Beyond the Box

If you've got the wall space and are inclined to appreciate the contemporary, here's a cabinet scheme that I'd like to share with you. The composition could be concentrated in the kitchen area, or drift into neighboring parts of the interior. Lift-up doors would work better than side hinged designs, as they'd keep the edges of the boxes clean. And fitting each storage unit with some sort of downlight—individually controlled—could yield some fabulous effects.

Spin Cycle

The folks behind the very-low-tech Dishmaster sure knew how to talk a good game—and come to think of it, 'tub-type electric dishwashers' of 1955 might still have been working out a few performance kinks. That might explain the disparaging implications about scraping and loading. But I fail to see the virtue in the claim of a day's supply of soap in the reservoir, and the notion of 'aerated' suds...well, what would suds be without air, I ask? In any case, the fellow wielding the wand seems to be having a fine time [remarkably, his hands are dry], and a happy Dishmaster is a good Dishmaster.

Facts of Light

It's increasingly common to see wall-mounted light fixtures in the kitchen. A decorative supplement to—not a substitute for—dedicated task lighting, they can really enhance the ambience of the room. Of course, if you're the adventuresome type, installing a sconce of contrary character [like this contemporary model in a traditional setting] can brighten the space in a very different way.

Up + Down

No, we're not having an earthquake—that jiggly, multiple-exposure effect in the photo is meant to show that the Skyline range hood can rise or lower upon demand. Delicate steel cables suspend the unit, which features a shallow, softly-lit shelf on its side. On reflection, I bet said 'shelf' is not intended for actual storage; its contents might take a tumble when the hood is on the move.

Details Count

What a great pairing: a modern stone backsplash with traditional cabinets. I think the success of this design goes beyond the opposites-attract theory and truly lies in its left-of-center color palette and the integration of pattern [the speckled countertop and slightly funky door pulls].


There's a quiet poise to this kitchen that I shall admit to coveting. The gentle light, low-key colors and comforting forms [those arched doorways are so peaceful] combine to create a room with a retreat-like atmosphere. After a weekend of compiling the results of the KBCULTURE Awards and preparing for the annual trek to the kitchen and bath trade show, KBIS [this year it's in that toddlin' town, Chicago], I'd love to take a break in such a well-designed space.

We Interrupt This Blog... call your attention to the results of the 2012 KBCULTURE Awards. It's always a pleasure to review and recognize so many outstanding product designs.

Later this week I head to Chicago to attend KBIS, the American trade show for the kitchen and bath industries. I'll be sure to share with you any noteworthy finds.

Kitchen Camouflage

From my perspective, it's not the Amana refrigerator that's disappeared. It's the lady of the house who has blended into the background. Flowers overpower her as well as this 1968 kitchen; the black-and-white graphic is pretty mind-blowing, even forty-some years later. I'd love to see the full collection of 329 [!] patterns that were offered as door panels; maybe there'd be a few worth reviving for use today.

We Interrupt This Blog...

 ...for an update on the 2012 KBCULTURE Awards. I'll be announcing the finalists today via Twitter—but you'll have to wait until Monday to see the winners, which will be published here.

Cubes Farmed

And another EuroCucina introduction, this one from Scavolini. Ticking off his inspirations for Foodshelf, designer Ora-Ïto cites a cubic-centric list of Mondrian, Lego and the aesthetic of the 1950s. The modular cabinetry is meant to be employed [generously] in spaces beyond the kitchen, smoothing living and dining areas together. Hardly a revolutionary concept—or look, for that matter—but the quality of craftsmanship is notable. The oak and lacquer boxes and surfaces are to be freely mixed; every kitchen becomes a custom work. Color-wise, there are 15 shades in the palette, including a screaming yellow that has great potential to liven things up considerably.


Making its debut at EuroCucina, Board was designed by architect Pietro Arosio as a practical yet artistic response to the demand for flexible, space-conscious kitchens. I really like the wedge shape of the Corian peninsula; at its deep end, it accommodates a compost bin and sink.

An Elevated Look

EuroCucina, the kitchen sub-show of iSaloni, kicks off today in Milan. Although I'm stateside for this occasion, I'll be sharing press previews of some of the notable product launches throughout the week.

Audaciously injecting French style into the Italian fair is the W suite from La Cornue. The collection, which was designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, retains some of the iconic details [control knobs, towel bar, vaulted oven cavity] of the classic appliance in the leggy new line while taking it into a thoroughly contemporary realm. The burners of the induction 'table' are arrayed in an arc around a central work surface—an interesting approach to ergonomics.

Design for Today

In a bit of climatic chicanery, the thermometer is supposed to spike to 90º this afternoon, a circumstance that sends me searching for a sunny-but-cool kitchen location. This room, with its bountiful windows and barefoot-friendly stone floor—not to mention copious workspace—makes for a suitable psychological retreat from the heat.

Burning Issues

I'm pretty sure that the three features highlighted in this circa 1970s ad were supposed to appeal to customers—but I find their allure somewhat questionable. Broiling radiantly, whether at waist-level or otherwise, doesn't sound very convenient or comfortable. I suppose we should be glad that there's no call to take steel wool to our midsections; I'll concede that point to the Magic Chef.

Under the Rainbow

Stretchy, sheer fabric poufing over a metal armature gives the Muse a dreamy appearance. In addition to this pendant style, it's also offered as a sconce and ceiling fixture.

Sharp Storage

I'm a big fan of point-of-use storage that's unobtrusive. Sometimes that's a tall order, especially in a kitchen that's on the small side. This knife box drops down via a touch-latch from the underside of a wall cabinet. My picky criteria are satisfied.

A Hued Improvement

Ever think that the ubiquity of chromed kitchen faucets is due to lack of choice? Ponder that simple truth while coveting the colorful coils of the Lady Chef. In the interest of equality in fittings, let's hope that a Mister Chef line is in development.

Strength + Grace

Too robust to be labeled rustic, more contemporary than Craftsman—this is a kitchen that crosses borders. One of many details that mark it as a serious cook's habitat is the row of knife slots that runs along the back of the counter to the left of the window.

Technicolor Times

Spring flowers, eggs [and bonnets] of Easter—it's a colorful season indeed. Hence this Flashback Friday post, which gaily displays the chic bathroom palette of 1957. Cornflower blue, daffodil yellow, tulip red: the ceramic sinks of fifty years ago were a veritable bouquet compared to the monochrome preference for white that dominates today's design. I appreciate how this ad suggests coordinating colors; note the small swatches abutting each basin.

A Moment of Silence

Regular readers of KBCULTURE may have gleaned that my secondary passion [after kitchens & baths] is rock 'n' roll music and its practitioners. [See Exhibit/s A, B and C.] Today's news of Jim Marshall's passing has elicited paeans from many musicians around the world. This mini-fridge in the guise of a Marshall half-stack is a cool tribute to the Father of Loud; in addition to the fret-cloth front, the control knobs can be cranked to 11. Rock on.

Analog This

For the obsessive clock-watcher, I present this odd little luxury, whose presence in your bathroom basin virtually guarantees that time won't ever go down the drain. The sink stopper, tested to Swiss standards of water-pressure resistance, is available in your choice of face treatments: brown, white, grey and black.

Steamy Solution

Such a simple and smart detail, this band of clerestory windows. Not only do they mark the transition from wall to ceiling in this casual bathroom, they also provide an escape route for moisture. A small criticism: the spindly legs of the console sink aren't up to the task of supporting the solid feel of the architecture here. I'd have gone with either a wall-hung basin or a contemporary pedestal design.

KBCULTURE readers, what would you do?

Into the Light

Although I question the wisdom of locating the wall ovens at the oh-so-very-far end of this galley, its sun-splashed floor puts me in a forgiving mood. [Hey, it's Monday!] The mix of stainless cabinets and such plebeian elements as the encaustic tiles and wooden beams gives the room a pleasant jolt; coordinating the color of the wood with the metal is a fine idea.