In the Kitchen with Martha

Martha kitchen 7Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! A few weeks ago I posted about Martha Stewart’s laundry room at Skylands, her home in Maine. Today, I thought I would share some photos of Martha’s various kitchens. While I have never been a follower of Martha’s, she is lucky enough to live in some extremely beautiful historic homes – so clearly we have something in common. When I designed our kitchen at Church Street, I looked backwards for my design inspiration, and designed a kitchen that was in keeping with the time period when the kitchen would have been added into the house. Prior to kitchens being inside the main house, most Charleston houses had a kitchen house, or dependency, a building separate from the main building that would have housed the kitchen. Martha is lucky enough to have kitchens that are original to her homes – and I can’t pretend that these photos haven’t ended up on more than one inspiration board for my clients.

This first photo above is from Turkey Hill, Martha’s home in Westport, Connecticut – not far from where I grew up! Her use of long, narrow storage drawers in her island is one of my favorites. 
Martha kitchen 2This is from Skylands, Martha’s home in Maine. This large scale sink is heavenly. Deep, divided, drip edges … what’s not to love? Martha kitchen 1And again at Skylands, what Martha refers to as “the great wall of china”. Open shelving is something I always appreciate. I definitely took this cue at Church Street!Martha Kitchen 4Martha’s kitchen on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton. This zinc countertop is so great. It is not only great looking, but durable as well, and is one of those products that looks even better with age and wear.  I also really appreciate the low height of these cabinets, and the way that they are fastened to the counter. It allows for beautiful open storage above, and easy access to china … without a step ladder.Martha kitchen 9Finally this full wall cabinet back at Turkey Hill in Westport. As you all know, I probably get more envious of storage than anything else. As someone who is slowly becoming somewhat of a china hoarder, cabinetry like this in a butler’s pantry would be my dream.

Photos via

Flash Back Friday Favorites: Hadley in New Jersey

FBF Hadley 2Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Another Flash Back Friday Favorite on the blog today … you know, those rooms or those homes or those scenes that despite the number of years that have passed since you first laid eyes on them still continue to inspire you? Nancy Pyne’s 1820s Colonial in New Jersey, as decorated by Albert Hadley. One of my all time favorites. Every time I look at these rooms, I see something else that inspires me. Happy Friday. FBF HadleyFBF Hadley 4FBF Hadley 3photos via House Beautiful

Throwback Thursday: Studio Daze

IMG_2507Good Morning Lacquered Lifers. Today I thought I would embrace the concept of Throwback Thursday and share some photos of my Philadelphia studio apartment that I lived in from 2009-2011 while I attended graduate school. The studio was 12′ x 24′, and while that may seem small, it fit me just perfectly. Sure I was hanging clothes in a closet in the tiny kitchen that only had a half fridge and two burner stove (no oven), but there was room for my bed, my desk, some great ikea club chairs, and I even through four person dinner parties in that apartment with a little drop leaf table I would pull off the wall and open up in the middle of the room. And the location? Perfect. I was one block from Rittenhouse Square. IMG_2892Built at the turn of the 20th century as a single family home, this Philadelphia row house between 20th and 21st Streets was once quite grand. However, by the time I got there, the home was broken up into small studio and one bedroom apartments that weren’t in the best shape … Here is a photo of the building from the exterior. See the dormer windows on the fourth floor? That’s my apartment. Even though the building no longer looked the way it had 100 years prior, there was still evidence of its past in some of the architectural details on the facade. IMG_2505Everything in that apartment was bought on a shoestring budget and became a DIY project, or was something I inherited, or was a gift from my parents. And some of these pieces are still a part of my life here in Charleston. Those silver tables are now coral and live on the piazza. IMG_2513My teeny tiny kitchen. And to think that I made dinner parties worth of dinners in that space! All on the stovetop b/c I had no oven. I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Caribbean Blue Water in high gloss which made a teeny space feel more like a jewel box than a closet. IMG_2517And the walls of the main room were Benjamin Moore Bird’s Egg. I loved that little studio. With all the studying and work I was doing, I probably spent more time in that apartment in Philadelphia than both of my NYC apartments combined. It seems like only yesterday, but I took these photos six years ago. Whoa. Happy Throwback Thursday. 

Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2015 – My Picks

2015 ColorsGood Morning Lacquered Lifers. Of all the questions I get from you, my loyal Lacquered Lifers, the majority of them are about paint colors. So today, I am giving you my top five picks from Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2015.

- Antique Jade: A soft but strong grey green, Antique Jade would make a wonderful trim color in a room with some architectural details … like say, a library with bookshelves. Done in a high gloss finish, this color would envelop you in a calming but chic cocoon.

- Pink Damask: Although I am typically not a lover of pink (what can I say, I’m a tomboy!), Pink Damask has always been a favorite. As it is an Off White color, this pale pink lends just a drop of pink feeling to a neutral toned room, giving it a warmth that glows especially in western facing rooms.

- Patriotic White: One of my all time favorite paint colors. I cannot tell you how many times I have used this color. It is the palest of pale blues, perfect for a piazza ceiling when you don’t want to feel too kitschy – or a bedroom ceiling where you want to stare up at something calming that is more than just white.

- Blue Danube: Chic chic chic. A deep navy with drops of peacock. Great for a bedroom, study, or front door. Really, great just about anywhere. I can’t say enough good things about this color.

- Halo: A wonderfully pale grey which has brown undertones, making it much warmer and more inviting than those pale greys that come at you from the blue family. Beautiful in a hallway or bedroom, this color has a calming effect that makes it so worthwhile.

REMEMBER TO ALWAYS GET SAMPLES! Colors never look the same on a computer screen, or in a fan deck as they do on your walls. And don’t forget to take finish into consideration!

TGIF: Wish I Was Here

verandaHello Lacquered Lifers. Did all of you ooh and ahh over Steve and Brooke Giannetti’s bathroom in this month’s issue of Veranda like I did? This is one of the most wonderful wet rooms I have ever seen. Imagine relaxing in that bath, or taking a shower, and looking up at the sky surrounded by all that lush greenery – and I spy some hydrangeas! Well at the end of week two with the new puppy, I could honestly use some bath time in a space like this. That, or a vacation. For more photos of the Giannetti’s home, pick up  a copy of Veranda, or head over to Brooke’s blog, Velvet & Linen. Happy Friday.