Friday, July 13, 2007

Reader Q & A - For Julian

Disclaimer: When preparing this post I did it under the assumption Julian was a she, but he's not. He is a he. He is currently away and I hope will have a chuckle at my expense when he returns. In the meantime, I will be working on putting together some suggestions for his kitchen from a male perspective. Feel free to use these ideas for your own if you have a kitchen with warm wooden floors and creamy yellow paint. My apologies to Julian. :)

Julian, who is a chef and has blog that will make you gain weight by just looking at it, wrote in with this query:

Alrighty, Ms. Grey -- my sister turned me on to your blog (which I, too, enjoy) and having seen the advice you gave Meetu, I'm submitting myself to your obvious good taste to suggest what will give my newly configured kitchen (I'm a Chef so I almost live in it!) that "Wow factor!, that "joie de vivre" it seems to be lacking. And yes, that white fridge has got to go! :)

Thanks in advance!

Julian, since you're a chef and your kitchen is your office I sort of splurged, working with the idea you can write it off on your taxes :) The total cost is still under $440.00, but I did include a budget option for under $240.00.

First up is Julian's lovely new kitchen. What a beautiful floor and such lovely cabinets. My theory is always to begin with the art and choose your colors from there. It's much easier to find colors to match a piece of art you love rather than trying to find a piece of art you love to match your colors. Did that make sense?

The work of art I chose for this room is Elesavet Lawson's owl series. They're actually 4 individual 8 x 10 paintings framed and priced at $250.00 each. Definitely a great investment.

If you'd like to choose the budget route you can buy this print in the form of a note card from Pretty Darn Swell. It is sold two per package with a package of other cards for $20.00. I would buy two packages, that would give you four prints to frame. I would hang them as a pair or in a trifecta, depending upon their actual size, down the wall to the right of the kitchen sink.

From there I think Crate & Barrel's Chalet Rug for $21.95 would warm up the floor even more and make a cushy spot to stand for the dishes.

A great working accessory is this ice blue colander for $16.00 from ebay seller retail4ullc. A nice pop of blue on top of the dark green counters.

I would bring the mustard color in via the canisters. Since she's a chef I felt a more heavy duty canister was required so I chose the Saffron Gold Kitchen Canisters from Accents of Salado - $89.00 for a set of 3.

Another great working accessory is the Infinity Pepper Grinder from Crate & Barrel for $24.95.

And last, two of these striped tea towels from for $18.00 each.

And that's pretty much what I would do. Your kitchen has great bones, it just needed some color. :) Feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments below.


G said...

Some great ideas again! I like this feature.

By the way, a minor detail - "she" is a he. Julian is a boy's name. At least my little boy's name so I just love it as well.

Of course a fresh little camper the first day of camp exclaimed "Julian! That's a girl's name!" Anyway, bottom line, your taste is impeccable. Sorry to go on so, I'll go now :)

Another Shade of Grey said...

Oh my goodness. I just went back and scoured his blog and he is a HE! He did not tell me he was a he! And he signed it Jules. I, too, am called Jules. I just assumed, which we all know what that makes me.

I highly doubt HE will find this very appealing. I am so embarrassed. :)

susan said...

He....she....I'm sure the advice will be very welcome, as it's GOOD! Artwork in a kitchen is a huge thing with me, I'm so glad to see it is the first thing you mention! I think your ideas are right on!

There are another few opportunities, depending on how much he wants to add. for example, either a window treatment hung from the ceiling over the window, or, say, decorative dishes on the wall, could look great as you enter the kitchen.

Also, the side of the island is so blank you could put a towel holder on the side of it with those two towels or something else.

The backsplash above the short splash could be light blue/green mosaic tile, taken from that beautiful color in the artwork.

I love the whole color scheme direction!

susan said...

"..decorative dishes..." meaning a few hung above the window.

Another Shade of Grey said...

Great suggestions Susan. Keep them coming. :)

corine said...

Those Owls are just howling at me to buy them! (Okay, that was cheap.) Seriouly, I love those prints, and the colander. I think this is a great exercise. Maybe Julien (always a boy name in French) should send his pictures to other d├ęcor blogs and see what they come up with.

Chef Jules said...

Ms. Grey, you are an absolute sweetheart (and that's in addition to your great taste)! I'm not offended in the least about the gender identity mix up. I inadvertantly did the same to someone else a couple weeks ago. It happens, and it's always a hoot.

I love your suggestions (and appreciate those from the others, too). I'm pleased with the kitchen but thus far the consensus has been that it's very bland. I really want to add art, and admire your choices (my sister, too, thinks you have fabulous taste -- she buys so many of your Etsy choices). So I will, as per your suggestion add some art and "punches" of color to breathe some life into it!

Thank you again, Jules :). Really enjoy your blog. Have a great day.

Another Shade of Grey said...

Corine, I'm sure Julian would love to have any advice he can get. :) The owls are a hoot if I say so myself and I'm strongly considering buying them for myself.

Julian, you are so kind. Thanks for overlooking my gaffe. I am definitely not going to short change you. I am putting something new together. :)

In the meantime, anyone else who would like to try their hand at putting something together for Julian sign up here with a link to your blog and the post. :)

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