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6 posts from July 2011

July 06, 2011

Kitchen Matchmaking with Studio Finishes and the Latest from Kohler

Lucianna Samu

On a quest to minimize the existing mix of materials in my kitchen, I was thrilled to discover the latest addition to the Kohler line of faucets is available in brushed bronze.

For the first week the faucet was here, all I could do was peek in the box and swoon.  My son-in-law gave me a university level education on the merits of carbon fiber composite tubing, rattling off a litany of tensile strength comparisons and nano technology facts.  The artful simplicity of Kohler's Karbon faucet is certainly a sight to behold, but here's the best news: everything in my kitchen finally appears to be matching.


Matching is not always an imperative for me.  I think of matching as more of an elusive objective (by choice), but there remains an obvious distinction to be made between irreverent mixing and nearly matching.  My color decisions for the kitchen were a practical matter, beginning with how to conceal my messy pantry.  I added the stencil design in bronze, rendered right from the can of Benjamin Moore's Studio Finishes.


Something wonderful happened along the way, when suddenly the warmth of the flooring was visually lifted up and the brass elements hanging over my head were brought down.  How did this happen from one swoop of bronze?  The addition of a similar color, the bronze, used vertically in the room brought the warmth of these two horizontal planes together seamlessly.  Although the studio finish in bronze isn't a straight match to my brass lighting, it's near enough.  What do you think?


Let's explore this nearly matching thing another way.  Let's imagine a cooler kitchen than mine, with halogen lights set in chrome fixtures overhead and a cooler stone floor.  Were you to connect the cool horizontal planes of the ceiling and floor together by adding a cool color vertically, such as Nimbus 1557, and then paint a door and trim detail in a cool white, such as China White, you would connect overhead and under foot in a near match.  Read that again and try to visualize it, because joining horizontal and vertical surfaces together with color is a concept worth mastering.  If you think only of the form and shapes in a room and identify a mix of colors that will "connect the dots" you'll have this concept mastered.


Painting the window in my kitchen Stonecutter 2135-20 was another way to use vertical color to connect the warmth overhead to the warm floor below.  The objective is always to maintain some consistency in our visual field, which satisfies our need for balanced and harmonious surroundings.

Replacing the old nickel faucet, which was a cooler element in my kitchen, with the warmer brushed bronze finish brings a glowing warmth front and center.  Order, simplicity and a visual flow of color, all conspire to keep my mind quiet as I look around this room.  It's a big idea, I know, but see for yourself if the warmer coloration of the brass isn't calling out the Crisp Straw 2157-50 in the backsplash and the August Morning 2156-40 of my range.


All the while, the cooler Shale 861 perimeter, is responding to the alternating cooler whites at the painted backsplash in kind.  The vertical perimeter is balanced, connecting horizontally to the cold nature of the marble counters and the ubiquitous stainless that’s hard to ignore in a kitchen.


Vertical & horizontal, color & light, warm & cool--it's a mixing and matching balancing act, no doubt about it.  But as I like to point out, this is exactly why we have so many colors to choose from in the first place.  All in all, Karbon is turning out to be a beautiful and exhilarating feature in the kitchen.  My touches of bronze are all speaking to the existing period brass lighting throughout the house as well, taking the brass to a whole new level.  Which reminds me . . . I have another mis-matched mixed-up room to paint.  Grab your color chips and I'll meet you in the living room next time?


BTW--If you want to see a Karbon faucet up close and personal, you'll find the location of your nearest Kohler showroom, other dazzling faucet finishes to swoon over, and all the things Kohler has been perfecting for our homes since 1873 with this link.  www.us.kohler.com  Enjoy!

Stay colorful!