Sunday, October 31, 2010

And you thought your Halloween Decor was good...

Whoever this guy is, does some wild work. I wish he lived close by because I'd love to see it in person, but thankful he's not my next door neighbor. Sheesh!

Got something better at your house? Let's see it!

Happy Halloween!

Better be sweet, or you might get a rock! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Piet Indoor Stove by Cavallius

Last night may have been the first night that I considered that we might need some heat in the house- it's late October and even though it has been unseasonably warm, it's time for the cool brisk nights of autumn to roll on in.

I am not a big fan of space heaters. Besides being dangerous and a power-drain, their often bulky and unattractive. Fredrick Hylten-Cavallius may have solved all of those issues.

His Piet Indoor Stove runs on ethanol so it gives off no smoke and the reflector/insulator back allows one to safely place the stove near a wall or furniture without immediate fear of an inferno.

I like it because it's pretty handsome. For someone without a fireplace(and without the desire to chop up a bunch of wood) this stove would fit nicely at my place.

Nice, huh?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Glamour for Halloween

Because everything is inspiration at one point or the other...

An icon of fashion and appeal, Lillian Wells looks especially lovely glitzing up the Halloween holiday- Interestingly enough, the DALI Kitchen Collection has done the same thing with the home's cooking/eating space. Probably wasn't the intent, but it certainly works for me. As someone that doesn't always love the ultra-modern, this kitchen does all the right things for me.

Orange and Black, just in time for Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Death by Caffeine

And one for those of us that just can't get cranked up in the morning until we've had that morning dose of coffee... 

Via: Term Life Insurance

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick Moment of Kitchen Inspiration

Goodies, here- I'm particularly a fan of the apron sink, glass fronts, open shelves and to-the-ceiling back splashes.

Ready for something startling? I actually like the chalkboard paint over the hood. So what if it looks kind of like a Starbucks... everyone I know likes Starbucks. 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Third Saturday in October

Today my beloved Vols take on the defending national champs, yearly referred to as the Third Saturday in October. Lately the games haven't quite gone the way that we'd like them to, but it's always the official entrance of fall in East Tennessee. The autumn foliage is putting on its finest show and the crisp air from the Smoky Mountains briskly blows by the Tennessee River and Neyland Stadium, the best place in America to watch a football game.

The program is from 1948 and Tennessee won that Saturday 21-6. Not sure the thought behind the program design, but the Tennessee/Alabama football game stirs emotions of all kinds for fans of both teams. Let's see another big win for the VOLS!

Should we move the clock a little?

I love looking at design blogs and mags and all... sometimes catalogs provide the best designer-tainment. This one came to me from a friend and it's too good not to share.

Honestly, the longer I looked at it the more I saw- almost like a Where's Waldo picture.

Just have one question. How many styles can you identify? (you know, like traditional, western, chinoiserie)

Harder than you think, huh? 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Find - La Cornue Grand Palais 180

The self-proclaimed crown jewel of the La Cornue of France line of cooking appliances doesn't disappoint at all. Stunning design and ultra-efficiency make this range the top of the top designer cook-spaces available. Weighing in at over 700 pounds, it's guaranteed to be the star(and center) of your kitchen!

La Cornue is available for purchase through a dealer network and most Williams-Sonoma stores. Check out the Grand Palais at the La Cornue website. This spectacular range starts at $46,000.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#WorldlessWednesday - Skeleton Frolic (1937)

Halloween is coming!

This is the good stuff from years gone by- just think, this cartoon is 73 years old. Wow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#LetsBlogOff - Misery Loves Company

It's Tuesday. #LetsBlogOff is back again!

Today's topic: Is there a reason to be optimistic?

Definition of OPTIMISM

: a doctrine that this world is the best possible world
: an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome

Merriam-Webster does a pretty good job defining optimism, and #2 is how I try to look at my daily tasks. Keyword there... try.

Every day is filled with a new obstacle, and new decision that must be made. When you start the process of making a decision and the immediate negative thoughts that overwhelm you are going to do just that- overwhelm you. Anything and everything is possible, the means of achieving may not be right at your fingertips but the solution is out there and that's what keeps me on track.

So the news is bad. CNN and FOX News are the new 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th'. The only reason that we think the world is crumbling and things are bad is because we(Americans) love bottle-necking at the car accident on the highway. There's something about bad news that drives people, and they want to see others misfortune because for that moment their unfulfilled world is better than someone else's. (Boy, I didn't think about that before I typed it and it just kind of came out. That might be one of the smartest things I've ever typed in to this blog.)

Is that judgemental of me? Nah, I don't think so. I've been unhappy, and I've seen the bad in everything. Maybe we should change the title of our #letsblogoff from "Is there a reason to be optimistic?" to "What's the use in being miserable?" 

We all know some miserable people, and the older that I get(keep reading) the less and less that I choose to spend time with them. The ever-shrinking group of people I surround myself with are only glass-half-fullers. The negative nancies are missing out.

This is Cupboards blog after all- let's look at it from the Cupboards perspective. The home building and home remodeling business is down(way down). A few years ago, we were all living like rock stars in a "more is better" world where keeping up with the Joneses was only half of the project. We had to figure out a way to make the Joneses jealous. Cupboards is still around though, and lots of our competition(and sadly, our customers) aren't. Each time I talk with my banking friends or suppliers they tell of more and more businesses that just couldn't make it. There are days I wish that I was too busy to write in the blog, and my optimistic nature hopes that one day(sooner than later) I can email and tweet my #letsblogoff friends and say, "Ya know, I'd love to be able to contribute today but I am SWAMPED!" Even then, though- I know I'd figure out a way to post along with my people(even if I had to stay up late to type something out).

Today(October 19) is a unique day in my world- I officially leave my twenties behind and turn the big 3-0. There were birthdays gone by that made me worry about this one and while it's created some reflection(both good and bad), I decided a few weeks ago that reflection is for mirrors and instead of being upset at myself for maybe not accomplishing all that I wanted to by the time I turned 30, that I was going to celebrate my victories and be truly excited about the opportunities that are headed my way. While I'm not generally a birthday party kind of guy, tonight I used my birthday as an excuse to have a second helping of Derby Pie. 

Two scoops of ice cream, too.

So that's that- what do you think? See what my cohorts thing by clicking on the tag below. Leave a comment and tell them how great they are.


Monday, October 18, 2010

KraftMaid - Design Your Style Contest

KraftMaid is doing it again! Between all of the philanthropic ventures that KraftMaid supplies cabinets for(namely Extreme Home Makeover) and excellent promotional offers, giving a $50,000 dream kitchen is simply awesome!
Be sure to read the official contest rules, but all you'll need to do is go over to KraftMaid's Design Your Style site and enter a design board that combines your taste with all the great new products from KraftMaid. After you submit a short bit about what sets yours apart from everyone else's you're in!

Not sure what an design/inspiration board should look like? No worries- KraftMaid will help walk you through the process. In fact, you may discover some new and exciting KraftMaid cabinetry products you didn't even know were available.

Make sure that you get your entry taken care of before November 30, 2010 or you'll miss out on the fun. If you're planning a remodel in your kitchen or building a home soon it's a great starting spot to put some ideas together in one place. Check it out!

If you have any questions about a KraftMaid promotion or doorstyle/accessory please don't hesitate to contact us. We are proud to be an authorized KraftMaid retailer and happy to help any way we can!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Turquoise, just better!

Love a room that oozes inspiration, and this is definitely one that does for me. The base of neutrals and quite large impact wall of sky blue paired with windows big enough that you might as well be sitting outside puts me in sensory overload and ultimate calm all at the same time.

I could surely write my blog in this room!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010: Water

There are few issues that come right in to the kitchen and bathroom more than water conservation. In the Cupboards households, we've committed to high-efficiency toilets, low-flow shower heads and faucets, eliminating bottled water and letting the grass turn brown.

Locally, we've not been on a water restriction for quite some time(unlike many other places in the United States). The truly startling fact is that we often feel that a water restriction prohibiting washing our cars and watering our lawn is silly and inconvenient. While we wallow in our American excess, millions of people around the world go without something I've never been faced with, no clean water for drinking. Forget bathing, forget washing your laundry- think about not having fit water to drink.

There are lots of ways to conserve water, and it's not just by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth(that helps though). Did you realize the notorious Pacific Garbage Patch is widely regarded as being about the size of Texas? Texas- the whole state. The Patch is largely plastics, many of which could have been recycled. Now they circulate in an ever growing landfill in the water. Remember that the next time you toss a plastic bottle.

Specifically in our homes, there are some small things that we can do to improve our water consumption. Think you're doing a lot already? You might be, but you should do some self-evaluation. The Water Footprint Calculator is a pretty telling way to see just how your household is doing. I did mine and was alarmed at the results. (In case you were wondering, my house came in just slightly below the national average, and that's with no bottled water, a brown lawn and dirty cars).

There are many municipalities that are doing shower head exchanges, giving free faucet aerators and offering other unique(cheap or free) ways to help you conserve water at home. 

Or you can just use some common sense... 

The next time you turn on your faucet at work or home, have a cold drink of water, hot morning coffee or take a nice relaxing shower(alone or otherwise)- remember those who are less fortunate than we are. Conserve where you can and make a difference!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Revolutionizing Interior Design - Modenus is HERE!

As you'll read below, Modenus is bridging the gaps between customers, specifiers, designers, and manufacturers. Veronika has developed a true gem and it's been a pleasure to watch Modenus come to life!

Veronika is a twitter-friend of Cupboards and is a long-time participant in the famed #letsblogoff series you often see on our blog.

It's a true privilege for us to share her success! Here is the official Modenus press-release:


MODENUS – press release 10/14/10

Immediate release

Online design resource launches – and it’s free! – a comprehensive product catalog and project management platform for the interior design industry launched this month. The catalog portion of the site is generally open to consumers and design professionals, but verified pros have the added benefit of getting access to a collaborative project manager, pro forums and trade only information posted by manufacturers.  

The resource is the brainchild of Veronika Miller, who worked as a successful Interior Designer before turning her attention to digital media. She says designers need better tools to help them work profitably and efficiently  - especially now.  

Speaking about the launch, Veronika Miller says: 

No one needs to tell interior designers that times are tougher. We are launching Modenus to help them make the most of challenging business conditions by offering them free tools to work more profitably, a platform from which to network with peers and meet potential clients and a curated catalog of products from the US, Europe and beyond, putting new and exciting resources at their finger tips.”

But it's not just about Designers. Manufacturers are entirely free to engage with consumers and designers and can set up distribution channels that best serve their business model. Manufacturers can list showrooms, retailers, E-commerce outlets and even design studios that carry their products to provide the consumer with the most sensible avenue to specify or buy.”

“But our efforts won't stop at products. We want Modenus to be a bridge that connects designers and consumers across continents. So many design professionals are now prepared to consult virtually or to travel for a great job, why not shake the geographic restraints and use a platform like ours to find a designer, a client or a product anywhere in the world. Business isn't what it once was but that doesn't mean there aren't new opportunities.”

Miller believes that the site can be used by everyone in the interior design industry 
·         Consumers will find amazing products, connect with designers and be inspired by daily design blogs.
·         Design professionals will explore new global resources, network with peers, feature their work and manage projects on the site's unique project management application.
·         Manufacturers will engage with consumers and professionals in discussion forums, showcase their product collections in the curated catalog and communicate with their followers via a direct news feed to registered users who have selected to receive more information.
 Have a look for yourself at Modenus or join the team on Twitter!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Mugs, Bowls, Plates... Ashtrays?

Two quick things: 

1. No wonder I don't like chalkboard paint in the kitchen.
2. If your kitchen looks like this call us, we can help. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

8-bit Furniture

I remember how cool it was to play games on my original Nintendo(NES) system back in the day. Duck Hunt was a blast!

If NES had a furniture game, it might look like some of the furniture here popped right off the screen. The furniture designs are by Christian Zuzunaga, now garnering some fame for his pixelated fabrics.

Scoot over to his site and check the stuff out- everything from rugs, fabric, throw pillows, etc. Pretty nifty, huh?

Monday, October 11, 2010

In the Kitchen with Columbus

Well, 517 years ago today-ish, Chris Columbus and his merry band of seafarers "discovered" the new world. History buffs can argue whether Leif Erikson got here way earlier or if since there were folks standing on the banks when both pulled up, if they really discovered anything at all- or merely showed up to the party.

Nonetheless, Columbus Day for me has always signaled the real end of summer and beginning of fall weather(as I type this, the weather man is telling me it's going to be 91 degrees today). Alabama summers go on forever and typically this is the time of year things start to cool off. The next couple weeks usually bring the fall foliage so many flock to Cheaha State Park(Alabama's Highest Point and fairly nearby, as the crow flies) and other wooded gems around the country.

This Columbus Day I'll be working(unlike lots of you) on dream kitchens for our customers. I thought it would be neat to take a brief look at the dream galley that Columbus and his crew had on the cruise over from Europe.

Columbus left on August 3, 1492 with a map of a flat-world that said he should end up somewhere in the Far East of Asia. The ships were stocked with food provisions(according to some historians) that would last them nearly a year. Of course I think they have stacks and stacks of pop-tarts and cases of Diet Coke when in fact, they carried basic spices, fresh water, dry goods and livestock. Live livestock. Can you imagine sharing your Santa Maria stateroom with cows, pigs and chickens? 

The galley(kitchen- it's cool that I use "ship-talk" eh?) of ships of the day were a far cry from the trans-Atlantic Queen Mary 2. Most ships carried one major cooking method called a fogon. It's really a fairly simple firebox and not a safe one, mind you.

Definitely not that Viking Range we all covet. Most of the food the crew ate was boiled, sans utensils. Yummy, huh? The firebox had to be manned as along as it was lit, for any stray spark would surely leave the crew swimming to the New World. Lots of days the crew would need to fish their meals from the sea.

So even though Columbus didn't make it to what is now the US mainland, we celebrate their trip today- thank goodness if I ever have to ride a boat across the Atlantic Ocean, the Cunard line looks much better than the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

Happy Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Come in to my Bubble Hut!

Say what you want, but if John Travolta would've had one of these in that plastic bubble movie it would've been a much better watch. 


I've become a big fan of the new eco-tourism movement and even though I am a "country boy", the idea of really "roughing it" is not as appealing as it probably should be. The thought of a 360 degree view on top of a hill isn't a bad one- maybe even on the beach.

What do you think? Check 'em out... CristalBubble


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waterproof Home - #WordlessWednesday

Sometimes the future works out better than we expect. Daily cleaning may take a bit longer still- unless of course, you're in prison. 

(Originally posted in a 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blogging Matters, Doesn't It? #LetsBlogOff

Certainly blogs are important if your name is Huffington or Perez Hilton, but what about those of us who don't write about Justin Bieber and the latest Republican to have some dirty laundry set out on the clothesline?

The Cupboards blog began as a bit of an experiment and a bit of strategy. Few local kitchen and bath shops have a consistently updated stream of aimless stuff carefully thought out information that shows a current online presence and really, that's what the mission was from the get go. The past couple of months with a fairly good increase in traffic, the mission hasn't really changed but the new wrinkle of staying interesting has emerged.

Not everything on the Cupboards blog is relevant to the kitchen and bath industry. Because our business is a very personal one, lots of the personality of the real people that work here comes out. Is that a bad thing? Does it make us look less than professional?

Part of what has made the Cupboards process work is that we are real people that want to help our customers achieve the end result of the project at hand. That always takes a personal touch. Potential customers can look at our blog, our twitter, come by our shop and they'll see the same thing. Real, live people who do real life things.

Measuring the success of our blog is a different monster. Everyone measures success in a different way and fortunately, the good folks at Technorati did the research for me-

So... you Hobby Bloggers just revel in your blog, eh? I tried to figure out where Cupboards fit in- we'll say "all". I don't blog as my full-time job(so part-time), it is a business blog and technically since Cupboards is our venture it's kind of a self-employment, too. 

Looking over Cupboards blog statistics for the past couple months I have decided to measure success based on one metric that probably falls under "Business Leads" or "Other". My measure of success is how much traffic we get based on people that are either looking for us specifically, or end up on a page because of a specific topic search. If people use a search engine and find us that is a win for me. Fortunately, the statistical software that I use shows what's being searched for and on what search engine.

Are we making the grade? Who's to decide, really? Each month traffic gets better and more people say, "Oh, I saw **** on your site!" Win.

Love this one. See that "I am better known in my industry" category? I'll gladly take a seat there, though the one right above it is a bit tempting, too.

So to wrap up the ramble, bloggers to me have a bit of a narcissistic streak about them. Most love their own blog and probably view it higher than most others do. Other's are truly there to share expertise and some just clog up the stream with chatter. Blogs are one cog in the ever-changing social media world and blogging is the social media long-hand. We're just glad to play along!

Click on this tag and then go read other bloggers take a shot at this topic.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Find - Kallista Archeo Tub

Rarely can a single piece of furniture or fixture fit in to so many different design schemes. Kallista hit the nail on the head with the Archeo Copper Tub.

Who needs artwork in the bathroom when you have a tub like this? Quite the sight! 

The Archeo tub has a 71-gallon capacity and is over 5 feet long, a perfectly accommodating soaking tub. Kallista's fine lavatory appointments and  products are sold through a showroom network- the Archeo tub starts at $68,968.

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