hot off the press: the weekly review

we are so honored and excited to be featured in the weekly review, one of melbourne’s premiere lifestyle magazines! we love sharing our tips and trade secrets, so the opportunity to do so overseas is even more exciting. in their last weekly issue of february 2015 you can view some tips on how to personalize your home! thank you again to the weekly review for the feature! see the article below or click to page 18-19 for the complete interview on their site here!

hot off the press: lonny magazine

we are so honored and excited to be featured in lonny magazine this month!

we spent over two years involved in the rehab and design of michael c. hall’s home, and are so happy to finally share it with you! this project was a joy from beginning to end – not only did we have the opportunity to bring new life to a 1920’s spanish home, we then had the opportunity to collaborate on the interiors with michael on his new home.  from tile to lighting,  furniture and textiles, this home encompasses some of our favorite details and elements.

thank you again, to lonny for featuring our work!

all images via

wanderlust: ace hotel downtown la

ace hotel has done it again, and even closer to home for us this time in downtown los angeles! we previously raved about their palm springs location, but are especially intrigued by the new downtown location. the new ace hotel found its home in the historic, spanish gothic united artists building which was designed with heavy influence from the segovia cathedral in spain. the building was completed in 1927 and was the tallest building in los angeles for one year, but most of us identify this landmark as the ‘jesus saves’ building.

working with the beautiful bones of this building, commune and the ace atelier were consistent in their eclectic design throughout. mixing modern lines, mondrian inspired blankets, vintage textiles, and industrial pieces under an exposed ceiling in the guest rooms. while the lobby and segovia bar boasts true-to-era checker board floors with industrial details and currently trending brass bistro tables. continue upstairs to the rooftop where inspiration from the frank lloyd wright ennis home is combined with vintage turkish kilim pillows and navajo inspired tarps. we love the eclectic design of this hotel and feel it fits perfectly into the current scene of downtown la.

we were lucky enough to already check out the hotel, but if you haven’t made it over there yet, see below for a peek inside!

images via

image via

images via





trade secrets: kitchen renovations part three – cabinetry and hardware

here we meet again for part three of our kitchen renovation series! if you are just tuning in, be sure to check out our part one and part two. today we are going to talk all about cabinetry and hardware!

cabinetry style is another area that will depend greatly on the style of your home. first, know the style of your home – traditional, modern, contemporary, rustic, craftsman, tudor, modern industrial, etc. then decide the style of cabinetry that works best. most traditional cabinets have raised panels with multiple levels of molding, and possibly an arched detail. while contemporary cabinets tend to be simpler, usually with a flat panel and single level of molding, also called ‘shaker’ or ‘mission style’. more modern homes can get away with shaker style cabinets or even completely flat and solid cabinet fronts. for craftsman style kitchens, of course shaker/mission style is appropriate, but we love a good beadboard detail or glass uppers with a craftsman style pane design. there are endless options for cabinetry styles, but below are some of our favorites.

kitchen cabinet styles via

once you have decided on the proper style of cabinet, we suggest that you consider the finish. we are loving a great high-gloss, bold paint color for kitchen cabinets, and this is something a buyer can always easily change should you chose to sell your home in the future. don’t be afraid to stray from the expected stained wood or white painted cabinets, but definitely try out some paint samples before committing! the beauty of boldly painted cabinets is that you can keep the hard surfaces, like the counter and backsplash, simpler with neutrals. this allows you the versatility to change it up yourself in the future with a fresh coat of paint, but as mentioned before, is a safer bet for resale considerations. see some of our favorite examples of this below!

private residence kitchen design by kishani perera inc.

private residence kitchen design via

not sure if you will tire of the color you choose for your kitchen cabinetry? we understand, vibrant green cabinets are a big commitment! don’t be afraid to paint different areas of cabinetry different colors. we are loving darker lower cabinetry with white uppers, a contrasting painted island, glass uppers with a painted interior, or even a slightly different style of cabinetry in different areas of a large kitchen, as seen below!

contrasting cabinet colors via

painted interior of glass cabinets via

you don’t even have to use paint at all to mix it up! instead of wood, consider using metal cabinets, either stainless, brass or zinc, to create a unique look in your kitchen. additionally, there are unusual stain options available such as a cerused finish which really brings out the grain of the wood, or various colored tints. white washed cabinets are beautiful in the correct setting, and we are really loving a grey stain in the kitchen these days. or go vintage, and bring in reclaimed wood for cabinet facing for a warm space! see below for examples of these designs.

steel framed cabinetry via


cerused kitchen cabinetry via

grey cerused cabinetry via

grey stained cabinets via

we also love straying away from traditional matching upper and lower cabinetry by using different styles for each. if you need the storage of uppers, consider using glass front cabinets for an interesting contrast. if you are particularly neat and don’t need quite as much storage, you should consider open shelving in place of uppers. consider wood, metal, or even brass shelves for a great pop. or simply go without any upper storage and let your backsplash do all the work! you can also get more creative with your cabinet door fronts and add in beautiful, yet simple details as shown below.

glass uppers with solid lower cabinets via

contrasting cabinets and island via

wood shelves in place of upper cabinetry via

industrial brass shelves in place of upper cabinetry via

wire cabinet detail via kishani perera blogcabinet detail via

custom cabinet detail by brad caplow via kishani perera inc

and we just can’t talk cabinetry without sharing this kitchen design we swoon over regularly. if you have the fitting style of home and budget, we urge you to seek options truly outside of the box. the result can be a beautifully unique kitchen!

unique cabinetry and hardware via

last, but certainly not least, is hardware. hardware is the easiest update for any kitchen. there are endless options, from your basic polished chrome knobs and pulls, to the quirkiest of bronze animal heads! don’t be afraid to be bold. we tend to enjoy vintage hardware in new kitchens, as well as large and out of scale pieces that add a bit of drama and quirkiness. also you can mix it up with knobs on cabinets lets say, and do handles on the cabinet doors. also take placement into consideration. there’s the traditional placement, top corners of the lower cabinets, lower corners of the uppers, but here again, you can add some interest by going against the grain. we love doing center pulls, either on the doors themselves, rather than the frame, which we also like, or doing extremely large knobs in centers of the doors. keep in mind the finish of your cabinet hardware doesn’t have to match the finish of your sink faucet or even your interior door knobs, but all of the kitchen cabinetry knobs and all pulls need to be the same finish throughout the kitchen. see below (and above) for various installations of hardware that are great examples of placement and styles.

private residence kitchen design by kishani perera inc.

identical pull on drawers and cabinets via

vintage hardware in private residence by kishani perera inc.

after you have an idea of the style of hardware you like, consider hinges as well. all photos above have concealed hinges, but you certainly don’t have to hide them! we are loving exposed and offset hinges that match the style of your hardware. it is great in any style of kitchen and just adds a little more character that we personally can’t resist right now. our absolute favorite is the icebox latches and hinges shown below. while a more subtle detail of the traditional brass hinges add just the right pop to the cabinetry.

exposed, offset ice box latches and hinges via

more exposed ice box latches and hinges via

brass hardware and exposed hinges via

be sure to subscribe to our blog to follow our complete kitchen renovation series! and please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below! we know we can’t cover every detail, and we love to hear from you!

trade secrets: kitchen renovations part two – countertops & backsplashes

welcome back and to part two of our kitchen renovation series! now that you’ve got your layout planned and decided on flooring, its time to talk countertops and backsplashes!

when it comes to countertops there are so many great options available: from expensive, gorgeous stone slabs, to extra durable and affordable man-made products. our first suggestion is, no granite! while granite had many long, glory years, it is now a material you will not get a return on when selling your home. our second suggestion is don’t be afraid to mix it up! if you have an island in your kitchen, the countertop of your main work surfaces and the island countertop can definitely be two different materials that work well together! we love reclaimed wood island counters, and even paint island cabinetry a different color! see these great examples below on how to make it work in your own kitchen!

contrasting countertops via

contrasting countertops via

we have to say, for countertops our first choice is marble, but we don’t have any children so we can go with this option without concern! while carrara and calacatta are the two most common white marble counter tops you see, there are many variations of both. marble also offers a hugely wide array of colors and design, for those of you wanting a bolder statement. see below some of our favorite marble slabs and sources!

asher grey/mink marble slab from royal stone & tile

calacatta gold marble slab from royal stone & tile

silver wave marble slab from tristone & tile

our second go-to is limestone or soapstone, which are currently gaining popularity in kitchens and bathrooms alike. they offer durability and a more consistent appearance, at about half the price of marble. also they also can be darker in color, so staining isn’t as much of an issue with those particular slabs. this is also another great option for flooring, especially if you are looking for a more contemporary style. below are some of our current favorite limestones and soapstones.

flannel honed limestone from tristone & tile

jura grey limestone from tristone & tile

mariana soapstone from walker zanger

our third options are the most affordable, man-made, and eco-friendly options. which make them great for a house full of less than tidy family members! caesarstone, a man-made premium quartz surface, is available in a variety of colors and textures, for less than $1,000 per slab. a more specific man-made material is alaska white, which is as the name implies, solid white. it is made of pressed glass, is a wonderfully durable and beautiful material, and again, a slab comes in under $1,000.00! another option, squak mountain stone, offers limited colors but is made up of recycled paper, glass, and low-carbon cement. the finished product resembles limestone or poured cement, which is a beautiful and sleek option. see examples of these options below and where you can order them for your own home!

shitake countertops from caesarstone

recycled cement countertops from squak mountain stone

backsplashes are a great place to get more personal, as they can be replaced easier if you decide to sell in the future. additionally, the backsplash isn’t subject to the same wear and tear as the counter top, so you have a little more freedom here. as much as it would be so easy to duplicate that gorgeous kitchen backsplash idea you saw on pinterest, the style of your home really must be taken into consideration here. first, your backsplash should be installed all the way up to your upper cabinets, or for an updated look if there are no upper cabinets, we love taking the backsplash up to the ceiling. this is definitely more expensive, but the drama factor will be worth it!

while the options for backsplash tiles are endless, we would like to assure you that a simple, classic subway tile will never go out of style! it is available in about any color imaginable, and works with just about every style of home. depending on budgets, we have even installed a matching calacatta or carrara subway when using either as a countertop material. see some of our favorite subway installations below!

counter to ceiling white subway tile design by kishani perera inc.

light gray glossy subway tile design by kishani perera inc.

cararra counters and matching subway backsplash via

recently gaining more popularity is the basketweave patterned backsplash. this is another way to keep your kitchen more monochromatic, but still beautiful and interesting. you can again use a matching calacatta or carrara with coordinating countertop, or add in a little black marble accent for interest. we recently installed a white thassos basketweave backsplash with a carrara countertop and loved the subtle mixture! another favorite of ours is a herringbone pattern! see below for our most recent use of these materials.

white thassos basketweave tile design by kishani perera inc.

calacatta herringbone tile design by kishani perera inc.

we also love painted cement tiles as a backsplash option. they are such a versatile material, with ability to choose a pattern and custom colors, you can make them work in almost any style of home! cement tiles are certainly an affordable option, and since they generally come in 8″ x 8″ tiles, they are great if you are taking on an extended height backsplash. we even love to see them used on an ‘accent’ range wall where tile can extend to 48″ above the countertop. below are some examples and vendors for inspiration in your own kitchen!

maghreb 1 cement tiles by tabarka studio at ann sacks

moorish custom color cement tile by villa lagoon tile

cluny custom color cement tiles by granada tile

custom color cement tile at filmore clark

last, but not least by any means, are beautiful mosaic backsplashes! these are generally the most expensive, and most dramatic option. while glass mosaics can be found for a reasonable amount, stone mosaics tend to be quite pricey. worth the investment? we think so, if the cost is appropriate to the value of your home. again, some people may not appreciate this expense in a resale situation, so you must consider this factor before splurging! if you are set on a mosaic and ready for the splurge, please see the gorgeous options we swoon over and our favorite sources below!

castilla backsplash by new ravenna at ann sacks

eastern sun stone mosaic by ann sacks via kishani perera blogeastern sun stone mosaic at ann sacks

we’ve covered stones, marble, and glass options for countertops and backsplashes alike, but haven’t even discussed the latest trend of using metals, such as copper, or reclaimed woods as either countertop or backsplash materials. from old bowling alley materials to reclaimed timber, inventive materials are making their way into kitchen surfaces in a big way. see some of our favorite sources and innovative installations below!

glimmer antique mirror tiles at cle tile

wood tiles at walker zanger

installed metallic backsplash via

private residence from e & k vintage wood

be sure to subscribe to our blog to follow our complete kitchen renovation series! and please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below! we know we can’t cover every detail, and we love to hear from you!

trade secrets: kitchen renovations part one – layout and flooring materials

clients often seek out my services when renovating their kitchens, as it can be an extremely daunting task to take on! not to mention it is easily the single most expensive renovation there is. most people are shocked to find out the renovation costs for a kitchen, but that is why it is so important to make the right decisions from all angles! you want to have everything you are dreaming of, but you also must remember resale and return on your investment. otherwise you will spend $50k on a kitchen that potential buyers will see the need to spend $30k to change!

so lets start with the bones of your existing kitchen and the floorplan you hope to have. many people buying older homes to renovate find that the kitchens of the past don’t serve all of our needs today. for example, we want space to eat in our kitchen, whether that is a built in banquette, counter stools/an island or a small breakfast table. these days we don’t have all the time to sit down at the dining room table for every meal. we also find that most people want an open kitchen, which was not commonly built before the 90s! so in order to interact with family and guests while cooking, you find yourself needing to knock out a wall or two. well, we don’t see the open kitchen plan going away anytime soon, so knock out those walls as you please!

the next important factor in the floorplan of your kitchen is the ‘work triangle’. not only is this the most comfortable way to work in the kitchen, but it is a formula designers use to ensure workflow ease. while we know this cannot apply exactly to every kitchen out there, it is an important rule to follow as best you can. below are some examples of how to best apply this layout in various floorplans.

image via

image via

if you are lucky enough to create an entirely new footprint in your kitchen, then you may be wondering about dimensions! since we are already talking work triangle, let us start there! a good rule of thumb is to have 36”-60” between any two surfaces. you need 36” to open appliance doors comfortably, but do not want to have to carry a hot dish more than 60”. it may be a fun idea to be able to dance in your kitchen, but remember it isn’t necessary!

now onto your counters! we are going to stick with standard suggestions in this blog for the sake of resale value, but remember you can adjust dimensions based on your foresight of staying in a home and your own height. if you have a young family of five, all well above average height, and building a custom home from the ground up, you may want things taller to better suit you. or vice versa, if you’re all shorties like the kpi ladies! counters should be 36” – 38” high and at the least, 24” deep. we suggest going as deep as your appliances, which is generally closer to 28”, to avoid constant variation in depth. Any deeper than 28” tends to be a hassle, as you start to be annoyed by reaching so far back in a lower cabinet.

speaking of cabinets, let us address upper cabinet spacing. your upper cabinets should be placed between 16” – 20” above your countertops. again, this depends on your height, and even the ceiling height in your kitchen. any higher than 20” will make it difficult to reach items, so we don’t suggest any higher regardless of having high ceilings. your upper cabinets should 12” – 14” deep, as not to interfere with your counter workspace.

now, if you are lucky enough to have an island, you may think bigger is better, but that is not always the case. the size of an island will depend greatly on your use of the island. will there be an additional sink at the island? will you put your cooktop here? or any other appliances? you may want to have space for counter stools. our two factors to keep in mind here are: 1) the distance you will have to reach across the island 2) depending on the material you use, most slabs are approximately 110” x 60”.

okay, now onto the fun stuff – surfaces! if you are doing a complete renovation, you have three areas to cover: flooring, countertops, and backsplash. we are going to cover flooring today and follow up on our next post with countertop and backsplash options! our personal favorite option for flooring is hardwood, especially if your ground floor is hardwood in every other space. hardwood floors not for you? make sure you still focus on durability here, nothing too fragile! we love cement tiles for kitchen flooring as an alternative to wood, you can create fun patterns in custom color palettes, they have a rustic yet modern feel and really work in almost any style home. a cost effective kitchen flooring option that we love is vinyl tiles, or marmoleum, it’s eco friendly counterpart. you can keep it simple, and go with one color throughout, or create checkerboard patterns, chevrons, or random patterns for a little whimsy! below are some of our favorite materials and sources to help you get the look in your own home!

reclaimed wood flooring via

reclaimed wood flooring via

reclaimed wood floors in kitchen by kishani perera inc.

catalina 10 custom cement tiles via

cement tile flooring via

marmoleum tiles via

be sure to subscribe to our blog to follow our complete kitchen renovation series! and please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below! we know we can’t cover every detail, and we love to hear from you!

aesthetically speaking: pantone spring 2014

well it is here, my friends! the pantone official fashion color report for spring 2014! this may technically be the ‘fashion report’, but home design follows closely with the colors we fill our closets with! while we haven’t even really hit fall yet, we are already thinking again of spring blooms and floral prints! we could never choose a favorite season, especially living in sunny los angeles, but mostly because we are equally excited for every season! we love the earthy tones that we add to our homes in the fall and winter months, and can’t wait to bring back out the bright pops of color for the spring and summer months! so it is no surprise that we jumped at the opportunity to help you plan ahead for spring! we have rounded up some of our favorite rummage pieces to help you easily bring in the latest colors this spring!

official report via pantone

1.)  vintage leather ottoman

2.)  moroccan rug diamond center

3.)  1940s french outdoor recliner

4.)  pair of yellow table lamps

5.)  vintage yellow side chairs

6.)  vintage purple dress form lamp

7.)  vintage kilim rug with diamond design

8.)  multi colored kilim pillow

9.)  turkish kilim kidney pillow

10.)  high street pouf

hot off the press: style me pretty

at the beginning of the month, one of our favorite blogs, style me pretty living, featured an entire day of design tips from kishani! she covered bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and living rooms! today we are sharing a bit of these interviews in case you missed it! don’t forget to head on over to style me pretty to read the full features including kishani’s top five tips for each room!

don’t miss kishani’s top five tips for decorating a bathroom!

don’t miss kishani’s top five tips for decorating a bedroom!

don’t miss kishani’s top five tips for decorating a dining room!

don’t miss kishani’s top five tips for decorating a kitchen!

don’t miss kishani’s top five tips for decorating a living room!


trade secrets: pillow formulas

perplexed by pillows? bewildered by toss cushions?  do we have the blog post for you!  the age old question of exactly how many pillows are enough has been heavily debated for centuries (particularly between men and women). not to worry, we are here to set the record straight!

here are some straightforward pillow guidelines to keep in mind when adorning your bed or sofa:

1. size matters: when it comes to layering toss cushions,  the size difference should vary slightly. i wouldn’t suggest putting a large 24″ pillow next to a 12″ pillow, for example, without a size in the middle (like a 18″ or 20″)  to balance it out. but definitely mix it up, don’t do multiple pillows in the same size.

2. be bold: when coming up with combinations of cushions for either your bed or sofa, be sure to mix patterns in with solids. i like to mix in at least one strong pattern in with a  solid or two, and then either add in a tone on tone pattern or texture for interest.  the wrong pillow fabric can downgrade the full palette so try to be mindful of the colors and fabrics you introduce into the grouping.

3. bedroom pillows: try to keep your cushion count between 4-9 pillows at most (including your sleeping pillows). rather than go with to the matching euro shams to your bed set, i prefer to mix in a different pattern or color here and then add a pair of decorative toss cushions or a long bolster for added interest. the arrangement of pillows can also be determined by the overall style of the room. for a modern space i prefer to keep the sleeping pillows (usually 4), stacked in pairs, with a pair of decorative pillows propped in front of each stack. for a more decadent look, or more traditional space, i prefer to lean the pillows, including the sleeping pillows, on the back of the bed, creating gradual layers from back to front that go from large to small. for example, a pair of euro pillows along the back, sleeping pillows next, and a pair of decorative pillows in front, as an example.

4. sofa pillows: keep in mind that toss cushions are there not only to add color and interest, but to add comfort as well. make sure that the amount of pillows doesn’t feel out of place or awkward, or worse, are so big you can’t sit comfortably on the sofa. i usually gravitate to a total of 3-5 pillows on a sofa but this number can change depending on the overall vibe of the space and length of the sofa. for example, try using just one long lumbar pillow on a sofa if you are going for a more modern/minimalist feel, but for a more luxe look, go for a pair on either side of the sofa and a kidney cushion in the middle.

below are some examples of great pillow mixing without going overboard:

  via kishani perera inc.

via desire to inspire

via elle decor

via house beautiful

via domaine home

via country living

via katie ridder interiors

via architectural digest

project diaries: los feliz charmer

we love getting to share our recent projects with our followers! this particular remodel is near and dear to our hearts. we have grown to love the charming character we created in this los feliz home using warm and crisp paint colors and a mix of vintage inspired and industrial hardware and lighting. seems like the public agreed as the house was sold before it went on the market! scroll below for some of our favorite photos of the property and a list of sources to get this same look in your home!

to see more sneak peeks of our current projects be sure to subscribe to our blog posts, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter!