30 January 2015

Say It Ain't Snow, The End [Hopefully]

While freezing may be a silent process [unless you count my chattering teeth this frigid night], the same can't be said for melting. Who has not, at some time, been startled by the clatter of automatically-produced ice cubes tumbling into a bin? That would be a wholly unfamiliar sound to Mrs. O.H. Paton of 5528 Hawthorne Place N.W. in Washington D.C. It would not be until 1953—15 years after this advertisement appeared—that the ice-maker was introduced to home refrigerators. The manufacturer, in fact, was Servel.

29 January 2015

Say It Ain't Snow, Day 4

Monochromatic, dimly lit, devoid of texture or detail—sounds like a winter scene to me. The same description could be applied to this bathroom vignette, where even the mirror and chrome finishes have been obliterated by a dull white coating. I wonder about the objectives of this curious and cold design. escritorio.arq.br

28 January 2015

Say It Ain't Snow, Day 3

British artists Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich created this inflatable iceberg/hot tub to explore the relationship between art and physical and psychological well-being. Speaking personally, I'd be happy to experience the 'Sci-Fi Hot Tub' floating in an incongruous tropical setting; no chilly fjords for me, thank you. walkerandbromwich.org.uk

27 January 2015

Say It Ain't Snow, Day 2

Sympathies to our northern neighbors—they are receiving the brunt of winter storm Juno. Once the blizzard clears, perhaps they'd like to soothe their shoveling-strained muscles with the help of the Pura Vida fittings collection. The faucets, tub fillers, and shower heads feature a split finish: half is shiny chrome, half is brilliant, snow-white. hansgrohe.com

26 January 2015

Say It Ain't Snow

I see you, Winter. Letting us slip almost into February without any significant snowfall, creating that spark of hope that we'd enjoy a benign season, only to conjure what might be a record-breaking blizzard [name: Juno] tonight. Gracious in defeat, I offer a week of posts* that muse upon the cool, cruel color white.

Well played, Winter, well played.

This kitchen is practically somber in its rigor and spareness; even the drawer pulls are painted out. My question: Why not take care to place the wall shelves so they line up with other elements in the room? kattyschiebeck.com

*Assuming the power doesn't quit on us.

23 January 2015

Plus ça Change...

While it's an easy argument to make that the Interwebs, in its relentless 'efficiency', has advanced the extinction of trade shows, the still-surviving need for human interaction, coupled with the desire to kick the tires of new stuff, assures the existence of such events—at least in the short term. This photo of a 1930s kitchen appliance expo confirms that comfy seating with a sales rep waiting in the wings is still the timeless formula for luring foot-sore customers into an exhibit booth.

22 January 2015

Half + Half

The Mizu [that's 'water' in Japanese] basin conceals the drain beneath a scooped, slotted top panel. By Emo Design, it's a subtle, functional detail that alters the experience of washing up. The sink also comes in a rectangular format. scarabeoceramica.com

21 January 2015

Points of View

This split-level bathroom offers vantage points from both the tub and beyond. The fireplace and horizontal band of windows are located to be engaged from a supine soak in the tub, as well as when standing at the sink. A vertical strip of glazing lets light into the shower. As I'm dog-tired right now, I'd opt for the former position. unoform.dk

20 January 2015

In a Different Light[s]

Designed by Paolo Manganaro, the Vialattea fixture sheds a variety of light on various subjects. Eccentric without giving into eclecticism, it's unified both physically and stylistically by a tubular steel armature. I see it as like a family portrait: There's differences and similarities within the group. formabilio.com

19 January 2015

Water Falls

The design of the Latrava ignores the circular motifs and motions typical to faucets. Water gently sheets, instead of streams, from the edge of the blade-like fitting. Even the operation is planar: Rather than twisting a knob or handle,water flow and temperature are regulated with a sliding touch control. hansa.com

Warm Thoughts

Freezing rain has been falling nonstop for the better [a questionable choice of words, there] part of the day; time seems to have frozen, too, as it is wont to do on such gloomy afternoons. It's got me craving brighter and warmer places. Failing a trip to the tropics, I'll make do with this light-filled kitchen. Its carved, wooden-screen cabinets make me think of a Balinese retreat. labodesignstudio.com

16 January 2015

Sweet Auburn, Revisited

In Atlanta, the kitchen of the Queen Anne-style home at 501 Auburn Avenue was definitely abuzz on 15 January 1929. At noon on that Tuesday, Michael Luther King, Jr. was born in his parents' bedroom on the second floor of the house. The youngster was still living in the home in 1934, when, on the occasion of his baptism, his name was changed to Martin Luther King. Reservations for the daily tours of the restored 1894 home are required; they are free.

15 January 2015

A Brilliant Concept

While this is certainly a great kitchen, this point of this post is the light fixture. Designed by Arik Levy, Wireflow can assume different configurations, each an examination of space, light, and perspective. Assembled of black electrical wire and lacquered metal rods, the piece is a visual meditation of sorts; its structure a study of presence and absence. The luminaire uses dimmable LED lamps. vibia.com

14 January 2015

Coffee + Convenience

After years of slumping—or is it repressed?—innovation, 2015 is shaping up to be rather exciting for major kitchen appliances. Today brings the announcement of a refrigerator that incorporates a single-serve coffee machine. Snap the Keurig brewing module onto the filtered-water dispenser of the GE Café fridge, and piping-hot java is just a push-button away. If that's not easy enough, an app lets you schedule the specific time you'd like to have your caffeine fix. This appliance will be on the market in the third quarter of the year. geappliances.com

13 January 2015

Sublime Soak

Although I'm a shower-not-bath person, this day has been both cold and wearying enough to melt that preference. Even the gilded finish [definitely not my taste] wouldn't deter me from surrendering to a restorative soak in this lovely cradle of a tub. I'd pair it with the most minimal filler fitting ever created, of course. gruppotres.it

12 January 2015

Winter Weary

It's reached the point of winter where white is actually an uplifting color. We've been spared the snows of last season, but grey skies and bleak, dormant landscapes abound.

So spare I can say it's embellished by the shapely light fixtures, this bright kitchen is a visual antidote to an oppressively drab day. luislaplace.com

09 January 2015

Bathroom, Sweet Bathroom

The serenity, sharing, and comfort depicted in this 1952 bath [we'll ignore the complete lack of storage in the room] is positively wrenching to me. Let me explain. We have embarked on a significant bathroom remodeling. Yes. As a consequence, showers are taken in a sometimes sub-50º basement environment, where the heretofore luxuries—warmth, light, and warmth—of the daily toilette are now located. I envy this snug and semi-private 'T' floor plan, and will no doubt dream of its civility for weeks to come.

08 January 2015

Concrete [in] Evidence

Concrete kitchen cabinets—the next big thing? More than one manufacturer will be exhibiting them at the upcoming LivingKitchen show, so it's a development worth keeping an eye on. This isn't a chintzy, spray-on finish; a skim-coat of concrete is troweled onto the carcass by hand, then left to cure. It coordinates with stainless appliances and any number of countertop materials, and the concrete can be tinted, as well. This is one nascent trend I'll be tracking. leichtny.com

07 January 2015

Laundry 2.0

Wow! Should there be such a thing as breaking news in the world of major appliances, I dare say we have a press-stopping product here. This washing machine—or, more correctly, I should say 'machines'—configures two tubs into a single appliance. The mini washer contained in the pull-out pedestal base can be used simultaneously with any of the manufacturer's front-loading appliances. This Twin Wash system saves time by allowing a small load of delicates to be cleaned in tandem with the family laundry. lg.com

06 January 2015

Hot Topic

Sometimes minimalism is just too minimal; 'clean lines' equals boring and 'sleek' is synonymous with vacant. The complete opposite of this virtually invisible cooktop, the starship-shaped Stellare hob would provide a bit of sculptural relief on a stretch of open countertop without violating the modernist manifesto. Install them singularly or as a constallation. glemgas.com

05 January 2015

Design Anatomy

Pairing the strategically empty walls with floor and counter surfaces that are tumultuously patterned takes a lot of nerve, a discerning eye, and a questing mind. Save for the black hole of the induction cooktop, I like the overall effect. It's certainly a fresh way to enter the new year; kind of a semi-clean slate. bsarchitecten.com

02 January 2015

Design that Shines, The End

Mirror-polished chrome fronts this 1954 appliance, in a display that no doubt greatly gladdened the manufacturer of Bon Ami. And automakers who at the time dabbled in two-tone vehicles—Chevy, I'm thinking of you, particularly—might also be pleased by the color palette offered by Magic Chef. Even though this range only came in two options [porcelain enamel in Coral Rouge and Willow Green], it made a shining design statement. Truth be told, I prefer a solid oven door over one with a discoloration-prone window.

01 January 2015

Design that Shines, Day 4

It's the day after New Year's Eve, so in the interest of post-holiday pursuits, I'm going to keep this short. This razor-thin sconce fixture, with its indirect LED lighting, gives off a soft glow rather than a harsh brilliance—a fact that might be appreciated by the bleary-eyed among us on this 1 January. oneled.me