kitchen color palette

forsyte saga interiorI was watching The Forsyte Saga on Netflix (the English and their smack talk!) when I was struck by this room. It’s very formal and fancy, but the combination of a steely blue and goldenrod yellow felt so modern. It’s also happily relevant, because one of the colors of linoleum I’m considering for the kitchen floor is yellow. And god, am I starting to feel pangs of longing toward damask again?

So then I got to scheming, and this whole business happened:kitchen color palettes

Really and truly I like them all.

Some colors are safer for resale though. With the Marmoleum floor colors, for instance, most people seem to have strong feelings about yellow. And while blue (I think?) is inoffensive, certainly most buyers would pout at a vivid blue. Yes, I could get color on the floor with a rug, but I don’t have my own washing machine–if I had a kitchen rug, it’d be a filthy kitchen rug. So maybe vintage blue or rosemary are safest, if I care about future buyers.

All of the paint colors are from Farrow & Ball. I’m partial to blue and green color palettes, but I’m telling you, the blue-gray and chartreuse-y gold combo is growing on me. Which now that I think about it is just another permutation of blue and green. I’m either in a rut or very, very consistent!

For countertops, all of the options are various styles of quartz. Calacatta Nuvo and London Gray are from Caesarstone, who offer both honed and polished quartz. Torquay comes from Cambria, and Silestone makes Helix. (Here’s Helix in action at last year’s Kips Bay Show House). I feel a slight qualm about using a material that’s pretending to be something else, but these patterns are pretty subtle and convincing. Plus quartz is just so dang durable.

Because it’s recommended Ikea cabinets sit on your finished floor, picking a Marmoleum color can’t really be a last-minute decision. I like the yellow the most because it’s unexpected and cheerful, but vintage blue would work perfectly well too. To further divide things, I think my husband is partial to petrol or rosemary. At this point I’d probably consult some fabrics for ideas, but I’m keeping the windows simple with the existing matchstick blinds, which is really the only spot to introduce fabric. And most of my dishes are white, with a smattering of blue spatterware, so that doesn’t eliminate anything either.

So what do you think? Keep the floor muted and limit color to accessories, for the sake of resale? Or just do what I want because everything else –the cabinets, backsplash, and counters– will be some shade of white?

favorites from kips bay 2014

young huhNo, you didn’t fall through some standing stones* and land back in May 2014; I am, in fact, just now sharing a few pictures from last year’s Kips Bay Show House. The designers for this year’s Decorator Show House were recently announced, which sent me scrolling through my phone for images of last year’s house. Which I am sharing today. So topical and relevant!alexa hampton

When I was a kid I desperately wanted my mom to buy a chaise for the house. Do you ever grow out of wanting such a thing? It’s one of those pieces of furniture infused with so much aspiration; what the typewriter represents to aspiring writers, the chaise represents to aspiring ladies of leisure.

animal prints

Did you all read that article about millennials living uncluttered lives? Meanwhile I am all things on things please, particularly animal prints. Really rebellious.

mendelson group

There were topiaries and a gallery wall. Of course I took the picture.

peony tablescape

This one is just blogger bingo: peonies + black & white objects.

And that concludes my coverage of a thing that happened a year ago!

*Outlander is back and I am very excited about this.

kitchen renovation notebook: butcher block

Earlier this year we went into Manhattan and way, way downtown to Green Depot to look at the linoleum samples in person, and ended up looking at countertops as well. As the store’s name suggests, they focus on renewable and sustainable design, so their countertop selection consisted of composite materials like quartz, and butcher block. I’ll admit, I automatically gravitated to the marble-like quartz options, but my husband really loved the butcher block.

You might think that butcher block is substantially cheaper than stone counters, but it’s not, unless you go the pre-cut route at a store like Ikea. According this Remodelista post, custom butcher block counters run between $75 to $150 per square foot. But the warmth of the countertops is undeniable and definitely evokes a country kitchen.

My only concern with butcher block is having it near the sink. Some articles indicate that unsealed butcher block near a sink will get discolored. I’m okay with an even patina, but not straight-up rotting sections of counter. So do you have butcher block counters and if so, how is the maintenance? Any issues near the sink?

yes to… chinoiserie

yes to chinoiserie

I fully realize this is a category that encompasses many things. I could have very easily done “yes to faux bamboo” or “yes to ginger jars,” and I probably will in the future. But I love the whimsy of all the different pieces together so here we are: chinoiserie.

Chinoiserie is a French word that means Chinese-esque. (The French are very creative). I’ve been researching 18th century decor this year, and chinoiserie pieces pop up quite a bit, but it entered the Western design consciousness in the 17th century. Europeans attempted to recreate Chinese porcelain and wallpapers, and the result was a blending of Chinese and European styles. Lacquered tables, painted tin (tole), fretwork–these are all a result of Europeans imitating East Asian artisans.

The style eventually fell out of favor in the late 18th century, but in the 20th century designers like Dorothy Draper infused their rooms with Chinoiserie elements. Chinoiserie can have a very society feel in a formal apartment, but when mixed with mid-century pieces in modern interiors, its whimsy is in full effect.

I have at least one chinoiserie-inspired piece in every room. They add lightness and humor–there is nothing serious about faux bamboo or rattan. So if you ever find yourself with a room that feels too stuffy and formal, get thee some faux bamboo.

Mary Katrantzou Maxi Dress – Net-a-Porter / Gilded Chinoiserie Pagoda Mirror – Chairish / China Rose Green Pillow – Biscuit Home / Dana Gibson Cachepot – Belle and June / Bungalow 5 Jacqui Navy Table – Layla Grace