When I first bought my Watertown house in 1977, I was just beginning to develop my sense of style. I thought I would redo the kitchen that was original to the 1937 house with something more wonderful. I hadn't yet realized that NOTHING is more wonderful than cabinetry from the 1930's. I started looking around in kitchen stores for cabinets I liked, only to come to the conclusion that what I had was better than anything on the market. Over the years I have designed many custom cabinets, and I repeatedly referred back to the detailing of my little house in Watertown.
The kitchen had a built in ironing board in the wall that I never used, so I reinvented the cabinet for my spices and of course to display some DOGS!!!!! All the following pictures are from The Boston Globe Design Magazine, shot by Eric Roth
The bottom part of the cabinet holds my spices. I had a glass panel added to the top door to display my dogs.
The walls were covered with a Cowtan and Tout fabric that I had vinyl coated (like an old oil cloth), so it would be wipeable, and then paper backed, so it could be hung like wallpaper. DON'T DO THIS!!! Over time the weight of the fabric (because of the vinyl coating) pulled away from the paper backing, and it started pulling away from the wall. This is why designers try stuff out on their own houses first!!!!!!!!
When I found this fabric that combined my love of dogs with the blue color of my Mexican tiles, I had to have it. It's been discontinued; my favorite stuff always gets discontinued. No one else ever likes the things I do. What's wrong with the world????
Over time I have found some pretty weird things. I had a carved dog pocket that held a brush. For some reason, I bought this item with no idea what I would ever use it for. THEN I FOUND ANOTHER SIMILAR ONE!!! O.K., hmmmm, two of something weird.....it must mean I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A BRILLIANT WAY TO USE THEM AND SHOW THE WORLD HOW CLEVER I AM....
So I did what any normal person would, and had them made into wall sconces.
Then, to continue my normalcy, I had lampshades custom made and THEN I had my decorative artist paint them with dogs, fire hydrants and bones, all gridded with leashes.
And don't forget the beaded trim I pulled off some Ballard Design lampshades with which to trim the suckers. Notice the little white scotty on top, it's a magnet.
Crowning the whole mess (oops, I mean design), is the SPEERT DOG HOUSE!!!!! My uncle Herman made this for my family when I was little. If someone was bad (like my Dad, singing at the dinner table) he got put in the dog house. Some joker stuck me in it for the photo shoot. In my present home, it's in the guest powder room, and after family dinners, it's always interesting to see if the dogs have been moved around.
I trimmed the window over the sink with left over bullion fringe and a wonderful vintage linen towel with, of course, A DOG on it. The carved white ring is an old picture frame I picked up for cheap somewhere. I'm always buying cheap stuff that I think is cool, having absolutely no idea how I will use it. Most of the stuff just sits around, pathetic and lonely till I give it away, or convince some poor client to buy it.
Not being able to stand a bare surface, I hung some plates on the sides of the wall cabinets.
I use small silver plate Paul Revere bowels for storage, here one holds some sponges. Of course, over time they tarnish (I really need to buy some polish) and start to look like @#$.
To finish the story on my cottage kitchen.......
Is this towel hook.
It was a small wooden carving of a dog holding a bone in its mouth. The bone was broken, so, I pulled it out and mounted the head on a little wooden plaque. It was my dish towel holder!!!!!!
Now, I'm tired of telling you guys this.....
It's a nice day.....
go outside and get some exercise.
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