Kitchen Clarity Adventures in Kitchen and Bath Design

Kitchen Color – Halloween Mood

10.31.2011 · Posted in Color, Kitchens

Would you choose black and orange for your kitchen? Most of the time you could revel in your bold and warm color selection:

Mid Century Modernism in the City of Light

But round about the last weekend of October, you begin to realize you have created a Halloween-ready space

Pumpkin colored pulls, too? A Malmo Penthouse via freshome

The colors start to look like a costume the kitchen is wearing:

A Jack o'Lantern grin?

Or you see bat-wings in your backsplash:

Is it a bird, is it a plane ... or maybe a bat? (via Apartment Therapy)

Boo! I don’t think I’d ever look the same way at that kitchen again, having once recognized that it’s been hijacked by Halloween. What about you?

 

 

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A little piece of heaven – weekend escape

10.28.2011 · Posted in Weekend Escapes

A perfect room? Rustic dilapidation meets a clean contemporary vibe, the biggest ancient beams ever, lashings of natural light – and a Steinway grand piano:

Bliss - a Steinway and plenty of time - Marie Claire Italia

Sometimes, even I don’t need to be in the kitchen (via).

But I suppose we’d get hungry eventually, and it doesn’t look like there are too many places offering delivery around here.  A calm kitchen with a stunning view is what we’ll need:

Eagle Ridge Residence by Gary Gladwish Architecture - it's all about the view

(via)

I’m pretty sure it’s your turn to cook  – I’ll just watch the stars come out… Have a great weekend!

 

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How kitchen islands are made?

10.26.2011 · Posted in Kitchen Calamities, Kitchens

There is probably a perfectly lovely kitchen island here:

Leggo my island!

Unfortunately, as it is currently in the maw of a larger, more predatory island, it is difficult to actually see it. Or just possibly, they are mating? That would at least explain the mini island on top, wouldn’t it?

(Source)

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Palatial premises – some dream kitchens

10.24.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

I’m indulging my soft spot for modern design in ancient spaces today.  It’s been quite a while since I added to my I need an Italian Palazzo now collection. Here’s a perfect candidate:

Casa Orlandi, near Prato - design Sabrina Bignami, via Yatzer

The mirror behind the cook top is protecting the frescoed walls – although they’ve been painted over, the owner/architect Sabrina Bignami is in the process of uncovering works by 18th century Tuscan artist Luigi Catana. Now won’t that be a unique kitchen backsplash?

Casa Orlandi - ancient and modern, mixed

I’m only showing the kitchen here – that’s quite enviable enough. If you need more to convince you that this is a perfect palazzo, be sure to check the original article at  Yatzer for even more jealousy inducing inspiring photos. If the envy becomes overwhelming, scroll down to the end of the original article to find how you too could stay at Casa Orlandi. I’m wondering if there’s an opening for a willing, if unskilled, fresco restoration assistant?

Now, I am prepared to accept that there may not be sufficient empty palazzi in Italy to accommodate all of us. But if you’re willing to move elsewhere in Europe, and to trade an actual palace for an apartment conversion in a grand 19th century building, there are more opportunities.  And more than one way to convert a casa or mansion flat too – see how this island kitchen (from Denmark’s Bolig) leaves the original architecture untouched? All mod cons, and not a mark on your grand moldings and paneling:

Clean contemporary kitchen in an elegant Danish space - Bolig Magasinet

But wait – where’s the ventilation for the cooktop? It would be a real shame to get a greasy spot on that ceiling. You’ll notice there’s no visible lighting either, except the windows.  I’ll sadly have to assume this is just a publicity shot, not an operational kitchen I could aspire to ownership of.

The reality of converting ancient spaces for modern living is usually a little more messy. Here’s a bold example from Barcelona, squeezing a little contemporary kitchen into the corner of a grand room:

Bold adaptation - kitchen corner in Barcelona apartment - MiCasaRevista

Definitely not a conversion for the faint of heart – check out all the wonderful images at MiCasaRevista for more views. And maybe there’s a bit of a lighting issue here too? Peppering old lathe and plaster ceilings with holes for contemporary lighting is not an easy thing to do:

A little kitchen in a big Barcelona space

But you know, if I could live here I’d even be willing to compromise my designerly principles, and put up with a desk lamp on the kitchen counter. In fact, candlelight would be perfectly acceptable for me – how about you?

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Discovering Zephyr – Next Generation Europa Range Hoods

10.21.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

Last week I was one of very a fortunate group invited to the Discover Zephyr two day media event in San Francisco, and what a treat it was! You probably already know that Zephyr make some of the best looking range hoods you’ll find anywhere, and in styles to suit almost any kitchen. There is so much going on at Zephyr, so many hoods, so many styles, and so much technology, I’m not going to attempt to cover it all in a single post:

Inside Zephyr's San Francisco Showroom

In Zephyr’s beautiful 6,000 sq. ft. San Francisco design district showroom, (designed by the Bay Area’s own Fu-Tung Cheng) we got up-close and personal with some hoods from the Next Generation Europa collection:

Verona, from Zephy's Next Generation Europa Collection

(How do you like that LED mood lighting? It is completely under your control – you can choose Cloud Blue, Deep Blue or Amber color settings, or, when really want to impress your guests, the demo mode that cycles them all.)

Beyond the obvious “wow” factor, the sleek and airy stainless and glass designs conceal Zephyr’s innovative technologies that make the hoods better for the environment and for your kitchen – they are up to 80% more energy efficient than comparable models from other manufacturers.

The  patented DCBL (pronounced decibel) Suppression System uses direct current brushless motors to ensure that operation is whisper quiet at “working speed” – designed for the style of cooking most of us most frequently do, with one or two burners in use at the same time. Higher settings make a little more noise of course, but it is moving air you are hearing, and we were able to carry on our conversation quite comfortably during the demo – not having to resort to yelling  and/or hand signals is good for your kitchen and your sanity.

Zephyr Modena from the Next Generation Europa Collection

Another striking innovation is the BLOOM HD LED lights Zephyr use in the canopies. The advantage of LED technology is energy efficiency – 3 watts instead of the 20 to 50 of halogen equivalents. They have been specially engineered to fit in a 1″ profile, allowing the slim and airy canopy design of hoods like the Modena. The LEDs are cool to the touch, so you won’t get hot working underneath them (and you’ll even save on air-conditioning costs), and they have a 25,000 hour life, more than 10 times that of halogen. The color temperature is 3200K, very close to halogen in appearance, and on top of all that, they are dimmable!

Enough of statistics for now? Check out Zephyr’s InspireMyKitchen blog and design competition for your chance to win some fabulous prizes. You can win super-cool design-object prizes even if you don’t have a kitchen project to enter. I can personally vouch for the Beats by Doctor Dre headphones – what they have to do with Zephyr and how I came to possess a set will be revealed in a future post…

 

 

 

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Virtue from necessity – range under the kitchen window

10.19.2011 · Posted in Kitchens, Oh, really?

One of the things I collect is images of kitchens that break the “rules” – and I’m especially happy if the outcome looks like a successful one:

Still looking good - kitchen by designer Tricia Foley, Elle Decor, December 1991

Successful, that is, from a purely aesthetic point of view. This must have been a very small and very constrained kitchen in the first place – surely otherwise no one would choose to line all the appliances up next to each other. A dishwasher right in the corner is never ideal (you really want enough space for someone to stand between the open dishwasher door and the cabinets). And while I  don’t object on principle to the range beneath the window, this looks like an operable sash window with a combustible sill just a few inches from the gas burners – no local inspector is going to let that pass!

But I do admire the designer’s decision to stick with under-counter refrigeration, and to forgo wall cabinets entirely. It makes the kitchen so much more open and airy than its tiny footprint would predict. Even more amazing that this was published in 1991 – if it wasn’t for the dated appliances, it could have been hot off the presses just yesterday. Although in that case, I’d be willing to bet the skinny little island would have a white marble top instead…

I can’t see any lighting at all -  I wonder if that’s photoshop wizardry, or is there a giant flush fluorescent fixture just out of the frame?

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So serene – kitchens to linger in

10.17.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

Some islands of serenity, because we all need a little calming influence at the start of the week, don’t we? My first is a kitchen I would so love to linger in – and it has a proper sit-down table inviting me to do just that:

A beautifully calm kitchen in a Georgian Grange - photo David Merewether, Wealden Times

The cabinets, painted in Farrow and Ball’s “New White”, have a relaxed, vintagey charm to them, don’t they, even if they’re not authentically Georgian? And don’t you love the warm  gleam of the brass pulls in the sunlight? Lovely photography from David Merewether at Wealden Times,  as always.

But you don’t need the vast spaces of a Georgian mansion to create  inviting seating – just look at this charming cafe style table in a Madrid apartment (via)

A sweet Madrid Kitchen via Mi Casa Revista

There is certainly something (ok, a lot!) to be said for soaring ceilings and acres of empty floor space if serenity is your goal: (via)

Very Gracious - A New Orleans Restoration

These images prove, once again, that however charming and delightful the displays on your open shelving, for a truly soothing mood you can’t beat walls of light colored painted cabinets. Then again, in real life, could all that airy perfection be just too soothingly soporific?

 

 

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