Things To Desire

Kitchens; a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll

When kitchens are, “ a little bit country, and a little bit rock-n-roll,” they marry rustic and contemporary elements without hitting any false notes.  The look is unique and timeless.  It is not simply about the choices in materials, but the way the finish details pull everything together.

S.R. Gambrel design

In this Steven Gambrel designed kitchen, the stainless steel on the traditional La Cornue range recurs in the the industrial style refrigerators, while the brushed brass finish is balanced by the creative touch of the nail head trim around them.   The yellow-gold of the brass is subdued by the juxtaposition of the muted wood cabinetry, and the soft finish of the wood floors.

The cabinets in this island have the look of an old-fashioned ice box with the modern twist of stainless steel feet.  The black hinges integrate with the dark finish of the traditional style bridge faucet, and the top of the range.

Ken Pursley design

This kitchen by architect Ken Pursley has what he called, “an early american language,” (via article from House Beautiful) with furniture like details on the cabinetry.  While Pursley references the style of  a colonial kitchen, nothing about the design feels like a textbook imitation.

Ken Pursley design

The antique style sconces above the range look right at home under the contemporary hood.

Ken Pursley design

Michael S. Smith design

Bates-Corkern design

photo by William Waldron

Barry Dixon design

via AJ Barnes blogspot

Mick Jagger's Paris kitchen




























Pain Relief

Bathtubs that soak in style

The ancient Greeks and Romans had advanced plumbing methods and made the rituals of bathing a true luxury.   These ideas and advancements were brought to a halt in Medieval times when the early Christians believed that bathing had deleterious effects.   As the plague spread throughout Europe in The Middle Ages, so did the idea that bathing actually encouraged disease.

“The best policy was to plug the pores with dirt.  For the next six hundred years most people didn’t wash or even get wet, if they could help it—.” Bill Bryson, At Home; A Short History of Private Life

So eventually we said, “That does it, Calgon take me away….”1980 Calgon bath soap commercial

Credits: 1. via Nate Berkus Design, photo by Roger Davies  2. Canadian House and Home via alkemie.blogspot 3. The Hempel hotel London, design by Anouska Hempel 4. via my design chic.wordpress , photo by Andrew Twort   5. via divine distractions blogspot 6. interior design by Barbara Colvin, Veranda magazine Sept./Oct. 2006, photo by Alec Hemer  7. via chameleon interiors blogspot, interior design by Michael Smith, photo by Simon Upton

The front porch

“Porches are as synonymous with American culture as apple pie. While not unknown in colonial times, they rose to nationwide popularity in the decades before the Civil War, and remained in fashion for almost one hundred years. Ironically, the very social and technological forces that made them both popular and possible were eventually responsible for their decline.”   from Preserving Porches, by Renee Kahn and Ellen Meagher 1990

The front porch in its heyday seemed to foster a sense of community, acting as the transitional space in a house  where neighbors would socialize.  It was also a place to have an iced tea and catch a breeze in the days before air-conditioning.  Today outdoor living spaces are popular in the world of design, but are usually created in the back yard. But if you are lucky enough to have a front porch, there is no better place to while away a summer afternoon.

credits in order: from Coastal Living via love of the sea blog, from Martha Stewart magazine September 1999 issue, via Southern Living, Evan Sklar photo  and Martha Stewart Living porch via musings of a night owl,  Annie Kelly and Tim Street-Porter’s Connecticut house via Country Living

cvs Triphala 1 pc

Alfresco dining

al·fres·co  [al-fres-koh]  adverb

Alfresco/ al-fresco is an italian word that essentially means in the fresh (air) or in a cool place, but it was adopted into the english language to mean; out-of-doors; in the open air: to dine alfresco. It simply sounds more romantic to dine alfresco than to just eat outside.  However you want to say it;  it is one of the true pleasures of summer.

In order: design by John Saladino via design 4 living blog, Maisons Cote’ Sud via aesthetically thinking blog, design by Axel Vervoordt via Veranda, design by York Street Studio, Sister Parish’s home in Maine by Libby Cameron via architectural digest

Office organization

1.  Bristol office collection 2.  Makati wastebasket 3.  Accordian files 4.  Limbo File folders 5. Leafkeepers Cable ties 6.  File Collator 7. Clear desk organizer


Design in the round

Style is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward”  Robert Frost

The circle is a simple yet dynamic shape that intrinsically creates visual movement.

1.  designed by Rina Menardi 2.  ashtray designed by Marianne Brandt, 1926 3.  Round Zone containers designed by Minna Ahokas  4.  Mito bistro table, In or out collection design by Kazuhiko Tomita

designer Masanori Ojis collaboration with brass makers, Futagami






















Vanity design by G. Azzarello

Clearly thinking; transparency in design





















1.  Aka Chair by Jean-Marie Massaud manufactured by SKITSCH 2. Sabine glass table lamp @ Revival Home and Garden  3. Fia caraffe by Nina Jobs @ ID Chicago  4. Moooi light by Raimond Puts 5.  lcp light by Maarten van Severen manufactured by Kartell  6. aarne cocktail glass by Goran Hongell, 1948 manufactured by Iittala  7. Marcell Wanders Stone Stool manufactured by Kartell


Extra Seating

Grab a seat, put your feet up, or throw down a tray and use one of these cubesor poufs/pouffes as a pseudo coffee table.  They come in so many great colors, shapes, and textures so you will not be hard pressed to find one that works with your decor.

1.  Coralie Bickford Smith, “Stop Designing Start Playing” Collaborative project with artist/printmaker Wendy Chapple

2. Blu Dot; Otto Ottoman

3.  Paola Lenti; Cubo

4. Bohemia:  Moroccan Pouffes

5.  Casbah Décor;  Demna Pouf

Home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos Interiors by Elizabeth Martin

via Elle Decor




Hang it up with hooks and other accessories

There are so many stylish ways to hang up your clothes, coats, bags, keys, etc., so there is no excuse not to Hang it Up…

1. Shaker style peg boards are simple and classic @ nhwoodworking

2. French café style hooks @ Pale and Interesting


1.  Fold Key hook @ CB2

2.  Hooks designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1953 @ Room and Board

3. Sven Coat Tree @ CB2

4. Colorful Coat Racks @ Room and Board

1.   Porte Dauphin Mirror in the French Art Nouveau style @ Anthropologie

2. Original bent wood coat rack by Thonet; Austria early 1900s on 1st Dibs

3.  Kryptos hook rack @ Anthropologie

4.  19th Century couturier’s Rack @ Restoration Hardware