30 December 2009

Not a Lot of Hot Air

While angled cooktop installations are rare [at least in US homes] that's no reason to neglect their ventilation; indeed, I'd think that nasty vapors would accumulate more in corners than mid-point on a wall. [HVAC experts, please feel free to weigh in on this.] Here's a sleek, chic solution to the problem. elica.com

26 December 2009

Toy Story, the Final Chapter

Sweden is home to Lundby dollhouses, and their resemblance to Ikea interiors is striking. I give them points for operable lights in the oven and range hood; I can't vouch for whether the undercounter refrigerator also has that feature. Putting legs on the base cabinets is a nice detail, too.

25 December 2009

Toy Story, Part 5

All I can say is: Appliance designers, take a lesson. Harkening back to the immortal Chambers stove, this playhouse kitchenette delivers all the essentials with a surplus of style. And it's berry red.

Merry Christmas, and to all a good night.

24 December 2009

Toy Story, Part 4

I call this the Happy Days kitchen. Its optimistic color scheme [note the jazzy red appliance handles] reflects the feeling of the 1950s; all the conveniences of the New Era are in place. The view of farm fields outside the 'window' I find both touching and telling: Even as society was racing towards modernity, it looked for reassurance to the agrarian past.

23 December 2009

Toy Story, Part 3

The last of the bathrooms for our Toy Story week, this chubby tub reminds me of the Dreamscape design Michael Graves produced for Hoesch many years ago. His was more geometrically pure, to be sure—but the sense of fun [which is rather important for toys, yes?] is shared by this little soaker.

22 December 2009

Toy Story, Part 2

A Brutalist bathroom suite for the progressive child [or their dollhouse surrogate self], rendered in wood rather than b├ęton. You may be startled at the source for these pieces—I certainly was. potterybarnkids.com

21 December 2009

Toy Story

In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, this week KBCULTURE takes a break from the harsh realities of the kitchen and bath world—almost. We'll stay on topic, but focus on the more forgiving realm of make-believe: toys, both old and new.

Yes, Virginia, once upon a time dollhouse fixtures actually worked. Fill the tin cistern on this 1920s vintage bath, and a scaled-down shower could be enjoyed by members of the miniature household.

18 December 2009

Chicken Little

Unless my eyes deceive me, this helpful indoor BBQ was offered in electric and—whoa!—charcoal models. Perhaps that explains the prominence of the intercom system [on the wall to the left of the fruit bowl]; it's easy to buzz in the ambulance crew when they arrive to treat guests suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Oh, Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner—Looks like that bird is cooked.

17 December 2009

Spanish Ayes

Two stylistic cross-currents make it tricky to peg the nature of this bath at first, but break it down into components and its design heritage becomes evident. The equipale chair, encaustic tiles and wrought-iron ring pulls give it a Latin flair. Effective foils to an overt hacienda look are the contemporary vessel sinks and sleek mirrors. karamann.com

16 December 2009

Cool Rules

To my surprise, this winter-white kitchen lifts my mood in these daylight-challenged months. The graceful light fixtures soothe the relative busyness of the island's base. Deliberately undersized door and drawer pulls painted to match the cabinets maintain the visual composure, as do the matte finishes. Even the frosted windows, with their icy allusion, speak more of brightness than briskness. plainenglishdesign.co.uk

We Interrupt This Blog...

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

15 December 2009

Lighten Up

The food-mill handle gives this repurposed-parts pendant some credentials for use in the kitchen. It's difficult to ascertain the identity of the other components. I think the bottom part of the 'shade' may be an embellished colander; the top looks like an automotive air filter. Designer Gilles Eichenbaum demonstrates a fondness for combining culinary cast-offs in fun ways. garbage-vpot.com

14 December 2009

Looking High and Low

If the Lift faucet looks a tad ungainly [and really, it's within the realm of acceptability, isn't it?] there's good cause. This image shows the faucet literally in top form, extended to its full height. It can keep a low profile, too: A gentle push downward, and it converts to a low-rise model. webert.it

11 December 2009

Two Cool

Here we are, flashing back to the Silly Sixties. These towering twins [notice they're heads if not shoulders taller than the appliance] are meant to impress us with the grooviness of a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer dubbed the Gemini 19. The double allusion—to the space mission and the zodiac sign—is far-out indeed.

10 December 2009

Square the Circle

The Ice corner sink is marvelously simple in form and supremely effective in function. I can't envision any other similar configuration—with a deck-mounted faucet—that offers so spacious a basin in so small a footprint. bissonnet.net

09 December 2009

Bon Mot

An oldie but a goodie: Pun tiles. Available in a limited vocabulary—mostly bathroom-oriented nouns, adjectives and a few selective verbs—these tiles can either surprise or assure the visitor, depending on their architectural context. ascot.it

08 December 2009

Gilt Complex

Here's a fillip of flamboyance for you. The mirrored mosaic, with its embedded tree-like patterns, subtly reflects some neutral colors; that calms things down a bit. Designing with mirrors must be challenging—is the silver really seen, or is it merely a visual vehicle for the surroundings? skbarchitects.com

04 December 2009

Chow Timely

From a postcard series dated 1918 and titled 'U.S. Army Life in the Cantonment' comes this sedate view of a military kitchen at mealtime. Judging from the full serving dishes, these gents must be the first diners on the scene...or maybe the food just wasn't very good.

All we are saying is give peas a chance.

03 December 2009

Casual Comfort

In this kitchen, I'm drawn to the interplay of curves in the wonderful roof truss and the chimney hood, echoed by the bell shape of the copper pendant lights. The colors and materials all work for me, too. But then the oddly anthropomorphic skirted Windsor stools appear, crashing—albeit very politely—the design party. KBCULTURE readers, what say you: Hit or miss?

02 December 2009

Good Woods

There will be some whose immediate reaction to these saw-cut driftwood wall tiles will be one of skepticism; cries of 'Too hard to clean! Susceptible to moisture!' will issue forth. Let me assure them that the 30" x 45" panels can be treated to resist both water and flame. Now there's no excuse not to embrace this innovative line of products. bleunature.com

01 December 2009

Simply A-doorable

Here's a resourceful way to solve a storage problem without throwing the cabinet design into chaos. A column of faux apothecary drawers is hinged at the side to easily stow items that can't be corraled into cubbies. Smart thinking, I say. chalon.com