A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘farrow & ball’

Kitchen Makeover

In Design, Fashion on June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

My friend Kim Friday, who is a senior fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily, is also a fierce cook. So when I noticed kitchen demo photos going up on her Facebook page a couple months ago, I couldn’t wait to see the finished results. She started with this.

Kim Friday’s Kitchen: Pre-Makeover

Poor little Lola (pictured above) needed a more stylish space for her kibble, so Kim took her editor’s eye and created a super chic kitchen in a 30-square-foot space. Here it is, ready for its closeup! The paint colors all have lovely names like the Martha Stewart Popcorn on the walls or the Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breathe on the cabinets. The space seems so much bigger thanks to sleek cabinets, integrated appliances (like a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawer) and other clever space savers. She gives us the skinny, below…

The Reveal: Kim Friday’s Kitchen

What were some of the design challenges in designing the space?
First and foremost its size—30 square feet, welcome to New York City!—and L-shape. I used finger pulls for hardware, a garage door to conceal the microwave, an integrated dishwashing drawer that blends right into the cabinets, and painted pegboard (in honor of Julia Child) the same color as the wall so the pots and pans look like they are floating. Everything has its place.

A pegboard is painted the same color as the wall so pots appear to be floating.

My building was also a challenge as it was constructed in 1931, which meant all kinds of soffits that concealed plumbing or electrical that couldn’t be moved. My kitchen designer, Sally Humphreys, had her work cut out for her.
Did your experience as a fashion editor come into play?
I think for me the new kitchen had to tick three boxes that were equally important—maximize space, be super functional and look great. I approached it much like I would a shoot starting with tear sheets and images of kitchens I liked, paint chips, appliances and accessories that spoke to me. When I couldn’t find specific things I wanted I improvised, which is very much a stylist’s trick. My spice rack is in fact a picture shelf from West Elm, and I made my own kitchen mat with fabric, spray adhesive and polyurethane.

Metal Picture Ledge via westelm.com

Kim’s spice shelf

What is the first you cooked in your new kitchen?
I planned on doing a simple salad with sweet grape tomatoes that my vegetable guy on Madison/72nd squirrels away for me, drizzled with the J. Leblanc hazelnut oil I got on my birthday trip to Paris, and a cheese soufflé, served with a gorgeous bottle of ’98 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame that I’ve been saving for the occasion. Plans changed when it was finally finished on the weekend True Blood premiered it’s new season. I always host True Blood Sunday with friends so instead the first meal ended up being an ode to Louisiana with a crazy good seafood gumbo with cornbread muffins and a mixed berry crumble for dessert.
What five things will we always find in your pantry/fridge?
1. Intelligentsia coffee, I live for their El Gallo organic breakfast blend
2. Couscous – I like Savion’s Homestyle Plain Passover version that’s made with Matzo
3. Some sort of fish, lately a lot of local wild flounder and sea scallops
4. Assorted vegetables. In the winter root vegetables and kale, in the summer I love all sorts of tomatoes, beets, spinach and sweet corn
5. Stoli Vodka & Rose’s Lime Juice for gimlets
What five things will we always find in your wardrobe?
1. T by Alexander Wang v-neck tee shirts
2. Slouchy Tse Cashmere sweaters
3. Rick Owens or vintage Ghost wide-leg pants or pull-on midi skirts
4. Statement Accessories – lately it’s this massive black leather bangle by Honest Joe, a gorgeous wood and horn ring my pals at Sticks & Stones in Portland gave me and my engraved neon Original Satchel Company bag.
5. Ann Demuelemeester boots in winter, Christian Louboutin sandals in the summer.
What is your advice for designing a space that looks good and gets the job done?
Make a list of what you use regularly and what are the biggest challenges when you are cooking, then start ripping out tear sheets from magazines and printing pics from websites and blogs. You’ll see a trend fairly quickly of what you gravitate towards.
From left: Fretwork bracket in doorway salvaged from the porch of Kim’s childhood home. Umbra floating shelves hold her favorite cookbooks.

Gray Expectations

In Design on August 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Last night we were at a friend’s very fabulous 40th birthday party. (There was a soft serve station. Need I say more?) While we wolfed down grilled-to-order white cheddar, avocado and tomato sandwiches, my friend Kristi remarked that she hadn’t seen the final colors on our stucco project from a few months ago. I’m so happy with how it turned out—it’s like a whole new house! In fact, my friend Lizzie still drives past it every time she comes over. Depending on the light, the wood trim either looks dark grey or greenish.

Here are before/after pics of the garage to give an idea…

Once the house was gray, all of a sudden, I started noticing that the few hits of orangey-red I’d planted in the mostly purple and silvery-green flower borders started to pop.

Which meant that I had to repaint the Chinese Chippendale outdoor dining chairs in Farrow & Ball “Blazer” and invite my friend Lizzie over to drink pitchers of St. Germain and prosecco (a cocktail greatly enhanced by adding a splash of Plymouth Gin).

A color scheme I then realized was feeling strangely familiar. Had I seen this before in my living room?

Or was it in our bedroom?

No, it must have been when I was redoing the home office.

Or maybe it was in the kitchen…



Shades of Gray

In Design on April 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm

We bought our house almost 3 years ago, and it was a fixer to say the least. Built in 1920, the house still had its original cloth-wrapped electrical wiring (which was singed in places) and a shake roof that was completely rotten—truly a miracle that the entire place hadn’t gone up in flames. Before moving in we replaced the roof, electrical and many of the ceilings (to say nothing of kitchen, floors, etc). It was another year before we were able—either emotionally or financially—to tackle the landscaping and put in stone steps and gravel paths.

Last spring kept me pretty busy with our big home office project. And now, finally, we bid adieu to the crumbling and grungy Navajo White stucco. Plus the granny awnings and oppressive security bars on all the windows—courtesy of the Watts riots I’m told—are history! Here’s a picture of the house when we bought it:

Here’s the new stucco and the new slate roof (sadly wood shake is no longer legal). For the stucco, we went with a warm gray tone and had the color mixed right into the stucco, which is then applied and smoothed in by hand with a trowel. The workmanship is kind of amazing.

And a close-up of the before and after:

I was so sure that we would be going with cream trim that I had the kitchen window and back door painted in cream when we replaced them a couple years ago. But once the new stucco went up last week, and I saw the sad old flaking dark brown trim against the gray, it hit me. The dark side was calling. My friend Mia (the only person I know with an obsession for paint that rivals and possibly exceeds my own) concurred and brought over multiple fan decks. And so I pondered.

“All these colors are the same!” said the guy behind the counter yesterday afternoon upon my third visit to Mann Brothers in as many hours. Not true!  The blue that Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe threw off against the warmer gray of the house, or the hint of purple that emerged in Benjamin Moore’s Deep Caviar, and the army green the afternoon sunlight picked up in Fine Paints of Europe’s steely #58 were all completely out of the question. Ralph Lauren’s Smoked Glass and Pratt & Lambert’s African Night were both delicious, but too similar in color to the roof and sort of disappeared next to it. Which is how I landed on Benjamin Moore’s totally gorgeous Ashwood Moss. I love the way it plays with the slate and it brings out all these really cool tones in the stone steps in the front garden. Ashwood Moss is second in from the left, below:

God, I love paint. And tomorrow we start…..

Agent Orange

In Design, Film on April 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Sometimes, the universe tries to tell you things about color. Like on a spoon painted in the new Charlotte’s Locks hue from Farrow & Ball:

Or as modeled by Saoirse Ronan in Hanna.

And, also in Hanna, not to be outdone by these amazing Berlin Subway tiles.

And the splash of color I spied last week through the leaves of a tree in Florida.

Imagine my surprise upon opening a package on Friday from Ristretto Roasters (my very favorite coffee in the whole wide world) featuring a redesigned label.

Which could explain how this Madeline Weinrib Mandala rug leapt into my arms and demanded to be taken home.

But I think what all of this really means is that I need to repaint the hallway orange.

Watching Paint Dry

In Design on May 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

Today we are supposed to be all finished with our garage project! Of course I don’t believe that for a second, having lived through a major house renovation two years ago, but we’re close. That much I know. At this point, all that’s left is to put the hardware on the new custom-built garage carriage doors, a pull on the “secret” door that leads to the storage, and a final coat of Benjamin Moore “Poppy” paint (above) on the bookshelf. In fact, the bookshelf has proven to be something of a challenge. High gloss paint is a pain in the patootie! Just ask the last painter, who painstakingly painted all the woodwork in our dining room in high-gloss Farrow & Ball “Fawn.” But the results are so worth it!

Color Me HAPPY!!!!

In Design on May 5, 2010 at 7:39 am

We should be 95% finished with the garage by the end of the day! But let’s start with last week’s exciting victory, the roughhewn back wall. For the design backstory and method for the wash on the tongue-and-groove Douglas Fir back wall, head over to Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog. The inspiration came from my neighbor Debra, who is the last word in taste on our block. She had the vision to see that roughhewn Doug Fir beams washed in gray would be this beautiful:

To contrast with the Farrow & Ball Light Gray walls and ceiling, our outstanding painter, Jeff Lee, stained the cedar beams across the ceiling in Minwax Provencial.

Up next: bookcases and garage doors!!! Oh, yeah, and more……………..PAINT!

Taking Shape

In Design on April 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

This is what happened over the weekend. But wait until you see what happened today! Check back tomorrow. It’s really, really exciting. I promise. Hint: It involves…….. PAINT!!!

You Say Tomato…

In Design on April 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I have a favorite pair of Lanvin ballet flats that are the prettiest shade of red I think I’ve ever seen. It’s almost a tomato, or, more accurately, what the Ben Color Capture app on my iPhone calls “Poppy.” (There are fantastic applications for this fantastic application, like when my friend Katie photographed our friend Hugh and discovered that his skin tone was akin to Benjamin Moore’s “Coyote Trail” and “Nutmeg.”)

But back to my shoes. According to Farrow & Ball, the color is called Incarnadine, or blood red. Whatever it’s called, I want a bookcase painted this color in my new office—and I love how it pops against the above shade of F&B’s Pigeon gray, which is one of the contenders for the office walls.

Top Shelf

In Design on November 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm

We are leaning decidedly in the direction of renovating the garage—a prospect that both excites and terrifies me given that the trauma of our last remodel has yet to fully dissipate. I’ve been sketching out ideas for the garage’s exterior nip and tuck, which involves adding French doors to let in more light, and am now starting to think about the actual office space inside. If I am really, really nice to my husband, I think I can make a convincing case for splurging on Farrow & Ball Dix Blue paint for the walls. It is just one room after all. However, I don’t think I’m going to be able to justify two of these Decker Bookshelves at $998 a pop—and made of mango wood (mango wood!) and iron. But will built-ins be any less $$?