Under Counter Refrigeration Kitchen

kitchen with under counter refrigerator/freezer drawers - Elle Decor via AtticmagHow does a kitchen look with Andy Warhol’s neon cow but no full-size refrigerator? The answer is: just great!

Under-counter fridge/freezer drawers can replace a conventional refrigerator for many reasons. A large fridge might not be needed, which is the case in this kitchen (formerly a rental apartment). The owners, a high-end furniture restorer and his companion, have no family meals to prepare. With space and light at a premium on the ground floor of a 1864 French Empire house with a side yard, the choice was made to tuck a pair of refrigerator/freezer drawers under stainless steel counters (by Galesi design) to the right of the main sink. That strategy allowed them to preserve natural light with twin doors out to the garden in back as well as two large windows on the side of the building – ground floor rooms in town houses are notoriously dark. Unbroken wall space in the long, narrow room is occupied by a vintage Wolf range plus a small storage cabinet alongside.

As a DIY project, the owners also opted to leave plumbing pipes exposed and paint the open joist beams in Benjamin Moore’s white Dulamel (water-based enamel). Light fixtures are from Progress Lighting, the cork floor by EnviroChoice (from iFloor.com) and the Summit refrigerator/freezer drawers from our awesomely knowledgeable pal Mitchell Weissberg of Krups Kitchen and Bath in NYC, who gave us expert advise on Top Kitchen Faucets several years ago.

(Source: elledecor)

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One Wallpaper, Three Baths

brown and Lyford Trellis  wallpaper by China Seas - Quadrille via Atticmag rom China SeasPapering walls can add welcome pattern in addition to color.

If there’s one room in my house that I’d wallpaper it would no doubt be a bathroom. Unless tile is used lavishly, papering walls is the quickest way to get visual interest in what’s often a rather small space with oddly interrupted surfaces. The right paper can help unify the look and provide a charming backdrop for mirrors, art and accessories. In a previous post called Powder Rooms Papered, I explored a variety of papers. Here, thanks N.Y. to designer Tom Scheerer who has used the same Lyford Trellis paper by China Seas for Quadrille in three different baths, it’s interesting to see how a change in colorway and accessories can alter the mood of a bath.

A lattice or trellis motif suggests a garden-y feeling and a bamboo always feels exotic and traditional as it was a Victorian staple. But the dramatic brown on natural version of LT [top], in a Florida house, enhances the Victorian antique style bamboo washstand and matching mirror. This bath has been seen a good deal and we also featured it in our Five Faces of Wallpaper post. Justifiably — it’s a graceful classic.

aqua and white Lyford Trellis wallpaper by China Seas - Quadrille via AtticmagThe very same paper, in aqua and white (with brown accents) is so understated on the walls of this white bath it hardly seems like a sibling. Obviously beachy, it marries well with shell sconces. And, notice how the medicine cabinet is  centered on the pattern — perfect!

brown and natural Lyford Trellis wallpaper by China Seas - Quadrille via AtticmagUsing the same brown paper in a different powder bath, Scheerer picks up the orange accents for the vanity shirt. While the orange was hardly noticeable above, here it draws the eye down to a fairly dull sink feature. Much more interesting is the white-painted bamboo motif mirror reflecting tropical palms through an open window.

(Source: Tom Scheerer, Quadrille)

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Sevres Blue Obsession

Sevres blue house trim – Veranda via AtticmagThis 300-year old hue is rarely seen today, yet it’s one of my favorite house colors.

Psychologists probably wouldn’t give me a positive assessment for being a blue-and-white person. Orange is happier. Yellow more cheerful. And gray is far more soothing. Still, I’ve come to terms with my blue walls and blue furniture and a front door painted Sèvres or Cerulean blue which went out of style when Marie Antoinette lost her head — and never returned. But those of us who revere the 18th century adore this blue as a choice for exterior house components such as shutters, gates, planters, trim, fences and doors. French designer Jean-Loup Dirand used a variation on Sèvres for the trim on his house in Provence [top]. An interior of the house was shown in our Color Poem post.

 Sevres blue garden gate - Veranda via AtticmagDirand also used it on this stunning gate to his walled garden.

 Sevres porcelain cupid cup – Trouvais via AtticmagOf all the blues out there, Sèvres (pronounced sevv), or Cerulean, blue is less admired than its cousin turquoise and less chic than sapphire. In the world of home décor and furnishings, this is the namesake body color of decorated porcelain made in France since 1738, of which this Cupid cup is an example. Yes, it’s gaudy with gold and a little putto. But color had to be intense and gilded to be seen at a time when candles provided the only interior lighting after sundown.

Fine Paints of Europe Zuider Zee blue Dutchlac front door – AtticmagIt also happens to be the color I chose 12 years ago for my salvaged front door. It adds personality and harmonizes with  the red tones of our cedar shingles so I doubt I shall ever change it.

Sevres blue paint swatch – Society for All Artists via AtticmagThe Society for All Artists includes a swatch of acrylic resin Sèvres blue in their color collection.  House-paint companies give it e various names which may vary with the undertones of green and gray. Farrow& Ball calls it Chinese Blue. Fine Paints of Europe lists it on their Classic European color chart as Zuider Zee Blue after the famous inlet in Holland. Benjamin Moore dubbed it Cool Blue (2058-40) and describes it as the “shade of tropical waters” and as a “saturated sea blue.” Saturated is a key word in this discussion because most people find it too intense for interior walls.

 Sevres blue shutters on a cottage – Artesanato & Humor de Mulher  via AtticmagOutside, colors always appear many shades lighter. It works well muted on the shutters of this English-style cottage.

 Italian residence in Friuli with Sevres blue trim – tempodadelicadeza via Atticmag The owners of a former 18th century mill in the Italian province of Fruili, also used a muted variation on the theme to set the shutters apart from the climbing greenery on a white house while not upstaging it.

weather worn Sevres blue shutters on a stone house - weloveprovence via AtticmagBack in Provence, even weather-worn shutters on an ancient stone house with a terracotta tile roof benefits from this old-fashioned pop of blue that reaches out to the color-lover in all of us.

(Source: Veranda, trouvais, ssa, artesanatoehumordelmulher, tempodadelicadeza, weloveprovence)

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Luxurious Window Layering

window done in lavender print fabrics with Roman shade under draperies - Amanda Nisbet via AtticmagThere’s an art to coordinating fabric schemes, especially when it comes to windows and prints.

That rises to the level of a fine art when two patterns must go together on a single window, with fabric-covered Roman shade layered beneath draperies. More commonly, bamboo or another natural material would be coupled with curtains.  But the airy windowpane check (no pun intended) is a logical choice if the shade need to be totally light blocking — say for a bedroom.  Plus, the check is a classic with the solid textile on the chair and ottoman. So why take the risk with a second pattern in the same scale and color family for the draperies? l expect it’s to do the unexpected — and there can be a certain luxury in layering fabrics. Factor in a fourth fabric on the accent pillow and a fifth for the cashmere throw on the ottoman and the rule of using odd numbers is clear. But don’t snap your fingers just yet. A less daring designer than New York’s Amanda Nisbet, who also is known for her fabulous use of color, might not pull it off as beautifully. Every so often, a room contains an element that should be studied. I think this is one of them.

(Source: Amanda Nisbet)

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Curved Oak Kitchen

 Mafi oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagThe core of a high rise apartment in Sydney is a show-stopping wood-paneled kitchen plus a glassed-in extension.

One of the more interesting minimalist kitchens I’ve encountered features a bold curved wall [top], improbably paneled in horizontal gray-oiled oak planking. The color of the wood reminds me of old French Limosin oak wine barrels. Extending from the entry of the open-plan apartment around and into the cooking-dining space, the paneling covers the interior wall and becomes a general backdrop. A central island also has a base clad in matching oak planks. On top, an induction cooktop on the aisle side is set flush, keeping things looking smooth. Even the box-shaped vent hood over it hews to the minimalist style. On the non-business side of the island, the sleek white counter has a ledge with seating for casual meals.

 Mafi oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagFlush planked doors conceal two storage pantries. The door to the master bedroom suite lies just beyond the curved wall.

 Mafi oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagAdjacent to the pantries it’s possible to see light peeking from a flush double door that conceals a home office, which is an interior room. The apartment has a rather eccentric floor plan that could be described as the shape of a fan with the curved part cut straight.  The kitchen occupies the center and the aisle also functions as a passageway from one side of the apartment to the other.

 Mafi oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagTucked into a center niche on the far wall of the kitchen, a double sink sits alongside a pair of Miele ovens. The glare on the left side results from the glassed in extension that encloses the center section of a long terrace.

 Mafi oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagBecause the core of the kitchen is so dramatic, the greenhouse side comes as such a surprise. This night view shows the long dining table that sits beneath the greenhouse-style extension which must offer spectacular views early in the morning and at sunset.

 Mafi oak plank kitchen with curved walls – CM Studio via AtticmagStanding in the living room, it’s easy to see the wall of windows that runs the length of the apartment with a stunning amount of daylight flooding the kitchen, where travertine tile takes over from sisal. The gray-oiled oak “country” planked radius wall is made possible by curved wood from mafi, an Austrian supplier of timber planks and oiled flooring with distribution in Australia.  The apartment is the work of CM Studio’s dynamic young design team of Christopher Glanville and Megan Burns, who have been collaborating since 2012. When I die and go to heaven in Australia, I hope they will accept me as a client.

(Source: CM Studio)

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