With a certain red-suited someone due to hurtle down chimneys this evening, I give you a simple kitchen fireplace for this Christmas Eve post. [I'm sure Santa will appreciate the proximity of the cookie jar.] The counter-height firebox is the way to go, especially if you're a hipster dabbling in hearth cooking—or a plump, jolly old elf who needs an ergonomic access route. ozarchitects.com
Count me among those who are happy to see the open-shelf detail recede from the scene. The stuff arranged on the ledges always seems forced—whether coordinated or eclectic, the vignettes are brittle in their perfection. These large sliding panels give the kitchen a cleaner look than shelves or conventional cupboards, without sacrificing either storage capacity or accessibility. And there's no pressure to design their contents. leicht.com
I'm sure the understated appearance of these cabinets belie the great effort behind their design. The barn-door hardware is beautifully crafted, and the simple, crate-like drawer boxes add just the right amount of color to the composition. [Did you notice they're red and green? It's my nod to the holidays.] Depending on the materials used for the floor, walls, and counter surfaces, this kitchen could go high style or revert to its utilitarian origins. lottocento.it
And in this phantom kitchen, there's no refrigerator-, sink-, or cabinet-watching, either...but I digress. Burners and ovens that can be set to turn off automatically—what's not to like? I imagine that the prospect of a defective timer may have doomed this 1959 feature. Or perhaps it was a cooktop filled with perpetually roiling soups and stews; let's recall warning of the old adage, 'A watched pot never boils.'
Valencia-based Mut Design devised this collection of ceramic tiles after studying the way light plays off fish scales; they noted that color tends to seep and shimmer across the surface in an irregular, ripply kind of movement. Similarly, the colored edges of these tiles reflect onto the adjacent white area, creating luminous lines of yellow, blue, red, and green. A most unusual effect, I say. peronda.com
While the wisdom of placing a soaking tub next to a window is a matter of personal preference, it's likely all will agree on the nifty way this bathroom is delineated through a judicious use of materials. The patterned marble that wraps the shower enclosure falls away on the walls around the tub, ensuring that alcove—exposed thought it may be—enjoys a calm, visually serene ambiance. oscarproperties.se
Leslie Clagett is a seasoned yet passionate observer of the international kitchen
and bath industries, and the founder of KBCULTURE.com. An editor at publications ranging from Arts +
Architecture to Kitchens & Baths, she is also the author of The New
City Home [The Taunton Press], among other books. Leslie has a
tremendous respect for quality design and the people who labor in its
pursuit; her discerning eye has been known to get a little misty in the
presence of true beauty.