Lonny's Top Kitchen Pins: Lilly Bunn Weekes

The formal classicism of black-and-white decor is shaken up and stirred to surprising effect in this much-pinned image of an Upper East Side eat-in kitchen designed by Lilly Bunn Weekes. The result—as timeless as the best of 1920s Art Deco—is an object lesson to even the most timid among us: bold choices can offer unexpectedly satisfying rewards. Here’s what makes this composition tick.
(Photo: Patrick Cline/Lonny)

1. Monochromatic expanses of black and white—the lustrous, black-painted hardwood [CK] floor and the white cabinetry, upper walls, and ceiling—frame a space in which carefully chosen furniture, fixtures, and accessories offer pleasing punctuation.

2. The nailhead-trim on the Regency-style side chairs and the Moroccan-style motif on the ceramic-tile backsplash express on a micro scale the interplay of black and white; larger shapes in the two contrasting colors (the chairs themselves and the dining table, for example) continue this dynamic theme.

3. The geometry of the upper-cabinet doors, the bronze hanging light fixture, and the stainless steel [correct?] vent hood add a more abstract counterpoint. Through and around these shapes, blacks and whites—the dishware inside the cupboards, the fixture’s white lampshades and black ornamentation, the patterned backsplash—playfully interweave and mingle.

This eclectic design does appear complex and sophisticated, and so it is. But if you’re intrigued by its charms, don’t be daunted. Begin by thinking of shapes, styles, and historical figures and eras that appeal to you. Range widely; don’t limit your choices. Then combine a few images through trial and error. Eventually you may land on some ideas you’d love to live with. No matter what, it’ll be an enjoyable time and well spent.
I'm the former Executive Editor of Lonny.
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