When Dianne came to us with her almost completely overhauled eat-in kitchen, we were overcome with excitement and serious space envy. We couldn’t wait to pull out all the stops to finish her space with style to spare. And although many of our clients need to repurpose items and work within a limited budget (and boy do we love sniffing down deals) Dianne had actually set aside some money to finish her kitchen with a few serious splurge items (and boy do we love a good splurge). Here’s her letter:
Hello, I am so excited that I found your services on the web. I know that the two of you will do an EXCELLENT job since you also have an all white kitchen (I love what you did to your space – I especially like your rug). We like a clean mid-century modern look with sleek lines and we also like mixing in something from nature (rattan, rustic style woods) along with something used or vintage. We’ve started to add accessories in soft green, some hits of red, and chrome and would like to continue (although we’d like to maintain the wall and cabinet/trim colors). We’re looking for the following: a dining table, chairs, a rug, window treatments, and some items to put on top of the built-in base cabinets in the eating area. It’s just the two of us- no kids or pets, so our thought was to have 2 chairs with an appropriate sized table. The fireplace is in progress. The marble will be installed next week and then a flat screen TV is being installed above. Should we leave the mantle empty (it’s only 5″ wide)? I realize that sending links for vintage/ethnic items may not be feasible so if you can describe the kind of item that you recommend, I can scour ebay/local shops for something similar. THANKS and I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! -Dianne
I know, I know… it already looks like an after. So we worked even harder to come up with a few finishing touches to take this already stunning kitchen the extra mile with Dianne’s generous budget. Here’s what we dug up:
And now for the mood board breakdown.
1. Dianne has already nailed a soft and classic color scheme when it comes to the walls and the cabinets, but she wanted to bring some green tones along with a few pops of modern red into her neutral palette for added interest and texture. Of course we’ll also work in some tan (to work with Dianne’s love of a few natural touches) and some sleek chrome to balance the natural accents with her mid-century modern sensibilities.
2. This chair is actually Dianne’s dream chair– and she hoped that we could work two of them into her more-generous-than-average budget. Of course we searched high and low for a few other steals in order to allow for some splurges when it came to the table and chairs, so two of these amazing Mies Van Der Rohe chairs (at $675 each) still slid in under budget. Score!
3. Dianne also requested some vintage pieces, which she understood aren’t always that easy to link to. But thanks to ebay we managed to find a bunch of vintage-inspired jade glass (this syrup dispenser is only $31) that will make her kitchen feel warm, inviting and lived in- three things that Dianne definitely desired. And even if she doesn’t win this particular auction in time, Dianne mentioned that she would love to scour local vintage shops and crawl ebay herself for some similar items. We just love the idea of Dianne amassing a charming collection of green glass items that would look great clustered on a windowsill, grouped behind her glass cabinets, or arranged en masse in a few of the cubbies of her built in bookcase beside the island.
4. Another fun mid-century inspired ebay find is this 1950’s apple trivet (for just $14.99) which would look cute on the counter or even leaning against the tile backsplash when it’s not in use. The modern lines work perfectly with her dream chairs, and the charming shape adds interest (and function) to the kitchen in a fun and memorable way.
5. When it comes to kitchen window treatments, fabric can sometimes get a bit grody due to all the cooking oil in the air. But thanks to Dianne’s love of natural textures, we think bringing in these textured bamboo blinds (in camel) instead of billowy fabrics will add movement without ever feeling sticky or looking stained. And introducing them in the cooking area and the dining area will add eons of casual balance along with some nice tan tones to each space for a totally cohesive and “finished” feel.
6. One item on Dianne’s wish list was a place to store her fruit in style, so we searched high and low and instantly fell in love with this natural and sculptural bowl from VivaTerra (which conveniently comes full of organic fruit- yum). It’ll look great on the granite counter (and mimic the rich wood tones in the nearby island)- and we’d love to see it full of yummy red apples for that pop of red that Dianne so adores.
7. This rug will make. the. space. The fabulously perfect green stripes strike the ultimate balance of classic, clean, modern and fun- which is exactly what this kitchen (with a farmhouse sink and modern metal stools) is all about. And thanks to the fact that these cotton creations from Dash & Albert are super budget friendly, we can definitely work in a 2.5 x 8 foot runner in front of the wall with the stove along with a 6 x 9 foot area rug under the dining table and chairs in the eating area. By bringing two of the same textured rugs into both area, we’ll add a splash of color in both rooms, keep things balanced and cohesive in both space, and ground the dining area in one fell swoop. Gotta love two rugs that do triple duty.
8. Heeere’s our baby. Remember we mentioned that Dianne had a pretty generous budget to finish off the space? And remember when we said that we searched high and low for a few steals that would allow us to splurge when it came to the table and chairs? Well, this $900 round marble saarinen table by whiteonwhite.com (a great resource for vintage modern classics that are slightly less than the originals) will be an absolute showstopper- especially when paired with those iconic chrome and rattan chairs that we also managed to squeeze into the budget. Victory!
9. Dianne requested something to top each of her built-in base cabinets in the dining area, and we loved the idea of two matching trays of some sort on each side to corral everything from dinner plates to glassware and even cups full of silverware and stacks of cloth napkins (pretty much everything she’ll need to set the table without having to walk back and forth across the room a million times a night). At first we pictured two sleek metal or chrome trays, but we wanted to bring more of that vintage and natural feeling over to this side of the room (and balance out those modern table and chairs). And then we saw it… swoon… this perfect wooden tray (made from an old wine barrel top) from Sur La Table. One fabulously rustic tray on each side of the fireplace atop those base cabinets will definitely come in handy (they can also be stocked with wine and cheese if Dianne entertains!) and they’ll look unbelievably authentic and inviting every day of the week.
10. We’re big fans of one off centered item on a skinny little mantel, so for Dianne’s 5 inch shelf above the fireplace we’d love to see just one clean object on the left or right side of the shelf. For a slice of fun and kitchen humor, we think this clean-lined ceramic carton vase by CB2 (for a staggering $6.95) would look oh-so-fab with some bright red flowers to keep the splashes of red popping up around the room.
So there you have it. Dianne’s posh and polished kitchen makeover to take her already fabulous space above and beyond. We can’t wait to hear what you guys think!
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (we now whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!