31 October 2011

Wishful Thinking

I am so happy to be able to share this post with you today, dear readers. Since Saturday, I have been forced to wander the byways, gypsy-like, in search of a working connection to the Interwebs. This is, of course, due to the extensive power outages caused by the Great [Pumpkin] Blizzard of 2011. Here and now, holed up in the basement of our local library, I can vicariously bask in the still-summer setting of this tropical-tinged kitchen.

Tomorrow, of course, is another day.

28 October 2011

Boo! The Final Chapter

The head-scratching attire and generally bizarre-o imagery in this 1960 advertisement wins it the Flashback Friday spot in this year's run-up to Halloween. Does the princess descending the stairs realize she is about to be ambushed by a six-gun-toting tot? [Trick or treat, indeed!] And those steps—where do they lead, anyway? The giant heart encircling the agitator adds a weird sort of sentimentality to the mix.

Have a strange and disjointed All Hallows Eve, dear readers.

27 October 2011

Boo! Part 4

Glossy meets gothic in this unlikely kitchenette design by Matteo Thun. Incongruously delicate legs hold up the sarcophagus-like cabinet, which is home to a sink, induction cooktop and a small fridge. The sinister bulk of the piece, combined with its after-midnight color, makes—to me—a most macabre impression. salvaranicucine.it

26 October 2011

Boo! Part 3

Light fixtures in the form of a skull are a dime a dozen, especially at this time of year. To me, the indefinite appearance of this Dorian pendant is far more disturbing than representational designs. The bone-white shade has a ghostly translucence, owing to its gilding with dichroic glass. The tentacles of crystal beads threaten to entangle those who linger beneath. Creepy! waclighting.com

25 October 2011

Boo! Part 2

A cloud of vampire bats? Or vertebrae from a dismembered skeleton? Neither, squeamish reader. Hung from the ceiling, these Flying Hooks could hold bath towels or a cook's apron. Made of non-slip rubber, they were designed by Bos [just add another 'o' and it's the ultimate Halloween name!] and Couvée. ygoods.com

24 October 2011


Appropriate to the eerie occasion, this hauntingly lit kitchen leads off Halloween week at KBCULTURE. Shadowy chef's tools and ingredients—to be used in concocting a witch's brew, perhaps?—are stored behind glass doors, where they're safe from splatters. If ghoulish green isn't your color, Moodlight's LED display may be programmed to more flattering hues. warendorf.eu

21 October 2011

Going Green

While the folks at Kelvinator were justly proud of their own rendering of the timeless bile-green hue we call avocado, I suspect they knew that the real star of this 1966 fridge was the futuristic door handle. Set on etched-metal panels, the pulls look like a tool that ol' Scotty would deploy to tune up the Enterprise's dilithium crystals. And that's good enough for me.

[P.S. Everybody knows that avocados should never be refrigerated. FAIL, Kelvinator!]

20 October 2011

Halo Effect

Fittingly based in the City of Light, Le Deun Luminaires creates ethereal, minimalist fixtures. The delicate rings comprising the [pi]super8 pendant are ribbon-thin bands of steel, lined with 168 LEDs. It would be quite striking in the round and sleek Argento Vivo kitchen, I think. ledeun.com

19 October 2011

The Time Has Come

A few weeks back, a Tweet from the inquisitive minds at Moen asked the question, 'What faucet innovation would you like to see in the future?' I am not one to shy away from such a poll, and wished for a fitting that would dose out water in specified amounts. It exists in laboratories—why not the home? Jasper Hou has put more thought into this project, and I think his 'No More No Less' design is an elegant, workable solution. Some in the blogosphere have expressed doubts; they worry that the electronics would be vulnerable to water. Problems are meant to be solved, I say.

[Jasper's website is currently disabled.]

18 October 2011


Big, but not bulky; clean-lined, but not clinical. The Canasta 2 sink is a pared-down design that melds [card sharks will smile at that reference] materials with restraint. In an ambidextrous detail, the wooden shelf slides freely along the length of the basin. Or you can remove it completely, if you so choose. moma-design.com

17 October 2011

Singular Style

It's not too often that a small, urban kitchen catches my attention. Usually, they seem to be one of two predictable types: either a by-the-book, Euro-style space, or a 'spontaneously' messy tableau that aspires to inclusion in The Selby. This room is refreshingly different, preserving some of its indigenous charms [the tile floor and the ceiling medallion] while adding new, necessary cabinets and appliances. Note the range hood, atop the tiled portion of the wall, squeezed in between the windows. I like that.

14 October 2011

Head-Spinning Design

Domestic life in 1953 must have been very sedate, considering the reaction these ladies are having to a rather basic dishwasher. The novelty of the twirling upper rack seems to have sent them into a collective tizzy, as if the wheel had been reinvented. Never mind that the capacity of a circular design is less than that of a rectangular tray—it spins! Whee!

13 October 2011

Soft Touch

I tend to be over-protective of the oak counters in my kitchen, doing all my slicing and dicing on cutting boards. Perhaps if I worked on cork surfaces I'd be a little more freewheeling in my treatment of them. No surprise to anyone who enjoys a bottle of wine, the material is happy in a wet environment. These counters are made of 100% recycled cork that has been formed into slabs just over an inch thick. While a long stretch of a cork counter might be appealing to some, I'm envisioning strategically-placed inserts routed into surfaces of stone, concrete, and yes, wood. suberra.co

12 October 2011

What's Under the Hood?

It's a techie type of day here at KBCULTURE. Pairing an efficient direct-current motor with a computer component makes the Verona range hood both quiet and powerful. Dubbed the DCBL [say the letters out loud—you'll understand*] system, the DC power source produces less than a quarter of the noise that an AC motor [typically found in hoods] emits. The LED lights can be set to hold one color or to cycle through a three-shade spectrum, illuminating the edge of the glass canopy. [* decibel] zephyronline.com

11 October 2011


This morning I attended a presentation hosted by IFDA/NYC on the Maison et Objet trade show. As Hermine Mariaux reported on emerging trends in furnishings and textiles, she noted a nascent interest in Baroque-era design and art. The curving profile of the GrandTour bathtub seems right on track with that forecast—but there's a twist of a different kind to this story. The tub was pilfered off the exhibition floor when it was displayed at another industry expo, Cersaie. [Puns about a clean getaway will be stifled.] rapsel.it

10 October 2011

Change of Season

Although the calendar confirms it's mid-October, we've been basking—even baking—in summer-like weather for a few days. This room, with its traditional style and materials brightened by sunlight, straddles the two seasons in a quietly confident way. Not too many kitchens can make such a graceful transition; their functional aspects—from walls packed with cabinets to super-scaled appliances— typically overwhelm the subtleness of the space. thomashamel.com

07 October 2011

Good Intentions

Let's give Hotpoint props for its pledge to eliminate 'fumbling and groping' for items in this refrigerator—but the 1956 design does have a drawback. The Big Bin that's affixed to the bottom of the door is so deep that it looks to me like one would have to stand aside when opening the fridge. The awkward access is compounded by the not-so-ergonomic action of crouching down to reach the food in the enclosure.

Back to the drawing board.

06 October 2011

Sharp Idea

It's cutlery confession time: I have never liked slotted blocks [too clunky on the counter] nor magnetic strips [visually haphazard] for keeping my knives in order. But stashing them all in a drawer is not always convenient. Here's a tidy and efficient solution: a glass-and-cherry wood rack that slides along the backsplash. alno.com

05 October 2011


Like many so many people this evening, I was brought low by the news of Steve Jobs' death. There is no underestimating his impact—direct and indirect—on the design world. Thank you, Steve.

04 October 2011

Making the Connection

It looks like the magnet trend in bathrooms is [ahem] taking hold in the kitchen. These ribbon-like handles and trim pieces can be swapped out to feature different colors, thanks to strategically-placed magnets. I'm especially fond of the hot dot on the cooktop. The Weblicity appliance collection was previewed at the recent IFA fair in Berlin. gorenjegroup.com

03 October 2011

Monday, Monday

Staged though it may be, the controlled chaos in this kitchen is a fair [but thankfully not literal] reflection of my life today. Everything started out well organized, but affairs were upset by unforeseen events which took the better part of the day to sort out. But enough about that—let's be cheered by the Lego-like quality of this colorful cabinetry. Supporting the island on transparent acrylic panels is fun, and the staggered/cantilevered composition of the island's drawers lends itself to some fantastic custom designs. lago.it