped, with additional sanitary facilities out of view (or in another room entirely, which sometimes happens in old houses).

In the days before indoor plumbing, servants would have filled the freestanding slipper tub by hand, using buckets of hot water. Today, a more pressing issue would be staying warm while bathing in front of such a the huge French window. The charming may be helpful in blocking drafts, but not entirely. The enormous blue armoire provides a clue to the scale of the space. I calculate the ceiling to be 12 to 14 feet high — at least four times the height of Louis XV sofa (if the back is 3-feet high.)

What’s distinctive though, is the watery blue patina of the cabinet with its lovely worn paint. Legions of chalk-paint ladies would be brandishing their sanding blocks to achieve a similar effect though nothing can quite duplicate original old paint, I believe. The  provincial quality of this French bath could not be more picturesque. So while it’s updated, it’s far from modern. Naturally, there’s a nod to practicality with the paneled oval mirror but the general sensibility of the era when bathing was a production, and candlelight ruled, has been generously preserved.

(Source: inspiracionline)

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4 Unusual Kitchen Ideas

4 Unusual Kitchen Ideas - Recessed range ventilation in Fritz Hansen Copenhagen showroom kitchen – desiretoinspire via AtticmagModern? Yes. Functional? Yes. Different? That too.

I’m always on the looking for kitchen ideas that feel new or innovative, ones that set this room apart and keep it looking current. That’s not always easy because kitchens – traditional, modern, rustic and even cottage styles — have settled into a certain visual language over the past ten years and aren’t budging much. These days, really new kitchen ideas and features are found on the contemporary or modernist side, as we saw in the hidden cabinets of the Curved Oak Kitchen, or the Under Counter Refrigeration in a kitchen of that same name. Here are four kitchen ideas that are a little different and worthy of consideration.

1. Recessed Ventilation.  A soffit fully conceals ventilation over a cook top in a long modernist galley kitchen [top] with a stone backsplash wall and matching counter. Many vents can be installed flush like this one without defining the vent in a hood. The work of design firm Simonsen Czechura, in the Copenhagen Showroom of Danish furniture icon Fritz Hansen, is a set up similar to that in the Belgian Country Kitchen although the more traditional Belgian approach included a relief molding on the face of the soffit.

4 Unusual Kitchen Ideas - Strip lighting in stone kitchen counter top – Dimore Gallery via Atticmag2. Install Lighting in a Counter Top. A former apartment in Milan’s fashionable Brera neighborhood is now home to the Dimore Gallery, an avant-guard design studio where Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci installed strip lighting down the length of a stone countertop in the kitchen. I’ve seen lighting below the toe kick and inside cabinet drawers but never before as a feature on a work surface, where it might be vulnerable to spills. But I bet it looks amazing at night.

4 Unusual Kitchen Ideas - Loft kitchen with soffit cabinets – hgtv via Atticmag3. Use Contemporary Soffit Cabinets to Create a Range Niche.  The partition wall of an interior loft kitchen often functions like a screen. It can’t connect to the ceiling without blocking light.  One way to help define that space and create room-like proportions on a range wall is to use short (soffit) cabinets across the top of the backsplash so they connect with full height cabinets on each side. The result is a range niche. A cleverly installed chimney hood (also the perfect shape) runs through the blind panel at the center. On either side there is handy, but limited, upper storage.

4 Unusual Kitchen Ideas - Kitchen counter that doubles as dining table aimecescuisines via Atticmag4.  Kitchen Counter that Doubles as a Dining Table. When I look at this expansive kitchen counter that’s arranged across two cabinets like a bridge, I can hear the comments about “barrier island” or grousing about lack of storage space. I see three uses that outweigh any drawbacks. First, is an exceptionally long unbroken counter top that’s ideal for preparation, baking or a buffet dinner, just steps from the range and the sink.  Second, a fully accessible dining table that offers comfortable seating on each side (a small eating bar is on the opposite side). And third, an open space where attractive portable storage or objects can be stowed underneath. That’s why I find this a better kitchen set up than first glance might suggest.

(Source: desiretoinspire, dimore gallery, hgtv, aimecescuisines)

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