Color Riot (in the Kitchen) at Pier 94

March 22, 2013


Trade Day at the Architectural Digest Home Show 2013!   Took the 6 am train up to NYC yesterday, a bit annoyed with the weather (gray skies, flurries, etc.) but once off the street and inside the doors of the warehouse at Pier 94, my eyes needed a bit of adjustment– kind of like Dorothy landing in OZ when everything turns from black and white to technicolor~


via manhatin.blogspot


There were hits of vibrant color everywhere.  But, making a beeline to the “Marys and Mimosas” event sponsored by Modenus, eager to meet up with old design friends and fellow bloggers,  I passed through “kitchen land” — where I returned for a good part of the day.





The big surprise for me was color everywhere in the kitchen– especially in appliances.  This little orange beauty is from Bertazonni .





Smeg  has been “out there” in color world for years but there are a few new hues in the range.  Their  50s -style refrigerator could be the single playful color touch for a small space.





And there are the ranges from Blue Star —  check out the “color configurator” online.  It states that the ranges are available in 190 colors.  And I now have their color deck in my hands to prove it!  Actually they can match any RAL color out there.





And there is another retro frig– the  “Big Chill” .  This little beauty can also be ordered in one of over 200 custom colors.  The company  will open a division in France later this year to meet the demand  in Europe for vintage American appliances.








Head swimming with color?  Moving on,  there were even more colorful offerings from American Range.  The colors above are your choices for range KNOBS only!



American Range


And there is nothing that rivals the depth of color found in Pyro Lave, the glazed Volvic lava stone  for countertops.







Finally… you can rest your eyes.  The display of La Cornue ranges was on the stately side… in soft whites and black.





I had to include the tabletop offerings from Wud.  I loved the subtle hint of color on these martini glasses and plates, hand-crafted of black walnut and powder-coated aluminum.








It’s 2 am and time to wrap up this post, but I had to include another shout out to Modenus for hosting a lively and yummy gathering that is “Marys and Mimosas” as part of Blog Tour New York 2013.  I had a nice chat with Warren Bobrow,  who runs the blog “The Cocktail Whisperer”.  And he confided the secret behind his Bloody Marys– no wonder why this Maryland-raised girl loved them so!





A shake of a little elixer called “Chesapeake Bay Bitters” — which distills the taste of Old Bay Seasoning into a bottle!





I must end with this photo … for what is the AD Home Show without a bit of people watching?   From Italy, of course!





Color didn’t stop in the kitchen…  Architectural Digest Home Show 2013 (Part 2)  next time!  The show opens to the public today and runs through Sunday.  Worth the trip… but pack your gloves!




March 20, 2013



‘Tis the first day of spring but feeling downright freezing here in Virginia.  I’m heading up to the Architectural Digest Home Show tomorrow where the high in NYC will be a balmy 37 degrees!  Will hopefully be the last day I have to pull on my black boots and wool–  so ready for winter  to be OVER.


So I was going through my archives last night and came across these photos from a summer trip across the Bay Bridge to one of my favorite little towns on the Maryland Upper Eastern Shore–  Chestertown.   Just made me miss the color and warmth of the summer season even more.  So thought  I would share!



via New York Times



According to Adam Goodheart, a scholar at Washington College, the small liberal arts school in Chestertown ,  “Chestertown is one of those places where American history is just palpable everywhere, like Nantucket or Savannah.”  The New York Times did a great little piece about it which you can read here.




The grandest of its colonial houses date from the 18th century and were built by wealthy merchants. Many have been restored to their original grandeur.




The ordered little townhouses always catch my eye– with just a pop of color on shutters and doors.







Little alleyways lead to lush gardens beyond…













There are also  Victorian-era clapboard houses in the mix with fanciful painted trim.












There are plenty of interesting furniture, antiques and art galleries along the main street (you can’t miss it)…






  and sweet little teahouses and cafes.




I usually combine a trip to Chestertown with a visit to the beautiful farm of a family friend.  And a chair awaits me in either Clemson orange or Tarheel Blue.  Can’t wait to get back!





So, aside from the chilly NYC forecast, I’m super excited to catch up with fellow bloggers and design friends tomorrow at AD Home Show 2013.

Always terrific inspiration at Pier 94…  next post!




via manhatin.blogspot



Sydney Blues

March 10, 2013



“Color is light made visible”.   ~ Donald Kaufman


Crying the blues for Sydney– blues rendered vivid by the brilliant harbor light.  Sydney is the place where I studied color and design and the light there was so different than the murky veiled light of Washington, DC.  It was there that I came to appreciate how light affects color in different regions of the world.



via Ken Done



The light on the eastern coast of Australia, especially combined with a water view, is where white on walls comes to life.  The strong light calls for clean, bright hues…  like cobalt blue, yellow and hot pink.  Anna Spiro, who lives up the coast in Brisbane,  is a master at working in this light.  Her blog,  Absolutely Beautiful Things is one of my favorite reads– it is brimming with images of  stunning pattern and color.




via absolutely beautiful things




via absolutely beautiful things



The Design Files, another great Aussie blog, is also a favorite.  A wander over to that site always cheers me up– the light in many of the homes featured there is unmistakable.




via the design files




via the design files


This is one of my favorite ways to use color– white as a backdrop for intense pops of color– but it really only works with lots of strong natural light.





Below is a similar look in a light- filled loft in New York City.  It is beautiful, but the light is not the same.



via the new york times



This is why my earth- toned neutrals which were perfect back in Virginia looked so washed out in my living room in Sydney.






Maybe I’m just getting impatient for warm weather– these colors (below) could  certainly work in a sweet little beach house on the Atlantic coast.



via absolutely beautiful things




via ken done


A trip down under should be on everyone’s bucket list.  If you go, just be sure to pack your sunglasses!





Orange Crush

March 4, 2013



“Orange is the happiest color.”  ~ Frank Sinatra


Spending too much time inside my house this winter but took a stroll around yesterday and inventoried just how many little doses of orange have crept into my rooms. I know… “Tangerine Tango” is so 2012, but these pieces are keepers!  And, yes, they do make me happy.





It may have all started here with the shot of orange in this rug we brought back from Afghanistan years ago. It’s relatively small (6×8) so doesn’t dominate the room. It’s the only real color and pattern in my otherwise quiet neutral bedroom.





And I couldn’t resist this linen pillow with a brilliant orange trim (antique Hungarian) from Pandora Balthahazar several years ago at the Brimfield Antiques Show.  All of my linens are neutral, walls are painted in my favorite C2Paint ‘Bristle’ (a warm sand color) with ceilings and trim in the soft C2 Cotton– with just a few small pops of orange.





This  window seat pillow (found on Etsy) combines the burgundies and oranges found in the rug.






My little library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, walls and ceiling all painted out in Benjamin Moore Linen White, gets a color shot on a small accent wall painted in Donald Kaufman’s DKC 17– the perfect backdrop for a little abstract by the artist Marcia Staiger.





Thanks, Mom for this flea market find.








Another Brimfield steal– an antique Aboriginal painting.  Absolutely love the colors in it.   Funny, I never found one that I loved enough to purchase while living in Australia.





Also couldn’t resist this “cheeky”  pillow from local designer Supon Phornirunlit of  Naked Decor.  It wakes up the austere lines of a Thos. Moser  wingchair.





And again, it’s… tulip time!  Tulips are my favorite flower because they really arrange themselves. And that’s about all the orange this room needs.






So that’s my wrap up for orange. Small hits of it are cheery and fun- especially in the winter months. Not seeing “Emerald Green”  creeping into my house anytime soon.  Though lately, I am coveting the pop of warm green in this beautiful house designed by Feldman Architecture.



via Anne Irwin Fine Art



And this painting by the artist  Bernd Hausmann.




artist Colin Page



Perhaps in my next house… ‘Emerald Green’ might be just perfect in a little vacation cottage on a lake in Maine (with orange  confined to the driveway) .



Thanks for stopping by!