Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Looks WAY too similar....

I love wooden bathtubs... In fact, tomorrow I'll have a whole big post about how much I like them and how I marvel at artisans that make them.

Before then though, take a look at this picture:


Nice, right? Looks like it would go well in a spa or rustic space.

Now take a look at this one:


I have an Aroma Ice Cream maker, and while they are a fantastic machine, the design doesn't really evoke a major bath fixture for me. I can't get over how similar they are! 

Am I off my rocker here?

What do you think?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Great Diet Comparison

Now that I am back from an awesome(and filling) event in Louisville, it might be wise for me to take a look at one of these dining plans...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Backsplash Basking: Glass

Thinking about doing something a bit edgy for your backsplash? Tired of the same old, same old?

Check out glass.


Most glass backsplash applications that I've seen do tend to be a bit more on the modern side, but traditional color options are out there.


Want to add a big splash of color?


Maybe you need a Honeysuckle backsplash...

Or if you can't decide on ONE color, do them all!



Just like any material, correct lighting can make or break the space. Glass can be lit from a variety of directions, though backlit creates some of the most dramatic results.



When you start shopping for your backsplash material, keep glass in mind. Think about ease of cleaning, smooth surface and limitless color options!

Photos: one, two, three, four, five, six and seven.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Design Shuffle: 8 Kitchen Faucets We Love

Big thanks to the gals at Design Shuffle for sitting in today and sharing some kitchen faucets you may or may have not seen... I'm still trying to find a place for the Zuchetti...

______________________________________________

Hi, Joanna and Susi here. We’re writers for Design Shuffle, a social media and portfolio platform for interior designers and interior design ideas around the world. We paired up on this post to bring you the coolest kitchen faucets around. Not to say we didn’t disagree, we did, but finally we compromised and got each of our favorites included. Hope you enjoy! With so many fantastic kitchen faucets on the market today, it was difficult to make a list of just eight kitchen faucets we love. We tried to find a range of faucets, both traditional and contemporary styles, that have different features and functionality to inspire some terrific kitchen design ideas. From farm house sink faucets to bold, colorful contemporary faucets, we are loving all of the faucets on the list.

Marvin Blog {via}

Love the oil rubbed bronze finish on this kitchen faucet, but love the function of it more. It is a Touch20 Technology faucet by Delta—one tap turns it on, another turns it off. Great for when you have sticky or dirty hands.


Remodelista {via}

Not sure if the Danze Parma single-handle pre-rinse faucet will help us like doing the dishes more, but we do like the commercial style.


Remodelista {via}

The Sunrise Kitchen Bridge faucet is a wall mounted classic with white porcelain levers. It has a wonderful vintage or antique feeling to the design.


Go4Floors {via}

We love the black finish on this traditional style single handle faucet by Danze. It also has a pull-out sprayer, a must have.


Sink Gallery {via}

We're seeing more copper in the kitchen recently. Love the design of this faucet from Bello in an antique copper finish. Interior design idea: It would look perfect paired with a copper or porcelain farmhouse sink.


Josh Spear {via}

The Karbon kitchen faucet from Kohler is like moveable sculpture for your kitchen. High performance and high style combine to make this one very cool faucet for a modern or contemporary kitchen.


Tomboy Design {via}

This blue faucet caught our eye. By Italian design firm Zuchetti, the aqua blue is one of a handful of colors available. How fun!

Homes Garden Design {via}

The ultimate luxury in kitchen faucets to us is a a pot filler right above the stove. This transitional style pot filler from Fontaine is a great example of these utilitarian luxuries.

Which faucet do you love?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#LetsBlogOff - Let's Ride!

Today's edition of Let's Blog Off poses the question that vexes the working class: How to you rest and recharge?





I'm sure that the obvious answer would be to vegetate on the sofa... not here. Let's go riding! 

Panama City Beach, FL

My family started riding motorcycles as a group some years ago and it's become sort of a normal thing to plan a trip and have it revolve around taking the bikes. Our little group has grown from just Mom, Dad and myself to include cousins and siblings. Everyone is getting in on the fun!

 South of Montgomery, AL


 Bonifay, FL 

Panama City Beach, FL

There is something startlingly therapeutic about being in the open air with little more than a set of handlebars separating you from oncoming traffic. "Motorcycle therapy" is shared by most bikers that I know. Even when you are riding with a group, the open road soothes just about any trouble you may have. 

 Panama City Beach, FL


Because it's normally a family affair, anytime we go anywhere we plan around stops to ice cream parlors and putt-putt golf courses. Sounds pretty stressful, huh?

On I-40 south of Knoxville, TN

But no matter where we've come from or where we are going, once you fire up that engine and get the wind blowing past you, rest and recharging aren't necessary... just keep on riding!

So what about you? How do you rest and recharge? Want to go for a ride with us?

Check out the other cool folks that are resting on this Let's Blog Off Tuesday. Safe riding, friends!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Arkema Solar Showers

Summer(officially) is just one day away. Even though we have been sweltering in the hot Alabama sun for over a month now, there's no better time take a look at some outdoor plumbing options.

In recent years, there has been a shift toward outdoor showers, and not just for those with pools/spas. If you've never taken a shower outside(enclosed for privacy in areas where neighbors are close by), you're missing out. It's got to be one of the most cleansing(literally and emotionally) experiences I've had. It wouldn't be that hard for you to have one, too!

This is a solar powered shower by Arkema.


This Italian innovator has showers with various configurations that are destined to fit any space and serve any function. Whether just a quick rinse after a trip to the beach or a more permanent private set up, the simple and elegant design of the Arkema shower will fit right in any outdoor space. 


The water heating element is solar, but some models offer an electric water heating method as well.


On top of the eco-friendly and physical design aspect, Arkema even allows for special color choices. Make it your own! 


Shower outdoors! Visit Arkema here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

White Kitchen Sunday: Basketweave Tile

Another fantastic white kitchen to enjoy on this Father's Day Sunday... This one designed by LGS Designs, LLC.

Kitchen traditional kitchen

The backsplash is nothing short of breath-taking. The white basketweave with the slight sparkly component makes for a dramatic mix of subtle and stunning. 

Backsplash traditional kitchen

Kitchen traditional kitchen

Traditional Residence traditional kitchen

What do you think?

This space has so many of the elements that I look for in my own spaces: White cabinetry to the v-grooved ceiling, large island with marble counters, commercial cooking and a backsplash that would make all the neighbors jealous.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Is Twitter a Waste of Time?

An interesting look at one of my favorite hobbies... 

Can't say that twitter has been a waste of time for me. Twitter has allowed me great new industry contacts and leads. If it's a waste, I'll keep wasting away!

If you don't follow me on twitter, you should be.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Find - Robern M Series with TViD

Because everyone needs a tv in the bathroom and no one actually wants to see a tv in the bathroom...


Enter the Robern M Series with TViD.

I love to have the television on when I get ready for work in the mornings(Morning Joe on MSNBC is really my only source for news) and have always been concerned about having a tv mounted on the wall in a bathroom. Robern solves my design dilemma and hides the tv right in the medicine cabinet. Perfect!



Robern is available through a dealer network- find one close to you

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Working with Cupboards: The good, the bad, the saucy.

Perhaps in between the KBIS bathtub photos and posts about the awesomeness of granite tile countertops, you've forgotten that Cupboards actually designs kitchens.  I should know - they designed one for me!  I'm Madame Sunday of the blog ModernSauce and I decided to hijack Cupboards and tell you all the dramatic behind-the-scenes dirt that REALLY happened when you work with Cupboards on a project!  Get ready for it...

Here it comes...

Make sure you're sitting down...

It's gonna be big...

Deep breath...

...

I got nothin.  There wasn't any drama or ego or fighting.  It was actually really easy.  And pretty fun.  That's not to say there weren't any problems with the project - because there were - but working with Nick was actually what helped smooth over those problems.  Especially when someone *points to self* was freaking out or overreacting... not that that would ever happen. Very often...

The end result!
Before I contacted Nick I already knew roughly what I wanted my space to look like and my budget range.  I think this was essential for my sanity and probably his as well. I initially emailed him to see if he was actually interested in working with me (hey, maybe he only wanted to be my Twitter friend - who knows?!) and what I wanted was indeed achievable for my price.  He said "easy."  I said it's "ON like Donkey Kong!"  If you say that with a Southern accent is sounds funnier.  Or possibly that's the only part that sounds funny... whatever.  So I sent him my measurements, pictures that I liked, told him a few things I hated (bending over) and few things I loved (not bending over) and then just let him loose.  A short while later BOOM, a plan in my inbox and angels sang and flowers blossomed and cherubs danced.  It was hot.  



The biggest difference in the plans I had received from big box retailers versus what I received from Nick was that his plan was thoughtful.  As in, I'm pretty sure he did more than play Tetris with my cabinets.  He wasn't just filling up my walls with as many wooden boxes as my space would allow, but instead he was maximizing storage while being conscious of the three-dimensional space and feel of the room.  That was a hard thing to explain to someone wearing an orange apron.  The thoughtfulness that came from his expertise made my job much easier.  My job being to freaking out about all the OTHER non-cabinet related stuff.  



Other than a few minor tweaks, we didn't really even make that many changes to his initial plan.  Maybe that has something to do with, you know, thoughtfulness.  Usually it was as a result of another decision I made like changing the size of the sink or deciding I needed more room for my hoard of vintage chafing dishes.  And by chafing dishes I mean Nutella.  Not seeing the place in person proved challenging at one point and I did have to resort to some unconventional tactics to "see" the plan for myself and to try and visually communicate my thoughts with him:

Yes, that's the real space before.  I'm sorry...
The art of improvisation!  

Our situation was a bit different from the normal process since Nick lives three hours away from me and would not be present during the installation at all.  We knew this might create some extra work for me but it seemed worth it because I could still get what I want AND have someone I could call for questions or clarification or life coaching.  That someone was probably going to be a lot more accessible than the person working at a big box store in my own town and they get so cranky when I try to talk to them about my dating drama.  It's just all about YOU, huh Home Depot?!  So call Nick I did.  A lot.  That kind of customer service is enough to spoil a Madame.  


So if you're kinda wondering whether there is a difference between the designers at chain retailers and the ones at showrooms, there is.  If you already knew that but roll your eyes at independent showrooms (like I did) because you don't think there's that much of a difference, there was.  And it was worth it even over long distance  That's coming from someone who is cheap.  And whiny.  And whiny about being cheap.  I may have done a lot of whining during the process but it was never about the cabinets.  It also wasn't about dating drama because apparently Nick doesn't want to hear about that either.  What is wrong with you kitchen designers?!

Can't get enough of kitchen tawlk?!  Run over to ModernSauce to check my interview with Nick.  Warning: there is snark and saucy talk!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Want This: GE Monogram 30" Refrigerator

On a recent trip to New York, I had the privilege of spending some time at the GE Monogram Design Center in Manhattan. The 4000 sq. ft. New York City-themed showroom is fearlessly led by Paula Cecere(who was kind enough to give me a personal tour on virtually no notice).

How Paula and her team get any work done is beyond me. The showroom is full of stunning kitchen set-ups with every foodies dream appliance suite. I'd spend all day making pies.

There was so much to see(and so little time), but one Monogram appliance really stood out among the rest...

via GE

The 30" Refrigerator and Wine Reserve is the result of GE's smart thinking and being aware that more and more people are living in smaller spaces but don't want to sacrifice having nice things. 

The fully integrated styling allows a seamless installation and fully built-in look. Here they are in the Monogram Design Center...


What's that middle drawer, you ask? Freezer and ice. So what's the big one on the bottom?! 


It's the only convertible you can brag to me about and me actually be impressed. Ha!

The bottom drawer is a multi-use space that can be set from -6 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit expanding the cooling or freezing zones at the switch of button. Pretty sweet.


On top of the awesome design, convertible drawer, glass door option and perfect installation appearance, the Monogram 30" refrigerator is the first to use the R600A refrigerant. The new refrigerant has a lower global-warming impact than common refrigerants  in the industry. Additionally, the 30" Monogram will use cyclopentane to blow the insulation in to these units, compared with previously used higher-emitting HFC foam-blowing agents. All around, a better deal.

If you haven't checked these out for yourself, do so now. Also, follow Paula and her team on twitter- Always great information there.

Thanks again to Paula for hosting me at the GE Monogram Design Center in New York!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Corian Illumination Series

Corian will always be the elder statesman in solid-surfacing for me. Every company has had its ebbs and flows, but Corian has challenged the "stone frenzy" head on and has some exciting products out now.

The Corian Illumination Series is one of my favorite solid surface products. Not only are you virtually limitless in one's design, but now that same design can be back lit with any number of light types and colors.


The Illumination Series is a more translucent material that can be fabricated just the same as standard Corian materials as long as a few considerations are met when planning to back light. 

Changing the type of lighting dramatically changes the appearance of an Illumination color. 





This nightclub in Montreal has perhaps the most stunning light application I've seen with the Illumination Series... 


Ask your kitchen design professional about how to use Corian Illumination in your next project! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

KraftMyStyle iPhone App from KraftMaid

If you have an iPhone go immediately and download the KraftMyStyle App from KraftMaid. The KraftMyStyle app allows you to create inspiration boards and gather ideas that will not only allow you to organize your thoughts and gather what you like, but also help your designer to create a space that best fits your personality and personal style!

Take a look:



Pretty awesome, huh?

Use the KraftMyStyle app and choose from your own photos(snap a picture where ever you are inspired) or photos from KraftMaid's Inspiration Photos.

I couldn't help but throw one together myself....


It really is quite easy and allows one to see lots of elements at one time. Sure beats an old-fashioned mood board!

Try it out... after you get done you can even post your boards to Facebook and share them with your friends and family. More importantly, share them with your kitchen designer. They'll thank you! 

You have no excuse. Go to the App Store and get it. Best part? It's FREE!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Review: Kelly's Kitchen Sync

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending quite a bit of time visiting with the extra awesome Kelly Morisseau. We had plenty of time to talk about her upcoming book release and how that since I was so handsome and such a nice guy that I sure would like a signed copy to show to everyone to prove that I know someone famous.

There's Kelly in the dead center(where she belongs)!

Last week, my dreams came true! 

A friendly parcel employee delivered a discreet package containing my very own copy of Kelly's Kitchen Sync, complete with inscription(that will not be revealed). 


Because everyone should buy the book, I'm not going to get too deep in to all the good wisdom that Kelly passes along. I will tell you though, anyone starting out a kitchen project should get their hands on a copy and read it. As someone that deals with the ins and outs of kitchen projects on a daily basis, it was a very interesting read and something that I'll keep around as a resource in the future.

There is a great quote from Kelly regarding her experience writing the book and sums up the book quite well: 

“I wanted to help the average homeowner avoid costly kitchen design mistakes,” Kelly explains.  “What most consumers don’t realize is that not all products work well in every kitchen and not all products are compatible with each other. Online forums, blogs, and websites are filled with homeowners’ tales of painful hindsight and delays. I wanted to steer my readers away from the same experiences.” 


How many times have we searched for a 'how-to' and read the horror stories? Kelly takes some of the fear of the big kitchen project and fills that space with knowledge! 

My favorite section of the book covers costs. Perhaps the most mysterious and daunting aspect of a kitchen or bath project is seeing(and understanding) the bottom line. Kelly takes a super smart approach to the "money talk" and and even mentions those of us in "reality land" that are often put in odd spots with customers by supposed "good deals" and reality design television.

During my visit at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show with Kelly, I learned that her experience in the industry  is quite similar to mine. We both grew up with sawdust in our veins having parents in the business and learned about kitchens and bathrooms from ground level up. I can only hope that one day I will have the expertise and respect from design peers that Kelly does! 

If you're considering a kitchen project of any sort, remodel or new construction, Kelly's Kitchen Sync is something you need to read. I promise... it's full of things you never thought about. 

If you don't know Kelly, make sure to follow her on twitter and read her blog


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