Kitchen Clarity Adventures in Kitchen and Bath Design

Bornholm Kitchen – Warm Heart, Cool Designs

03.18.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

Launching this week at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York is Bornholm Kitchen – the new line created by my friend, fellow blogger, and kitchen design maestra, Susan Serra:

Bornholm - warmly modern

Bornholm Kitchen is inspired by the design aesthetic and the natural surroundings of the island of Bornholm and Susan’s Danish ancestry – although the warm modern kitchens, islands, vanities and furniture are handcrafted here in the USA.  Susan says

the beauty of the Bornholm Kitchen design concept is its ability to authentically speak the language of the environment it resides in. Bornholm Kitchen doesn’t dictate the style of the room, its sophisticated aesthetic seamlessly integrates with your style, your accessories, your life

and she demonstrates this for us beautifully on the Bornholm Kitchen website, where the Gallery shows the same kitchen furniture dressed up and accessorized for different design styles – like the perfect little black dress, it can be dressed up or down to suit the place and the occasion.

Some of the elements that define Bornholm Kitchen are

  • supporting legs give an honest furniture aesthetic
  • can be designed as a collection of separate pieces to ease the transition between the kitchen and surrounding spaces
  • scalloped/elliptical drawer cutouts, exposed mortise and tenon joinery, and the modern post design
  • the top and bottom 2 3/4″ thick top and bottom rails add a substantial framework to the design.

Bornholm Kitchen is currently available in natural Walnut and Rift Oak. All the Bornholm Kitchen elements are made-to-order, handcrafted sustainably in about 8 weeks – and the sturdy construction is engineered to last a lifetime. Also offered are Bornholm Basik,  off-the-shelf kitchen and bath furniture available online at www.2modern.com,  and Bornholm Collection,  elegant and whimsical furnishings  available at www.avolli.com.

Learn more, see more  at Bornholm Kitchen. I think Susan’s phrase “warm heart, cool designs” perfectly describes both the line and its creator – they’ll go far together, I’m sure.

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Kitchen islands – when a table works better

03.17.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

You don’t have to have an island in an open, convivial kitchen. In yesterday’s post, I wrote about long, long, islands, and how they can become a barrier, separating kitchen and living space in a large room. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the familiar kitchen table, wherever there’s room for one:

Design by Barbara Hill - a generous table

(via)

A table can separate living and cooking spaces too – though the division is a bit softer and more fluid than with an island, suggesting an in-between gathering space transitioning between the two:

Comfortable gathering space - photo Pierre Wester (Desire to Inspire)

(via)

There’s no stage for culinary performance in this layout – as I’ve said so many times, the table is an invitation to keep company and to join in.  I think it’s a positive result of our move towards kitchen/living rooms, that the table has made a comeback in many kitchens – though now it often has to be a chameleon, serving as both kitchen table and dining table, depending on the occasion.

I think in an ideal world, I’d like an island and a table – but if I can only keep one, the table wins for me.

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Lean and mean – all purpose islands

03.16.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

The island is the megalomaniac of the contemporary kitchen – cooking, cleanup, eating, all the major functions of the kitchen can take place on a single sweep of countertop, while just one wall serves to house tall appliances and storage:

Long and lean - an all purpose island by Hofman Dujardin Architects

(via )

It’s a great way to organize a kitchen – as efficient as a galley, but without that closed in feeling.  And of course it’s even better if there’s a view to enjoy while you work – or you can create your own visual interest on the single wall:

A vivid backdrop - Photo Simon Whitbread (via Desire to Inspire)

(via)

I wonder about the length of some of these islands, though – it looks like a very long walk to get round the island into the room beyond, and having a view to enjoy doesn’t make that any more convenient.

Jared Poole - Seafarer Residence at Surfers Paradise

(via)

This kind of layout is our contemporary version of the corridor kitchen – only now it’s been transformed into a kind of stage. The cook can see and be seen, but the audience is not invited in to help. I think in many ways the long, lean island is as effective a barrier as the wall it replaces.  And if I designed a galley kitchen as long as this, you’d call me crazy, wouldn’t you?

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autokitchen 10 release – I can’t wait

03.14.2011 · Posted in From the Trenches

Is it very geeky of me to say I can’t wait ’til I get my update to the new release of autokitchen? autokitchen 10 is rolling out this month, and it sounds like there are some really practical improvements over the previous version – things that will definitely make my life easier. But what I really can’t wait to play with are the new materials and products:

Rendering by AutoKitchen - can you see the New Ravenna mosaics?

autokitchen 10 includes wood carvings by Art for Everyday, and beautiful mosaics by my favorite New Ravenna (you might need to click on the image to see it at higher resolution).  I can’t wait to add some of those into my renderings, and to see what other goodies I get to experiment with.

On the technical side, the new features include automatic numbering of the elevations to match the cabinet numbers in the floor plan (Yay!), new fonts and dimensioning styles, the ability to show doors at 45 or 30 degrees (rather than the 90 they were permanently stuck at in the old floor plan style) – all improving the quality of the architectural drawings. They’ve also worked on ease of use and speed of producing the models, including making it easier to place lighting and  internal columns (I’ll welcome that), and to create and stack moldings.

Rendered by AutoKitchen - traditional styling

Rendered by AutoKitchen - traditional styling

The beautiful renderings in this post are from Microcad (the company responsible for autokitchen). You can see many more gorgeous images in the galleries at the autokitchen website. If you want to see some of my efforts, check out this earlier post on Rendering Software.  I don’t always need to produce photorealistic renderings for my projects, but I do love the calm, ethereal quality they have (like a kitchen from Plato’s ideal world of forms?). I’m sure I won’t be able to resist trying out some of those new materials when the release arrives – rendering can become quite addictive, but if I can tear myself away I’ll share the results in future posts.

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Scandinavian Kitchen Design – Schadenfreude from Sweden

03.11.2011 · Posted in Kitchens, Random thoughts

Oh this is fun – do you ever wonder what it’s really like to live in Sweden? Can the Swedes, and their homes, really be as  stylish and well adjusted as their enviable image would suggest?

Sleek and svlete - a kitchen by Marbodal of Sweden

I for one am often guilty of style envy when it comes to Scandinavian design, as you can tell from some earlier posts. But here’s a guaranteed antidote:

Sweden's Ugliest Kitchen - just one of the candidates

When the Swedes do ugly, they do it thoroughly. Should I be ashamed to admit that I’m really enjoying clicking through the entries to Viivilla’s “Sweden’s Ugliest Kitchen” contest? If you have ever suffered from Scandi envy, or just need to feel better about your special corner of home grown ugliness (for everyone still living in their before pictures), I promise this will make help. There’s nothing like a little touch of Schadenfreude to start the day.

Oh, and if that just fills you with guilt, Emma, of the eponymous Design Blogg, needs our help with her own bid to win the competiton. Click here for instructions on how to vote for her, as well as some great pictures of truly desirable Swedish kitchens.

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Round and round the kitchen

03.10.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

I’ve been noticing some cleverly curved elements in kitchen designs from Britain lately – more, I think, than we are seeing here in the US:

Interlocking Curves by Chiselwood

(Chiselwood, via housetohome)

I always see the influence of the master, Johnny Grey (read a post on Johnny Grey here), in these rounded British cupboards. The feeling is very different from the more ubiquitous European style of sleek curvy kitchen,  from the likes of Pedini:

Pedini Integra

The British style is more handcrafted, a take on traditional styling that is definitely more Frodo than Ferrari:

Round table in a square nook? Smallbone of Devises

(via)

And I mean that in a good way – I think these “haute hobbit”  curves are a welcome change from the tyranny of right angles, just as long as you have space for them:

Red and round - via Beautiful Kitchens

(via Beautiful Kitchens blog)

Really, there is nothing quite so impractical as a right-angled corner, whether it’s in a cabinet, a room, or the edge of work surface. We live in spaces that have been designed for the convenience of our machines, not to suit our true natures, and we don’t even think about it any more, do we? The kitchen must be the most right-angled room of all, in most homes. So let’s celebrate curves, and use them where we can – I really think we’ll all be happier as a result.

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Spring Mood in the Kitchen

03.09.2011 · Posted in Kitchens

This kitchen makes me smile – pastel yellow is one of my favorite kitchen colors, and it certainly changes the character of the usually rugged Viking appliances, doesn’t it?

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris...

I spotted this spring-like kitchen, by architect Michael Haverland in his own East Hampton home, on my fave Design Crisis blog – and while I should probably be worrying about Erin’s house-hunting desperation, I found myself worrying about the kitchen instead.

I just can’t figure out how this botanical wonder room has been created. Is it the painstaking work of a botanical artist, which would be amazingly cool and also insanely decadent, or is it wallpaper on the faces of the cabinets, which would be fun, and pretty, but how long could it possibly last?

That aside, the outdoors/indoors look is very lovely – but this week  I’m worrying about all that glass, too. I’m no architect, but I wonder what the R rating for those windows could be? It’s a subject close to my heart right now, as I’m working on a project replacing (seeming) acres of Eichler style single pane floor-to-ceiling windows and huge triangular clerestories – where we are looking for better thermal comfort while keeping that 1958 post-and-beam look unsullied. So although I usually love kitchens with windows instead of wall cabinets unreservedly, vast sheets of glass are also looking rather decadent to me  – and East Hampton’s not exactly in the balmy South now,  is it?

Well, I should probably just stop worrying, assume that everything is exactly as efficient and durable as it should be, and just enjoy this extraordinary sunny kitchen. It really does make me smile.

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