The Kitchen Designer

Color Trend - More Gray

gray%20wallpaper.jpgMore gray news here for home interiors, fashion, and it's seen everywhere. Blinkdecor calls it gray skies and shows interesting examples of what's happening on the (gray) streets. Beautiful wallpaper from Mod Green Pod.

Unrelated to gray, but I must show you these tiles, seen again at Blink Decor, which I meant to show you a few days back. Look at these, aren't they beautiful? Maybe not grays, but you need some color with gray, that's part of the message.  

And, take a look at who else, a favorite blog, Another Shade of Gray,  who has had a good few posts on gray paint, which is a great look at lots of grays, from warm to cool. Take a look:

here-it starts and continues

here, and

here, ok, and


Coming soon, gray kitchens, and my thoughts on, should you or shouldn't you? 

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

A Kitchen Treat

Happy Halloween! In honor of this holiday, which could go either way, depending on my mood (tread carefully today) I'll give you a treat, rather than a trick! Take a look at this (appropriately pumpkin colored) kitchen. How charming is it?? A perfect kitchen for today, October 31, with it's warm, cozy, colors and materials.

I do believe this kitchen has not been changed for quite a few decades! I really should find out how many decades. It is used every single day by Thorvald, my (very active) 93 year old uncle in Denmark. Images were taken in August when I was there on vacation. I've seen this kitchen all my life, and this trip was the first time it occurred to me to photograph it. I'm so glad I did. Don't you see a life well lived? Notice the case of Tuborg beer in front of the curtain in the fourth image-he's always ready for guests. :) Enjoy this special treat!


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Trend Focus - Gray Matters

Gray is the new beige, according to Met Home's November issue, although some are saying gray is the new black. In the kitchen world, we're just on the upswing with black, let alone gray!

I have to say, I remember the gray kitchens of the 80's. They truly were awful. The were either gray glossy formica or gloss lacquer with medium gray 12x12 ceramic tiles on the floor, softly shaded. Always 8x8 medium gray tiles in the bathroom. Maybe an ivory formica breakfast table with large ivory chairs that swung around, of course.  The moment it came into vogue, I, for one, hated that gray trend. I wanted to say, "Don't you see what you're doing?? Stop it!"

This time it's different. There are a variety of grays, not just the super cold one trick gray. You see warm grays, dark gray/blues, grays paired with tan...and, unlike in the 80s, traditional looks with gray rather than solely modern. Point being, if you happen to like it for the long term, make it into a classic, rather than a trend. Here's coverage from Danielle at  Style Files.  

gray%20white%20kitchen.jpg gray%20cream%20kitchen.jpg



































From Heath Ceramics, gray, in context of blue and brown. Grace, from design*sponge was in San Francisco just last week and visited this tile showroom. See more here.


Other ways to use gray is paint, dishes, textiles, and other decorative items. The great thing about gray, is how it reacts with color. It's a wonderful backdrop for color, shades and contrast.

What about you, what do you think of gray??

Update: Just found this gray inspiration on Belle Vivir.  

Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

A Minimalist Kitchen

I don't think I'd call fellow blogger, Leah, a slacker, even though her blog is named More Ways to Waste Time. I think Leah's efforts definitely look productive, and with some "chic" thrown into the mix. A freelance writer, Leah interviewed me some months back for a piece on kitchen faucets for HGTV's website, yet to come out. Her point of view on home design, I find to be fresh!

Leah went on a walking tour of homes in California's Oakland hills. The homes were "eh", she needed a drink, but it was the last home her tour group went into, which was the surprise of the day. The kitchen stopped ME cold, when I came upon these images, and she said everyone was just wow'd. Simple, elegant, modern, yet, to me, warm. I really love this kitchen.

Things I'd tweak:  The window doesn't do it for me in this setting, but my guess is the owner wanted the home to stay true to its architecture. I don't get the round thing to the right of the hood. Maybe I'd add a run of stainless steel above the tile to go up to the height of the window, as I feel that's an awkward area, below the window. The window is too high. Just, sort of, to integrate the window in a more meaningful way. I'd revisit the plan. The cooktop/oven is unfortunately in a corner. Maybe they could have been centered on the beam...just random thoughts. Overall, very, very nice.


Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago

Kitchen Wallpaper - A Guide

I talked with my blogging buddy, Linda, from Surroundings about wallpaper in the kitchen (wallpaper is BACK...big, bold, patterns and all.)  As the second part of our two posts on the subject, Linda adds some thoughts for you here. Linda is the owner of Chameleon Interiors, a design firm near Boston. Linda's been widely covered in the media, including on WHDH's "Room For Improvement." I'm a frequent visitor to her blog, and always interested in Linda's take on interiors.

"Hi Susan,

I've been loving all your recent posts on white kitchens - just fabulous! After the heaviness of the 70s, the overdone 80s and the granite/stainless monsters of the 90's, the sleekness of simpler white kitchens just feels so fresh and invigorating! One thing I've noticed - and love - is the use of bolder, graphic wallpapers in kitchens.

The right graphic can really enhance a blank wall in the kitchen - really balancing the space. I think the trick, however, is getting the scale just right.  A small overall print can feel overwhelming and dated (think cabbage patch roses). Bigger bolder prints are more contemporary and can make the space feel bigger.
The right print can also add depth and dimension - such as with a mural paper that draws the eye into a scene. I also like that a bold yet traditional pattern - such as a brocade or stylized toile - can add an ageless quality and soften the lines of a sleek space."
Thanks, Linda. As usual, you hit the nail on the head! It's much about scale and proportion.  Here are other factors to consider when thinking about wallpaper in the kitchen:
kitchen%20wallpaper.jpgScale: What size is the room? The size of any given wallpaper pattern will be viewed very differently in a small vs. a large room. Best bet? Get a sample, or buy one roll to see it in perspective.
Pattern: Is the cabinet design busy? The busier the design, the more confusing a pattern will be. A smaller, consistent, pattern may work best with busy kitchen designs.
Theme: How about your style? Do you want to create a constrast of styles between wallpaper and cabinet design or do you want continuity for your chosen look? For example, you CAN pair a minimalist, sleek, cabinet design with a rich, brocade, wallpaper pattern. It's the contrast of styles that is of interest. Conversely, sure, keep the theme flowing with a wallpaper that has a similar connection to the overall kitchen design.
Color: Here is where you can have fun, and change your look fairly easily. Take your cue from your cabinetry colors, countertops, and flooring. It really helps if you can visualize your final look from the very beginning. Your walls will play such an important part in your space.  Think about the impact of color hues, shades, tints, and color schemes.
Texture: Do you have little pattern, but lots of texture in the kitchen? Watch out for busy countertops, such as granite coordinated with wall coverings. Patterns/textures can clash. Alternatively, a grass cloth wallpaper may be just the trick to give your kitchen that very warm look, in what is often a utilitarian space.
Trends: Go for it! This is one area that I fully support riding the trend wave, if you are so inclined. You cannot change your cabinets or countertops so quickly, or appliances for that matter. Wallpaper? Absolutely, positively, express yourself! 
For more images of wallpapers in kitchens, don't forget to visit Linda's post on the topic, here.  
Posted by Susan serra, ckd
over 12 years ago
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