Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Love Lamp

Yep, I'm quoting Anchorman, but seriously I do love lamps. Lamps are so multi-functional - not only do they provide a room with light, but they tend to add a sense of warmth and coziness to a space. Today, lamps are not only being utilized beside a bed or couch, interestingly, they have made their way into the kitchen.

Lighting is so important in any room but especially the kitchen. A lot goes on in a kitchen - you need good task lighting for working and of course good ambient lighting for atmosphere.  For some time pendant lights have been the "go to" for decorative kitchen lighting. Typically pendants are seen hung over the island and provide ambient lighting in a fashionable way. Because pendants come in a slew of different shapes, sizes and finishes and they can be used in varying quantities, they are a popular choice. I love a beautiful pendant and believe they can really add style and flare to a space, however as of late, I've noticed a shift in kitchen designs where it seems that pendant lights may not always be the lighting answer...

Most kitchens have at least one focal wall, in some cases this wall has a decorative hood, while other times a window is on display. Depending on the orientation of the island, the pendant lighting can hang down and block or interfere with the view of the focal wall. This has actually been a topic I have dealt with in two of my recent kitchen designs. In both kitchens a beautiful focal wall was created around the hood. Each kitchen's island was oriented differently but the idea of hanging pendants over the island was kind of ho hum because we knew any pendant we chose would be semi-blocking the view of the focal wall. In both cases, the solution was to sit lamps on either side of the island as opposed to hanging the lighting from the ceiling.

Like pendants, lamps come in a variety of different styles, finishes and sizes making them an easy choice for kitchen lighting. Of course lamps will not be the answer for all kitchens - some islands are not big enough to support the lamp idea. If the addition of lamps will decrease valuable working space, then skip the lamps and stay with ceiling fixtures.

Below are some examples of kitchens that went the lamp route, each choosing to utilize this trend in different ways.

In this kitchen the island is centered on the hood which appears to be the focal wall. I love how these lamps really add some flare to the space without taking away from the beauty and balance of the focal wall.

I'm drawn to the fun pop of color these green glass lamp bases bring to this kitchen. The furniture style island + the lamps make for a cozy feel.

These lamps add an unexpected pop to this kitchen. The focal wall in this space is the large window and these lamps just feel right in the space. Not only would pendant lighting be blocking the view of the window but pendants in addition to the flanking columns would have made the space feel crowded.

One common question people have about the lamps is, "where do you hide the cords?" Easy - you just have your countertop fabricator core a small hole in the countertop for the cord to go down into. The lamp can cover up the hole and you're left with a seamless look. Regardless of the type of lighting you choose to use, lighting in general provides an opportunity to add a layer of personality to a space. So, take advantage and do your research to figure out what lighting style best suits you and your space.

Photos are from Houzz & Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

O' Holiday Project Deadline

O' Holiday Project Deadline, O' Holiday Project Deadline, how terrible areeeee your limitationsssss. In case you can't tell, I'm singing. You have to read/sing the above to the tune of "O' Christmas Tree." Get it? I know, I know, I'm good - move over Taylor Swift.....

It's only 7 days into November and I can already feel the hustle and bustle of the holidays! I feel like I've seen and heard more about Christmas as of late than I usually do the entire month of December. Granted, I do realize this proclamation comes from the girl who posted about a Christmas House last week (cough, cough hypocrite.) But, so far, I've seen a lit Christmas tree in someone's front window (THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN, mind you) and yesterday at lunch I drank from a crystal goblet with painted holly around the rim. Oh, and hello! Walk into countless department stores and find holiday decor for sale galore! But, in my world the most common holiday topic is:

 "If I begin my kitchen or bath remodel now, could it be completed by the holidays?"

The answer: Maybe, but at what cost?

I think there's something in the air right after Halloween that has a certain way of lighting a spark within people prompting them to hurry and complete, or in some cases start, projects before their holiday parties begin and their guests arrive. It's like all of a sudden somewhere around late October it occurs to people that their houses will be full of friends and loved ones and they want to bring out the magic wand and POOF - all projects = complete.

As on board as I am with a home being at it's best, especially during a time of such high foot traffic, I think it's important to keep in mind the holidays are stressful enough without the looming completion of giant project that has a way of taking over not only your house but your life.

If the face you see above doesn't look like something you want to be sporting this holiday season, let me recommend pumping the breaks on impending projects if they haven't started yet. As I've mentioned before, those projects that are carefully considered and thought out ALWAYS turn out the best. By beginning any project with a tight or unrealistic time frame you are literally setting yourself up for stress and half-arse results all wrapped up with a shiny red bow.

So, instead of allowing this time of year to stress you out and cause you to irrationally jump into projects ill prepared , use this time to your advantage. Think about it, you spend more time entertaining in your home and actually cooking in your kitchen during the holidays than any other time of year. And if you're not typically the host, you spend more time being entertained in the homes of others than any other time of year. So....observe, notice, critique and begin jotting down things you love, things you hate, things you would do differently if you could, etc..etc...And then after the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over you can begin the process of working on your space, on your terms.

Give yourself the greatest gift of all - choice. A kitchen or bath remodel is a fun process that deserves a lot of your attention and consideration. Don't sell yourself short.  Get what you want and take the time to figure out what that is. Then, before you know it, it will be November 7th, 2013 and you will be thrilled to showoff and utilize the space you poured so much of yourself into. And better yet, that time you spent pouring yourself into the project will not have resulted in you pulling your hair out so you will have beautiful locks and a new kitchen/bath to boot!

All photos are from google search.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 Christmas House

Well, it's officially November, so I think it's about time to start talking about the holidays. And what says holiday fun better than a Christmas House?! To all of those in/near/around the Atlanta area, get out your pen and paper and jot this down!

The 2012 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine's Christmas House opens it's doors for tours beginning November 16th through December 9th.

Photo from google search.

This years Christmas House is a new construction project through Dovetail Homes. This home is especially exciting to me because my company, Inspirations Kitchen & Bath & Bell Cabinets has been involved since it was just an idea on paper. We provided all of the cabinetry, appliances and most of the closets throughout the home. Mike Bell and I worked closely with Lyndsy Woods of L. Kae Interiors  on the cabinetry layouts, selections and finishes and have thoroughly enjoyed watching everything come together.

The home is nestled in the heart of Buckhead near Chastain park. The exterior showcases varying materials and textures creating charming curbside appeal that shouts southern chic.  The interior has an open floor plan and expansive kitchen perfect for entertaining. Each room of the house will be furnished and decorated by a different designer, so each room is guaranteed to have it's own unique style, with inspiration around every corner.

Finally, for those of you already in the Christmas spirit, the word is this home will showcase over THIRTY Christmas trees! So, if you're in the area please drop by. We would love to see you!

The home is located:

4775 Dudley Lane NW
Atlanta, GA 30327


Thursday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Noon - 5:00 PM


Tickets can be purchased for $15 before November 15th. After November 15th and at the door tickets will be $20. Children 12 and under have free admission.

Proceeds benefit the Alliance Theatre.

For more information regarding directions, hours and tickets check out The Christmas House website here.