Demonic Design, Day 4

Probably not for the fastidious—and certainly not the arachnophobic—this webby wallpaper casts a spell on any space. Metallic silver filaments glint in the light [of a full moon, perhaps?], creating a look that is chillingly ever-changing.

Demonic Design, Day 3

Afraid of the dark? You needn't worry about things that go bump in the night, thanks to this lantern-toting bat and his ophidian friend. The Drake pendant adds an appropriately eerie glow to belfry and bathroom alike.

[A fun frightful fact: This light fixture hangs in the foyer of the boyhood home of Adam West—yes, the Batman of the 1960s television series—in Walla Walla, Washington. Biff!]

Demonic Design, Day 2

If Dr. Frankenstein had been a designer of powder rooms rather than cobbled-together corpse-creatures, this bath might have been in his portfolio. The diabolical plumbing layout is clear evidence of a twisted mind at work. I imagine those incandescent bulbs would ominously flicker and dim whenever the doctor powered up his latest creation.

Demonic Design

As is our custom, KBCULTURE commemorates Halloween with a week of posts featuring gruesome products and haunt-worthy locations. So grab your broom and off we go...

The gothic-influenced arch and blackened-steel canopy have a dark, old-world aura about them—perhaps this is the skullery [that's not a typo!] of a castle in the forests of Transylvania? The monolithic range could easily handle a cauldron or two of Newt Stew or Salamander Surprise.

The Hell?

Only the proud inventor of the Automatic Electric Fireless Cooker Range could call the ungainly appliance 'attractive and beautiful in design.' And the promise of love at first sight is a particularly bold claim, given the less-than-flattering photograph. But perhaps I'm being too judgmental, here; aesthetic standards in 1928 weren't bad, as much as they were simply different from today. In fact, Wm. Campbell was ahead of his time with the technology of the AEFCR: The drawer-style cooking component predates the modern slide-out microwave by more than seventy years.

[Curly] Cue the Lights

The classic modern kitchen is so unrelentingly cubic; it's only natural that the eye [or is it the mind?] would seek a bit of curvilinear relief. The June chandelier adds both light and line to the room. LEDs illuminate small blocks of frosted acrylic, which cap each of the twelve bent-oak branches of the fixture.

Snug Tub

Oh, excusez moi—I didn't realize this bath was already occupied. The portrait peeking out of the zinc tub is certainly a unique way to personalize the decor. On a more pragmatic note, the room defies conventional wisdom that freestanding bathtubs require acres of open floor space.

Imbalancing Act

I feel for the designer who labored over the asymmetric form of the Elletre sink, only to have a wall faucet insensitively installed on-center, its components in suffocating lock-step. A better complement to the basin's softly irregular shapes would be a hands-free fitting placed off to the left of the concrete bowl.

Cultured Kitchen

While the Lacanche range [the Cluny model, I believe] is the tip-off that this is the home of a seriously competent cook, it's the otherwise-ambiguous identity of the space that I find so engaging. A library-cum-kitchen is created with art-filled bookcases, a fabulous window seat, and a spool-leg work table that is the antithesis of the typical island design.

What Would Superman Say?

Once upon a time, people retreated into glass boxes to make phone calls. More than two million in number, these 'telephone booths' were ubiquitous across America. On street corners in big cities and small towns, in airports, on beaches and highways, they offered a quiet[er] environment for conversation.

Today, rendered virtually obsolete by cell phones, the small structures are creatively repurposed as lending libraries, urban greenhouses, and guerilla art galleries. I have yet to see a booth transformed into a laundromat, but in 1972, Frigidaire may have glimpsed the future.

Talking Chop

It's not hard to spot the favorite cutting board in a cook's kitchen—it's the one that bears the most nicks, scorches, and stains. While those scars confirm its essential role, they're also an eyesore. I like this solution, which is equal parts practical and aesthetic: Suspended from a backsplash rail, a sturdy metal sleeve keeps the trusty board close and concealed.

Before and After [Dark]

If I didn't have a full roster of Halloween-appropriate posts already planned, this product would have definitely made the cut. By day, the ceramic brick sports free-hand splatters of colored glazes. By night, the picture changes as an eerie, glowing pattern emerges. The phosphorescent dribbles conjure a poltergeist's scribblings; perhaps communications from the Other Side?

Seeing Spots

Let me be perfectly clear: There is no disco ball in this bathroom. No patterned wallpaper. Nor has the image been digitally altered. What you're seeing are basically windows. Architect Hiroshi Nakamura punched 1,600 small circles through the walls, ceiling, and floor of the room. Talk about points of light....

Standing Out

In a contemporary context, this kitchen would blend right in—its handle-free cabinets, neutral color scheme, and smooth surfaces are of their own time. Dropped into a traditional rural building in Mantua, though, it becomes a historical marker of sorts, co-existing [quite happily, in my opinion] with the past.

Smart Appliances, 1.0

It has been a trying week on the technology front—and that's putting it mildly. New hardware, trepidatious data transfer, updated software that threw serial hissy-fits, and hours of long-distance help-desk consults eventually coalesced, and all is well again. [Although even at this point, my fingers are permanently crossed.]

Would that today's computers were as straightforward as those in the 1959 Westinghouse laundry appliances. 'All you do is push one button!' It's certainly something to think the odd-couple of housewife and Rodin sculpture demonstrate.

By A Long Stretch

It's been too long since a kitchen sink caught my attention, so I was very happy to come across this prototype by designer Jean Michel Policar. Funkily futuristic, it wouldn't be a surprise to see it installed in the galley of the Starship Enterprise.

Seriously, I like the way it commands the counter. Unlike less sprawling designs that have interchangable modules [dish drainer, cutting board, colander], it's possible to use all the features simultaneously. And isn't that the key to an efficient sink/prep area?

Moody Loo

This bath, by designer Sophie Ferjani, isn't exactly a rise-and-shine kind of space. Eclectic, perhaps even verging on the eccentric, I think it's geared more towards those who like their bathing experience atmospheric--candles, rose petals in the water, and such--rather than mere routine hygiene.

Cool Tub

Dark and light, flat and rounded—the Pear Cut tub combines opposing attributes to architectural effect. I'm partial to the two-tone look, but if you'd prefer to avoid conflict in color, the fixture is offered in all-white and all-grey versions. Credit to Patricia Urquiola for the design.

Steps, Lively

It's a city-dweller's dream: Merging a pair of adjoining apartments. In this London pad, a quirky floorplan precluded a seamless combining of the two units, so KHBT Architects ran a ribbon of walnut across the kitchen island, then up and over to the other side of the residence.

Frozen in Time

Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

I'm utterly dumbfounded at the ability of appliance designers [and copywriters] to foresee the future from the vantage point of 1930. Named for its striking resemblance to the building that's the icon of the United States government, the Capitol refrigerator foreshadowed several features of the current political stalemate. According to the ad, the Ice-O-Matic fridge is:
  • Hermetically sealed [against reality]
  • Quick freezing [the better to leave constituents out in the cold]
  • The beneficiary of 'a good sized fortune' [courtesy of various PACs, brothers Koch, et cetera]
And one more attribute of the Capitol: It's 'easily cleaned.' We'll just have to wait until the next election to do exactly that.

I'll Drink to That

Toss out those fugly tumblers that chronically clutter the bathroom—please. With a twist, the spout of this Sieger Design-created fitting turns upward and becomes a drinking fountain. Swivel it down to restore the faucet function.

Then + Now

Integrating old and new architecture and interiors is once again the rage, but updating an antique building is often a tricky business. I'm impressed with the creativity—and craftsmanship—of this kitchen cabinet design. Fitting door panels around the brace of the post-and-beam framing respects the house's heritage while accommodating contemporary needs.

[Very] Clean Lines

Would that life were as uncomplicated as the design of the Air basin. The resin surface and supports are a hair more than an inch in thickness; oak veneer injects a bit of furniture-inspired warmth into the washstand. What you can't see: On the backside of the plumbing tower, there's lots of open shelf space.