For the Wish List

This detail from the Loft kitchen—an industrial strength chopping block, built into the stone-topped island—would have likely been in constant use in many kitchens last week. Beautifully crafted and eminently practical, my only suggestion is to make it larger.

Thanks + Giving, The End

Floating around the Internet, there's a Photoshopped version of this 1948 ad: In it, by strategically deleting a few letters from the headline, the new range from Norge has become an 'atomic' appliance, rather than an 'automatic' one. The protons and neutrons still orbit the turkey, though. 
Now if you'll excuse me, dear readers, I'm going to nuke some leftovers and enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.

Thanks + Giving, Day 4

At the risk of stating the obvious, artist Robert Therrien's super-sized explorations of domestic objects have a particular significance today. This towering, nine-foot-tall stack of pots and pans is a hallucinogenic-sized representation of the scene in most American kitchens today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks + Giving, Day 3

And what, you might ask, do rectangular aluminum containers have to do with Thanksgiving? There is, of course, an answer to the question. They're a dishwasher accessory, designed to protect sterling silverware flatware from damaging oxidation; using them, it's possible to skip hand-washing the countless place settings that will cover tomorrow's table.

Thanks + Giving, Day 2

While this microwave isn't quite yet available, by the time Thanksgiving 2016 rolls around it could well be an indispensable asset in the kitchen. In addition to the usual array of cooking modes, this 900-watt appliance can act as a warming drawer for up to 90 minutes. I'm excited by the drop-down door—a convenient and space-saving design detail.

Thanks + Giving

Later this week, kitchens—and their resident cooks—will be cranked up to maximum output to celebrate the holiday of and for stuffing. With a pro-calibre range and fridge, pot filler, and no-nonsense storage, this modern yet gracious room has what it takes to make it through the big day.


Now, this 1895 contraption would come in handy this week, when we might want to decompress a bit. Just take a seat in the steam tent, pop your head out the top, and let the world's troubles melt away.

Wishful thinking....


Subdued yet striking in color and form, this hand-carved stone tile is soothingly abstract. The Ziva Lotus pattern is suitable for use on walls.

A Pause

Today, I'm setting aside the world of kitchens and baths. It's time for reflection. Tomorrow, we'll resume the gentle pursuit of beauty.


I'm going to take things slow this week; it's time to contemplate the quiet and the still in life. The lighting in this Japanese bath—set in a century-old onsen, or hot springs spa—is calming. Architect Kengo Kuma summons all the senses in his design for this retreat.

Nous Sommes Unis

Attending a concert. Enjoying a meal. Such cultural pursuits are integral to France's identity, a fact that imbues the recent horrific events with an even greater dimension of pain.

This is the OpenLine kitchen, a Parisian design.

Coming Clean

Coincidentially, we happen to be in the market for a new washer. Having started the shopping process, I'm happy to report that today's laundry machines bear little resemblance to those of the 1950s. If I had to confront the Dispensomat and its array of detergent orifices on a regular basis, I think I'd go nuts in short order; five portals for soaps and softeners seems a bit much, don't you think?

Not a Dead End

Typically, the end of a cabinet is either bleak and empty or blandly appointed with a shelving module. Here, all manner of seams and slices make an architectural composition out of the unit. I love how the connection between the carcass and the legs is detailed.

Natural Evolution

Unlike the last couple of years, when the trees dropped all their leaves virtually overnight, this autumn the process has been gradual. It's been rewarding to observe the green-red-yellow-orange-brown transition over time. These handmade tiles make permanent what is by nature a transitory episode.

Table, Mannered

With Thanksgiving coming up on the calendar, thoughts turn to food [will there be enough?] and furniture [how many chairs?]. The Continuum table, with its integral overhead lighting, would be welcome at any dinner, whether everyday or holiday. Matteo Nunziati designed the piece.


It's been a while since I've seen a bi-level island; dining tables in the kitchen have been the Thing as of late. This design reminds me of how useful they can be, especially in small rooms. Overhead, echoing the split-top work surface, is a faceted lighting fixture. Taken together, these two angular elements give a sense of movement to this otherwise static space.

Pride of Place—and Perspective

In 1936, this 'fashion-thrift' floor was a cautious overture to homeowners who had weathered the worst of the Great Depression. Doubtless looking forward to spiffing up the house after enduring some lean years, a colorful linoleum floor would boost both spirits and property values. I'm struck by the modesty of the kitchen's cabinets and appliances; as prosperity returned, perhaps they, too, would be upgraded.

Going Undercover

The convenience of shelves in the shower is undeniable; the visual clutter they often collect is another thing altogether. So, for the fastideous among us, I present this built-in, quasi-cabinet design. A soft-close door, finished to match the surrounding wall, flips down to keep toiletries out of sight. LEDs can light up the cavity, if you desire.

Not-So-Basic Black

What an Armani jacket is to prêt-á-porter, this carbon fiber-clad range is to black-enameled appliances. It's offered in a limited edition of 150, with a choice of stainless steel trim or the dark smoked treatment seen above. Another parallel to couture fashion: the price. As they say, if you have to ask, you can't afford it [Here's a hint: It's more than $61,000 and less than $63,000]. A hot ticket, indeed.

Making a Mark

On this election day, featuring a toilet has some resonance—to date, many of the would-be presidential candidates have staged campaigns that should be flushed away. But I digress.

The Serenity stands out from other commodes through a defining black swipe. That border visually separates the bowl from the wall, so the fixture is no longer an ambiguous porcelain protrusion from the plane.

As You Like It

The design of this kitchen blends custom work with back-to-basic modules. A standardized cabinet frame can be clad in the customer's choice of woods or tiles. Add a sink and fittings and a cooktop, and you're good to go. [If you opt for the wheeled unit, you can literally go—the kitchens can be used outdoors or indoors.]