30 June 2015

Red, White + Blue, Day 2

It's understandable if the Icon fitting would inspire an in-shower performance of 'Yankee Doodle', or some other patriotic ditty. While the handshower is offered in any number of colors, the red version [whose face bears a slight resembles a pyrotechnic display] is certain to make bathers spray it loud and proud. grohe.com

29 June 2015

Red, White + Blue

With the Fourth of July on the horizon, posts this week will take a turn for the red, white, or blue palette. It's not just the robin's egg hue of this kitchen that makes it so arresting. Its design independence is further declared by the field of grooved wood that covers portions of the walls. It's a way of using texture and color in the kitchen that I haven't seen before. thomaskroeger.net

26 June 2015


Today, the definition of 'family' became a lot more inclusive—something to be proud about, indeed! That progressive stance has a curious precedent, seen in this 1961 ad. While at first glance, the demographic profile of the depicted household wouldn't raise many eyebrows, check out the headline. The washing machine was apparently a legal dependent, having been adopted by the brood. #ApplianceEquality!

25 June 2015

Reality Check

Obviously, this isn't a fully realized kitchen; it is, in fact, an admittedly cute cooking facility for guests at a glamping [dreadful word!] resort. Still, on occasion it's good to revisit the fundamental concept of a kitchen. While fancy cabinets and do-it-all appliances are unquestionably fine, they are simply elaborations on the basics: heating, cooling, and storage. wyeglamping.co.uk

24 June 2015

Tectonic Tub

Yesterday's sudden [and much welcomed] downpour might have filled the Lariana tub to its chiseled rim. I think Patricia Urquiola's take on the traditional footed bath—substituting a solid plinth for individual feet—gives the fixture a quietly architectural character. agapedesign.it

23 June 2015


Linear brass inlays on the floor pick up the metallic accents elsewhere in this bath, and make the room truly memorable. [Picture the floor as plain marble, and you'll see what I mean.] Sometimes the smallest gesture has the largest impact on a design. rodolpheparente.com

22 June 2015

Hello, Yellow

This kitchen—the designer frustratingly anonymous—piques my curiosity. The angle of the camera makes the walls and surfaces in the room seem two-dimensional. Such optical tricks allow for a fresh perspective [in this case, literally as well as figuratively] on how a space is assembled. I really appreciate the chance to see an ordinary kitchen in an extraordinary way.

19 June 2015

Happy Father's Day

In this 1953 ad, Ozzie Nelson, an icon of mid-20th century fatherhood, shows off not only his sartorial sense [helmeted son Ricky apparently takes after his betoqued dad], but his culinary prowess, as well. Check out those doughnuts, piping hot from the range-top deep-fryer. I think ol' Oz will have to spend quite a while at the stove; to feed those growing boys and Harriet, he'll need to cook up at least a dozen.

This weekend, to dads everywhere: Thanks, and happy Father's Day.

18 June 2015

Another Twofer

Speaking of two-sink bathrooms...this design poses yet another solution to their plumbing problem. Of course, this room is larger than many, but locating the faucets on the sides of the basins is nonetheless a neat way to address a crowded sink deck. dl-m.fr

17 June 2015

Meals on Wheels

No clunky propane cylinders or dirty wood bins. No drippy coolers that need to be stocked [and restocked] with ice. The Move Kitchen's electric plancha and on-board refrigerator keeps cookouts self-contained and tidy. The appliance was designed by Christophe Stanek. movekitchen.com

16 June 2015

Pivoting Plumbing

The convenience of having two sinks in the bathroom can be compromised by the clutter of two sets of faucets. This great idea—installing a single, swiveling fitting that's shared by both basins—helps keep the counter neat. tristanauer.com

15 June 2015

Playing It Straight

Creating a kitchen in a space that's something other than a four-sided box of a room presents an opportunity to examine [and resolve] ordinary design issues in unusual ways. In this case, a towering, tilted wall provides a foil for an assertively orthogonal island. The detail that catches my eye: the thin, blade-like piece that supports the massive block of counter. paxmann.de

12 June 2015

Design Optics

There's an elegance to this ad [perhaps compensating for the homeliness of the refrigerator?] that pegs it as a product of the Gatsby era. The wordplay that references GE's quality control process forms the basis for the graphics: an eye-catching array of eyeballs, all focused on the humble cooler.

11 June 2015

Outside Influences

I see bits and pieces of various objects in the Artesso kitchen faucet: an Alexander Graham Bell-era telephone, a classic Luxo lamp, a hose for a pneumatic tool. Although the articulating fitting has quite a collage-like character, its functionality is purely modern. brizo.com

10 June 2015

A Neat Seat

Even during this mini-renaissance of the handmade, the craftsmanship of the Wire Bar Stool is remarkable. The armature is a network of steel wire that becomes increasingly simple as it nears the floor. It's offered in two heights and with a multitude of fine leathers for the seat and woods for the footrest. oandd.dk

09 June 2015

Out of the Ordinary

There's an integral light surrounding the mirror of the Shell vanity; when it flickers on, the cove is illuminated in a way that emphasizes its depth and contours. Designer Ora ïto calls the collection [developed for Ronbow] an example of 'simplexity': the mix between the simplicity of a form and the complexity of its function. I think it's an exciting approach.

08 June 2015

Alfresco Architecture

Not visible: the modern main residence that's a cool companion to this pool house. Rest assured, it's as pristine as this construction, although expanses of glass take the place of openings in the wall. The story of this kitchen is told in its materials. Hardwood, stainless steel, and concrete combine in a space that's elegant and functional. spechtharpman.com

05 June 2015

Fossil Fueled

From the future of cooking to the past—1913, to be precise. Monopolistically produced by a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company at the rate of six stoves per minute in a Cleveland factory, this oil-fueled appliance was a hit with households, selling more than 450,000 units that year. An excerpt from the company's newsletter describes in period-colorful language the R+D process:

"[The Standard Oil Company] secured the services of the most skilled men in this line; they studied the physics and the chemistry of burning; they spent months in determining and testing the right size of the wicks; the best shape of the wicks; the proper length of the chimneys, and countless other details which entered into the problem. They spared neither effort nor expense. Many perplexing difficulties were encountered, which required endless study and patience to overcome. But backed by the Standard Oil Company, they had gone into the work to succeed. And they did.

"They finally produced a stove and heater which burned without smoke or smell, and which were in every way superior to other oil-burning devices manufactured up to that time. The new devices were names the Perfection Oil Heater and the New Perfection Oil Cook-Stove."

04 June 2015

Picnic 2.0

Prime picnicking time is fast approaching [yay!] which gives reason to consider an updated alternative to the wicker-hamper-and-blanket scenario. The Technopicnic caters to footloose gourmets who have separation anxiety when it comes to their electronic devices, as it incorporates USB ports, Bluetooth technology, and solar-powered lights. More corporeal comforts include seating cushions and a folding table. Still in the concept phase, I can see the equipment having applications not just in the camping and leisure fields, but in emergency housing, as well. atelierteratoma.com

03 June 2015

Two in One

I have a soft spot for multi-purpose design. Singly or as a group, the Eclisse wall fixture can function as an aesthetic nightlight in the bath, and its powder-coated standoff is deep enough to act as a towel holder. A twist of the acrylic lens modifies the brightness level, too. tooy.it

02 June 2015

Shine On

While this bathroom light is striking in appearance, I think the true beauty of the minimalist design lies in its easy installation. The curved strip of acrylic simply screws to the top of the cabinet or mirror frame. Notable about the Cascade light is that it's offered in a choice of cool- or warm-white LED. sensio.co.uk

01 June 2015

Something Old, New, Borrowed + Blue

Here is a kitchen that aesthetically reflects the disjointed feeling that accompanies Mondays. With a little imagination and a willingness to turn a blind eye to a few telltale elements—the recessed LED ceiling lights, and the tea kettle Michael Graves designed in 1980 among them—this room could pass for a modernistic 1960s space. The slab front doors and curious stone wall do have a strong retro vibe, but it's more than belied by the spiral brass chandelier and the contemporary chairs. pierreyonavitch.com