A passion for food + fashion

Kitchen Confidential

In Design on July 2, 2009 at 8:50 am


A few of you have emailed asking about our kitchen tile backsplash, which is honestly my absolute favorite part of the design! It’s Heath Ceramics from Sausalito (one of the few remaining mid-century American pottery companies still running today). Incidentally, check out the new Heath store on Beverly, inside which my friend Adam Silverman also has a very cool pottery studio.

Even though it looks like there are several different shades of tile, it’s all the same glaze and just varies in warmth because it’s hand glazed! Our tile color is “greystone” and it is the same glaze as our dishes, also Heath, which are French Grey. Our dishes inspired the color palette for the kitchen, from the paint on the walls to the marble countertops (some are white with a brown vein, while the island is brown with a white vein). The design is the GENIUS of Mick de Giulio, who also is responsible for designing the SieMatic Beaux Arts Cabinets in here (and that groovy pot rack, and the plate rack) and consults for SubZero/Wolf. Mick started with a piece of the Heath tile and one of our dishes and went from there. I think the tile helps bridge some of the mid-century items in the kitchen, like the tables and chairs, with some of the more traditional elements, like the lines of the cabinets. The design nerd in me likes to think the binary pendant lamp, round kitchen table and sphere in the photograph on the wall behind the lamp are all having a conversation. Yeah, I know.


Since de Giulio Kitchen Design is based in Chicago, Mick did all of this sight unseen. Per his request I sent him some snaps of favorite architectural elements from around our house, which was built in 1921, so that the kitchen would feel like it belonged. One of my favorite recurring themes in our house is arches. Check out the arched entry window and front door, built-in book cases and cabinets in the living and dining rooms (not to mention Tiny G’s new Radio Flyer wagon boxed up by the door!):


In a nod to these elements, Mick added this totally great spice “rack” built into the wall:


And then I love this hit of copper for warmth in this deep undermount sink from Franke. In fact, it’s not copper, but copper-hued titanium so very durable and won’t patina. Seriously, this sink is awesome for washing huge pots and pans.


Thank you, Mick! The kitchen is hands-down our favorite room in the house, and where we spend most of our very best times.

  1. Love the site and just curious of how DiGiulio kitchens fit into the whole pricing of kitchen remodels seeing as they include so much design work in addition to all the construction costs. Thanks.

    • as far as i know digiulio charges a retainer that is applicable towards the purchase of cabinets. they will plan out your space and help you get the kitchen to work within your current space & cohesively blend with the rest of your house, choose paint colors etc, if you are adding space things are easier as they will help you to design out the best floor plan to incorporate the new with the old. best to contact them either before or during the time you are working with your architect. money well spent as their cabinets are a bit pricey and super nice.. but worth it if you figure in the design service you are receiving for free (included) i figure no use in saving a few thousand to get an awkward silly kitchen that does nothing to perk up the house. .. the tax is less at the showroom in wilmette (if you reside in illinois you’ll pay tax) as wilmette has lower taxes than the city of chicago (a little bit lower but meaningful if you are doing a kitchen)

      ask them about seeing things in their warehouse.. there are deals to be found and many times this can apply towards your cabinet purchase and use up your retainer.

  2. kitchen designs that makes use of space efficiently would be the best thing to go with ,*-

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