31 August 2009

Open and Shut Case

Swivel open the top of the Degree sink, and voila, instant counter space. Swing the lid closed, and no one's the wiser about your unmentionables soaking in the now-concealed sink. It's available in a palette of zingy colors, too. bmood.it

29 August 2009

5417 Marigny Street

Four years ago today, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. This photo was taken by Robert Polidori in March 2006. To see the above location as it is now, click here.

28 August 2009

Now Hear This

In 1951, the Bosch company applied some high-tech thinking to laundry products, with this innovative device the result. By generating sound waves in a wash tub, clothes could be cleaned in five minutes. The appliance carried a $32 price tag.

27 August 2009

Every Drop Counts

Developed Down Under—where they know a thing or two about coping with drought—the Smart Profile commode is a dual-flush toilet with a difference. Upon flushing, fresh cold water flows into the tank-top hand basin, then drains into the cistern, where it remains until it's needed to wash down the bowl. Using 1.28 gallons per flush, the unit is WaterSense certified. caromausa.com

26 August 2009

Talking Shop

John Troxell, Director of Design for Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry, recently answered a few questions for 'Talking Shop', a new feature at KBCULTURE.

As a designer, my greatest responsibility is...
To fulfill the client's needs and wants to the best of my ability using creative solutions to provide a positive, enhanced living experience. This applies to both the functional aspects of the design and the aesthetic details, as well.

One of my creative touchstones is...
I don't know that there's just one, but a whole range of them. I tend to soak up images and ideas from all of the places I've visited in person; then there's material from magazines and books, and museums and works of art—and even nature. It's more a sense of the trends I see around me as well as the relevant historical background.

A current project I'm exploring is...
Actually, I'm focusing on fine-tuning the materials and details on a series of design-concept rooms.

If I had a week off from the studio, I would...
That's hard for me to say. I suppose I would like to explore some new places, or read, or engage in some 'creative play.' Or maybe just kick back and do nothing.

25 August 2009

Pleasure of the Unexpected

A nice confluence of the standard and the surprising makes this bath pleasing. A comfortable bench, your everyday white tile—and a swirling school of mosaic koi at your feet. My other favorite feature is the window: how it opens up the shower to abundant light and air. bricault.ca

24 August 2009

A Full Count

These ceramic mini-canisters, in the style of Burleigh Ware, would be useful in kitchen or bath for stashing away all sorts of oddments and essentials. anthropologie.com

21 August 2009

Function Over Form

Until now, the design of a bridge faucet precluded the ever-popular pull-out sprayer. The hose of the Steam Valve Original faucet is cradled in a stainless steel trough; users just lift it up and spray away. I like its toned-down steampunk aesthetic, too. jaclo.com

20 August 2009

Shining Achievement

Artist Liza Lou spent five years creating a kitchen made of beads. Making a comment on the cultural expectation to maintain a 'sparkling' clean space, the 168-square-foot installation comprises about 30 million individual glass pieces.

19 August 2009

Hide Out

The subtle shades of the forest—pine, fern, moss—have a painterly quality when rendered in leather tile. With their warm tactility, they have a wholly different sensory quality than their ceramic or stone counterparts. yorkstreet.com

18 August 2009

Instruction Construction

This lighthearted wall decal set becomes three-dimensional once you add your own corkscrew to the composition. hu2.com

17 August 2009

Having a Splashback

Saddle shoes...a sailor's uniform...a squad car from 1962.... For some reason—maybe the uncomplicated form of its rolled lip, or pressed wall shield?—this two-tone Bucket Sink touches a nostalgic chord in me. alape.com

15 August 2009

Happy Birthday, Julia

This is the movie-set version of Julia Child's home kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the actual kitchen [which was designed by her husband in 1961], and its contents, belongs to the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History. Click the link to see their archival photos. Julia would be 97 years old today. americanhistory.si.edu

13 August 2009

Crossing Currents

Teaming up beadboard cabinets and an exuberant atomic light fixture takes some kind of design confidence; devising the color and materials palette to hold the kitchen together takes design skill. White accents give the the room even more zip. My compliments to the creators! aquavitaedesign.com

12 August 2009

Quite a Relief

This tile collection is called treD, and despite its cross-lingual frippery ["tray dee" being the Italian equivalent of '3-D'], its doodle-like network—there's a vague floral quality to the raised pattern—is hugely appealing. casamood.com

We Interrupt This Blog...

...to inform you of a guest-blog gig that Paul Anater kindly offered me. Paul is kitchen and bath designer—with a wide range of other interests, as you'll see—in St. Petersburg, Florida.

11 August 2009

Quality Time

I contentedly cling to the belief that in the modern world there is still a place for small, graceful touches of no-tech design. This simple drawer affirms there are others of a similar mind out there. cadoroclassic.it

10 August 2009

Waste Not

Picking up on a reader's recent comment about keeping water consumption in check, this bowl-like sink has to be emptied by hand into the wooden drain. Breaking down the cleansing process enhances the ritual of washing while elevating our awareness of how much water we use. majagan.com

08 August 2009

Creature Comfortable

This might be one of those love-it or hate-it items; I inhabit the former camp. Patricia Urquiola's take on the classic livestock trough coats the steel tub in chic gray and white enamel. A teak backrest and shelf are concessions to humankind. agapedesign.it

07 August 2009

Water Falls

"This is a very complete and ingenious invention" notes the fine print describing the Folding Wash Basin produced by the J.L. Mott Iron Works. I would beg to differ from that on one small point: A drain line might make it even more complete.

06 August 2009

More Home, Again

John spent a long time designing this element for our kitchen. Two of the 'beams' conceal fluorescent uplights; three of them, fitted with either hand-made hooks or glass shelves, provide storage. Our modest home has been enriched by art. johnclagettarchitect

05 August 2009


This jazzy mosaic composition [appropriately, the layout pattern is called Rhythm Field] is a visual pick-me-up for kitchen or bath walls. The melange of marbleized glass tile is available in seven color combinations; the use of dark grout in the mix shown here is spot-on. walkerzanger.com

04 August 2009

Beachy Keen

The tropical ambiance conjured by louvered cabinet doors is particularly persuasive on a sultry August evening. Detailing the island with heavy timbers adds a contemporary twist to the scheme. medallioncabinetry.com

03 August 2009

One Hip Drip

Recalling a water droplet caught and cast in metal just as it's about to break free of the spout, this faucet is a physical take on the essence of water. The matte black finish is the proverbial height of fashion. gessi.com

01 August 2009

High Tile

Porcelain tiles formed in three dimensions—rather then the usual two—comprise both structure and ornament in this fixture. The images on the tiles are stretched, further playing with perception. roije.com