Traditional | Warm | White | Kitchen

This kitchen renovation took a lot of planning, but it was so worth it. You can see what it looked like before and in process here, but let’s take a look at all that storage and counter space in the after below!
Warm White Kitchen 1

One of the things that I really love about this new space is the new windows. Both of the windows in the kitchen space were replaced, the one over the sink was moved (it’s worth checking the before post to see the old window placement). The previous window was close to the corner of the room nearest the front door, it was large and low and took up a bulk of the usable space. For a kitchen though it is so nice to have natural light streaming in, it was better in this kitchen to recover that space for storage and counters and upgrade to a smaller window centered over the sink.

We centered the window in the interior space, so if you look closely at the exterior shots, you will notice it is slightly off centered between the door and the edge of the home, but it isn’t super obvious and the bigger concern was that it would look puny compared to the large window on the living room side of the home. Once we applied the siding and shutters it seemed to really blend in and balance out on the front of the house, and there are always landscaping tricks you can do if this is something that ends up changing in your space as well.

The other thing we did to help make this space feel larger was open it up to the formal living room. We weren’t able to open it up completely due to structural requirements and budget constraints, but we opened it as much as possible, extending the counters through to the living room side of the column to create a breakfast nook and keep the sight lines as expansive as possible.

Lastly, we grouped all of the food storage together anchoring the far corner of the room creating ample storage while still leaving the eat-in kitchen capabilities.

Another favorite feature of this kitchen is the white sink. Believe it or not, it is a white granite composite sink, and the homeowner has reported that it is holding up very well and they are quite pleased with it. With the cabinets and sink being white, we balanced it out with a warm counter, paint and flooring to really get a warm feeling in the space overall. This is also why we steered clear of stainless appliances. The white appliances keep the space feeling more open and don’t add the cool stainless feeling to the overall warm space. All of the hardware is in a brushed nickel which is also a very warm finish.

What do you think of this finished space? A lot of people right now are doing all white kitchens with white details on everything except for the appliances and hardware, so I’m interested to see what the feedback will be on this space with the white balancing out with warmer, softer details, but at the end of the day and at the end of the design what matters most is the homeowner and it is safe to say that they are really pleased with not only the visual of the space, but also with the new functionality they have here!

Deadline City

Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, and aside from the holidays, it is one of the busiest times of year for design pros. Many people want to wrap things up by this weekend for a variety of reasons: from hosting an end-of-summer bash, to getting things finished before school starts back up, to coming home from their vacations and wanting to arrive to a finished space!

Whatever the reason behind it, designers this week are slammed! I like to think that I’m a bit more composed than a headless chicken, but when all is said and done, you can find me enjoying at least one day off with a cocktail in my hand and hopefully some sand beneath my feet. I’m coming for you Labor Day!!

Probably the biggest thing I have going right now is one of my clients will be hosting all of the festivities surrounding their niece’s wedding. After purchasing a new house, almost every room has a project that needs to be completed. We have been focusing on taking care of the rooms that are completely empty or will be high-traffic areas before we work on the spaces that are outdated and just need a change.

We have all been running around from Philly to New York and all corners of the internet to find materials, make selections and get things ordered. The thing is, despite ordering in advance and selecting “overnight” shipping options, we are still waiting for a few key pieces. Friday morning, I will be bustling around their home getting window treatments hung and placing furnishings that might only be placeholders just to fill the space before the parties begin.

I will take some pictures if I have time and share next week what the house looks like in it’s temporary state of completion, place-holders included. And then you can really see the transition of the space coming together. For now, all of the pictures included here are of the space as it was when I first came to see it before starting work on the space.

The one space I’m missing is their son’s bedroom, which I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo of, since even though we are doing very little with his space, the changes we are making will likely have a HUGE impact.

Anyway.. that’s what I’m up to! What are your Labor Day plans?

Current Obsession | Banquettes + Breakfast Nooks

Banquettes are a great way to fit a dining space into a small kitchen, nestle in a designated breakfast nook, or even just a way to add a cozy element to a spacious kitchen.

Banquette 1

If only I could pinch this banquette out of this picture and plop it into our home… {sigh}.

Islands are all the rage, and they will be a constant staple in the world of kitchen design. But if you don’t have the space for an island, or you prefer a cozier seating option, consider a banquette on one wall or corner of the kitchen, it can give you just what you’ve been looking for.

Great use of the storage left & right, centering the nook on the window. Bravo. Jump to The House Diaries to see the full transformation of this kitchen (link below).

Great use of the storage left & right, centering the nook on the window. Bravo. Jump to The House Diaries to see the full transformation of this kitchen (link below).

Banquette 2

I love the colorful details and hidden storage showcased in this bold banquette! (Seen on Pufik.)

This jaw-dropping nook was featured not only on the Nest Studio Home blog but also in Women's Day magazine and it is easy to see why.

This jaw-dropping nook was featured not only on the Nest Studio Home blog but also in Women’s Day magazine and it is easy to see why.

I have been scribbling up very rough renovation plans non-stop for our condo. And although we may never renovate at all, it is fun to play around with the concept. The element, I can’t help but try to include is the banquette! In our small galley kitchen it would be such a great bonus niche! You can add storage into the benches and seasonally change out cushions and accessories to play with different colors. Really, what’s not to love?!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4.

White Open Kitchen Reveal

I am currently in the midst of a kitchen that is wrapping up, and I was going to share some details of that space today, when I realized, I never shared the last kitchen with you here! It’s so beautiful, I can’t believe it didn’t get its time to shine! (Click on the images to expand view.)

White Open Kitchen

When I first walked into this space, there was a wall facing the front door, concealing the kitchen space from the living space. The plan was to open it up and achieve a better functioning kitchen space with ample storage and better sight lines through the main space.

And that is exactly what we did.

WOK1WOK5WOKI2WOK3WOK4WOK6WOK8 WOK7WOK9 WOK10

For a look at where this project started, hop over to their work-in-progress post here, and to see more images of this kitchen, hop over to our Houzz project page for this space here.

Red | White | Blue | Backsplash

As we are officially leading into the Independence Day weekend, I thought it would be fun on this Tile Tuesday to talk about some fun kitchen backsplashes using our patriotic colors. (All of these images are saved on my Houzz Ideabook “Kitchen Tile” where you can find greater detail on each project and the materials.)

RWB bs1

“Upper Main Line Kitchen” by STUDIO Robert Jamieson

Using red for your backsplash can have two effects. First, when you have more traditional details and you add a deeper red shade, it can lean into that traditional feeling a bit more. The same goes for an all-white kitchen with a true red backsplash creating a country-chic feel. Lastly, depending on the tone and pattern of your tile, adding red can create a vibrant and bold focal point to your new space. Here are some red backsplash inspiration photos:

White is sort of the go-to when it comes to tile these days, and let’s face it, you can slap a basic white subway on any wall in any pattern, and you are sure to get a classic and timeless look, but isn’t that a little bit boring? I wanted to call out some other ways to play with white in a backsplash that are a bit more exciting (if you consider white tiles exciting..). Here are the white inspiration photos:

Lastly, let’s take a look at the blues. The varying hues of blue can provide a vast array of different looks in a space. From a classic cobalt to a bold tropical turquoise to a clean, crisp beachy blue or a soft spa-like feeling, blues can create so many different looks and feelings. Here are a few of the blues I found for inspiration:

So, what do you think? Would you be inclined to use more color in your tile choices for your next renovations? I have to say, I do love a clean white kitchen, but after looking at all of the stunning shades of blue and the varying options, I think I might need to find some clients who would love a more colorful selection in their kitchen tiles. I’m feeling inspired!!

Be sure to follow me on Houzz, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss out on any of my daily musings and inspirations!

SNP Kitchen Progress

One of the projects I am currently working on is a small galley-style kitchen. The client’s previous kitchen didn’t have a very good working triangle, nor did it have good organization for food and other kitchen essentials. The plan in the new kitchen should take care of all of that.

The first step in any project is to get a plan. Once you have the plan, you select and order the materials. After the materials are scheduled for delivery, you can use that timing to figure out the start date for your contractors to begin demolition.

For this project, demo began about a month ago in the beginning of May. Once the demo was done, we started removing the old windows and framing out for the new ones. The rough plumbing and electrical was done and we awaited the inspections.

In New Jersey, the inspection process can be cruel. Each town has adapted it’s own version of the code and each inspector has a different list of things that they are particular about. The codes are there for a reason and they are so important, which is why it is always important to file for permits and go through the process. It is also very important to work with certified plumbers and electricians so that you can ensure a minimal amount of time wasted on delays due to inspections. For this job, we were delayed 10 days after needing to make minor revisions and have re-inspections.

Everything has now passed and the sheet rock is up! The client is getting antsy, and wouldn’t you without a kitchen for over a month!! But this is the way that renovations work. They take time and believe me, you don’t want anyone rushing your job through because that is when mistakes happen.

This project is coming along beautifully and I can’t wait to share more progress, and hopefully soon a finished reveal of the space. You aren’t going to believe the transformation once it is complete!

ICFF [International Contemporary Furniture Fair]

ICFF is an annual design trade show in NYC and I was so excited to be able to attend this year. I only went on one day but I covered as much land as I could while there, met a lot of people, found a lot of great pieces and felt very inspired by the time I left. So I wanted to share a few of the things I found with you! I didn’t take my good camera, only the cell phone, so please excuse the poor quality of the photos.

Since I specifically work in kitchen and bath design, I stopped by the booths that I know to see what new pieces will be hitting the markets soon. Here is a look at some of my favorites:

ICFF Gessi Fascino

Fascino collection by Gessi is a stunning new collection that is complete from faucets to shower heads, sinks, tubs and even side tables. I loved seeing the different metal finishes in person!

ICFF faucetry

Faucetry: Top row, Watermark Designs based in Brooklyn, the faucet on the right is there new Elan Vital which you can create in countless forms and varriations; Bottom row, Rubinet which was displaying a whole range of unique colored finishes (not pictured) along with this beatiful copper and aged brass. I love that they include parts for the valves and exposed plumbing, an area that is often left to unattractive and standard finishes, when it’s exposed in a bathroom, it’s important to not leave this detail out!

ICFF vanities

ICFF meeting Dana

Vanities: Top row, Lacava– an Italian brand based in Chicago with beautiful modern pieces a full range of finishes and the ability to customize almost anything, though with this new collection we might not need to seek as many custom vanities. Bottom row, The Furniture Guild, featuring primarily their Nuvo collection. Based in Georgia, they are a great US made brand with amazing new technologies in there finishes ranging from textured laminate to acrylics and automotive finishes in addition to your standard wood and painted options, The Furniture Guild is also very customizable and Dana is my go-to gal for help in any customizing needed–I was thrilled to meet her in person!

ICFF tile

Tile: Walker Zanger, though I saw plenty of other incredible examples, I didn’t take photos of many other options and I also just love WZ and all of the stunning tiles they bring to the market.

ICFF lighting

Lighting! If you have been around the blog for any length of time here you know I have a soft spot for lighting. I LOVED those two pieces on the top row, but unfortunately can’t find the name… I will add it later when I can access my literature from the show. On the bottom row, those lovelies are by Tom Dixon, and he has a ton of other beautiful pieces, so if you are a lighting fan, check them out!

As much as I saw and I liked, I only remembered to take pictures occasionally, so there is a lot not pictured! Next year I will try to remember to take more photos, but no promises!! Sometimes you can be so lost in the beauty of what you’re seeing that you can forget to stop and document it. I hope you feel inspired by some of what you I’ve shared, I know I’m feeling especially motivated to add little special touches to all of my current projects.

Triple Batch Of Pancakes

The Secret to Weekday pancakes 1

I have found that weekday mornings it is almost impossible to have a good breakfast. Every day it’s the same old routine… I make coffee and guzzle the first mug while I’m getting ready, load up my bag and make a second cup to go. But I need more than just coffee (factor kids into the mix and I’m going to be screwed when that day comes!)… so typically I will have a piece of fruit and some protein in the late afternoon at my desk while I’m working. But, you know what would be better than any of that? Pancakes to kick off the day! If only it weren’t such an ordeal to make a batch of pancakes. Weekday Pancakes 3Weekday Pancakes 1

Weekday Pancakes 2

What I like to do when I’m whipping up a batch of pancakes at home is triple the batch and add in some blueberries or chocolate chips. After they have been cooked up, I rip off several pieces of parchment paper, wide enough to fit a pancake, and then I layer on the pancakes. I like to put them in sets of three, with the parchment paper in between. The paper is the perfect size to put a pancake on, fold the paper over, add the second pancake, fold again, and place the last pancake. Then you can take your pancake bundle and put it in the freezer.

Weekday Pancakes 4

Weekday Pancakes 8

Once the pancakes are in the freezer it’s so easy to just grab a bag, put them on a plate and heat them up in the microwave, or pop them right into the toaster oven. They are so good, so easy and they keep you full so much longer in the morning… why not start your weekdays off on a better note? Not to mention if you do have kiddos, this is a serious crowd pleaser with minimal morning effort!

The Secret To Weekday Pancakes 2

Work In Progress {Lighting}

I mentioned on Friday that one of the things I wanted to work on was our lighting. All of the light fixtures in our condo are the same exact flush-mount, single-bulb, basic fixtures you can imagine – in every room. They really don’t put out enough light for any of the spaces, except maybe the entryway, and they are really not attractive. Something’s gotta give.

Condo Lights

Lighting in general is something that I have thought a lot about since we moved in. From both a visual perspective, as well as a functional one, the lighting around here just isn’t up to par. I have thought about adding sconces flanking the bed, though I’ve recently rearranged the bedroom furniture, so I’m glad I didn’t do that. I have thought about layering in some freestanding pieces (table or floor lamps) but again, with the furniture not settled, it just doesn’t feel right to invest in anything too much right now.

So I opted to start in the kitchen. Here is a place where you cook, clean and spend a lot of time. You really do need a lot of lighting here. This is also a space where I sometimes overflow to the kitchen table to do work when I need a change of scenery, or to really spread out materials, drawings, notes, etc., So a single-bulb fixture with a frosted glass shade really just wasn’t cutting it.

Since I don’t know how much we are going to really be doing with our place or how long we will be here, I didn’t want to invest to much into something, so I opted for an option from Ikea. I found the Hektar fixture and figured $30 for a three-bulb down light, done. I had never changed a hard-wired light before, but I did my research, studied up and mostly relied on this video for instructions. The instructions that actually came with the fixture were really of no good for actually installing it, but install it I did.

So a few things I’m not super in love with, the electric box doesn’t line up perfectly square in the room, which on this fixture in our galley kitchen, I can really see that the whole fixture is angled in the space, secondly, the fixture itself doesn’t fully cover the electrical box, which really just creeps me out. I don’t like the look of the finished result, mostly because I feel like it doesn’t look finished.

But I did get the fixture installed, and it does provide substantially more light in the space. Unfortunately it isn’t perfect, but for a fixture that only cost me $30, it will do for now. Have you ever changed out any of your fixtures? I’ve also now realized that it is a lot easier than I could’ve imagined!

Two big things to remember before attempting a lighting upgrade in your home, if you don’t know what you are doing or don’t feel comfortable handling electricity on your own, do not attempt to do this on your own, call an electrician, or maybe your dad. Either way, reinforcements are a good idea. And most importantly, turn off the electricity to the area where you are working!

Making the Most of Winter {Homemade Marshmallows}

One of my most amazing friends helped in the planning of my bachelorette party last fall and for the hotel room, she made us treats! The thing that everyone loved the most was the homemade marshmallows. They were so good!

Winter Series Marshmallows

When I started thinking about this winter series and fun activities to do through the colder months, I knew I had to try my had at making marshmallows, so I scoured PInterest for a good recipe, got the ingredients and began!

I followed an awesome recipe by The Urban Poser and she even has a very helpful video tutorial to go along with it so I would definitely recommend linking over for the full recipe and post!

Here’s a peek at my process. Overall I would say it was not only a mangeable project but it was a fun way to spend some time in and hubby was very pleased with the end result. One of the things I liked about this recipe was the use of honey. You can definitely taste the honey flavor coming through instead of a traditional marshmallow flavor, but I like them nonetheless.

The other thing is that I didn’t (and still don’t) have a candy thermometer. To be honest, I’m not much of a baker, and I certainly don’t see myself getting all excited about making candies or chocolates, so for this activity I just used my freshly sanitized meat thermometer. And although it doesn’t go up high enough, I was able to figure out when the boiling honey water concoction was ready to mix in!

The marshmallows came out great! They are a delicious winter treat and perfect to dunk in your cocoa after a snow day! Have you made marshmallows? It was easier than I thought and I can guarantee your family won’t be disappointed!