31 October 2014

Bewitching Design, The End

Does this gentleman look familiar? Perhaps if he was swathed in head-to-toe gauze, or had bolts coming out of his neck, it would be easier to put a name to the face: It's William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name—Boris Karloff. To see Dr. Frankenstein's Monster puttering about in the kitchen of his Los Angeles home during the 1930s is somewhat of a reverse shock; we expect less domesticity and more horror from the fellow who [dis]embodied the Mummy.

Have a frightful Halloween, dear readers.

30 October 2014

Bewitching Design, Part Four

Particularly in a windowless, cramped powder room, I can imagine this subversive wallpaper would make an indelible impression. A C.F.S. Voysey pattern from 1889, the writhing population of beady-eyed, flame-tongued demons is a far cry [or should I say 'wail'?] from conventional floral or geometric decor. trustworth.com

29 October 2014

Bewitching Design, Part Three

Talk about things that go bump[y] in the night! Set with coal-colored pebbles whose smooth, irregular forms recall knuckle bones and vertebrae, this highly textured bathroom wall evokes the catacombs that snake below the realm of the living. pebbletileshop.com

28 October 2014

Bewitching Design, Part Two

By day, this pendant light is a frothy ball of filigree, in the Tord Boontje vein. But come nightfall, its dark side is revealed, as it projects a haunted forest on the walls and ceiling of the room. The creepy Forms in Nature fixture was designed by Thyra Hilden and Pio Diaz. piodiaz.wordpress.com

27 October 2014

Bewitching Design

For me, Halloween hinges not on the obvious—in-your-face costumes, scream-filled soundtracks, and the like—but on the shadowy. Uncertainty, rather than shock value, is what makes the night a fright. The bold colors of this kitchen are static until the lights come on, the eerie glow making the cabinets appear to levitate in thin air. n-lab.lu

24 October 2014

Power Shower

Pip-pip, old man.

These gents apparently had more pressing matters to which to attend than lolling around in a bath tub; certainly there were meetings to take and fortunes to make. In 1925, a shower had the cachet hot tubs enjoyed in the 1970s. Not just a convenience, the shower connoted a level of civility, success, and a modern outlook on life. Today, having a temperature-controlled waterfall in our home is no longer appreciated as the plumbing achievement it truly is.

23 October 2014

Quick Change Artistry

Not everyone has the character to weather the design and construction process. Dirty and drawn out, it's hardly aesthetic instant gratification. To the rescue comes the Cover system. When the mood to change the kitchen cabinets strikes, simply switch out the magnetized panels that cover the door fronts. No muss, no fuss.  arancucine.us

22 October 2014

A Clean Breaking

As our bathroom remodeling gets underway, we are preparing to improvise. Comprising folding fabric panels simply hooked onto a tubular frame, the Ima shower, designed by Peter Büchele, provides inspiration. Its lightness and flexibility are admirable. rapsel.it

21 October 2014

Too Hot to [Fox]Trot

How fun is this backsplash installation? Evolving from subway graffiti to gallery wall and now to graphic motif, Keith Haring's tribe of shimmying street dancers seem to be hot-footing it across the stove top. The ceramic tiles are part of a new collection based on artists' works. ascot.it

20 October 2014

Transition Kitchen

The basic elements of this kitchen—Shakeresque cabinets, farm sink, bridge faucet—are traditional. But the colors, wheat and a brackish moss, are contemporary; they are drawn from a palette developed by designer Adam Bray. The presence of old and new in the same room reminds me of the transitory nature of autumn, the trees now bearing both brown and green leaves. plainenglishdesign.co.uk

17 October 2014

Split Decision

I am open to suggestions on how to describe the most unusual configuration of this 1965 refrigerator. A built-in countertop ['illuminated', no less] cuts right through the midsection of the appliance, separating the two-door cooling compartment from the drawer-style freezer. It's a design that GE seemed certain would appeal to those of a well-heeled lifestyle. Evening gown, long-stemmed roses, golf games—all hallmarks of a leisure class. It's odd: I'd think they would be dining out, not lounging around the fridge.

16 October 2014

Change of Face[plate]

In a sure sign of the season, fly-by-night costume shops are springing up around town, their windows filled with self-contained Sharknados, Ice Bucket Challengers, and other assorted alter egos. I'm happy to report that the Halloween spirit extends to appliances, too. These magnetic panels give your fridge a temporary new identity. Choose from stock images, or submit a custom design. They're available for all configurations, even French door models. kudumagnets.com

15 October 2014

Flowing a Curve

The slightly twisted look of this kitchen faucet, dubbed the Orbix, makes me smile. I admire how it's both a disciplined design—the curves and contours are well balanced and rhythmic—as well as a free-spirited take on the idea of a 'normal' plumbing fitting. Interestingly, the flow of water is controlled at the end of the spout; the flange-like piece near the base of the unit regulates the temperature. damixa.com

14 October 2014

Man Meets Nature

Replicating sedimentary stone, the porcelain slabs of the Gemstone collection depict flowing layers and a tracery of veins and fissures—but there's a third dimension to the design. Straight, closely-spaced grooves are chiseled across the face of the tiles It's a contemporary take on cladding that I quite like. ceramichepiemme.it

13 October 2014

Eye Opener

I want my coffee.

It's one of those foggy Mondays when I'm feeling a little slow off the mark; another 15 minutes of sleep would have been appreciated, but it wasn't in the cards.

Uncomplicated, serviceable, and sporting a zingy green, this neo-retro kitchen is an appropriate start to the morning. johnlewis.com

10 October 2014

Smoke Gets in Your Ice

As devotees of Flashback Friday are well aware, there have been a plethora of peculiar ways to hawk a refrigerator. Dachshunds, space aliens, and feminists have all been conscripted to do so—but a cigarette? In 1929, there was an allure to smoking, and Electrolux conflated that trend with science in a very odd and somewhat far-fetched treatise on the benefits of a gas-powered fridge. I urge you to click the image in order to read the text. It's pure poetry, I promise.

09 October 2014

A Seamless Sink

The conventional spiel about the bathroom being an ideal spot for 'personalization' is, as many of us know, mostly happy-talk. Real-life restrictions on such alleged freedom abound; budget and space prime among them. The Strappo sink, though, offers a genuine opportunity for customization. Designed by Domenico De Palo, the Corian basin peels out from the wall. Once the skirt is finished in plaster, it can be painted to match the room. Protruding a little more than a foot from the wall, the sink fits snug spaces. antoniolupi.it

08 October 2014

Looking Up

Scanning the skies early this morning, cloud cover prevented me from catching a glimpse of the much-heralded blood moon. But nature rarely disappoints; the cosmos was awesome in its depth, patterns, and colors. These slabs of ceramic tile [part of the Privilege collection], with their photo-realistic depiction of minerals and gemstones, have a similar sense of mystery that I find mesmerizing. mirage.it

07 October 2014

...On the Wall

Mirror, mirror, indeed. The simplest of gestures gives this basic—albeit well done—bathroom quite a lift. Hanging a separate mirror on top of the fixed one gives a nudge to both the geometry and the dimension of the wall. A modest design ploy, it yields an arresting result. tristanauer.com

06 October 2014

Shadows and Light

For me, this kitchen is one of those rare spaces that simultaneously stimulates and soothes. Watching the sunlight rake across the walls must be both an anticipatory and a meditative experience. I do wonder what the lighting is like after dark; illuminating such a tall, open room can prove a challenge. ma-style.jp

03 October 2014

The Proofreader's at Lunch

It's hard for me to reconcile stretchy orange stirrup pants with a sable coat, but then The 1% have always had a unique sense of style. I'm assuming that's the social strata that occupied the tellingly named 'Imperia II' kitchen back in 1965. Nothing says 'elegance' like ornate, medallion-like handles centered on raised-panel doors—with the possible exception of faux-fur-covered cabinets, which is exactly what the unfortunately-worded headline of this ad promises.

02 October 2014

Fantasy Florals

A few consecutive days of overcast skies and stubbornly cool temperatures, and it's time to face reality: Summer has checked out. Allow me one more bit of denial, please, in the form of this flower-bedecked vanity designed by Marcel Wanders. Part of the Quadro collection, the mosaicked piece is a limited edition that will be released, oh so appropriately, next spring. bisazzabagno.it

01 October 2014

Vive la Différence

In Parisian designer Pierre Yovanovitch's bath, the relationship between sink and tub is conducive to a feeling of liberté among the users of the room. Installed perpendicular to the wall instead of against it, the sink can be used simultaneously by two people—very égalité. And as far as fraternité is concerned, the freestanding tub could accommodate a pair of petite bathers. pierreyovanovitch.com