Do you like to change your design style a bit more than your budget might allow? If your answer is yes, then we have the perfect design solution for you. Think neutral base and color pops.
Here are a few ideas and tips to help you develop a flexible and fabulous design plan.
Consider the various elements in the space you want to re-make. Categorize these elements by effort and cost. In this kitchen, for example, you would think in terms of appliances, hard goods (counter tops, back splashes, flooring, cabinetry) and accessories.
First, we recommend choosing classic options in neutral colors for the bigger investments such as hard goods. For appliances, stainless steel still reins supreme but there are options that allow appliances to disappear by enclosing them in cabinetry that matches your kitchen.
Lastly, accessorizing your new design: This is where you can let your trendy flag fly.
Using this approach in design will allow you to get many more years out of your new design as you can update it often for little investment.
Marble, one of the more luxurious elements available is challenging to maintain due to staining, etching, etc. The perfect plan developed for this kitchen was to use varying sizes of subway tiles in Carrera marble. The end result was beautiful: However, if using Carrera stretches your budget, consider using classic white subway tiles.
The walls and ceiling were painted in Brilliant White by Benjamin Moore and floating shelves, in the same matte black finish as the cabinetry were added. Floating shelves are a great design solution for a loft kitchen. Everything is at your fingertips. Dishes, vases, cookbooks, bowls and glasses all add wonderful decorative touches.
So we got together one evening and as all good girlfriends do we began with a cocktail.
You might notice that a few items appear in each design, such as the coffee maker, chef print, etc. If it were a full restyle we most likely would have switched them as well.
Let’s start with the original – Teal
Going For Gold
If you enjoy metallic accents in your design, a neutral palate is the perfect partner. In this example we added gold décor items and a few more black and white touches.
Another tip you might have noticed in our three kitchens was the use of white items. This is a great way to make special items stand out. By displaying the majority of your items in white or neutral tones, you allow that great colored bowl or bouquet of flowers to command attention.
We hope you found these examples of a flexible and fabulous kitchen useful. Whether you want to update your design every couple of years or seasonally; beginning with a neutral foundation will give you limitless options.
The Perfect Wine For Your Holiday
Ray Isle from Food & Wine magazine shares his picks for wines to celebrate both Passover and Easter, all at great prices.
Ina’s Easter Cocktail party
We love a cocktail party, we love a Virginia ham and raspberry cheesecake sounds divine! Here are Ina's recipes for a great Easter cocktail party.
Saveur shared a wonderful recipe perfect for Passover: Chewy almond macaroons.
Shout Out For CM
We are excited to see our article “Top Ten Tips for Loft Interior Design” published in the April issue of DTLA Life eMagazine.
A Masters in Gold
Do you feel a bit left out during the Masters tournament? If you do and would like to gain a conversational knowledge of the Masters: This is the perfect blog for you!
Kids of the Masters
Get ready to ahhhhh. These are the sweetest photos of this year's, kids day at the Masters.
Fun and creative ways to decorate your Easter eggs.
Blog Catch Up
We are excited about this week’s Friday Feature Property. This 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom plus den property has stunning views from every room. As it is a Ritz Carlton Residence, it comes with the legendary service Ritz Carlton is known for.
On the opposite wall there is a spectacular glass enclosed office, fronted with a glass barn door on solid chrome fixtures. Additionally, there is another glass barn door extending over the kitchen pass through.
Another reason we are so excited about this property is that we have been chosen to decorate/stage this beautiful apartment.
There are 3 bedrooms: Each has its own expansive view of Los Angeles.
These bedrooms have so many unique aspects: We are looking forward to highlighting each of them in our design plan.
Rare African Zebra wood floors are used throughout the apartment.
There are great built-ins in every room.
The kitchen is filled with top of line, Gagganeau appliances and a pass through to the livingroom. Even the kitchen has a stunning view. Here are a few photos of the kitchen.
The kitchen is filled with top of line, Gagganeau appliances and a pass through to the living-room. Even the kitchen has a stunning view. Here are a few photos of the kitchen.
Downtown Los Angeles' Brockman Building
Tips for decorating a rental unit
Most everything you could desire in a loft is right here: There are walls of used brick, large floor to ceiling corner windows, cement beam ceilings with exposed pipes and ducts, and rich dark walnut floors. We’re off to a good start!
A blank canvas: Now the fun begins!
A cozy seating area is provided by an upholstered daybed, with lots of pillows and a great view. This section is separated from the adjacent seating area by a beautiful distressed library table decorated with a collection of glass decanters. The daybed offers a sleeping option for an over-night guest.
Placing a long table with chairs on both sides provides a dining room and a transition between the living area and the kitchen.
We love when we can repurpose a favorite item and this was one of those opportunities. A deconstructed china hutch topped with marble gave us the perfect kitchen island/table. We placed two comfortable upholstered bar stools on one side, providing a kitchen eating area: The other side has drawers, making it an ideal prep center.
The rolling metal cart to the far right does double duty as a room divider, separating the kitchen from the office/bedroom area. It also provides much needed storage for kitchen items.
An area rug provides warmth and separation under this furniture grouping. Just behind is the daybed with the library table, thus providing two distinct layers in one large common area. The sectional is balanced by the upholstered stools and chairs, and provides a large, comfortable, conversation area.
The tall armoire, reaching toward the ceiling, provides a great focal point on a vertical wall. The beautifully potted palm at the window draws your eye to the corner and brings the outside in.
This is a view of the kitchen looking toward the living area. The marble top extends over the backside of the table allowing for the two counter stools at the island.
This loft, with all of its inherent features coupled with a good design plan, has been transformed into a beautiful loft home in the heart of the city.
Spring Has Sprung
Great recipes celebrating Spring from BonAppetit.
A Spring Chicken
Simple Spring Chicken Recipes from Delish.com.
Looking for a refreshing cocktail? Check out this list of cocktails with mint put together by Yummly.
Nick Kuchar is an illustrator with a passion for surf culture, Hawaii, Baseball stats and more. Check out some of his creations here.
Dining by Design
The Jane is a stunning restaurant in Antwerp, Belgium.
It was designed in a former church by Piet Boon Architecture.
As most of you know we are big fans of Nespresso coffee and machines. Bloomingdale's friends and family 20% off event is this weekend. It might be just the incentive you were waiting for. Oh free shipping too on orders over $150.00.
Use promo code FANDF
Very cool photo collection of hidden rooms and secret passages.
Adorable 3 year old on a talent show in China. It is 9 minutes long but worth the watch
pied-a-terra, French meaning “foot on the ground”. It is used to describe a small living space in a city, some distance from their main residence.
We just completed this Pasadena pied-a-terre for 2 terrific new clients and thought it would be great to share.
This property is owned by a lovely couple that live full time in Northern California and often travel to Southern California to visit their children and grand children.
They wanted a place that was comfortable, reflected their personalities, and could easily allow for sleepovers with their grand children.
The property, a 537 square foot apartment, was built in 2012, and the entire building is designed with a modern aesthetic. In addition to a modern kitchen, filled with sleek black cabinets and stainless steel, there are polished concrete floors throughout.
- Design a place that balances the contemporary elements of this pied-a-terre.
- Develop a plan that provides separation between the bedroom and the living spaces.
- Include a location for books, lots of books, as the clients are avid readers.
Space planning is just as important in a small area, if not more so, than in a large one. Due to the L shape (U if you include the kitchen) of the apartment, choices for furniture placement were limited.
In the model apartment, the bed is placed on the longer wall, facing the sofa, which doesn’t allow any privacy if you have overnight guests. As they wanted a space that allows for the grandchildren to stay over, we needed to find a solution.
Working with our fabulous craftsmen, they built a custom bookshelf/room divider. This structure is bolted in place to ensure safety.
This allows the bed to be on the opposite side of the divider, providing desired separation between the living space and the bedroom.
In addition to the extra storage, the bookshelf/divider provides ample shelf space for their books.
A Balanced Design
For this project we needed to balance the contemporary elements of the space to achieve a warm and inviting home away from home. We achieved this in a few different ways.
The floors, made of fantastic polished concrete, were both, cold to the touch and in appearance.
There was not much that could be done to soften the kitchen, but as it was adjacent to the dining area, we focused on that space.
The table had been with the clients since early in their marriage. We came up with a plan to refinish it in a warm honey tone and added the oversized framed burlap piece, and the two upholstered chairs, which added texture and warmth.
Double Duty Design
The design principal: Form meets function, is critical when designing a small space.
The built-in bookshelf divides the and has great storage. There are four extra large drawers for storage and the shelves allow for display opportunities beautiful and necessary items such as pitchers, books and decantors.
Keeping floor space open can give the illusion of more space. Here are a few of our top tips.
Need a desk?
Just as the floating desk frees up floor space so does a floating bar.
Floating shelves can be the perfect solution for adding a bar to your loft or small space. There is a place for various glasses, bottles and cocktail napkins.
Our clients have adjusted beautiflully to their Pied-a-terre lifestyle and are enjoying their time in Pasadena in their new home away from home.
These Vanilla ice cream bars with pineapple and mango look fantastic. We can’t wait to whip up a batch.
Ina Garten shared the menu and recipes from a recent cocktail party. Shrimp, caramelized bacon and more - All looked amazing,
Gin drinks are back in style: This cucumber cooler looked so refreshing.
Keeping with green drinks: How about trying this tequila based Apple Fool's Day Martini?
Even though your mind knows it is fake, your funny bone will be laughing at this Dog wants Kitty video.
Not to be too Dog obsessed, but we loved this video showing dogs reacting to magic tricks.
We love these fitness Friday tips, Chalene Johnson puts out each week. Chalene is a fitness expert from right here in southern California.
Are you doing some spring-cleaning this weekend? If you have a craft room you might like this tutorial for a great organization center.
Amazing videos a Dad makes giving his kid super powers. Disclaimer: Dad works for DreamWorks. They are all great but this one is our favorite.
Last night’s earthquake has us worried about our friends and family. We want to share some tips for earthquake preparedness and a few links where you can buy survival kits online and locally. As our Moms always say…”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Coffee and Charm
Recently, our work has taken us to Toluca Lake, which makes us happy as we get to make a stop at Pricilla's.
LA, Back In The Day
We really enjoyed this blog on a bit of LA's restaurant history.
7 tips to write a press release that gets noticed.
Designing a Transformer
What if pop culture's coolest cars were "Transformers".
Gensler’s report on top trends shaping design in 2014.
Green eggs and Spam
Dr. Seuss’ inspired guide to Twitter is a comical yet valuable infographic on Twitter.
Mapping Happily Ever After
DTLA is constantly being used as a film location, which got us to thinking, “Has DTLA ever been used in a Disney animation?” This map is a fun way to look for Disney filming locations.
What, No pie allowed?
A hilarious different take on take on posted signs.
THE BATTLE OF THE CHAIRS
HERE IS THE UPDATED BRACKET
See if you can pick a perfect bracket (chair bracket that is). Starting today and continuing for 2 weeks we will be posting one of the below chair battles each day until we narrow the field and end up with the winning chair.
Fill out your bracket and see if you can pick the winner of each battle and the favorite chair of 2014.
Zagat’s list of 12 of the hottest new bars and lounges around LA.
What’s your sign?? Check out Saveur's mixstrology list of cocktails that match your sign.
Top 10 Orange Country Restaurants to try in 2014 by Gayot. This list is for more formal dining than we typically prefer: However we thought it was worth a share for those more formal date nights.
13 Seasonal Chicken Recipes for Spring from Bon Appetit.
Arlene’s absolutely fabulous Coffee Cake Recipe.
Are you are looking to add a little something to make a corner in your home pop? Consider adding a cool finial to a lamp. Hilary Thomas has a great collection of finials in her shop.
See what happens when a guy dresses as a waiter to deliver food to the Homeless. The end is so sweet.
Pharrell’s song Happy makes us Happy and this video for yesterday's World Down Syndrome Day makes us VERY Happy.
An artist’s process: One of our favorite artists, Melanie Florio, has a few videos on her process. Here is a great one on doing a color study.
How many squares do you see? Click here to see if you are right.
The beginning of Spring has us thinking of gardening. Here is a great FAQ on spring gardening.
Our clients often bring us in to consult with them prior to purchasing a new home. They want our input on improvements that could be made and the estimated costs to bring the property to their standard.
This week, when we saw this listing, we really got a chuckle trying to figure out how we might say, in a politically correct way, “Don’t buy this one!”
A hoarder who would/could not clean it up before the property was listed owns the house. The broker, Brooks Estate Agents, feel confident that the property will sell no matter how it presents, as London Real Estate is at a premium.
We know you cannot "unsee" what you just saw, but if you would to renew your faith in amazing property listings take a sneak peek at next weeks Friday Feature ~ A stunning penthouse at the W in Hollywood featured by Alex LiMandri.
Coffee, coffee, coffee
It may have taken Starbucks a longtime to make the move to Downtown Disney, but when they did, they did it big! While we are interested to see the design in person, these photos show a lot of detail in the store's design.
We love a Vespa’s cool vintage charm: Which is why we were impressed with this Vespa inspired camera designed by two super talented industrial design students.
If you find yourself with free time you need to fill: Why not have a bit of fun and take this on-line IQ test?
DTLA going Green
Pershing Square is hosting a St. Patrick's Day Party featuring music by the Young Dubliners.
For those iPhone users: Have you updated to iOS 7.1 yet? Here are a few of the changes you might notice. Our favorite is that we can now make Siri listen until we are done talking.
If you want to DIY a bit of your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, think about making this homemade Irish Cream recipe.
Examiner.com put together this great list of 35 Saint Patrick’s Day cocktails. Cheers!!
If you prefer to eat your beer as opposed to drink it, consider making one of these recipes with beer from Bon Appetit on line.
Vegetarian Times shared this wonderful recipe for Irish stew: Only 110 calories a serving.
Are you considering adding a touch of green to your space or perhaps saturating an entire room in green. Here are 17 inspiration rooms from Coastal Living.
We always love Ellen and find many segments make us laugh or tear up, but, this one had us almost ugly crying.
Los Alamitos High School Teachers read tweets written about them. Hilarious for most of us, those under 20 might wonder what is so funny.
Ok sure there are a million animal videos out there, but how many have a dog playing with a bird?
We are so impressed with this young lady and her recent performance on Holland’s Got Talent. She is spectacular.
If your Monday brings you to Downtown LA, Pershing Square is the place to be. The Young Dubliners will be performing. For details click here.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!
We have a design and foodie crush on Maude, Curtis Stone’s new restaurant in Beverly Hills.
A few weeks before Maude opened we were thrilled to be invited for a private tour.
Immediately, we were impressed with the overall restaurant design and concept as explained perfectly here by Curtis..
Maude was named after Curtis’ Grandmother, a major influence in his early culinary life.
One of the many touches that celebrate his grandmother is Maude's collection of miss-matched china used to serve many of the courses
Maude is filled with charm and design throughout. A few examples are:
Touches of flowers are placed throughout the restaurant.
The Overall Color Palate
The colors are perfect; a monochromatic color scheme with creamy white walls accented by black molding and a teal banquet: the perfect pop of color!
A few weeks after our tour we returned to Maude for dinner and had one of the best dinners we have had in years.
Every dish was perfectly prepared, portioned, and presented.
Maude seats only 30 at a time, allowing personal attention from both the service staff and the kitchen.
Speaking of the kitchen, Curtis was hands on for each course.
Here are some photos of the courses served that night.
When you can, book a table at this seasonal, farm-to-table masterpiece, called Maude.
More Than Great Coffee
Crema Cafe in Seal Beach has great coffee, amazing breakfast (we love the caprese eggs) and a wonderful bakery.
Tech Savvy Simpsons
It seems the Simpsons had a lot in common with the Jetsons in regards to predicting the technology of the future.
The Facebook Fraud
These videos are best in class regarding facebook’s manipulation of your business’ results with your fans just to get you to buy more ads and likes.
Baz Luhrrmann takes a hand at re-designing one of Miami's iconic hotels.
Have you been wondering about the chandeliers in the boarded up Trinity Auditorium like us? Well as usually DTLA Rising is on the case and shares their insights on the Trinity Auditorium mystery.
Let’s Make A Deal
Did you know 44% of internet users buy from group buying deal sites.
Saint or Sinner
7 Sins of Newbie Entrepreneurs from Entrepreneur.com
DTLA - The Money: Who, What and Where
LA HQ is hosting a talk at the California Club on March 12th regarding the influx of dollars into LA.
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