Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Who doesn't love Martha Stewart?

She was one of the first to forge the way for so many of us to even have the opportunity to be on TV talking about lifestyle. I am a big fan for many reasons that I will not bore you with, but her current kitchen, Cantitoe Corners, is definitely one of those reasons.

Most of my clients cringe when I start to talk about using the color gray. They feel it's cold and uninteresting. This kitchen is a prime example of gray tones working to make this space a functional, stunning showplace that is neither. The key to using a single color palette is all about creating a soothing, layered look and peppering it with a few clean, crisp contrasts. Adding a bit of bold color in an accessory or two can up your design game.

The sink, counters, storage, surfaces and accessories (check out that espresso machine!) all are driving this design to feel deceptively simple. There are so many details, from the look of the drawers, flooring materials to sophisticated lighting that all work together to create a kitchen that oozes warmth. PLUS, the island has WHEELS! I love wheels on furniture and cabinetry. It makes rooms feel more interesting and this room is at once familiar and new.

If nothing else, you have to admit that Martha is inspiring. Great design always inspires, so would an espresso right about now.

-angelo surmelis


leah said...

i love the espresson machine and the hanging pans. OH how i want hanging pans. our kitchen is small enough, my husband would ring his bell anytime he entered the kitchen. love gray, always!

Dr. V.@Amy's Environmental Adventures said...


I agree with you about Martha! I admire her for her vision, hard work, business sense, and design abilities. Who can do a gray room better than Martha?

Any tips for choosing the right shade of gray? I would be nervous that it would be too drab.


angelo said...


You are spot on. She has great vision and even greater follow through.

Choosing a gray that doesn't feel drab is all about lighting. Any color will feel different in different homes. Grays especially need to be chosen based on the amount of natural light your room gets and how much artificial light you will be using in the evening and how.

Some grays have a very subtle and pale pink and/or lavender undertone that could really help your wall feel a bit warmer and less drab. A warm brown undertone in the gray can also add a bit of warmth. If you want it to reflect light, think about trying it in a low sheen (eggshell) finish.

Pick a few that you love and get samples of each mixed at your local paint/hardware store. Spending a few bucks upfront will save you time and money in the long run. Paint at least a 12'' square on your walls and live with it for at least 24 hours. Watch how the color changes based on light and what it's up against (i.e. flooring, curtains, artwork, furniture).

Here's a tip: Don't paint all the different test colors next to each other. They pick up each other's hue and you won't get a true read. Paint a different color on each wall for a better understanding of how they will work.

Good luck and don't be afraid of gray. It can be beautiful and warm.

Melissa Miller said...


The kitchen is beyond gorgeous!

Colour Me Happy said...

You know her hair style really is great on her!

There are many shades of gray that I love but when I know that a gray/taupe is the only shade that will work when I'm picking a colour in a clients home and they cringe, like you were saying, I find that what works the best is to show them the coldest, bluest gray in the deck. Then they can see that the gray you are showing them as actually quite warm. Just like the ones you've shown in this lovely post!

Samantha said...

I too am a huge fan of hers. This kitchen is GORGEOUS!!! I know she has a very talented staff that pulls this stuff off, but her vision for this whole conglomerate is just brilliant.

You should do her show. She could make you that espresso.

CINDY! said...

I LOVE her! I have been a fan for ever. I still have the very first LIVING mag and all her books. I discovered you around the TLC days and have watched you grow into this amazing designer and personality. I watch you and what you're going to do with the same enthusiasm I have watched Martha all these years. If you can get on her show and the two of you do a color or decorating segment it would be magic for me. If you do, DEFINITELY have her make you an espresso.

mathews said...

LOVE her and YOU!

JT said...

I have always loved gray and the way it's used here is brilliant. Your advice is right on.

mrsben said...

Actually there was a time I wasn't a big fan of Martha Stewart and I would cringe when friends would comment 'you're just like Martha Stewart'. (Say what?) I think the turning point for my admiration for her was when she was incarcentated and rose above it, proving to the world that she was a woman of great stamina and "the Sheriff wasn't going to run her out of town".

I love all the elements of this kitchen.

Appreciating your advice on using a single color palette and storing it in 'my memory bank'.
Yours truly...

Marie85 said...

Martha Stewart rocks. I love that kitchen especially the cabinet with all the plates and glass in it. Your standard cabinet couldn't hold all those plates but this one holds so much more, and it's sturdy. Now that's a kitchen cabinet. Thanks for posting.

mrsben said...

Ooops, that should have read 'incarcerated'. Sorry about that. (Bet she types better than I do.) :)

Raggedy Girl said...

I adore Martha and get all her daily internet goodies. Love to look at her homes too. She made being a homemaker a real occupation.

Roberta Anne

Shelia said...

Oh, Martha, Martha, Martha! Or was it Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!? ;)
Anyway, I love her style and would love to have her kitchen!
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

restyled home said...

Martha deserves the accolades she gets. She has blazed trails for us all, from the homemaker to the design tv. host. She has made loving our homes fashionable!

Her kitchen is pretty terrific, too!


chris said...

Hello and konichiwa.

I work at BALMUDA design... we are a product design/manufacturer of furniture, lighting, and computer accessories focusing on both design and functionality. I was very impressed by your well-kept blogs and the articles as well as items in which you have featured. And felt that maybe you might be interested in BALMUDA design as well.


Please don't hesitate to contact me through blogspot or company e-mail (e-mail info is on our site) if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!


3-18-5 Higashi-chou, Koganei-shi
Tokyo, Japan 184-0011

Tel: +81 422-27-7717
Fax: +81 422-33-5320

Anonymous said...

You were all over the TV earlier today. I caught you on Clean Sweep, The Big Reveal (S. Lee calls you Angelo Sir-MEL-is), and, of course, on 24-Hr Design. All in all, it was a great "Angelo TV" morning!

Thanks again for being so inspirational, grounded, and generous with your gifts and talents.


THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

Her kitchen is gorgeous, but personally I would still like to throw a spot of red in there. Maybe your red stove would be a good choice! :)

Jennings said...

This kitchen is truly gorgeous. I agree with the previous post, I would add a pop of color. Your stove WOULD look amazing amongst all this gorgeous neutrals. Would you do anything different?

KYLE said...

Just beautiful. Her aesthetic has always ben great and it has evolved and changed to become more refined and glorious.

I too am a fan. Also, a big fan of yours. Keep up the great work. I have enjoyed watching your your change over the years as well.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! I didn't realize you had a blog. I just saw you on a friend's blog.

I'm so adding you right now. You are my ABSOULTE favorite HGTV designer. Oh heck what I am saying...you are my FAVORITE designer of all times.

Loved the hi-glam bathroom you did with the fireplace and all the mirrors you added to the cabinets. I'm off to look around the rest of your blog. I hope you have those pics on here. I'm so fraking excited right now.


Anonymous said...


Love your blog it's so inspiring!

Martha's kitchen rocks! And your so right abouth the color gray I recently painted my whole livingroom gray and it looks so stylish and warm.


DesignTies said...

I've choosen gray walls for a client I'm working with right now - it was a hard sell! She was adament that she didn't want walls that looked like cement :-) I don't have Maria's (Colour Me Happy) skill, but I pulled out some inspiration-room photos to show her and she was sold.

I wish I had had a photo of this kitchen at the time - wow!!

What I like the best is Martha's display of dinner and cooking ware - that's what makes this space for me!!
Victoria from EdinDesigns @ DesignTies

Lynda said...

Really wonderful looking kitchen. A your red stove would be a gorgeous addition. Maybe you should suggest it to Martha. LOL!

I love your shows and your new one RMS, really nails it. Your stye is gorgeous.

Jaime @ PrimaDonna Boutique said...

Great tips on choosing the right gray. Love the images; thanks for the inspiration!

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