Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Revisit Beach Bungalow Kitchen Makeover


It's been 9 years since our friends purchased a beach house.  It was a pretty basic bungalow in need of some updating, particularly the kitchen. Every time I looked at it, I tried to imagine our paint finishes on the cabinets. Up until this point, all of our projects were furniture pieces, nothing larger than a bed or an entertainment unit. Painting 4 sides (yes the edges are included in the process) of 15 cabinet doors plus 4 drawers was a huge undertaking for us. But I was eager to take the challenge and made a proposal.


The plan included  a new finish on the cabinets, new hinges, new gorgeous knobs (of course) and a faux granite paint finish on all the trim that surrounded the cabinets and the tiles. It was truly a gamble for both of us. Although I was confident that the outcome would look good, I was almost clueless as to how the logistics would play out and how I was going to tackle each step.

Over the river and through the woods
For anyone who understands Stinson Beach and the proximity to San Francisco is probably aware of the long and winding cliff side roads. Remember the Michael Douglas's roller coaster ocean drive to see Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct? This journey to the beach became part of the project routine.



So first I hired a person to go out to the house and remove all the cabinet doors and take them back to his shop to sand them. Then he brought them to our furniture paint shop for the priming and painting. It was a little overwhelming at first. Every inch of our workshop was occupied with a cabinet door.

Painting the cabinets was part one of the project. It was back to the beach house to sand, prime and paint all the trim. Then I had a contractor haul the doors and drawers back to the house where they were installed with new hinges. Oh yeah - I even got my cabinet maker in Los Angeles involved because we decided to create a door to cover the open shelving where pots and pans were stored. It was another journey to the beach with my handyman for the installation of the new door.

The Best Part
One of the nice aspects of the kitchen layout was a huge skylight that ran the length of the counter tops. It couldn't be a more perfect setting for our paint finishes and knobs where the cabinets dazzle from dawn to sundown.


 Happy Outcome
What I didn't know was how everything would hold up over the years. One can imagine how pleased I am to report that the paint finish shows no nicks, no scratches and most of all no fading!The amber color is still rich and vibrant. The knobs and cabinets are  just as lively as the day they were installed. The kitchen is happy as ever.

The Makeover Formula
Nothing too outlandish, my friend wanted the paint finish to have the feeling of exotic wood. So we chose the amber paint treatment which is softer than copper, and more exciting than brown for the cabinets. I created the fantasy stone trim  in light and subtle tones bringing in some of the other colors in the room.
Having a little bit of fun, we selected 2 different knob styles with an emphasis on shades of mustard gold with silver accents. .Both the Congo Lights and the Nu Sunflower knobs have topaz crystals that offer a pop of shimmer.


Monday, May 16, 2016

When the Ocean Meets the Sand





While leafing through a recent Elle Decor magazine I couldn't help but notice that just about every product advertisement focused on a blue and taupe color scheme. Furnishings, floor coverings, tiles and home accents, whether it be a rug or a sofa, you would think there was a  manufacturers' conspiracy to dish out a version of this color combo.

It reminded me of a comment that I heard from an interior designer who was helping a couple decorate their living room.

A little unsure about the designer's fabric recommendation, they questioned if blue goes with beige to which the designer remarked, "Does the ocean go with the sand?" I absolutely love this analogy. It makes me crack a smile whenever I think about the question and the retort. The popularity of this color scheme in interior decorating has obvious psychological impact. The visual of ocean and sand offers a wide scale of moods that swing from calm to exhilaration - something to reach everyone's comfort zone.

This motivated me to look through our product lines and was happy to see that blue was plentiful in shades of light to dark. We have a lot of fantastic blue color combinations, but not quite anything that offered the blue and taupe package.



So I did a little tweak with our popular Tiki knob and pull in light sapphire and lapis. I substituted the olivine crystal with a light smoke topaz and was amazed at how changing this small detail brought me closer to the ocean/sand scheme.