When I asked my friend Sandy what her design aesthetic was, her first response was "dog hair," which kills me, for as an owner of two dogs, I know her pain well. But when the vacuuming is done and the floors swept, she coins her home style as "unintentionally traditional with some nods to nature." It's an apt description that certainly allows for the addition of animal hair from time to time.
Sandy recently finished a renovation of her kitchen and bath. She wanted her bathroom to feel like a soothing retreat, which was achieved partly by the addition of a vaulted ceiling to create more space and light. Sandy found her bathroom hardware at Van Dykes and the subway tile and hex floor tile from specialtytile.com. The cabinets are mahogany which brings a beautiful, warm tone that softens the room and also, really pops. Her contractor, John Stevens had the idea to make the cabinetry out of the same wood used for the windows to tie the space together. Beautimous...
Sandy's friend Erik Berkule is a talented artist always in search of fun inspiration. As Sandy explains, "He does wonderful portraits of his family, friends and some of the animals he knows as well as commissions. His paintings give insight into the personalities of his subjects, not just their likeness." A fan of color and whimsy, Erik created a series of paintings based on distorted photos of selected subjects, which were achieved using the Mac Photo Booth app. Other artists that Sandy loves are Margaret Kilgallen, Camilla Engman and a recent SCAD graduate, Yoswadi Krutklom.
Sandy's cat, Minnow likes to look down on all the little people from the border of ledges that frame the bathroom. Sandy describes Minnow as "A total extrovert and a bad ass with an emphasis on bad." Minnow certainly does what she wants. I took some photos of Sandy's laundry area as I love how she maximized her space, finding a home for brooms and mops that actually works. Mine are shoved at an angle by the side of my dryer. I'm jealous her mops get to live a lovely, uncluttered life. Sigh...
It's always fun to design a space based on your wants and needs. Such was the case with the never fun to display cat box. Sandy created a secret entrance to the box behind the kitchen counter with the front area made to look like just another kitchen cabinet. It appears Minnow continues to rule all aspects of the home, much to the dismay of her fellow animal in residence, Trout.
Sandy is a producer like me and no stranger to doing her research. In creating her new home look, she searched and searched until she found items that were unique, well designed and sold at a good price. Her quality, affordable kitchen tile is one example of time well spent behind a computer screen. Her house was built in the 1930's and Sandy smartly kept the unique cabinetry in the kitchen. The surprising designs carved at the bottom give it personality and charm, mixing old with new.
One of my favorite features in Sandy's kitchen is her bar cabinet. Your eye is immediately drawn to the silver backdrop which are actually ceiling tiles, purchased at Van Dykes. The really beautiful hinges are a surprise touch as you open the cabinets, also purchased at Van Dykes. Sandy has a funny term for gorgeous images of homes she finds in magazines, design books and websites. She calls it House Porn as she gets immersed in absorbing every detail of stunning home decor, looking for ideas and inspiration. We both are in love with Bravo's new show, Million Dollar Decorators and perhaps, as Sandy points out, that's the first example of TV house porn. Thanks for sharing your incredible home and humor Sandy!
As a reminder, if you need some free advice on renovating or building your own kitchen and bath, contact Rose, our resident Sweet Peach Kitchen and Bath expert.
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach