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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

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Full Circle

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A good dish brush is essential for washing by hand. The Suds Up dish brush has a built in soap dispenser in the handle and can stand up on its own.

1 A good dish brush is essential for washing by hand. The Suds Up dish brush has a built in soap dispenser in the handle and can stand up on its own.

Another useful brush to have in the kitchen is a vegetable brush. I love the look of the bamboo handle on The Ring vegetable brush. The shape also makes it comfortable to use.

2 Another useful brush to have in the kitchen is a vegetable brush. I love the look of the bamboo handle on The Ring vegetable brush. The shape also makes it comfortable to use.

The Grip pot scrubber uses a loofah to remove tough, stuck on food from pots and pans.

3 The Grip pot scrubber uses a loofah to remove tough, stuck on food from pots and pans.

Flip is sponge and scrubber in one. One side is a tough natural loofah and the other is a soft cellulose sponge. It's 100% biodegradable.

4 Flip is sponge and scrubber in one. One side is a tough natural loofah and the other is a soft cellulose sponge. It's 100% biodegradable.

I thought this was genius! The Scoop sponge has an arch shape that promotes faster drying by allowing air to circulate under it.

5 I thought this was genius! The Scoop sponge has an arch shape that promotes faster drying by allowing air to circulate under it.

In The Buff dishtowels are made of 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. The towels are super soft and durable plus the bamboo makes them resistant to bacteria.

6 In The Buff dishtowels are made of 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. The towels are super soft and durable plus the bamboo makes them resistant to bacteria.

When setting up my kitchen, Martha advised me that it was best to organize it into different areas, each one dedicated to a specific task.  In my kitchen, I have four such designated areas:  a prep area for the many tasks involved in preparing meals, a cooking area, a food storage area, and a clean up area. My clean up area has turned out to be a favorite. Having all the necessary tools and supplies in one easily accessible place, truly makes cleaning up a pleasure. As I began stocking my clean up area, I discovered the company  Full Circle. They make a great line of cleaning products made from sustainable and renewable resources. The products work great and are great looking too. Here are a few that I have in my kitchen.

Questions from Readers

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In response to my post about Finnish and modern design, Michael in Chicago said:

I like the recessed gold ceiling idea - again unusual, but could provide a nice warmth. The walls of the Breuer designed room look like there's a material (grass cloth, wood?) in certain places. Have you thought about using any materials on the walls, other than paint?

This is a great question - I have been wanting to talk about different options for wall coverings since I started this blog. In my old apartment I used grass cloth squares to cover my walls, so I definitely appreciate the design elements and warmth that textiles provide. While I haven't come to a definite decision on what I will use to cover the walls of my new apartment, I do love the idea of using a vellum-like paper or a faux-bois wood-grain paper.

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Image of interior designer Benjamin Dhong's faux-bois bathroom, via apartmenttherapy.com

1 Image of interior designer Benjamin Dhong's faux-bois bathroom, via apartmenttherapy.com

The grass cloth covered walls in this living room remind me of my last apartment. I also love the display of framed artwork above the sofa. Image via habituallychic.blogspot.com

2 The grass cloth covered walls in this living room remind me of my last apartment. I also love the display of framed artwork above the sofa. Image via habituallychic.blogspot.com

Upholstered walls are ultra-chic and provide comfort, warmth and insulation from the outside world. Image from Veranda magazine.

3 Upholstered walls are ultra-chic and provide comfort, warmth and insulation from the outside world. Image from Veranda magazine.

After reading about my new kitchen, Katie asked:

Where are your mugs and teacups from?

From Macy's, of course! They are part of the Martha Stewart Whiteware Collection. It is such a simple and classic collection of pieces that I know I will have and use forever - I can't get enough of it!

I love the classic simplicity of the Martha Stewart Whiteware collection from Macy's.

I love the classic simplicity of the Martha Stewart Whiteware collection from Macy's.

Redeeming Features

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Although it might be hard to see in this picture, there is a white fur-like rug that I am in love with. Also, I am still intrigued with the gold metallic background of the wallpaper.

1 Although it might be hard to see in this picture, there is a white fur-like rug that I am in love with. Also, I am still intrigued with the gold metallic background of the wallpaper.

I will never have a bedroom like this one but I am thinking about cords and tassels and how I might incorporate them into my world.

2 I will never have a bedroom like this one but I am thinking about cords and tassels and how I might incorporate them into my world.

These handles are so whimsical and charming. This color plum keeps popping up on my radar (see Oct 29th post). I love the combination with gold.

3 These handles are so whimsical and charming. This color plum keeps popping up on my radar (see Oct 29th post). I love the combination with gold.

Cover of Haslam's new memoir.

4 Cover of Haslam's new memoir.

Since my time at the Boom Boom Room (see previous post) and my need for a bit of apartment glamour, I have been perusing the work of British decorator Nicholas Haslam and waiting with baited breath for the publication of his new autobiography Redeeming Features. (I got a sneak peek.)

His time at Vogue, Vanity Fair and World of Interiors; friendships with movie and rock stars; as well as his collaborations with Richard Avedon and David Bailey in the 60s and 70s makes for fun gossip (Martha even bought some items from his London shop years ago) but it is his design work, which inspires me to rethink fabric, pattern, color, and, quite frankly, the simplest of trim.  His firm, NH Design, has residential and commercial clients that have been documented in books and magazines all over the world.

Dear reader, if you're in the New York area, have a brush with glamour. Haslam will be in New York next Wednesday, November 18, signing his new book from 5-7pm at Claremont, 1059 Third Avenue.