Wow?! This is Ikea? I'm blown away by the jaw droppingly gorgeous kitchens designed by Chroma Express with Ikea cabinets. It goes to show you how with a few small details like high end drawer cabinet hardware, luxury tile back splashes, and good styling a basic affordable Ikea kitchen set up can really look like a million bucks. The company has a neat model by which for a small fee you are provided with advice on finishes, a layout you can take to Ikea for ordering the right components, and specifications for materials from other suppliers. A great resource and inspiration for designing your own Ikea kitchen.
Kitchen renovations can be very costly; one of the biggest expenses when planning your remodel. Custom cabinetry, counter top material square footage, and new appliances add up quickly. Before you impart on planning your new kitchen, you want to make sure that you aren't putting money into something that will feel dated or worse, disfunctional, after a short time in use. Luckily for you, I have outlined some key considerations when designing a modern kitchen over at the Better By Design blog with some killer kitchens that exemplify :
- an open space plan
- elimination of upper cabinets
- clever storage solutions
- concealed appliances
- unexpected finishes
And be sure that I practice what I preach and am incorporating all of these elements in the kitchen currently under development in Encino.
Sometimes, and only sometimes, when I see a home tour of a blogger I admire I am mildly disappointed that their real life digs don't line up with their excellent taste online. This was not the case with the home of Kate Arends of the lifestyle blog Wit & Delight. Her home is an immaculate blend of old and new, high end and thrifted. It is simple in the best possible way. I liked this bright little corner best and if you were keen to recreate it, here is how.
Truth be told I scan hundreds of images each week but only a few really stick with me. A collection of items worth noting and sharing with you.
1) The Folk Fibers Denim Quilt has been an obsession of mine. I love the gradient shades of blue from worn jeans turned into a simple quilt. I can attempt to DIY, but my talented mother in law has hinted at making me one for my birthday. So I shall patiently wait.
2) Kerf Walls are a quintessentially cute and customizable plywood wall storage system I discovered during Modernism Week.
4) This minimalist Manhattan pad of photographer Alice Gao has made the rounds on the interweb, but I am still quite impressed with how airy and collected it all feels with so little square footage.
5) The Fire basket designed by Norm Architects for Menu is genius and the must have outdoor living accessory for this summer in my opinion.
6) Speaking of indigo blue, Urban Outfitters has a limited line of Shibori inspired bedding that would go so well with my future denim quilt.
7) I think I heart camping now, and this T shirt will prove my point.
8) I love a good studio tour and One Kings Lane did a nice one for All Roads Studio. Weaver Janelle Pietrzak gives an inside look into how her awesome collection of groovy wall hangings come to life.
Happy Friday all. Having just returned from a mini break in the desert I feel like I am playing catch up while everyone else winds down. I have more blog posts I plan to share with you, but for now a recap of our desert escape.
The idea was to tie in an intergenerational camping trip with Modernism week in Palm Springs. We did indeed rent camper vans from Escape Campervans and spent 2 nights in Desert Hot Springs and 1 in Joshua Tree roughing it. The camper vans came equipped with all the gear we needed which was a low stress way to ease into it, but to be honest I was not psyched about sleeping in the back of a van at night. I felt more like a homeless person than someone communing with nature. Boo hoo. We did get a lot of positive attention from fellow campers for the hand painted murals on the side of the vans.
To balance out the camping, I insisted we stay at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and spend a few days partaking in the lux accommodations, the loungey pool scene and some of the Modernism Week events that were going on about the town. The hotel grounds are always relaxing and inspiring to me, making me feel like a hippy living on some sort of artful commune, the people hanging around very friendly, and there seemed to be a ton of kids this time. This hotel is seriously one of my happy places and always a good time.
My kids loved it and it was hard to leave, but we squeezed in a little more adventure in nearby Joshua Tree. Who could resist all those gorgeous rock formations? Scrambling up and around the large rocks and hiking through the valley was fun for all. We really went all out camping in Jumbo Rocks, a pristine site, with no running water or electricity our last night. A very memorable trip and a good recharge.
Oh, and don't forget the date shakes. So good.
January seems to push us to refresh; clean out closets, revamp websites, and update bedrooms. Yes, I painted our bedroom again for the third time in the 4 years we have lived here. Its not that I can't decide, its that its hard to agree as bunkmates about which color we both like in our bedroom. When all else fails, go neutral because the dark teal which was a compromise between the gray I loved and the blue Alec wanted was not working for either of us.
It all started shortly after we installed the brass light sconces and the teal started to feel off to me. I painted the room Irish Mist for a brighter neutral space and it was better. But then this new more grown up feeling space was begging for a more grown up bed. We have had the same West Elm frame for years now and I wanted a new one but I had to wait until our cheapo Ikea bed frame in the guest room gave out so I had the excuse to send our bed in there and buy a new one for us.
In came the beige tufted head frame and a faux fur throw. The room is different than its former version(s). It reads more girly to me, or at least as girly as this tomboy will ever get, but also more mature.
Other bits and bobs worth noting are the skull bank I recently procured. I'm into skulls lately, but not in a gothic or Halloween kind of way. More like a trancendental philosophical way. Its a phase.
Also, super happy with my recent Craigslist find. It fills up this dead corner quite nicely. We have tried everything in here; chairs, plants, poufs, and finally a perfect fit like Cinderella's slipper.
And just for fun, here are the recent versions of the same space. All good in their own way, but this is the winner for the time being.
I enjoyed Dark Granite but Alec felt depressed living this room.
Solitude was a pretty color, but when you compromise no one wins.
This past weekend I had the chance to visit the site of the 10 new student rental units near USC. This is a large construction job that won't get wrapped up before July, but I find it fascinating to see the 2d plans I have been closely working with come alive in the 3d real world scale. It was also fun to bring my family and show them kind of what I do.
The most interesting part to me is that the building is being converted from a Korean ministry dorm space to modern luxury student dwellings. The life cycle of a building is worth recording.
Here is one design scheme I am working on right now for the next round of SCSH student housing rentals that is really making me swoon. The client dug it as much as I did and he's a dude. Its a black, grey, white, and pale blush pink color combo for a unisex living area. It doesn't feel too feminine at all and I'm looking forward to making it happen and maybe using it in other applications.
Where did I get the idea for such a scheme you might ask? Well, I've been influenced by this grouping in art and one particular interior that I just had to try it on for size and give it my own twist. I think that's how it ideally should be - when contemporary art inspires interiors.