I read somewhere that having curly hair is like learning to surrender to the Universe on a daily basis.  Curly girls learn to let go of their dreams (of a good hair day), and either adapt and accept what is given to them (ponytails, hats, and the like), or fight for what they want in life (keratin, flat-irons, Brazilian blow outs).  Wanna talk about grit?  Talk to a Curly Girl.  Growing up in the late 70’s meant my there were no Dove commercials telling me to embrace my God give mane, in fact there were countless ways in which I KNEW my hair was not ever ever ever going to do what I wanted. Despite this, over the years I have done what many women do, and torn images from magazines toting them to the hairdresser like offerings to a deity….perhaps, with this ripped image of Farrah Fawcett and $300, in the hands of this stylist, I too, will have…..wings??? And so it went.  Farrah, the Rachel cut, even Jennifer Beals and her Flash Dance “curls” were elusive to me.  Those aren’t curls, those are waves.  Bitch.

But I digress.  Many a client over the years has come prepared to our appointments with dog-eared, torn out images from House Beautiful, Pottery Barn, and Coastal Living (um, ain’t no Coast like that in midtown Manhattan, but mmkay.)  I actually love when clients do this, because homes are far more amenable to change than curly hair, frankly.  Budgets and certain limitations occur, of course, but for the most part, if you want to give a designer a quick snapshot of what you want your home to look like, PinterestHouzz, catalogs and magazines are not an awful way to start.

My advice to clients would be the same as any good hairstylist might give — know what those limitations are and listen closely to your Designer when he or she tells you what can and cannot happen.  Mansion out of a studio apartment?  No. Grand looking bathroom in said studio, sure!  A good designer will understand what about the picture you love and help you get your own little slice of Catalog Livin’.

Recently, my client decided to renovate her forest green and white 1980’s tiled-to-the-hilt tiny kitchen.  The home was likely built-in the mid to late 60’s, a split level with potential to honor its architecture and stop trying to be a Colonial.  She sent me a photo with the query, “is this even possible”?  Her limitations included some budget concerns, the physical space being about 1/3 of the size of the inspiration photo, and her firm desire to have a coffee bar with a view AND an island.  Take a look below and let me know what you think!

The main elements in the inspiration photo that we brought in were the use of dramatic pendants over the bar, the glass tile in a stack bond pattern, the dark slab cabinet doors, the use of the outdoors coming in, the sleek stove hood, and the simple dowel hardware.







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