30 June 2014

Design Independence

The clutch of Tom Dixon pendant lights in this kitchen puts me in mind of the pyrotechnics that will soon fill the skies, as we celebrate the Fourth of July. They're not exactly red-glaring rockets, but the metallic interiors of the shades do add some shine to the space. champeau-wilde.com

27 June 2014

New! Really!

This circa 1950s ad makes me question the picture-worth-a-thousand words adage. It seems that the Kelvinator folks were quite content with a single word, albeit one used repeatedly. A curious decision by the artist, too, to sully the streamlined lines of the appliance by depicting its little blocky feet.

Product Plug

By sports-fan standards, this soccer ball drain stopper hardly counts as obsessive. If anything, it could be a symbolic reminder of the nature of the game: Missed shots on goal, like water down the drain, are opportunities forever lost. entia.de

25 June 2014

Waste Not

Created as an exploration of sustainability and furniture-making, this project—Copenhagen-based designer Tobias Tøstesen calls it 'The Ethical Kitchen'—impresses me with its focus on the construction process. The unit housing drawers and doors is balanced on a trestle-like supporting frame; unlike a built-in kitchen, the two pieces can be transported and set up in another location. The leather sling for plates is a thought-provoking look at the role of wall cabinets. tobiastostesen.com

24 June 2014

Gooooaaall Bowl

But of course there is a sink designed to resemble a soccer ball [It's even available in several colors.] But be careful that when washing up you don't touch the basin—that would be a hand-ball foul. meridianainternational.com

23 June 2014

The Beautiful Game

Apologies, futbol fanatics: I have been remiss in failing to acknowledge the World Cup in any posts since the tournament began. In a nod to the host country, the late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed this kitchen in southern California; it is part of his only residential work in the United States. Built in 1963, it's a space in stylistic transition. The blocky forms of mid-century modernism are meeting the then-nascent open kitchen plan. I like the detail that's shared by the suspended cabinets and the leg treatment of the base cupboard [look at the lower left corner].

20 June 2014

Cold Colors

My first impression: That is one jam-packed refrigerator. Folks in 1956 had a tendency toward meat-and-potatoes [and cake] menus, I guess.

My second impression: Why didn't our swan-necked hostess choose a more coordinated color for the interior of her fridge? With seven options on offer—include two shades of green, dark and light blues, red, and, of all things, copper—she could have complemented her butter-yellow ensemble with 'Peach-glo'. But to each their own, especially if your kitchen has become a 'fashion centre.' It's interesting to note that today there's a similar feature on the horizon, but in a far more chic shade.

19 June 2014

Crafted Contours

The sinuous carving of this wall-mounted vanity essentially demands a simple sink and faucet. I'm struck by how a liquid-like form can be so convincingly rendered in a solid material—or is it vice versa? From the Materia collection. bianchinicapponi.it

18 June 2014

Cool Down

Cool to the touch and cooling to contemplate on this hot day, this mosaic tile is made from recycled glass. PulsarChrono isn't flat; it has a slightly curved surface which would make it especially delightful to walk on while barefoot. It is offered in ten colors and four patterns. mosaicopiu.it

17 June 2014

Chill Out

The first heat wave of the season is always a shock to my sensibilities. Looking ahead at a stretch of what's locally termed the 3Hs—heat, humidity, and haziness—makes me crave an alternate reality. This bath will serve nicely as that. An alcove of skewed walls with a window squeezed into one end makes for a lovely retreat. zstudioarchitetti.it

16 June 2014

Inside Looking Out

Bye-bye, spring: The mosquitos have made their inevitable seasonal debut, crashing last night's barbecue. Retreating to this glassy kitchen would foil the little buggers without compromising the view of the backyard. While light-colored wood is not currently in vogue, it's used to good effect here: not only does it amplify the natural light, but cladding both cabinets and floor in it gives the space a nice visual continuity. amylaudesign.com

13 June 2014

Happy Father's Day

While the design of bath fixtures may have evolved since this view from 1925, the sentiment has remained constant. Answering a child's call for a glass of water in the middle of the night—that's just what Dads do. KBCULTURE wishes fathers everywhere a wonderful weekend.

12 June 2014

Malleable Metal, Indeed

I suppose some may see this faucet as the creation of someone with anger-management issues, but I find its unconventional contours quite appealing. The plumbing world is predicated on standardization—for very good and obvious reasons—so I guess I'm drawn to this twisted tap because of its against-the-stream aesthetics. The Fold faucet is designed by Lorenzo Damiani. ceramicaflaminia.it

11 June 2014

Full Service Sink

Extra deep double sinks are often sold short. Their spacious interiors are underutilized if they're employed only as a place to hide dirty cookware and plates. This utility rack and towel bar put the dividing wall to work, offering inconspicuous and dry storage for dish cloths and sponges. kohler.com

10 June 2014

Spring Shower

A garden shower that doesn't look like an ad hoc assembly of spare plumbing parts—this truly is refreshing! Designed by Joe Valluto, I like the way the base of the unit claims some space for the bather. A marine-grade plywood deck and a small podium that I'm guessing is intended for use as a foot-washing platform makes the Ista [it means 'spring' in Milanese dialect] a practical piece indeed. lineabeta.it

09 June 2014

Tone It Down

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days; as happens in life, there's too many things that need tending to, and not enough time to do so. This kitchen, by Faye Toogood, steadies me. The dove-grey palette calms without going dramatically, depressingly dark. Oversized cabinet knobs offer a reassuring, two-handed grip. Even the plinth, broken into discrete segments rather than an open sweep of space, works to slow the design down.

One key to the quietude could be the avoidance of shiny metallic elements; the sink looks to be ceramic or stone, and the faucet appears powder-coated. studiotoogood.com

06 June 2014

Shrink to Fit

Judging by the impeccable color combo of Harvest Gold and Avocado, and noting the gigantic wide-spread collars and sweater vests, there is little doubt that we have landed in suburban America in the mid-1970s. It surprises me that the portable washer—no fixed plumbing required, as it hooks up to the sink—was still in use then. I'm even more surprised at the size of the appliance. At 21 inches wide, it was narrower than the computer monitor I confront daily.

05 June 2014

Bright Shade

Fire engine. Lipstick. Ruby. All unambiguous adjectives that easily apply to the Chroma light. But the form is not so handily described. Designed by Chris Poehlmann, the spun aluminum housing resembles a mini jet-turbine. Or maybe a free-floating headlamp? Not to worry about drawing an immediate analogy; it's delightful to contemplate the object. Chroma is available in several finishes. ilexlight.com

04 June 2014

Perceptual Play

A work-in-progress, the slyly-named Collapse suite of bath fixtures. Triangular slices and volumes shift and slide away from the fixtures, creating—to my eye, at least—an animated dance among the elements. While the tub is my pick of the collection, the sink's unusual design is certainly noteworthy. Instead of a hollowed basin, a solid tilted plane directs water into the drain. rapsel.it

03 June 2014

Serious Hang-Ups

In the bathroom, where just about any opportunity to stretch storage capacity is welcome, the Branch shower hook puts an underutilized part of the room to work. I admire the modesty of the design.

02 June 2014

Telling Stories

Mixing old and new together can be hugely satisfying [I am speaking from the vantage point of a beholder here, not a creator]. Antique objects, like this repurposed china cupboard, imbue a space, no matter how new or sterile it may be, with at least a smidgen of history. They are survivors of a past. Contemporary elements give us confidence—tangible proof, even—that we are moving forward; change, it is frequently said and widely believed, is good.

This small kitchen has provoked me into thinking about these matters. gisbertpoeppler.com