Kitchen Hoods

Despite my conflicts over some aspects of creating this apartment, some things are known. The kitchen will have a Tuscan style hood over the stove. Here’s some inspiration for kitchen hoods:

All pictures above are from Tartaruga Design.

Sometimes these hoods are edged with wood. I like this curvy design featured at

For a very different look, here’s a hammered and stamped metal hood with gorgeous artistic design:

Beautiful weathered bronze kitchen range hood:

Wow, this zinc hood is 6 feet wide (or, approx 2 meters):

The company that made the custom hood shared above discusses the need for attractive ready-made hoods with moderate prices, such as the one pictured below. So more people can live with beauty. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree!

Similar to the above hood, this company also creates a white enameled hood. Enough variety that something should fit most kitchen visions:

A Spanish style hood with tile:

A faux brick hood that beautifully incorporates storage to showcase your nicest bottles and cooking supplies:

I am really enjoying look at these as I upload them. Many feel so warm and homey, as a kitchen should be. Hope you’re enjoying too. Here’s some more …

I cannot figure out what is on this hood (applique? painted?) but it’s very interesting and colorful. This is a real Tuscan kitchen from one of the Tuscan villa rental websites. Note the differences between this authentic kitchen and the kitchens built by people with lots of resources who want a Tuscan feel. Frankly those kitchens just feel like rich kitchens. This one really feels like the one we cooked in for a week when we visited Tuscany and created many great times and memories. Only this real Tuscan kitchen brings those memories back:

Despite what I say above, it’s still fun to be inspired by all these kitchens whether they’re really in Tuscany or not! Here’s another kitchen in Tuscany. Note that it’s much simpler than those of many people who seek to recreate a Tuscan kitchen:

Yet another kitchen with range hood from Tuscany. Note how it’s common to hang pans on the hood:

Below is the kitchen in the villa we rented in Tuscany a few years ago. We poured over hundreds of villa photos on the villa rental website. We needed a smaller villa as there are only two of us, so we found this one with two bedrooms (many villas can hold a whole entire extended family for a vacation together, very big with many bedrooms). But most important, we could see it had a charming kitchen because we like to cook. It’s a charming country kitchen that real people live in, not just upscale creation for tourists. We liked that. It has two fireplaces including the one you see here in the kitchen. We used the fireplace in the family room to roast eggplants and other vegetables while we drank and danced to American 80s music on the radio! Yes they had an entire 80s music station. At one point a neighborhood cat poked its head in a door ajar to see what was going on in this place. We tried to coax him in, but alas, he decided 80s music and dancing were not for him. The views are beautiful as are most in Tuscany — overlooking olive groves and rolling hills. This villa is located in a rural area about a 30-minute drive east of the town of Greve in Chianti. The owners are lovely people who are available to greet you when you arrive and help you get settled in. We have many happy memories in this Tuscan kitchen, and surely we will return to this kitchen someday, if only for another week:

I adopted a new philosophy about wanting things during the week at this villa. We were sitting one evening at the table on the outdoor loggia here:

Looking at this:

And I was whining about why we can’t have this view at home. Yes, full-on whining. It wouldn’t even be fair to use a euphanism like “musing” or “discussing.” It was whine time. And my husband said, Appa would say, but you do have it. Right now. For now. Enjoy it. It is yours for the week.

Wow.  Yes. He was correct. It was ours for the week. A wonderful week. And that’s probably why we’re creating a Tuscan style kitchen in the India pied a terre. There is no denying it. I still do want more of it! :)

How Do You Want to Feel?

I already notice an internal struggle as I imagine what the India pied a terre should be when it’s complete. What do we want it to bring to us? What will we need from it? Beyond the daily necessities of living, of course. How do we want it to make us feel?

This last question is where one struggle lies. While searching for inspiration, I’m loving two opposite things: 1) loads of deep and saturated contrasting colors, and 2) soft colors like layers of beige, griege, and whites punctuated with natural woods and metals.

These two options bring entirely different feelings to me. One brings great energy. The other brings restfulness.

For now I will search and share inspiration down both paths. But eventually, someday, a choice will need to be made. One way to think of solving the dilemma could be to think about the outside surroundings and the requirements of daily life:

  • Where do you go during the days and nights?
  • What’s there?
  • What does it look like, sound like, smell like?
  • What is the pace like?
  • Who is there? How many are there?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you feel most days?
  • What do you feel like you want to get away from?
  • What do you feel like you want to move toward?
  • What do you want more of?
  • What feeling do you need when you return home?

In our Chicago area home (we’re actually about 35 miles outside the city but unless you live near where we are, you’ve likely never heard of our village), we have much space and peace. We have separation from many people. We’re surrounded by mature trees, gardens and pleasing views. We chose this home specifically for what it is surrounded by. Because getting here has very relaxing elements that make you feel like you’re leaving the world of work, crowds and traffic behind — things like narrow roads and big trees creating arches over roadways, curves in roads and slight hills, winding creeks of water — once you pull in the driveway, you’re already breathing a little easier. Here, I feel like I want color in the house to deliver energy, because the surrounding environment is already slower paced, somewhat isolated, quiet and relaxing. Our living room has oranges, greens and browns. Our family room has red, black and antique golds. Contrasts. A guest room is painted paprika color. Love it!! Most walls are currently lighter and  neutral but I very strongly want to slather them with deep colors. Someday, I will.

Right now, my gut instinct is that I’ll seek more peace and restfulness in the India apartment. The stimulation of everything outside the apartment feels so great to me because I am not used to it. Although I would expect if I were in Chennai for awhile, I’d naturally acclimatize to it. The energy of the world outside the apartment may make me not want objects and colors delivering such energy inside the apartment. Then again, maybe a lack of color and energy would feel jarring and discongruent with the world around it? I don’t know, it’s all envisioning and trying to guess our needs right now. We shall see …

Actually I have collected numerous books about vastu shastra over the years and there may be some insight there …

Pink & Orange

Most posts here reflect my aesthetic which leans toward Calvin Klein and Eileen Fisher colors —  natural and gentle. But granted, this safe sameness can be boring. Lately my eyes are adjusting to scorching color combinations, and my very favorite is hot pink + orange:

Buildings in Cartagena — these neighbors planned their paint jobs well:

Hermes scarf and Hermes tray with pink roses:


Orange and pink shawl:




Silk curtains:

A painting by seller Artbyrodriguez. Somebody is enjoying it because it’s sold:

Sometimes just a bit of pink and orange is enough:

Perhaps my eyes are now accepting this combo because it’s being marketed to American consumers. See this Lilly Pulitzer bedding in the latest Garnet Hill catalog:

From Cambria Cove, jacquard fabric napkins:

Skirt in the Sundance catalog:

John Robshaw Textiles primrose pillow:

Vintage pillow in John Robshaw Textiles’ Souk:

Kaffe Fassett fabrics:

Last weekend at Archiver’s scrapbook store, I stocked up on pink and orange papers so bright, I felt I needed sunglasses in the store. The designs are similar to these handmade papers at an Amazon store:

Now I find there is an entire blog about pink plus orange stuff! There are blogs about everything, huh? Consider my post here a mere sneak preview of all the luscious color to be found at the Pink + Orange blog.

Whew! My next post may go back to neutral colors, sort of a palate cleanser for the eyes.

Mirror Mirror on the Bathroom Wall

Bathrooms need mirrors. People need mirrors. I’ve collected images of mirrors that caught my attention for awhile. Today I gather mirrored inspiration here in one place. I suspect this collection will show a pattern in what attracted me …

The following mirrors can be purchased at Anthropologie’s website:

All these mirrors are completely unlike anything anywhere in my Chicago home. No scrolly pieces. Things are tailored here. Straight lines. Here is a shot of mirrors in one of our bathrooms:

And the fact that we can do something completely different in the Chennai apartment is one of the appeals of the mirrors above that have been catching my eye. Clearly I’m liking ornamentation and light antique metal or weathered woods. Even the mirrors with color or darker wood, I see them reworked with antique pewter paint.