Making a Mark

Incised subtle patterns accent the taps and the spigot of the new Pinna Paletta collection of bath fittings. Designed by Laura Kirar, it's offered in several rather luxe-looking finishes. There's a complementary family, Pure Paletta, that omits the embellishments.

A Light Touch

Thanks to integrated induction burners, this sleek piece—which will debut at next month's Eurocucina at Salone del Mobile in Milan—is both appliance and table. As the linchpin of the Air kitchen, the delicate unit forms the basis for what I'd call a new take on minimalism, one that emphasizes the immaterial. Air is designed by Daniele Lago.

Kitchen [in] Sync

In her furniture designs for Knoll and Moroso, as well as this Salinas kitchen, it's possible to see the way Patricia Urquiola works to camouflage modularity with a cunning sense of proportion. She inflates edges, making them thick and rounded. I like how this studied clunkiness complements the natural material palette.

Rock Solid

The Belgian sensibility revolves around beauty and strength. Designed by architects in Antwerp, this blue stone basin embodies both. Vrede.

Taking Form

Part Easter egg, part snowball—the island in this kitchen offers an unlikely parallel to our first full day of spring, which dawned to an unwelcome dusting of the white stuff. In actuality, the island is crafted of Corian, a material that's recently taken a back seat to distressed woods. Trends aside, I've always been a fan of the polymer's workability; it's a rewarding medium for those who are most at home when creating an irregular third dimension.

Test[ing] Pattern

I must be subconsciously preoccupied with floors these days; this is the second post in as many weeks on the subject. Adopting the marbleizing technique that's traditionally used to create the endpapers in fine books, these wooden planks sport somewhat unpredictable patterns in a variety of color palettes. Installed in parquet layouts or straight runs, they'll certainly add zip to a room.

Disruptive Design

Such an unexpected, appealing mix of styles—industrial meets chinoiserie. Here, it's gold that ties the two aesthetics together. I like the look. It recalls a time when eclecticism reigned, but this time around, the level of quality isn't so haphazard as before.

Cloudy Cabinets

The shadowy storage in this kitchen is a close approximation of the weather on this March day: tenaciously overcast, to the point of negating the extra hour of daylight we just picked up courtesy of EDT. Architect Jean Nouvel achieves this effect by using translucent Corian as the door panels in the Lumieres kitchen design.

Flowing Flooring

The sinuous stripes formed by the Wave flooring may trigger a double-take from those who are more accustomed to the straight and narrow in underfoot. Made of European Oak, the planks are offered in a palette of subdued colors, such as this combination of grey and blue. Alternating boards with glossy and matte finishes adds another layer of interest to the already striking look.

Springing Ahead

The crocus are already popping up, and in a week, daylight savings time returns—before you know it, the house arrest known as winter will be over and we'll be dining alfresco again. Designed by Piero Lissoni, the Open kitchen is fabricated for outdoor use. Plumbing, gas, and electrical lines are routed through a central protective stainless steel panel, and the large shelves are made of weatherproof wire glass. Take the Open indoors, and a dishwasher module can be incorporated in the array of appliances.

Bathing Beautiful

Such a stoic tub, the Lacrima is. Sitting forthrightly upon a pair of blocky supports, its modest yet distinctive well is formed out of a matte-finished matrix of acrylic and quartz. Neither flashy nor generic in design, I admire its adaptability.

Big Basin

There are vessel sinks—and then there are Vessel Sinks. The Catina model manages to be simultaneously over-the-top [in its size] and understated [in its form]. Personally, I like the statement-making presence it brings to the bath, a room that has recently been a little too quiet, design-wise, for my liking.

Water Wise

Ikea isn't all about Billy bookcases and futons. At last year's Salone design fair in Milan, I attended the retailer's impressive investigation into the future of the kitchen. More recently, it has launched a R&D facility in Copenhagen, called Space 10, where ideas for domestic design for all parts of the home are being explored. One project, the Cloud Burst, features a control knob that glows red when the bather has exceeded the recommended time allotted for a shower. In these increasingly water-stressed times, it's a concept worth exploring.