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San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011–The Kitchen & Cookbook Nook

san francisco showcase kitchen

{image via SF Gate}

San Francisco-based interior designer, Tish Key blended old and new elements when designing the kitchen in this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The completely remodeled galley-style kitchen features traditional pecan floors with a modern, glossy white painted ceiling.

kitchen clock tile backsplash range designer

Tish kept the original brick archway and added a state-of-the-art stainless steel range with sparkling white marble mosaic backsplash. Inset in the tiles, is a large Roman numeral clock that is fully functional.

kitchen cabinet sf decorator showhouse 2011

The clean-line, white cabinets showcase sleek pulls and large octagon knobs {which are actually door knobs} in polished nickel. Above is a detail of some open shelving that is backlit in a soft blue light.

calacutta marble sink waterworks faucet
Beautiful calacutta marble is used for the sink and surrounding counter. The faucet, by Waterworks is kept simple. Vintage Campbell Soup can lining the window add a splash of color and nod to the past.

blue lava stone countertops kitchen

Cobalt blue lava stone countertops flank the sink and again add that “new” element to the space.

breakfast nook SF decorator showcase kitchen

The sweet breakfast area is positioned next to an old stained glass bowed window which faces the front of the house. The area is also warmed by the chocolate wallcovering by Donghia. The vintage dining table is anchored with a simple white chandelier. The relaxed Roman shade in a Katie Leede & Company fabric adds a fresh, fun pop of blue that plays off of the colorful wall art.

san francisco showhouse cookbook nook

Just off the kitchen, sits a sweet, yet sophisticated “Cookbook Nook.” Designed by Brian Dittmar, the cozy spot is tucked underneath the home’s grand, curved staircase. Like the kitchen, Brian incorporates a bit of old and new in the space. A dark, 1930s Swedish Art Deco Secretaire desk is the perfect scale for the room. Above hands a playful vintage-inspired poster {“Phoebe the Lettuce Queen” by Cassandria Blackmore} – a nice tribute to the beautiful, modern woman that does it all!

lee jofa lounge chair kelly wearstler trimmed pillow

In the bay window, an inviting lounge chair is covered in a modern gray mohair with contrasting welt by and topped with opulent silk pillows {fabrics from Kravet & Lee Jofa}. The beautiful detailed trim in the yellow silk pillow is by Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa. The floor length drapes are made in an exquisite fabric by Oscar De La Renta {also for Lee Jofa} that pulls together the saffron and gray color palette nicely. In the corner a floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcase houses a collection of cookbooks, a small television and other decorative treasures. This room is a gem.

In case you missed it, here are some more images of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011. Located at 2950 Vallejo Street on one of the most coveted blocks in San Francisco, the showhouse is open to the public now until May 30, 2011.

Today, I am also blogging over at Michaela Noelle’s and sharing what I love & what I don’t.

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Read full story By on May 4, 2011 in breakfast nooks, interior design, kitchens, textiles, upholstery

Infusing Yellow in Your Color Scheme and Interior Design by Amanda Nisbet

Yellow is the color of some of my favorite things including sunshine, lemons and bumblebees. New York-based interior designer and one of my personal favorites, Amanda Nisbet knows how to design a space with the color yellow. In some instances she uses this cheerful hue as the primary color and other times as an accent. Following Nisbet’s work as a guide, here are some ideas on how you can infuse yellow into your space’s color palette.

In this elegant sunny living room, Nisbet keeps the color scheme warm – yellows, neutrals and accents of red. She selects neutral tans and browns for the upholstered furniture and natural woven rug.

Nisbet selects a soft canary yellow like Farrow & Ball’s Dayroom Yellow for room’s walls. She coordinates the window floor-length draperies to match.

Nisbet also bring the color palette together in throw pillows and accessories. This Citrus Swirl Throw Pillow from Pieces would do the trick.

In this stunning living space Nisbet pairs golden yellow with neutrals and accents of teal and melon. Yum! Various shades of yellow are picked up in the room’s walls, console table, throw pillows, draperies and accessories.

Nisbet frames the French doors beautifully in floor length buttercup draperies. To achieve this look, consider a fabric like Peter Fasano’s Vallelunga in Dijion to add a splash of color and interest to your windows.

Picking up additional citrus hues, the sweet bench behind the sofa is upholstered in Amanda Nisbet’s own fabric collection available through Holland & Sherry. The Chip 2 pattern in Tutti Fruitti would also look fabulous on an armchair!

A linen Lemon Rope Throw Pillow available at Pieces in a neutral shade armchair would mimic Nisbet’s inspirational look nicely.

Nisbet creates an upbeat modern white and raspberry girl’s bedroom with bright accents in citron yellow, turquoise and orange. It’s darling. Notice how she consciously places bits of yellow throughout the room, but not next to each other.

To achieve this look, simply add splashes of bright yellow and repeat it in small accessories once or twice. A Garden Stoolwould pull in the yellow accent color beautifully while being multifunctional – use it as a chair or table.


Pair the garden stool with accessories like this handmade, glazed ceramic Double Yellow Parrots to repeat the accent color. These darling feathered friends would look fabulous atop a contrasting side table, but would get lost if near or on the garden stool in the same hue.

In this chic contemporary living area, Nisbet pairs neutral walls and upholstered furniture with black and yellow accents. She selects dramatic golden floor length drapery – similar to Durlee’s Sungold fabric below. Nisbet repeats the color in an armchair on the opposite side of the room and lamp shades placed throughout.

An upholstered chair is always a great place to add an accent color.

This romantic tufted Earl Chaisein citrus by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams would be a great choice.

Like in the Nisbet living room example, adding a table lamp like this Yellow Faux Bamboo Lampis a perfect way to pull yellow accents to your room.

In this living room, Nisbet combines yellow with deep reds and neutrals to create a warm color palette. She has the wall painted a bright yellow while placing an area rug in a more subdued, muted tone. In addition, Nisbet splashes yellow accents in the throw pillows and ottoman.

This exquisite silk and wool Marigold Tulip Rug by Galbraith & Paulwould be a lovely way to pull in a muted yellow tone into your room.

Nisbet creates a sunny breakfast nook by painting the walls and upholstering the bench and chairs in citron yellow. Love those lucite chairs!

Instead of paint, wallpaper is another option for adding color to your room’s wall. I love this sweet Bumble Bee Wallpaperfrom Farrow & Ball and think it would look great in a breakfast nook.

Which of the cheeful rooms designed by Amanda Nisbet is your favorite?

*images from Amanda Nisbet, Pieces, Tonic Home, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, Duralee, Decorati

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Read full story By on September 30, 2009 in breakfast nooks, color, girl's bedroom, home accessories, interior design, living rooms

East Hampton Dream Kitchen by Phoebe Howard

OK, this might be it – my dream kitchen! This casual, yet elegant East Hampton kitchen was designed by Florida’s self-taught Phoebe Howard. With her husband and fellow decorator Jim, they own an interior design firm, James Michael Howard Interiors and southern retail chain stores, Mrs. Howard and Max & Co. What a dynamic duo!

The neutral color palette and high ceilings give this grand eat-in kitchen a welcoming and peaceful feeling. The kitchen’s glass-fronted cabinets, marble counter tops and white subway tile back splash contrast nicely with all the wood in the space. I also like that all the wooden elements – table & chair, flooring, ceiling and cabinetry – are different hues.

Tucked in between large windows, the kitchen nook’s custom upholstered “sofa” benches are inviting. The pair of square wooden tables can be easily moved around to suit the home owner’s needs. What a fun place to enjoy a cup of morning tea!

If you need more kitchen nook inspiration, take a look at one of my earlier posts.

This gourmet kitchen has all the modern amenities including two sinks – one double sink located on the island and one farm sink under a window. A large professional-grade range and hood take center stage.

The stainless-steel appliances, polished hardware and pendant lighting fixtures provide contemporary elements in an otherwise traditional space.

The large kitchen island offers plenty of counter space for food prep, loads of storage and additional seating.

What a delightful space for entertaining. Love, love, love it.

*all images from Phoebe Howard
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Read full story By on July 7, 2009 in breakfast nooks, furniture, interior design, kitchens, lighting

Back to Basics – Breakfast Nooks

image from

Love, love, love the breakfast nook. They are practical, inviting and social. This fabulous nook is in the Manhattan apartment of New York’s very talented designer, Amanda Nisbet. I love how she brilliantly combines multiple styles with stainless steel chairs, fuschia floral upholstered bench and mahogany table.

I am a huge fan of black and white kitchens. This one found in House Beautiful and designed by Carleton Varney is striking with black & white Unity and Embrace baskets from Rwanda against the white wall (Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White). The black Catalina Chairs from Ficks Reed are divine.

This airy kitchen banquette by NY designer, Evelyn Benatar combines traditional, contemporary and retro styles. The crystal lighting fixture is my favorite element. And one suggestion – add a chair with an upholstered cushion in a fun modern blue & brown print to the table.

This breakfast nook in action was designed by Markham Roberts for this late-19th-century Southampton home is as comfortable as it is functional. He upholstered the bench in durable cotton strie. Image from House Beautiful.

What’s for breakfast?

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Read full story By on June 14, 2009 in breakfast nooks, chairs, interior design, kitchens