Just One Kitchen... A Learning Experience


We can learn so much from dissecting rooms & spaces. It's one of the things that I love most about blogging: when you have to verbalize something, you end up forming opinions & making insights you may not have if you hadn't tried to explain it writing to others. I thought I'd share a photo of one of my favorite kitchens from Southern Accents. The owners designed the entire kitchen around the 18oos 17 foot L-shaped oak table from France. Now I know most of us don't have the space or luxury of designing a kitchen around a 17 foot antique table, but we can dream, can't we? (And learn from it!!)

What I'm loving in this space is:

1) The juxtaposition of old & new (antique table vs. modern cabinets) (farmhouse sinks vs. contemporary range hood)...




2) The windows!!!! -- Although they look like steel, they're actually custom wooden windows painted to look like steels. (Steel windows are SO on my list for my house one day!) How amazing would it be to have a wall of windows instead of upper cabinets?!! (Unfortunately I don't think we'd ever have the storage space for this, and quite frankly, we'd be staring out at our neighbor's house anyway.)


3) The mix of materials: travertine, marble, stainless steel, iron, and wood aged to perfection... People always ask about mixing metals and I say "go for it" (as long as you do it thoughtfully.) This kitchen is the perfect example of how it can make a space really special. It makes a home feal more "real"/ less model home/ cataloggy.

4) Old World light fixtures: They fooled us again! These chandeliers look antique but were actually custom made by a blacksmith! (eeeek on the wallet!) Light fixtures are key to making a space amazing. I especially love vintage & antique fixtures because they add so much character & age to a new kitchen like this one.


5) And finally, what amazes me most about this room is how light & airy it feels, yet cozy at the same time. I think that's a feat in and of itself. I'm DESPERATELY trying to achieve this in my own home because I really do just want both!

I think the important thing in looking at rooms we love that we want to emulate, is that we figure out how to make it work for our personal application. This kitchen above is massive... Not very normal. But how can we apply the principles used in creating this beautiful space to our own homes? Pretty easily. Just break down each element.

I know most of you are as design-obessed as I am (and probably do this already in your own blogs & at home) but I also know some of you are looking for some tips & tricks to get your home just right.

Lots of times we love rooms because of the overall feeling or atmosphere so it really helps to break them down. If you have photos of rooms you love, just figure out what you love about each space and write it down. 1-2-3, a-b-c. And then the most important part is to apply it to your space. Figure out how you can achieve each element in your own space. (maybe on a smaller scale or with different materials, get creative so you're not copying and it's personal to you, etc.) Write down an example next to each element. It really helps!!

xoxo,

lauren

25 comments:

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

It is an amazing space. The windows! (also dream of having steel windows) What a great idea they used here to get the look of them. And the lack of upper cabinets, letting the light shine in, wonderful. I hadn't noticed the table was an L shape until you mentioned it, even though I've seen this image before! Thanks for pointing it out...how cool is that?
Janell

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

p.s. check out my light fixture when you get a chance! No orange glow!! Thanks...Janell

nkp said...

This kitchen is stunning and perfectly encapsulates that element of openness and coziness all at once. That is a feat indeed! I love the way you broke down your thought process...you're right, design-obsessed minds think alike!

Greet said...

This is a very good post Lauren!
Good tips ! And a beautiful kitchen!
I also love the juxtaposition of old and new here!

Greet

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Great lesson, Lauren. It's hard sometimes, when you're so enamored of an entire space to break it down and figure out why... YOU might love ALL of it but IT might not all be right for your space. I hate when that happens!

A Country Farmhouse said...

I love all those windows, it's like a solarium. I completely LIVED by inspiration photos during our remodel. I think pictures can do such a better job than words sometimes (especially when expressing your desires to contractors). I actually just posted on one of my inspiration photos and I was amazed at how similiar the inspiration room and the my room are. Everything is different (different table, different cabinet, different chairs) yet the feel of it is very similiar. It's really quite fascinating! Wouldn't it be fun to compare ones inspiration photos to the rooms they were meant to inspire?! xoTrina

Southern Aspirations said...

It really is helpful to break down what it is we like about particular spaces. And more difficult than one might think! I LOVE the chandeliers in this room- to me, they serve as the bridge between old and new. An old-world style but still modern.

Thanks for a great post!

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I think this is a great idea. For not only a typical home owner, but a working professional in the field. It's great to sit down and look at images and pick it all apart to see what ingredients came together to make the room the way it is!

sarah @ realestatestyle said...

thanks for the tips! I do spend a lot of time trying to get ideas from magazine pictures!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Way to break down the components!

I love how they have all the chairs on just one side....and those windows! I have metal windows...but theyy are yucky silver...I had been toying with painting them for a long time. Think I'll give it a spin!

bennettwilliams said...

Love this kitchen. And those WINDOWS. To die for. Great post!

Design Esquire said...

I love this kitchen (especially the windows and the table). And I completely agree with you about breaking down images. I need to start being better about it. Great post!

Room to Inspire said...

This kitchen is beautiful. I really love the antique table. It really adds charm next to those modern cabinets. And those windows are fabulous! Great tips.

Chelsea

Danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danielle @ Transforming Home said...

How beautiful! Makes me want to rip out all my upper cabinets - but what to do with all that stuff?

AprylHazle said...

Lauren you are awesome. Dissecting a room is the best way for me to explain to my husband what I like. It wasn't until I showed him a picture of what I like and why did he understand what I wanted to do with our house.

Bethany Christensen said...

Great post! I love the kitchen as well.

Devon said...

I always love your willingness to TEACH. Great post Lauren, hope you are well!

Unique Unique Design said...

You have stated some very good tips on how to break down a photo of a room to work for your own space. All the elements in this room are fabulous, but I think you are exactly right about how light the room is yet so cozy and inviting. Great post!
marcie

Passementerie said...

What a beautiful kitchen! And that table... oh my! The house we stayed in near Perugia in Umbria this summer had a wonderfully long oak table, but this table leaves it in the shade! Some day, some day....

Gena said...

Great post! And what a table!!!! Wow. enjoyed your "dissecting the room", I do that too as a rule and on my blog .... it just helps put in perspective why something works and why you like it.... Gena

Caroline said...

The table really does make the room, I love how they used it as extra prep space as well as a dining table.

Maria Killam said...

That is a stunning kitchen and I love it for every reason you do!! I love your style Lauren!

On the Border, By the Sea said...

I am seriously lusting after that kitchen! Great post! Can you tell me what month/year in was featured in SA? It is the inspiration for my next kitchen for certain! Thanks! xoxo Rita

Blueprint Bliss said...

Love it all.