I promised the girls a dog when we move.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
or learn more about Edgar Degas and his Ballet related paintings and sculpture through The Dancer's and Degas . Join Marie and her friends from American Ballet and curators from the museum as you navigate closely through this information and activity loaded page. There are also three stories in the sub category "A Day with Degas" that bears repeated reading.
I sure know what my girls will be doing over the Easter Break during their allotted computer time!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Many friends have been asking me to post pictures of of our house at its current stage. I have hesitated because I felt that if they saw it, they would not see past the chaos and mayhem that is characteristic of a work in progress. Without a clear vision of what we are trying to create, it's very hard to see beyond the dust and dirt, the unpainted walls and unfinished carpentry. Any pictures posted of the house up until this point would have utterly disappointed and underwhelmed. However, I think we have reached the stage wherein if given enough explanation and detailed description, one could easily visualize what we are trying to achieve.
Of the rooms in the house, the kitchen has been my baby since the moment we broke ground so I think this should be a fun place to start our tour. This room will ultimately define how we live and its design will be reflective of the mood of our home. But before I show you the actual pictures of the house, let me share with you the images that have inspired us.
This photo above is a kitchen by one of my favourite interior designers Ilse Crawford .The grey cabinets, the polished white marble countertops and back splash, the gold hardware,(the wheel of what appears to be parmigiano reggiano!)= pure perfection in my book. It achieves that delicate balance of traditional and modern. It remains elegant and refined while still being cozy and inviting. Although our interpretation of this design is not literal, the ambience that we wish to recreate is exact. Old world glam with modern nuances.
My search for the "ultimate "kitchen began as most searches often do, on the internet. I googled, took notes, landed on one site after another. I googled again.I chanced upon a website of Christopher Peacock , who at the time was an exclusive and predominantly east coast based kitchen cabinetry firm. Since then , his fame has reached international proportions, a buyout and then a buy back not withstanding .
Like many who had discovered his work before me, I fell in love.
Willow Decor chronicles her quest to discover and decipher everything Christopher Peacock, here, here, here and even here. Lucky for me and anyone else out there who is desperate to recreate a similar kitchen,this comprehensive and well thought out primer was an essential tool that I referred to over and over again.
Why the obsession you may ask? Well to begin with, the level of his craftsmanship is sublime. In a time where we can find some of the finest prefabricated kitchens, Christopher Peacock's work reminds us to appreciate the art of things that are handmade and custom , crafted by talented artists . His look is what I call artisanal yet organically modern.
Another influence that helped us shape the overall design direction for our kitchen, was The Beaux Arts collection by Siematic, I really love how they incorporated stainless steel in the cabinetry. Usually we see this material only introduced in more traditional kitchens by way of heavy appliances. Utilizing the stainless steel in a matte finish for drawers as seen in the kitchen below was pivotal in turning an otherwise country looking kitchen into something with a more urban and contemporary feel.
We contemplated purchasing this kitchen in its entirety, however, my heart was really set on something characteristic of a truly bespoke kitchen. So the search continued.
Of course any pursuit for the ultimate kitchen would have to include some research on those of the woman who practically coined the phrase, domestic goddess, Martha Stewart.
Above is Martha's main kitchen at her former residence, Turkey Hill in Westport , Connecticut. I think I prefer it to her new one at Cantitoe in Katonah, New York. shown here. And I'm sure you all notice the resemblance to Ilse Crawford's picture of perfection at the beginning of this post. Does anything say "gourmet kitchen" more than a row of hanging copper pots?
Another image below, this time from the set at the Martha Show, I love the clean lines of the drawer and cabinet faces, very traditional yet updated and fresh. Again , the copper pots to authenticate the look!
After reviewing these photos and hundreds more I didn't include in this post, I started to define the detail for our kitchen. First, I knew that the cabinets and drawer faces must were to be hand made and hand painted, not prefabricated.
Next they had to have very clean lines with minimum ornamentation like the ones below, again from Christopher Peacock.
Our cabinets will be painted in the subtle neutral shade , Worldly Gray by Sherwin Williams, similar but not exact to the cabinets above.
We also decided to introduce stainless steel into the mix by way of a row of drawers and the appliances to impact our traditionally designed kitchen. The photo below is just breathtaking, love it!
A farmhouse kitchen sink would be essential in the organically modern design we craved, as would an updated classic for the faucet
After all those decisions, I was still desperate to use black after reviewing numerous photos of some of the most glamourous kitchens . And through a stroke of genius by my brilliant decorator, we finally decided to incorporate the color into my butler's pantry. The result of the black cabinetry against the white marble countertop and back splash is something so sophisticated, classic yet edgy .Afterall, I needed a black background somewhere , because like Kelly Wearstler, I always wear a gown to put away my limoges!
It appears Gwyneth is a fan of black too. Below her kitchen in the Hamptons.
Another image from House Beautiful, my decor porn of choice these days.
Windsor Smith is a fan too!
Next up, where we are now!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Bookstore. Lunch. Pasta for lunch at that! Another bookstore.
Literature and carbs, who could ask for more!
My only purchase being the next read for my book club but I easily could have picked up a few more titles. As I put down the four other novels that piqued my interest , I vowed that I will first finish the evergrowing stack of books by my bedside before I even entertain the thought of purchasing another ! Every single one of them a good read, mind you.
My backlog with my posts reveals the same story. One day I'll get my act together. Meanwhile here are the good reads I will finish cover to cover before Easter.
Yes, you read that right, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society . A mouthful of a title that to be honest, put me a bit off originally, but turned out to be an intelligent, touching story. The book is a series of letters written between different characters and is set in post WW II England. Just a fewpages more to go!
The authors of Nurture Shock have published some very interesting articles in New York Magazine in recent years. My friend touts this as "her best parenting read of 2009". I think this compendium of essays will be a fruitful and stimulating read.
This tell all novel by Michael Gross is most engrossing. 740 Park is the tale of one of the most affluent and sought after New York City addresses. Once the home of John D. Rockefeller and built by Jaqueline Kennedy Onasis' grandfather, James T. Lee, it has been residence to many of the past century's wealthy and famous personalities. including , Henry Kravis and Carolyne Roehm, Saul Steinberg, Ronald Lauder and Vera Wang. It reads like a soap opera. Extremely entertaining.
Michael Gross' follow up novel to 740 Park, Rogues Gallery is again an unauthorized tale of America's wealth and power and the personalities behind it all. This time Gross focuses on the social history behind The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is ripe with gossip about some of NYC's most moneyed families, the Morgans, the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers. Throw in some tidbits of tittle-tattle on Brooke Astor and Annette de la Renta, and it makes for a juicy summer read. That being said, Rogues Gallery provides much insight into one of the country's beloved and cherished cultural institutions.
So that's what I'm reading now. What's on your bookshelf. Drop me a note, I would love to hear from you.