29 February 2012

Shady Doings

To mark the intercalary occasion known as leap year, I'm sharing the playful Blub pendant light. Particularly in the more bulbous of its models, the grain of the oak competes with the form of the fixture, resulting in some very interesting patterns. ex-t.it

28 February 2012

Fair and Square

The flat drain cover on the Peak sink [I appreciate the calculatedly contradictory wordplay, there] levels the entire bottom of the basin without compromising the flow of the water. This ensures that your wine glasses won't wobble when placed around the edge of the drain. A thoughtful design detail. frankeksd.com

27 February 2012

Personal Touch

As a long Monday comes to a close, I am very much soothed by how the Elle kitchen sets off a sundry collection of cooking tools. Which isn't to say that its simple form and smoky oak finish call for some sort of extraneous accessories to coax it to life; inherently elegant, the design stands comfortably on its own. I just appreciate how easily it can share the stage with typical kitchen clutter. cesar.it

24 February 2012

Peanuts or Pretzels?

With the Academy Awards hoopla happening this weekend, I submit this scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey for the customary Flashback Friday post. We're aboard the Moon shuttle Aries, grabbing a snack from the galley. Despite its cool, retro-futuristic look [consultants from NASA advised on much of the set design], the zero-gravity-friendly menu was limited to pouches of liquified foodstuffs. According to the script, the Aries was operated by Pan Am Airways—which, in reality, had lunar aspirations of its own—and was renowned for in-flight cuisine that featured recipes from Maxim's de Paris.

23 February 2012

Exhibitionist Tendencies

Toss out those refrigerator magnets—here's a kitchen cabinet that provides a more polished [and protective] display opportunity for photos and kids' school drawings. The wicket-like design has a solid, central panel that's wrapped by an 'outer' door which is fitted with a glass window. salvarani.it

22 February 2012

Making the Cut

The confetti-like quality of this resin panel isn't artifice; Paper Cut is in fact made with the manufacturer's shredded product catalogs, so you can use it with a clear [and colorful] conscience. I can see it as a sliding shower door, or kitchen cabinet insert. 3-form.com

21 February 2012

Pull Up—or Out—a Chair

This built-in seating feature, from the Look line of cabinets, could make a really big difference in a really small kitchen. Without casting any aspersions on either the manufacturers involved or on homeowners of a critical mass, I can't stress enough the importance of checking and rechecking the load limits on both hardware and materials for such an installation. alno.de

20 February 2012

Textbook Texture

Designer Marie-Laure Helmkampf takes a light but sure hand to this kitchen, adding a plain plaster range hood and simple wheat-colored cabinets to the space. Given the amount of natural light in the room, I'm thinking the cylindrical pendants might be unnecessary, but their defined forms do provide a neat contrast with the rubble wall. ml-hdesign.com

17 February 2012

From the Heart, the Conclusion

An intimate, at-home repast sounds like an enjoyable, low-key alternative to a fancy Valentine's dinner on the town, doesn't it? At least until this 1947 version of meals-on-wheels rolls up to your door. A cross between the Dymaxion Car and the Wienermobile, this vehicle would certainly turn heads even in the neighborhood of 'compact, servantless homes' envisioned by Men Who Plan Beyond Tomorrow.

16 February 2012

From the Heart, Part 4

I think this classic Fornasetti ceramic tile could be used as a measure of romantic attachment. One could install a single 8 x 8 square as a token of modest affection, or cover an entire wall with them in a passionate—and graphic—declaration of true love. hastingstilebath.com

15 February 2012

From the Heart, Part 3

Here's a change-up: Instead of putting flowers in water, this sink has you putting water in flowers—abstractly, of course. With a dozen roses running around $100 for the holiday, this bouquet-in-a-basin might prove a better value, as these blooms will never fade. vitruvit.it

14 February 2012

From the Heart, Part 2

While the match between Eve and Adam may have been made in heaven, their relationship—like those of so many couples—took some unexpected turns. The tempting design of this shower enclosure alludes to the serpentine ways of love. antoniolupi.it

13 February 2012

From the Heart

This week, in celebration of Valentine's Day, we'll funnel our passion for kitchens and baths towards products that have over- [or under-] tones of amour.

Raising the lid of the Miniki is akin to opening a box of chocolates—and without the calories. Inside the plum cabinet, discover a complete kitchenette; this one's surfaced in cotton-candy pink laminate. You can mix and match from more than a dozen flavors, err, colors. miniki.eu

10 February 2012

1 + 1 = 3

Side-by-side or stacked: By my count, that's two configurations for a laundry pair. Even by today's recessionary math, that isn't exactly a broad choice of installation options, but in 1964, Westinghouse blithely indulged in a bit of creative counting. While the inventive arithmetic is amusing, what really doesn't add up here is the happy homemaker. Handbag slung pragmatically over her arm [perhaps it contains clothespins?], she is busily ironing nothing. Except, possibly, her left hand.

09 February 2012

Change of Seen

It's important to me that design—no matter how specialized it may be—have flexibility. That's one reason I give this backsplash storage a thumbs-up. With the doors open, a controlled clutter of cooking paraphernalia is revealed. Slide them close, and the kitchen assumes a seamless appearance. beeck-kuechen.de

08 February 2012

Revolving Door Policy

Picking up on yesterday's refrigerator theme—why not?—here's a look at another new model. The door-within-a-door design gives quick access to drinks and snacks without breaching the main cooling compartment. This short video shows the Grab-N-Go fridge in action. kenmore.com

07 February 2012

Swing State

Can an appliance be ambidextrous? This refrigerator may come close to that notion, as it has doors that open from both sides. The dual-swing design could certainly offer convenience in some kitchens, but I must wonder if the feature might prove too tempting to youngsters eager to play peek-a-boo with the freezer. sharp.co.uk

06 February 2012

Industrial Strength Kitchen

Talk about heavy metal. The Beam kitchen, designed by Tom Dixon, boxes appliances and counters in brass plates and hangs them off a skeleton that's constructed of raw steel I-beams. The sink is built up from a terrazzo slab. On occasion, the Beam takes a sojourn to a design fair or culinary event, but when not on the road, it's installed at Dock Kitchen restaurant in London. tomdixon.net

03 February 2012

A Not-Quite-Super Bowl

Once upon a time—starting in 1948—Evansville, Indiana was earning a reputation as the Refrigerator Capital of the World. Servel, International Harvester, Seeger, and later Whirlpool were among the appliance manufacturers whose facilities produced coils, condensers and cabinets there. What better way to raise the community's profile than to kick off a new tradition? Then as now, teaming local industry with college athletics seemed a win-win proposition, and the Refrigerator Bowl was born.

Turnovers in business trends, though, eventually took their toll on the event. The last Refrigerator Bowl was played in December, 1956; the Sam Houston State Teachers College Bearkats frosted the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State College, 27-13.

02 February 2012

Black and Bright

Its doodle-like design notwithstanding, there's nothing sketchy about this snazzy backsplash treatment. A panel of backpainted glass in a pattern called 'Amazon' creates a fine [and easily cleanable] focal point in a kitchen where minimalist restraint is much in evidence. caple.co.uk

01 February 2012

Step Right Up

It's a common conundrum: Small people sometimes need a boost to reach the sink, while small bathrooms often don't have space to spare for a footstool. The Step vanity, with its pull-out platform, solves both problems. macral.com