Renovating a bathroom or kitchen? Chosen all your tiles? What a releif, you can now sit back and let the tiler do his thing. Wrong!
Once you’ve chosen your tiles the next thing you need to choose is the colour of the grout. Don’t leave it to the tiler as you will probably end up with white or grey. The grout needs to support the tiles not detract from them. No-one wants to make a feature of the grout! Unless you’re really making a statement like this image below.
When we renovated I had definite ideas about how the tiles would look once grouted. The large format tiles in the bathroom were rectified which means they have square edges. I wanted the walls to look seamless and the rectified tiles can be placed close together so choosing a white grout assisted with the overall look.
In the ensuite, we used natural stone tiles on the walls and floor so I chose a cream grout there to match the filling in the travertine.
The black marble mosaic splashback in the powder room needed a dark grout as anything lighter would make the space look too busy. I already had a wallpaper above the splashback and that was the main feature of the room. The splashback needed to enhance the wallpaper and save it from water splashes but didn’t need to be a feature in itself.
The kitchen was tricky. I was using white subway tiles. The kitchen has a nod to French provincial style without the fuss so I wanted the tiles to stand out but I didn’t want the industrial look like the kitchen below.
White grout would’ve blended with the tiles and dark grout would give that industrial look, sort of like a butcher’s shop. So I selected a pale grey grout. The cabinetry is grey and the bench top is also a grey – Stone Italiana KSoul. The grey grout sets off the whole kitchen perfectly.
So don’t think once you’ve chosen your tiles your decisions are over. Think about the overall look you’d like, take some time and choose the colour of your grout wisely. Like everything else, the options are endless but will make a big difference to your finished home.
All images can be found on my Pinterest boards.
If you would like assistance choosing tiles and grout for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Isn’t it beautiful? Ok, ok, concrete isn’t something I usually go into raptures over but this is MY concrete and it heralds the beginning of a new extension onto our home.
When you are renovating, it’s all very easy to get excited about the end the result, the look of the kitchen and bathroom and the colour of the walls. These are all very important components and ones that everyone will see and ooh and aah over. But the foundations are even more important, if not glamorous. And they are about 20% of the overall building budget so here’s another look at the gorgeous footings.
The sun is still shining here in Sydney so the plumber is onsite today laying pipes for the bathroom and laundry before more concrete arrives later in the week for the laundry floor.
Alright, enough of all that boring stuff. On a much more exciting note, I’m meeting with my cabinet maker this afternoon to discuss the kitchen. This renovation has been in the wind for 6 years and I’m agonising over all the choices I made back in 2006. There’s the opportunity to change everything and I’ve been having sleepless nights trying to work out if I should.
The other day I pulled out all the images I had collected for MY inspiration folder and have decided that I really do still like them all.
So now I’m back on track, the decisions for finishes will be easier.
If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
I am back in designing mode as we are currently working on designs for two very different kitchens.
One is to have a tilt towards the French Provincial style and the other is to be modern and streamlined.
One thing I always love in a kitchen (and lots of other rooms too, really) is symmetry. I always try to balance things up with the same size cabinetry on each side. Like this image with the fridge on one end and the tall cupboards balancing the look on the other end.
This one is pretty good, but I’m a bit worried by only having three glass doors on one side and four on the other. I will sit for hours looking at this image and try to work out a way to even it up.
And this one, whilst it’s a lovely kitchen and I do love the idea of the kitchen table forming the island bench, just feels lopsided to me.
What about you, do you desire symmetry in your home to fuel your sense of balance? Or is asymmetrical alright?
All these images, and more can be found on my Pinterest boards.
If you would like assistance with kitchen or bathroom design for your home, contact us to arrange an online or in-person consultation.
On Wednesday night I had the very delightful pleasure to be invited into Tetsuya’s Masterkitchen for a Masterclass. The evening was hosted by Electrolux. It was a small select group of design bloggers and Electrolux personnel who gathered around the magnificent island bench to watch Tetsuya put the Electrolux induction cooktop through it’s paces.
The kitchen is amazing. Apparently Tetsuya along with Electrolux designers, hand picked the piece of Calacutta marble that covers the island bench. I love this marble with it’s mixture of warm and cool colours.
Another design feature of the kitchen is the tap-less sinks. There are leather knee pads which can be leant on to bring water into the undermount sinks. This all helps in setting the stage. Because this kitchen IS a stage and nothing blocks your view.
During the masterclass the room was filled with wonderful aromas of lobster, foie gras, garlic, ginger, chilli and sesame oil but we were so disappointed that the custom designed and built, Electrolux overhead exhaust worked so well.
The nominal smoke and sumptuous fragrance was quickly sucked away. The exhaust is hidden behind smoked glass which hangs above the island bench.
Tetsuya talked and cooked his way through five dishes. He has been using Electrolux kitchen appliances for over 20 years and has nothing but high praise for them.
He loves the immediacy of induction cooking as well the ability to maintain the same temperature over the entire pan.
He demonstrated this by searing Wagu steak before popping it in the oven at 70C whilst he cooked the other dishes including Chilli Crab, an amazing lobster dish and a colourful chicken dish with couscous.
We then moved into the working kitchen and sat down to an 11 course degustation menu with accompanying wines.
The food was absolutely delicious and included Tetsuya’s signature dish Confit Petuna Ocean Trout with Konbu, Celery and Apple.
In between oohing and aahing over the food, the wine and the busy 7 chefs in the kitchen, we had time to talk amongst ourselves.
The two polite gentlemen from Electrolux, that were seated with us, probably wondered what on earth they had struck. But they regaled us with their knowledge on current kitchen trends and the making of a fridge. Did you know that Electrolux manufactures fridges in New South Wales and Ovens in South Australia? And did you know that an energy efficient fridge uses about the same, if not less, power than a 40 watt bulb?
It was a wonderful night and we left singing the praises of Electrolux and Tetsuya, swinging our sample bags.
Thank you Electrolux!
A couple of years ago, I received a phone call from a home owner in the next suburb. They were about to embark on a major renovation and had decided to hire an interior decorator who could help them with the myriad of decisions that needed to be made. One of the main reasons they contacted me, was that I was local and would be able to help with troubleshooting, as both partners worked full time and had two primary school aged children. The other reason was because I had worked on similar Federation houses in the area and the renovation would be sympathetic to the era of the home and they didn’t want to lose that period feel.
Fast forward to this week and the beautiful kitchen I designed for them is featured in Country Home Ideas.
The kitchen was part of the new extension and as all members of the family like to cook, it was to become the centrepiece of the home. Linda and Kevin knew what they wanted, a sort of cross between French Provincial and Farmhouse style. So I dubbed it the “Farmincial” Kitchen. After designing the layout, we went through every pot, pan and utensil in their kitchen and worked out which would be the best location for them in the new set up.
Linda fell in love with the granite slab which worked beautifully with the existing colour scheme we had chosen for the home. The splashback presented a problem as we liked the look of glass but it was far too modern for the style of kitchen. We didn’t like the traditional ceramic tiles either. Linda had seen an image of a splashback that had two colours and liked the idea of a mixture. So in the end we settled on glass 100 x 100 tiles in 4 colours.
We didn’t want it too contrived, so I asked the tiler if he would just put them up, any old how. He was too scared to be left with that weight on his shoulders, so I drew up a plan and he tiled by colours!
The end result is a beautiful family kitchen that is the main attraction in this fantastic home.
A big thank you to Editor, Margaret and Sub Editor, Zoe for featuring my work and to my wonderful clients, Kevin and Linda for not only being fabulous to work with, but also allowing the magazine to feature them.
If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us to see how we can help.
Well last week it was bathrooms and this week it’s kitchens!
I’m looking at various splashback options and one I can’t go past at the moment is mirror.
If you are thinking of using a mirrored splashback, make sure it’s made of moisture resistant tempered glass. Try a smoked mirror which will soften the look.
If you would like assistance with designing your kitchen, contact us for an on-line or in person consultation.
With the barbecue season hotting up, Electrolux have launched the new E:Volution Barbecue.
Barbecues are synonymous with summer in Australia, where most families cook a meal on the barbecue 2 – 3 times a week. This new barbecue has been designed here in Australia so will complement today’s contemporary outdoor spaces and deliver precise cooking results.
I was fortunate to be at the launch of the E:Volution Barbecue yesterday at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney’s Circular Quay. It was a beautiful day and the view across the quay to the Opera House was sensational.
Chef Ben O’Donoghue put the barbecue through it’s paces and served up a delicious Thai Style BBQ Fish and BBQ Vietnamese Lamb. Ben did say that most people think of barbecues as steak and sausages but there is a whole world of flavours that can just as easily be cooked on the barbecue as they can in the kitchen. And this new barbecue makes it very easy with it’s roasting hood and separate grilling plate.
Most of us love getting outdoors in the warmer weather and what better way to entertain friends and family than with a shared meal outdoors.
Fire up the barbie, gather round the friends and while away the afternoon in your outdoor room.
Thank you Electrolux for a lovely day and the goodie bag wasn’t half bad either!
If you would like assistance creating an outdoor entertaining area to share with your friends and family, contact us to enquire about our design services.
I was very excited and honored to be invited to celebrate the launch of the new Electrolux Compact Steam Oven at a masterclass hosted by world-renowned chef and Electrolux ambassador, Tetsuya Wakada.
There’s a long list of famed restaurants I would like to visit here in Sydney and Tetsuya’s is at the top of the list. So how could I refuse such a wonderful invitation?
It was a treat to see his Masterkitchen, designed especially for him. There is a huge marble island in the centre which houses 2 Electrolux convection cooktops and two sinks. The sinks have knee operated water dispensers. These knee pads are positioned to suit Tetsuya’s knee!
The kitchen, which was designed in collaboration with Electrolux Design team. Tetsuya has been using Electrolux products in his restaurant for the past 20 years and this kitchen features the Electrolux Ebony Collection. These dark appliances were inspired by emerging design trends at Eurocucina back in 2008. They work well with the dark cabinetry and striking marble island.
But the real show was watching Tetsuya demonstrate the new E:Line Steam Oven which has been designed for the domestic kitchen. Tetsuya was very impressed with the steam oven and cooked baby barrumundi and chicken breast fillets. His advice for cooking at home was to only use one pot or one dish which was all that was needed in the oven. I liked that – hardly any washing up!
Tetsuya explained that the technology in these ovens does everything for you. And the best part was you get consistent results. Unlike steaming in traditional methods over a pot of boiling water, the oven keeps the temperature constant. All you have to do is tell the oven what you’re cooking and how much it weighs. The oven calculates the correct temperature, amount of steam and cooking time for you.The Electrolux Compact Steam Oven combines steam, heat and grill functions to bring out the best in food.
Apart from the health benefits steam cooking offers, it is also convenient and enhances the natural taste of fresh produce as the food retains its flavour. The proof was in the eating and I must admit, I couldn’t fault it.
Tetsuya also demonstrated the new E:Motion Trivet allowing wok cooking on induction hobs through an innovative and beautifully designed trivet accessory. The trivet is made of aluminium and can be placed directly on the induction hob.
It will not become hot and will keep the round based wok flat and just above the heat. I wanted a baby trivet to wear as a cuff. It was very stylish. The trivet and wok will be available in Australia in October 2010.
Thank You, Electrolux, for the invitation and Thank You, Tetsuya, for the wonderful lunch.