Saturday, May 24, 2014

What's new in kitchen appliances....or should I say what's old is new !

As an Interior Designer I can find myself at any given time in all kinds of places.  Just last week a project I am working on with my business partner, Ellie Caimano, took us to a plumbing showroom, a custom mattress shop and a local appliance retailer.  What we discovered there was unexpected and delightful.

These red vintage style appliances are showstoppers.  The black and white tile just adds to the "retroness"

This stove appears pretty authentic, but look closely and see what current feature it has.
How fabulous would these look in a modern day "retro" kitchen?  The refrigerator is the same inside as most current standard refrigerators but when they put the fancy red vintage door on it the price went up to $5,000!  We are actually working on renovating a condo built in the 40"s and this would be perfect. But we are making it look contemporary.....all white...very I guess I will have to wait for another day to bring these beauties home.

Does anyone remember cooking on a stove like this....or maybe there was one in your mother's or grandmother's kitchen?  This oldie was on display in the store, but not for sale.  Don't you love the advertisement?

Look at that double oven!  What a  nice work space by the burners too.

Not only does this beauty have a "Sensational new quick-set automatic timer", but it also has a spectacular built in "Jiffy Griddle".  I think it is behind "door #2" on the right.  When you open the door the 2 burner griddle slides out.  
We did spot something new there.  It's a new finish called slate.  It's very cool.  What do you think?  I don't know what goes into creating a new color/finish for appliances.  It could be a very risky investment for manufacturers but it is so nice to see something different!

In the yellow shaded lighting the finish takes on a bronze tone, which is something to remember when selecting the lighting for your own home.  Slate is softer and less obvious than black while still adding a rich tone to go with darker cabinets.
I don't remember the avocado being this bright and cheerful, but I do remember wearing bell bottoms !
Remember Harvest Gold, Avocado Green and Copper?  I remember having to base decorating schemes around the color of the appliances.  I am not kidding!

I think the second photo may be my own kitchen from the 70's!  And look they even made avocado green sinks to match the appliances too! The light fixture in the top photo is back in style.  Maybe there is truth in if you hang on to it, it comes back?

We have probably all seen what they call "integrated" appliances in kitchens.  That is where the appliance has a panel on the front that matches the kitchen cabinets.  The appliances blend in so well that sometimes you don't even realize what you are looking at!

This built-in could almost pass as a pantry with drawers below.

I saw this at another showroom.  It  is a combination of  a freezer, wine cooler and refrigerator.
Can you guess where the freezer is?

This would be great for a wine conoseur but if not, you can have a refrigerator on both sides.  Yes, the freezer is on the bottom.
As we left the first appliance store we spotted this cutie.  Do you know what it is?  Did you know someone who had one?  I think I saw one once on someone's back porch years ago.  Gosh, how far we have come.  This bit of nostalgia was such a treat.  Hope you enjoyed seeing what's new, what's old is new and a few throw backs to a bye gone time.

Yes, I think this old faithful deserves it's blue ribbon!
What do you think about decorating in a "retro" style?  What touches of nostalgia would you like to use in your decorating?  Even in contemporary design a nod to the past can give depth to your decorating, don't you think?

What ideas do you have for a new feature or color in kitchen appliances?  How does the color of your appliances effect the way you decorate or design your kitchen?

As always I invite you to share your experiences and inspirations, or questions, in the comment box below.
I look forward to hearing from you.

                     Happy Decorating!

If you would like assistance with a decorating project please email me at

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Where do Designers shop? Pier I has lots to offer.

While shopping with a client, I stopped in an old favorite haunt, Pier I Imports.  It was always a fun place to get inspired and it still is!  Pier I has a little bit of everything at great prices.  That day they were even having a sale.

They still have a fabulous selections of pillows and seat cushions, accessories, furniture, tableware and more.

Pillows for every color scheme.

These pillows had pretty appliqued flowers.

I love  classic navy and white.  These were embroidered.

This fresh, crisp, colorful pattern is just plain cheerful to look at.

A pillow like this can inspire a whole color scheme.....or tie it all together.

Linen covered chests with nail head patterns are so popular now but often very pricey.  This is a great way to get the look at an affordable price.
A chest like this could be a focal point or an inspiration.  Use it as a server, buffet, entertainment cabinet or where ever you want to add an exotic touch.

Want to add a bit or nature or a pop of color?  Butterflies can brighten up any space.
A charming mantle clock like this reminds me of  a pricey Swedish antique.  You could "age" the finish by sanding and distressing it and giving it a light antique wash..
Hammered silver adds sparkle, texture and an artisan feel.
Looking for accessories for an office or den?
Here's a twist on a traditional wreath.  Hang it on a door or wall, or lay it on a table and place a large candle in the center. What other ways would you use it?  Which direction would you hang it?
Wouldn't these elephants add a delightful touch of whimsy to a bookshelf?

A flute playing frog would charm anyone. What about tucking one in a garden?

These youthful musicians would work high on a ledge, on a shelf, cabinet,  or on the floor by a plant.   Where would you like them?
Lanterns are fun to use inside or out.
And garden seats like these are not just for your garden, and not just seats either!
Pier I is a great place to find hanging chairs.  They are so comfy and a little retro.
I even found this traditional sofa with nail head trim there.
Not everything was bright and colorful.  I like the way they took a neutral wing chair and added soft gold.
Want to update your colors without redecorating?  I loved these dishes and glassware, napkins and napkin rings.
Creating a beautiful tablescape on your dining table is like a mini decorating project.  I think that is why holidays are so much fun!

I am starting to feel like this is a commercial for Pier I Imports but it isn't.  I do not often think of it as a place for major pieces of furniture, though it could be, but it really can be a source for accessories and what I call "fill in" or accent pieces.  It is always fun to bring things home and "play" with them.

Where do you like to shop for accessories?  Do you like the "global" style of import stores?  I always get inspired when I pop into places like this.  Now I am thinking of redecorating my patio!

As always I invite you to share your experiences and ideas in the comment box.  I look forward to hearing from you.

                             Happy Decorating!

If you would like assistance with a decorating project of your own please email me at