Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fire Island Notebook: white + marble + salvaged wood

This is the mix for the kitchen and bath that we're renovating on Fire Island. The island was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and all are now knee deep in rebuilding. I thought I would use this blog to share our progress and get a little input from you.  Here are a few of my favorite inspirational kitchen swipes.

Love art in the kitchen. We are purposefully limiting the use of wall cabinets to keep the kitchen open and save a little wall space for artwork. Tricky decision when you have to squeeze every possible inch for storage. One has to design as if living on a little boat. Think: efficient and multi-purposeful.

18th c. Cornish cottage
via My Scandinavian Home

It's a very cozy, tiny, little house and we like it that way. We live very simply out there. It was built in 1912, shingled cottage style, and we have always tried to preserve the feeling of the original house. 

We spent a week in St. Mawes, Cornwall last summer and fell in love with the those charming Cornish cottages. I expect to mine that inspiration as we fine-tune our decisions.

Loi Thai's kitchen
via Topiary Plants

Counter + cabinet inspiration: farm sink. shaker style inset cabinets. factory lights. marble counter. all good.

Love the idea of mixing in some random tongue-in-groove doors on the broom closet wall instead of having it all too perfect and matchy-match. It should feel as if it was an original part of the house.

Is it NOT authentic if one is trying to make it feel authentic and old, but it's really new? Hmm....thoughts?

simple pot rack
via sometimes i drift
perfect island from March, SF

really useful plate rack
via Tricia Foley

God is in the details!  Check out Tricia Foley's beautiful website. I expect to visit her New General Store when I start to re-stock the kitchen. Tabula rasa, small silver-lining.

Our goal is to rebuild as sensitively as possible, being as green as we can be, re-purposing materials when possible, and staying within the original spirit of the house (as well as the budget).

salvaged floors
via anca gray

Sandy devastated many communities and it will be a long re-build for many months and probably years to come. Not everyone had insurance and the where-with-all to rebuild. And this was not our primary residence, as it was for most, so however long this takes us, no complaints.

Before + post-hurricane pictures to follow in my next post

If you'd like to help those re-building in the Far Rockaways, check out Lava Girl Surf, who is coordinating Sandy relief efforts out of the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. They are an impressive crew and really making a difference in their community.

Photos credited where possible. Some images are missing sources as they've been in my design files for awhile. Happy to credit if you recognize them.


  1. Exceptionally well-written with classic images.

  2. Have done both baths and the kitchen counters. Hopefully next year I'll be able to get my cabinets redone. Can't wait! Love countertops seattle