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?


  1. I'm with you Leslie. Clean, honest design and then fussy.......Like tulle on a LBD.

  2. Oddly anthropomorphic indeed. Why is it that women wear long skirts and dresses in the first place, especially in formal settings? The answer is that their best features are closer to the top. The curvy, feminine features of this kitchen are all, in one way or another, on top. They com­ple­ment the right-angled and more masculine ones — thick exposed beams, plate glass windows, metal, and a narrowed color range. Copper is the color of Venus, by the way. I think it's terribly well thought out and very well executed. Skirted chairs or stools are obviously fastidious, so you're right to question them. You called attention to the curved trusses, the curved sides of the vent and the curves of the pendant lamps. You did not mention the curved backs of the chairs which are also important. By covering their legs — we can only imagine how much they would jar and compete — with the only visible fabric in the design and by using a clearly subdued color, the designer has told us quite cleverly to look up, the best features are above. Anyway, I'm a KBCulture reader and that's my opinion.

  3. top to bottom. yes, yes, yes, yes, "what the f".... really wrong. 90% right isn't really that bad, but this is not so much a distraction as a negation. linear uncovered legs would draw the eye up more then any skirting. this whimsy has no place in an otherwise beautifully executed space.

  4. Flaming is the bane of unmoderated Internet discussion. The temptation to be anonymously vulgar, or anonymously insulting, is more than some people can resist. Had you said merely that you don't like the skirting in this kitchen — I called it fastidious, suggesting that I don't like it myself — and added that you think I'm wrong, you might have been able to comment under your own name. This kitchen contains and represents many of the things I have tried strenuously to avoid in my life. But, the key to understanding creativity is seeing things through the eyes of others, in this case a designer. I tried to do that. I tried to understand the skirts that Leslie rightfully questioned. It would have been far easier to say I'm appalled by them, but I tried to see what the designer saw in selecting, emphasizing and de-emphasizing the various elements. I came to the conclusion, a conclusion you are in no way obliged to support, that the skirts are an integral element of the overall design. That discovery surprised me somewhat. However, if we measure everything by the standard of our immediate prejudices, we cannot see the new, or the next. I've tried to imagine Picasso hesitating to juggle straight lines and curved, or to see things from a different or from multiple perspectives, with and without skirts, for fear that his casual critics get their panties in a wad. I find myself grateful for his courage. I am also grateful that such courage exists among artists and designers of more humble things like kitchens. Finally, Windsor chairs or stools do not have "linear" legs, and what would the world be without whimsey?

  5. Passionate, informed opinions are welcome, dear readers [and dear writers].
    Thank you all for participating in an intelligent, careful manner.
    BTW: The day after I posted this kitchen, I saw it on the cover of a magazine [to which, I should mention, I have contributed stories]. I now know the designer of the project; I will post a link to their studio on request.


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