I'm all about the finishes and the details - because they really make a space and because they usually involve color and texture and surprise, sort of like finding that last chocolate-covered-peanut-butter pretzel at the bottom of the Chubby Hubby pint.
I'd already had a lot of fun with this client throughout the design process, and when, because we'd grown so comfortable working together, she gave me very loose reins in terms of selecting the remaining elements, I was pretty excited. Like opening the fresh pint of Chubby Hubby ...
Tile: We had very little wall to cover with backsplash materials, but had she had also always wanted to dress up the double-sided fireplace that bisects the space. We would add some color and texture and visually tie the space together. We selected Fireclay Tile, based in northern California, and I worked with a wonderful resource, Emily Reichel, who not only provided tile design expertise, but was generous with both her time and her samples to help us accomplish
the right look. Choosing just one tile shape, material, and color was nearly impossible as all were
stunning. In the end we decided on a simple subway tile in three shades of sea blues, to be set in a quarter offset. The fireplace would feature just one color of the three, but because these tiles are hand-made no two are exactly alike and we'll have enough variation to make it stunning.
Lights: After endless pinning and wildly variant pricing ranging from $18 for a simple IKEA light to $1,800 to a hand-made English-born number that we might not have received until after BREXIT is in full swing, we went with Barn Light Electric. I've used them before and they offer fun and functional retro-but-now-new pendants and wall lighting in every color, shape, and size. Since the palette already included lots of blues, blue was out. The Barnlight yellow didn't match the center island. The orange seemed wrong. So, naturally, we selected pink. Hot pink.
Hardware: We wanted to echo the sand & sea vibe so I went with another vendor I'd used before, Mark Peyton at BGIsland. He tumbles glass in all shades and shapes to create stunning one-of-a-kind pulls and knobs.
The project is almost complete; tiling waits for a cold, rainy day when their contractor needs respite in the form of an inside job, hopefully within the month. And while our clients haven't tested the space with their average weekend of 12-plus twenty-somethings, they say the room works as though it has always have been that way, two-tap keg refrigerator and all.
To me, it's like hearing I've won an unlimited supply of Chubby Hubby - and a pink spoon to eat it with.