Lighting Design

Updating a Kitchen


In the midst of getting ready for a major presentation to client tomorrow, I wanted to squeeze in the follow up to my previous post. This is the kitchen that did not make it in to the Boston Common story.

In spite of all the lighting, the dark trim and black countertops make the room feel very dark. I would rework the lighting layout, bringing more light the bear on the work surfaces and counter tops. Personally, I’ve never liked exhaust hoods over the kitchen island. They’re obtrusive and generally pretty ugly. Having said that, if you have to have one, make it a piece of sculpture. Use it to enhance your kitchen experience.


Taking my own advice, I designed a sculptural exhaust hood, which incorporates it’s own task lighting. The trim has been lightened and a light granite or marble back splash and counter top helps brighten the space. (I might do the entire kitchen in a light or fumed French oak.) The floor has been replaced with a more durable and lighter colored staggered stone pattern. To give the cabinets and island a furniture-like appearance, I eliminated the toe kick space, except where the fridge and micro wave are located. You can see the hutch leg peaking out from behind the island… By adding panels to the fridge doors and putting the micro wave behind a set of doors, I have been able to design a built in that has the appearance of a tall hutch. I do like the notion of the open shelves above the sinks, but they need to be framed better, so I added closed cabinets at each end. The glass doors have been redone to make them feel more window-like.


Now it’s back to meeting preparations!

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Thought I’d do an update on our other French style kitchen. Esthetically, this one feels like it is going to end up 180 degrees in the other direction. Far simpler, with a pared down esthetic – more Continental than American in character. Going thru pictures with our client, these were the images they kept coming back to.


We have gone thru several interations of floor plans and I think this is the one from which we will be creating our final design.


Schematic elevations from a slightly earlier design. A sink was too crowded tucked in to a corner…)


If budget allows, I will recommend Jerusalem Gold (light and dark) as the floor material. Barring that, then a two toned homed granite or porcelain tile.

looking at the sketch, it calls out for a solid border.

I would love to see the cabinets finished in a rift cut oak similar to this sample. Ideally, a little lighter.



For counters, maybe something like this – called Silver and Gold, picking up on the gold of the floor and the lime washed oak.

Marble is always a tough decision for counter tops. As long as it is understood they will not remain “perfect”, it is a reasonable option – otherwise, granite. I’d like to try a honed effect on the counter tops.


Then of course, there’s lighting. We’re very early on in the process. Options for over the island could range from rewiring an old chandelier…


to today’s reinterpretation of a chandelier


Or possibly this one???


to very modern. (Le Deun Luminaires)


There is so much going on with the design throughout the entire house right now. Decisions to be made everywhere! Very exciting. Sally and I will continue to post as the project progresses.


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Thursday afternoon, I scooted in to the Boston Design Center to attend a seminar hosted by Charles Spada, where he introduced us to Jean Luc Le Deun (owner of Le Deun Luminaires) and Catherine Tisserant (owner of Art and Style) – both incredibly talented lighting designers and manufacturers. I was delighted to see my friends Lisa and Melanie from the Boston Design Guide in the crowd!


Charles represents both companies. Beautiful examples of their lighting can be seen in his showroom on the BDC’s second floor.

Jean Luc’s work is very contemporary. His attention to detail is amazing. Every fixture is fabricated and assembled by hand, right down to the wiring harness in the light fixture. He produces interior fixtures, such as these.



Table lamps.


Wall lamps, which can also be ceiling mounted.


He also makes square/rectangular fixtures. He can actually make pretty much anything you want…


And exterior lighting…


After the presentation, Charles invited the group down to his showroom for sparkling cider and to see Jean Luc’s and Catherine’s light fixtures first hand.


Jean Luc talking with interior designer, Eric Roseff. Note Jean Luc’s chandelier in the background.


Jean Luc, Eric and Catherine Tisserant of Art and Style.


Sally and I have specified Catherine’s traditional light fixtures before. At the showroom, she introduced me to the entire range of her products. Incredible!!!

Isn’t this chandelier fun with it’s ivy and flowers?


Her porcelain pieces are to die for! This is a little table lamp…


Another modern fixture… She also produces the sconces with the cut metal surrounds. Beautiful shadow patterns on the walls from them! I can see them in a foyer or powder room.


Love the folded metal sconce…

Then it was back to the office and work…

To see Charles Spada Interiors website, click here.

To visit Art and Style’s US website, click here. Le Deun Luminaires is distributed in the US by Art and Style.

To visit Tisserant/Art and Style’s European website, click here.

To visit Le Deun Luminaires’ website, click here.

Have a wonderful weekend!



To visit our website, click here.

To follow us on Facebook, click here.

To inquire about our design services, click here.