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Cluttered Kitchens (That I Love)

December 11, 2015

Cluttered Kitchens (That I Love)

I really don’t know what is happening to me and my taste in design but lately my favorite spaces look just like this. Unfussy, layers of stuff, fairly neutral in color, and with that vintage rustic farmhouse feeling. The clean, classy, modern spaces I used to love are starting to look a little boring and sterile to me a lot of the time. It’s truthfully somewhat of a sea change for me and while it’s slightly disorienting I can’t say I’m mad about it.

Clutter is a very tricky thing that many people would never willfully choose to live with. And I totally respect that. Let’s be real, my home is cluttered right now but NOT in this lovely, styled way that I’m inspired by in these photos. Making this much stuff look good actually takes more skill and planning than a minimalist space in many ways. It is not easy to pull off. Everything has to make sense together and tell a cohesive visual story in order for it to not just look like you’re a gigantic mess of an adult.

Cluttered Kitchens (That I Love)

Cluttered Kitchens (That I Love)

When done right though it is so darn cozy. These spaces feel really truly lived in and loved. The collections of precious objects tell you about the person that lives there. In the kitchen of course those collections are usually related to cooking and dining. I can’t get enough of pretty dishes and serving bowls and cookware. Let’s hope I continue to learn to cook more and maybe even entertain guests once in a while so I can justify a growing collection of kitchenware. I just picked up the pitcher, platter, and serving bowl from Anthropolgie’s Attingham collection in the blush color when they were on super sale and I just adore them. They are proudly displayed in the dining room.

Cluttered Kitchens (That I Love)

On a related note: wow, clearly I really like open shelving these days. Much like stylized clutter, you tend to either love or hate open shelving. I mean come on guys, how am I supposed to display my beloved collections properly without open shelving? If I was going to design a kitchen today I don’t think I could resist having at least one segment of open shelves. How about you?

Cluttered Kitchens (That I Love)

This last kitchen is the most modern of the bunch but it has enough texture in the natural wood shelves and plaster walls to give off that rustic vibe. Handmade, uneven dishes and little vintage treasures make all the difference as well. Guys, I really want to live in a big old farmhouse so I can even hope to attempt to pull off this look. Living in a ’70s condo with builder basic finishes and no crown molding is a major cramp on my groove, haha. If we do end up in a newer less-farmhousey home when we move, it’s going to be interesting to see if I can manage that antique, rustic style. We shall see!

one | Delaware Valley 8 Magazine
two | via blood & champagne
three | Mimi Thorisson
four | via MFAMB
five | Jersey Ice Cream Co via Design*Sponge

Kitchen My Home

Planning Our Kitchen Remodel

August 7, 2015

Christina's Home 2

It’s been a long time since I blogged about my own home. Just over a year. While it doesn’t feel to me like a lot has happened or changed, there are definitely some things I could share with you guys. For starters I’m excited to say that my husband and I are just starting a kitchen remodel! This is by far the biggest project I’ve taken on in our little condo since I bought it in back in 2010. It’s awesome not just because we’ll have a much nicer kitchen but also because I really wanted to get this taken care of before trying to sell the place, so we’re taking a big step in that direction.

Just for fun, here’s the shot of my kitchen from the real estate listing when I purchased it. I’d completely forgotten about those orange walls! That I inexplicably painted yellow when I moved in.


Other than a new dishwasher that I had to get several years ago, everything about the kitchen was original to the home which was built in the ’70s. A couple weeks ago we started things off with a new stove and range hood (not pictured). Going from a decades old bisque colored appliance to a modern, much more powerful one in stainless steel… wow. For now we still have an old off-white fridge, though I do hope to replace that too.

The next step in our remodel is getting the cabinets painted! I’m quite excited. We have a painter scheduled for this coming Monday. We are going from that same yellow off-white color to a true bright white, specifically Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore. It’s a classic choice and it’s what we have on all of our trim throughout the condo. It will make the room feel so much fresher, cleaner, and more modern. Painting is much more affordable than replacing all the cabinets, but will still have a huge impact.

We’re waiting for some quotes on new counter tops. The current counter is ’70s laminate that is literally peeling at the seams. What I’m hoping for is the white marble look without actual marble. Our counter top lady said she has everything from laminate (which can be much much better these days) to granite to quartz that has that marble look, so it will just be a matter of what works with the budget. While real marble is stunning, it has weaknesses as far as maintenance and durability. My parents got a marble-look quartz in their new kitchen and you would never know it isn’t real marble. Seems like the way to go if you don’t want to worry about staining and scratching. Not to mention certain types of marble can be prohibitively expensive.

Along with new counters we’ll be getting a new sink and faucet. When I first started searching for these things I really wasn’t sure what I wanted. Stainless steel sinks seem to be popular so I looked at those first, but I ended up picking out a white undermount sink that I think would be lovely. The faucet was even more difficult. Nickel? Bronze? Brass? There are lots of options that all could probably work. I love brass faucets but it is very hard to find a good one under $300. I am now leaning towards a black faucet, which I think is a good compromise between being a little out of the ordinary while still very neutral and easy to pair with other elements. I may still change my mind about either the sink or the faucet. We shall see!

At some point, hopefully in early September, new hardware will arrive for the cabinets that I am pumped about. Here I indulged my love of brass and ordered the Riverwood Knob and Greenwood Pull from Schoolhouse Electric (shown below).

Finally there’s the backsplash. This is even more up in the air than the sink and faucet. There are so many directions you can go with a backsplash and we also need to wait to see how much money we still have after everything else is taken care of. While I love a good classic white subway tile, you may have noticed that there is already a lot of white in the plan. An all-white kitchen can be fantastic but I thought it would be fun to do something else with the backsplash. Colorful backsplashes have a very hard time winning me over. For example I can not stand the colorful mosaic glass tile trend. While I think something with color could potentially work, the idea of a dramatic black tile is very appealing to me. The only possible concern is that it would of course make the kitchen very high contrast, with all that white broken up by a strong horizontal band of black. Do I want it to be high contrast? I still have to mull that over. The small dining room that is directly adjacent to the kitchen is in fact already high contrast with a nearly-white gray above the chair rail and a near-black below. So it might end up making perfect sense to continue that theme.

kitchen planning 080615

Knob | Pull | Tile | Faucet | Sink

So that is the loose plan right now! I just can not wait for the painter to start the process. It will really be “real” once that step is complete I think. Hopefully everything else will follow swiftly and I’ll have shiny after photos for you soon!


Chic Rustic Kitchens

June 22, 2015

I have a bit of exciting news! Last week I spontaneously decided that I was finally going to move design-vox to self-hosting, rather than being hosted by WordPress which it is currently. I’ll still be using WordPress as a platform but this will allow me a lot more freedom with customizing the blog. Also, as part of the change design-vox is getting a brand new look! I am hopeful that by the time I post again it will be up and running! It will be the same web address, and nothing should change as far as any subscription that you may have to the blog. That is something that I’m still a little mystified by that I think I need to get help with. If you notice anything odd with the site as the transition occurs I do apologize and feel free to let me know. Now back to our regular programming…

Chic Rustic Kitchens | |

I love rustic elements in any room of the house but something about rustic kitchens really make me swoon. Worn wood, vintage copper pots, natural touches. I need my country house now, please.

Chic Rustic Kitchens | | design-vox.comChic Rustic Kitchens | design-vox.comWood beams, messy braids, and lots of rings. | design-vox.comChic Rustic Kitchens | |

Normally I would say my dream kitchen involves white marble and black cabinets but a kitchen like this one sure verges on coming out on top.

Beautiful Country Home | |

one | Eve Wilson for The Style Files
two | Local Milk
three | blood & champagne
four | source unknown
five | Eva Kosmas Flores via Design*Sponge
six | Heather Hester


Black Kitchen Cupboards

January 6, 2015

Black Kitchen Cupboards | |

This is now the third time I have posted about using black in kitchen design. It hadn’t occurred to me before but it seems pretty clear that I should try to work black into my next kitchen. One of the random little things I remember from the interior design classes I took is the idea that every room should have at least a little bit of black. I’m not sure if this is something most interior designers live by but my instructor seemed pretty confident about it and I think she was spot on. I find black to be grounding, dramatic, modern, and somehow calming.  My eye likes to rest on black. It’s a fantastic neutral that works beautifully with of course white and virtually any other color as well. Yes even brown wood tones.

Black Kitchen Cupboards | |

A lot of people are a little afraid of black. It wouldn’t be classified as a “safe” color and it’s not commonly used where I’m from, certainly not in large doses like on cabinetry. To avoid making your room feel too dark you can balance it out with plenty of lighter surfaces as they’ve done in the above kitchen. Good natural light (and artificial as well) also keeps black from feeling overly heavy.

Black Kitchen Cupboards | |

Honestly I kind of like the heaviness of black. As long as the rest of the room is well decorated, moody dark walls or cabinets can create a cozy feeling. If you’re not convinced check out Kim of desire to inspire’s near-black living room. So lovely!

one | Blair Harris via desire to inspire
two | Blakes London via blood and champagne
three | Claire Delmar via french by design


Glamorous White Kitchens

September 23, 2014

Glamorous White Kitchens | interieurs finnie & ward |

I am consistently drawn to white kitchens. Or near whites like off-white, cream, or very light gray. When done right white kitchens feel so classy and clean, and of course bright. The above kitchen is a little traditional for my tastes but who am I kidding, I’d be thrilled to cook in it.

Glamorous White Kitchens | |

And then you add brass and I’m like “awww yiss”. It’s funny, I have some acquaintances who are notoriously a little stuck in the ’80s with their decoration choices so naturally they love brass. When I’m around people poking fun at them for their outdated style and the topic of brass comes up I always want to leap up and say, “No, they actually have that one right!” I have come to their aid before trying to explain that there’s a difference between nasty, overly yellow, cheap-looking brass and gorgeous, rich, quality brass finishes. One day they’ll all believe me… one day.

Glamorous White Kitchens | |

And then you add a pop of pink flowers, an ornate vintage chandelier and a waterfall of Carrara marble and basically we all have to give up because no one is going to top this. I’m kidding, to a point. Because seriously this kitchen is so delicious. Very near my absolute dream kitchen. Would you agree?

one | interieurs finnie & ward,  leona mozes photograry, via dustjacket attic
two | Bailey McArthy, photography by Kimberly Chau, via Style Me Pretty
three | Christine Dovey, photography by Ashley Capp, via Style Me Pretty


Rustic Kitchen Beauties

August 29, 2014

Rustic Kitchen Beauties | |

Not everything about this kitchen is rustic but it definitely has that vibe with its rough cement floors, giant wood table, and wood beam ceiling. They’ve also worked in mid-century modern chairs, industrial looking cupboards, and a very glam chandelier. Oh how I love style mixing.

Rustic Kitchen Beauties | |

Despite its glossy cupboard doors and marble countertop this kitchen too has a rustic soul. There is something so delicious about white on white on white. Most people I know would never dream of using so much white but look at it people. Am I wrong that this is gorgeous? I’ll tell you what I believe to be the two keys to pulling off so much white in a room. One, the room must have good light, preferably lots of natural light. And two, texture! Varying textures can create just as much visual interest as varying colors. Shiny, matte, feathery, weathered, wiry, rough, smooth, etc. They’re all here.

Rustic Kitchen Beauties | |

I am basically obsessed with this kitchen. A lovely off-white cream is paired with black and beautiful wood tones. Bronze cabinet hardware happily coexists with a brass faucet. And then there’s the art. I can not get enough of kitchens with art. In a room that can feel utilitarian it is the easiest way to add personality. Not often is there a whole wall available to fill up, but man if you have the opportunity to do something like this, take it! I especially love how the piece of the ocean horizon is directly above the sink, perhaps mimicking the view out an absent window.

one | Jessica Helgerson via dustjacket attic
two | Kara Rosenlund via Dicordia Design
three | Lauren Liess via blood and champagne