When I was studying interior design in college, my favorite part of every project was the schematic and conceptual work. I would scrounge magazines and books for inspiration with multiple cups of coffee at my favorite bookstore, sketch furiously and take pages of notes. I’d always find an excuse to buy more beloved Tria markers from Pygmalion’s Art Supply for my renderings.
I loved it because it’s that exciting stage where anything seems possible. You can go crazy with ideas, options and color before you need to rein it in and focus. Plus, I love to draw with pen and ink, and use watercolors and pens.
I miss doing this type of work. Since I don’t currently have a job where I get to help clients in this way, or a home to renovate yet, I remembered my fictional clients from college and drew upon them for inspiration. I’m vowing to do this at twice a month to keep these creative juices alive.
Enter Molly Albers, a young librarian living in Astoria who inherited a small apartment from her dear Grandmother Mil (short for Mildred). It’s small and the kitchen doesn’t have the best work triangle, but she makes it work. She had a bit of money saved up and spent it doing some small cosmetic kitchen renovations.
Molly is somewhat reserved at work, so when she comes home, she likes to let loose with color and pattern. She fell in love with the Josef Frank Hawaii 315 Fabric while browsing through books at work, and splurged on the wallpaper. Her very hip grandma Mil happened to have this fridge (let’s just go with it). Molly is learning to cook more, and decided to go with less counter space for this kitchen so that she could have a larger island with seating and workspace (she’s learning to bake bread). Plus she had limited options without changing the water and gas lines.
She decided to leave the existing stove, and installed white subway tile with light gray grout to balance out the black wallpaper and colorful floral print. When they ripped up the parquet flooring, there was some concrete underneath that they stained with a slight violet gray.
She installed butcher block countertops and simple white shelves to hold her tableware, cookbooks, vases and dry goods. She likes how the open shelves allow more of the beautiful wallpaper to show. There is also additional storage under the island on the side opposite the seating.
Molly waited patiently for a year searching, and finally scored a pair of hot pink Tolix Marais Counter Stools on eBay, which she lugged back on the subway with her best friend Peter. She put her unwanted Ikea stools on the curb to pass along the good karma to someone else.
The last detail we noted was the red library stool from the basement in the library that her sweet boss insisted she take after hearing she needed one to reach her growing library of cookbooks.
Thanks for accompanying me in letting my imagination run wild with me tonight!