Trend Watch Tuesday: Black Kitchens

I knew I was onto something when I noticed the black kitchen by Steven Miller at the 2014 San Francisco Decorator Showcase (also House Beautiful magazine's 2014 Kitchen of the Year). But I guess it took writer David Keep's article in the Wall Street Journal to confirm what I already suspected: black kitchens are trending.

The prevalence of the ubiquitous white kitchen is prompting home owners to crave color for their kitchen cabinets. White is certainly safe. But if you love color as I do, you want more. Black kitchen cabinets satisfy our thirst for color but don't make us worry about resale the same way green, blue or yellow cabinets might. And the great thing about black cabinets is how well they mix with different materials and finishes.


                                                                          photograph courtesy of Remodelista.com

In the kitchen above, by Robert Stillin, black cabinets mix beautifully with carrara marble, butcher block and stainless steel.

In this butler's pantry by Munger Interiors, black pairs perfectly with brass.


                                                           photograph courtesy of Munger Interiors

To avoid a cave-like feeling in a black kitchen, adding reflective surfaces to create light is a must. Upper cabinets with glass fronts help. So too do glossy backsplash tiles and shiny black appliances like these from the Whirlpool Black Ice Collection in the 2014 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year.


                                                       Photography by James Baigrie, courtesy of House Beautiful

The glass upper cabinets below painted white on the inside create light and balance the black exteriors.


Open shelves and white backsplash tile also help to keep a black kitchen from feeling too dark.


                                                     photograph courtesy of CentsationalGirl.com

And a white ceiling and floor on the horizontal planes create balance with black vertical planes.


                                                            Photography by James Baigrie, courtesy of House Beautiful


Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

Next week, school starts in my town and summer will, for all intents and purposes, come to a close. After the winter we had in the Northeast, I am not happy about this. I aim to squeeze every last ounce of heat out of this summer that I can.

I have no idea if there are regular readers of the LGI blog. I do know there are readers (thank you, by the way). But if there are regulars out there (and I would love to know who you are), you may have noticed that I've been MIA. Summer beckoned, and I followed. I love having freedom from the workaday/school schedule. Ninety-eight percent of the time, I write the blog at night. So I've foregone writing this summer to enjoy the extended daylight and family time that summer brings. We've been enjoying late dinners, week-day adventures, and because summer TV is so awful, catching up on some series via On Demand and Netflix. (We finished Homeland and are now into House of Cards. Both, I highly recommend.)

I'll get back to the blog after Labor Day. Or maybe . . . after Indian Summer?


At Last --- Performance Sisal

I've long been a fan of plant-derived natural fiber rugs for the texture they add to interiors. But as anyone who owns one of these rugs knows, they are not meant for areas with heavy traffic and don't hold up well to the wear and tear of the typical family with kids and pets. Despite their rugged appearance, plant-derived natural fiber rugs can be as delicate as some of the finest hand-knotted silk woven rugs (but don't come with that hefty price tag).

At last there is an option for getting high performance natural sisal carpet. Merida has introduced Urbana -- a sisal whose fibers are treated for fire, stain and liquid resistance before being spun and woven into the carpet. Suitable for commercial, hospitality and residential settings, Urbana is available in 5 colorways ranging from natural to dark brown and gray tones. Even better, Urbana is available for Quick Ship in just two to four weeks and can be finished for use as area rugs or laid wall-to-wall.


                                                                   Photo courtesy of Merida

I'm thrilled to have this new product in my arsenal of designer floor coverings. I think I can speak for all interior designers and say, thank you Merida!


Happy 238th birthday, USA!

Can our holiday weekend get here fast enough? I'm sure this week is one of the most popular weeks to take a vacation for residents of the United States. The weather is typically ideal (although those of us from North Carolina and up the east coast are awaiting forecasts whether tropical storm Arthur will hit us). And given the national Independence Day holiday, most businesses will close for at least one day. When you only have a limited number of vacation days, it's a bonus to take a week off but use less than five vacation days.

I'm finally in summer mode. I don't know why, but I always feel energized in summer to get projects in my home done. Maybe it's the longer and unencumbered days that school vacation provides us moms. And for many summers (but not this one), I've had one or more of my kids away at overnight camp. So, in spite of work commitments and the draw of spending hazy, hot and humid days at the beach, I manage to get good stuff done.

With the holiday weekend upon us, it's a good time to show you some of my current favorites in our nation's favorite color scheme. Enjoy!

Top row, left to right: Porcelain Spider's Nest Table by Tucker Robbins; Hex rug by Jill Rosenwald; Navy Bargello Chest by Dana Gibson.

Middle row, left to right: Updated Louis Chair in blue metal from Wisteria; Bistro Napkins from Anthropologie; Independence Toile fabric by Quadrille (photo by John Knott courtesy of House Beautiful).

Bottom row, left to right: Amidships Bulkhead Wall Mount Light Fixture in red by Barnlight Electric; White Lacquer Cube Side Tables by Jonathan Adler; Sapphire USA Map from Z Gallerie.



Laurie Gorelick Interiors News

A slight departure today from the traditional blog post. I just thought I'd share some recent news and activities of Laurie Gorelick Interiors.

Laurie Gorelick Interiors is now a featured designer on Dering Hall. Dering Hall is

"an online marketplace for the finest interior designers, architects, artisans, and design galleries to showcase their work and sell new, high-end home furnishings and accessories. At Dering Hall . . . [o]ur ongoing mission is to assemble a community of the world’s leading creators in one place and to connect them with other designers and savvy, sophisticated consumers."


On Dering Hall's site, you'll be able to follow featured designers (like LGI!) and read curated content about interior design, design products, featured designers and designed spaces.

Laurie Gorelick Interiors ranks 58 on the Decorex100 Power Leaderboard of influential Twitter users in interior design. This is the second year of the Decorex100, a list of interior design influencers compiled by Decorex International, the London design festival which showcases luxury and bespoke furnishings from around the world.

This past weekend, I attended a VIP event at The Vintage Bazaar, an upscale outdoor festival featuring antiques, architectural salvage, vintage jewelry and clothing, original art, and unique artisan crafts. It was a magnificent day to attend this combination flea market and crafts fair near Salisbury Beach on the Massachusetts coast. What better place to gather some cute ideas for vintage and coastal decor than this!

I loved this assemblage of coral and seashells, always a welcome element in seaside homes.


How about these paintings on canvas of nautical flags? Easy enough for a DIYer. Yet perfect for coastal wall decor.


I loved the rusticity of this wall shelf made from repurposed wooden pallets.


And I'm probably behind in recognizing this easy and adorable idea for outdoor (indoor as well) table lighting: a canning jar rack with sand-filled mason jars holding tealights.


Coming up for LGI: I'm taking some little trips this summer. My youngest will be a high school senior this fall, and I'll be taking her to visit some colleges around the northeast and down south. College towns offer some nice opportunities to scope out local vendors and fun finds. What makes summer special for you?