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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

To have and BHLDN: From India, with love

As a continuation to yesterdays punk inspired wedding borne from the launch of the new bridal one stop haven, BHLDN, today I give you part two of the series: From India, with love.

It is the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, married as teens in 1612, whose love surpassed the confines of death and whose story has evaded the obsolescence of time. After the death of Mumtaz, a forlorn and grieving Shah erected one of the world’s most wonderful works of architechture, the Taj Mahal, as a monument and mausoleum for his beloved wife. To this day it’s curvaceous lines and outstanding beauty continues to wow the world and has made it one of the most recognised buildings of all time.

From india with love


The bridal elements

a. greenbow lace gown – $600
b. baguette halo – $140
c. brocade d’orsay heels – $350

The table settings

1. zinnia thicket plates – $12
2. nifty napkins – $32 for six
3. opalescent tumbler { in green } -$12
4. whizbang bowl – $32
5. platinum petals coupe – $14
6. rediscovered flatware – $36

see also : glass bottle and basket – $238 and bell finial cloche – $28

Why it works

This beautiful crochet dress has a keyhole in the back, a most elegant ‘cooling system’ for a wedding in a hot location. The baguette halo as headpiece and brocade d’orsay heels add an element of exoticism and sun capturing glintz.

Translated to table setting this concept brings a mixture of brightly coloured elements and patterns that are gently restrained by the shapes and facets that give a somewhat colonial feel. The zinnia plates and whizbang bowls scream with their highly saturated hues and bold pattern. They made me think of the unabashed joviality of sari colours and patterns.

By way of contrast the rediscovered flatware, inspired by vintage flatware, coupled with the platinum petals coupe contributes a regal air that feels decidedly English and formal. The honorable mentions of the bottle and basket and finial cloche { via terrain } add an old world feel to the table and make it seem like the table scape is a collection of inherited items that have traveled from back home that have mashed-up with styles newly acquired in ones new more exotic home.

all images via anthropologie and bhldn

To have and BHLDN

As many of you by now know, the company that owns such brands as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People went live with their bridal one stop shop, BHLDN yesterday. There were sighs and cries from girls who love all things flowy and eclectic from Brooklyn to Portlandia. Trust me. I was one of them. But while I was beguiled by the dresses and shoes { oh the shoes }, my mind wandered to the table settings – plates, forks, spoons, glasses oh my! Imagine a truly Anthro table setting.

The good news is that decorations, tableware, favors, etc will be available in May and you can be sure that I will be keeping my eyes peeled for what develops. In the meantime pulling from Anthro’s current inventory of tablewares and whatnot’s I’ve gone ahead and put together my own mood boards of Anthro table settings based on some of the greatest love stories of all time. Check back each day for a new board!

punch drunk love

The bridal elements

a. ribboned silk gown – $1600
b. unabashedly gloves – $60
c. jelly slingbacks – $190

The Table Setting

1. on a whim dinnerware – $10-$48
2. damara napkin – $8
3. fleur-de-lys juice glass – $6
4. salt and pepper cellar – $22
5. milky way votives { candle votives, but for schnapps drinking! } – $6
6. radiance flatware – $19.95 { on sale }

See also: beast feet platter – $128 and laguiole steak knives – $78 for six.

Why it works

Punk is a very visually strong genre and let’s face it under the guise of a wedding celebration it’s a look than can end up looking gaudy and tacky. Bright colours and clashing patterns are tempered by using subtle colours and ‘nod’s to the genre rather than blatant interpretation. I love the on-a-whim dinnerware – a plaid design in pastels is a nice nod to the beloved fabric of all things punk: tartan. These colours add a touch of femininity to it all.

The radiance flatware is a rich dark colour but not black which could be seen as too stark. This lighter shade adds a contrast and ‘disturbance’ to the table as it is not in sync with the rest of the ‘colour scheme’ but what is punk if it doesn’t cause somewhat of a ruckus?!

A less than perfect looking votive is a nice addition for drinking shot of booze while the pink fleur de lys glass adds yet another texture.

Honorable mentions, such as the beast feet platter add a slightly gothic yet definite masculine air to the table..no room on the mood board for that one, but surely not to be overlooked!!

all images via anthropologie, bhldn and terrain

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