30 November 2011

Warm Atmosphere

What's so special about this shower installation, you might well ask? The answer: One of the glass walls radiates heat, making the enclosure comfortably toasty. An electric current invisibly warms the fixed, front panel; look carefully at the right side of the towel bar and you'll see the control module. The surface temperature runs from about 115ºF to 130ºF—that will certainly take the chill off a winter morning. vismaravetro.it

29 November 2011

Blues Power

To counter today's dark and drizzly skies, I flipped through [and, as always, over] the current catalogue from Dominic Crinson. A visionary patternist and a relentless colorist, he produces wallpaper and tiles that some may consider optically overwhelming, but I find quite soothing. This collection of ceramic squares is called Blue Glitz. crinson.com

28 November 2011

Back to the Box

Open shelves in kitchens are a fine idea, but if the proportions are off, you've got a very public mistake on your hands [or, more exactly, on your walls]. I think the Kalea kitchen offers the next step in display-cum-storage with its inset niches of contrasting color and material. Here, the cubicles are matte lacquer; the surrounding cabinets are rough-textured oak. I like the chiaroscuro effect achieved by varying the depth of the installations; pushing some of the boxes further out of the main plane than others livens up the wall dramatically. cesar.it

25 November 2011

Nuke the Bird

Microwaving Thanksgiving leftovers—sure. But cooking the whole turkey? I think not. However, in the famously futurist year of 1984, such behavior was encouraged. It gives new meaning to the Quasar slogan: 'Out of our minds.'

24 November 2011

Cleaning Up [and Down]

While ovens and cooktops will get a workout in US kitchens today, the hardest working appliance will doubtlessly be the dishwasher. In my book, the machine's capacity is on a par with cleaning performance as the most important feature, and so this cutlery tray—which has a section that flips down to accommodate bulky utensils, like ladles—has a particular appeal. The Futura Diamond model also has an automatic-close door, which means [for the klutzes among us] no more bruised hips. mieleusa.com

23 November 2011

The Spit's a Hit

Every Wednesday afternoon, an online confab takes place [if you're interested, check out #kbtribechat on Twitter] about all things kitchen and bath. One of today's topics: the favorite method for cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Votes were cast for deep frying, a combination of convection and steam, barbecuing and tried-and-true oven roasting. This Flamberge rotisserie would be quite the gourmet option. The unit doesn't require venting, freeing up installation possibilities. The 'garage' for the wheeled carving block is a prudent move, positioned right where it's needed. lacornueusa.com

22 November 2011

Power Prep

Kitchen sinks that are simply basic basins are all well and good, but designs that feature add-ons like cutting boards and colanders really grab me—and if used intelligently, can make food prep a more efficient process. What sets this Stages sink apart from other similarly-accessorized models: an undercounter storage rack that's made to contain the trays and bowls that slide along the rim of the sink. Smart. kohler.com

21 November 2011

Movable Feasting

Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday, and on that day kitchens across America will be packed with  families, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers and dogs. For the host trying to get the Big Dinner on the table, cooking in such close quarters may be problematic. Deliverance comes in the form of the Pro Cook series of mobile appliances; guests can continue to mingle in the kitchen, while the chef wheels the meal preparation off to another, less crowded space. atelier-saintpaul.fr

18 November 2011

Dapper Indeed

Here in dramatic black and white is a curiosity from the surprisingly late date of 1960. One simply throws the switch on the side of this petite, all-in-one laundry appliance to channel the power between a washer with a bantam-weight capacity of five pounds and separate, the solid copper drying drum. Unless that drum is the size of a pill bottle, we are talking some serious 2011 cash, here. That should please 'He', the bowler-hatted, banker-type gent who, by bringing the Lavalux home, has made life so much easier for his companion, 'She.'

17 November 2011

Happy Birthday, Mickey

On this date in 1928, Steamboat Willie premiered in New York. Its plucky animated protagonist would soon become an icon of American pop culture. This enameled steel stool is only one of countless designs inspired by Mickey; I think it could find a place—of honor, even—in just about any kitchen. There's a shorter version that could give a bathroom a little zip, too. cappellini.it

16 November 2011

Going Through the Wringer

In addition to acting as the collective memory of the appliance industry, the expert crew at automaticwasher.org has a well-developed sense of the absurd. This picture—one of my favorites—is a hilarious take on the zeitgeist of today.

15 November 2011

Have You Herd?

These four-footed fixtures [the collection is called 'Cow'] both amuse and impress me. There's certainly a sense of wit to them; one version features Guernsey-style spots. But they also present a rather compelling alternative to traditional bath ceramics. The commode combines design elements of wall-hung and skirted models, and the 'pedestal' sink has a solidity that its columnar counterpart lacks. artceram.it

14 November 2011

Knotty and Nice

Over the weekend, the leaves were falling from our trees in torrents; now, bare branches dominate the landscape. Perhaps that impression forms the root of my fascination with this kitchen, with its sumptuously figured wood walls. Is is just me, or do you see faces peering out from the bookmatched panels, too?

11 November 2011

Low Tech

Simpler times, 1911. Refrigerators of that day didn't dispense water or crush ice or freshen the air. This White Frost model pledged merely to 'keep food cool, pure, sweet, wholesome.' No boasting about energy efficiency or cubic feet, either; just the understatements 'Several sizes. Common prices.'

Aw, shucks.

10 November 2011

Small + Sculptural

Art in a tidy, eight-by-eight format—that's my take on the Dune tile. Handcrafted out of a variety of materials, including concrete, gypsum and some truly sweet hardwoods [visit the studio's site to see these], these squares put a spin on any wall. urbanproduct.ca

09 November 2011

Cold Storage

Best. Full-size, bottom-mount refrigerator installation. Ever.

Any floorspace that was lost by this superbly creative design was well worth the sacrifice. Let us sing the praises of simple molding and skilled finish carpenters. martinimobili.it

08 November 2011

Inside-Outhouse

My earlier post on a centralized kitchen plan touched off a few lively discussions around the Web, so for your consideration I'm offering up a similar scheme for the bath. A few years back, architect Harald Schnur designed this freestanding 'bathroom' that utilizes four triangular plumbing frames. On its far side, out of sight, is another sink; I think including a hand shower in its stead might make more sense for a small household. missel.de

07 November 2011

Interior / Exterior

It's a shame we don't see much of the business side of this kitchen, as a couple details shown here certainly pique my interest. One is the placement of the sink: While the lack of surrounding counter area is generally considered a design no-no, I take a contrary view. No counter = no clutter. But the highlight of this room is definitely the beautiful ombre treatment of the cabinet. With its segue from saturated orange to a golden saffron, it's a perfect echo of the autumn scene outside my window.

04 November 2011

Occupy the Kitchen

As much a panacea for the post-Depression gloom as a paean to the promise of the future [sound familiar?], the 1939 New York World's Fair featured several General Electric-sponsored model homes set in the Town of Tomorrow exhibit. The type-written press release taped to the back of this photo introduces us to "...Muriel, top-flight cook of the Electrified Farm, preparing cookies" in a kitchen that was calculated to save 10,000 steps a year—thanks, of course, to an array of GE appliances lined up in a logical order. Power to the people, indeed.

03 November 2011

Holding the Line

Cabinet design is precise work. Especially with unforgiving modern geometry, if a door is a sixteenth of an inch off, visual disaster can ensue. I love how this corner detail provides both aesthetic and functional solutions to a problematic condition. leicht.de

02 November 2011

Peace and Quietude

After a tumultuous few days coping with the fallout of Mother Nature's grand Halloween trick, I am back in my home, which is once again warm and illuminated. The serenity of the MH bath suite is a fine antidote for an interrupted life. totousa.com

01 November 2011

Splish Splash

The 4Bambini sink isn't just child's play—although that's certainly a big component behind its design. The clear acrylic 'dam' that demarcates the two levels of the basin is removable, so kids can discover basic properties of fluid dynamics while having fun sending fleets of submarines and canoes over the brink. Almost six feet long, the trough-style sink has room for four faucets; is there any doubt that the nozzle-nosed character shown here is the ideal fitting? keramag.de