To set the tone for the new apartment, my first inclination was to select white cabinetry for the kitchen, living, and dressing room built-ins. White lacquer. It is safe. It is Modern. It is reflective and will bounce light around the space from the view West out of the apartment. The light color will bring brightness far into the apartment – even to the spaces that do not have windows. It will make the small space feel clean, uncluttered, light and bright. I also really want to use the Miele line of Brilliant White appliances, so white cabinetry seems like a no-brainer to get that fluid, non-contrast look that I love.The current 1980’s kitchenette is a practically a closet and has no natural light. That is what it is and will never change. The good news? There is a ton of room for improvement, not just in the kitchen, but throughout the space. In everything I read about Co-Op interviews it says to ‘play down the renovations you plan to do’ during your meeting. But in this case, how could you? Besides, I am not the type to pretend I like it how it is. It clearly needs a freshen up and anyone who says it doesn’t isn’t being straight with you.In the end I told them the work is cosmetic, but it needs to be done. It is clearly 1980’s from the original Co-Op conversion. The way I see it, this space needs all the help it can get. You know what I mean? Of course you do. Several weekends ago (with a Peacock Home visit scheduled) I started to become annoyed with my quick jump directly to plain white cabinetry for the new space. There must me more light and bright options out there, right? So I decided to peek around a bit for inspiration. I started looking at weathered oak (something like Rubio Monocoat with 5% white) and Cerused Oak, grey stain, or possibly pale blue lacquer cabinetry. Seriously, how pretty would that be? But then I stumbled upon this super colorful small space palette from House Beautiful. This apartment has prewar charm, high ceilings, large windows, and handsome moldings that the new apartment doesn’t have, but it’s the bold use of color that has got me thinking…I remember liking it when I saw the issue in print, but small space decorating didn’t apply to my life at the time. From the super smart storage ideas to the BIG, bold choices in color – I am completely taken by the idea of it. And wouldn’t you know, they installed a bright green lacquer kitchen in what appears to be a dark, windowless kitchen. Take note of the mirrored backsplash and the library wall with black painted cabinetry. You nearly miss seeing the TV that blends in with the book cases. (I’ve made it clear that hiding the television is an idea that I can completely get behind.) This tiny apartment proves that some decorating rules were meant to be broken. You know, that green kitchen is not dissimilar to the small NYC kitchen that Miles Redd designed in ‘Bamboo Leaf’ green. Clearly that window doesn’t have a significant view. (Many NYC kitchen windows have a view to an air shaft or a brick wall – even in the nicest of buildings.) And speaking of Miles Redd, I’m sure you all have seen this before, but isn’t that ‘Hague Blue’ high gloss butler’s pantry something to flip over? Ever since I set my eyes on these pretties – I’ve thought the idea of glossy, bold color cabinetry was brilliant in more ways than one. (Heck, that entire apartment that belongs to the glossy green kitchen was pretty incredible. You can see the whole space featured on House Beautiful. The Hague Blue Butler’s Pantry is featured on Elle Decor.)You know me well enough by now though, don’t you? I’ve always swayed towards neutral colors on the cabinets, walls, and floors. My color usually comes out on a bit of upholstery, art, and other textiles that are easier and less expensive to switch out over time. I’ve long wondered if I would ever dare to think outside the box like that when it comes to more permanent aspects of a design, like the built-in cabinetry. Kitchens and baths are the most costly in a renovation, so you really don’t want to pick something that you’ll tire of too quickly.And speaking of coral: a few weekends ago I went on a house tour in Northwest Connecticut to benefit the Housatonic Child Care center. There were certain instances during my tour that I found myself completely taken by bold color choices. As a matter of fact, around lunchtime I stumbled into a bakery that had absolutely everything painted in the most gorgeous shade of hot coral – it was delightful. (The smell of fresh baked bread wasn’t half bad either!)
I am not going to build the entire apartment around the colors in these dishes, but as a reminder you can see what I am working with below. (There is a whole slew of pale pink glassware too – something to keep in mind if I am indeed doing some open shelving in the kitchen.) If I take any color inspiration from these, I may end up going in an entirely different direction from neutral grey and white! As a matter of fact, I may have already set my myself to go with a more colorful design scheme since I recently started hashtagging the renovation under the name #abcdjewelbox on social media. And while I am seeing the apartment through rose color lenses, I stumbled upon this pink and black color palette on 47 Park Avenue and can’t help but be drawn to it. It reminds me of my bedroom when I was a teenager. I had thick black carpeting and my walls were exactly the shade of strawberries and cream pink that this mohair sofa is upholstered in. LOVE those nail heads, don’t you? For inquiring minds: that is a seriously gorgeous ‘Triplady Knole’ George Smith sofa in Indian Pink. Yum!When you do dark walls (and ceilings!) the right way, the walls disappear and can make a small space feel endless. As you can see from the photo, light white floors make a space feel extra voluminous and the dark walls make it feel cozy again. I know, I know. I have been dream decorating in dark paint schemes for far too long on this blog. I don’t think I could take us in that direction in the City – our country house has enough black and dark grey walls – right?! Or does it? Does navy blue count as a dark color? *I know, I’m just teasing!* I have to admit, I keep thinking about that dark dining room with the high-gloss molding and mirrored insets that I posted a few weeks ago, and the black ceiling mirrored room image that @LaVeuve posted on Twitter in response to the dining room I featured. Not to mention, I found that I was totally crushing on black and smokey-blue painted trim at the Housatonic house tour. Christopher Peacock offers a color called Blueberry. It is “a softened blue-black” which might be right up my alley.Hmnn…It might be safe to say I am not over decorating dark yet! I also want to be sensitive to the colors our view provides us with as well. The more I look at this view, the more I want pale blue or green-ish grey cabinets. (Green would look awfully good with all that red brick you see out the window.) Once we get in there, I can hang out with my color swatches and get a better feel for it. I guess only time will tell if I am daring enough to create an ultra-colorful home away from home in the City.
As always, you can click an image through to the source and I have linked to where I got the image in the text below or above the photo. Many of these are images that were pinned for inspiration to my boards and despite my effort to find the source they lead to dead links. This is exactly why I most often use my own photos in my posts. In this case, I am using many images that are not mine to illustrate ideas for our new place.