29 May 2009

Keep a Lid On It—Really

Behold the Electric Sink, which in 1951 included a most unusual top-loading dishwasher, within which "sixty-four whirling, swirling jets brush-flush every hollow, groove, corner, and contour of every dish, glass, piece of silver and cooking utensil." After the 9 3/4-minute cleaning cycle, the lid automatically popped open [uh-oh] for "flash drying"—a function the manufacturer inexplicably fails to define.

26 May 2009

Simplicity Squared

By keeping the fittings, sprays, lights and other components of the ShowerCollection to a uniform 12 x 12cm module, Philippe Starck streamlines not just the look of the shower, but also its installation. axor-design.com

25 May 2009

Flame On!

Apropos the unofficial kick-off of BBQ season, we present the Taurus charcoal grill. Fabricated of powder-coated steel, its simple yet substantial lines can be considered either low-key or high style. conmoto.com

21 May 2009

Field of Stone

I find the milky tones of the marble in this mosaic hypnotic. Four different stones are cut with precision water jets, then fitted together in a pattern that defies clear categorization; it it Gothic, Moorish, Islamic? Picture this as a backsplash in an ultra-contemporary kitchen. urbanarchaeology.com

20 May 2009

Crystal Ball

Design aficionados made the Star range hood last year's object of desire—but Stateside, we had to wait for UL approval before it could grace our kitchens. Wish granted. The spherical form, comprising hundreds of glass prisms, is—I repeat, is—dishwasher safe. A discreet steel wand controls the fan speed and dimmer-light settings. elica.com

19 May 2009

Quiet Style

Elegant and ecofriendly—a modern combination. The new Strela features a tidy skirted design and a tapered tank; rendered in a satin finish called Honed White, it brings a depth to decor that glossy ceramic fixtures can't match. A dual-flush mechanism lets you choose between 1.6 or .8 gallons per flush. kohler.com

18 May 2009

Design Detour

A bit of post-modern detailing in the range hood, some updated cottage cabinet brackets and an unexpected tile layout keep this traditional kitchen just outside the mainstream. vbarchitect.com

16 May 2009

Escaping Confines

Here's a peek at an arty cul-de-sac of a powder room by Marsh & Clark of San Francisco. Repeating curves in the window, mirror frame and mosaic floor [I love how the tile traces up the wall in the foreground!] gracefully relieves the shoebox quality of the space. marshandclark.com

15 May 2009

A Real Eye-Opener

Ah, the idiosyncrasies of 19th century plumbing products! From the original catalogue description, thus: "A single stream or rose jet, as may be preferred, is thrown up in the centre of the basin. This gives a most delightful and refreshing spray bath for the face, and as a douche for weak or tender eyes is invaluable."

14 May 2009

Table of Content

The Pick-Nick table disturbs the outdoor dining experience—in a good way. Its staggered legs appear precarious, yet the table is absolutely stable; a hole [the '-Nick'] in the center of the surface seems to invite spillage, but a glass-bowl insert restores diners' confidence. jclagett1@verizon.net

13 May 2009

Trophy Tub

Looking at this glass bathtub, called Milo, one thing immediately comes to mind: squeegee. The luxe leather headrests are appreciated, but can't overcome the functional shortcomings—slipping issues, awkward ergonomics—of the design. gruppotres.it

12 May 2009

Art & Appliances

Laundry can be beautiful, at least in this 1937 portrayal by artist Lester Beall. Part of the federal campaign during our first Great Depression to bring electricity to under-served rural America, his imagery boldly communicated how power would alleviate domestic drudgery.

11 May 2009

White Done Right

From the row of skylights balancing the room's natural light to the creative cabinetry solutions, this breezy space breaks the mold of the bland, all-white kitchen. The design is proof that creativity and comfort can coexist—no mean feat. feldmanarchitecture.com

08 May 2009

Asian Expression

Adding a little polish to the bath is the Asana Bamboo sink. Merging matte and mirrored finishes elevates a basic stainless bowl to a subtle artistic statement. Nice! elkayusa.com

07 May 2009

Hang It All

Everything in its place. That goes double for the Erika storage system, where each wall panel is designed specifically to house a particular item; there's even one for a sink. So choose [or should we say curate] your kitchen essentials—from spoons to coffee filters to goblets—with care. moormann.de

06 May 2009

Tradition with a Twist

The inventive palette of materials and confident use of shape make this otherwise ordinary bath a standout. The way the mirrors just eclipse the tile, how the marble apron boldly defines the vanity, the window sitting level with the raised section of counter—pushing the details in ways like these gives the room memorable character.

05 May 2009

Play Ball

Making waves at the recent Milan design fair, these refreshingly free-spirited Beach Ball pendant lamps would bring summer color and a sense of fun to a vacation home bath or kitchen. tobyhouse.org.uk

04 May 2009

Precious Metals

A good idea has just gotten better, I think: A hit in its original silver finish, the Karbon faucet is now out in black, bronze and gold tones; the joints of the articulating fitting are also available in new hues. kohler.com

02 May 2009

Illuminating Idea

The diffuse, ethereal glow emitting from the Luminist tub gives a new dimension to the phrase 'bathed in light'. Simply looking at the fixture soothes; soaking in it could prove a transcendental experience. totousa.com

01 May 2009

Not-for-the-Birds Bath

This outdoor portable shower, called "Under the Tree", was created by the talented brothers at Sieger Design. The uppermost "branch" acts as the showerhead; toss a towel on the lower limbs. conmoto.com