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Please help me finish the kitchen!
Luciana
December 31, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We've moved about 4 weeks ago in to the house we've been redoing for 14 months! can't tell you how happy I am that all is (almost) finished.
The 'almost' is what I need help with. The kitchen extension, and kitchen itself, looks great (I think!). We initially planned the space to include a 'chill out' zone at the back, with a sofa and a large TV; but we realised it's a bit too much, as we have a cinema room in the basement, cable in the living room and bedrooms - and we rarely watch tv!
The other idea was to include a dining table (we have a rather nice glass one) but with the chairs it looked out of place somehow and we decided we don't want it any more. And as our 'after Xmas' party (buffet style) was a success, we realised we can live (happily!) with a folding table (you can probably tell we don't have kids).

My question again is: what shall I do with that space? Get a large TV with a low stand and a couple of shelves/ cabinets? Or try again the dining table (maybe with some ghost chairs). Or maybe you houzzers could come up with an entirely different idea... Pretty please, help.
Oh and a great New Year to you all!! (got to run get dressed now!)
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designideas4me
sounds like you dont need another tv area. I decided to put a low console and my stereo across from my couch which is also across from my kitchen. Why put a tv there if you dont watch much and have several. How much room is under those slanted windows and what is there now?
December 31, 2012 at 2:46pm   
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marymarsh000
May I ask what those pendants lights in the middle of the room are for? How big is the empty space?
December 31, 2012 at 2:46pm   
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carolannr
I think you should try to find a small table and chairs that's in your style without being overly stuffy if only to provide an occasional spot for a dinner with guests that doesn't involve a crowd.
December 31, 2012 at 2:49pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
Well, people lived a long time without TV, so you don't have to put one here.

How about some bookcases and more seating? I do think a nice little eating, game table by the window would be nice, and has a totally different vibe from eating at a counter. And extra work space might be nice for the holidays. Maybe even a craft area (with a screen?), or a computer area, or anything else you would like to do while cooking and socializing. An exercise/meditation area, or a gardening area to take advantage of all that nice sun? Anyway, something that can be pushed aside or used in more than one way when you entertain.

How about a pool table with a top that can be used for a buffet or dining?
December 31, 2012 at 2:50pm     
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Luciana
Trying to get ready for this party, I realised I didn't show photos of the other side, so I'll upload some now. Mary, the space is about 4 by 6 meters (I think that is 15 by 20 feet)
December 31, 2012 at 3:00pm   
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karen paul interiors
I would run a rectangular table perpendicular to the Wassily chair wall. Hang a piece of art and find 4 chairs (2 each side of table). Once you place your chairs on the other side of the area and anchor the table with a piece of art, you won't find the chairs/bar stools too much. IF you can return one of your bar stools, I would recommend that for the sake of more visual space and having odd numbers is always better. I'm guessing the two lamps are hanging in anticipation of having a dining table? They are quite handsome but unfortunately they should come down. Your red needs to be pulled down to the other end of the room for the sake of balance. Doesn't have to be much. Perhaps a little in a rug or some red in your piece of art? Doesn't really matter long as you can get a color triangle going with your red. So far you have red in upper cabinets and then you swing over to the bar stool area, so your next destination is around the proposed table/chairs position. Good luck!
December 31, 2012 at 3:04pm     
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Michelle Mink
This might be one of those situations where less is more. It may be that you don't need anything else for the space other than what you have right in the room.

Consider making this area into a lounge - without the tv.

Firstly, hang your art. Most likely this would look best with a large piece or pair of smaller pieces between each of the light fixtures, but be sure to hang the art on both sides of the room - the long wall behind where the sofa is located now and the short wall on the other side near the sliding glass doors. Even though there are no wall lights on the opposite side of the room, do try to space the art similarly. Think "art gallery style". Imagine a line running horizontally around the room at eye level and center your art top to bottom on this line. DO NOT hang your art too high. This is a common error. Hanging art on both sides of the room will help it feel cohesive.

Then, pull your sectional more into the center of the room away from the wall and float it in the center of the room. You may even want to separate the sectional (if that's possible) while keeping the footstool portion in the middle with one section on each side. From the picture, it seems like the footstool could work very well with the 2 portions separated. The curves on each side will accomodate the reverse curve on each side of the coffee-table/footstool.

The only difficulty I see with this plan is the pendant lights you have hanging from the ceiling. I can't tell from the picture if the one closest to the couch would be centered over the footstool or not - which would be ideal. If it isn't centered consider having your electrician move it. An even easier fix would be to simply have the pendants raised up closer to the ceiling so they seem more like ceiling lights.

This would help accomplish your original plan of having a "hangout" space and, really, there is no need for a tv or any other furniture for that matter. Keep the space open and simple. Others will have a place to lounge while you put the finishing touches on dinner.
December 31, 2012 at 3:41pm     
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Michelle Mink
Another idea for the lighting would be to simply replace the existing pendants with ones identical to those over the bar. If you feel you really need more furniture in the space, consider a black console or buffet along the wall which has no wall lights and add a pair of lamps in a style to match the room. This could be used for more "buffet-style" parties and storage of party supplies. Happy New Year!!

[houzz=Danenberg Design]

[houzz=Karla Trincanello, NJ CID, ASID Allied]
December 31, 2012 at 3:51pm   
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karen paul interiors
I posted before I saw your other photos. Agree with Michelle.
December 31, 2012 at 3:56pm   
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Luciana
Happy New Year to all!! and thank you so much for your fast answers! As always, it seems Houzzers are here to help with great ideas.
And just to answer to a few of those: Victoria, great ideas! what you don't know is that we have over 5000 books, a whole room as a library, half of the office room has books, at least one bookshelf in each room - I really would like to keep the kitchen without! I think my other half would love your idea about a pool table - although I never saw him play - but he got the cinema room as his man-den, so I'm not telling him your suggestion.
Karen, great thinking about the red, I would clearly think about those lines of tie the space together; the sofa is screaming for some other colour cushions - I need to do some shopping soon.
Michelle, give me 5 minutes please.
In the meanwhile, I'll post some photos with our books....
January 1, 2013 at 8:33am     
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Luciana
Michelle, I like the idea of using the space as a lounge, I did split the sofa in two and arranged it as you suggested - but it still look a bit bare. I know I have to hang the pictures soon (don't like putting nails in new plaster), thank you for giving me tips about that! I would have loved to hire a designer as we were renovating the house, but my other half said we don't need to, he'd trust my 'artistic eye' and I didn't insist. However, although overall we love the final result , I know a professional would have
come up with ideas that would never cross our minds and probably helped with selling people too (I had to bully the kitchen seller to do the island in a 'grand piano' shape; he was annoyingly insisting on the 'functionality of the classical rectangular' (arrrr!!)

I like your suggestion about a black console or sideboard - one thing I realised with this party is that we could use a drink cabinet or bar (at the moment having the wine in the basement and spirits in one of the kitchen cupboard). Maybe a fancy wine cooler... I'd have to look into it.
WOW!! I like this idea more and more - I could have a bar there with other sitting, as Victoria suggested and a shelf with cocktail-making books. Although I would have to make it not to look like another island; I'll start looking for photos to inspire me - anything you could suggest?
January 1, 2013 at 8:49am   
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Michele makes a great point and just because you have a sitting room doesn't mean you need a TV. T area that is just for conversation is a nice room. The TV inhibits conversation.
January 1, 2013 at 8:51am   
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carolannr
Love all your books! It seems to me that your kitchen area is so open and shiny even with the seating you have. How about adding some (4) upholstered chairs around a round coffee table to the bar idea?
January 1, 2013 at 9:05am     
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karen paul interiors
To Luciana. The best way to figure out if an area works as it needs to is to have a party. Some of my best ideas come from bringing real life situations to fruition and then I can know what gaps exist and how I can improve the space to embrace the way I actually live.
January 1, 2013 at 9:56am     
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Michelle Mink
Whatever you decide to do with that side wall, I would suggest that you keep the idea of an "art gallery" in mind. The furnishings/accessories you currently have in the room are strongly suggestive of this theme. Even your kitchen is very "artsy".

For the buffet/bar, I would suggest three ideas. The first picture is of a mid-century modern console. If you are into the eclectic idea, some wood would bring some warmth to the space while at the same time keeping with the modern vibe.

The second picture stays very closely with what you already have in the room - black, sleek, modern but also brings in a bit of wood for warmth.

The third picture goes in an even more eclectic direction with a very ornate console painted in a gloss black.

All three ideas would work so it's really up to your personal taste.

For the shelves above the bar/buffet, I would go with all glass as in the fourth picture. I would try to keep most of the barware in clear glass so that the items on the shelf will still have a "lightness" to them. Keep books, etc. in the drawers in the console. Liquor could be arranged on a mirrored tray on the console itself. Keep clutter to a minimum. I'd still like to see some art on that wall, too.

Another idea would be the last photo, which is my least favorite, but, again, its a matter of preference. Replace the green portion of the wall with red and I would do the wooden cabinetry in black and the shelf in glass.

One more idea, to bring the red into the lounge area, consider a red rug with a sculpted design to fit under the entire sofa area.

Any chance we could see a pic with the sofa in the middle of the room?

[houzz=Spanish apartment]
[houzz=Chelsea Loft]
[houzz=Dining Room]
[houzz=kitchen and baths]
[houzz=Mod Redux]
January 1, 2013 at 10:00am     
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Luciana
Thanks again, Michelle! you managed to give me more food for thought - especially with the last photo; although your least favourite, I think I could work with that concept, in red, black and white, without the wine rack and maybe using glass shelves like in the 4th photo... Great! I think this might be it!

Thank you for the 'artsy' comment, I never thought of the kitchen that way - it's actually a German make and very efficient. It took some negotiation to decide on the look, as my other half likes slick, clean, modern lines and I prefer a busy, eclectic style. The compromise was on colour and lights - I managed to convince him to choose strong, bold ones to give the space a less clinical look.
Which takes me to the art gallery idea: we definitely have lots of posters, pictures, canvases, some industrial photographs. As some are originals, they would have to go somewhere out of direct sun light, but I could work with the rest. However, the reason the pictures aren't up has to do with compromise and negotiation again: I would like to busy the walls in an asymmetrical, crazy pattern, he wants a single 'statement' picture to 'enhance' the place. I'd probably have to tickle him until he gives into my ideas (or use other methods better not discussed in a public forum).

Last: the Xmas tree is placed in that space at the moment, I will take it down in a couple of days and rearrange the sofa and post some photos then.
January 1, 2013 at 4:04pm   
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Michelle Mink
Luciana, you're a lot of fun. I enjoy your lighthearted discourse. Would love to see your finished "lounge"!
January 1, 2013 at 4:40pm   
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Luciana
Oh Michelle, thanks again! I know I'm bonkers (as he calls me) and talk too much and although English is not my first language I still manage to write novellas about whatever insignificant detail and can't seem to contain myself. Might be my Latin temper... with his British aloofness, no wonder our tastes are so diametrically opposed, but then opposites attract, right ? :)
January 1, 2013 at 5:24pm   
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Alexei Rebrov Art
Here is an example of your kitchen with 3 prints on aluminum. It's a triptych in warm red tone. If my assumption that you have 9 feet high ceiling is correct then these are 37x37" prints. The budget is about 2k for all 3 prints.
January 1, 2013 at 7:00pm   
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karen paul interiors
I like the 3 prints. What about finding another Wassily chair and place a table between them?
January 1, 2013 at 7:04pm   
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Alexei Rebrov Art
Table maybe a good idea. Here is a nice table and chairs I would consider: http://www.allmodern.com/Calligaris-Planet-Small-Table-with-Tempered-Glass-Top-CS-4005-VS-GN1249.html
January 1, 2013 at 7:15pm   
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designideas4me
Can you please tell me where your pictures are from? Really cool. Love them. Also what kind of flooring do you have? Thx
January 1, 2013 at 8:18pm   
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TanCalGal
I'd like a wall mural by Alex Turco.


January 1, 2013 at 8:33pm   
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Alexei Rebrov Art
@designideas4me, Thank you! These prints are from my collection of Light series. Here are some more red: http://alexeirebrov.com/collections/red-1
January 1, 2013 at 8:58pm   
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