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16 Jul

Kitchen Week: Kaveri Singh

Welcome to Kitchen Week!  Culled from submitted entries, the week-long series focus on five artists with extraordinary projects.  For the first time ever, each artist and five readers are receiving prizes for their beautiful artworks. Look to the end for today’s sponsor and your chance to win! Our Kitchen Week starts with an old friend of Fauxology, Los Angeles-based Kaveri Singh, who has previously been featured in our Powder Room Week series.  She and her partner, TJ, starts us off with a strong, richly colored  and personal project.  She recounts the gorgeous commission.

Santa Ynez. Rolling yellow California meadows, nestled among the blue grey hills, the gentle fog a backdrop for lazy cows; time here seems to stand still. The neat rows of grape vines bear silent witness to the wonderful blue house on the hill, a little gem of indigo. I remember walking up with TJ and feeling happy, excited for this wonderful adventure that awaited us, an interior that spoke to our Indian roots, a client unafraid of color, pushing to break the barriers of beige.

The designer on the project, Joanna Poitier of JSP Interiors, has known the clients for many years and her one directive was that this house had to be filled with color.

The clients, Sam and her husband Eric, who own Coghlan Jewelry in nearby Los Olivos, are both jewelry designers and so the rich colors of gems were the order of the day.   The kitchen is the heart of the house and with two young boys and a love of cooking that they both share, the island took center stage. The island was a giant butcher block where the family could roll out pizzas that would be cooked in the built in pizza oven and they could spend time together cooking, sipping wine and entertaining friends…looking out at the rolling lines of grapevines that surround the house. TJ and I pored over books from India and decided that what was a must was to create a typical Indian arch detail that would go in the bookcase at the end of the island.

The walls were finished with a deep turquoise Venetian plaster, with aged turquoise blue baseboards. The rest of the kitchen was done in a multi-layered finish of cream with bits of a darker espresso base. On the other side of the pizza oven, Joanna and Sam wanted to incorporate a stand-alone cabinet so we mimicked the details of the bookcase along with the arches and columns that would again reflect the Indian arches.

Closeup of the multi-layer cream and espresso cabinets above (love the different knobs!) and the turquoise Venetian Plaster and decorative painting over the pizza oven below.

The inspiration for the designs on the island, around which the entire kitchen flowed, came from Sanganeri prints from Rajasthan. These detailed bootah prints, done in vibrant colors of emerald green and blue, were the main design elements on the doors. Reminiscent of inlaid designs from the Taj, it seemed appropriate, as gems are an integral part of Sam and Eric’s lives. The columns were more in the style of Gujarati furniture and the combination seemed appropriate since the Sanganeri designs are an amalgamation of elements from Gujarat and Malwa.

 Close-up below

Traditionally, Sanganeri prints are done on a white ground. However, it was an image of a craved block drenched in blue and green dye that was the inspiration for the palette. There is a certain rhythm to these traditional color combinations, and I discovered that with every use of a cool color there had to be one that was warm. Even colors that where analogous, one leaned a little warmer than the other. It was this balanced use of hot and cool vibrant colors, always reined in with a use of a cool white or cream that really established the balance in the room. Hence the use of a hot pink cabinet against a cool turquoise made it in some way to make sense.

To see more of the entire home, click on a recent feature by Seasons Santa Barbara. One could imagine this inventive kitchen, on the gentle slopes of a California landscape, on the dusty, exotic sands of Rajasthan.  In an unusual and happy way, it was a perfect fit for a creative young couple.

 ~  ~  ~

Isn’t the kitchen spectacular? Kaveri is an incredible talent! Please do visit her site to see more of her projects and learn more about her Los Angeles studio at her website, Kaveri Singh Artworks.

For her winning submission for Kitchen Week, Kaveri will receive a Twisted Roller (value $65) from today’s sponsor Faux Design Studio.  Would you like to win this prize as well? Scroll right below or click here!

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16 Jul

Kitchen Week Sponsor: Faux Design Studio [Giveaway Closed]

Faux Design Studio is an incredible decorative arts school in Chicago whose head instructor, Sheri Zeman, is continually introducing new, cutting-edge techniques and products in the field of faux finishing and decorative painting.  Faux Design Studio is a Certified Training Center and retail distributor of the complete Faux Effects International Gold and Silver label product line and offer a full lne of professional faux finishing supplies and tools.

Today’s Prize to Kitchen Week artist Kaveri Singh and Giveaway to one lucky reader is a Twisted Roller (value $65) which produces wonderful woven effects easily and effortlessly for various finishes, including plasters.

G  I  V  E  A  W  A  Y

Sheri Zeman creates many of her beautiful finishes and backgrounds with the Twisted Roller and it has become a favorite with decorative painters, artists and faux finishers.  The above striking blue plaster finish, Pacific, showcases just one technique created with the texture roller.  She will soon be teaching at the IDAL Convention and the Faux Retreat!

For your chance to win a $65 Twisted Roller…

Leave a comment on this post after visiting Faux Design Studio and share what you love about Sheri, her studio and/or let us know which of her classes appeals to you the most!

But that’s not all! You have FOUR MORE chances to win…

  1. Follow Faux Design Studio on Facebook
  2. Subscribe to the Faux Design Studio newsletter
  3. Follow Fauxology on Facebook

Each time you do one of these, leave us a comment on this blog post letting us know you did.  So, you can leave up to four individual comments on this blog post to enhance your chances of winning — please note that comments left on Facebook, Twitter or other posts or sites will not count towards this prize.

The Giveaway is open to everyone and one winner will be chosen at random from the comments.  Deadline: Midnight on Monday, July 23, 2012.

All winners will be announced August 1, 2012.

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11 Jul

Wood Plank Walls

One can’t help but notice the surroundings when a room has wood plank walls.  They can provide a rustic, warm appearance and most look better when the color is fading elegantly or has a nice distress to it. Of course, having wood panels can go horribly wrong but these images showcase how they can be magnificent as well.  Let’s take a look…

Seriously. I love everything about this space. I especially like how the rustic areas play off against the more formal elements, like the gold-framed portrait and the mirror.  Plus, the same look going into the ceiling?  Yes, please.  This was featured in the Spanish mag, Nuevo Estilo.

(above) A dark, distressed beauty of a background featured in the book Flowers for the Home and (below) a mix of color, size and direction, via Apartment Therapy, makes a great accent wall.

So cool, right?  It’s the Ace Hotel in Portland and Hotel Chic did a great feature on it.

(above) Great use of color!  I even feel uplifted just looking at it — imagine being there!  Same goes for the room below, as featured in Nuevo Estilo. Wonderful windows and light fixtures!

Coastal Living shares a beachside beauty photographed by Richard Leo Johnson. Love how it’s styled for the shoot, too!

Wood plank walls add so much great character — whether painted with lush, full coats or given a rough luxe feel with a more transparent stain or color.  Many even use reclaimed materials to create the wood paneled walls in their home.  Do you like the look?  Do tell!

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04 Jul

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope Everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July!

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25 Jun

Ca’ d’Zan – Part One

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I just got back from the Haven Conference and it was a wonderful time! Lots of bloggers, lots of information, lots of new friends. I also recently spent time at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL which encompasses the grand home Ca’ d’Zan in the same complex.  We recently profiled their gardens and statuaries.

Walking up to Ca' d'Zan with a pair of sphinxes leading the way.

Ca’ d’Zan is frequently described as the last of the Gilded Age Mansions built in America.  It was built in 1924 by John and Mable Ringling with architect Dwight James Baum.  It is 200 feet long and encompasses 36,000 square feet.  (You can see Mr. Ringling here in front of the home.)  It cost 1.5 million at the time and in 2002 it underwent a 6-year, 15 million dollar renovation.

The architecture is called Venetian Gothic and you can see the influence Venice had in its construction, including being right on the water (in this case, Sarasota Bay).   In the Venetian dialect, Ca’ d’Zan translates to “House of John”.

Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy by Claude Monet

Ca' d'Zan patterned after the Doge's Palace

The pavement of the terrace is both imported and domestic marble laid in a chevron pattern.

The view into Sarasota Bay

I’m going to break up the interior into several posts but here’s a peek at some special areas…

Gilded doors in the Foyer

Close-up of the gilded doors.

There are some areas that are less ornate than others.  Below is the Breakfast Room.  Great windows, no?  Also, I enjoy the colors in the room — the checkered black and white marble flooring extends quite a bit around the first floor.

Of course, the less ornate areas are far and few in between.  Gilding and ornamental artistry abound.  The paneled walnut ceilings after the painting below are in the State Dining Room.

The Game Room below is in the third floor.  The Commedia dell’ Arte-inspired mural encompasses the entire ceiling and was painted by Hungarian artist Willy Pogany.  It includes John and Mable Ringling in costume, dancing couples, figures in masks and festive gondolas representing carnival life in Venice.

This image photographed by Giovanni Lunardi.  Here’s another angle and a few close-ups.

If you’d like to see and learn more about Ca’ d’Zan, the Ringling library has an excellent article and there’s also a virtual tour.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this initial post — the remaining rooms to be covered have extraordinary decorative painting and design to share. Can’t wait to put those posts together!

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18 Jun

Ringling Museum of Art: Gardens & Statuaries

Travels 5 Comments by Regina

I live in Orlando and for years have been planning to go see the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL.  On Memorial Day weekend, my family and I were going to St. Augustine but a tropical storm was bearing down that way and so we decided to head to the altogether opposite coast, Sarasota.  (Everyone in my family takes storms seriously.)

I do want to say that the name, Ringling Museum of Art, may have some misdirection.  There is so much more to this “attraction” — it leads one to believe it is simply one museum but it’s actually the former residence of John and Mable Ringling (of circus fame) whose vast residential complex of 20 acres was gifted to the State of Florida and is now open year-round to visitors.  They have incredible gardens and statuaries as well as two museums (Art and Circus, the latter surprisingly entertaining), a historic theater and the Ca d’Zan mansion.  I originally thought it was going to be one blog post but after spending the day there, realized it would take several. We start today with the Gardens & Statuaries.

  Wandering around, you see beautiful statues, flowers, ponds and trees. There are over 200 varieties of trees and over 40,000 plantings.

Click to Enlarge

On the right above, you will see a banyan tree that is part of the Millenium Tree Trail.  Banyan trees are fascinating – if you will see the top right of the right pic above, a branch is growing out of existing branch and travelling downwards into the ground. Once there, they dig in, take root and become stronger by forming a “new” tree.  This is how the banyan tree grows and takes over an area.  Below, you will see how it has taken over a statue in its path.

I’ve put close-ups below.  As the tree grows, you can see it encroaching other statues.  It’s quite disconcerting and in my active imagination, I could almost hear the stone angel-child hopelessly crying for help in a despairing, breath-deprived stone-rasping-on-stone voice.

Click to Enlarge

There is also a beautiful rose garden that was completed in 1913.  It is 27,225 square feet and is patterned after “a traditional Italian circular garden design”. The roses were blooming while we were there and the fragrance was intoxicating.  What a beautiful experience!

The Museum of Art itself has an amazing center courtyard filled with bronze replicas of Greek and Roman sculptures.  With great music playing and lively chatter, a local company was setting up an evening wedding reception while we were there.

One tiny corner of the courtyard...

Reception preparations are underway.  You can see a bronze cast of Michelangelo’s David right behind the (rather huge) screen.  Below is one of the trees where chandeliers (can you see it?) and lanterns were being hung.  The photo doesn’t do it justice but it was so, so pretty.  I literally wanted to hide in a closet somewhere just so I could just see the evening reception in all its glory but my family nixed that idea.  [@#%$#&!!!!!!!! Ahem.]

Lovely light fixtures being hung from the trees. Imagine them lit up romantically at night...

The Dwarf Garden is a very pretty walkway with statues of dwarves – some are serious, others are playful and most look like they have just the right amount of mischief planned to make you uneasy.  [Have you ever seen a Dr. Who episode called "Blink"? You won't ever trust a statue again. Yes, I know it's not real...but I'm not going down into the basement if I hear a noise either. ]  One wrong turn and you might miss this — it’s a bit hidden.

The Dwarf Garden

Mable Ringling oversaw the construction of the complex with architect, Dwight James Baum.  She also created a secret garden for herself, where she would entertain her friends.  She wasn’t known to seek the spotlight in society and so I can just imagine how this area might be just the right speed for her.  A peek is below.

Please do be sure to visit the Ringling website for more information on the entire complex but know I will be providing some information in the individual posts as well.  We have the museums, theater and mansion to get through yet.  In 2000, the estate was turned over from the State of Florida to Florida State University, which established Ringling as one of the largest museum/university complexes in the nation and saved it from certain ruin.  (Visiting the estate supports FSU, not the Ringling Circus — I just want to point that out.)  Whenever I talk about it, everyone who has visited joins in on the rhapsodic chorus — I haven’t heard of a disappointed visitor yet.  If you are in Sarasota, please do consider making this part of your itinerary. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and that you enjoy the upcoming ones. Have a great day, Everyone!


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15 Jun

The Color Next Door

I imagine that a love of color has caused some to look around their spaces and say “Hey…what about the door?” — and I applaud them.  I gathered up a few pics with pleasantly surprising colors and styles.


Not for everyone, I know — but I love the commitment to keeping a finish going throughout the room.  This is by Deuce Cities Henhouse.


Another space that continues the wall treatment up to and including the door, this time with horizontal stripes.  Love it!  Designed by Emily Elizabeth Interior Design.

“Make strong colors stand out by introducing them in small doses. Painting accents in one or two bold hues is an old island trick.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, Coastal Living!

I’ve seen black and white stripes in a foyer but I admit, I’m really enjoying them on the door.  This door and that foyer I mentioned are both in this post by Apartment Therapy.


Here’s another striking variation of the black and white color scheme via Likainen Parketti.

This is a pocket door — what a fun surprise it would be to slide this one out!  This was done by designer Amanda Happé and featured in Design Sponge.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It’s always nice to see a door given a little bit (or a lot) of attention.  Doors are usually what we use the most in a home so why wouldn’t we make them as engaging as possible? It would give new meaning to “Enter with a Happy Heart”.  Have a great weekend, Everyone!

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