Friday, February 15, 2013

French Bistro Style Kitchens

Have you ever been to France and been charmed by the ambiance of a French Bistro?
I have often dreamed about that myself but having never been there, I certainly could create one in my own kitchen.  Why not?

What would it look like?  What elements of that style would I need to recreate that feeling?

The first thing I think about when looking at the outside is an awning.  Then I see colors like this rich gold and red.

  Or maybe blue?  I see little woven chairs and tiny round tables.

 Many have outside seating and are adorned with pots of flowers and herbs.

Color is strong on the inside too.  This saturated red is dramatic and fun.  Did you know that the color red also stimulates your appetite?  Red is a wonderful color for a dining room.

  Another design element might be a pretty tiled floor and dark woodwork.

Check out the Idea Book (website shown below) from  It is full of kitchens done in the French Bistro style.  What a fun project it would be to create one in my own home. 
 This stimulates my appetite for a new kitchen. What do you think?  How would you add touches of French Bistro style to your kitchen?

Oooo La La! and Bon Apetite!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Monochromatic Color Schemes

A monochromatic color scheme is one where everything is the same color or shades and tints of the same color.  You might consider a room done in all one color with one neutral as monochromatic,too.

The tricky thing in this one color design is to keep it from being blah.  Once I had a client whose room was all beige and she said she felt like she lived in a bowl of oatmeal!

Here is a living room from House Beautiful Magazine that is an example of a monochromatic blue scheme.  Blue is a restful color, hence if you wanted to create an exciting vibrant feeling, blue would not work.  Here the color enhances a relaxed and calm space.

You can see there are subtle changes in tones of blue.  For that matter, even if every blue were the exact same they would not match because each texture is different. 

What makes this work is the variations in texture and surfaces, including the reflective glass top cocktail table and light wood tones of the tables, and woodwork.  The pair of lamps, end tables, pillows, plants and chairs demonstrates a formal arrangement but the room is not stiff.  It is quite inviting.

I love the large window with light flooding into the room.  A blue room would feel a bit dreary if the window was facing north and did not get much light.

If I was going to make any change in this room it would be to use a mirror or neutral painting or sketch above the sofa.

What do you think?   What changes, if any, would you make? How would you use a monochromatic scheme in your home or next project?

Designing with color

Color is such and important element of design, but how and where it is used can be challenging.  Sometimes just a dash of color is all that is needed to add your personality to a room.

Look what I came across the other day at the Design NS Leather showroom.  It just jumped out at me and said  "look at me".  It actually made me smile.  It reminds me of a court jester both because of it's bold color and curl of the wings.

The color is fun and the overscale design is dramatic which make this chair  both playful and formal at the same time.  What a statement this pop of color would make in any space.

I can see four of these grouped around a cocktail table or a pair in a tall bay window.  They would look fabulous in the lounge area of a fashion designer's salon, too.  What if they were combined with bold black and white striped wallpaper or a black and white chevron patterened rug.  Wait, I see it in an all white room resting on a fluffy white Flokati  rug, surrounded by colorful artwork and a bouquet of brightly hued flowers.

 Where can you imagine this amazing chair?