Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Chinoiserie Kitchen

Bungalow 5

I love this kitchen. I will never ever tire of a beautiful white kitchen. I have dreams of a white kitchen with marble counters in my next house. In my last house in Virginia, I had Corian which was hot when we bought the home and is having a bit of a resurgence now. It is so easy to live with and I loved it. In this house I opted for quartz in a marble look-a-like - Silestone Calacatta. It is such a classic.

With my late husband who was a coffee drinker and red wine drinker, and then Golf Guy who is likewise a coffee and red wine drinker and messy as well, I was too nervous about marble. I have been really happy with how easy care the quartz is, but it's not marble.

This kitchen is gorgeous. I love the Bungalow 5 Frances Elkins style loop counter and breakfast table chairs, the white and brass pendants, and of course the blue and white Chinese porcelain filled with flowers.

I love the combination of Frances Elkins loop chairs and Chinoiserie and a bit of history. I grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois. My favorite store was Marsall Field's and most of my clothes as a child came from there. They opened their first branch in Lake Forest in 1928 because they lived there. Famous architect David Adler and sister Frances Elkins designed many of the great homes of Lake Forest and the first four loop chairs Frances designed in 1932 went to Mrs. Marsall Field's Long Island home.

I can't see what the counter material is, but I am not sure I like the visual of the black cooktop on the island. I think I might have chosen a white glass cooktop so as to not have that large rectangle of black in this white space.

Aerin Lauder - Elle Decor

Here is another wonderful white kitchen featuring Frances Elkins loop chairs. Also saving this for my new home file - I love the blue walls and pale blue ceiling and the lithograph by Ellsworth Kelly. This is in her East Hampton home.

Although you don't see a lot of blue walls in a kitchen, in a beach house I like this look a lot.

Did any of you choose marble countertops and are you happy with your decision?

12 comments:

  1. A very serene kitchen indeed. I love the Elkins loop chairs, but you can tell that they really can't be used at the counter unless there is a special compressor which flattens the thighs. (Maybe not such a bad idea!) I have struggled with finding counter stools that are comfy to 6'5" man and me, 5'5" (and shrinking me. While I love the look of marble, I opted for stainless steel and maple butcher block counters in my kitchen redo. I think people who love marble have to have a "let it be" kind of personality. I cried when my stainless counter got its first "patina" mark, knowing it was going to get worse before it became its imperfect self.

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    1. The loop chair is actually a great design and has a wide seat making it comfortable for both large men and petite women. I would love to use it either as a counter chair or dining chair. And yes, not sure if I can deal with the whole patina thing with marble. I am a bit too much of a perfectionist. Quartz is pretty indestructible.

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  2. The dorm I lived in at UC Berkeley, Stern Hall, was decorated by Frances Elkins. Stephen Salny's book, Frances Elkins Interior Design, has a picture of the chairs in the dining room which Frances designed. A different style but interesting. Living there was a wonderful introduction to interior design.

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  3. The chairs are certainly beautiful. Thank you for the introduction to Frances Elkins. I had never heard of her.

    I actually have a wet bar with a marble countertop. The wet bar gets a lot of use, and I have to say that if I had it to do over again, I would definitely choose another type of surface. Marble does not retain that clean, polished look without lots of routine maintenance, which can be quite costly. I also have large marble tiles in my shower stall and on my sink countertop in one bathroom. When I saw them, it was love at first sight, so I had to have them. They are sort of a softly hued sunset color, which is a color that I happen to love. Maybe because of the lighting in the bathroom, I am not as bothered by the etching.

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    1. Thanks for your insights. I guess that's why quartz is so hot - you can get a marble look without the maintenance and problems. I have quartz all over this house and do like it, but to me it has a somewhat plastic look to it.

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  4. I believe the loop chair was designed for the Wheeler house? Also Adler, of course;-)

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  5. The decision to choose marble vs. engineered stone is omnipresent. When building my house, I gave this lots of research, thought and discussion with others before going with quartz (Zodiac Valente Pearl). Even after you decide which option (quartz or marble) there are a million faux marbles to choose from. My head was spinning! I am most pleased with my choice that I used in both the MBa and the kitchen. After 18 months in the house, this cleans so well and always looks fresh and new; just wipe down with a wet cloth, maybe a little countertop spray. Gorgeous. Many commented to me that true marble is just so much better. With aging it will produce a "patina" like no other. Sorry, marble eventually looks dingy, dull and just plain worn. And there is the staining, etching and general lackluster that will eventually appear. I have been in many hotels with lots of aging marble in the bathrooms. Not a good look. In the master bath, I chose a faux marble porcelain tile for the flooring and in the shower space and am so glad I did. With the looming humidity and moisture here in Florida, marble just seemed wrong as a selection although the tile salespeople will laud this...more $$$$. As I understand it, A HD photo is taken of real marble and then somehow inserted into the porcelain. Honestly, people have a peek into my bathroom and are unable to see the difference. Perhaps when you get right up on it, a trained eye would see a bit of discrepancy there. Easy to clean and maintain! This was a factor in my selection of all materials for my house.

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    1. Thanks for all this. I used Silestone Eternal Calacatta Gold in the kitchen for counters and backsplash and in the master bath for the counters and I like it. Can't say I love it. The marble look porcelain tiles I like very much if I end up redoing bathrooms in the new house.

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  6. Beautiful. The Ellsworth Kelly looks too big for the space though

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    1. I have seen the kitchen styled with a different piece of art. It is dramatic.

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