Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Ivy above 6 Feet!

Last night we had a great crowd at our my weekly evening event. The discussion and visual display centered around the quandary of what to put on top of your kitchen cupboards. This is a question that I am often asked...

I guess the easier approach is what not to put on top your kitchen cupboards:
  • fake ivy
  • stuffed (soft sculpture) anything
  • country cute cutouts
  • anything that looks like you have to water it
  • dolls of any kind
My suggestions for acceptable (and desirable) ideas for this purpose were:

  • collections of cream-ware pitchers and tureens
  • large fruit sculptures
  • platters and plate hung in mass
  • collections of old hotel silver
  • leaning trays with objects
I had the idea for this class while at the last Atlanta Market and purchased a collection of cool cream and white pitchers, tureens, and numbered lidded jars and creamers. Examples of placement, scale, and techniques were discussed. Some class members brought photos of problem areas and I critiqued, as well as gave solutions and creative suggestions for each customer's kitchen.

We also viewed photos of unusual "kitchen art" I will call it. Kitchens are areas that can easily end up predictable or trite in design...or, boring! With as much time as we spend in our kitchens, let's make them as entertaining and personal as we can.

This is the cream-ware collection that I purchased for use in the class. Various sizes and shapes, unified by color and scale for interest. Note how the handles are turned in towards the center for persentation. Layering and staggered depths are important as well. (I love the numbered lidded jars)! We also discussed adding a piece of furniture into the kitchen for interest. Glass kitchen cabinets can also be treated with the same kind of collections.

Several examples of my vintage hotel silver from various angles. (I have been thinking of taking this all down...I'm a bit bored with it. But, during the discussion, I rethought it, as I do love it!

I also added into the mix small pressed glass pitchers and creamers. A bit of history, and a favorite collection.

When designing your kitchen art, think a little outside the box. I used this vintage large-scaled frame with it's original glass, and used decorative tacks to place this stamped tea-towel directly to the wall. Then, I placed the frame with glass directly over it. Above the frame are a meat fork and knife, found at our local antique flea market.

Most of you know about my love of plates! Layering mirrors with platters and plates (in this case, a butter pat with a "T" of course!) draws the eye upward and completes the wall.

Several years ago, after designing the most engaging butler's pantry for The Jr. League of Greater Princeton's Designer House, I was inspired to re-create the look in my own dining room. This idea would work equally as well in your kitchen. Collect vintage empty frames, and hang your collecltible plates, platters, butter pats and/or silver.

I use this extra large silver platter for a piece of art when it is not in use for serving! Hung with an very wide velvet ribbon, it remains accessible for use when needed. Directly underneath is another oval frame (note the exposed wire) with a collection of vintage specialty forks! Center stage is a lettuce fork, one of my prized favorites. These are mounted to the wall with the tiny-est of brads, delicately placed. It takes some finesse, but it's easy to do. I recommend laying your design out on the floor, taking a digital photo of it, and using that as your template for transfering to the wall. You will be surprised at how quickly you forget your design once several of the elements have been taken from the mix.

We had a great crowd and a lively discussion. Partipants are offered 20% off purchases throughout the store the night of the event, and I generally bake a treat for us to share. Last night, we sampled one of the delishious cookie mixes with chocolate filling from Stonewall Kitchen. YUM! Super easy and super good...but then, what isn't good when chocolate and pure butter are combined!

More events are scheduled throughout the holiday season and can be viewed on the website or by coming into the store. Hope you can join us next time!


Charlotte said...

This sounds like such a fun evening! I love every single idea here. On top of my kitchen cupboards, I think I'm going to arrange my many "C"s.

Denise said...

I will definitely be passing on the No Ivy Above 6 Ft. rule to several of my clients.

Maryann S said...

Thank you, Susan, for another great event - they are always so much fun! Love your style and great ideas. Can't wait for the holiday events!

Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.