30 September 2015

Bright Ideas

What gives the Cyclone cooktop its name are the seemingly whirling gas flames, produced by channeling the fire through curved slits—rather than the standard round perforations—of the burner cap. And there are other illuminating features, too. LED lights beneath the control knobs and at the tips of the grates glow with a variable intensity that reflects the heat levels of each hob. arcelikas.com

29 September 2015

Sink as Sculpture

I like the way the stepped structure of the Batea bowl makes the user—if only for a moment—think about the task at hand. Will the eggplant fit on the middle shelf? If the fresh herbs will be the first ingredient to be used, would putting them on the top level be most convenient? Cooking needn't [and shouldn't] be an autopilot process, and this design deliberately slows it down a little. marmorin.pl

28 September 2015

An Evolution in Design

The Thema kitchen is more refined than the salvaged-industrial look kitchen, yet it still offers the opportunity to personalize the design—a quality that's essential to Gen Millennial. The shelves, back panels, doors, and drawers can be configured at will. And no, I don't have a clue why the dishwasher is so strangely situated. Thema is designed by Enzo Berti. madeinlando.it

25 September 2015

Can't Face It

As devotees of Flashback Friday know, these weekly posts usually take a neo-nostalgic view of the past. While I could continue in that vein for this calvacade of children [that's a vacation?], the illustration puts me in mind of a contemporary event: the bizarre episode of the infamous Deflategate courtroom sketch of Tom Brady. More an example of the Hieronymous Bosch school of portraiture than a likeness of the football star, the artist might have been better off if she had adopted the strategy of the painter of this 1960 ad—depicting the subject in a literal about-face pose.

24 September 2015

A Detail Makes a Difference

My theory as to why industrial-style plumbing has been more popular in the bathroom than in the kitchen focuses on the fact that a tall length of unadorned pipe is pretty boring. This faucet solves that  problem with a handy soap/sponge holder placed at midpoint on the fitting. watermark-designs.com

23 September 2015

A Real Floor Show

Continuing on the topic of mixing wood with stone, this floor would elevate any bathroom or kitchen. No, it's not encaustic tiles or herringbone parquet—but there are times when beauty and craftsmanship win out over fashion. parchettificiotoscano.it

22 September 2015

All of a Piece

The folks at A-Cero Design created the Spirit II vanity—which also, for all intents and purposes, includes a sink, too. With counter and storage elements offered in stone and wood, it's a cool way to mix materials without disturbing the overall form. Speaking of form: I think that's best feature of this modular design. Tapered and curved, it's a most welcome departure from the basic blocky model. porcelanosa-usa.com

21 September 2015

Designing to Distraction

Apparently created for a cook with a tremendous ability to focus on the task at hand, this kitchen is visually overwhelming. I'd say it was finished in floor-to-ceiling tile, but that would be technically inaccurate; the ceiling is actually covered in mirrors, adding to the hallucinogenic quality of the space. But in the end, I appreciate the willingness of the designer to go all-out in the pursuit of what is inarguably a singular vision. milkdecoration.com

18 September 2015

Casting a Cool Eye

This has been a week when some high-profile, conclusion-jumping incidents have made the news: from #IStandWithAhmed to the mistaken identity case of James Blake to the Donald Trump/Carly Fiorina pseudo smack-down, the willingness to judge by appearances has been on full and unfortunate display. It's a story, of course, that goes back much further than this awkward 1935 ad, where the aesthetic merits of a refrigerator—and perhaps its owner, as well—are being appraised at discomfiting range.

17 September 2015

It's So You

To the chagrin of Über drivers and to the cheers of the city's hoi polloi, New York Fashion Week called it a wrap today. I can think of no more appropriate way to recuperate than to kick back in this puffy little number, resembling as it does a quilted Chanel bag. marmorin.pl

16 September 2015

Blues You Can Use

The dappled hues, irregular shapes, and uneven surfaces of these mosaics combine to make it clear why the line is called Seascape. From Il Monile, the tiles are offered in several color combinations—but this one is my favorite. cletile.com

15 September 2015

Tea, Totally

Something's brewing with this faucet design—figuratively speaking. Replacing the typical spout is a small kettle, of the type popularly used in Japan to boil water for tea. While it doesn't offer the caffeinated convenience of this model, I enjoy its gentle humor. kakudai.jp

14 September 2015

Straddling the Seasons

The days are still hot, but evening comes earlier. Rain has become a regular, if still infrequent, visitor. A couple more weeks, and fall will make its official debut. Sunlit but subterranean, this kitchen embodies this transitional state. I can imagine it's a relatively cozy space after dark, while in the day time, sun bounces around the concrete room, brightening it up nicely. wespidemeuron.ch

11 September 2015

Soap Opera

These twins may dress alike, but apparently they have very different tastes in textiles. One favors 'regular' fabrics, while the other prefers synthetics. The latter was an emerging class of material in 1955; with names straight out of the chemistry lab—Orlon, Dacron, and the like—they were presented as modern fabric miracles, resistant to wrinkling, staining, and fading. It's curious to see that these test-tube textiles were relegated to the delicate cycle in the washer. I suspect that then, as now, the detergent manufacturers had a say in this decision.

10 September 2015

Fascinating Facets

In architecture and in fashion, the geometry du jour is the faceted form. Arik Levy brings that to the bath with his Emerso collection of sinks and tubs. I see it as a welcome alternative to the endless egg-like soakers that have saturated [ahem] the market over the past few years. kaldewei.com

09 September 2015

What's Cooking?

Prolific designer Philippe Starck is now dabbling in major appliances. I think the collection is distinctive, yet not showy—a nice balance. The eagle-eyed might notice a warm glow behind the door handles. It's not a light, though; the back side of the silvery square is colored a Starck-signature orange, and it's reflecting off the steel or glass door panels. That mirror-like quality also accounts for the mirage-like image on the refrigerator, which is but a bit of advertising foolery. gorenje.com

08 September 2015

A Clean Break

I see this vanity and sink combo as a contemporary version of the pitcher-and-bowl washstand of yore. The basin is now integral with the counter, and the pitcher has been replaced by a plumbed-in faucet, but the forms and functions remain true to the original design. whiteceramic.it

07 September 2015

A Different Take on Take-Out

While finely crafted kitchens are a big part of KBCULTURE, they usually have a ceiling and walls. This variant is a highly refined design, but portable. Constructed out of marine-grade woods and meticulously fitted with storage facilities and culinary necessities, the self-contained cooking center is geared more towards the traveling gourmet than the hot dog and hamburger set. campchamp.at

04 September 2015

...Is Never Done

Mindful that the origin of this extended weekend—the rights of workers to fair wages, hours, and bargaining powers—is still a contemporary cause, this ad puts the struggle in a distinctly 1969 perspective. Although the glass ceiling was still firmly in place, the glass floor used by GE to illustrate its free-wheeling refrigerator casts an ambiguous light on the status of women. I'll leave it up to you, dear readers, to decide whether it empowers or exploits the homemaker.

03 September 2015

Watch [and Feed] the Birdie

I'm so happy—and so ready!—for a long holiday weekend that today's post falls into the Delirious Design category. Created by Curro Claret, the concept is perhaps better suited for a commercial bakery than a residential kitchen. Crumbs from sliced bread are funneled into a seed cup; it's a gesture that falls somewhere along the reduce-reuse-recycle scale.

02 September 2015

Coulda, Wooda, Shoulda

As if a teak-lined shower wasn't fantastic in and of itself, the Nature Board also streamlines the construction process. The wooden floorboard comes attached to a rigid, waterproof substrate panel that installs using a tongue-and-groove system. The 'parquet' comes in four different patterns. stadur.com

01 September 2015

Something Fishy

Although September is upon us, summer rolls on. These fun fish—and octopus—tiles, designed by David Lee Csicsko, are a bright and graphic reminder of the sun and the sea, albeit in a slightly imaginary world. housefiftytwo.com