Farrow and Ball

A Bar is Born

Goodbye to the wasted space in my kitchen…

Hello to our new bar!

We had this small area in our kitchen that made no sense.  It sits between the door to the garage (left) and a big, bulky pantry (right).  86″ wide x 36″ deep.  I have shoved a variety of things in here over the years.  First, a loveseat.  Then, two small club chairs and lastly a desk that nobody EVER used.

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I am not sure what gave me the idea to make it into a bar.  But, once I did, there was no stopping me.

I called my favorite contractor, David Anspach, and had him come over so we could sketch this out.  We agreed on two lower cabinets with a 24″ wine refrigerator in the middle.  Two upper cabinets with seeded glass and a stone countertop.

David puts up with me because as soon as we designed it, I wanted it done yesterday !

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I had to decide on a backsplash (I wanted wallpaper), a paint color for the cabinets and what stone we would use for the top.

We ordered a Whirlpool 24″ wine refrigerator.  It has dual temperature control for red and white and holds 48 bottles of wine.

I had David center the upper cabinets (not smart) and we ended up moving them flush against the walls.  Tim Dowling caught that one.

Farrow & Ball paint chips and an early wallpaper sample.

I chose Phillip Jeffries wallpaper for the wall behind the bar.  Braided Walls, color #3146 Almond.  For the cabinets, Farrow & Ball #226, Joa’s White.  I wanted a white quartzite (above) for the counter top, but… the price was more than my budget.  I went with a honed Carrara marble from Rye Marble.  We had two 30″ x 30″ pieces cut from the same slab for new tables across from the bar.

Upper cabinets moved.  All doors off, including pantry doors, to be painted.

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Carrara marble countertop in!

Time for the doors, knobs and wallpaper.

Cabinets painted and the last of the doors going on.


Wallpaper going up.

Schwinn stainless pulls #51475

Schwinn stainless pulls #51475

Knobs on.  Seeded glass is great because you can’t see how messy the inside of the cabinets are!

Wallpaper as the backsplash.  Love the texture against the cool marble.

Everything done, except for my Restoration Hardware Grand Edison sconce and the undercounter lights.


Restoration Hardware


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View across banquette and new marble tables

View across banquette and new marble tables

We used the two 30″ x 30″ pieces of marble for tables across from the bar (see here) and are now ready for a party!

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My UP-dated Master Bath

At the end of January, I stood in our master bathroom and declared it dated (see here).



Maybe the subzero temperatures and snow had me a little itchy. Ok, very itchy. For a new project.

Black walls gone!

Black walls gone!

To save money and construction headaches, I kept the existing floor and wall tile in the bathroom.  The wall tile was fine.  The floor tile I inherited and did NOT like.  So I had to figure that out.

Vanity top off!

Vanity top off!

The doors, trim and ceiling all got a fresh coat of Farrow and Ball paint in the color Pointing.

To add some dimension, I decided to wallpaper the bathroom instead of painting it.

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Even though I craved wallpaper in a big pattern or bold color…

Wallpaper samples up for review

Wallpaper samples up for review

Nope.  Looked completely ridiculous with the floor.

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So I chose a textured neutral from Philip Jeffries in Snowfall that looks fab.

The double vanity…  The cost to replace it was a lot higher than I thought because it was not a standard size.  Plan B.  Paint it and put on new knobs.

I tried a few different colors on the cabinet doors and fell in love with Farrow and Ball London Stone.  This color actually “worked” with the tile floor and helped ground the vanity in the room.

RH "Strande" knobs

RH “Strande” pulls

The new Strande pulls from Restoration Hardware looked great too!

The plan for the new vanity top was originally marble, but we fell in love with a Crystal Quartzite in white that brightens the whole room.

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New sinks from Kohler and new faucets from Kallista finished the job.

I replaced the old double sconce with a new Campaign triple sconce from Restoration Hardware to add more light in the room.

The (dusty) ruffled curtains across the French doors went away.  In their place, a modern Grassweave roller shade from The Shade Store in Oatmeal.

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I recycled my Quadrille wallpaper samples inside the vanity drawers so I could see this fabulous pattern everyday, even if it was not on my walls…

The little toilet room also got a coat of F&B London Stone instead of wallpaper to change things up, plus a new vintage Perrier poster.

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I did get my pop of color with an orange vintage poster above the double vanity.  LOVE.

We made no changes to the glass shower (even more of the tan/black tile…) or tub.

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It was a fairly quick redesign and not too expensive.  We are VERY happy with the results.

It actually feels like a whole new room without one structural change!

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The Bar


Years ago, when we lived in Los Angeles, our favorite store was “Civilization” on Venice Blvd.  Judson was our personal sales guy and we bought every piece of furniture we could cram into our small Manhattan Beach apartment from him.  It was a lot of fun because studios shopped at Civilization and you frequently saw pieces from TV and movie sets while you were wandering the floor.  Ok, maybe we were a little star struck.   We do still have our “Mad About You” bed frame…  Since this was the early 90’s, I was fully steeped in my oversized furniture phase.  So when Judson showed us a fabulous Pine Hutch to hold our deep, 100 pound TV and any other stereo equipment we owned, I had to have it.

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It barely fit in our apartment and the doors never really stayed open when we watched TV, but I was unusually attached to this  hutch.  It moved with us to each new home until, about 8 years ago, it almost got pitched.  It is 24″ D, 42″ W and 76″ H.  Yes, huge!  I was dialing 1-800-Junk when my neighbor had a great idea.  Use it as a bar.  Nail the sliding shelf where the TV sits shut, paint the whole thing and make it a bar.

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Brilliant.  I painted the outside of the hutch and two inside shelves a matte black.   The rest got a coat of Benjamin Moore “Wyeth Blue” that was in the living room at the time.  We also added a small lamp in the back of the bar.  Easy because we had the pre-existing hole for the TV plug out the back!

inside of original "Wyeth Blue" bar

inside of original “Wyeth Blue” bar

Since then, we have painted our living room Farrow and Ball “Tallow” and the trim “Pointing” so I repainted the inside of the bar Tallow and voila!  The Pine Hutch got to stay and now we have a fabulous bar for all of our parties.


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