28 June 2013

In-Flight Meals

On second thought, maybe it's best if this door remains closed. If fish and fruit begin to levitate once they're liberated from this Servel refrigerator...well, it'd be quite a party trick, but a messy one, too. I love the unabashed surrealism of this ad; for 1952, it's a pretty hip vision, especially considering the pedestrian nature of the merchandise on offer.

Have a weird weekend, dear readers.

27 June 2013

Full Spectrum

Here's a rainbow kitchen to mark a long-overdue decision. Love comes in all colors.

26 June 2013

Hot—Err, Make that Cold—Wheels

No, you have not mistakenly landed on the Car & Driver blog. What you see above is a refrigerator—albeit one with headlights and tires.

I know more than a few product designers in the kitchen and bath world who are veterans of the automotive industry, or who cite the field as a significant influence on their work. Indeed, there's an on-and-off history of corporate collaboration between the two businesses. This latest one, a partnership of appliance manufacturer Smeg and the Fiat motor company, capitalizes on the cultish affection for the iconic 500 model roadster. Under the hood, sliding glass panels seal off the cooling compartment. Appropriately, it's available in the tricolore of the Italian flag: red, white, and green. fiat500design.com

25 June 2013

Design Secrets [or, Back in the USSR]

Inspired by the cloak-and-dagger drama surrounding [perhaps] temporary Moscow resident Edward Snowden, I offer this bathroom for today's post. In his Saint Petersburg apartment, antiques dealer Sergei Bobovnikov evokes the institutional ambience of a Soviet state-sponsored sports training facility, circa 1930s. Salvaged submarine valves resurface as handles on the shower enclosure; light fixtures from a decommissioned tugboat also find a new identity in the room.

24 June 2013

Made for the Shade

A mere two days after the solstice, and true to form, we're headed for a streak of hot & humid weather. In keeping with my customary escapist ways, I'm retreating—in my mind—to this cool, grey kitchen to wait out the heat wave. Uncomplicated and spare, it appeals as a refuge. pietrorusso.com

21 June 2013

Clean Thoughts

Here's what I want to know: What's the big deal? It seems that in 1920s, it was barbarous behavior for a lady to be knowledgeable of the linkage between hygiene and housekeeping insofar as the bathroom was concerned. This ad so tiptoes around the subject that the words 'toilet', 'commode', or even 'water closet' are never featured; instead, we blushingly read about 'the most important and least discussed fixture'. Thank goodness Standard engaged none other than Miss Anne Richards [who?] to pen a polite, tell-all booklet on the topic. I'm sure it was mailed out in a plain brown wrapper.

20 June 2013

Lighting Striking

With the alfresco cooking and dining season upon us, some folks may be in the market for some new outdoor seating. Ditto exterior lighting. The Brecce collection of LED-illuminated stools—each piece a one-of-a-kind design, owing to its salvaged-wood construction—gives nature a little artistic twist while providing a place to perch. marcostefanelli.it

19 June 2013

Good Bones

The rough-hewn timbers that give this space such architectural character are also a point of departure for the interior design. Opting for a contemporary suite of sleek fixtures and a progressive pastel color scheme is a chic push-back against the room's historic origins. I like the gooseneck mirror mounted on the rafter; it's a resourceful response to the lack of plumb walls.

18 June 2013

Out of the Closet

I've always admired the engineering—unheralded as it may be—that underlies the inserts that make the most of storage space in the kitchen. It's one of those design injustices that these finely-crafted devices are typically relegated to unseen corners of cabinets. But this cylindrical cupboard not only rights that wrong, it becomes an architectural element in the room as well. Love! effetiusa.com

17 June 2013

Conflict of Interests

Sometimes it's just not possible to follow your bliss—especially if your passions occasionally diverge. Based on recent personal experience, a case in point: A rare instance of perfect spring weather and cooking dinner for friends. Spending the day cooped up in the kitchen would seem much less an act of deprivation in this almost-outdoor environment. Architect Massimo Iosa Ghini balances the cabinet elements with a nimble blend of solid and void. snaidero-usa.com

14 June 2013

A Man's House is His-n-Hers Castle

I imagine that there are more than a few dads out there who can identify with this fellow from 1956. Who, indeed, would want their headroom compromised by damp crinolines, nylons, and house-dresses? Although it might be that pop's bath-time troubles are not solely caused by the drip-drying wardrobe; he seems to be scrunched into a tub that's no more than 48 inches long. Let's give this father lots of credit for not airing out such dirty laundry—allegorical and otherwise—in public.

Non-complaining patres familias everywhere: KBCULTURE sends you best wishes for a rewarding, relaxing weekend in the comfort of the man-cave of your choice.

13 June 2013

Time to Reflect

There's something about this compound form—part sphere, part cylinder—that's calming me down during a stretch of stressful days. Perhaps it's because the unusual shape of the sink demands more than a passing appraisal; contemplation is good for the soul. neutradesign.it

12 June 2013

Technology is Our Friend

Appliance or counter surfacing? In truth, this innovative material is both. A thin sandwich of porcelain ceramic, bakelite, and aluminum, it conducts electromagnetic energy, in effect becoming an induction cooktop. Make that a virtually invisible induction cooktop. It's scratch-resistant and comes in a palette of neutral colors. I've seen it used in an outdoor kitchen installation; a clever application, indeed. tpbarcelona.com

11 June 2013

Campy Fire

Leave the exotic mahi pibil and planked salmon to the über-grills, with their flavor rods and sideburners. I think the Lillön—an improbably sweet mix of the rotund and leggy—is by design more suited to burgers and brats. ikea.com

10 June 2013

Happy Anniversary

Today is a day of significance for me, and coincidentially or not, there are a lot of threads tracing back to southern California. One of them: My first job in LA was with the revived Arts + Architecture magazine; here is a shot of the kitchen at the Schindler House on Kings Road, where the publication had its office. It was built around 1921, and, as a transplant from the wintery Northeast, I remember being amazed at its uninsulated walls made of canvas.

The warmth of love continues to this day. Thank you, JSC.

07 June 2013

No Passport Required

Thanks for the invitation, Frigidaire. I've always [well...maybe not] yearned to inhabit such a vibrant, mixed-media world as this 1963 kitchen. While the Flair wall oven is the obvious star of the show, it's the Custom Imperial cooktop that triggered a double-take for me; the suggestion that its control panel be installed on the rear wall—out of the 'lil buckaroo's reach, we assume—is a novel one indeed.

I can't let this Flashback Friday post pass without noting the love-affair the copywriter was having with invented, hyphenated words. See-Level, Heat-Minder, Glide-Up—mind-boggling.

06 June 2013

Look Ma, No Handle

On a side-opening wall oven, handles often seem like an afterthought; more often than not, they're fighting the appliance's horizontal lines, as well as whatever restrictions the cabinet layout poses. [It's things like this that keep me awake at night. Really.] So imagine my happiness at finding this handle-free design. The door of the S4000 is opened with a tap to the control panel. fosterspa.com

05 June 2013

Tranquility Base

While I'm definitely in the mood for an escape, there's no need to head to the heavens to find some peace and quiet. With its view of the sea, pristine cabinets, and gleaming surfaces, this bath will suffice. johnbarman.com

04 June 2013

Pattern Language

Relegated to the background or trampled underfoot, field tile often plays a thankless role in design. I doubt that this collection, Frame Majolica, will suffer such aesthetic ignominy. Traditional encaustic patterns have been deconstructed and rescaled, giving them a contemporary graphic effect. Laid out in flowing or fractured compositions, the porcelain stoneware tiles have an underlying harmony that I find irresistible. refin.it

03 June 2013

Of Deux Minds

This kitchen, with furniture designed by architect Spencer Fung, has its ups and downs for me. The shelving unit next to the door seems out of step with the space—and perhaps with the time, as well. However, I do like how the modern plasterwork meets the ancient architectural features like the timber lintel and masonry details. [In truth, I think it's the Gascogne jardin just outside the door that's calling my name this afternoon. Adieu!] chateau-marteret.fr