31 July 2009

Before the iPod

Why is this cherub-faced homemaker smiling? She's happy because her refrigerator has a built-in radio, allowing her to catch the entire hit parade of 1937 from the confines of her kitchen. [I think it's a Crosley Shelvador appliance; anyone with other theories care to weigh in?]

30 July 2009

Climbing the Walls

With wallpaper seeming to have run its latest course, we're getting back to more permanent surface treatments. This glass mosaic pattern is restful without being dull—and the neutral tones just tinged with metallic is a fresh look. wallpaperintrend.com

29 July 2009

Getting It Together

The casual assemblage versus the crafted composition: When done well, it's hard to tell the difference. I find the Menhir line of bathroom furniture treads this line with style and straightforwardness. falper.it

28 July 2009

Open Minded

I don't bandy about the word 'unique' unless it's truly merited...and so it is with this new four-door fridge. What sets this model apart is the push-button operation for the freezer drawers—no more awkward tugging to open—or close!—them. lge.com

27 July 2009

Natural Selection

Perhaps my favorite feature of this crisp kitchen is how the windows frame the tropical foliage outside. The self-restraint of the designer is admirable; his willingness to cede center stage to nature takes both confidence and vision. stephenknollenberg.com

24 July 2009

Water Ways

This odd illustration from 1932 purported to show an advance in tap technology. I am amused by its tangled pipes, made all the more Goldberg-esque by the unlikely perspective in the drawing.

Can't Stand the Heat...

After reading a commentary in today's New York Times, I couldn't resist posting a pic of Cold Warriors Khrushchev and Nixon learning about the modern miracles to be found in a typical American kitchen circa 1959. Read all about it.

23 July 2009

Design on a Pedestal

Sinuous as a teardrop, solid as stone [the version shown is sculpted of marble; it's also available in ceramic], the Swing washstand is so carefully crafted it would be a shame to place it in a room with an ungainly WC or tub. sanico.es

22 July 2009

Streaming Lines

The Supernova suite of bathroom fittings has edge [edges, really—and plenty of them] and elegance. To best reflect its planar surfaces, the line is available only in highly polished finishes: chrome, platinum, and a pale gold color dubbed Champagne. dornbracht.com

21 July 2009

Shine On

Integrated onto the backside of the sleek finger-pull hardware, a band of LEDs sheds light into the deepest, darkest recesses of drawers. Such convenience! hettichamerica.com

20 July 2009

Not Your Daily Grind

A standout among the wealth of goodies at the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis is this elegant countertop flour mill. Appliances wrapped in wood: I'm a fan! sunriseflourmill.com

18 July 2009

Freeze[r] Frame

Back in 1967—the heyday of Op art, Pop art and supergraphics—Whirlpool showed its hip side with customizable doors on its side-by-side fridge. Maybe it's an idea whose time has come again?

17 July 2009

Out of One, Many

Taking an artistic, analytic approach to showering, this design breaks the process into phases: A single stream of water is directed into a silicone colander of sorts, which diverts the flow into separate streams.
Why, you ask? Why not? agapedesign.it

15 July 2009

Revisionist Retro

This casual kitchen shows a flair for the funky that I find intrinsically appealing. Red window frames jolt the palette out of the ordinary. The cabinets have an idiosyncratic touch: Look closely and you'll see a letter etched in each glass door. And the ceiling is a carefree composition that lightens the space. tmcarch.com

14 July 2009

Dual Purpose Design

The Ladybird combo tub/vanity/sink is a clever concept I'd like to see come to fruition. Designed with compact quarters in mind, the sink-lid lifts off to reveal a small but serviceable tub; you could add a handshower for top-to-toe coverage. cocoreynolds.com

13 July 2009

Real Ethereal

I can appreciate the well-planned potential in this bath. Subdued, even minimal, in physical design, it holds the promise to be completely energized by natural light. I'd love to see it at different times of day to observe the transformation. feldmanarchitecture.com

10 July 2009

Deep Freeze

With transparent storage bins, LED lights, and pull-out shelves, today's refrigerators are all about accessibility. Things were different in 1947; food preservation took priority in the post-war era, as this curious Frostair ad vividly depicts.

09 July 2009

Puts the Fun in Function

It's kind of a cartoon of a faucet. Exaggerated in form and simplified in function, it's an endearing piece of plumbing that can perk up a bath or kitchen. But the Story faucet line is no joke, having just won recognition in the 2009 red dot design awards. justime.com

08 July 2009

Talking Shop

Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President of Design for Grohe, recently answered a few questions for 'Talking Shop', a new feature at KBCULTURE.

As a designer, my greatest responsibility is...
To create meaningful experiences which enhance people's daily lives and consider the fragile environment in which we live.
One of my creative touchstones is...
People...share and discuss a good idea with another person and it will grow into an even better idea. Listen and watch people carefully and all the answers to the problems we face in our daily lives can be found.
A current project I'm exploring is...
"Digitalization of the bathroom", utilizing innovative technologies to reduce water consumption yet enhance the bathing and showering experience.
If I had a week off from the studio, I would...
Spend it with my daughter, Amber, painting sharks [her favorite fish].

07 July 2009

Here's the Scoop

Cast iron is cool—not only to the touch, but as an honest material that has weathered more fads than we care to count. The Iron/Occasions integrated work table and contoured sink breaks down the boundaries between counter top and basin; its seamless enameled surface is both sculptural and sturdy. kohler.com

06 July 2009

Slinky & Shiny

Perfect for the Modernist/Medievalist boudoir...no, the Boa pendant is not for everyone, but I see it adding a striking touch to contemporary kitchens. A sleeve of steel chain mail flows over a 40-watt clear globe light, creating a diffuse pattern of shadow. fuselighting.com

05 July 2009

Fire Works

With so many blowout BBQs happening this weekend, I think the unassuming but good looking Grilliput deserves mention. Sure, it's not a full-fledged appliance in the typical sense of the word, but at KBCULTURE, we are as appreciative of classic low-tech as we are of high design. campmor.com

03 July 2009

Ice Aged

You may have noticed I like to devote Friday posts to vintage kitchen & bath accouterments. In the spirit of the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer, I offer this nifty 1935 device, a thermal complement to the toast rack. The disembodied hand is—pardon the pun—a nice touch.

02 July 2009

On the Cool Front

Mention 'showers' in the water-logged northeast, and you'll likely get an earful about the weather—but this item might prove the exception. The sleek Aqua Column Allegro outdoor shower features a foot wash and a [dare I say it] drenching rainshower overhead spray. jaclo.com

01 July 2009

Culinary Art

Of his Pescecappa range hood prototype, architect Gaetano Pesce says, "It's something different to startle the kitchen space, a bright and unruly splash of color, where just a look is enough to bring a smile to your lips." The fanciful cornucopia does just that. elica.it