31 May 2012

Perfect Proportion

Fans of rough luxe and shabby chic, please move along—the Delos collection of bath furnishings is designed to please those of a minimalist bent. Although a full range of storage cabinets is part of the line, I love the planar purity of this counter unit. The glass shelf that crests the backsplash is repeated over the mirror, where it acts as a less-is-more lens for a LED light. duravit.us

30 May 2012

Hands On

I appreciate electronic, touchless soap dispensers as much as the next greasy-handed person, but there's a charm to this old-fashioned globe model the new designs can't match. Once in a while, reproductions—sometimes of dubious quality—come on the market; a better bet is a regular trolling on Ebay. Here's a current listing.

29 May 2012

Multiple Choice

Of all the pieces in the Axor Bouroullec collection—tub, shower, shelving, and sink—it's that last element which has most captured my fancy. Handles and spouts can be placed where you want them, arranged on [or off] the different plateaux; the tub shares the same design concept. Rendered in a glossy mineral-cast material, the basins are offered in two sizes, with one or two integral shelves. hansgrohe-usa.com

28 May 2012

Backyard BBQ

This open-ended kitchen pavilion may be a mite on the unorthodox side, style-wise, but I find a number of very appealing practical features to it. I bet the tunnel-like structure catches a nice passing breeze, as well as providing shelter when—as it is wont to do—the weather turns foul. Keeping the grill in the shade makes monitoring cooking foods a glare-free process. And of course ceiling lights ensure the fun doesn't have to stop when darkness falls. zabor.net

25 May 2012


It's been that kind of week, dear KBCULTURE readers. A monsoon-like weather system moved in and obliterated the sun for days on end, while depositing what seemed like an ocean's worth of rain upon us. [A trepidatious check of the weather widget just now revealed a parade of four thunder-storm icons—there goes the weekend!] And so I'm finding some resonance with this 1970 slice of life, with its sly humor.


24 May 2012


That last thunder clap triggered car alarms up and down the street and sent the cats scrambling under the bed. A three-day weekend approaches, and by all accounts it will be a wash-out, with storms heedlessly spoiling barbeques that traditionally mark the beginning of summer. I say now is not the time for another steel-grey, bulky cooker in the backyard. The lithe Grill Act comes in six uplifting colors—they look sharp even in the rain. attika.ch

23 May 2012

Hot Wheels

Slightly more than minimalist in design but a far cry from a fully-loaded model with features like bottle racks and cutlery trays, the Troller kitchen cart provides portable storage in a slick package. The single drawer conveniently slides open from either side of the unit, and a trio of ceramic containers could hold skewers, breadsticks—what-have-you. It's also offered in what's essentially an inverse color scheme, with ash wood accenting a dark wenge frame. legnoart.it

22 May 2012

Color Comeback

In a bit of color-filled news, designer Jonathan Adler has teamed with Kohler to create a collection of bath and kitchen sinks in four of his trademark happy-hues. I saw them over the weekend at ICFF; six cast-iron basins are enameled in two shades of blue, a grassy green and a yellow that indeed brightened our still-abysmal weather. An insider tip: This is a limited edition, and will only be available for a year, so if you've got a white kitchen or bath that needs a boost, act fast. us.kohler.com

21 May 2012

Looking on the Bright Side

Although our now-traditional Monday morning deluge is taunting me by slacking up a wee bit, the forecast calls for rain throughout the day, which makes the prospect of trekking through the streets of SoHo as part of NY Design Week/ICFF less than spectacular. I'll take relative [and vicarious] comfort in this kitchen, which bridges light and dark through its deft hand with color and texture.

18 May 2012

Scour Power

The claim of 'new and improved', as quasi-contradictory as it may be, has sold a lot of major appliances over the years. As one of the most despised tasks in the kitchen, cleaning the stove is perennially ripe for such a textbook marketing pitch. This approach—dunking the oven's wall panels into the sink—certainly qualified as 'new' in 1964, and while the technique was arguably an improvement over this method, it left something to be desired. Unless, of course, your sink was the size of a bathtub.

17 May 2012

...At the End of the Tunnel

Huzzah! The sun peeked out today, for the first time in quite a while. To mark this already-humid event, I bring you the Corner Light, designed by Peter Bristol for Established and Sons. Both simple and clever, I am drawn to the evanescence of the design. establishedandsons.com

16 May 2012

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

Capitulating [at least I'm doing so in a colorful way!] to the meteorological malaise that has gripped our locale, here is the forthrightly-named Rainshower Icon. Would that the cumulonimbi that have darkened our skies have such a vivid appearance as these mod handshowers. grohe.com

15 May 2012

Star, Bright

There's both a folk- and fine-art quality to these geometric tiles designed by [and named for] Los Angeles artist Daniel Ogassian. I saw them a couple weeks ago at KBIS, and was taken with the way light—even the less-than-subtle sort that illuminates trade-show booths—glinted off the sculpted surfaces. The collection is offered in 8-inch and 12-inch formats and in eight glazes. annsacks.com

14 May 2012

Outlook: Grey

I'm a pushover for dark woods with an assertive grain. No doubt that's why this photo made it into my files in the first place. Although its cabinetry still appeals to me, I've now got a few reservations about other aspects of the room. The concrete-like wall treatment stretches the materials palette too far. Working at the under-lit, wall-bound sink threatens to be a rather depressing experience. And commercial-style range hoods are just over, for me. Perhaps my disillusion is rooted in the still-overcast weather we've been enduring. bakesandcompany.com

11 May 2012

A Perfect Game

I'm intrigued by the motley collective countenance of these guys. Does it conceal their inner teddy-bear tendencies, or does it convey an aggressive, don't-mess-with-my-mom attitude? To get the backstory upon which this tale of maternal instinct turns, click the picture to enlarge it.

The underwear, in fact, might be the least of Mom's washday woes; my rough tally for a typical league night includes seven bowling shirts, seven tee-shirts, seven dress shirts, 18 socks* and, of course, the seven sets of skivvies.

Which begs the question: Boxers or briefs? Only Minna knows, and she, like all good mothers, is keeping her family's secrets—dirty laundry in the most literal sense—to herself.

KBCULTURE sends Mrs. Kalikak and moms everywhere sincere wishes for a washing/cooking/cleaning-free Mother's Day.

* Includes two lucky pair

10 May 2012

Neat + Clean

The out-in-the-open design of the Sixty sink belies its storage capacity. The square steel shelf can hold items top and bottom; the surrounding superstructure can corral folded towels. And inside the basin a ledge makes a convenient spot for soap et cetera. toscoquattro.it

09 May 2012

More Than Just a Pretty Interface

It seems like it didn't take long for the novelty of digital shower controls to fade; even in the quiet world of plumbing, the supercharged pace of technology shall not be denied. The design of the sleek new Neorest shower, though, is a bit different: In a bit of eco-friendly engineering, the LED light that indicates the water temperature is illuminated by hydropower, rather than a battery. totousa.com

08 May 2012

A Royal Flush

Talk about pride of place! The storied British firm of Catchpole & Rye can cast metal toilet cisterns that are customized with a family or estate name. The final product is offered in painted or polished finishes, including copper and nickel. You know you want one of these. crye.co.uk

07 May 2012

Spring, Delayed

Another mushy day, when the sun just can't quite muster past the overcast skies. This kitchen, its whiteness both empty and bright, brings clarity through its crisp lines, straight and curving. The cabinet that runs across the window is a quiet, yet bold, move. allanpowell.com.au

04 May 2012

Vanitory, Thy Name is Formica

I think that back in 1952, folks might have been handier around the house than they are today. Home-improvement projects of the DIY nature generally called for a higher level of carpentry skills [not to mention a well-equipped workshop] than the cut-and-caulk 'upgrades' popularized on certain current television shows. Dad would need to be a rather proficient cabinet maker to build this 'vanitory', replete with suggested hamper feature. Oh, and Dad—don't forget the knee space.

03 May 2012

Under the Weather

The heralded showers of April were a no-show in these parts, with the spring rains holding off until May. Today's grey skies only intermittently parted for some weak sunlight. This below-grade bath reflects this weather for me, its chalky stone walls reminiscent of bands of clouds. The limited natural light is magnified by the elongated mirror—thank goodness! stevenharrisarchitects.com

02 May 2012

Ceramic Composition

While I've yet to be bored by the geometric reiterations of simple rectangular tiles, a change in shape is always welcome. Owing to manufacturing limitations, these puzzle-like pieces, designed by architect Gio Ponti in 1960, didn't make it into production until now. Available in 13 colors and four sizes, the Progetto Trienniale collection was worth the wait, I'd say. marazzitile.com

01 May 2012

Twist and Spout

This faucet, called Turn, was one item that caught my attention at last week's KBIS expo. Although angular, it's quite comfortable to the hand; the architectural proportions please the eye. From J├Ârger, it's offered in several finishes. rohlhome.com