27 April 2017

Open Door Policy

And here's a little something for the absent-minded among us. This clever door-within-a door feature [aka, 'AddWash'] is quite the convenience. Previously, closing the door on a front-loading washer had a sense of terrible finality to it, knowing it would be impossible to toss in an errant sock or towel. No more! samsung.com

26 April 2017

Extreme Garden Variety

I'll confess that it was the spring-sprout green tub that initially caught my eye—but the Botanica wallcovering quickly grew on me [no, not literally]. Designed by Vito Nesta, its magnified details play off the simplicity of the soaker quite effectively. A vinyl covering, it can stand up to the steamy environs of the bath. devon-devon.com

25 April 2017

Seeing Double

Such a simple and smart idea: offsetting the sinks from the mirrors yields a near full-length looking glass, a feature extremely handy in the bath. The Origin collection of fixtures and furniture, with its rounded lines, lends itself well to this design. inbani.com

24 April 2017

Trans-Dimensional Kitchen

This installation, created for Salone, is a delightful escape from reality [a fact alone making it an ideal post for a gloomy Monday]. Superimposed on the space, blue boundaries define invisible walls, letting one experience an open kitchen while imaging an enclosed room. marcante-testa.it

21 April 2017

Why We Have Earth Day

I've collected hundreds of vintage ads featuring kitchen and bath accoutrements in order to provide a steady stream of fodder for our Flashback Friday posts. Reviewing them for this Earth Day edition, I am astonished to report that none of them—spanning more than a century—focus on any type of energy-saving attributes. Instead, the emphasis is on convenience, speed, or capacity. So today I present one of the most egregious examples of conspicuous energy consumption I have on file. Made in 1934, this three-door monster is testimony to how far we've come in our awareness of efficiency.

20 April 2017

Planes Talk

There's another photo of this bathroom that shows its context: in it, a leaded glass transom over the door definitively pegs it as a contemporary remodel of a much-older home. While that view was telling, I think this shot really reveals the proficiency of the designer. Optically and physically composing mirrors and walls and a too-fab flat sink into a literal reflection on the space is a tour de force work of vision and precision. liebkeprojects.com.au 

19 April 2017

Bowled Over

The pudgy Bulbo sink is eminently lovable. Sitting on a trio of squat legs, the concrete basin straddles the line between folk art and fine sculpture. I think it would work best with a palette of natural finishes; this plaster counter has both the tactility and heft that the sink needs. urbietorbi.gr

18 April 2017

Coming Clean

The dark abyss under the kitchen sink has gotten a bit brighter, and the sometimes odoriferous drain is sporting a citrus scent, thanks to the Fresh Kitchen food disposer with its automatic fragrance function. Let fashion or fragrance guide your decision on which color-coordinated unit to install; it's offered in lemon/yellow, orange/orange, and lime/green. A matching sink baffle is available, too. insinkerator.com

17 April 2017

Mixed-Media Kitchen

The late Dirk Cousaert found endless inspiration and meaning in overt materiality and basic forms. Rough wood and raw steel are found throughout his work. Unorthodox—but perfectly functional—appliance installations make his kitchens not for the mainstream. I shall miss his explorations of design. dirkcousaert.be

14 April 2017

Egg-cellent Design

The similarity between these brightly hued sinks from the 1970s and a clutch of colorful Easter eggs can't be overlooked—especially this weekend. Best wishes for a joyful holiday, dear readers.

13 April 2017

You Don't Spray!

Here, with the Magic Swan, we essentially have the humble vegetable sprayer elevated to the position of primary kitchen faucet. While silicone-spouted designs are no longer unusual, this model takes it to the extreme: stripped of even the barest armature, just an adjustable stand holds the hose in place. It's a winner of the 2017 German Design award. primyonline.com

12 April 2017

Bubbled Bath

From the Fantasy Bath Files: An effervescent design, the Newton tub is a witty comment—as I see it, at least—of Sir Isaac's Laws of Motion; specifically, a body in repose. The tub is also offered in a lacquered black version. maisonvalentina.net

11 April 2017

Everything You Need

On the rare morning where there is time to spare for la toilette, having the option to sit [rather than stand] is a genuine luxury. The appropriately-named Narciso vanity facilitates this in a very compact footprint. Designers Andrea Parisio and Giuseppe Pezzano have put both sink and storage within an arm's reach without creating any feeling of confinement, thanks to the unit's modular make up. ceramicacielo.com

10 April 2017

A Glassy Kitchen Design

I've always wondered about the glass shields that often enclose range hoods in European kitchens...my best guess is something having to do with fire codes, but please weigh in should you know the real story, dear readers.

In any case, that glass box relates quite well to the glass-fronted cabinet that fits flush with the wall. The other glazing-based elements in this kitchen—the two windows—pretty much assured there could be no wall cabinets in the room. I think this is a very successful example of doing much with little. spatialcode.dk

07 April 2017

Cool Thinking

The world was in tumult in the year this ad appeared, 1929. The stock market had crashed, and restive political forces were being felt around the globe. Yet for some reason Frigidaire felt the populace wanted to acquire the same refrigerators used by 'presidents and kings.' Was it a distractive ploy, or an appeal to the aspirational hopes of a generation? I can't answer that question, but I do recognize a similar situation today....

06 April 2017

Wine-ding Down

Sure, those seven-bottle wine fridges are cute. But there are times—like a day [ahem] when a deadline, a prodigious traffic jam, and monsoon-scale rains coincide—when a more accommodating arrangement is called for. Voila: these custom towers hold a cellar's worth of vino, and spin 360º so that each bottle is within easy reach. revelcellars.com

05 April 2017

Clearing the Air

For years, downdraft ventilation was sidelined as a less-than-effective technology with limited applications. The common complaint: to efficiently evacuate cooking vapors, the vents had to pull so much air that they would extinguish gas burners. Now, re-engineered downdrafts have wafted back to the scene, frequently integrated [as seen above, often quite stylishly] into flame-free induction cooktops. jennair.com

04 April 2017

Unreal Appeal

This design gives new meaning to 'dream bath.' With its ethereal column of light, clouded-marble wall cladding, and a mirror whose irregular geometry seems pulled from a Salvador Dalí painting, there's definitely an illusory quality to the room. Perhaps the most surreal aspect of the space is the basin-less sink, where water disappears down linear drains set around the perimeter of the flat-topped fixture. leveronedesign.com

03 April 2017

An Unexpected Focal Point

The way this window is detailed—pushed outward into a corner and framed by deep, thick, and thin slices of wall—makes it appear to be part and apart of the kitchen. The effect [to me] is that it anticipates or implies another space beyond this room. katehume.com