09 April 2010

Profiled by the Decorating Diva

My great friend Carmen writes the great website The Decorating Diva. Back in February, Carmen asked me to put together a Designer's Look Book for her site. Designer's Look Books are a regularly-appearing feature on The Decorating Diva. Carmen asks a designer to put together a list of selections and then Carmen assembles everything into a single page look book. To say I'm honored by this is an understatement.

The things I put together for Carmen are a departure from my usual fare and it was a blast to really run with that. Carmen's request came at the same time that I was working on my presentations for KBIS, one of which covers something I'm calling New Traditionalism. That's also the name of my presentation.

New Traditionalism is an aesthetic I first started seeing on design blog's like Gina Milne's Willow Decor, Joni Webb's Cote de Texas, Things That Inspire and Decorno. There are many more of course, but they're the ones that come to mind.

Maybe it's just me and my market but the Las Vegas-inspired Mediterranean kitchens that were all the rage a couple of years ago have disappeared completely. To that I say Hallelujah.

This seems to be a trend that was started by Christopher Peacock but it's been taken and run with by Mick De Giulio and countless others. It started on the extreme high end and trickled down pretty quickly and I swear half of my calls come from people who are looking for white painted cabinets and marble counters. I don't think it's a bad thing at all but it's important to remember that this aesthetic, like the ones that preceded it, is a trend. It's a throw back to an earlier time and it takes a lot of its cues from the early 20th century. But in the early 20th century, a kitchen was a dark room in the back of the house. This is pure trend. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's important to call things what they are.

Anyhow, I have a hard time picking finishes for the idea of a room. I need a real room to work with. Here's one of my perspective drawings.

This is also the room I had in mind when I put together a Look Book for Carmen. It fits this New Traditionalism aesthetic pretty well if I may say so myself and some of the finishes I listed for it in my Look Book are:

A walnut table from Spekva.

Pasadena Chairs from Thos. Moser.

Calacatta Gold marble.

An Aga Legacy range.

A bronze sink from Rocky Mountain hardware.

A chandelier from Vaughan Designs.

They're just my favorites. Check out the rest of my finishes for this room on The Decorating Diva and let me know what you think. What do you think too about this whole New Traditionalism thing? I'm I onto something or am I out to lunch?


  1. Thanks for the mention, Paul! I really like this characterization. When I was interviewing interior designers for my house project, I was surprised that one of them characterized me as very traditional, because I also gravitate to very clean lines and minimalism in decor - not a lot of fuss or ruffles or 'stuff'. But, it is clean lines combined with traditional forms. And I think this is what you are talking about with 'New Traditionalism'. Thanks for giving me something to think about this morning, good timing as I am going faucet and sink shopping today!

    PS - just mentioned this post on my TTI Facebook page

  2. Thanks Holly. The kitchen you and I discussed fits right into what I'm talking about here. What you're planning is very much a study in clean lines and traditional forms and it's an aesthetic I am starting to get excited about. Have fun sink and faucet shopping, I think you'll find what you're looking for with Perrin and Rohe.

  3. Yes, the Perrin & Rowe is already picked out! I smiled when I saw it on the Decorating Diva site. That exact one!

    We are mainly sink shopping, but also looking at faucets for the scullery sink that reflect the lines of the P&R bridge, but are a bit more functional for clean up. Or, we may just get another P&R bridge!

    Have a great day.

  4. That faucet goes like a dream with the sink I show here. It's priced to sell at $18,000. That's not a typo. Hah!

    Are you looking at a Shaw's apron front or something in steel? If you go the steel route, pay attention to zero radius sinks. They're the ones that have square corners and flat bottoms. I've been specifying them like crazy all of the sudden.

  5. Is it possible to be in love with a sink?

    Because I want to marry that sink. You can be best man since you introduced us.

  6. I look at it with something that feels like sink lust. If you marry that sink, throw it over to me from time to time when you get bored with it.

  7. I will be the other woman with that sink and end up having it's little prep sink babies! And you and Raina will be left in the cold. I can't eveen afford to have that sink in my showroom as a display... My insurance would jump up too much!!!! I love your pics Paul!!!!

  8. That's hilarious Cheryl. Hey, do you and Raina know each other? She's your gal for design business advice.

  9. Here is the Rocky Mountain sink in a Tracery Interiors project: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs216.snc1/8319_168462416074_46493706074_4145638_6316792_n.jpg

  10. I love everything you've picked for the kitchen. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I came up with a similar kitchen design for a school assignment ;-) Hmmmmm, I think I just got an idea for a guest post!! :-)

    I think our kitchen might fall into the New Traditionalism category. It's certainly not traditional in the traditional sense, but it isn't modern either. Well, whatever it is, I love it :-)


  11. Thanks Kelly, that was a lot of fun to put together.

  12. Nice collection of things and compiling them to make a lovely room together.The planning and the design layout is very neat and clean.

  13. Thanks! That was a lot of fun.


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