Sunday, August 5, 2012

BWC: Tone on Tone

During my dig through magazines, (I should probably call it a "dig out") I've come across a lot of rooms I dog-eared for clients or future projects. None of them worked for CDLV, but surprise surprise, they work for Beech Wood Cottage! YAY!


One magazine story in particular, is the House Beautiful September 2011 feature on Betsy Brown titled, "Tone on Tone". Sounds gorgeous, right? Let's take a tour! 

Design by Betsy Brown



Because our living room at BWC is also supposed to act as a dining room, I prefer a round table like this one that can function as a library table most of the year. Upholstered arm chairs covered in a nubby linen are perfect for this arrangement, making easy and comfortable living room chairs if needed. Gilded, antique side chairs are then easily scattered around the perimeter of the room. Something this beautiful becomes art, don't you think?


Perfect example, above. A rogue gilded dining room chair finds its way into the living room arrangement, and the room becomes a glowing example of how beautiful tone on tone color palettes can be. 


A rare view at the opposite side of the room, not pictured above. Matching sofas provide symmetry in their face to face arrangement, while a myriad of beautiful chairs, some antique, some new, provide extra seating, big beauty, and a little drama. 

When you put rooms together in this way, it's easy to move the accessories, whether small as a vase or book - or large as an antique chair covered in Flemish tapestry around the house, having it work seamlessly in any room, like below:


Remember that chair from the first picture? I'm a nut for foyer tables, especially round, draped in gorgeous fabric. Unfortunately, CDLV never gave me the opportunity to employ that and neither will BWC, but that won't stop me from having some beautifully elegant linens on the dining room/library table. 

In fact, seeing these photos, the tone on tone loveliness of them, reminded me of pictures I had saved from another magazine, this time online. 

Design by Richard Hallberg

See the similarity? Mismatched chairs of leather and linen scattered throughout the space, a mixture of neutrals, a bit more honey toned than Betsy Brown's, but still all as lovely. 


Opposite a large lantern in the foyer hangs above a console table filled with collected treasure. The beauty of this room is in the way the small things take center stage, allowing the room to act as a luxurious box for an even more luxurious gift. 


Dining chairs are still easily spread throughout the space when not needed at the table, as evident by this antique French cameo back chair finished in a Gustavian gray with gilded detail. Looks remarkably similar to the Restoration Hardware chairs, don't you think? I think I see a few of those having a future at BWC! 


And while I'm quite happy that BWC doesn't have a fireplace, I had to show you this picture of the Hallberg room, as I think it sums up the intention of the space. It doesn't have a decorated feel to it at all - just a collection of lovely things that sort of just happened, and became lovely.


Another column with a fluted urn, just like in Brown's room up top of the post. I think that's a must have, too! Now, I saved these photos years ago. Partially from blog hopping, partially from an online interview with C Magazine. But this room feels so relevant to me, able to be published as easily today as it was back then. Even that chair in the background has found it's way into my heart! In fact, I found a relatively similar version in my budget at Ballard Design:


I love how you can get the look of an English Rolled Arm, without the depth of accommodating the pitched and rolled back. I guarantee, that if these are available when I start shopping for chairs, you'll see at least one, maybe two at BWC.


So here's where I leave you ... a great place, I think. This image, along with all of the others up above, have me feeling right at home. How about you? Are you ready on to go on this Diamond Polishing trip with me? Do you think I'm on the right track? Talk soon! 



BWC: Kitchen Planning

The kitchen at Beech Wood Cottage is large, and in its many years of non-use and with some problems with the second floor sleeping porch above, the ceiling needs to be replaced, the floor plan needs some re-configuring including the addition of an island.


Designer Credit: Samantha Lyman

I was shuffling through magazines the other day, and came across the June 2012 House Beautiful, where a kitchen designed by Samantha Lyman was featured as the Kitchen of the Month. I fell in love! Not only does the kitchen pair up my two favorite counter tops (butcher block and carrara marble); the kitchen includes a beautiful large island and antique pendants and painted cabinets - making what could have been cold and boring, fun and personal.


I'm so jealous of the storage in this kitchen, well to be honest, jealous of the kitchen period. Walnut Counters, the $23,000 stove, the subzero glass front fridge and freezer side by side, the old ship lights ... ah, perfection!


If I hadn't read the magazine article, I would have told you that these are old gymnasium lights from a school house. I love the double pendant. Definitely taking this and putting it to good use.


I also love that the new cabinetry was designed to fit the antique pie cupboard perfectly. I wouldn't think of putting three different cabinet colors in the BWC kitchen, until I saw this of course, with the white perimeter cabinets, antique blue, and gray island. 


I always find that an island sink, (really more than one sink) in a kitchen is so useful! But in the tiny kitchen of CDLV, there was no need for two sinks because you couldn't have more than one person in the kitchen. It's a matter of the plumbing as to whether or not I'll do a second sink at BWC, but still really love the look of it. And that stove! Oh, if only! 


We will likely keep our current stove, as I could think of other things I could spend $23,000 and get much more enjoyment from. But I will definitely figure out a way to build a vent hood cover like the one above. So beautiful. 

The current cabinets are along one wall only. In the re-configuring of the kitchen layout, more cabinets will have to be made. However, I can keep the costs down by refacing the current cabinets, and having the additional cabinets made with the same door face by one of the Amish cabinet makers in the Valley. Same for the island. 

The perimeter cabinets will be topped in butcher block. Lumber Liquidators offers a beautiful American Cherry Butcher Block at a very reasonable price, and the cabinets will be painted white. Hopefully it'll end up looking like this: 

via Pinterest

I'm thinking of doing a giant slab of carrara on the island, which I may paint black instead of gray ... like this:

via House & Home

Although, I do love the look of carrara paired up with gray ... I mean, with the veining - it's a natural:

by Anne Decker Architects, via 

Heck, I mean ... it's good enough for Martha: 


I've even thought of using full slab of carrara as a backsplash above the butcherblock along the perimeter and behind the stove, like this: 


Now, I am not sure that I would have ever had carrara on the list had it not fallen into my lap. Yes, I happen to have been gifted carrara. Enough to do backsplash and an uber large island. Who would give such a generous gift? More on that later. 

It's not as thick as the slab Joni Webb used in the photo above, it's more like this actually: 

Design by Samantha Lyman

I also plan on incorporating open shelving like this: 

via Rue Magazine

I love the look of this, metal L-brackets with limed wood risers. It would certainly look great piled high with our ironstone collections. It would also be a lot cheaper than having upper cabinets built for the whole kitchen.  However, I also like the cleanliness of this:

via Southern Accents

Which do you prefer? I'd also like to find a way to figure in this piece: 

via eBay

Or maybe ...

via eBay

Anyone getting any hints? These cabinets are of the Victorian Eastlake Style, and the house is a Victorian Farmhouse, with Eastlake-esque mouldings. I'm thinking of making this into a wine cabinet. Perhaps painting it the same color as the island, or maybe washing it down with blue or green paint?

Oh so many decisions ... but it sure is nice to get them out of my head and onto "paper" so I can gather feedback from friends, like you! So let me know ... on track to beauty?