Favorite Kitchen of the Day

December 14th, 2009 § Leave a Comment

Photo: David Duncan Livingston

This is a beautiful way of handling a small kitchen space. Kitchen designed by City Studios.  I love the slate blue accent color on the island against the white cabinets. Rustic details like the warm-toned recycled antique terra cotta floor. The kitchen’s eco-friendly curved soft ivory concrete countertops are made with concrete – a locally made material – and were given have a patina for an aged look. Other details: energy-efficient appliances, insulated and double-paned windows and door and drawer hardware made from high-quality recycled metal. For the full story visit: SF Gate: Greening the Kitchen. 

Looking back to look forward in kitchen remodeling.

November 4th, 2008 § Leave a Comment

(photos found at Retro Renovation)

I am a history buff. I love kernels of information so I can go off on a self discovery reading journey. Here is one that got me thinking about times of economic turmoil and how it affects everything we do, everything we buy and even what we eat. Did you know that during the Depression the U.S. Commerce Department proclaimed six standard colors in response to the chaos of various colors that previously existed regarding kitchen equipment? Is this not a wild factoid?

Hold on to that green frying pan. Yes, the US Commerce Dept formed the National Kitchen Modernization Bureau in 1935. White, delphinium blue, royal blue, kitchen green, ivory and red were designated as standard colors. Was the multitude of various colors in kitchen equipment really a problem? Could it be that the drive was to modernize kitchens? Out with the coal and in with gas ranges and electric refrigerators available in six matching colors for a lovely new modern kitchen.

For more information please take a detour to Retro-style suits older home for a very informative and quick read about the reactionary history of appliance colors based on economic hardships.

I found a reference to the National Kitchen Modernization Bureau, pulled from the archives of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.
Refer to the article: Newspaper’s institute raised bar on homemaking by Nancy Stohs.

Here is a snippet from the article:

In 1930, members could get free advice on kitchen remodeling through the institute’s Home Modernizing Bureau. A program announced in The Journal instructed women to mail in sketches of their woefully old-fashioned kitchens. Some of the old kitchens, along with suggested new designs, would be published in the Real Estate section. Owners of kitchens whose designs were not published would get a personal reply.

An article announcing the opportunity informed readers: “Pantries are out of date, be they large or small, and we must be rid of them to be modern.” Perhaps the pantry could be turned into a breakfast nook, or “a niche for the electric refrigerator.”

As for all those objects displaced from the pantry, “Closed cupboards are the modern, sanitary answer.” But don’t panic: “Building them is no longer a week’s long process.”

A thorough kitchen modernizing should run from $300 to $500, readers were told. “It is not necessary to have all of it done this spring.”

For more reading on Vintage Kitchens, reference the article:
Vintage Kitchens of the 1930′s, 1940′s, 1950′s.

If you are loving all things vintage, then take another detour to Retro Renovations.

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Looking back to look forward in kitchen remodeling.

November 4th, 2008 § Leave a Comment

(photos found at Retro Renovation)

I am a history buff. I love kernels of information so I can go off on a self discovery reading journey. Here is one that got me thinking about times of economic turmoil and how it affects everything we do, everything we buy and even what we eat. Did you know that during the Depression the U.S. Commerce Department proclaimed six standard colors in response to the chaos of various colors that previously existed regarding kitchen equipment? Is this not a wild factoid?

Hold on to that green frying pan. Yes, the US Commerce Dept formed the National Kitchen Modernization Bureau in 1935. White, delphinium blue, royal blue, kitchen green, ivory and red were designated as standard colors. Was the multitude of various colors in kitchen equipment really a problem? Could it be that the drive was to modernize kitchens? Out with the coal and in with gas ranges and electric refrigerators available in six matching colors for a lovely new modern kitchen.

For more information please take a detour to Retro-style suits older home for a very informative and quick read about the reactionary history of appliance colors based on economic hardships.

I found a reference to the National Kitchen Modernization Bureau, pulled from the archives of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.
Refer to the article: Newspaper’s institute raised bar on homemaking by Nancy Stohs.

Here is a snippet from the article:

In 1930, members could get free advice on kitchen remodeling through the institute’s Home Modernizing Bureau. A program announced in The Journal instructed women to mail in sketches of their woefully old-fashioned kitchens. Some of the old kitchens, along with suggested new designs, would be published in the Real Estate section. Owners of kitchens whose designs were not published would get a personal reply.

An article announcing the opportunity informed readers: “Pantries are out of date, be they large or small, and we must be rid of them to be modern.” Perhaps the pantry could be turned into a breakfast nook, or “a niche for the electric refrigerator.”

As for all those objects displaced from the pantry, “Closed cupboards are the modern, sanitary answer.” But don’t panic: “Building them is no longer a week’s long process.”

A thorough kitchen modernizing should run from $300 to $500, readers were told. “It is not necessary to have all of it done this spring.”

For more reading on Vintage Kitchens, reference the article:
Vintage Kitchens of the 1930′s, 1940′s, 1950′s.

If you are loving all things vintage, then take another detour to Retro Renovations.

###

Blue is the New black

April 24th, 2008 § 10 Comments

Patricia Gray has mentioned Blue is the New Black at her blog . Blue remains timeless. It can be bold or quiet. I noted in an earlier blog that blue remains a popular color even the kitchen. Color communicates who we are. Bold colors for a free spirit. Demure colors for soft spoken types. It can also transmit a vibe. Do you feel best when at the beach, or are you invigorated by world travels and need to be surrounded with more exotic colors and elements?

Back splashes can be an opportunity to create a vibe for your space. Hard surfaces can play off of soft surfaces such as cushions & fabric.

From the most bold…

Shown here, variegated handmade glass tiles. Reminiscent of the ocean, by Erin Adams through Ann Sacks. Interior Design by Frank Roop and Dalia Kitchen Design.

Large Zen Weave in mottled blue, Ann Sacks tile

To the fanciful formal…

An interlocking oval in hand cut glass tiles in Ann Sacks silver and mineral presents itself as a whimsical yet formal pattern.

To the invigorating…

Ann Sacks Lake Garda Ceramic Art Tile in multiple hues of blue.

…and then there is the most subtle forms of blue.

Kitchen floor is bluestone with a sky blue fabric pallette. With 22 ft. ceilings the blue recedes. Designer David Klienberg, House Beautiful, April 2008.

From the most vibrant to the most subtle shades, blue is accepted everywhere.

Blue is the New black

April 24th, 2008 § 10 Comments

Patricia Gray has mentioned Blue is the New Black at her blog . Blue remains timeless. It can be bold or quiet. I noted in an earlier blog that blue remains a popular color even the kitchen. Color communicates who we are. Bold colors for a free spirit. Demure colors for soft spoken types. It can also transmit a vibe. Do you feel best when at the beach, or are you invigorated by world travels and need to be surrounded with more exotic colors and elements?

Back splashes can be an opportunity to create a vibe for your space. Hard surfaces can play off of soft surfaces such as cushions & fabric.

From the most bold…

Shown here, variegated handmade glass tiles. Reminiscent of the ocean, by Erin Adams through Ann Sacks. Interior Design by Frank Roop and Dalia Kitchen Design.

Large Zen Weave in mottled blue, Ann Sacks tile

To the fanciful formal…

An interlocking oval in hand cut glass tiles in Ann Sacks silver and mineral presents itself as a whimsical yet formal pattern.

To the invigorating…

Ann Sacks Lake Garda Ceramic Art Tile in multiple hues of blue.

…and then there is the most subtle forms of blue.

Kitchen floor is bluestone with a sky blue fabric pallette. With 22 ft. ceilings the blue recedes. Designer David Klienberg, House Beautiful, April 2008.

From the most vibrant to the most subtle shades, blue is accepted everywhere.

Blue Kitchens

April 20th, 2008 § Leave a Comment

Blue has always been a popular color. Do you have a favorite color and want to incorporate in your kitchen without looking overdone, see how blue accents these wonderful kitchens.

Elegant carved cabinetry in this Connecticut kitchen take us straight into French chateau country. click here. House Beautiful.


Here is the ultimate collector’s fantasy, with beautiful blue cabinets to show off pottery, and a hand-carved island from France.
As seen in House Beautiful. Click here.

The contemporary Quimper dinnerware is still made in the original factory in France. The cabinets were custom-designed by Joanne Hudson and built by Downsview. A collection of tea cozies is tucked on top. Old Italian apothecary jars are lined up on the marble countertop from Vermont Quarries. Featured in House Beautiful January 2007 issue.

Kitchen from Electrolux.com

Blue Kitchens

April 20th, 2008 § Leave a Comment

Blue has always been a popular color. Do you have a favorite color and want to incorporate in your kitchen without looking overdone, see how blue accents these wonderful kitchens.

Elegant carved cabinetry in this Connecticut kitchen take us straight into French chateau country. click here. House Beautiful.


Here is the ultimate collector’s fantasy, with beautiful blue cabinets to show off pottery, and a hand-carved island from France.
As seen in House Beautiful. Click here.

The contemporary Quimper dinnerware is still made in the original factory in France. The cabinets were custom-designed by Joanne Hudson and built by Downsview. A collection of tea cozies is tucked on top. Old Italian apothecary jars are lined up on the marble countertop from Vermont Quarries. Featured in House Beautiful January 2007 issue.

Kitchen from Electrolux.com

More Talk Around the Blogs on What Else? Color in the Kitchen

October 17th, 2007 § 1 Comment


Have we gone so neutral that we are starved for color? Kitchens never have to be bland. Ok, so the ranges above are a bit wild and may not sell in Iowa, but the point is we have freedom of choice to add color where ever we want in appliances, paint on the walls, choice of artwork, tile splashes, textures and colors for counters, cabinets and hardware means that you can personalize your kitchen with color in any form you desire. Me? Color me happy with anything other than white walls. I tend to shudder when clients want white walls and white ceilings. Give me white appliances, white cabinets and white sinks, but I would really rather eat paste than paint my walls white. Wild pattern on appliances , I am not so inclined to take the plunge preferring muted color pallets instead, but colored LED lighting my water is groovy!

Here is what is going on in the world of design: Over at Design Undercover, the talk is about Cookers in Britain (that’s a “range” to you and me in America), coloring up in new shades. The Cooker as Couture? Inspired from the Catwalks of London, Paris and Milan to Britannia’s new line of Couture Ranges. Leave it to the Europeans. Ooh, la, la!

Britannia says: “Get your inspiration from anywhere and we’ll match it!You’re free to take your colour inspiration from absolutely anywhere and it can be as outrageous or subtle a colour as you like.”

Over at Trendir the news is on Italian new colored Temperautra Colorata Faucet by Guglielmi.

Within this modern form, the Guglielmi Kitchen faucet features an integrated LED light which reveals the water’s temperature through the use of color. Cool water appears brilliant blue, warm water a vibrant violet, while hot is a fiery red. A wonderful faucet for children, the simple use of color adds both a safety feature and a modern glamour. A clever and dynamic design, the Temperatura Colorata faucet by Guglielmi uses LED technology to create an innovative kitchen fixture.

Back in the States: the statement in color for 2007 is more subdued: The newest colors introduced this year: Jenn-Air introduced Oiled Bronze appliances at the 2007 Kitchen and Bath Show.

Jenn-Air combines the traditionalism of bronze sculpture with the polished look of stainless steel accents to create a unique, enduring Oiled Bronze finish for kitchen appliances.

The depth of bronze hues, coupled with the stainless steel handles and hardware, allows the Oiled Bronze kitchen suite to balance with other design features in the kitchen. This versatility allows consumers to outfit a full kitchen of Oiled Bronze appliances or add an Oiled Bronze offering to soften kitchens with stainless steel or black appliances.

The Oiled Bronze finish is available on refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, cook tops and hoods.

Perlick also introduced Amethyst and Copper into their line up of under counter refrigeration systems. Amethyst? Yes, This isn’t the first appearance of tints and shades from the purple family of colors. We’ve seen AGA’s Aubergine and Heather and Caesarstone’s Mulberry Mist.

Not sure how to integrate color into your kitchen? Take a look at these sources for some additional help.

Christopher Lowell has a magnificent talent for coordinating color. Go to the Room Designer page, to help you visualize what the coordinated colors will look like in a room,

“we’ve developed our Room Designer feature. We’ll show you how the colors of the walls, ceiling and trim look together. It’s easy to use. Just roll over the wall color below and watch the room change. Is this cool or what?”

Dunn Edwards offers a Palette Previewer that lets you upload photos of your room and try out a multitude of color combinations on the walls and trim moldings. Fabulous!

Download Benjamin Moore’s Ensemble Winter 2007 catalog for inspiring room combinations.

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Color, Color and More Color

October 11th, 2007 § 2 Comments


If you have the urge to match your appliances to your back splash, BlueStar offers a color program unmatched in the residential appliance industry.

Plus I get to show you a few sneak peaks of their new line of wall ovens to be offered in 190 different colors. These pictures are not even in their web site yet!

So What Colors are the Most Popular with BlueStar Consumers?
I contacted Keith Wolf, BlueStar’s Vice President of Marketing. Here are the facts provided by BlueStar:

- BlueStar offers our Residential Nova Burner (RNB) line of ranges in 190 colors. Currently, there is no charge to order a range in any of the 190 standard colors.

- Of the 190 colors, over 140 different colors have been ordered.

- Custom colors: BlueStar can custom match almost any color – 23,000 different colors are possible. There is a fee associated with color matching.

- More than 40% of BlueStar’s range sales are colored ranges.

- Our most popular colors are our Ruby Red, Steel Blue, and Jet Black.

- Consumers appreciate the ability to express themselves through the color of their kitchens/ranges; we’re also hearing that some consumers find the colored ranges easier to keep clean than stainless steel.

- We are about to introduce a line of wall ovens that will also be offered in 190 colors. Previews shown below.

- To find a color, we recommend that consumers visit a BlueStar dealer to view a RAL color swatch book. As you probably know, the colors on screen don’t always match up with the printed versions.

Preview of new Blue Star 24” single oven

Preview of new Blue Star 30” double oven

BlueStar Color Options

Visit BlueStar – Color Configurator to preview how one of their ranges looks in various colors, click here.

BlueStar ranges are available in 190 different colors – the most color options of any range in the industry. For a preview of how one of our ranges looks in various colors, click here.

RAL® Color Chart

Use this guide to assist your color selection. Please note: This chart is intended as a reference guide only. RAL Computer Video simulations displayed may not exactly match RAL®-identified color standards. Use current RAL Color Publications for most accurate color.

RAL 1000
RAL 1001
RAL 1002
RAL 1003
RAL 1004
RAL 1005
RAL 1006
RAL 1007
RAL 1011
RAL 1012
RAL 1013
RAL 1014
RAL 1015
RAL 1016
RAL 1017
RAL 1018
RAL 1019
RAL 1020
RAL 1021
RAL 1023
RAL 1024
RAL 1027
RAL 1028
RAL 1032
RAL 1033
RAL 1034
RAL 2000
RAL 2001
RAL 2002
RAL 2003
RAL 2004
RAL 2008
RAL 2009
RAL 2010
RAL 2011
RAL 2012
RAL 3000
RAL 3001
RAL 3002
RAL 3003
RAL 3004
RAL 3005
RAL 3007
RAL 3009
RAL 3011
RAL 3012
RAL 3013
RAL 3014
RAL 3015
RAL 3016
RAL 3017
RAL 3018
RAL 3020
RAL 3022
RAL 3027
RAL 3031
RAL 4001
RAL 4002
RAL 4003
RAL 4004
RAL 4005
RAL 4006
RAL 4007
RAL 4008
RAL 4009
RAL 4010
RAL 5000
RAL 5001
RAL 5002
RAL 5003
RAL 5004
RAL 5005
RAL 5007
RAL 5008
RAL 5009
RAL 5010
RAL 5011
RAL 5012
RAL 5013
RAL 5014
RAL 5015
RAL 5017
RAL 5018
RAL 5019
RAL 5020
RAL 5021
RAL 5022
RAL 5023
RAL 5024
RAL 6000
RAL 6001
RAL 6002
RAL 6003
RAL 6004
RAL 6005
RAL 6006
RAL 6007
RAL 6008
RAL 6009
RAL 6010
RAL 6011
RAL 6012
RAL 6013
RAL 6014
RAL 6015
RAL 6016
RAL 6017
RAL 6018
RAL 6019
RAL 6020
RAL 6021
RAL 6022
RAL 6024
RAL 6025
RAL 6026
RAL 6027
RAL 6028
RAL 6029
RAL 6032
RAL 6033
RAL 6034
RAL 7000
RAL 7001
RAL 7002
RAL 7003
RAL 7004
RAL 7005
RAL 7006
RAL 7008
RAL 7009
RAL 7010
RAL 7011
RAL 7012
RAL 7013
RAL 7015
RAL 7016
RAL 7023
RAL 7024
RAL 7026
RAL 7030
RAL 7031
RAL 7032
RAL 7033
RAL 7034
RAL 7035
RAL 7036
RAL 7037
RAL 7038
RAL 7039
RAL 7040
RAL 7042
RAL 7043
RAL 7044
RAL 7045
RAL 7046
RAL 7047
RAL 8000
RAL 8001
RAL 8002
RAL 8003
RAL 8004
RAL 8007
RAL 8008
RAL 8011
RAL 8012
RAL 8023
RAL 8024
RAL 8025
RAL 9002
RAL 9004
RAL 9005
RAL 9018

About Blue Star

The Prizer-Painter company has been building stoves since the 1800′s. They have always had specialized niche products and stayed under the national consumer radar, until now.

For many years, Prizer built a complete and successful line of commercial style home ranges for the Garland Company, a well known commercial equipment manufacturer. Garland’s corporate entity has since decided to discontinue their home division, so Prizer re-entered the marketplace under their own name and the tag “Blue Star.” The exclusive star shaped burner, which they were allowed to keep by Garland, is a key selling feature due to the Chef preferred flame pattern allowing heat to wrap around cookware better.

Their overall workmanship and construction quality is unsurpassed. Probably the “Best in class” so far as we are concerned. The cooking performance is simply terrific. You wont find dual fuel electric ovens or sealed burners here…yet. Their high BTU burners are the top of the class at 22,000BTU’s. The large ovens will hold a full size sheet pan, have convection circulation and an infrared broiling system. You may need to buy some new, heavy duty cookware to make this power worth while, but if you love to cook and want the tools to help you perfect all the many cooking techniques, the Blue Star is a great choice.

A Blast From the Past

October 8th, 2007 § 2 Comments

Color Me Retro!
Studying kitchens from previous eras is fascinating to me. You are going to love this! To know where we are going, we need to look back from where we came.
Thank you KBB for bringing out photos from your archives documenting trends from past eras. I have been saving my comments on the latest trends I spotted at the Kitchen and Bath Show 2007. And what a better way to comment on trends for 2007, juxtaposed with trends of the 1950′s. Have we come that far? When does a trend stop being trendy and become a classic? How can we embrace trends without dating a kitchen?

What is trendy today really has it’s roots linked to our past. Take a look.
Enjoy!

Pink and Blue, Oh Boy! After WWII, many bright colors were popular, as shown by this all-pink kitchen on the June 1956 cover.

Circa 2007: Pink has a new connotation. Pink is no longer a feminine color. It’s in men’s ties and shirts. Pink has graduated to a color for a cause. A sign of solidarity. A color that shows you are “in the pink” to support a cause. “Cook for a Cure”. Caring cooks can show their support for the breast cancer movement in style. This pink mixer is called “Komen Pink”.
When you purchase this pink Artisan mixer, KitchenAid will donate $50 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as part of their Cook for the Cure® initiative.

For the color committed: A Pink Modern Day Kitchen featured in Martha Stewart Magazine. Trendy? Most decidedly so.
For those who are a little color shy: keep the color in a drawer: pink spatulas. Trends that are allowed to wear out, allowing us not to feel bad at replacing them.

Consumers have a need for color in their kitchen. We respond to colors. Why else would Kitchen Aid produce 6 different shades of Mixers? Target (Or as it has been nicknamed “Tar-jay”) allows internet shoppers to shop by color.
We are color obsessed.
But can we take our love of color to large ticket appliances and cabinets?
Target internet ad: “Shop By Color”.


Are you ready for blue?

Dacor introduces Blue in its line up for 2007.
Also available from Dacor: I wonder why Blue is the color appliance manufacturers are moving towards? Blue is a calming color and generally not a color to get your appetite charged. But it’s everywhere in appliances. It’s in the Blue Knob of Thermador ovens, inside ovens, appliances in all shades of blue. Blue is our country’s favorite color. Blue is timeless.

Modern Day equivalent: Mix and match gives a nod to the 50′s. This is a happy lunch room, isn’t it? Makes me wanna be-bop around the kitchen, dancin’ in my socks while blending a banana shake. Cool surfboard shape table. Popsicle shades of lime and cherry on the barstools. Surf Green Walls. Horizon Blue Appliances. The mix and match colors are the epitome of Pop Art. Appliances from Big Chill. Check out Fresh Produce Sportswear’s headquarters! www.fpcolor.com Bigchillfridge

1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air in Horizon Blue. Did the appliance industry get their cue form the auto industry? Hmm.

This RCA Whirlpool ad demonstrates mixing and matching cabinetry has long been a design element in kitchens.

Modern Day Equivalent: Mix and Match: ah-hem. Not for the faint of heart! Thank God the counters are white. I would need to hold on them to get my equilibrium back after staring at that psychedelic wall.
This Designer Showhouse Kitchen, 2005, designed by Alison Spear is a mix and match of vivid lemon and lime colors shown for cabinets matching tile. Where else but in Miami. Mix and Match still a trend.

Hats off to Valcucine for mix and match with an eco-friendly twist.
Valcucine exhibits red, white and blue in fashion and forward thinking design with respect to using environmentally friendly design. The 100% aluminum frame can be completely recycled.
Hey! Where did the appliances go? Who wants to see them if you can hide them!

On the other hand, emphasizing just one color was also very common.

Modern Day Equivalent: Blue Kitchen by Snaidero.
Even if you are not ready for a blue kitchen, blue is ready for you, or aubergine, or heather…

BOLD BLUE
Lapis Blue Range by Bertazzoni

For every Action there is a Reaction.

Some people think color only means BRIGHT color. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be bright. One of my eight palettes for 2007 is going to have very soft colors, which are coming back into play. Consumers say, ’All right, I have my red toaster, now I have to do something quieter.’ Lee Eiseman, internationally renowned color and design expert, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. Full article at 2007 Color Trends for the Home

SUBTLE BLUE
La Cornue CornuFé range in Lavender Blue.

An AGA Cooker in Wedgewood Blue.
If you would rather color your cooker Aubergine or Pistachio or Jade or Heatherand so on. AGA provides a rainbow of color options.

Also not to be outdone with new softer colors: Caesarstone has introduced new rich colors that have been muted down a bit. I love the new color: Mulberry Mist.
And Espresso and Pebble.
Only four percent of households had a dishwasher, at the time the ultimate luxury item, in 1956.

Modern day equivalent: It is not uncommon for kitchens to have two dishwashers.

Also not such a new idea: the higher dishwasher placement reduces bending and lifting and is a key feature in a universal design kitchen.

Also the retro style ovens of the 50′s are making their way back to our kitchens today, but they are supercharged with 21st century technology. Turbo Chef has a retro style oven with all the technology a modern oven can offer.
Is the influx of color in appliances a reaction of the public tiring of stainless steel? Maybe so. But even so, stainless steel is still the de rigueur in kitchens and will not be making a departure any time soon. Even if Stainless Steel doesn’t appeal to everybody, I am glad to see so many options in color. Rich Blue, Antique Red, and more daring colors can be quite exciting in kitchen design.

The Big Chill refrigerator in Classic White. The absence of color in appliances and cabinets, lets the room become a neutral backdrop for colorful collections and artwork to become the prime focus. Color comes to life in bowls, plates, kitchen accessories, small appliances, flooring, counters. A good argument for white is that it is neutral and looks absolutely fabulous with any color scheme.
While a bright cherry red refrigerator becomes the rock star of this blend of wood and stainless. Eclectic Pop!

The kitchen is the destination place. After work, after school, after a night on the town. What ever your take on color for your kitchen, make color in your kitchen work for you.

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