We are adding a new series into our blog, Insider’s Insight,where we are sharing thoughts, tips and trends from some of the top thought leaders in the design industry.
Barbara Sallick is co-founder of Waterworks, one of the world’s most prestigious makers of luxury design goods. I personally love the quality and craftsmanship found throughout the Waterworks’ plumbing line, and I am amazed at all Barbara has accomplished over her lifetime.
Enjoy below, as Barbara shares some practical advice for creating a kitchen you will love and appreciate for years to come.
You have one of the most admired kitchen and bath brands in the industry. What’s the secret?
The secret to staying in business for 40 years and maintaining brand leadership is to consistently deliver innovative and authentic product, outstanding experiences, and impeccable service.
I am familiar with the rigor that goes into designing, engineering and manufacturing all of our products. There is such a high level of integrity and craftsmanship in creating things that are timeless and meant to last a lifetime.
What is your most important piece of advice when renovating a kitchen?
Plan carefully. Do your research long before you set foot in a kitchen showroom or talk to a cabinetmaker. Only thoughtful preparation will allow you achieve the results you have dreamt about.
What’s the trick to creating a timeless kitchen?
You need to pay close attention to function and style. Your kitchen layout must flow easily. The design should be both practical and personal.
You should use the finest, most honest materials you can afford—things that will only become more beautiful with age.
But(and here’s the trick), you must first look back and think about the kitchens you’ve loved and were happiest in during your life.
Remember how you felt in those rooms and think about how their design contributed to that feeling. Then, through your design choices, try to recreate that emotion in your own new kitchen.
In your opinion, what should people splurge on in their kitchen?
First, use amazing hardware, it is the jewelry of the kitchen.
Next, select a high-grade sturdy sink and faucet together; they are the hardest working appliance in the kitchen.
Finally, do something special on your backsplash. Please don’t follow the trend and use white 3 x 6 tile.
What 3 things should every kitchen have?
Every kitchen should have a faucet that is comfortable to use. You will turn it on/off multiple times a day. This is the practical must-have.
The room should have a beautiful backsplash. This is the decorative must-have.
Your kitchen also requires a range of lighting choices, including general illumination, decorative accents, and—most important—task lighting. The way you layer lighting plays a big part in creating a kitchen that is personal and brings you joy.
What color palettes are you loving for kitchens and baths at the moment?
I am seeing lots of dark blue and, most especially, I see a mix of two colors. Either the top cabinets are light and the bottom are dark or the perimeter cabinets are all one color and the island is something different.
In my own kitchen, I used a mix of Waterworks paint colors—pale whisper gray on the upper cabinets to make the space feel wider, and navy for the lower cabinets.
What do you love most about your kitchen?
I love that my sink is in the island placing me squarely in the middle of the kitchen. I am, therefore, in the center of all activity—cooking, visiting, and looking out at my beautiful terrace.
Even though it is a small space, it has the kind of charm and functionality that make it the perfect classic and timeless kitchen.
What is one thing you absolutely can’t live without?
I never thought this was important, but having all of the cabinet interiors with pull-out trays is essential. There is no digging around and everything I have is visible. And, natural light is essential.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with our Industry Insider, Barbara Sallick. I particularly enjoyed how she emphasized to buy the finest materials you can afford as they will only become more beautiful over time.
To learn more, pick up Barbara’s book, The Perfect Kitchen.
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your insight. Cheers, friends, to creating your perfect kitchen.
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Are there other ladies out there who despise bathing suit shopping as much as me?
I was in St. Thomas last week, and as I wore my old bathing suits, I decided to make it a priority to find a few I felt comfortable in for the next beach trip.
I thought I would share a few that stood out to me. Hopefully, you too will see something that you like and makes you feel good. Prices range from $39 to $225.
1 Ted Baker Plunge One Piece Swimsuit $139 This plunging neckline, one-piece swimsuit is a classic that is also daring. Available in three colors, though you can never go wrong with black. Buy here.
2. Robin Piccone Harper Cover-Up Tunic $98 Airy and easy for the beach is this semi-sheer cover up. I love that it has the open shoulder, which is a popular look this season. Buy here.
3. Ted Baker Ruffle One-Piece $169 This asymmetrical ruffle suit is unique yet classic. To me, it looks more expensive than it is. Buy here.
4. L Space Ridin’ High Serina Rib Bikini Top and Bottoms $183 Still rockin’ the bikini? Sleek and simple with a stylish high neck top, this is a good one. With people mixing bikinis these days, you can always put the top with bottoms that offer more coverage if needed. Buy the pieces here and here.
5. Elan V-Back Cover-Up Maxi Dress $58 I love the versatility of this dress. It’s light weight and easy to throw on for the beach or for lunch. Buy here.
6. Halogen Straw Panama Hat $39 The older I become, the more important I realize it is to cover my face while in the sun. I am not a sun goddess-my white skin gives me away. A hat has become a must have for me while at the beach or the pool, and I love how the versatility (and price) of this one. Buy here.
7. Robin Piccone Side Split Cover-Up Pants $78 These chic pants can take you from the beach to lunch in no time.Buy here.
8. Linum Herringbone Striped Turkish Towel $34 You can’t go wrong with a Turkish towel, and this one can be worn as a sorong or used as a towel. It comes in seven different colors. Buy here.
9. Ted Baker Halter One-Piece $149 This bathing suit comes in two colors and has a gold embellishment at the top to give a more dressy feel. Buy here.
10. Halogen Floppy Hat $39 This wide-brimmed, floppy sun hat is a staple for any summer wardrobe-and at a great price point. Buy here.
11. Vix Swimwear Cover-Up Caftan $163 Instantly get into beach mode with this light weight cover-up that goes with anything. Buy here.
12.Tory Burch ‘Lipsi’ Underwire One-Piece $225 This color-blocked swimsuit is classic in style and has a fun pattern. Buy here.
13. Robin Piccone Ava Bikini Top $110 This fun, flirty bikini top with cut outs is cute and fresh. Buy here.
14. Hinge ZigZag Woven Sun Hat $49 Like a subtle pattern? This hat is for you with its black and white zigzag pattern. Buy here.
15. MiracleSuit Jena One-Shoulder One-Piece $162 This is my favorite bathing suit in this post, and I plan on ordering it myself. I love how it isn’t a full one piece, but it gives more coverage than a bikini. It also looks more expensive than its price point. Buy here.
Let me know what you think of these options and if any appeal to you. Hopefully, the next time you see me at the beach, I will look a little more stylish than my past trip.
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How would you like a complete room designed by us but with the option to complete the space in a timeframe your budget and schedule allow?
If this interests you, then the new service we are offering, Design Online, is for YOU!
What is Design Online?
Design Online is a great way for us to customize a room in your home according to your timeframe and budget, without us ever stepping foot in your door. You provide us with your budget, detailed measurements, pictures of your space, inspiration photos, and answers to a questionnaire we send over to you. Within four to six weeks, we send you a pretty little package filled with a floor plan, color scheme, lighting, furniture selections, accessories, and fabric swatches with all of the design specifications and information needed for you to implement the plan.
Here is an example of a family room we created. You will receive something similar with all of the specifications mentioned above.
The great news is that no distance between us matters, as this service is all online!
Also, don’t forget we also offer a one time 3.5 hour consult. This has been a fun addition to the scope of our work as I mostly do full room or home design. I’ve been doing a lot of these recently, and the clients seem to be getting a lot out of our time together. Click here to read more.
Think either of these may be the right service for you? Send us an email at email@example.com, and let’s get started!
Summer is here and I find myself cleaning. Cleaning out drawers, wiping down drawers, etc… Makes me happy!
And while I preach to throw away or give away things that you don’t love or are not using, I know there are times when you want to keep certain things just to keep.
I thought I would rerun this post from a few years ago on how to display your clutter stuff ……. Here goes….
The holidays are over, and who isn’t looking for a few ways to declutter their home? It’s easy to discard the items you don’t use, but what about the knick knacks you love and want to display?
Do your “special” items look like a pile of mess to others? If so, what should you do?
Create a few vignettes in your home.
Start with your big items, such as the painting, sconces, lamps, and urn in this picture. Next, stagger your accessories throughout, making sure you balance out each side. Notice how they did not forget the space under the console.
What a great job they did of taking family keepsakes, which, after all, make a house a home, and displaying them in a beautiful way.
How about adding in a few of your personal items when entertaining? At this client’s home, instead of just setting out her china and everyday, we decided to mix it up a bit.
Speaking of entertaining……
What do you do for all of the silver and crystal you have crammed into your cabinets?
Display it as we did in this client’s home. Here, we mixed in some of her silver pieces with her crystal and pottery. Everything has its place, and it is beautiful!
When creating a focal point, whether it is a vignette or glass cabinet, don’t forget to layer and add different textures.
So, the key is to make the space your own by displaying your items in a neat, organized way.
Even when there is a family pet involved- such as the frog for this family- can you display it in a clever way.
I thought I would share with you a project we began a few months ago.
It is for a cute, fun family of four who purchased a new home earlier this year. Like many who recently move, they had several empty rooms where their existing furniture did not fit nor fill.
I have known them for several years, and they are the best. Their two children are teenagers (one is in college), so they wanted a rooms with edge but that could stand lots of fun and casual entertaining among all ages.
Below is the furniture layout for the family room. It is a large room, and our goal was to make good use of the space while giving lots of seating for football games and movies around the television.
The homeowners love blue and wanted bright colors so we kept these things in mind when selecting fabrics for the room. I love all the textures in these fabrics as they will help create depth and dimension in the room. These colors scream cozy and inviting to me. What about you?
We also created a layout for their dining room.
We pulled darker browns and gray tones for the fabrics in their dining room. The richness in these fabrics will create a more dramatic feel that isn’t too overpowering, with sheers lining two of the walls. Again, lots of edge (an upholstered table ) but a casual, functional space to create memories with friends.
I am excited to see these rooms come to fruition. Stay tuned for more pictures of the finished product as we will be installing next month.
Are you the type of person who likes to work on your home, but you don’t trust yourself to always make the best selections when it comes to the interiors?
As I mentioned a few months back, I have begun offering a one time 3.5 hour consult package. It’s perfect for those who want to do the legwork on their own but need a detailed plan to follow.
After all, your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and you want to make sure you spend your investment wisely.
How this consult works is simple. Before we meet, I have you send over a detailed list of what you would like to cover in our time together so I have an idea of what YOU want to accomplish. When I am there, we go over your questions as well as any other suggestion I would make if it was my own home. We can discuss design dilemmas, furniture arrangements, fabric swatches, paint colors, to knock down a wall or not– you name it!
After our meeting, you will receive a detailed synopsis from me of what was discussed and a list of all we discussed for your entire home. This allows you to maximize your time with me while I take notes and write down all the specifics for you to implement at a later date.
This service has gone over really well and the feedback I have received is amazing. Here is what a few people have had to say:
“I thoroughly enjoyed our hours together and felt that our time was very productive.”
“I love your style and believe you have a real gift for scale, color, layout and practicality. I have been checking out your website pics, FB, and Pinterest sites for more ideas. Love! Love!”
Another super organized client found the overall plan helpful:
“The plan you created has been incredibly helpful. The biggest benefit was paint colors! The palette you helped us choose for the entire home has proven to be beautiful and very versatile as we continue to buy furniture and get ‘settled’.”
If you think this is something that might be helpful to you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I look forward to helping you come up with a plan for your home-
I came upon this outfit as I was doing a little online shopping and while I love the outfit, I love the colors for an interior even more.
Lilac, pink, and gray are big colors right now and I think this color palette would be beautiful in a bedroom. I love how peaceful and serene these colors read together, but the pop of color can really make a room come alive.
What colors are you into these days? I would love to hear from you.
Have a good one,
When it comes to designing and decorating your home, you want to do it right the first time, and there is some advice given out often that, in my opinion, needs to be ignored.
It usually comes from a builder, a worker on your home, or a well-intentioned friend. Trust your gut, or better yet, hire a designer you can trust with one of the largest investments (your home) you will ever make.
So here goes…. A few pieces of friendly advice you should ignore:
1. Don’t paint your brick – If you have a new or cookie cutter brick home and you used the standard brick you see everywhere, painting your brick can be one of the best things you can do to make it look a little more custom. Yes, you cannot go back, but who would want to when it’s the mass produced brick you see so much of these days? Painted brick is so pretty to me and it is a great way to give your home a new, cohesive look. See how gorgeous this home is below?
It is the home of Milieu editor, Pamela Pierce, as seen in Veranda magazine. If you have not checked out Milieu, you must do so as it does not disappoint.
2. Using 6″ recess cans throughout a space– Heard of a swiss cheese ceiling? Yep, this is exactly what I mean.
If you must incorporate recess, use the smaller ones that provide lots of light from a small bulb. Yes, the smaller recess cost more than the typical 5″-6″ builder cans often speced, but the look far outweighs the cost. Use dimmers to soften the lighting, and use a variety of different types of lighting to create warmth and layering. Table and floor lamps that direct light in the living areas is best. It allows you to see things better, puts a nicer light on your face, and illuminates the colors and textures in your furnishings better.
3. Selecting granite over marble because you do not think marble is durable- This one is a BIG one and I am constantly having to educate my clients about this stone.
I can only hope I am aging as well as marble does, because to me, there is nothing prettier than a well worn piece of marble after several years have passed. I have had it in my house for almost eight years, and trust me, we live hard inuse my kitchen and bathrooms. And guess what? Do not tell my dirty little secret, but we are not the neatest group either.
The key is to choose a honed marble so etching wont take place if something hot is placed on it, and if you like red wine, don’t leave it spilled on the counter for days on end. If something does happen and the stain bothers you (which it shouldn’t- it’s called patina), the material can always be resurfaced.
4. Hanging artwork too high– Keep the center of your artwork at eye level or a little lower to create intimacy in a space. In a room where people will mostly be sitting, artwork should be hung a little lower.
5. Arranging all of your furniture against the walls– You never want to create a furniture arrangement that makes conversation difficult. If you have a room that is big enough, be creative and float your sofa and add a couple of sitting ares to the space. A sofa can look great off of the wall, so use open spaces to be creative and create intimacy.
What advice have you been given when it comes to your house that you wish you’d ignored? I’d love to hear from you so please share!
I am thrilled to share with you that DWI has received some great coverage in several publications over the past month.
I am excited to have been selected as a member of Coastal Living and Southern Living‘s Designer Network. The design network is made up of a group of editorially recommended designers for readers of these publications. I am thankful to be one of three designers from Alabama to be selected in this group, and I look forward to the opportunity to connect with readers of these magazines.
Hunter Douglas asked Traditional Home readers to chose from the 10 up- and- coming New Trad designers whose work they most admire. As I’ve shared with you, I am honored to have been selected, and appreciate all of the support.
Traditional Home also shared the results from the Ethan Allen virtual mood board contest based on a local landmark. If you’ll remember, I created a family room inspired by Vulcan Park and Museum. Thanks to nearly 7,000 votes from you, I won. Thank you!
If you haven’t already seen these publications, check them out.