One of the nice things about the internet is the presence of on line magazines. Of course, in my book, nothing could take the place of a nice fat, glossy, sensuous paper magazine. However, the on line versions are a nice addition to the mix. Two of my favorites are Lonny and Surroundings. Surroundings is published by fellow Blogger 19 member Linda Merrill. She always does a great job of making the magazine not only pretty and visually inspiring but it’s always filled with practical info as well.
The holiday issue has just landed in my inbox. Check it out and you will see my contribution to this issue on page 4! Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers. I am grateful for you!
A great way to combine art and function in the kitchen is through your cabinet hardware. We think of it as jewelry, or bling, for your cabinets. Check out this assortment of stunning handles by Glass Fancy, Art Glass Interior Design Elements.
Glass adds a water element as well as vibrant color to your kitchen or bath. These particular handles are handmade fused glass created by a glass jewelry artist who segued into creating cabinet hardware when contemplating ways to beautify her own kitchen. The result was so successful she decided to add knobs and pulls to her store selection. The nice thing is that you don’t have to use them on every single door and drawer, just a select few to create a focal point of interest. Check out her Etsy store knobsandtiles
You can also find her at the following links:
Thanks to my pal and jewelry artist Vicki of Skygypsy Studio for the heads-up!
Today’s guest post is from Susi, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a must-shop resource for beautiful light fixtures. Susi is sharing some favorite kitchens, from traditional to contemporary, cottage to penthouse. There is a wide range of styles, fixtures, cabinets, flooring and lighting in these kitchens. We hope you see something that will inspire you. What is your favorite kitchen?
Small doesn’t mean unstylish. Love this eat-in-kitchen that is small on space but large on style. High gloss cabinets reflect the light to make the room feel bigger. The pendant light over the table adds a stylish touch.
This contemporary farmhouse kitchen is a gorgeous blend of new and old. Love how the design incorporates the stone wall with contemporary cabinets and pendant lights
Content provided by Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality lighting fixtures at extremely affordable prices. If you like this post, be sure to stop by the Arcadian Lighting blog and let us know you saw us here!
Today’s Let’s Blog Off topic queries the source of our ideas. Where does creativity reside? Is it within or is it outside and all around awaiting discovery? For me the answer is both. Yes, it’s all around us, for sure, but it also requires the eye of the beholder to breathe life into it. Here is a recent example in my life of something I saw which inspired a blog post.
You may have the panache to pull off a monochrome white room that invites and stimulates the senses but for most of us going all the way with white runs the risk of BORING. Since white is so “white hot” at the moment, especially in the kitchen, I’m going to share with you the secret of how to make white pop.
One thing to remember is white is a team player, it’s all about the colors around it. As you know, I love art (a big source of inspiration). I recently came across this image in Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine which is a perfect example of how white can glow when surrounded by the right color. I see it work time and again. White cabinets plus color equals stunning. If your taste runs more to the conservative think camels, taupes or warm beige walls to create the contrast.
If you’re more daring go for Apple Martini Green or Sky Blue. The nice thing is if you want to go for the gusto paint is a safe bet. It’s one thing you can change fairly easily and reasonably.
Another thing to remember about white is that it’s just not white. There are probably hundreds of whites and they all read differently depending on your lighting and location. The lesson here is to test your whites on site. Consider the color for a full 24 hours so you can see how it looks as lighting changes throughout the day.
Many times wherever you find white you will also find black. You can tastefully mix black and white cabinets or if you have guts and great lighting the walls could be black, as in this example. This photo also serves as a great inspiration for many of the newer homes we have in my area with cathedral ceilings but short stumpy cabinets (thank you Mr. Builder). If you can’t afford to change the cabinets take advantage of the great space above for art. Here, it carries the eye upwards taking attention away from shorty cabinets.
This stunning Apple Green back splash looks like glass but it’s actually a colored plastic by Opticolor! So there you have it, inspiration of the day all inspired by a whimsical little piece of art!
Seems like the consumer is a little leery lately. Everyone’s radar is on high alert looking to avoid the big RIPOFF. I can only speak for myself but I’m confident that I am in the majority. All we kitchen and bath industry professionals want is to make you happy. Do we have to eat? Yes, and so do all the hard working people that make your life possible. That said, I do understand where you’re coming from. After all, I am a consumer too. With that in mind I have come up with a cheat sheet for you. Run through these 5 tips as a prelude to your decision making and you should be able to trust once again. Oh and remember there is a difference between cheap and value for the money. I know cheap is tempting but it isn’t cheap anymore if you have to replace a product that doesn’t make the cut.
1. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER– Today there is no excuse not to educate yourself before you go shopping. There is a wide array of media at your disposal. Use the internet and talk to people! Yes, people, in person (ok can be online too). Talk to the experts. Read blogs. Ask questions and talk to other consumers. One of the best ways to feel good about your choices is to know other people who have made them before you and been happy. No, you can never know for sure but the more knowledge you have the more equipped you are to make the right selection for yourself.
2. RESEARCH-This goes hand in hand with #1 but it is really the next step. Once you have defined the scope of your project you will be ready to select specific products such as appliances, counter tops, cabinets etc. that fit into the big picture. Research the choices. What are other people saying? How long has a company been in business? The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau are good national and local resources and can indicate if you’re headed in the right direction.
3. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE– Take a little time to find out what your style is. Who wants to spend a butt-load of money on something they’re going to hate looking at? The best way to find what floats your boat is to do something I call “kitchen scrap booking”. Time to have fun. Collect images from magazines, catalogs and the internet. These don’t even have to be photos of kitchens. They should be anything that appeals to you, a style, product or just a general ambiance. In this way you will begin to see the patterns and perhaps even discover some things you never consciously knew! For example you may find that 7 of 10 photos contain white cabinetry but maybe you never considered that. Getting what you love is good value. It just takes a little vision.
4. LET THE PROFESSIONALS DO THEIR JOB- A WORD OF CAUTION: Don’t get carried away here. You’ve all heard “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. It’s true. Never succumb to thinking you know it ALL. That’s why there are people who have studied and spend a large part of their waking lives becoming certified experts so they can get paid to help you. Use them.
5. COMMUNICATE FOR GOD SAKES! Once you’ve got some semblance of a plan in your head it’s time to take it (along with your scrapbook) to the magician professional who can make it happen for you. This is not about money. You have to buy your products somewhere and that place should have a professional on hand to take your vision and translate it into your dream. That’s all we do folks. It is my experience that the best projects are really good collaborations between client and designer. Getting what you want equates to good value for money invested. The NKBA is a good source for qualified professionals in your area. Many of us are also willing to work on a consultation basis, so ask!