August 11, 2017

Serene & Sophisticated Beach House in Shippan, Stamford

White Kitchen Cabinets, White Marble Counter, Gray Glass Backsplash

This spec project was a major renovation to update a rather large and charming old home by the beach.   The owners called me to consult on the fixed finishes, materials, and colors in the home.  

White kitchens are always fabulous - clean, crisp and airy.   The dark floors ground the old home into the earth, while the light colors provide a spacious and modern atmosphere.

White marble countertops are as modern as they are historical.  And there is something about polished marble that makes the light bounce throughout the room.

I'm a big fan of stainless steel appliances as they provide even more bling and reflection.

And the glass tile backsplash shines as well, as the medium gray color provides a balance between the white cabinets and dark floors.

Walls Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

The adjacent dining room is painted a soft, warm, light gray - Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist.

Walls Benjamin Moore Cloud Cover  

The first floor office is a wonderful example of the power of contrast between the dark floors, light walls and white trim.

All the wood floors throughout the home is stained a rich and deep ebony.

Walls - Benjamin Moore Cloud Cover

The photo above is the seating area of the master bedroom suite.  Once again painted a modern and sultry off white called Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore. 

And below is the lovely quaint porch area off the master bedroom.   I love how the ceiling slopes and gently meets the windows, as the view of the water is shortly beyond.

Now if this was my home you would find me every morning on this porch, with the windows wide open!

A beach house.  Sigh.  What a beautiful way to start the day breathing in that fresh salty air.   And I imagine this porch would be a special sanctuary for creative and dreamy thoughts.

December 18, 2015

Color & Design Mid-Century Modern Project Palm Springs

Now this was a fun color and design project - a mid-century modern home in the Twin Palms neighborhood of Palm Springs, California.  An Alexander and Krisel home built around 1957.

The home was purchased by one of my favorite clients, as a vacation rental property.   The house needed a total renovation and makeover.  

Do notice that fabulous iconic butterfly roof.

photo by Ketchum Photography

Love the linear rhythm of the architecture, magnified by the sun's shadows.

Twin Palms, Palm Springs
photo by Ketchum Photography

Next is the before photo so you can appreciate the transformation.


Below you will see the floors in the main area were replaced with polished terrazzo tiles.

Notice the exterior of the chimney is the same color as the interior -  this was done to emphasize the interlocking architectural planes.  Also serves to unite the indoors with the outdoors.

And a new saturated accent color, Benjamin Moore Sienna Clay, brings life and excitement into the room.

photo by Ketchum Photography

Below is the before photo of the living room.  

We of course kept the Nelson Saucer chandelier!


Next is a close up of the Terrazzo tile with the paint chip.   The Sienna Clay color relates to the burnt orange specs in the tile.  


(Btw, the terrazzo tile is from Modern Home Showroom, located right in Palm Springs.  Wonderful showroom with great customer service.)

The new kitchen below has a bold backsplash that adds to the Palm Springs modern vibe.

photo by Ketchum Photography

The color palette in the master bedroom below - spicy reds and pinks, honey golds, and a vivid green accent wall.

Once again the accent wall is the same color- inside and out- visually expanding and uniting both spaces.

Benjamin Moore Sherwood Green HC-118, is the perfect color to create a composition with the palm trees,  mountains, and the blue sky.

The green wall visually becomes part of the view - making the viewer feel more intimate with the landscape.   Another great example of the power of color to create a profound experience.

photo by Ketchum Photography

And in the master bathroom, love the way you can see the accent wall and palm trees reflecting in the mirror.

Renovated Modern Master Bathroom
photo by Ketchum Photography
Below is the new backyard.

Palm Springs vacation homes attract the fun loving Los Angeles crowd, so we needed to create a playful resort experience around the pool.

photo by Ketchum Photography  

The Design Within Reach Mid-century Sunshades have such personality and are perfect for our theme.  

Notice the Sienna Clay paint color on the outside chimney.

And the green balances out the boldness with a hint of nature's serenity.

photo by Ketchum Photography

Next is a photo of the private casita.

Modern architectural wall panels bring in texture and a gridded pattern into the white room.

Crazy about the Shaken Not Stirred print - sophisticated fun.

And I adore the gray and yellow blanket my client's mother made for the room - it's the perfect finishing touch.

photo by Ketchum Photography


So as you can see, this project was fun to color and design, and one of my favorite projects.   Palm Springs is a special place.

Nonetheless,  I must admit, it took me time to adjust to the climate and pace of the desert, as it's quite different from New York.  

But the desert is ruled by mother nature, or as I call her - the desert goddess - and by the time I left, she had me spellbound.

September 13, 2015

Exterior Paint Color Consultation in Riverside CT with Simply White

 Body Color Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
 Trim Color Benjamin Moore Snow White OC-66
Shutter Color  Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154
Door  Color Benjamin Moore Counry Redwood PM-16

My lovely clients called me for an on-site consultation when they decided to change their exterior color to white, but they didn't know which one.

Whites paint colors are not created equal.   Not even almost.   And there are hundreds of whites.

Body Color Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
 Trim Color Benjamin Moore Snow White OC-66
Shutter Color  Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154
Door  Color Benjamin Moore Counry Redwood PM-16

As usual, my consultation involved viewing large paint color boards on different parts of the house to see how the colors interacted in the light and surroundings.

Body Color Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
 Trim Color Benjamin Moore Snow White OC-66
Shutter Color  Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154
Door  Color Benjamin Moore Counry Redwood PM-16

Pleased my clients loved my suggestion to put my favorite navy on the shutters - Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.  A classic look without the typical black.  

Body Color Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
 Trim Color Benjamin Moore Snow White OC-66
Shutter Color  Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154

Benjamin Moore Snow White was selected as the trim color.   A bright white offering enough contrast with Simply White.

Body Color Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117
 Trim Color Benjamin Moore Snow White OC-66
Door  Color Benjamin Moore Counry Redwood PM-16

Perfect example of a white that leans yellow (Simply White) compared to a white that leans blue (Snow White).

Note Simply White looks and feels warm, while Snow White looks and feels cold.

And the fabulous red door is Benjamin Moore's Country Redwood PM-16.

Country Redwood, the existing door color was perfect and remained, but re-painted in Benjamin Moore's Grand Entrance product in high gloss, for a sophisticated European sensibility.

Beautiful home.  Beautiful paint job.

Another color mission accomplished.

September 12, 2015

Color & Design Project on Abaco Island in the Bahamas

Loved consulting on the color and design of this fabulous new beach home.

The island of Abaco is paradise: natural beauty everywhere.

The homeowners, such warm and gracious people, built their new vacation home on a stunning piece of property bordering the beach.  

Lets start with a view from the property during construction.   Note I took this photo on a cloudy day.

And the next photo is the same view on a sunny day.  

Notice how the blue pool water, relates to the blue in the sea, visually uniting both, making the sea feel closer and even more intimate.  

Ahh - the power of color and light.

The beach is pristine, pretty close to heaven.

The homes palette honors the natural colors on the island, which are both blissful and soothing.    

Sandy, taupe and cream colors echo the beaches.

Soft yellows are a nod to the sun, as well as relates to the all the yellows in the islands greenery.

And blues - those beautiful blues - is a celebration of the sea and sky, surrounding the island everywhere.

When a combination of colors, gets along beautifully in nature, you can count on them feeling good in your home.

The exterior wall paint color is Benjamin Moore's Hepplewhite Ivory.  

The shutters are painted Benjamin Moore's Van Cortland Blue.

The wood is treated with a finish that allows the wood it to patina in the salty air.

A breezeway connects the front and and backyard, on both sides of the main house.  

The backyard is all about outdoor living,  in the sun during the day, under the stars at night.

And I must say the back of the house takes center stage.

Just love the verandas.

Below is a photo of the trail leading to the beach, surrounded by yellowand green foliage. Can't get over how purple the sky was that day. Amazing.

Walking down that path feels a bit lyrical; perhaps it's the chanting ot the birds, with the salty air, and the soft white sand between your toes.  

I call it the path to paradise.

The backyard is profoundly serene.  And visually delightful.

Now the home is a compound - notice the two buildings on either side of the main house.  In the front of the home is a garage and suite as well.

The separate spaces are connected to the main house by a breezeway, providing a sense of privacy, and intimacy, in this grand home.

And take note of the white Bermuda roofs.

Here's a view of the home walking back from the beach, where you can see all three buildings.

Sitting on thie veranda, sipping a glass of white wine, after a day in the sun,  is outdoor living at its finest.

Did I mention there is a golf course.

Look down the long driveway and there it is.

I told you this is an amazing property.

One my favorite things to do on the island - is driving around in a golf cart.

No I don't play golf.  It's all about the journey and the wind against my face.

Here are some photos of the area.   Eye candy for a color consultant, or anyone.

And what is an island without coconut trees?

The blissful beach...

Now for Part II tour of this beautiful home- the Interior.

Lets start with the kitchen since I am in love with the backsplash.

Creamy white cabinets, glass tile backsplash, white quartzite countertop, and stainless steel appliances.

Love the view of the dining room chandelier from the kitchen.

The quartzite countertop is absolutely stunning.  The polished finish adds to the elegant sparkle in the kitchen.

Don't confuse quartzite with quartz.   Quartzite is a natural stone quarried from the earth, stronger than granite, with the visual sensibility of marble.  A true gem from nature.  (Quartz is an engineered stone)

Here is a close up of the glass tile with the quartzite.

The blue green veining in the quartzite picks up the blue green tiles.   And both are a nod to the Abaco sea colors.

Below is a view of the kitchen from the dining room.

Notice all the texture and natural materials.  They compliment the natural elements in the landscape.  Texture is essential in beach design.

Next photo shows a lovely waterscape art in the living room.  The wall color in the main areas is Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois.

And here is a view from the living room, looking into the kitchen.

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You can see the bossy sun glaring through the window.  The sun is a powerful force of nature in the Bahamas.

Beautiful blues continue to accent the main space throughout.   Blue is a cooling and calming color to offset the sun.

Most of the furnishings were selected on our shopping trip to the Highpoint Furniture Market, where the selection of fine furnishings is optimal.

Below is close up of the turtle lamp in the den.  How great is that.

The paint color once again is Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois.  

Now upstairs to the bedrooms ... lets start with the Pink Room.  How I love pinks.

Wall color is Benjamin Moore Navajo White.

The Twin Room is also Benjamin Moore Navajo White.   Soft and fresh.

The Blue Room is painted with Benjamin Moore Iceberg.  Soothing and refreshing.

And here is photo of the water views from the second floor balcony.  Wow.

The blue bathroom has the same white quartzite stone that you will find throughout the house.    

Now for the Master Suite photos.   Sophisticated and classic.

Wall color is Benjamin Moore Cedar Key.  

And below is the elegant master bathroom.   The tub has exquisite lines. 

Moving on to the Guest Cottage Bedroom.   Elegant.  With a nod to the sea with the blue-green glass lamps.

Now I had to take a photo of the Valentino marble countertop top in the Guest Cottage, where a fabulous turtle dish presides.   

Well I hope you enjoyed my partial tour of this magnificent island beach home.  It's not completely done, but almost, after all Abaco is on island time.    

Such a fascinating project to work on.   And I am blessed for the opportunity to experience life on the island of Abaco.

One last beach photo, before I take my adieu.   

And yes, the sea really is this pretty.  

But know the intrigue of this island goes way beyond its beauty.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow sums it up the best in The Secrets by the Sea: 

"Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
   As I gaze upon the sea!
 All the old romantic legends,
   All my dreams, come back to me."