Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#3 I'm Shopping for... A Range Hood

We're presenting a design to our clients for a kitchen redo in a couple of weeks & I'm really excited about it.  This kitchen needs to work with the other spaces we've already designed in the home so it will be sort of a relaxed natural-feeling space with a little graphic edge   It will have lots of textural elements that you just want to touch and a big mix of materials & finishes for a casual practical & warm vibe. I'm now getting down into the details of the kitchen design and an important one that truly affects the mood of the whole kitchen is the range hood. 

{Kitchen by Darryl Carter = looooove!}

When perusing through images of kitchens whose range hoods appeal to me, I noticed that many of them had range hoods that stood alone vs. ones that were flanked on both sides by cabinetry, which is what we'll need for the kitchen we're redesigning.  While I think stand alone range hoods are A-mazing (on my personal wishlist one day) they don't always fit into existing kitchens because of space & storage needs, so I've been on the hunt for a pretty yet practical solution for our range hood that will need to be flanked by cabinetry.

One of the things seen a lot in "real life" kitchens is the microwave with exahust fan below it over the range:

{image source here}

While this is completely functional & works for a lot of people (I've had it myself in the past & I think almost everyone in my family has it too) it doesn't create that gorgeous focal point we need for the kitchen & the vibe is totally different.  It doesn't have as much of that "working kitchen" feeling we're after. (And the small cabinet above the range hood isn't really adding a ton of storage space.)

Another thing seen a lot in typical kitchens is the mini vent hood above the range topped with small upper cabinets:

{image via pinterest}

Again, I think it's really functional, (and looks great here in the adorable kitchen above) but it still doesn't have the same impact as a full fange hood.

...Although I have to say that in the high-ceilinged kitchen below with the larger cabinets above the hood, it's making a pretty big statement but I think it's more due to the massive wall of cabinets & the impact they're making.

{image via houzz/ pinterest...  couldn't find original source}

...But anyway, in the kitchen we're working on, I'm really looking to do a full hood that will be flanked by upper cabinets.  I've been collecting inspiration images & thought I'd share.  The first group up is of angled metal hoods.   For this kitchen, because we want to mix a variety of finishes, I like the idea of doing a metal hood.

Below is a picture of a shorter hood mounted up at the ceiling.  This kitchen actually looks like it might be shorter than 8 feet to me...

{Image from}

Here's a photo of a hood mounted at the ceiling again, but this one is longer.  I think for our clients' kitchen that the longer look will work better as I want the hood to make more of a statement.


 This curved copper hood flanked by glass cabinets is gorgeous: 

{Southern Living}

I also really love the curved sides of this hood (below) but our clients' kitchen isn't quite big enough to handle this:

{image via pinterest}

The next group of metal hoods swoop down in an arc & I think would work beautifully even in smaller kitchens.  Here's another copper one:


I love the look of this kitchen.  The hood is perfection to me.
{sooooo gorgeous by Jim Howard featured in House Beautiful}

Here's a shorter version...  SO beautiful, but again, I think we need a bit more length in ours:

{image via}

This hood (below) has a little stainless stell shelf below it which is so pretty, especially with the lights on:

{image via}

This hood blends right in with the wall & I think it could work for a seamless look between cabinets:

{ }

This angled wooden hood is really interesting:


 Again, I love these massive  hoods (below).  They look particularly good when inset into the wall like this.  I love how they carried the hood over the countertops too instead of just the range.  Interesting trick to get some drama without the height.

{Hosue Beautiful}

Here's another inset beauty, except this time in wood:

{Better Homes & Gardens}

 The next few hoods are painted wood to match the surround cabinetry.  It's a classic look:

{image via}

Looooove this curve:

{Kitchen by James Michael Howard}

...And don't pot fillers just make a kitchen look so perfectly practical?  "I want that!"

{image via}

I love all of these wooden hoods, but like I mentioned, for our clients' kitchen, I think we need a separate material for the hood.

{image via}

The standard chimney hoods would work perfectly.  I think they look amazing between cabinets: 

{image via The Decorista}

This one (below) is narrow and I love how this style calls attention to the tile backsplash:

{Better Homes & Gardens}

Here's another one and I think they work beautifully for smaller kitchens:

{House and Home....  mm mm mm!}

..And one last one in black, which would work perfectly for us.

{Elle Decor...  We are including very similar wood tones in our clients' design & I looooove this!!}

Anyway, I think adding the right hood can really make a kitchen and take it to the next level so I want to be sure to get just the right one.  What do you think?  What's style of hood would you pick for your dream kitchen? 
xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

ps-  If you are in the DC/ MD/ Northern Virginia area, our good friends Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar are coming this weekend for the DC Flea!!  They have a few spots left & I had the most amazing time when I went a few years back.  It's sooo worth it & they are so much fun.  They are some of our most supportive & loyal friends and if it weren't for my husband & I going on that flear market tour with our then-baby-Christian, we might never have connected with these amazing guys.  To read about the flea market tour & sign up, click here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

House Visit: Wrapping Things Up

What a difference a few weeks can make. We're in the home stretch on the house that we were working on a few weeks ago, where we were stuck in vanity mirrors, countertops and cabinets. Well, as you can see, most of these hurdles have been cleared and we're finishing up the last few bits of work, including the countertop and faucet for the vanity, as you will see below.

We're also still waiting on the installation of the back splash but otherwise, the kitchen is all but done. The countertops are granite and I personally love how the swirls of reddish brown in the stone accent the orange of the divider and the dark browns of the cabinets. We finished the wood-paneled pocket for the stainless steel refrigerator and the grout on the porcelain tile flooring. We modified the cabinets above the cook top and installed the undercounted stainless steel sink, as well. 

Like I said, we're still waiting on the granite countertops in the bathroom and the bowl sink but overall, I'm really happy with how this turned out, and the customer has been very flattering about the entire project. More later this week. 

Add a touch of Class to your Bathroom with a Digital Shower

Add a touch of Class to your Bathroom with a Digital Shower
Online shower superstars Gainsborough (made by Aqualisa, the luxury shower brand – but more affordable!) have just added two digital showers to their specialist showers website The showers are not only beautifully crafted as you would expect but your kids will love them too with their red flashing lights – and when they stop flashing, it means the shower is ready to go! These digital showers are really easy to operate with a simple push button control, clever digital technology and the precise temperature control means they’re safe too.

The Shower Nerve Centre – how does a Digital Shower work?
Unlike a conventional shower with a ‘mechanical’ valve, Digital Showers are controlled by a compact processor.  Smaller than a shoebox, this clever processor is the nerve centre of the shower and is installed away from the bathroom.  Typical places might be an airing cupboard, under the bath or in the loft. Positioned in a convenient location to hot and cold water supplies, the processor box thermostatically blends water to your pre-set temperature.  But best of all, because the processor is outside of your bathroom, it is likely that installation will be significantly easier and quicker with little disruption to your bathroom decoration. ;)   

Taking a Digital Shower
There are no bulky or awkward controls to get to grips with. Just a simple, push button start/stop.  Temperature is selected with an equally straightforward sliding ring.  And the most exciting part is that, thanks to the clever LED display, you’ll know exactly when to step into your shower. All you have to do is keep an eye on the LED display; when it’s flashing the water is still warming up.  When the display turns to steady, you’ll know it’s time to shower.  Nothing could be simpler or safer.  No tentative testing of your shower’s temperature with your hand or foot, no chilly surprises and no fluctuating between hot and cold, either. 

Is a Digital Shower suitable for my home?
The Gainsborough mixer Showers web pages give loads of useful information on Digital Showers so you can get a feel for what they offer, but generally speaking they are suitable for gravity-fed, combi and mains-fed plumbing systems.  For gravity-fed systems, it is recommended a pumped Digital Shower is chosen – this variant features a processor with an integral pump and has a ‘boost’ button on its control – essential for making the most of gravity-fed plumbing systems. 

What are my other choices?
If a digital mixer shower isn’t suitable for your home, you might want to look into electric showers which are possibly the most economical and also eco-friendly shower available in the UK as they heat only the water that is needed for your shower. They always come in different colours, different styles and different power ratings so you have plenty of choice, based on your specific requirements!

Happy Showering!!! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Love this Milk Bottle

You know those little things you find that are really no big deal but just make you so happy? They get you just a teensy bit more excited to do some sort of mundane thing?

Well, I found this adorable little milk bottle at Target the other week.    I've been filling it up at night so it's all ready to go for breakfast & because of this little bottle, I get to sit down so much quicker in the mornings & the table looks prettier.  Instead of standing at the bar fixing cereal for the kids with the gallon, I can just plop the bowls on the table with the cereal and SIT without having to go back to the fridge for more milk for seconds.  (That may not sound like such a big deal , but I'm pregnant and it is to me in the morning ;)   

It holds enough for a few bowls of cereal and a couple of little glasses of milk which is just right for us.  I've been using it for other meals too.  (Normally we have dinner all ready & we sit down & have forgotten our drinks & one of us is back up getting drinks.  Pretty much always.  Well, with the magic milk bottle (it's getting higher up in importantance to me as I write this post) we can just set out the glasses when the table's being set and plop the milk bottle on the table.  (It stays cold for a while too!)    I love this thing!!

I might have to go get more of these.  I'm not sure how many I'd need to empty a gallon... 

ps- I can't believe I just wrote an an entire post about a milk bottle, but I guess that's what blogs are for, right?

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recent Fun Finds

Since I started working full time at the beginning of the year, my shopping/blogging/redecorating time has been cut significantly...  I was off the other day  and was able to hit a few of my favorite stores and even had some time to peruse ebay.  

I found a couple of old scales.

I found this cupcake stand and cloche and think the bird looks cute in there.

 These seed packets are so colorful.

I plan to put some chalkboard stickers on these canisters.  I think they'll look really cute.

What fun things have you found lately?

Thanks for your visit!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Job Visit: New Shades

We went out on a paint job today and I thought it'd be good to get some practice in as I have been slacking on the photos from other sites; this will be rectified. This was a pretty generic paint job on a nice apartment in midtown, around Lexington Ave., medium-sized room with just some minor spackle work and repairs. Not a huge show-off project but it was nice to get some photos up on here and get some of our more unsung workers on camera. And check out that awesome chandelier!