Old Walls, Or Made to Look That Way

The walls in our India pied-à-terre are very new, and I want them to look very old. Walls are on my mind lately because when we visit Chennai soon, I will paint. I will plan the ideas, I will do the tedious prep work, I will transform with color and textures. I will savor the whole process — the fun and the sweat. Here’s inspiration photos I’ve been collecting of walls …

My apologies for not knowing all sources of above photos. If you know of sources, please share in comments.

The wall below was photographed by Suzanne Dimma and shared in House & Home. It is in an old, abandoned hacienda near San Miguel de Allende:

Below is image via William Zanotta:

Via photographer Sarah Maingot:

Via Remodelista:

Via This Is Glamorous:

Via Belle Notte Linens:

Via Sharyn Bromley:

Via Interior Decline:

Via Desire to Inspire:

Via Pinterest:

Via Design Amour:

Via Style Me Pretty:

Via Arabella McNie:

Via Greige:

Via Flickr, truly old walls in an abandoned castle in Spain:

Next two via John Dugdale, a Hudson River Farmhouse:

Via Flights of Whimsy:

Via Enrique Menossi:

Via Wunderley:

Via Murobond:

Via Virginia Macdonald:

Here are old dilapidated walls of the ballroom of the Lee Plaza Hotel in Detroit, from the Ruins of Detroit book:

Here’s the thing. What’s the difference between walls looking intentional and appropriate versus looking like walls that you couldn’t afford or couldn’t bother to finish? What’s the difference between messy and dilapidated, and fabulous? How do you make sure your results are on the positive side of these?

To get an effect that looks random or subtle, I realize it takes great care and effort, having done effects similar to these. See my tutorial that shows how to paint new walls to look old.





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Farmhouse Sink

I love the farmhouse sink look. With the opportunity to design in Chennai from the beginning, and with the Tuscan kitchen theme, I can see a farmhouse sink in our future …

Here is a Rohl clay sink:

Here is more information about Rohl/Shaws clay sinks. These are also called apron sinks. Also here’s a discussion at That Home Site boards about apron/farmhouse sinks. That Home Site can be a lifesaver due to knowledge shared from people who’ve been down the renovation road. People are very open about sharing the good, bad and ugly so things don’t get ugly for you. I now always run to That Home Site discussion boards to read and ask questions when we’re dealing with home repair or renovation issues. The discussion has a North American focus but much advice could apply anywhere.

See a Shaw apron sink, or farmhouse sink, installed in a unique kitchen here:

Here is a fluted farmhouse sink in a vanity:

I like the look of copper sinks. They’re distinctive and a good focal point in the kitchen. I do need to do more research into durability and care of copper, though. The first example is this hammered copper sink:

Also available without a divider in the middle:

You can get them with designs on the front:

Another hammered copper version that looks old, just the way I like it:

Here’s a smooth copper sink with rounded corners, beautiful:

So are these sinks only seen in magazine photos? Do “real people” really get to have such beautiful sinks? The answer must be yes. Here’s a real copper farmhouse sink in a kitchen used by real people, posted by a real person on That Home Site discussion boards:

They got their sink from this company which specializes in copper sinks.

Oh goodness, this copper farmhouse sink below with a scroll design is gorgeous!

A quick sidestep from the typical apron sink here — do you have owning a copper bucket sink on your Bucket List? If so, here is your sink:

This sink offers something different from all others thus far. It incorporates the backsplash:

Here’s another one with backsplash included plus a hammered textured apron:

This copper farmhouse sink offers a utilitarian feature — a built-in drainboard:

So, you can see even when you narrow your focus to “farmhouse” and “copper” there are still numerous options!

To see farmhouse sinks installed in beautiful kitchens, I’ve pinned many more images at a Pinterest Farmhouse Sink Board — follow along there!





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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 kitchenbuilding.com:

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! :)





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Wood Beams

For our Chennai flat, we’re designing a kitchen with Tuscan elements. One element I really like about Tuscan kitchens are wood beams on the ceilings:

I am thrilled that the people finishing our place “get it” when we share ideas with them. They’re going to put wood beams on our kitchen ceiling, and make the beams look old, like this place has been there for hundreds of years. Here’s a picture that my sister-in-law took in Paris a few years ago. Of wood beams! Something about the beams drew her eye. So she shared this with the designer and he’s going to make our beams look old like this:

To find inspiration from Tuscan kitchens, explore photos of the villas for rent at to-tuscany.com. We rented a small house for a week in Tuscany via this website, and it was a wonderful experience. We want to try to capture some of the feeling from that week.





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