31 July 2012

Glazed and Confused

Artist Ruan Hoffmann's work is unabashedly personal; he has likened his ceramic work to diary entries. Part of his 'Entrapercevoir' series, the 'Much Love Me' collection [I'm tempted to call it a 'chapter'] mixes pictorial pieces with tiles painted with phrases; a provocative verbal complement to his haunting visual story. Images on the 12x12 limestone squares are lithographed, and each of the twenty tiles in the group is offered in a limited edition of 100. cletile.com

30 July 2012

See Breezy

I've always thought that a house sited on the water [the 'cottages' of Newport notwithstanding] should have a kick-off-your-shoes ambiance to them. But perhaps this view is unbalanced, as it pigeonholes coastal residences as vacation homes—which is definitely not the case for many, if not most, of the houses in question. Yet it's still possible to inject a working family kitchen with a getaway feel: witness this wood floor painted in a tropical green.

27 July 2012

Head Over Heels

The athletic analogy adopted by the folks at Launderall earns it a spot at the top of the podium for this week's Flashback Friday post. I'd say the difficulty factor of the washer's routine—'the revolving clothes cylinder changes direction four times each minute'—is better suited for machine, not man.

As is often the case, there is an echo of history in this Flashback item. The city of London last hosted the Olympics in 1948 [the year this ad appeared]; coming on the heels of WW2, when rationing was still ongoing, the event was dubbed the 'Austerity Games'. Talk about going around in circles....

26 July 2012

Cool[er] Britannia

I differ from our English friends in that I like my lager distinctly chilly, if not icy. So this pint-sized fridge, complete with freezer, would be a fine companion during the Olympics opening ceremonies—and beyond. Let the Games begin! smeguk.com

25 July 2012

Just Swimmingly

While it's not likely your bathtub can accommodate a tumble turn, that's hardly a reason to exempt it from the Olympic spirit. This non-slip mat brings a freestyling [get it?] look to the fixture; I think it'd be most fitting in a clawfoot model with a jumble of Victorian-era plumbing. unionjackshop.co.uk

24 July 2012

Great, Britons!

With the London Olympics striving to be the greenest of all Games, I'm impressed with how seriously the Brits approach sustainability. The attitude extends to transitioning an urban icon which, thanks to cell phones, has become obsolete. Phasing out the K6 [the official name of the once-ubiquitous red phone box] is not to be taken lightly. Cognizant of the cultural significance of the booths, the telephone company instituted a community adoption program for the structures. At Leverick Bay in the British Virgin Islands, one kiosk has been reincarnated as an outdoor shower. Restored and properly plumbed, it's an outpost of civility.

23 July 2012

London Calling

The world, these days, is not exactly awash in good news; perhaps the upcoming Olympics will give us something to cheer about. Let's try to get in the spirit with this earth-toned turn on the Union Jack. By letting the wall planking show through so boldly, it puts a handcrafted spin on the typically slick treatment of super-graphics. dehnbloomdesign.com

20 July 2012

The Best for the Wurst

This 1914 German 'ice closet' must have done quite a fine job of keeping food fresh, if the hungry cat absconding with the string of sausages is any indication. While I find the squat, furniture-like design of the fridge quite appealing, it's artist Rudolf D├╝rrwang's furtive feline—in its dotted, striped and green-eyed graphic glory—that really catches my attention.

19 July 2012

Shower Powerful

A visual meme of sorts flooded the Interwebs yesterday: a dramatic photograph [irritatingly Instagrammed] showing the crazy storm-cloud formation that settled over Manhattan as our heat wave came to an impressive and torrential end. I'll acknowledge the event with this elegant, sculptural garden shower. Name: Delta. mermeladaestudio.es

18 July 2012

Fruits of Labor

As you may deduce from the above shot, I am no photographer. But I do have an appreciative eye for details, and this shallow 'bowl' carved into the counter of Mick De Giulio's #KOTY project for House Beautiful magazine is a sweet one. I asked him about its genesis; he told me that some time ago, working on a commission in Maui, a length of lychee wood that had been destined for a work surface was damaged in handling. Rather than scrap the slab, Mick tweaked the design to overwrite the flaw—and a signature detail was born. degiuliokitchens.com

17 July 2012

In Formation

Take a moment to study this photo—a pleasant task, I hope!—and you'll notice the cabinets are slightly offset from their supportive metal frames, creating a handy towel bar. Designer Arik Levy developed the Structure collection of bath furnishings with the notion of enclosure in mind; look for little gaps and projections in each of the pieces that not only illustrate this idea, but add functionality, as well. inbani.com

16 July 2012

Shadows and Light

Somehow—perhaps it's the way the grey-stained cabinets catch the sun—this clean-lined kitchen feels both warm and cool to me. Such ambient versatility is much appreciated today, as we're once again on the ramp-up to another hot spell, and even a bit of virtual shade is welcome. chelseaatelier.com

13 July 2012

Crossover Hit

From the Two Heads Are Better Than One file: The long-ago corporate dalliance between Frigidaire and General Motors did result in some shared technologies. Air conditioning systems developed by the appliance manufacturer were utilized in the automaker's cars [the merry Oldsmobile, in particular]. So I can't help but suspect that the AM/FM radio and cassette-tape deck found in this 1974 refrigerator—features that Spot finds so riveting—might have been caged from some Chevy. And there's little doubt in my mind that Corvette Red is the chosen hue for the fridge.

12 July 2012

Rock Solid

Dropping a butcher-block into a stone counter? Sure, no problem. But how about dropping a block of stone into a steel surface? I like the textural accent that results, and the change in height could delineate a prep or service zone—such a treatment could be useful around the cooktop, where it would provide ample area for hot pots to rest. valcucine.com

11 July 2012

Problem Solved

In the tight confines of a powder room, who amongst us has not been caught in the spatial squeeze between vanity cabinet and water closet? I think the drop-down door of the Mill├ęsime would spare many a knee from being knocked. And those outrigger pull-out shelves also leave plenty of room to maneuver, while supplementing the unit's already-generous storage capacity. decotec-paris.com

10 July 2012

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

With the experience of our recent heat wave [dare I say] seared into my mind, it's little wonder I'm on the lookout for ways to get out of the kitchen. This compact Japanese brazier, called a konro, is made of clay and fueled with charcoal. I can imagine setting it on a picnic table, and tossing grilled morsels onto cool-from-the-garden salads. korin.com

09 July 2012

Back to Basics

Confirming that budget and beauty aren't always exclusive, the appeal of the Jansson kitchen turns on its very limited design vocabulary: a black & white color scheme and consistent proportions. The cabinet handles/towel bars might be a little on the thin side, but that's just me. The deep, inset drawers are great, and the circular accents bring a bit of fun to this corner installation. levahusfabrik.se

06 July 2012

Kicking Back

Between the hot weather and the big holiday, I've had reason to keep posts on the short side this week. In a similar spirit, this refrigerator ad from 1961 cuts right to the chase. Artist Jacques Auriac featured a rather haute summer pairing of lobster and Champagne in his ultra cool graphic design. I'm impressed by how much is conveyed—with a minimum of words—about the appliance.

05 July 2012

Water Falls

The 360-degree rotation of the Zoom faucet could prove to be a step-saver in the kitchen, if installed on a narrow peninsula or small island; its jointed spout extends as needed, as well. A handsome piece of design by Nilo Gioacchini. grupponobili.it

04 July 2012

Fire Works

The star-like pattern of the Druida grill's grate would leave some interesting brands on your burgers; much more festive than the usual parallel stripes. And the wooden lid adds an elegant touch to the piece.

Now if you'll excuse me—it's time to declare my independence from the computer for the day! A very fine Fourth to those who are celebrating. mermeladaestudio.es

03 July 2012

House Seats

I'm pleased to report that there's more to kitchen seating than bar stools or banquettes. Meet the 'dinner sofa'. There's quite a variety of models: some are L-shape, some have armrests, some even have back supports that recline. A rather ingenious concept, I think, and one that may well spawn a host of imitators. This particular style is called Barbo. koinor.com

02 July 2012

American Kitchen

Because this is a holiday weekend here in the US, I'm going to make this a quick post. This sunny, summer kitchen, with its coincidentally patriotic color scheme of red, white and blue, suits the occasion of our Independence Day. dowling-studios.com