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Kitchen Envy: All about the Alcoves

alcoves oh my

This kitchen was found via House to Home { again! }, which is proving to be a formidable resource for aesthetic and unique kitchen spaces. The space wasn’t an obvious choice for me, it actually has two things I specifically hate, a low ceiling height and no discernible source of natural light. That aside, the colour and texture of the cabinets intrigued me as well as the unique open shelving design.

Invisible Alcove shelving:
On a list of craven maven loves, this ticks all the boxes. Subway tiles? Check. Open shelving? Check. Glass shelves? Ch-ch-check. Combined into one, a unique idea. The recessed shelving is so polished, simple yet effective that it allows for busy yet orderly stocked items. If you look carefully, there is a lot on the shelves: Salt, pepper mills, cannisters, pots, oils, it’s all there but it doesn’t ‘look’ over stocked. The simple shelving design allows for this. The home owner has carefully selected items that are unified in colour – silvers and black and low on pattern variety. I love it.

Venetian Plaster cabinetry:
Can’t say I’ve seen this before. Forget your usual wood or high gloss cabinets, this gray venetian plaster effect mocks a treatment often reserved for the wall and it works. The space is a bit cavenous and small, so the shadow-like look on the cabinets play up that dark mysterious space feel very stylishly.

Floating Island:
If the island, and I suspect cooktop, in the center of this kitchen had cabinetry it would make this small space much darker and tighter than it already is. The floating island allows for an informal dine space and also for light to flow a wee bit freer than it would.

All in all, a nice space that is largely definied by the open shelving – rightly so. I wish there were more lighting options than just the recessed lights and a floor treatment a little ‘warmer’ than the simple wood – a colourful Kilim would add a really homely feel to this area. What do you like about this space?

image via house to home


Kitchen Envy: Pops of juicy orange

orange accents in house and home

If you haven’t looked through house to home‘s kitchen section now is a good time to start if any. For me, it’s like an overdose of my favourite food, leaving me giddy, sightly overstuffed and dizzy. But that’s a good thing. I spied the above kitchen on house to home a few weeks ago and was instantly caught up in the orange accents, they are subtle yet juicy to the eye. But that’s not the only reason I love this space, read on:

High gloss white floors:
Excuse me while I drool. I have a thing for high gloss white floors, the shine is like a jeweled accent to a well put together outfit. It is not dissimilar to the type of floor you would expect to see in a New York art gallery – and being white, it hides the dust and bits quite well. It elevates this space from being just a functional one to being something more.

Open-ness: Proximity to chill out on the couch and the informal dining give this space a nice open communal feeling. I hate kitchens that are boxed in and separate from the rest of the crowd, no banishment to domesticity here! It helps as well that the seating is all in the same shade – as though defining their function through colour and at the same time adding some refreshing colour to the space.

Sleek floating wood cabinetry: It took me a while to notice that the cabinets to the left are floating off the ground. Call it silly, but I love floating cabinets because they look magical to me. Oh, and because it’s a darn sight easier to sweep under them.

Rangehood: The long sleek rangehood mirrors nicely the breakfast bar. It looks as though it operates a dual function as a range hood and spotlight for the informal eating space. It brings an element of continuity, mirroring the rafters in the ceiling and the overall ‘oblong’ shapes that are peppered around: the cabinets, the couch and the windows.

Check out more great spaces at the house to home website.

image via house to home

Kitchen Envy: A gem in Melbourne

ceciles kitchen

Wednesday just isn’t Wednesday without a little kitchen envy. This weeks space comes from one of my most favourite blogs: The Design Files. The space belongs to Cecile Boston, a Melbourne based retailer of beautiful French home wares { why didn’t I know this when I was holidaying in Melb??? }. The space has a somewhat European aesthetic, in large part due to Cecile’s French roots. So bright, yet cozy I found myself instantly endeared to this place, these are all the reasons why:

Multiple light sources – This might seem like a strange thing to be envious about but as a person who hates overhead lighting and who lacks enough wall sockets for sufficient ambient lamps – I envy anyone who accomplishes a balance of natural and tungsten light. Spotlights over the countertop provide extra illumination on dusky evenings making dinner. A small sole chandelier over the dining table creates atmosphere for intimate dinners where the conversation runs into the wee hours; and the large windows wash the space in natural light perfect for lazy Sunday breakfasts. Oh to have options when it comes to illumination!

Assorted wood tones – There are a lot of wood surfaces in this space and for the most part they each have different finishes. From the picture window frames painted white, to the rich dark kitchen cabinetry. The wood floors, rustic sideboard and more. However, the eclectic mix doesn’t make the space look fussy or messy – instead they compliment each other as they are not at opposite ends of the wood stain spectrum. It’s nice to see mixed wood spaces done right.

Space – I am really impressed by the use of space in this room. Open shelves as opposed to upper cabinetry allow the light to bounce around the space freely and stop it from feeling ‘dark’ or ‘boxed in’. In addition, the roominess of the dining room caters to either very comfortable sit down dinners or, when the table is pushed aside, a great space for intimate cocktails and chat with standing room for many.

kitchen details

Marble Counter tops – White marble counter tops are a long-standing favourite of mine. I especially love it when paired with dark wood cabinets. The contrast is so pleasant, emphasizing the aesthetics of the surface well.

I could go on and on about this space..but I don’t think you would like that. Why don’t you check out more pictures of this space as well as other rooms in Cecile’s house over at The Design Files!?

images by lucy at the design files

Kitchen Envy: Ben and Marina’s brick-walled beaut

ben and marinas kitchen

A few months back I won a subscription to Living etc magazine courtesy of the lovely Will of Bright Bazaar. Last week the first issue arrived and oh my, i’ve read it { and drooled over it } from cover to cover several times over.

All of the spaces featured in Living etc are well curated and styled, with a breath of individuality and a strong sense of home. Of course, me being me, my eyes dweled on the kitchen spaces longer than anything else, especially the above space that belongs to Ben and Marina Fogle.

As an adventurer for whom the world is his playground, it’s no surprise that Ben Fogle’s home would have objet’s from all over the globe, as well as influences, intentional or subliminal, that draw on places and things he has encountered on his travels. Their kitchen is beautiful and to be honest one of my absolute favourites to be featured on Kitchen Envy! I can’t wait for the next issue of Living etc to arrive!!

Things I love { and inevitably envy } about this kitchen:

Handpicked brick wall
– Ben personally handpicked the 500 bricks used in the kitchen’s design. I love that dedication to producing an end result that is exactly what one wants, and, it looks fantastic. Instead of it being your typical ‘brick red’ the yellow tone reminds me of an outdoor wall – and gives the kitchen an ‘outdoors/inside’ feel, which is rather special.

Industrial Range
– Oh range, did you thought you would only peek into the shot and I wouldn’t see you? Think again. Big ole industrial style ranges mean one thing and one thing only to me, = big cooking. Ok, actually two things, big cooking and dinner parties. If there is one thing I should be found fault with in the kitchen is that I am not always a ‘one pot meal’ sorta cook. Which means I need hobs…lots of hobs.

Jeweled tone drinking glasses
– When I saw the drink glasses on the shelf the first thing I thought about was India. An array of jeweled toned silk sari fabrics blowing in the wind or populating busy streets..this inclusion in a kitchen that could be ‘cold and industrial’ adds warmth, visual interest and a sense of home-style coziness. It is also a nice nod to the travel bug that clearly permeates Ben Fogles life.

Cabinet/dishwasher colour palette – Appliances in stainless steel, black or white tend to be the norm..with the former being the current finish of choice if you watch HGTV’s House Hunters as much as I do.. But the dishwasher in Ben and Marina’s kitchen is a lovely dusky pinkish brown shade, which happens to match the art on the open shelf and complement the rim of the Dualit kettle. It’s quite a feminine shade so plays off against the colder elements of the brick, stainless steel and glass – truly making this space a unisex one.

Glass walls – This is probably my most favourite thing about this kitchen which sadly isn’t pictured in this shot..but the kitchen has a partial glass ceiling and wall. That’s right, like a conservatory or greenhouse. It allows for an abundance of natural light that no doubt floods this space like a monster wave and is so unexpected it elevates this kitchen from just a ‘cooking area’ to a rather romantic and somewhat voyeuristic space.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of the February issue of Living etc to check out more pictures of Ben and Marina’s lovely house..

image from living etc

Kitchen Envy: A last minute contender

living etc modern retro kitchen

I was all ready to write up a blog post about coolhaus after having a lacklustre week of kitchen envy searching, when a tweet from @livingetc resulted in me coming across a last minute contender. Dubbed a ‘modern retro kitchen’, this space has more aspects that I found personally appealing than most other kitchens I’ve drooled over in the past. It’s no secret that I love/crave/want an Aga but I’ve never seen a peachy toffee tone one with a Caribbean ocean blue tile back-splash before. Simply gorgeous!

Really, this kitchen is rather simple, but the vintage cabinets and details makes it float my boat, these are the precise reasons why I love it:

Science cabinets
– The lower cabinets with the big hand pulls remind me of the my secondary school science lab. That retro connection adds an air of nostalgia to this space so appeals emotionally as well as aesthetically, it also, for me is a nice nod to my love of most things sci-fi.

Long narrow floor to ceiling cabinets – I have a thing about lining things up and putting things in boxes, some call it OCD, I call it the way things should be. The long cabinets to the right have their handle in the middle, making me think that these are large shelves that roll out rather than just cupboards. I love larder shelves that roll out as they allow you to get a 180 view of the contents and eliminate the pesky ‘things stuck in the back of the cupboard’ syndrome.

Brick floor – I love me a brick wall – not for its rustic charm but for it’s NY City apartment feel. A brick floor is a nice way to incorporate that texture in the space without making the space blatantly scream ‘city’.

Hearth effect – The hearth stove is beautiful yes what with the Aga and the colourful tile back splash, but the shelf above the stove and the protruding hearth emulate architectural features common to the living room. I can imagine a nice huge art piece above the stove on the hearth to bring some extra colour into the space as well as an interesting visual reference.

Huge Island – An island serves many purposes. Extra counter work space, extra storage space or just a place from which to serve drinks or treats for a dinner party. By adding the vintage stools during the day this island also functions as a spot from which to eat breakfast and read the paper – pure morning bliss.

image via house to home

Kitchen Envy: The Byron Bay beauty

Byron Bay Kitchen - Design Files

The day is almost over but it cannot end without a little Kitchen Envy. Today’s covetable offering comes from one of my favourite blogs, ‘The Design Files‘. A carefully curated blog that features interviews with some of the most thought provoking creatives in Australia, Design Files features equally as impressive images of the homes and belongings of said creatives.

This kitchen, belonging to Byron Bay resident and textile designer Rachel Bending, totally stole my heart. I found it to be a perfect balance of modern and rustic without either genre dominating – creating a space that looks approachable, homely and polished. These particular aspects tickled my fancy:

Open cubby holed shelving– I have a thing about putting things into boxes / cubbies / packages so this array of little cubbies for shelving makes my heart sing. It also gives you the opportunity to force special attention on each and every item.

Vintage fridge– Not quite sure what brand this is but the curves coupled with the flecks of blue in the crest-like logo and handle adds a nice pop of colour to what would be ‘just another vintage fridge.’

Vintage kitchen tools – That whisk! That potato masher! With just the right amount of rust to make it decorative yet useable. The green handle of the whisk reminds me of jadeite and is in sync with the subtle green that repeats through this space.

Elevated draining board I haven’t seen an elevated draining board since I roadtripped Northern Italy 14 years ago. It impressed me then and it impresses me now. While this one is only small enough to hold glasses it still provides a way to keep the work surface clear and if there is anything a cook needs is more empty counter space!

Subtle not so subtle green, white and red colour palette – Can you spot it? The whisk handle, the butter dish, the egg bowl, the cookbooks, the milk jugs, the jar lids, the tea box, the scale bowl, the canister, the backsplash – shall I go on? All are very subtle shades of either red or green creating a uniformity to the space through a variety of objects without making it look cluttered.

The whole house is divine, but the kitchen has my heart. Check out the rest of the space here.

all images via the design files

Kitchen Envy: The technicolour dream..

rainbow kitchen

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s the time of the week where I drool over the delectable fabulousness that is someone elses kitchen. Despite liking colour in my life, I tend to drool over all white kitchens with the occasional shock of brick wall. I think it has something to do with the ‘clean’ aspect of an all white room, as well as the fact that it instantly makes the objects of colour, in this case food, the star attraction.

However, my white kitchen lovin’ went completely out of the window when I came across the picture above via a pinterest board. This jaw-droppingly amazing kitchen in Swedish Elle Interior magazine manages to pull of a variety of colour without creating a ‘flea market’ aesthetic which can come across as incohesive if not properly curated.

This is why I love this rainbow kitchen and ultimately, why it works:

Subtle washed wood floors – in a room this colourful, anything BUT a neutral floor would be overkill. The lightly washed wood floors add texture, its own unique identity and allow the cabinets to shine. No rug needed!

White tile backsplash – For the same reasons as the subtle flooring, it doesn’t take away from the main attraction, the cabinets and yet its subtlety in of itself makes it an anchor and silent strength in the room.

Distinct dining nook with dropped light fixture
– Lately i’ve become obsessed with the need for ‘dining space’ in the home. The obsession stems from my not having said space, but earnestly looking to create it. A dropped light pendant says one thing and one thing only – This is a dining space’. Having it in the open kitchen makes it nice and bright and dressing the dining space through neutral colours { despite mismatch furniture } prevents it from being another potential distraction from the main star.

Lack of primary colours and/ or desire to choose colours that match – Looking at these cabinets their neighbouring colours are not ones I personally would’ve thought to put together but it works. They don’t match, they shouldn’t compliment, yet somehow they do. The yellow, grey, duck egg and blue all have undertones of blueish-green, this allows them to sit together successfully. As with the bottom cupboards, the maroon to peach have undertones of reddish-pink and thus a certain uniformity.

All in all this is a bold kitchen, something I would never ever have thought to do and yet is presented so well. The empty countertop and pale white vases are not to my liking but I understand the neccesity of both in order to keep the space from looking cluttered. A good job all around. What do you think?

image via cubeme, found via pinterest