31 January 2014

It's [Trade] Show Time!

This utterly candid photo graces the dust jacket of Liberace Cooks!, a collection of recipes which the pianist published in 1970. [A note to the devoted: Inscribed copies can be found online for anywhere between $250 and $450.] For me, Mr. Showmanship epitomizes Las Vegas, which is where I'm bound next week to report on the 2014 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

Alas, while I don't expect to come across piano-themed vent hoods or cabinets with a Hollywood Regency pedigree—although you never know—I'll be posting photos, comments, and videos on the @kbculture Twitter feed over the course of the conference.

30 January 2014

Against the Flow

I admit to a fascination with design that rethinks the norm. The Vertigo faucet takes its adjustable-height mechanism from the hand-shower and strips away the solid exterior of the typical spout. The exposed armature appeals to the reductivist in me, but my inner pragmatist frets about keeping the fitting clean. strubinetterie.it

29 January 2014

Hidden in Plain Sight

In kitchens that are pressed for space, the Ranger stool could help ease the squeeze—or at least lessen the clutter. Constructed of white oak and powder-coated steel, the under-seat shelf could hold the daily paper or a favorite cookbook, and the hook can hold a handbag or shopping tote. It's available in three heights in green or cream, with custom colors a possibility. scoutregalia.com

28 January 2014

Warm Thoughts

Well, of course this is all about the fireplace. How, with our wind chill on the negative side of zero, could it be otherwise? I like the incidental nature of the hearth; while it's a focal point of the space, its modest design—just carved out of the wall, unadorned by mantel or statement-making artwork—doesn't dominate the bathroom as much as it complements it. mcalpinetankersley.com

27 January 2014

Whiteout [or -In]

This morning, the sun is a fuzzy white blur in the thickening grey sky; it's a typical sight, in the wake of a snowfall. The effect is somewhat like the backsplash lighting in this virtually colorless kitchen. The room relies on materials to rouse it out of design hibernation. The leather banquette, chrome-and-stone table, and even the acrylic Panton chairs subtly stir things up in a way I find—dare I say—cool. costudio.be

24 January 2014

Millinery Madness

To each their own, but right now I would opt to hole up in my Kelvinator kitchen rather than march around in the snow. The fourteen inches of snow which is currently suffocating my senses, as well as the landscape. [There's more to come tomorrow, I hear. Joy.] Although on second thought, if I had one of those snood/kerchief/babushka things to keep my head warm as does our 1947 fashion plate, I might reconsider.

23 January 2014

Getting Warmer

As the temperature continues to torment us—today, we're on our way to a numbing 4ºF—I'm trying to stave off a brain freeze by focusing on products that take the chill off in the kitchen and bath. It's not the color of this fire-engine red sink that fits that bill, though; with a twist of the knob at the front of the fixture, the surface of the drainboard can be heated to 122ºF. The Indutherm feature keeps plates as toasty as a warming drawer, but without sacrificing cabinet space. Fear not: It's available in white. schock.de

22 January 2014

In Hot Water—and Air

Coincidentally, I am blue with the cold [thank you for asking], but there's an unseen reason behind today's post. The cavity between the inner and outer walls of the Etna bathtub contains a network of pipes that circulate heated water around the body of the vessel. This not only keeps the bath water hot without repeated topping off, but also warms the ambient space of the room. The LED lights are optional, and there's a coordinating pedestal sink. designerbathroomconcepts.com

21 January 2014

Snow Day

It wasn't supposed to be like this. The steady snow that's already accumulating was not due to arrive until this evening. If the weather prognosticators can be so off on the timing of the storm, I hope they are similarly wrong with the amount predicted to fall, which is ten inches.

It's enough to make me retreat to the kitchen and jump into a comfort-food cooking marathon. This design, Artematica Steel, would be a snug environment for doing just that, as its tilt-out storage bins keep culinary necessities convenient, yet concealed. valcucine.com

20 January 2014

What Goes Around...

Does this kitchen look familiar? The cabinets were designed in 1968 by Arne Munch, and, rendered in walnut with a contemporary sink block, I have to say that they've weathered the years rather well. The flat-front pantry units certainly look better with today's tailored built-in appliances than with the clunky appliances of yesteryear, and the slatted door/drawer treatment is in step with the times, too. I suspect that the table and bench are an update to the original C Series. unoform.com

17 January 2014

What Were They Thinking?

I'm baffled. Who could seriously—or jokingly, for that matter—think this accidental-glutton angle would be a slam-dunk way to sell fridges? While 1968 was the year the Big Mac made its special-sauced debut, it was also when the miniskirt was the [ahem] height of women's fashion. Raiding the home refrigerator would seem to disregard both those cultural shifts. And the ad also plays right into the objectives of the then-nascent women's liberation movement.

16 January 2014

We Interrupt This Blog...

...to let you know that we're now accepting entries for the 2014 KBCULTURE Awards. Now in its fifth year, the program recognizes innovation and excellence across all categories of kitchen and bath products. Interested? Drop me a note via our Contact link, or tweet to @kbculture, and I'll send you the entry guidelines.

Color Me Conflicted

It's a fine line that separates serenity from soporific, and this bathroom—more to the point, its color scheme—is, in my opinion, treading it. Surely my soul is starved for color during the bleak weeks of winter, so the mustard and black palette is a let-down. But I like the cabinet configuration, and that shared sink is quite fine.

Does this come in a red? atelier-saintpaul.fr

15 January 2014

Cabinet of Wonder, Indeed

Over the weekend I took in a small show at the Met, one of my favorite spots for artistic time traveling. Proving again that they don't make them like they used to, 'Vanities: Art of the Dressing Table' charts the development of the bathroom furnishing from a B.C.-era Egyptian box to Chippendale shaving stand to a 1969 Pop-arty valet by Raymond Loewy. The amazing piece shown here was designed and built by the Roentgen workshop in 1769; watch the intricate unfolding process—complete with white gloves—here.

14 January 2014

Cooking, to Order

Perhaps the trophy appliance is on the comeback trail. The Meisterstück ['masterpiece'] Profession+ can be configured any way you like. A convection oven, a steam oven, a warming drawer or three, the cooktop of your preferred size and fuel—whatever you desire, all wrapped up in stainless steel or a custom-color cabinet. Designer Klaus Keichel snagged yet another Red Dot award for this creation. A slightly smaller version, the Comfort+, is also available. kuppersbusch.com

13 January 2014

Taking a Cool View

In case last week's posts triggered a temporary case of white-as-snow blindness, I thought I'd go in the other direction with this moody space. Mating state-of-the-art appliances with rather stodgy cabinets gives this kitchen a character that would be compelling even in architectures that are not endowed with such villa-esque details as frescoed vaults and terrazzo floors. cesar.it

10 January 2014

Winter White, The End [Hopefully]

Oh, cruel Westinghouse, you are messing with my winter-addled mind. What you said in 1950 is a thing of the past—a buildup of ice and frost—I see in abundance right outside my window. How very…cold of you.

But of course the company was addressing another kind of frost, the type which once afflicted freezers. My thanks to the anonymous engineer who banished this hand-lacerating substance from the modern fridge. Now, if only a similar solution could be devised for the driveway; a warming thought, indeed.

09 January 2014

Winter White, Day 4

One of these days, the snow will melt, the sun will shine, and the birds will sing. Until then, I am resigned to daily icicle patrol, knocking the warty, stalactitic growths from the corners of the porch roof. If only they had the elegant form of the Ametis faucet—I'd consider leaving them in place. graff-faucets.com

08 January 2014

Winter White, Day 3

Cubist ice floes? Snow-covered rooftops? Polar vortex-ized tundra?

No, it's porcelain tile. [But those were very good guesses.] inax-usa.com

07 January 2014

Winter White, Day 2

Especially at this time of year—today's polar vortex experience notwithstanding—the Motif sink reminds me of nothing more than a frozen pond. The tracery of shadowy lines recalls the fissures that mark the surface of the ice. Snow-white Corian comprises the wall of the basin, and its bottom is a circle of etched glass; three graphic patterns are available. omvivo.com

06 January 2014

Winter White

Since we're snowed in, it's a perfect—please take the use of that word with a scoop of rock salt—week to look at works in white. First up: this kitchen by Richard Meier. Without color, it relies on on light and composition to achieve an impact, tools that the Modernist architect [who would surely shudder at the seating in this photo] has long explored. richardmeier.com

03 January 2014

An Icy Silence—Not

Note to the climatologists [or copywriters] working at Servel Electrolux in 1932: Contrary to your statement, freezing is not a silent process. A fierce snowstorm howled through the northeast last night; winds rattled the windows all evening, and I heard the distinct and dreaded sound of a pipe bursting in a neighbor's house.

It's 0º F right now, and I am going to add to the cacophony of the cold by putting a whistling teakettle on the stove.

02 January 2014

Slide Away

So simple, so clever: The cantilevered basin of the Terrace sink provides cover for a drawer that's partitioned to store those little toilette necessities. The interior light isn't really necessary—it's unlikely items could be lost in the shallow trays—but it's a nice touch nonetheless. The offset drain can be closed with a tap of the integral button to the right of the faucet. jacobdelafon.com

01 January 2014

Greetings, 2014

On this first day of a new year, many people are thinking and talking about change. Here's my kitchen-centric contribution to that conversation. Unlike conventional islands, the Chop & Change kitchen workbench features a modular countertop, which encourages both creativity and efficiency. You specify the size and material for each section. This is quite liberating; should you decide to get serious about baking, include a marble slab in the counter. Similarly, when your infatuation with lime green cools, switch out that quartz-based square with a new hue. mettecreates.com