Monday, June 30, 2014

Favorite Celebrity Kitchens

We recently fell in love with a celebrity kitchen slideshow over at Architectural Digest. What is it about kitchens that puts designers in a tailspin of euphoria? If we had a week of spare time maybe we could come up with an exhaustive list. The list would be massive and we're still not confident that we would be able to come up with a complete list. After all, new pieces, products and design possibilities are developed every day. That exhaustive list would become an exhaustive job as we try to keep up with the ever changing potential of kitchens. And we aren't the only ones who love kitchens. Here at J. Douglas Design, we have found that even those who are not natural born chefs, care deeply about the look and functionality of their kitchen. We think this quote sums up the reason pretty succinctly:
The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family. -Mario Batali
Here are a few of our favorite celebrity kitchens.

Ellen and Portia's kitchen makes use of light in such a unique and enchanting way. Ditching typical wall cabinets for a hanging glass display helps to disperse the warm ambient light from the window over the sink. 

Hank Azaria's kitchen mixes rustic and contemporary elements. The reclaimed wood of the island is balanced by the sleek stainless steel appliances. Of course, a white kitchen is always a beautiful classic look. 

This minimalistic and ultra bright kitchen belongs to the one and only Sting. The inclusion of organic elements in the rattan chair and hardwood floor really appeals to us. 

What features to you love about these kitchens? What don't they have that you would require in a kitchen of your own? Tell us in the comments. 

Oh, and if you're needing help with your kitchen redesign, look no further. Our design services is just what you need.

Photography credit: Architectural Digest.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Top 5 Most Memorable Movie Set Interior Designs

Americans love movies! We love to be entertained in all kinds of ways, but a trip to the movies is at the top of that list. So today, we thought we'd share some of our favorite, most memorable movie set interior designs.
Gone With the Wind

The epic drama chronicling the Civil War from the point of view of Southern heroine Scarlett O'Hara offers some beautiful examples of traditional Southern interior design. Grand portraits, elaborate gilded furniture, gorgeous chandeliers for lighting, cozy sofas by the fireplace. What's not to love?

Something's Gotta Give

The Hampton beach house movie set of Something's Gotta Give was a huge hit and created a wave of requests for kitchens and living rooms that looked just like it. The entire house was treated as if it was itself a character in the movie. "The real challenge was to deliver the 'character' of the house - a great Hamptons house, beautiful, but not overly designed" shared Rubino. We found ourselves drooling...obviously she did her job well.

You've Got Mail

Who doesn't want a cozy, comfy home just like Kathleen Kelly’s in You've Got Mail? From the exterior of the NYC brownstone to every nook and cranny of the inside, cottage charm permeates every stitch of fabric, every wall, and every little detail.

The Help

The Help made our list, not because we love 60s pink bathrooms but because the film effectively displays several decades of interior design by allowing us to see inside several homes of the time. Celia's plantation home has a kitchen stuck in the 30s. Hilly's home, shown above, is a classic colonial style home demonstrating her obsession with perfection. Skeeter's loved and lived in house combines class with the comforts of having a home where love abounds. There's something here for everyone. The set designers Mark Ricker and Rena DeAngelo, had 47 sets to dress.

A Single Man

Set during the 1960s, in a gorgeous John Lautner house, the interior design is just superb. It boasts brilliant examples of blending the traditional with the futuristic. Resulting in a set that is both artistic and visually stimulating. It's not really a surprise to learn that the geniuses behind the Emmy winning show 'Mad Men' were in charge of production design.

The set above is the boudoir of Julianne Moore's character. Note that just this room alone includes traditional design elements like use of various textures (the chair vs. everything else), current trends (ikat print), use of focal points (the dressing table and mirror), use of targeted lighting with the window and lamps. When it comes to modern movies, A Single Man, showcases everything we love about the use of interior design in the movies. It really doesn't get better than this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Color Theory and Interior Design - Part I

In any visual art, including interior design - color theory is a very important set of concepts that rule how the hues of a finished work impact the overall outcome of the project. Sometimes, it's also about mixing colors.

For a painter, it's very important to be so familiar with color that you know exactly what colors to mix together and how much of each color - to the colors you see in real life.

Auguste Renoir was known as one of the greatest of the French Impressionists, and for very good reason. Like the other painters of his genre and period - he rarely used black or white, rather used a never ending array of more obscure color.

He was able to model his subjects in light and shade with only the colors of his paint. Mixing and using dark, deep blues and browns instead of solid black, and simple tints of cream and other pastels instead of stark white - he, and the other Impressionists became the masters of light and shade - and 'Painters of Life'. They painted what they saw, and they knew how to open their eyes to see the world around them, and apply the simple rules of color theory to mix the colors they saw.

Certainly, when we speak of interior design, we are most definitely speaking of a visual art. Over the course of the next few months, we'll chat about some basic rules of color theory that effect the outcome of the design of an interior space, and explain why and how it applies.

Color theory doesn't just end with knowing how to mix paint like Renoir and other painters throughout history.

For an interior designer, it means knowing how to use color - to enhance the light, the shade, the mood and energy of a space. It's simply knowing how to COMBINE the colors in an area without invoking a heart attack or blurred vision.

(I promise this can happen when you mix the wrong colors! Well, ok, maybe I am being a little dramatic - maybe it won't cause full-blown cardiac arrest - but one part of color theory - simultaneous contrast - which we'll go into more detail later - can definitely blur one's vision, and is the source of many graphic/visual illusions - and must be dealt with carefully with regard to the visual art of interior design. Check out the link above for some color fun.)

So as we start on our journey to learn more about color, we should start with the basic color wheel.

Notice there is no black or white. This is because - all color - is actually light. This is why it's called a 'spectrum' of color, because it's the color of the light along the spectrum that actually allows the eye to see color.

So - from now on, when someone tells you their favorite color is 'white' - you can retort with, "hmmm.... that's funny - because white is not actually a color - it's presence of ALL light." - and likewise, if they say "black" is their hue of choice, you can say, "But black is not a hue at all! It's absence of ALL light!". It's true! Black occurs when there is NO light, and white occurs when there is ALL light. The colors in between are the 'spectrum' of light in between.

Think of a rainbow, there's no black or white on a rainbow. It's simply because there IS light, but not ALL light. You're seeing the spectrum in the middle.

The other parts of the color wheel you learned in kindergarten, but might have forgotten. You've got your PRIMARY colors (yellow, red, and blue) - these are the 'parents' of ALL colors. (Yes, even colors have families, parents and children! We'll get into parent colors and how to see them later on.) From yellow, red and blue come the SECONDARY colors: orange, green and violet. When you take the primary colors, and mix them with the secondary colors - it breaks the wheel down even further with TERTIARY colors such as red-orange, blue-green, yellow-green and so on. They can be broken down even more, into millions of hues.

Colors exactly OPPOSITE each other on the color wheel are called COMPLIMENTARY colors - and when used together in full strength (pure hue) - that's when simultaneous contrast can occur. We'll talk a little more about simultaneous contrast, tints, shades and using colors together in a space next time. This was just a primer on the basics.

So what did we learn? Black and white: NOT colors. Primary colors: they're the super-parents of all color. And Renoir: was one hip Impressionist who knew how to mix some mad paint.

Check back in a few weeks for Color Theory and Interior Design - Part II where we'll go into some more concepts, and start tying in tips and tricks of using color in an interior design.