Tri Tone Kitchen Has Style


Tri Tone Kitchen

This simple and classic Elkay-Design-Craft kitchen caught my eye this morning curtesy of Kitchen & Bath Business. While I’m known for my very modern designs, the combination of cool and serene colors with the delicate cabinet embellishments made me take a second look. As KB&B stated, “The Barcelona features clean, simple lines, while the Valencia has a solid-wood raised center panel and bridges the gap between transitional and traditional design.” I would love to specify these Barcelona & Valencia cabinets for a custom kitchen project.


Victorian feel, perhaps echoing William Morris


We’ve been busy of late and have slacked off writing our blog….sorry to all of our die-hard fans (and there are 2 of you!). Here’s a new blog about fabric. I love fabric and would really love to take a few classes on textile design. Maybe in my next educational career…I’m gettin’ kinda old for this school stuff!


 This Victorian fabric an explosion of pattern, visual texture (perhaps tactile as well) and rhythm. Radiating geometric shapes contain varied colored patterns, which contribute to the overall green color of this fabric and add visual interest. The radiating geometric shapes are within proportion to one another. The smallest shape inside the larger arches creates a focal point for each grouping. Despite the difference in patterns used, there is the presence of rhythm by repetition, gradation, alternation, progression, transition, contrast, and even radiation! Wow!

Proportionally, the parts of the fabric are similar and create a harmonic whole. There is variety and unity created by the shape or forms and the patterns that fill those forms. The fabric is symmetrical and the repetitive use of the similar shapes adds to that symmetry. This fabric gives off the visual feeling of texture and the semi-circle lines add movement and interest. There is only positive spaced used in this fabric, nothing goes without decoration, pattern or color. The fabric has a heavy Victorian feel, perhaps echoing William Morris in design. You could use this in a dining room, study, or ideally in a solarium.

Fashionable Finishes that Will Turn You Green with Envy

No one can resist colored glass, especially when it’s employed as a finish. I loved this doorknob so much I dissected it. Its color still mesmerizes me!


The maker of this emerald green retro antique glass doorknob employs rhythm by repetition, progression and radiation in both the pull and base. In support of the knob’s circular design principles, the designer chose a round pull, base, and stem. As such, the form of this doorknob occupies a cylinder.  Thus all parts share the same basic shape, which provides a sense of unity and repetition.

The decrease in size from handle to base represents the progression from a larger central part to the smaller supporting element.

The designer also added both visual and tactile texture to the pull with the surface and subsurface cuts. Both the pull and the base share the radial repetition found in the cut pattern of the glass.  However, the designer added a focal point on top of the pull as seen in the star design and central circle incised with intersecting lines, from which leaf-like cuts radiate outward.

Further, the designer employed the design elements of color and light to strengthen the visual quality of the doorknob.  The unifying color of both the base and pull are emerald green, while the stem appears to be a burnished copper or perhaps aged virgin iron. The color harmonies of the complementary “red and green” are displayed in subtle, yet energizing ways with the emerald colored handle and base, offset by the deep burnt umber of the stem, suggesting red elements that create a visual vibration between the two.

Finally, interest in added to this doorknob by the use of texture and light. Cuts in the glass refract light and display unifying textures, while more light is implied in the design by its transparency as opposed to using a solid or opaque green.

The doorknob clearly illustrates that good design may be achieved in obvious ways, such as unifying elements of individual parts seen in repetition of shape, texture, and focal point, as well as in more subtle ways found in progression, color and light.

Beauty Carved from Stone



This amazing sculpture, found in the Atrium of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, is very human in scale. She is life size. The artist paid particular attention to achieving ideal proportions and maintaining all resemblance of the human form. Because of the pose of the subject, the sculpture is asymmetrical. The most amazing focal point is achieved by the positioning of the subject’s hips…what an amazing point of interest. The pose of the subject is in complete harmony with the stone from which it is sculpted. In addition, the pose of this sculpture is far from monotonous! The tilt of the head, the arch of the back, the tilt of the hips, and the crossed legs, add variety and interest. Unity is achieved by the entire pose turned toward the right.

The sculpture is contained in a block of limited space. There is no negative space within the sculpture with the exception of a small triangle beneath the right knee. This sculpture forms a rectangle and inside the rectangle there is a triangle. Because of its size and the method of sculpture, even though it is a sculpture in the round, this is a very solid mass of stone. The sculptor has employed diagonal lines in this piece, which creates energy and interest. While the body of the subject is smooth and featureless, beneath the body the artist has incised folds of marble to represent fabric as well as curls of the subject’s hair. Because of the use of white, Carrara marble, this sculpture gives off a luminescent light. Its luminosity is enhanced by the absence of color.

5 of Our Favorite Countertops!


In a recent issue of Surface & Panel there was a great article about countertops. Today there are more choices than ever. Long gone are the days of formica or butcher block as your only options. While the article highlighted 18 products, we’ve picked our 5 favorite work surfaces to share with you.

To be considered a great counter top choice the material has to meet some pretty high standards. First and foremost it has to durable. In terms of wear and tear, the kitchen gets a big workout. Good functioning countertops need to be easy to take care of (read: low maintenance), and since kitchen remodels are very costly, materials need to be long-lasting.

We’re all about Green products. Tammy is studying for her LEED Green Associates accreditation. So don’t be surprised if our 5 product choices are not only beautiful, but Green, too!

Bio -Glass
All those recycled wine bottles, water bottles, stemware, and beer bottles can be turned into a 100% recycled product (no epoxies or colorants) called, Bio-Glass. According to the manufacturers, it’s available in white, light green, dark green, blue and brown. Bio-glass is hard, really hard. It’s non-porous—making it easy to clean, and it does not stain. In addition to countertops its been used as partitions, facades and other decorative surfaces. I did a Google search and found tons of resellers and installers. And if it is sourced and transported less than 500 miles from your building site, it may be eligible for LEED points.


Cosentino has just introduced a new product called, Eco. I’ve not seen it myself yet (it’s so new), but the company claims this product qualifies for Cradle-to-Cradle certification. Consentino lists recycled/reclaimed porcelain, mirror, glass, and stone scraps as the main ingredients in this new product. These are mixed with a corn-based organic resin. Eco is offered in two collections, The Green Collection and The Revive Collection; available in 6 and 4 color ways respectively. I’m setting up a meeting with our local Consentino rep to see this first hand and get the background on this new and innovative product…I’ll keep you posted.

Yes, it’s made from a composite of re-cycled paper! It carries FSC certification. It’s durable, hard and “virtually impervious to water”. But how does it do with stains and scratches. Well, I’d say it might be a bit softer than granite, so you’d always want to use a cutting board or other protection. It’s resistent to stains and scratches, but not “impervious”. Even with Paperstone’s recycled nature it is food and preparation surface safe. Paperstone solid surfaces come in about 9 rich and elegant colors.

For the past 10-15 years granite, and to some degree marble, has been the countertop of choice. But did you know that there is a lot of waste (not to mention high embodied energy due to its extraction) from cutting, grinding and polishing granite and marble? Eco-Terr solid surface countertops are available in 12 polished or brushed colors. How are they made? Well you take the left over granite and marble chips and combine those with binder and …voila! a 70% recycled material. There are zero VOCs, it’s non-porous and so it doesn’t support microbial or mould growth. I’m liking this new surface and would like to spec this for a project.

Squak Mountain Stone
Now I’ll admit to this: I’ve never heard of this product before, have you? I’ve never seen it, and therefore do not know much about its functionality, installation, or durability. But here’s what Surface & Panel had to say about it: Sqauk Mountain Stone is made from a combination of recycled paper, recycled glass and low-carbon cement. It is hand-cast into  “slabs”. So in my opinion, this product has a lot of pluses. I’m a closet tree-hugger. So any product that can be made from recycled material, have a low-carbon output in its manufacturing, and then have a long (or long-ish) life span is okay in my book. In this picture it resembles a concrete countertop, but in my reading, I saw that it could be finished and polished just like granite and marble, so maybe it’s a good alternative. I’ll look into this.

So many choices, and we just picked our 5 favorite. If you’re thinking of tackling a bath or kitchen design project, let us help you pick the best product that meets you and your family’s needs. Send us a quick email and we’ll be happy to help you out!

4 Accessories that’ll Give you that Green Thumb Look

It’s really hot here! Really hot! Last week it was 112 degrees. My Oleander outside my patio is barely hanging on even with our condo’s drip irrigation system. I’m saving left over doggie water to water my patio cacti. It’s dry and hot. Did I tell you that I cannot keep plants alive? No matter what the month. Even during the less extreme months I don’t have a green thumb. The only reason my cacti are alive is that they don’t need water!

Because of my lack of agricultural prowess and our lovely heat here in Arizona, I love silk and preserved plants and flowers for indoor and in some cases outdoor uses. Accessorizing with plants can really finish off a room. Here are four great examples of artificial or preserved flowers and plants, bursting with color, that can bring warmth and visual interest to your home.

This square copper pot arrangement measures 13″ x 13″ and includes a center bunch of preserved clover surrounded by protea yellow and hydrangea basil. It retails for about $200, is virtually carefree…just blow dry to remove dust (on low and no heat).  Check the web for pricing. This would make a great addition to a vanity or makeup table, or even on a sideboard.

A dining room isn’t complete without some type of centerpiece. In this traditional dining room, Design One has created an elegant and formal arrangement with a great combination of silk greens and preserved flowers. The proportions are perfect for this size room and table. The added wisps extending from the center of the piece adds visual interest and movement. Remember it doesn’t have to be elaborate or over-the-top expensive to be elegant!

Got an Asian themed room? Go Bonsai! This preserved bonsai tree is small enough to fit upon a shelf, about 18″ T, and wide enough to make a statement. Order two and have them flank a piece of statuary to create a symmetrical vignette. No watering needed. Just remove from box and Viola! You have instant greenery, year-round, regardless of the heat, lack of sun or water!

Pretty, elegant, and oh, so feminine! Nothing says timeless elegance more than simple roses. This arrangement consists of preserved pink roses and lime slices. The soft pink with the two shades of green are really stunning, don’t you think? I could see these on a side table next to an over-stuffed reading chair, on the nightstand, or even on the bath deck surrounding your deep, luxurious soaking tub.

So if you’re looking to finish off the room and aren’t sure what’s missing, it could be greenery. Too hot where your live? You don’t have a green thumb? Just want something low maintenance? Then preserved or silk plants and flowers may be just what you’re looking fore.

If you need help accessorizing, send me an email and I’d be glad to help you out.

Kanye West’s seven-screen pavilion / OMA 7S Pavilion Cannes Cruel Summer Screening 4_ Philippe Ruault – ArchDaily

Take a look and tell me what you think? Not so much a fan of KW, but I like this screening set up. It’s like being inside the movie. You’re surrounded by screens from all sides so you can see what’s on the floor, ceiling, to the left and right as well as straight on. I wonder if I’d feel nauseous kinda like Imax?

Kanye West’s seven-screen pavilion / OMA 7S Pavilion Cannes Cruel Summer Screening 4_ Philippe Ruault – ArchDaily.