Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Kitchen Redo

SPACES | "New" Kitchen Sideboard + Bar for the Apartment

SPACES, VINTAGELauren Caron2 Comments

Our kitchen has been a slow going process. Taking months at a time for little tasks to be accomplished. Take our backsplash that I created a whole bunch of hubbub over when I finally had it tiled a few months ago. One of the last projects for this room is the hallway/niche that leads into the kitchen. It's the next space you see when you walk into the door of our apartment if you continue straight rather than turning right to go into the living room. 

Dahlia's from the Farmer's Market | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Dahlia's from the Farmer's Market | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Last winter, Jack and I replaced the glass panels in the cabinets of this niche, to mirrors to bring in more light and to also bring it up a notch in style. We can't afford to replace the cabinets nor do we want to remove them, they're so useful for a small kitchen like the one that we have. We did want to add a little extra storage and to define this space as a place for a sexy bar and perhaps a better showcase surface, so up until recently there was a butcher block bar mounted to the wall below the cabinets. Last weekend, we replaced it with a very exciting "new" piece of furniture!

The new Sideboard installed |  Photograph by Lauren L Caron

The new Sideboard installed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

For months I wanted a credenza or sideboard for this space, but the depth that could fit was less than 21" and it had to have tall enough legs for our dogs to fit underneath. With the bar, we placed their beds underneath when we left them at home. This has become their safe space that acts as a crate. We also replaced the kitchen door with a screen door that we close, so that they have visibility of the entry, living room and front door. This makes them especially happy when they hear a noise at the front door. Which means it's very important to maintain that space as a place for the pups. 

My options were limited but I know that federal style sideboards often have tall legs and are typically narrow in depth. Their original purpose was for formal dining rooms to be used a server, they have drawers to store silverware, serving items and linens. Which is exactly the sort of items I would like for my bar. I also have noticed that there are sometimes really great deals on these pieces since not that many people have formal dining rooms these days. 

Max napping under the new sideboard. A success!  | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Max napping under the new sideboard. A success! | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

One day I happened upon just the right server, just out of my price point at a consignment shop in Massachusetts. I decided, what the heck, I'll put it on watch and if the price comes down to an amount I'd like to spend, I'll figure out how to buy it myself. Two months later I received an email at midnight on the dot, that this server's price had dropped down to $350! Immediately I emailed Momma Judes (my mother) to ask her if she would please, please, please pick up this item if I were to purchase it. We called in the morning and they put the item on hold and my parents drove to outside of Boston to pick it up - I know, they're so nice!

One month later, they finally were able to bring it down to the city on a visit. The three of us, my father, mother and I, with a broken arm spent most of Saturday afternoon drinking rosé and pulling out the bar. It was a little stressful as it always is doing anything in the city. But in the end, it turned out beautifully. Now my mother has #FOMO and is on the hunt for her very own sideboard for her home.

One last improvement I made was to purchase a mildly attractive radio for the dogs. I wanted something that was unapologetically a radio, but also looked pretty good on the counter. This one by Crosley had great ratings on Amazon and fit the bill for size and look.  

Crosley Radio  | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Crosley Radio | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Ultimately, I want to wallpaper the back wall with a fun pattern which will really set it apart from the rest of the kitchen. In a previous kitchen post [here] I created this rendering to show what I was planning do at the time. I'm still thinking along the lines of a fun classic paper, but now I'm narrowing in on the Queen of Spain pattern by Schumacher in silver and white. This paper is so chic and I just love the scale in both large and small spaces, designed by Michael Taylor in 1963 it still feels very modern today.  

Kitchen Rendering  | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Kitchen Rendering | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Another thought is to paper this space with the removable paper from Hygge & West. I'm really loving the Diamante patten since I used it in a project at Bergdorf's. They have just the right color way also. It would make so much more sense if I put this in because it would be so much less work, but we'll see if I can come to a decision.

Diamante Pattern in Grey and White | By Hygge & West

Diamante Pattern in Grey and White | By Hygge & West

Thanks for reading!

TREND | Coveting Copper & Kitchen Updates

TREND, SPACESLauren Caron4 Comments

I've recently had several discussions with friends and acquaintances about how the rosy metal finish of copper is creeping into event design and interiors (mostly in seen kitchens and decorative accessories). Copper pots have long been a standby but the once too rustic or country finish is making a comeback in a more sophisticated and appealing approach. I would credit some of this comfort of the finish to the recent love of brass that came about over the past few years. With the quick turnaround of trends recently, people are clammering for the next best thing, which in turn leaves us to pine for something different. But when you really think about it, there are only so many metal finishes, and most importantly there are really only two tones - warm or cool. Luckily, going forward, I don't think any can be entirely out of fashion as we once projected. My mother loves to use the example of how, when they moved into their house in 1987, Stainless steel was so OUT and looking back over the last 10 years, Stainless Steel appliances were EVERYTHING. I think now it's about a mix. It's not necessarily in fashion to go with all one or the other but to create a smart mix of materials that pair well together. Adding subtle accents of copper will add an extra layer of warmth to your existing cool toned stainless steel appliances, or a touch of romance to table setting at parties and events. 



My Kitchen - The new tea kettle and mills. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

My Kitchen - The new tea kettle and mills. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

My Kitchen - The recent update of my kitchen, with the almost finished backsplash, and the new copper accessories to bring in a touch of warmth. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

My Kitchen - The recent update of my kitchen, with the almost finished backsplash, and the new copper accessories to bring in a touch of warmth. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

As I'm slowly finishing my kitchen (if you follow any of my social media platforms you've seen that I'm unapologetically obsessed with my 35 sq. ft marble backsplash that was installed last month - still not finished, the grout is awaiting it's set) I've also started to slowly invest in 'over 30' accessories, which include an English Simplex copper tea kettle & brass and copper mills (happy finds on Amazon). I'm really excited about how the progress of this space, the back splash gives it a more sophisticated look and the copper accents are warming up all the stainless steel, grays and whites. it's taking an especially long time, I know. I am more eager than anyone to finish it!

Additionally, I'm dreaming of the day when I can finally invest in a new oven and range. I'm not quite sure what that will be, but there are some dreamy options that are not all one finish of stainless steel, black or white. I especially am loving the Lacanche ranges that pair brass knobs, stainless details with a solid colored cooker (I'd go with white, black or anthracite for my kitchen).  Hopefully soon I can do a full kitchen reveal but for now you'll have to enjoy the above teaser.

Want to see the before photos of the apartment, follow this link to what it looked like when we purchased this apartment. 

Or these links of kitchen updates over the years...

Kitchen To Do List

Kitchen Updates: New Microwave 

Kitchen Updates: New Direction 

Kitchen Plans

SPACES | Design Vent: More Kitchen Talk

SPACESLauren CaronComment

Can I just say kitchen design is so difficult! And expensive! Piece by piece I have been working on my kitchen and it seems more like $400 increment by $400 increment I'm making progress. From the appliances to the tiles to the hardware everything seems to cost about that much each time. My next step is finding the right microwave oven. I need to purchase one that can live over our oven, not my favorite look but the best solution for our small kitchen. the one we currently have has been dubbed the Devil of all microwaves. It's seriously possessed. Sometimes it just stops working, and other times it will turn on for no reason. Once, it stopped running and all the numbers lit up to 666666! TRUTH. In addition to its satanic ways the thing is ugly and ill fitting. So I'm on the hunt for a prettier and more angelic option specifically in stainless steel to coordinate with the rest of the appliances.

What I've learned through research is that microwaves are typically deeper than their cabinet neighbors. Why is that? Isn't it strange and annoying. What a terrible design conundrum. I understand that microwaves must be a certain depth to house dishes but why do standard cabinets have to be so shallow? As you can see above in the few nice examples that I've found after scouring Pinterest (check out my board for a few more) that other people have learned to deal with this issue so I must too.

I've narrowed my search down to these three options, and probably will go with the Frigidaire even though I wish the Bosch rated a little better, and was a little more attractive because I'm a sucker for brands and labels and we already have a dishwasher by the same maker. It gives me a weird feeling to mix labels in kitchens. I guess it's more important to buy based on performance and the Frigidaire actually has a great rating and is less expensive.  I also have a Frigidaire range which works great. If you have any feedback or suggestions on other brands, I'd love to hear it.

SPACES | I Have Wall Envy

SPACESLauren CaronComment

First things first. I'd love to completely redo my kitchen and turn it into my dream kitchen but my bank account has made it clear that such a thing can not happen. So I'm counting my pennies and figuring out how I can change the hardware, add shelves, and some dramatic paper. In the future I'll update the counters and add a dishwasher. Then I'll hopefully solve the issue of the ill fitting refrigerator.

In trolling the internet a few months ago I came across this beautiful kitchen papered with the map of Paris. Just before this discovery, we had bought a large multi sheet print of the map for our wedding. But after seeing this kitchen, I decided that this would be the way to utilize the prints. Much like the apartment in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless or Á Bout de Souffle, which I loved from the moment I first saw it. Seriously though, how chic is this kitchen? I know I'm not the only one with wall envy. You really can't go wrong with a map of Paris. I'm also loving other executions shown below.

Thanks for reading . . . my best, Lauren.