Like a gossamer cage, a screen porch encloses a space yet rarely limits it. Anyone who has spent a warm afternoon or a brisk evening in one of these airy rooms that magically exist without walls or window glass knows the joy of feeling the flow of air while enjoying the view. Naturally, the benefit of a modest screen porch such as this beautifully finished one on Long Island, is its proportions echoed in the Mission-style lantern ceiling lights and the fantasy of living outside while enjoying protection from tiny critters – particularly at night.… Continue Reading
I’m very late to the Belgian kitchens party. Over the past six or seven years they have been shown, explained, copied and widely admired. Classic Belgian kitchens — like these by designer Joris Van Apers — led the way towards the so-called “social kitchen,” which includes a dining room table and even upholstered furniture. Additionally, Belgian kitchens tend to have high ceilings, stucco walls, built in storage cupboards, stone or vintage flooring, and sometimes even a fireplace. For Americans, they represent “old world” looks and grace.
Joris Van Apers’ kitchens are especially refined and individual, a little rustic and exceptionally beautiful.… Continue Reading
A French invention of the 18th century, single pattern rooms use one fabric to cover the walls, furniture and draperies.
Back in the early days of domestic interior design the fashion was for everything to match. Single pattern rooms had a very intense look. Today, rooms decorated in this style are viewed as hyper traditional — even archival. Fabric-covered walls can be wildly expensive when the required yardage is added up and the look isn’t a DIY favorite. That’s no surprise since upholstering walls perfectly — so the pattern isn’t thrown off — takes special skills.
The iconic fabrics for this single pattern rooms are mattress ticking stripes and checks.… Continue Reading
Large or small, modern or antique, a stunning garden bench enhances even the most beautiful outdoor space.
How wonderful it is to sit on a garden bench and enjoy being surrounded by the natural vegetation and blooms. Even the fabulous Scampston Hall Walled Garden in northern England was designed with special garden seating. A landscape architect knows which furniture is needed for a garden but, for the rest of us, finding the right garden bench is akin to shopping for a living room sofa. Size, color, style and the overall look of a bench needs to align with the garden’s mood.… Continue Reading
Powder room sinks with unique personalities help set the styles for guest baths — from modern to traditional.
Here’s the thing about powder room sinks: the focus is often on the style of the vanity instead of the basin. But for me, the sink’s the thing. That’s why I especially favor statement-making sinks in powder rooms. A fabulous lavabo can be mounted on top of a conventional vanity, or on the wall, on a piece of furniture, or even on top of a plank and still make the point. The more original and memorable the sink, the more successful the look.… Continue Reading
As a backsplash to set the tone for a neutral kitchen there’s nothing like dimensional honeycomb tile.
When an internet mogul built a vacation home in Costa Rica, Atlanta designer Beth Webb was hired to create the décor. Channeling the dark, rustic Latin look of homes in Central America, and mixing it up with the needs of second home for upscale clients, the result was classic, elegant and yet slightly exotic blend of whites, creams and taupes. In the kitchen [top] that meant a neutral scheme, one of subtle richness based on Ann Sacks’ dimensional Nottingham honeycomb tile in Veil. A honeycomb pattern is small scale, easy on the eyes and yet visually distinctive.… Continue Reading
Taking the weekend off to celebrate the 4th of July.
With best wishes to all for freedom and independence around the world. And with thanks to California-made Fireclay Tile for providing a great Independence Day collage that celebrates the red, white and blue of the American flag.… Continue Reading