I understand that in certain areas of the country like Fl., Ca., and the S.W. there is an historical and cultural link to Spain, so the architectural heritage of that country enhances our understanding of the past in these areas. But here in N.J. kitchen designers are still pushing miles of tile, corbels, distressing and glazing in an attempt to recreate their idea of Tuscany. I think theme rooms belong at Disney hotels or Graceland. Any thoughts?
I agree with you Charles - hate "theme rooms" when they're over the top and beat you over the head with their "themeiness". If a client likes a certain look (like Tuscany) I prefer to do it with color and maybe a few pieces that might suggest that feel rather than trying to make you feel you've stepped into Italy.
Even here in Longhorn country I will update and smooth out the Texas ranch look so it becomes more Texas elegant but still keeps that "c'mon in y'all" feel. One of my first clients here in Texas was a ranching family who loved rustic (I mean RUSTIC) but decided in their new home to soften it a bit - we did use leather and the husband's office does have a deerhide rug (that's who they are) but we mixed it with custom silk drapes, a beautiful persian rug in the living room, great art and a few other touches. There is no doubt you're in a Texas home but it doesn't feel like you have to move the saddle out of the way to sit down.
A few years ago one of the designers had a show where he did over rooms for people who collected things, and incorporated that into the room. I hated that show - even tho I loved the designer and he did pare down the collections, it was way too much.
I realize this is slightly off your OP subject of kitchens, but it tends to carry all thru a person's house - whatever theme they love is what is going to hit you in the face.
SuzThis message has been edited. Last edited by: doodles64,
I think sometimes that people travel to foreign countries, (that they obviously love) or wish they could travel there, and want to bring a bit of the design back home to remind them?
I loved my trips to Paris, but personally never felt the need to decorate French Country, or pad the bedroom walls with batting and fabric. But maybe some would do this, just to remind them of their travels.
Themes tend to come and go. I'm old enough to remember the Asian influence of the 60's, Early American themes 65? Mediterranean of the early 70's, Country and modern of the 80's, and then...well whatever....
Homes are homes, and personally I cannot understand having a decorator come in and tell one what you should have or not have in furniture styles and actually pick accent art/decor items for your home? However I do understand color being an issue for some as far as choosing compatible wall/floor/window treatments that tie things together.
Mostly I feel it is your home, and if you are paying the mortgage and taxes...do whatever you want. If you choose unwisely in permanent design (nothing is really permanent, however), you will often pay for it when you sell.
I agree with you - no design professional should "dictate" to a client what they should have in the home. Our job is to help the client bring to life the look they want but may not know how to achieve on their own. It is, after all, the client's home. So often we find clients that "know what they want" but just are at a loss as to how to make it look like what's in their head. As for art/decor items - I may bring something in for their approval..or point out that "this" brings in the feel they want better than "that" but I'd never say they HAVE to choose "this" if they really love "that". The relationship between designer/decorator and the client must be based on respect and trust with both parties able to express their feelings and ideas without fear of being made to feel like an idiot.
I do agree that a designer should never tell a client what their style should be. I think with regards to very "themey" kitchens, as a huge dollar investment that affects the equity of the property,kitchen designers could be more sensitive to the architecture of the home. This way regardless of current trends as time goes by, the style of this completely built in space would refelect each houses design and style ,as opposed to selling someone a current trend.
I understand now what you are saying Charles, and mostly agree.
It is like taking a fine built Craftsman style home and try to recreate ultra modern (slick) interiors by removal of wood work, paint surfaces, stainless counters..etc?
Absolutely! If you are a buyer looking for a colonial in New England,even if your furniture was modern you would expect to find milk paint and soapstone in the kitchen, or if you're renovating a craftsman style bungalow the smart decision would be oak cabinets and slate floors, right? Trends are for non structural decorating.I think a good rule of thumb is to respect the architecture and enhance it, don't fight it. Just MHO
I guess the only thing I might disagree with you on is the possibly the decorating issue? To me decorating is anything temporary, reversible, cosmetic, etc. (However: Not removal/disposal of fine crafted woodwork, for example) But painting/glazing walls, changing or covering existing floors, window treatments, lighting or such, are usually fairly easy to change back, in the future.
For another example of agreement with you, DD suggested (because they have a newer/high end 2 story) we should have someone come in and paint all our 1958 light woodwork/doors/trim white to create a more modern look, prior to selling our home. Not a chance! That decision would need to be made by the next owner, and they would probably not do it either, if they are looking for a mid century ranch home.
Funny thing, our new 2006 mountain home has light woodwork too, which we are very pleased with.
if it wern't for designers we'd find tuscan kitchens in california spanish colonials, lol....
In central Texas where I live, you find those garish faux-Tuscan kitchens (and decor) in darn near every house around, often perpetrated by "designers." If I ruled the design world, I would ban this style forever.
LOL. AY - I feel that way about "mid-century modern" and true Victorian.
My pet peeve about "Tuscan design" is that it has no resemblance or any visual connection to any kitchen (or home) in Tuscany I have ever seen. It is such a characterization of an idea. It is totally artificial.
I tend to agree with you Charles D, that themed rooms might be better suited to a Disney hotel. (Personally, I don't think themes are doing Graceland any favors)This message has been edited. Last edited by: cocok,
doodles64...Let me know if what I like is what you don't like ! I like the mix of rat pack era with some of the furmiture of the old **** Van Dyke show. I also like to throw in the ocassional old pc. I have a low back oyster white leather sofa with actual low slung piece in birdeye maple with legs for the fat screen. Not sure what that piece was in the day. Also my chst in the bedroom is light maple bow front chest from I think that around that era. Nice dove tail work. My acc. are fewer but like a gallery. I find it works well over the years.
AS to the original post...I had what I was sold as a Tuscan kitchen until I went to Italy ! I came home and it changed. That was in the 90's.This message has been edited. Last edited by: xsoldier,
HGTV auto censored the first name of the show I refered to lol. The short name for Richard !
xsoldier - the old D Van Dyke show (if I remember correctly) was a pretty good example of what I don't care for - I grew up with all that stuff and altho it was the height of chic then, I really think it's better left in the past. I realize that many people absolutely love it along with those who love the heavy and fussy Victorian furniture. It's simply not my personal preference in style - naturally, a client has the right to anything they want in their own home, but I'm more apt to direct those clients to another decorator who would be able to wholeheartedly and enthusiastically do it up. I really believe that in most cases less is more and would prefer to "suggest" a feeling with a piece or two than go whole hog and beat someone over the head with a particular theme, no matter what it is.
I'm sick to death of over-the-top Tuscan rooms. I thought it was just me. lol
My 2 cents worth is that it depends of the reasoning behind the (real or inspired) Tuscan decor. If one chooses it because it is the latest trend, then they will change again when the next one comes along. If people didn't want to change, designers would be out of business, so of course they are going to promote change. This is good for those who like to change with whatever is trendy at the moment. But if a person truly loves that look, (not because it's trendy) and it makes them happy in their own home, they shouldn't be influenced by the taste of others. True old Tuscan is probably a bit more primitive than what most people want, so they do a Tuscan "version" that is easier to live with.
Sure it's not going to look like real Tuscan.. it's the Americanized version. I'm thinking there's plenty of Italians in NJ - not that one has to be to enjoy the designs. Whether or not the design is "over the top" is probably the real issue. I prefer tuscan to various predecessors.. like the kitchy country with flowery borders, twiggy wreaths etc. I also think "less is more" meaning it's one thing to give a feel of a country or design but beating it to death by cluttering it up with every little thing is another.
Now here's an Italian kitchen design I'd like to use! I just can't afford the house to put it in!
Loving this, also. The simple clean lines appeal to me very much. Love how the appliances are integrated into the cabinets for a seamless look. Not to mention that awesome herringbone patterned floor.
Tho' I'd probably opt for cabinet fronts without all the pattern, unless the panels can be changed out easily when the mood strikes.
Wouldn't that be fun!
Interesting, but my Italian DH and I are trying to figure out what, in that kitchen, is Italian, unless it's just the straight lines.????
Yes, it is the elegant straight lines, among other things in this kitchen, that showcase great Italian modernist kitchen design and which is now seen worldwide: the playful use of color and abstract art, the flush cabinets, the built in appliances, and the sly reference to ancient rough-hewn stone floors with a classic herringbone design.
You are probably familiar with B&B Italia, one of the more prominent purveyors of modernist furnishings, since the 1960s. If not, read more here.
That kitchen pic you posted looks like a Swedish kitchen I saw
I think what we are seeing is what is current, not only in Italy, but also throughout Europe. There is a lot of cross-pollination in modernist design in Europe, which keeps things pretty exciting over there.
I guess you are right but the one thing that really appealed to me was the floor in the Swedish kitchen and it was just like this one .The cabinet color was slightly different but mostly the same look ,but the floor I loved .
forgot to add it was very hard to clean the floor and keep it clean .You had to wear socks ,shoes and bare feet left trace marks .But socks made you slip and slide
Interesting, thank you.
all I can say is OMG , wont be in my house
I like the floor and the clean lines in that pic, but the pattern on the cabinets made me dizzy and nauseous just looking at 'em (LOL)...
...and I'm a person who loves color and pattern and animal print, btw.
Wasn't that kitchen on an episode of Bang for your Buck?
I, personally, hated it but that's why there are so many way to design for the many different personalities and tastes. I don't have to have that in my house.
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