Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Favorite Post: The Kitchen Hood...

Here is a post from back in April, how funny is my comment above the first image 'I am typically not a fan of stainless steel hoods'. Really Melissa, your taste seem to have changed quiet a bit and THIS post is proof. Enjoy this blast from the past....

I find that every kitchen design I do is based around the kitchen hood. It is not only the center of the kitchen layout, but it is also the section that allows you the most creativity.

Here are a few beautiful images that I have found recently along with some from kitchens I designed in the past, enjoy!

I am typically not a fan of stainless steel hoods, but the shape that this one has makes it less industrial and more traditional looking.
Image via Kitchen & Bath

Copper, how I love it!
Screenshot2010-04-11at92204PM.png picture by mamanzardo
Image via Houzz

The way that this hood is framed by the the cabinetry really makes it a focal point. It is definitely one of my inspiration photos for an upcoming kitchen project.
TrendIdeas8226.jpg picture by mamanzardo
Image via Trend Ideas

Seriously, how cool is this?!?! A wood burning oven behind the range. Is it the most practical location, maybe not, but great use of space.
Screenshot2010-04-11at83111PM-1.png picture by mamanzardo
Image via Southern Accents

Simply making this hood a focal point by raising the top of the cornice above the surrounding cabinets, clean and simple.
03_cooks_kitchens-2.jpg picture by mamanzardo
Image via Architectural Digest

Here is one that I designed for a custom home last year. The hood is finished off with a mantle detail, shaker style paneling and spice towers on each side.
This is our current home now, I will admit that I am a bit 'over' it. I have designed so many hoods similar to this since clients can see it in life. The sloping design does add drama to the space.
4cffe844-246f-43e0-ae61-d1d1374fece.jpg picture by mamanzardo

A more contemporary play on what we have. Keeping it simple with angles rather than the curve.
 Screenshot2010-04-11at93308PM.png picture by mamanzardo

One almost identical to what we have, but I do love it in black so I had to share. Hard to believe this was a kitchen I designed 5 years ago now.
 Screenshot2010-04-11at93145PM.png picture by mamanzardo

This was for an inner-city spec home we built last year. The space was small, but I still wanted it to have an impact. I used bead board panels for the hood front to give it a twist.
Screenshot2010-04-11at93855PM.png picture by mamanzardo

I hope your weekend was good to you, enjoy your Monday!! Mel xoxo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A favorite post: Before & After: Kitchen at the cabin

Since we are heading down to our cabin today for a little quiet time after all of the events I thought I would share this favorite post with you...

Our cabin was built in 1977 and when we took possession of it we discovered that essentially nothing has been done to it, including cleaning. We wanted to start with a fresh slate to help with the smell and dirt, but we had to keep budget in mind. Since we are planing on introducing this cabin to a bulldozer in about 5 years we wanted it to have a WOW factor on a budget.

Here is a 'before' image. Lovely oak raised panel cabinets, carpet for the flooring, Gothic styles cabinet hardware, and don't forget the stained, burnt, and scratched laminate countertops.


And here are the 'afters'. I am very happy with the outcome and all of Rob's hard work. It did take a few trips back and forth from our home in the Great White North to the cabin in the muggy humid mid-west...but if you ask me, it was well worth it!

The tile backsplash is a simple white subway tile by Daltile, we ordered it from Lowes and paired it with a limestone looking laminate to keep it light and airy. Since the carpet was not staying we replaced it with a laminate flooring that I found on eBay, this is used throughout the home and I love the color since it is good at masking little feet marks.

All of the cabinet hardware was ordered off of eBay as well. If you are ready for a hunt you can find some great pieces with wonderful style!

We used a white American Standard top-mount sink with the Kohler Fairfax faucet in chrome that I featured HERE

We didn't go top of the line for the appliances but I did want to keep style and finish in mind. So we went with all stainless steel that will work well for our current needs. The one item that I wasn't going to be without in a kitchen was my Bosch dishwasher, we have had it in our past 3 homes and I love it, seriously love it.

To add a bit of color and life to the kitchen I have placed a few items around it that I have found. Including the dishes from Anthropologie that I talked about HERE and some photos that I cherish.

Total cost of this renovation was just over $4,000, most of that being spent on the appliances. I am sure we can find a purpose for the fridge & dishwasher in the next cabin. If not, off to the Habitat for Humanity Re-store. When doing a renovation please look into this service, it will make your heart all warm & fuzzy. 

Hope you have enjoyed this little tour, come over any time for a glass of vino or a cup of coffee! Mel :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A favorite post: Marble, my experiment...

Here is a re-post of one of my favorite science projects since the 6th grade...

So I did my little experiment with some samples of white marbles from our supplier. Here is the run down of of my findings, and keep in mind I really did abuse it, but I wanted to see what the worst case serious was.

Wine: Stains, little spots here and there are not bad, but if there is a drip on the ring of the glass then be prepared for something like this...

Coffee: While coffee does satin the marble as well it leaves a light yellow mark, unless you know it is there then I really think you will be OK with those. No image since it really does blend in, but yes, it does stain.

Citrus Fruits: What is the worst thing you can put on a marble surface? Try lemons, limes, or any citrus fruit. This isn't a stain or spot that I could look past, it ate away at the polish so there is a texture left. This is bad...very very bad.

Blood: OK, so from cutting steak, not human. We grilled up some flank steak the other night and I left the cutting board on top of the sample, the juices ran across the edge and this is what is left...

Durability: Softer than granite, it scratches when you drag something across it or cut on it (and yes, I know, use a cutting board, but this is my little experiment). Too difficult to get my point across with a pic. The great thing about it being a light color is it will hide the scratches more so than a darker slab.

So, am I crazy enough to use this as a counter-top material in my kitchen? I do keep a very clean and tidy house so I know that the staining will be kept to a minimum. But will I be able to consider the marks and scratches patina, like a well loved leather chair, it can get better with age? To be honest, the citrus test is something I am really going to have to consider...that my friends might just be the deal breaker.

What would you do? Go for it, make a rule of only white foods & drinks in the home, or run as fast as you can away from the maintenance and care that it will take to maintain? Mel xo

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Joyous Christmas

Wising you a blessed and joyous Christmas!! I promise to be back soon, until then enjoy the ones you are with and take a moment to be thankful. Mel xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A favorite post: My sisters garden...

This is the first post I want to share with you again, it is just too beautiful not too!

Here are all of the images that I would love to share with you form my trip down to Dallas last week. They are all of my sisters backyard and just breathtaking. I did nothing to the space, no staging, no placement, this is how it looks everyday, it is just perfect.

The entrance to the pool & backyard from the driveway

DSC_0062-1.jpg picture by mamanzardo

She has created great seating areas throughout the backyard...


Here is one of my favorite areas of the backyard. There is a banana leaf daybed from Indonesia and a creative way to use a large cast iron urn. She simply filled it with moss and fern leafs and added a glass top to create a side table. 


Beautiful wall planters are on every wall...


The bar with built-in kitchen is to the right and the dining area is in the background. She incorporated arbors above the bar & dining area for coverage. There are grape vines growing up the arbors that the squires and geckos love so much....

DSC_0249.jpg picture by mamanzardo   DSC_0253.jpg

Here is a view from behind the bar area, to reflect the area she hung 4 wrought-iron mirrors behind the bar so when you are belly up you can still get the reflection of the pool...


More images from the sides and path around the pool area...

DSC_0238.jpg picture by mamanzardo   DSC_0243.jpg picture by mamanzardo
DSC_0244.jpg picture by mamanzardo   DSC_0214.jpg picture by mamanzardo

Another one of my favorite areas is the side yard that leads to the back...


And how fun is the electric blue wrought iron bench...


Also, located in Colleyville (a burb of Dallas) there is a great store called The Pink Hanger. My sister has a section of the store called The Wow Factor where she sells fabulous outdoor items including lanterns, the driftwood furniture shown above, Virgin Saints & Angles jewelry, along with other amazing items for your home and garden. Be sure to go and check it out and support your local stores. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I enjoy hanging out there with her. Have a great day! Mel :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Be back in a bit...

I will be back in a bit, right now it is all about family time, shopping, parties, shopping, and relaxing with some shopping tossed into the mix while we are down in Missouri. To keep all of you wonderful readers entertained I will be re-posting some of my favorite post that I have published since starting this back in February. So until I am actually back, take care, love the ones you are with, and enjoy the Holidays!!!

Mel xo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Simply Stunning

Source unknown

Happy weekend!!! Mel xo

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fridays Favorite - Funny Holiday Pics

So last year, this was what we got after paying $19.95 to go see Santa...

Image my own

Needless to say the boys want absolutely nothing to do with Santa, with the exception of the gift he will leave. I think it will always be one of those images that will make me laugh and I know it will come in handy in 13 or so years.

Even Buddy the Elf has an odd effect on W...oh well, we try. For a good laugh be sure to check out Holiday section on Awkward Family Photos site, there are some beauties there, here is a sample...

Image via Awkward Family Photos

And on that note, enjoy your weekend!! Mel xo

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh Tacky Christmas Tree...

White, tacky or not? I say not, I think they are rather F.U.N. if you ask me. We have one and I typically do it up in the basement since that is the 'fun zone' of the house. Tons of multi-colored lights, fun bright ornaments adored with feathers, and more glitter than most can handle. Here are a couple if images of our tree from last year...

 Images my own

And a few more pics I found while surfing the ol' net of some fab 'tacky trees'

Image via Home Sweet Home

Image via Southern Living

 Image via Rate My Space

Image via Country Living

Have fun while getting your home ready for the Holidays, not everything has to be straight laced and serious all the time. Mel xo
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