Countertops that Work

In updating my kitchen, big decisions had to be made, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I want it to look and function. My old kitchen had natural stone Calacatta Gold marble countertops, which I adored, but I’ve been thinking about using a manufactured solid surface like quartz or manufactured stone for the update.

 Waterfall Edge Island, Calacatta Gold by Silestone by Cosentino

Waterfall Edge Island, Calacatta Gold by Silestone by Cosentino

Each surface has its advantages and disadvantages. Natural quarried stone is gorgeous, but requires regular maintenance with sealers. It is an incredibly hard surface, but not impervious to chips. And most importantly, light colored stone, like my Calacatta Gold, is very susceptible to staining, especially if you are near the end of your most recent cycle of sealing.

 Superwhite Quartzite counters  (a natural stone, not a manufactured quartz composite). The Fox Group

Superwhite Quartzite counters  (a natural stone, not a manufactured quartz composite). The Fox Group

Manufactured stone and quartz surfaces use natural stone, but in a granulated state and bound with a small percentage of resin, usually 7% for quartz (because the stone flecks are larger, requiring a bit more resin to bind them together) to about 5% for manufactured stone (because the particles are finer than sand). These counters are much harder than natural marble, travertine, or soapstone, so chips and scratches aren’t a as much of a worry. And unless you are conducting a science experiment with solvents, staining isn’t an issue. So that spilled red wine or tea or crushed blueberry isn’t a worry. Just wipe and go!

 Stark white manufactured quartz counters by Pedini Kitchens

Stark white manufactured quartz counters by Pedini Kitchens

One thing I’m certain o is no matter which solid surfacing I choose, I definitely want a waterfall edge, where the surface continues in the same thickness down the side of cabinetry or island. I’m smitten with this trend for two reasons. One, it just looks pretty and feels modern, and two, it’s quite practical. The edges of cabinetry take the most abuse so the veneer or paint is easily scratched and chipped by just the daily chores we perform in a kitchen. A solid slab waterfall edge certainly makes that less of a worry!

 Love this wooden waterfall edge island, with marble inset by Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors

Love this wooden waterfall edge island, with marble inset by Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors

Speaking of maintenance, that’s the other reason I’m thinking of going with a manufactured surface. My new kitchen is going to be more modern than my last, so I want the surfaces to stay shiny and new looking. An old world kitchen can look good with a marble counter that shows its age proudly with some stains and a chip or two, but those same defects can spoil the look of a sleeker transitional, contemporary kitchen. Also, I admit I’d like to simplify my life a bit, and not having to deal natural stone sealing twice a year would be two less projects on my to-do list.

 Love this chunky Nero Marquina Island by UrbanKitchens. 

Love this chunky Nero Marquina Island by UrbanKitchens. 

For more kitchen inspiration, please visit my “Yes, Chef” Pinterest board. With a pending kitchen renovation, I’ve been visiting it a lot lately myself!

Warmly, 

Beth

Stress-Free Soaks

There's nothing better for soaking away stress than a gorgeous free-standing tub. Now that it’s time for my own renovation, the first thing I was sure of was the bathroom is going to be spa-like retreat, and the centerpiece is going to be a stunning tub. 

It’s been fun to use my Pinterest page for my own inspiration. And frankly, looking at pictures of gorgeous bathtubs is almost as relaxing as soaking in one! The modern bathroom below, by Ashe + Leandro, is so simple and pretty, yet layered. The juxtaposition of the antique mirror and the modern arc of the tub is speaking to me.

 Ashe + Leandro

Ashe + Leandro

I’m also drawn to this classic tulip-shaped tub, especially contrasted with the almost reversed shape of the backsplash. Also loving the wall-mount fixture as a centerpiece, not an afterthought.

 Lauren Powell 

Lauren Powell 

After working on this modern farmhouse project, I fell in love with idea of a bath with a view, so I’m excited to add a picture window of my very own to our new bath. 

 Beth Lindsey Interior Design

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

I’m loving the roll-arm apron detail of this traditional style tub - so inviting!

 Summerour Architects

Summerour Architects

This nickel-sided stunner is just dreamy, and I love the free-standing antique-detailed tub filler and hand shower.

 Standard

Standard

Which tub would you prefer for soaking your stress away? I already have my eye on a gorgeous new bathtub for my master bath, but there is still time to change my mind. Visit my Bath and Beauty Pinterest board, and tell me which is your favorite and why! 

Warmly, 

Beth

Behind the Scenes: The Staircase

One of the features I’m most looking forward to renovating is our staircase. The curve to the stairs might have been very en vogue when the house was first built, but now, not so much. The architecture of our home is contemporary/transitional, nothing Old World about it, and to my eye, a curved staircase calls out for other curves in the home, like arched doorways and windows. The architecture of our house has straight clean lines, and we certainly don’t have the square footage for a grand ellipse of a stairwell. Below is a look at the demo of the hall.

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One of the first decisions I made with  Carlo DiNunzio, my collaborative architect, was to ditch the curve, and float the stairs. His drawing and notes below give you an idea of what we're planning!

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This, more than any other element of the remodel, is going to dramatically change the look and feel of our home. Finally, I get to match the clean lines of the architecture with a complementary rectilinear, modern staircase. My entry is going to feel so light and airy, I almost feel like I’m floating already! Here are a few inspirational photos that we have our eye on for the final look...

 Christopher Simmonds Architect

Christopher Simmonds Architect

 Giannetti Home

Giannetti Home

 3arch

3arch

Here’s an elevation view that Carlo sketched for me to give you an idea of what I think we'll ultimately end up with:

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Now combine the inspiration photos and the sketch - can you see how this is going to impact the look and feel of our home? Especially with a new steel-framed front door? Can’t wait to see what’s been a long-held dream become reality! 

Warmly, 

Beth

Summer Chic

I'm almost as passionate about fashion as I am about interiors...almost! And I often find a lot of inspiration on the runways - for patterns, colors, and great materials. Here are a few of the summer fashions that I'm really loving right now! 

 Valentino

Valentino

The lace and the small polka dots are the real winners on this minidress from Valentino! I like that the lace embellishes, but isn't too feminine.

 Armani

Armani

Green is what catches my eye in this summery look from Armani - it's the color of the year for me!

 Chloé

Chloé

Chloé understands pattern better than a lot of fashion houses out there, and I'm mesmerized by this almost-Nouveau design!

 Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

And this casual chic from Ralph Lauren! Can't you just see this as a stunning wallpaper?

What summer looks are in your closet? And where do you find inspiration? Let me know!

Warmly,

Beth

Coastal Getaways

It's the week when most of us head to the beach, especially in a coastal state like mine! I work on a lot of vacation homes on our coast, so I definitely love a good nautical look. Let's take a look at a few of my favorite coastal getaways!

 Beth Lindsey Interior Design

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

The room I designed above has traditional coastal themes: stripes, a heavy use of blue, lots of white. But I also added a few unexpected details, like the surfboard, a wall of marble, and fun open shelves to give it a little more sophistication.

 Sharon Gilkey - Montanna Design

Sharon Gilkey - Montanna Design

My friend Sharon Gilkey is based in Florida, and she really knows how to frame a view in the homes she designs. Look at how the room above seems like an extension of the beach right outside!

 Sue De Chiara

Sue De Chiara

A coastal room doesn't have to be bright and light. I'm obsessed with the lacquered look in this Pawleys Island home (above)! Only the color and the coral give a hint to its location.

 Brittney Nielsen Interior Design

Brittney Nielsen Interior Design

A porthole in the bathroom is a great way to add light, and it's a very nautical style reference!

What do you love about coastal design? Let me know, and be sure to check out more of my beach-side inspiration here!

Warmly (very warmly),

Beth

Patriotic Patterns

It's the time of year when our thoughts go all red, white, and blue! But what I love just as much are the patterns. I'm crazy for stripes and love a star motif, too. So I thought I'd showcase a few of my favorite patriotic patterns!

 Susan Burton

Susan Burton

When you think about Americana, you can't go wrong with a quilt. I love this traditional star pattern in the perfect color palette.

 Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

A bold red stripe really pops against a great navy backdrop! Notice the tiny pinstripe detail on the bed, too. Perfection!

 Garrison Hullinger

Garrison Hullinger

I love stripes of any size, and any color. These blue lines give off a great coastal vibe.

 Phillip Sides

Phillip Sides

I'm also crazy about a starburst pattern, and how stunning that these mirrors lead the way up the stairwell! It's like our own personal fireworks!

I hope you and your family have an amazing Fourth celebration!

Warmly,

Beth

Behind the Scenes: Reworking the Master Suite

If there is any area in my house that I'm most excited to redesign, it has to be our master suite! The master bedroom is located on the ground floor, so it was just as flooded as the rest of the house after Hurricane Harvey. The damage gave me a chance to rethink how this space is laid out, and to make some significant changes.

 DiNunzio Architecture

DiNunzio Architecture

We originally had a master study - a space we didn't really use that often. So, as you can see above, we're removing that to make way for a larger bathroom and an amazing closet.

 DiNunzio Architecture

DiNunzio Architecture

The master bathroom is going to be an oasis! I want to include as many spa-like details as I can. One thing I would really love to have is one of the glass-enclosed "wet rooms" that includes both the tub and the shower, like the one below. I'm just not sure we have the room! 

 Janis Nikolay

Janis Nikolay

In the closet, I plan to add a lot of custom cabinetry to create a true dressing room, as you can see in the sketch below.

 DiNunzio Architecture

DiNunzio Architecture

I have always loved the closet Nate Berkus designed for his own home, and we're definitely using it for inspiration! 

 Nate Berkus

Nate Berkus

And if you've been following me on social media like Facebook, you know that I LOVE wallpaper. In fact, I post some of my favorite patterns every Wednesday. So I'm definitely thinking about a gorgeous wallpaper for the bedroom, maybe like the one below. 

 Mark D. Sikes

Mark D. Sikes

Keep following my Behind the Scenes posts as we move through the house - and help me make decisions! Coming up next: the entry and stairs! Stay tuned...

Warmly,

Beth

Filigree and Fretwork

Maybe it's a continuation of the lace trend, but I'm seeing a lot of openwork in products and home design, especially with filigree and fretwork.

 Boco do Lobo

Boco do Lobo

Both of these forms of design work have been around for millennia. Ancient Romans turned filigree - tiny beads and twisted wires all made of metal - into a fine art form. And Ancient Egyptians used fretwork to create decorative passages that allowed cooling breezes to pass through or provided privacy.

 Lorenzo Pennati

Lorenzo Pennati

Modern designers are rediscovering these fabulous open patterns for today's lifestyles, with swirling loops of metal, or laser-cut geometric patterns.

 Shades of Light

Shades of Light

The looks can be delicate and feminine like in the pendant above, or bold and beautiful like the screens below.

 Silian Art Gallery in London by Miles and Lincoln

Silian Art Gallery in London by Miles and Lincoln

I love people who are taking these older crafts and using them in new ways, like designer Julie Bradshaw who added a stunning metal fret to the cabinet doors below.

 Bradshaw Designs

Bradshaw Designs

And these sliding doors below from Summer Thornton are a brilliant way to hide or reveal the shelves in this room! Notice the classical details that speak to this trend's historical roots.

Summer Thornton.jpg

What do you think about filigree and fretwork? Let me know in the comments!

Warmly,

Beth

Behind the Scenes: My Kitchen Inspiration

I'm SO excited to give you an inside look at what we're planning for my new home! I've been thinking about what we would love to change over the last 10 months since Hurricane Harvey hit, and now that we're at the demolition stage, it's all becoming so real!

 DiNunzio Architecture

DiNunzio Architecture

As you can see in the sketch above from our amazing architect, Carlo DiNunzio, I'm keeping the galley format of the kitchen. But we're expanding the space into what was originally a sitting area. That will give me more cabinet space and will allow me to add a wine service area and a fabulous island. 

 The demolition

The demolition

You can just see a peek of the Calacatta Gold marble we had in the original kitchen. I loved it, but it didn't survive the flooding and then the demolition. I'm thinking about transitional cabinetry with porcelain or quartz for a more modern look. Oh, and do you see those old french doors on the left?

 Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

I'm thinking of adding a folding wall from Nana to really open the kitchen up and flood it with light! You can see an inspiration photo above - more modern than the kitchen I'll have, but you can see how beautiful a folding wall can be.

 Beth Lindsey Interior Design

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

I actually found another bit of inspiration in the house I designed for Brother vs. Brother on HGTV! I loved the floating shelves we put into the coastal kitchen, so I'm considering having this idea in my new space, too.

I may have an all-white kitchen - it's just so classic and clean. But I am open to color, too. What color would YOU choose for the cabinetry? So many decisions and so many wonderful ideas! Stay tuned for the final results later this year!

Warmly,

Beth

Gorgeous Gardens

As you know if you've been reading my blog, I'm starting on a recovery/remodel of my house 10 months after Hurricane Harvey flooded it, along with thousands of others in my home city. One part of our home that I can't wait to see revive is the outdoor areas. We live on a golf course, so there's always something green and gorgeous nearby, but I miss my plants, trees, and flowers! So I'm looking for a little outdoor inspiration!

 Landscape artist Tim Stoddard, via Atlanta homes & Lifestyles

Landscape artist Tim Stoddard, via Atlanta homes & Lifestyles

I do love a garden gate covered in flowering vines - it says welcome like nothing else can!

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I also like the idea of defining paths with a combination of gravel and cobblestones, as you see in the garden above.

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While I'm waiting for the plantings in our yard to mature and fill in, I would love to have stunning containers like these woven baskets for blooms to brighten our day! 

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Since we're starting over again from scratch, it might be fun to try a single color theme! The hard part would be choosing which color....

And of course we'll need places to sit and enjoy the new garden - that's really the best part, right? I'm so looking forward to having our home back, and to enjoying those outdoor spaces!

To see more of my ideas and inspirations, visit my pinboard here!

Warmly,

Beth

Behind the Scenes: Renovation Sketchbook

There are often silver linings in the darkest clouds, and although we've been through a lot since Hurricane Harvey hit 10 months ago, I'm definitely seeing the brighter skies ahead! In today's edition of my ongoing renovation series, we get to talk about all of the fun planning I've been doing for our rebuilt home. I've been lucky enough to work with innovative architect Carlo DiNunzio to reimagine our living spaces.

 The "cocktail napkin method"

The "cocktail napkin method"

Carlo has a unique service called Cocktail Napkin Architecture. This process allows him to help with existing floor plans when the client isn't adding any square footage. He says: "Sometimes a sketch is all you need."

 Sketching out my new home.

Sketching out my new home.

I won't be adding any square footage to our 3,000-square-foot house, so this was the perfect partnership for me. I love Carlo's dynamic designs, so I couldn't wait to jump in and get started!

 Goodbye curving staircase!

Goodbye curving staircase!

So what are we planning at this point? The kitchen will remain a galley, but I am taking over the sitting area and adding additional cabinetry and a longer working island, which should make the kitchen feel larger. I'm also replacing the curved wall staircase you can see above. I am sure it was fabulous in the ‘60s - now not so much!

The master bath and closet are small, so I will take in the master study to have a larger bath and closet. I'll also rework the powder and guest bath, remove the fireplace hearth and replace with plaster, and we'll update the overall traditional design with more transitional cabinetry and modern art to give it an up-to-date look.

Whew! It's a lot, but it's also exciting! Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I walk you through each room's makeover.

Warmly,

Beth

The Digital Age of Design

I'm so lucky to have such a world-class museum practically in my backyard, and I'm excited to see an upcoming exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston that makes its debut on June 24. Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age focuses on a Dutch experimental artist who is creating incredible furniture designs using the latest technology, like robots and 3D printing.

  Aluminum Gradient Chair ,   Joris Laarman, laser-sintered aluminum

Aluminum Gradient Chair, Joris Laarman, laser-sintered aluminum

Even though he uses cutting-edge production processes, like digital fabrication and robotics, Laarman says he is most inspired by nature, so his pieces still have a lot of organic beauty.

  Branch Bookshelf,  Joris Laarman, in bronze

Branch Bookshelf, Joris Laarman, in bronze

I'm really intrigued by the 3D printing process and how it can create objects that are beautfiul but also functional for the home.

   Kilovoxel, Mega & Giga Voxel Tables , Joris Laarman, nickle-plated neodymium 3D voxels

 Kilovoxel, Mega & Giga Voxel Tables, Joris Laarman, nickle-plated neodymium 3D voxels

I love looking into the future of design and finding new ideas and inspirations! If you're in Houston before Sept. 16, be sure to see this incredible exhibit!

Warmly,

Beth