An Egg-cellent Design

The egg, whether fancifully decorated or in its naturally perfect state, is a symbol of renewal. Morning ablutions at the serenely shaped La Giare sink, part of a complete bath suite designed by Claudio Silvestrin, would certainly not leave one scrambled.

Shades of Spring

While you wouldn't know it from the weather [need I even bother to mention we had a smattering of snow over the weekend?], it's Easter week. The pale colors of this kitchen offer a quiet optimism that spring, at last, will displace its cold seasonal cousin.

It's a Clean Machine

Ah, family life in 1963. Matching mother-daughter outfits, odious cabinet 'designs', and un-built-in appliances. The aptly- but awkwardly-named named Mobile Maid dishwasher [where exactly would you store this monster when it was not smack in the middle of the kitchen?] necessitated hooking up to the faucet whenever it was in use; a diverter allowed one to use the sink during operation. Personally, I'd rather do the dishes by hand than cope with such an inconvenient 'solution'!

A Fluid Design

The Taper faucet, designed by architect Bjarke Ingels, was fĂȘted last night in NYC. [Yes, bathroom fittings—select bathroom fittings—are celebrated with parties that rival a debutantes' cotillion.] I'd say it was worthy of the occasion. There are subtleties in the design that clearly mark it as an architect's work; for example, the tip of the spout does not bend downward, yet the water flows perpendicularly from the fitting.

Enlightened Thinking

There seems to be two design ethos at work in this pendant lamp. The globe bulb and Persian carpet conjure a hip 1970s family room, while combining these elements into a light fixture is a mash-up that is wholly a product of 21st century thinking. The textile lining the dome of the Carpetry lamp is 100% wool.

Cooking Up a Storm

Preparing a meal on this all-powerful appliance could give the home chef a Master of the Universe complex. Units for deep frying and grilling expand the culinary capabilities—not to mention the menu—without expanding the footprint of the range, unlike specialized cooking modules that are installed across the countertop.

You're Getting Warmer—Not

And what, you may ask, makes this kitchen my pick for today? It's not the matte black wall facing off with the stark, shiny white island, nor is it the rapidly-running-its-course herringbone floor of unfinished wood. No, the feature that I most covet on this sub-freezing spring morning is the fireplace, its ribbon of flames warming the far reaches of the space.

The Wearing of the Green, The End

While avocado might not be the first shade of green to come to mind during this Celtic-centric week, at KBCULTURE, all hues are good hues. What's fascinating to me is that a couple of today's hot trends—patterned flooring and gold-toned fittings—were cutting-edge more than forty years ago. This blast from the past dates from 1967.

The Wearing of the Green, Day 4

As we face yet another snowfall tomorrow [which happens to be the first day of spring], this photo assumes a kind of graphic poignancy. An island of green surrounded by a sea of white—you get the idea. The streamlined gas burner is glass, topped with a grate of chromed steel. The color-coordinated control knob is a nice touch.

The Wearing of the Green, Day 3

Organizing oven, refrigerator, and storage into a single compact unit is a boon for those with smallish kitchens. I'd guess that those who may have marked yesterday with an abundance of enthusiasm might also appreciate the step-saving convenience the kelly green cabinet offers on this morning-after, as one hunts for a bit of leftover colcannon and corned beef.

The Wearing of the Green, Day 2

By the close of today, there will be a fair number of folks whose Irish eyes will be more, shall we say, sleepy, rather than smiling. Such celebrants might find a restorative soak in this bath the best—or at least the wisest—kind of nightcap. Paneled with polished ceramic slabs of an emerald green malachite pattern, the room is a fancy testament to the color of the day.

The Wearing of the Green

While the day might not yet be upon us, at KBCULTURE we're getting in the spirit of Saint Patrick a wee bit early with this mint green galley. It's the light fixture that's really the center of the design; painting the shade panel to match the wall keeps it at once unassuming and unusual.

You Can't Be Too Careful

For the superstitious among us, today—Friday the Thirteenth—is fraught with potential perils. As it's also Flashback Friday, I thought this fate-tempting range from 1957 would prove instructive. It has not one, but two, opportunities for interesting little grease fires to ignite. The vertical broiler, complete with too-small drip tray, poses a compact hazard. Up top, the built-in deep fryer holds an impressive six quarts of boiling oil; imagine the delightfully dangerous process of emptying that vat.

We Interrupt this Blog... announce the call for entries for the 2015 KBCULTURE Awards. It's the sixth year for the competition, which recognizes technical innovation and aesthetic excellence of the full range of products in the kitchen and bath arena. If you're interested in the details, drop me a note and I'll zip you the submission guidelines.

For Mature Audiences

Turning the tables on the age-appropriate whimsy of yesterday's post, this bathroom is a study in sophistication. No self-conscious, look-at-me fixtures, just the luxury of open space, quality materials, and natural light. I'll opt for these over a novelty design any day.

Flight of Fancy

Designed by Paolo Funghi, the JR. bathroom suite is not only scaled for a youngster, it's attuned to a child's sense of fantasy and wonder. The convex mirror is festooned with flowers, the tap handles are star-shaped and colorful. The teacup tub has built-in seating, making climbing in and out safe and easy.

Top Tap

If a pull-out faucet has no place in your kitchen, and iconic fittings fail to impress, you just might be the type who'll appreciate the unconventional design of the Cross. I like everything about it: the jaunty-but-gentle angle of the spout, the wholly vertical 'lever' control, the mixing of rounded pilar and flat spout.

Seasons in Equilibrium

Snow is turning into slush, and slush, where it combines with earth, is turning into mud. It's not pretty, but after months of dark and freezing days, I'll take it. The textures and proportions of this kitchen's materials and colors echo what I see outside, albeit in a much more aesthetic manner. Smooth white surfaces are retreating, and patches of roughened ground—not as regularly shaped as the beautiful backsplash in this room—are gaining the upper hand. Spring is on the way.

Cold Commentary

Excerpts from this 1953 ad that are sure to strike a frigid chord of familiarity with my comrades in the Snow Belt:

"Help yourself to cubes—one at a time or by the handful!"

"They're super cubes! Big, dry, super-cold IceCircles!"

And my pick for its horrendous parallel to reality: "Continuous supply! Keeps refilling the basket—night and day!"

Branching Out

Perhaps you heard: The northeast got a bit of snow today. In my neck of the woods, that translates into about eight inches. The world has been transformed yet again into a frosty chiaroscuro with the upper halves of tree branches coated in white, while the bottom halves remain brown. It's all very picturesque—until one needs to walk, drive, or, of course, shovel. In my opinion, it's time for something a little different. From the Aspen II collection, these chromed Twig cabinet pulls are much more uplifting than their natural counterparts.

Geometry Lesson

Range hoods are one of the few opportunities to have some real design fun with appliances. I'm taken with this model, the Prisma. It's restrained, yet original, in form; its faceted appearance is nicely architectural, and would complement modern and contemporary kitchens.

Warm Thoughts

Under ordinary circumstances, I'd be lining up posts on alfresco kitchens and floral-patterned tile, but winter has obviously no intention of making way for such spring-like concerns. As I write, a wretched mix of snow and rain is pounding down on us. So—with sincere apologies for the sad lighting and propping situation [Furry hides on birch stumps? Really?]—here's a still-seasonal item. Incorporated into a cooking island or dining table, the Firetube promises to keep things toasty during those long chilly nights—whenever they occur.

Bon Voyage

Yesterday, five inches of snow fell. Tomorrow, we are promised a mere two inches. Thursday, the talk is of an additional six inches. Today, I beg your indulgence as I contemplate a wholly different world than our current icy environment. This sun-filled, south-of-France style kitchen might not be my first choice of decors, but given that my mental and emotional health is at stake, I'll take it. Gladly.