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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Probably 70% of the kitchen photos that I share feature marble. It is easily my favorite countertop material visually speaking. I know it has its shortcomings (rare varieties can be very expensive and it’s susceptible to scratching and staining) but to me it’s worth it for the sheer beauty. Though it has a distinctive appearance, it can work in probably any style home. The marble in the kitchen above is subtle and soft, one of the more common veining patterns, and it fits in perfectly with the grand and glamorous design.
This marble’s darker gray streaks and almost speckled quality make it more visually striking which really adds interest to this rather minimalist, modern kitchen.
Normally I’m drawn to the more standard simple gray veining in Carrera marble, but this photo is threatening to change my mind. This is clearly one of those more rare varieties of marble that probably costs an arm and a leg, but holy cow is it ever gorgeous. And just an absolutely perfect treatment, the way it’s been used as both the countertop and the backsplash as well as a seamless sink and shelf. Here marble seems to take on a rustic quality that it normally doesn’t have, accentuated by a rough (cement maybe?) wall treatment and casual collection of items on the shelf. I love it!
one | D Magazine via Christine Dovey
two | Joanna Lavén and Idha Lindhag via dustjacket attic
three | NYTimes via Remodelista
A real life interior designer once told me that every room needs at least a bit of black. I believe she was entirely accurate, and some rooms will do quite well with more than just a bit. Black can be intimidating for a lot of people. Won’t it make the room too dark? Won’t it feel gloomy? Well it might, but if its use is well thought out it can be dramatic, modern, even cozy. Just like other hues, the way black feels and works in a room entirely depends on its application. If you really don’t want your room to feel dark and especially if you don’t have much natural light, of course you don’t want to paint everything black. The above kitchen uses black liberally but there’s also a lot of white, light floors, and sunlight.
Okay yes, this is definitely more dark navy than it is black, but it gives a similar effect. Another common misconception is that dark colors simply can not work in small spaces. Again, I think the key in any size room is to make sure the darkness is not going to be overwhelming, that it’s balanced. Even with a dark ceiling and floors, the counter and backsplash create a bright visual break, and ample lighting including under-cabinet and in-cabinet makes the room glow.
This is more in line with the “bit of black” principle and isn’t it gorgeous? I realize not everyone is able to find things like ovens and range hoods so thrilling but I sure can. Not only is this massive cooking area incredibly functional, it’s so pretty to look at. That’s my favorite kind of functional. Brass, black, and white. Hard to go wrong with that combo. How do you like the dark grout with the subway tile? It certainly gives it a modern pop that light grout wouldn’t. I love the dark grout but personally I’d probably go lighter.
one | Bo Bedre via nicety
two | Ashley Whittaker Design via dustjacket attic
three | Domino via nicety