Too Cool for School

It seems like only yesterday we were bundling up in boots, wool hats and scarves; now, with a few days of freakish near-ninety-degree temps, it's flip-flops and tank tops. I wouldn't go so far as this harem-panted 'modern princess' did in 1955 [although I do covet her pointy-toed slippers] to keep cool, though. Surely the suite of bath fixtures—particularly the tub, with its built-in seat—would have provided a more modest way of beating the heat.

Hot Stuff

This grill pleases me with its nonconformist design. At once functional and imaginative, the L3 offers a different take on the outdoor kitchen. The vertical roasting rack poses a new option for chefs, and the tripod legs give the piece an unusual sculptural appearance.

For the Birds—Indeed

The holiday weekend did allow for some much-needed outdoor time, and this spring's crop of baby birds was joyously in evidence. Fledglings were hop-flying through the hedges, their nervous parents tweeting and keeping a close eye. These birds, part of the 'Dolce Stil Novo' cooking collection designed by Guido Canali, are quite fixed in place, dipping their metal bills into a new type of burner that uses energy-efficient fuel-injection technology [note the lack of little holes found on typical gas burners]. The pan-supports come in motifs other than avian: butterflies, fruits, and flora designs are also offered.

Room to Grow

I don't think that I'm alone when I admit to using the cooktop as a countertop when things get busy in the kitchen. But this idea—a slab of gorgeous wood that bridges the burners and slides over the appliance—is both a more beautiful and practical approach to the problem of scarce set-down space. Not to mention that it provides a more secure base for the miscellany of bowls and plates that I'm inclined to annex to the hobs.

Kitchen Addition

It's rare that the design of a kitchen system takes place in the public realm; the process more typically occurs under wraps, obviously to protect against copy-catting. About a year ago, the Add-Ons storage accessory collection was exhibited as a concept by its manufacturer. Now it's been integrated into the Pampa kitchen, fulfilling designer Alfredo Häberli's vision of a less-open floor plan. I have a feeling that there might be more to come in the evolution of this model....

The Cold Facts

People are chomping at the proverbial bit for consistently good weather to arrive in these parts. This weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer, promises to disappoint, with grey, chilly days in the forecast yet again. But this 1984 refrigerator, with its capacity to automatically produce such cooling and certainly diverse favorites as ice cream, vichyssoise, and the temptingly-titled Paradise Punch, allows us to pretend that warm, sunny times are at least possible.


Take a Seat

Designers Emma Nilsson, Johanna Westin, and Lisa Frode created this pine bench specifically for the kitchen. On the practical side, incorporating storage under the seat and behind the backrest is a great idea. Less expected but just as ingenious is the armrest: It's wide enough to securely support a coffee mug, and its outward slant is meant to be conducive to stretching out laterally for a quick cat nap.

Modern Graffiti

I am interested in how the abstract overlays the natural in this porcelain tile. Inspired by the instinctive style of painting practiced by Jackson Pollock, the Action collection appears as a slab of marble that been splattered with light or dark pigment. Most fascinating!

Industrial, Aged

Like all recycled elements, the antique machinery that's been deployed as a base for this bathroom sink has me wondering about its origins. Perhaps the gears and girders were once part of a derrick or other kind of pumping device—which would be quite fitting [pardon the partial pun] considering the context of its current incarnation.

A New/Old Angle

Let's have a big bravo for the folks behind this charismatic kitchen, dubbed the Saint Louis. Rather than purely emphasize the mid-century modern roots of the design, the choice was made to take the far more unusual path of Italian futurism. I mean—an island with a pedestal base and atomic-Danish legs? Of course, this look isn't for everyone, but as long as it makes one homeowner's day, I'm good with it.

Appliance Addiction

From what we see here, I'd venture that space for a dishwasher is not the problem with this 1972 kitchen. Rather, it seems that somebody in the household has an uncontrollable urge to purchase massive quantities of glassware and china. How else to explain the presence of no less than four of the appliances in the room?

Flowery Prose

Spring is finally, happily upon us. These towering, flowering tiles bring the color of the garden indoors. No weeding or watering required!

Spring Showers

With apologies to our drought-stricken California friends, there's nothing I'd like better right now than a shower to wash away the stresses of the day. This multi-talented unit offers plenty of choices to do just that: a handshower to target aching muscles, three fields of body jets, and what would be my pick—a drenching waterfall treatment.

Bending More Than the Rules

Think about it: Is a straight, solid slab really the most efficient way to lay out a kitchen counter? Olga Kalugina has devised an alternative format that offers integral storage bins and specialized work surfaces and task areas in a quasi-curvilinear array. Studying the features of the Accordion Folding Cook Table, I find myself appraising my own kitchen counter with a dubious eye.

It Takes Two

You'll have to take my word that the kitchen in this Paris apartment is rather nice; an unseen, unexpected element is the encaustic tile that covers its floor. There's just something about the way the hemispherical lights so strongly pull the two spaces together that made me reluctant to post a photo showing just the kitchen; doing so would be disrespectful of the design, and all its well-considered details.

Between Us Girls

The styles of decor and dress in this 1924 ad may have changed, but the intimate scenario between mothers and daughters still plays out today. KBCULTURE wishes moms everywhere a happy day indeed.

Hot and Cold

Designed by Ocostudio/Castagnoli, the 22mm Faucet is named after its dominant dimension: all visible parts of the fitting measure 22mm in diameter. While the handles can be mounted on either side of the spout, I'm partial to this unusual asymmetrical configuration.

Thoughts for Food

Today, it occurred to me that the refrigerator is full of fresh, but dead, foodstuffs. There are a number of creative companies that are working on home micro-farming—perhaps it may be an appliance trend of the future? From the top down, this unit features two shelves of plants, an algae layer, a tank for raising fish and shrimp, and, at the base, a container for organic waste material. The system is designed to cycle nutrients from top to bottom. philips

Burners Without Boundaries

Cooking can be such a creative process; it's a shame that the chef's artistry can be fettered by something as mundane as the restrictive design of an appliance. These gas hobs can be installed in any quantity, any configuration, and in any code-approved location.

Back to Basics

With its crate-like cabinets, a color palette straight from the crayon box, and dead-simple circular door handles, this kitchen has a playhouse air about it. Without the aforementioned details, it could appear seriously minimal, a fact that proves how large an impact small elements can effect on a design.

And They're Off!

The Kentucky Derby is this weekend; it will be the 141st time the horses have run for the roses. I think it's a good bet that the jockeys' silks will be far more vivid than these demure hues—magenta and turquoise are more suited for photo finishes than the master bath, where the trifecta of pink, pewter, and baby blue reigned in 1960.