Kitchen Stools | Top Picks

The saying "The kitchen is the heart of the home" is proven to be true time and time again; and when I meet with new families that are looking to give their home an overhaul this is always a big consideration when it comes to design and layout.

There are so many details that go into designing a kitchen. From cabinets, lighting, tile to counter tops. But another important design feature that is sometime overlooked is kitchen seating. Having a place to sit and entertain is always top on clients list. So a great stool is always needed. Not only does it bring function but another dose of perfectly tailored design style. 

I must say it was hard to only pick a top 4 so I am sure I will be revisiting this subject again!

Top Picks, Kitchen Stools

1. Slope Leather Stools  2. Chantay Counter Stool  3. Danish Oak Stool  4. Henson Swivel Stool

Most stools have the option of either counter height or bar height, so make sure you are selection the perfect height for your counter top. We recommend having about 10" from the bottom of the counter top to the seat of your stool. Also, make sure you give each stool about 28-30" of sitting room. To get the perfect amount of stools for your kitchen, divide the lenght in inches by 30 to get your ideal number of stools. 

Let us know what you think about our favs at the moment. And like always if you need helping finding the perfect stool to perch on in your kitchen let us know!

Cheers, Holly

Island Lighting | Top Picks

Lighting can make or break a design and when the lighting is on point the whole room shines! But, it can be a daunting task to not only select the best designed light but also pick the appropriately sized light for the space. SO here are some tips along with some our top picks to help you get started!  

One of my favorite design elements in a kitchen is the island lighting. It is a hands down star and a place where you can have a little fun. I love to use oversized pendant to really capture your eye. Here are four of our top picks for large scale pendants (18" - 24" wide). 

Large Scale Pendants

1. Conical Drum Pendant  2. Gorham Gray Wood Pendant  3. Fulton Pendant  4. Nina Dome Pendant

Small scale (10" - 13") pendant are often used in groupings of 3 or on a smaller scale island. Here are four of our top picks!

Small Scale Pendants

1. Possini Schoolhouse Pendant 2. Eugene Pendant 3. Hatteras Pendant 4. Haleigh Wire Dome Pendant

A couple key pointers to keep in your pocket when it come time to hang those perfect fixtures are: 1. Hanging height should be 36" - 40" from countertop to bottom of pendant. 2. Keep you spacing symmetrical with average distance between pendants at approximately 30" - 32" apart.  3. Use pendant lighting as a secondary light source with primary ceiling lighting around for the perfect balance.

If you have any questions over selecting the perfect lighting for your space send them our way! And of course if you have a design project in the works let us know, we'd love to help!

Cheers,

Holly

Westridge Reno | Before & After

Spring is upon us and what better way to bring in the new season than with a light and airy reno. My latest Westridge Reno included the kitchen and family room fireplace/media wall. Both spaces were awkward, dated, and not functioning at their highest potential. 

Let's see if the "before" looks and sounds familiar to any of you: dated builder grade cabinets, large bulkhead, and countertops leaving much to be desired. The space felt cut off to the eat in area and was not conducive to their love for baking.  The fireplace in the family room was old, off-centered, and not in keeping with their transitional style vision for the home. 

| BEFORE

During our consultation, I learned what was most important and it quickly became apparent that we needed to make this kitchen more user friendly as they loved to bake! Because they already had a formal dining room just on the other side of the stove wall, it made perfect sense to eliminate the eat-in area and expand the kitchen to consume the entire footprint. It was also important to remove the bulk head over the upper cabinets to create more upper storage and to incorporate built-in storage around the fridge to include a pantry and convection microwave.

Armed with all of my new information and a better understanding of what my clients needed, I put together the design plan. 

| DESIGN PLAN

I came up with a design that utilized the entire kitchen, from floor to ceiling. With the bulkheads gone, we were able to take the new cabinets all the way up. The clean, panel fronts were timeless and leaned toward their transitional aesthetic. It also allowed us to add great crown moldings for a truly custom look. After the peninsula was removed, we had so much space! I proposed a long center island running parallel to the window wall. The long surface offered several design solutions- kitchen seating, prep surface, additional storage, and - let's be honest - it's the WOW factor! There was also enough room to add a small peninsula at the half wall going down to the family room. Friends can now gather for casual meals in 2 different areas of the kitchen and it makes for a great space to watch the big games!

In addition to the new cabinets, counters, and layout, I found the PERFECT tile for the backsplash from Tile Bar. It was a marble mosaic in a graphic geometric print. The traditional material was a nod to the past, yet the bold contrast in colors and striking pattern gave it a fresh take and modern twist. The various shades of off white and gray also married the countertop and cabinet colors. Did I already say how much I love this?! Ok, ok...I digress. 

And here are the results! A stunning updated kitchen with plenty of space for everyone.

| AFTER

I knew my clients wanted a light and airy kitchen, but rather than white cabinets, I selected a soft, warm gray. This allowed the countertops to have a slight contrast. For the busy family I knew we needed a no maintenance option that would hold up to lots to use. Quartz was the clear winner and I found a marble look alike to stay in keeping with the updated classic design scheme. 

To ground the space and balance out all of the light finishes, I opted to go with a mid tone wood floor and dark oil rubbed bronze hardware from Top Knobs and plumbing fixtures. To round out the design and bring the elements full circle, the amazing schoolhouse pendants from Lamps Plus also had dark metal accents for a dramatic, yet airy look. By introducing several natural elements such as the marble and hardwood, it made the kitchen feel comfortable and inviting. 

In the family room portion of the project, the outdated wood burning stove was intruding into the room and was never used by the family. It wasn’t centered on the wall, which was also an eye sore and visually distracting. We centered the fireplace and went with a gas insert. Clean lines with custom built-ins on each side gave balance to the extra storage and display.  The family had recently purchased the large TV and wanted to make sure it had a new beautiful home, so the size of the fireplace wall was increased to accommodate the TV.  

We also decided to bring the new flooring down from the kitchen and extend it through the family room. This gave us cohesion as well as a breathe of fresh air by removing the well loved carpet. After a fresh coat of paint, new baseboards, and the revamped fireplace wall, the results were gorgeous!

| BEFORE

FP Before.jpg

| AFTER

I am so pleased with how well everything came together and my clients were, too! They could not believe the transformation and how much more useable space they had. For more information on this project or to start the conversation about planning your own reno, please contact me. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Holly

After pictures by the talented Shannon Addison www.shannonaddisonphotography.com | Carpentry done by James Hurlburt of Ideal Carpentry www.ideal-carpentry.com

North Shirley Kitchen Reno | Before & After

I'm excited to share another amazing kitchen renovation! Kitchens are one of my most favorite design challenges. Being able to rethink the "what is" and turn it into something amazing and functional is hands down one of the best perks of being a designer. A kitchen renovation is also usually one of the most intimidating remodels for most homeowners. Part of my job as a designer is to help take the overwhelming fear and turn it into the kitchen on my clients dreams.  

The North Shirley kitchen reno started just that way. With clients that had dreamed of remodeling their dated kitchen for years and never knew where to start or how to accomplish their goals. After meeting we worked out a game plan with their must haves for their new kitchen. First on the list was to open up the space for a "open concept" kitchen, dining and living area. Also on the must have list was to create more storage plus a farmhouse sink!

BEFORE
North Shirley Before
North Shirley Before
North Shirley Before

The kitchen and dining room spaces were cramped, dated and both required a complete update to the floor plan. In the kitchen I suggested moving the range to under the second large window and to center the farmhouse sink under the other window. This required us to get rid of the small peninsula in the middle of the space and allowed us to run the cabinets round the entire perimeter, creating ample counter top space and better flow between appliances. The wall between the kitchen and dining room as well as the doorway to the hall were also removed to help with the "open concept". 

FLOOR PLAN
North Shirley Kitchen Floor Plan
DESIGN PLAN

Another key in creating a larger and more usable kitchen and dining room was to build an island which connected the two spaces. The island not only provides a great buffet area but also acts as the back to a large built-in seating area for the dining room. With the new build-in seating the family can now easily host dinners for up to 10 guests!

The last key in completing the "open concept" feel was to create a large cut out in the wall between the entry door and dining room. Since both spaces are on the smaller size keeping the wall was a must to ensure the most usable space. But, by opening up a large portion of the wall you can now look straight into the kitchen from the entry. The space is now bright and feels 10 times larger.

North Shirley Design Board
North Shirley Kitchen layout

As with most designs this was a bit of a compromise between the hubby, who wanted dark cabinets and the wife who wanted to create a comfy and traditional space. To help create a more traditional feel to the dark maple cabinets we used a warm color palette and beautiful cabinet hardware. The floor also got a makeover with a hand-scraped hickory engineered hardwood and one of my favorite design details was the backsplash. A fun twist was given to a traditional subway pattern with the use of an accent band and a change of orientation of the tile for the top row. 

The end result is stunning and most importantly, highly functional! 

AFTER

Are you getting ready for a kitchen renovation? We would love to help! Contact us to set up your own design consultation to let the fun being! Check out more photos of the fully renovated kitchen and family room in my portfolio under North Shirley Kitchen Renovation

Thanks for stopping by!

Holly

After pictures by the talented Shannon Addison www.shannonaddisonphotography.com | Carpentry done by James Hurlburt of Ideal Carpentry www.ideal-carpentry.com