Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lamps in kitchens

Last week, I had a sneak preview of the new Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, featuring a house renovated by architect Stan Dixon with interior design work by Liz Williams.  Several years ago, I was able to see this house as it was being renovated, and it was gratifying to see how the owners decorated the rooms.

As I examined every picture in the article, the kitchen picture (above, photo credit Emily Followill, used with permission) caught my eye. I remember Stan saying how much he likes lamps in kitchens – lamps make a kitchen look and feel so much more like a decorated room.  I’m not sure if the deep window space was part of the original house, or if Stan created it during the renovation, but it is certainly the perfect place for a pair of lamps. I wonder if the homeowners turn them on at night?

The June Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles is on newsstands now, and there is an Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles iPad app that has all issues available on the iPad for .99, and a year subscription for $7.99.  As of the time of this post, the new issue was not yet on the iPad, but it should be soon.

Another Stan Dixon project was in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles last year, and featured lamps in the kitchen.  I wonder whether this homeowner actually keeps them there on a day to day basis – they seem to be placed in a prime countertop area (especially given that there is no kitchen island).  Interior design by Nancy Warren, architecture by Stan Dixon, photo credit Emily Followill. 

Photographer Emily Followill shoots some of the most beautiful homes in the Southeast, and this one from her web site is no exception.  Note the petite lamps on either side of the range – such a pretty touch.

I cam across this picture, attributed to Charlottesville architect  Bethany Puopolo.  The lamp by the sink, with its dark shade that reflects the dark knobs and light fixture, is a wonderful touch in this kitchen.

A kitchen in a house designed by Peter Block, interiors by Beth Webb.   Note the lamps placed in front of the windows.  This style of kitchen lends itself well to lamps, as it is long with ample counter space and no overhead cabinets along the wall.  The rest of the house can be seen here; via AH&L, photo credit Erica George Dines.
This beautiful kitchen is in a house that is on the market in Atlanta, with architecture by Brad Heppner. Note the glass lamps on the long counter. Again, this is a great kitchen for large lamps because of the long counter with no upper cabinets.

Beautiful kitchen designed by Jackye Lanham features three lamps.  I love so many things about this kitchen – the architecture, the tall arched windows that let in so  much sunlight, the pewter plates, the lamps – but I always wonder why the stove doesn’t fit in the space!

Large statement lamps are a defining feature of this kitchen, with architecture attributed to McAlpine Tankersley.  I have seen this light fixture seems in many kitchens (I believe it is by Dennis & Leen) – it is in one of the pictures above too.

John Saladino’s kitchen featured in his book ‘Villa’ has several delicate candlestick lamps on both sides of the kitchen.  Rumor has it that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi have purchased the house recently – see article here.  See Saladino’s book on Amazon here.

Joni Webb’s kitchen (from Cote de Texas) features a charming small lamp that fits neatly under the cabinets, and provides a nice warm glow that is an alternative to undercabinet lights. Note how she has concealed the cord behind a plate.

Another frequently seen place for a lamp is on the island.  This beautiful kitchen, with interiors by Michael Siller (via Cote de Texas) has a lamp that is key to the décor of the space.  The rest of the house can be seen here.

Often a pair of lamps are a feature on an island; another kitchen featured in AH&L, found on Pinterest – not sure who designer is.  Note how there is no overhead lighting (although I have heard that magazines often photoshop out those unsightly can lights!).

Ina Garten’s kitchen features lamps on the 18 foot long island. Note the novel approach to overhead lighting above the island.

I read somewhere that Ina Garten prefers the ambient light of lamps in a kitchen, and also appreciates that they make a kitchen feel more like a room, not a laboratory. This lamp was custom made for her kitchen.  Clearly there are no cords (unless they have been photoshopped out), so I assume that they are built into the counter, with the electrical underneath.

After noticing the lamps on Ina Garden’s island, I started noticing other kitchens with this design feature.  I suspect that the idea to have lamps on the counter was conceived as the kitchen was created, and there is a hole drilled into the counter for the plug. This beautiful kitchen is by Circa Interiors.

Another beautiful kitchen by Circa Interiors, featuring built in lamps on the island.

A mountain house featured in The Welcoming House  has unique lamps on the island that are a central design feature in the space.

I really like everything about this kitchen – it looks like an excellent design for a long kitchen space, and I appreciate how the kitchen is situated in relation to the family room beyond – separate yet connected.  Note the side by side double dishwashers in front of the windows, and the sinks on either side.   I suspect that the countertop above the dishwashers is a key work area for the kitchen, which means that the lamps are probably not taking up prime working space. The lamps on the island are a beautiful and distinctive design feature of the room, and appear to be used instead of overhead lighting (cans or light fixture).  Interior design by Circa Interiors.

I mentioned the new book by Circa Interiors – The Welcoming House – I read it cover to cover last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful houses contained within, as well as the great entertaining and decorating advice. Click here to view on Amazon.

What do you think of lamps in kitchens?  Do you have a lamp in your kitchen?  I am sold on the idea, if space allows – they are such a charming alternative or addition to can lights or light fixtures if the architecture and space allows for lamps.  However, I realize that the architecture and space are a big caveat – putting substantial lamps along a wall in a kitchen requires no overhead cabinets (small lamps are probably better for ambiance rather than a significant light source) and putting lamps on an island requires a large island with ample surface area- the placement is very important, especially since the lamps often must be somewhat built in to avoid pesky cords.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The design impact of a framed series

I have always been a big fan of large grouping of framed series, and two rooms at the Atlanta Symphony Show House had dramatic examples of this design element.
The first room, a downstairs office by Courtney Giles, was striking because of the impact of the framed birds in a relatively small size space. Note how the framed birds go all the way to the bottom of the wall.  Photo credit Design Indulgence.

The framed sea fans by designer Jimmy Stanton were the defining design element of the upstairs lounge.  The designer was in the room when I saw it, and I marveled at how perfectly the frames were hung.  Photo credit Jeff Roffman.

I thought I would look through my pinterest and inspiration files to see other examples of large, dramatic framed series.  This one caught my eye right away. Source unknown.

A large framed series above a sofa always strikes the right note to me.  Via ML Interiors.

Keeping with the botanical theme, this little nook was featured in Elle Décor (via Pinterest).  The smaller sized framed botanicals go floor to ceiling, even wrapping around to the adjacent walls.

Interior design by S.R. Gambrel – this is a group of 21. The color of the frames and the colors in the botanicals are ideally suited to the room.

Again, botanicals, which seem to lend themselves perfectly to framed series because of their quiet subject matter.   It’s the perfect solution to this space, and a group of 18 makes quite an impact.

This beautiful image, from Tone on Tone (I can’t remember if it is from the store website or Loi’s fantastic Tone on Tone blog)  shows a unique and beautiful way to display a framed series of 12 or more.

When crafting this post, I remembered an old image of a kitchen that has always been one of my favorite examples of a framed series.  This frames go from ceiling to the floor,  and feature mushrooms – a great subject matter for a kitchen!  Interior design by Carter Kay Interiors.

Occasionally paintings by the same artist are hung in a grouping, which is always dramatic. Via pinterest, art by Kirra Jamison.

A corporate install of Rana Rochat encaustics (via her website). 

This is a recent example of a clever framed series, in the Coastal Living House, interiors by Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors.

An old picture from my files - I saved the picture because I thought the framed series above the sofa was beautiful. Interior design by Angele Parlange.

A small scale framed series makes an impact both because of the number of items, and the subject matter. Via pinterest.

I also love the look of a large framed series that is hung symmetrically on either side of an architectural element, as seen in this picture. Via pinterest.

Another example of this style – 7 on each side of the fireplace, in a pleasing arrangement.

In Atlanta designer Lori Tippins’ beautiful home, she knew from the time she started to construct her house that this wall was going to be reserved for a series of framed antique egg prints. Photo credit Emily Followill, via Traditional Home.

When I visited Lori’s home several years ago, I snapped a picture of a large framed series of soldiers that she has displayed in her son’s room.

In my old house, I had a framed series of antique egg prints.

Photographs are sometimes used for a dramatic framed series, often in black and white.

Framed intaglios also make a great subject matter for a large framed series.
A lovely group of 12 framed intaglios is a central design element of the entry of this house, from a local real estate listing.

Of course, no post on a large dramatic group of a framed series can be complete without a look at the iconic dining room by Betty Burgess, graced with over 20 framed intaglios mounted on a lavender mat. 

What do you think of a large, dramatic framed series?  I love them, and would like to incorporate one in my house somewhere. Although I appreciate original art on the walls, I admire the look and style of a framed series too, and often a framed series is simply more of an interesting choice for a space.  It’s also an advantage to be able to custom size an arrangement to a wall or space.

If you have any great examples of framed series, please let me know – I find them very inspiring!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Four beautiful houses–the Peachtree Battle Friends Spring Home Tour

For those of you in Atlanta (or willing to make the drive into town), a little reminder that this Tuesday May 7th is the Peachtree Battle Friends Spring Home Tour. After a one year hiatus, this wonderful tour is back, and the funds raised go directly to one of my favorite causes, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Although I have not seen the inside of the houses yet, I was given permission to take a few exterior pictures as an enticing preview of the tour.  The house information is adapted from the brochure that is available on the day of the tour.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Vignettes from a show house


In my final post on the 2013 Atlanta Symphony Show House (part I is here, part II here, part III here), I am going to share some vignettes of the house, taken with both my camera (which was on a strange setting – I couldn’t get it to act properly) and my iphone. 

There were many different spaces in this showhouse, all decorated with their own unique flair and style.  This post only scratches the surface of the incredible display of talent featured this year.  Personally, I appreciate this as there is really no better way to display what is current and fresh than in a show house, particularly one with lovely architectural bones.

The living room, a grand two story space, was expertly designed by Patricia McLean Interiors

She often includes barometers in her designs – this one is charming.

Another vignette from Patricia McLean’s room – beautiful, and I love how the light was streaming through the windows at the particular time that I took the photo.

Here is a professional photo of the room, taken by Jeff Roffman.  The room is so expansive it is impossible to get the whole thing in a photo (there is a beautiful section to the right).

Charming art in the master bathroom, design by Janie Hirsch.

The master bathroom had a groin vault ceiling, and this delicate chandelier was the perfect touch.

A close up view of that beautiful chandelier, in the family stair. This space was decorated by the Mercantile. Note the intricate pattern on the stair rail.

Glamorous hand painted panels in a vibrant shade of orange, a feature of the main stairwell.  The inspiration was Kelly Wearsler’s foyer walls in her Beverly Hills home. Design by Bryan Alan Kirkland Designs.

The upstairs hall, which partially overlooked the living room, was beautifully designed by Traci Rhoads Interiors. The live kumquat trees were flown in from California for this space, and are the perfect touch. 

Three encaustic pieces, the perfect size and scale for this little wall in the upstairs hall.

A series hung in a vertical display was a theme found in many of the rooms of the show house. This space is a secondary bathroom.

Extremely well done gallery walls were found throughout the house. This vignette is so pleasing to the eye – it’s a work of art in and of itself.  The balance of the paintings, accessories, books, and lamp look like a still life. (I’m not sure what room this was in – if you know, please comment).

Another well done vignette, in the child’s room by Clay Snider Interiors.

My camera wasn’t cooperating in this space (an interior bathroom), but I thought that the wall arrangement above the tub was very clever and worth including.  Not sure who designed this space….

A room in the showhouse featured an entire wall of framed bird prints – an amazing sight. Design by Courtney Giles, image by Jeff Roffman.

A view of the kitchen, photo credit Jeff Roffman. Design by Natalia Makarova, Karpaty Cabinets.

The terrace level bonus room – created by IKEA, entirely with IKEA products! To the right is a kitchenette space, also done with all IKEA cabinets, counters, and appliances. I was very impressed!

Have you had a chance to go to the Symphony Show House? Do you have a favorite room?  If you haven’t visited, you still have time – the Show House is open through May 12.  These posts have only shown a small glimpse of a fraction of the many spaces and designs, and I always notice many details when there in person that are not apparent in pictures.

The Atlanta Symphony Show House and Gardens is open through May 12. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at the door. The house is located at 3495 Old Plantation Road, Atlanta.  There is a shuttle service to and from the house, with parking at 3284 Northside Parkway. For more information, please visit www.decoratorshowhouse.org.

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