31 May 2011

Moveable Feast

When Dutch designers create a barbecue, we're all in for a treat. This portable piece from Molenkitchen combines street-vendor style with multiple cooking functions that would impress the most passionate backyard chef. As shown above, it's a grill. The gridded firebox can be detached and fitted with a rotisserie. Tip the unit on end, and you can use it as a smoker [the hollow handles act as chimneys]. kruiwagenkeuken.nl

30 May 2011

Happy Trails

The whip-stitched lampshades, stuccoed range hood and carved, Spanish-colonial side chairs are an indication we've gone west with this kitchen. The cacti, too, are a potent [and prickly] reminder. The upside-down nature of the lighting amuses me; it's the detail that makes the room memorable.

27 May 2011

You're Invited

Since we handily survived the recent rapture-palooza, why not take this opportunity to look at another future that might have been?

In 1967, the folks at Philco-Ford [!] produced a film titled '1999 A.D.' to mark the company's 75th anniversary and provide a sneak peek at domestic life in the distant days ahead. [Appending the unnecessary anno domini makes it sound even more futuristic, I guess.] You'll find push-buttons and video screens galore; rooms of then-shocking, now-iconic modern furniture; and a mildly dysfunctional family trying to have lunch. Click here, and pull up a virtual chair to their table.

25 May 2011

Hybrid Hues

Turquoise may be an improbable color in the garden, but these molded-glass mosaics work their magic indoors just fine. Creating a fantasy of floral composition by mixing textured and smooth tiles into unexpected combinations—well, sometimes, it's fine to fool with Mother Nature. vetrovivo.it

Power of the Palette

Incredibly, my color campaign is working! It's Day Three of posting blue products and places, and our skies have at last shed their dark and stormy countenace and turned a [mostly] recognizable shade of cerulean. I'll keep it going with this new hue from La Cornue: Icy Blue. It's a subtle, more contemporary shade than their other similar offerings, in my opinion. It pairs well with all things stainless, too. lacornueusa.com

24 May 2011

Blue Loo

I saw this slim, modular unit at ISH and I have to say I think it's a brilliant new look. The design streamlines the installation process, too. When replacing an old clunky commode, the Monolith simply sits against—not inside—the wall; its tank is contained in the sleek, glass-paneled carrier. It's compatible with both floor-mounted and wall-hung bowls. geberit.com

In the Kitchen with the Tombstone Blues

It would be derelict not to acknowledge Mr. Zimmerman's birthday [and dangerous to call out its particular year]. Here's Bob hanging out in his Woodstock home, circa 1964, with Allen Ginsberg.

23 May 2011

Am I Blue

There's a fairy-tale flavor to this kitchen, to be sure, that some might find a bit cloying—but there are also a few fundamental design ploys that could easily be applied to more tempered effect. Flipping the color roles between the island [blue cabinets + white top] and the perimeter installation [white cabinets + blue counter] gives the room a focus without straying into visually discordant territory. Papering the coffered ceiling is too whimsical for me, but I do take a shine to those Murano-glass light fixtures. diamondbarattadesign.com

P.S. This week's posts will feature the color blue, as part of my personal protest against the endless grey skies we've endured in this non-spring.

20 May 2011

I Want the Hat

While the bill hooks may have been replaced by fridge magnets and PostIts, I'm impressed by how many of the 23 highlighted features of this 1916 cabinet unit are still in demand for today's kitchens. Pull-out shelves, dedicated storage for pot lids, even a cookbook holder—such niceties remain popular.

Speaking of long-term appeal: The manufacturer of these cabinets is still in business. Founded as a sawmill in 1876, the company began focusing on kitchen cabinetry at the time of WWI. A notable side venture included making the exterior panels for every surfer's dream form of transport, the woodie station wagon.

19 May 2011

On the Edge

As wall cabinets continue to give way to drawers, the backsplash finds itself without a logical upper border. By the same token, handy undercabinet lighting has been vanquished. I appreciate how the design of the Light kitchen addresses both issues by capping a broad band of rough-faced stone with a slim, steel-shaded fixture. tisettanta.com

18 May 2011

In a New [Old] Light

The Bluff City pendant has stuck in my mind since seeing it at ICFF this past weekend. Unprepossessing yet distinctive in its design and construction, it could be a factory light for a forgotten industry of the past—or for a yet-unknown technology of the future. Of course, you could hang it in your kitchen right now. rollandhill.com

17 May 2011

Elevated Style

Clamped to the edge of a counter, the Torno tray and bowl—each made of cork—add a bit of fashionable storage to the kitchen, courtesy of designer Inga SempĂ©. I'm inordinately fond of the material, with its buoyant hand and mesmerizing surface patterns. materia.amorim.com

16 May 2011

A Casual Kitchen

Despite the faux pas of placing a chair right in front of the oven door, I really enjoy the lighthearted nature of this kitchen. The wide-open 'window' turns the utilitarian pass-through into a friendly gesture between rooms. Patterned wallpaper further softens the identity of the space.

13 May 2011


An immaculate manicure; smooth, unchapped skin; a slender, graceful wrist—no washer-woman hands here. At once surreal and serene in its mudra-like imagery, this 1947 affirmation of the superiority of the Bendix automatic washer appeals to the imagination on several levels. I can't help but feel a little sorry for the ungainly lot of wringer-style appliances lost in the long shadow of the Bendix; once upon a time, they were the epitome of modern efficiency. Ah, unsentimental progress.

12 May 2011

Corner Play

This corner shower enclosure is space-conscious in more than one sense of the word. As both of the OpenSpace model's glass panels swing inward to fit flush against the walls, not only does it give cramped quarters some breathing room, but the inconspicuous installation also casts architectural features and surfacing treatments to the fore. A mirrored finish for the doors—which I saw at the preview of this product at the ISH show last month—is a tempting option. duravit.com

11 May 2011

Wall Flowers

Taking a worm's-eye view of peonies against a summer sky, this printed porcelain tile is a visual surprise. The unusual vantage point, juxtaposed with the silhouetted overlay, makes the Ispira Peonia collection hardly your garden variety design. It reminds me of artist James Rosenquist's hybrid take on realism and Pop art. fapceramiche.com

10 May 2011

Tasks Mastered

Designer Mick De Giulio has long examined the form and function of the kitchen sink, devising custom-fabricated basins for many of his clients. His first foray into production sinks adapts many of the features found in the one-off models, such as a colander holder and a teak cutting board with knife slots and a sharpening steel. This 45-inch basin is called Multiere. kallista.com

09 May 2011

Finish and Line

Lending itself to both casting and bending, equally receptive to color and textures, glass is quite the chameleon of the materials world. The Argento Vivo kitchen displays these qualities well, with back-painted glass fronting the rounded cabinets and a frosted translucent sheet comprising the island counter. Roberto Pezzetta designed this beauty. gdcucine.com

06 May 2011

A Room of Her Own

The 'Mrs.' bathroom, as Crane somewhat coyly called it in 1958, sure seems expansive for the day—but the times they were a-changin', as the reference to increasing home values suggests, as well as the nod given to 'famous designer' Henry Dreyfus. KBCULTURE wishes mothers everywhere a most wonderful day.

05 May 2011

Night Visionary

No, the Numi toilet is not black; because I am rather smitten with its integral lighting, I chose a photo which shows off that feature to its best advantage. Of course, the dual-flush, WaterSense commode has a host of other attributes, including a foot-warming fan, motion-activated lid and bidet functions. All can be controlled via a touch-screen remote, which recharges when docked in its magnetic holder. kohler.com

04 May 2011

Express Yourself

As a student at Design Academy Eindhoven, Thomas Linssen made this exploration into plastics, form-making and the evolution of the bathtub. Using a chair as the basis for the tub's frame, he draped the armature with fiberglass fabric and filled it with water. As the membrane bulges outward, the ribs of the structure are simultaneously molded into the tub's interior. studiothol.nl

03 May 2011

For the Restful Room

I can feel my stress level plummet just looking at this casual vanity. Raw wood, wicker and fiber basket-drawers, a simple stone counter—if there's a palette of materials conducive to relaxation, these are surely prime elements. lineart.fr

02 May 2011

West Meets East

This kitchen island certainly is hopping, in a functional sense. The more-than-substantial cutting board is well placed over a mixer garage [I think that its drop-down tambour door is rather clever]. The warming drawer is handy for proofing dough. With its glass-enclosed rice paper door panels and tansu-influenced wooden modules, the cabinetry is an appealing update of an Asian theme. Or is it a Far Eastern treatment of a modern look? Either way, the Madison collection caught my eye today. mwf.com