Saturday, April 28, 2012

Buying an Efficient Light Bulb

I long ago switched out all the "standard" bulbs at home and the office to compact fluorescent bulbs. The energy savings are real and they just flat last longer.

Technology is getting better every day. Here's a quick look at what you should take in to consideration the next time you decide to buy those lights!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Faucet Love - Blanco Culina

So many of us like to imagine that we cook in a chef's kitchen... I like to think my food tastes as good, too! We all love to see commercial cooking and kitchen implements and those of us in the industry end up weak in the knees over a gigantic range or six or more feet of counter depth refrigeration.

As nice as a three-bowl commercial sink would be in my home, my dishwasher does most of the work. The faucet on the other hand, can be just as professional as any other appliance!

Enter Blanco and the Culina faucet.

Blanco pitches the Culina as a semi-professional faucet. See, the closed coils of the faucet allow for maximum range without the possibility of a tangled wand or opportunity for gunk and yuckiness to get in the spring. Smart, eh?

Here's a great promo video from Blanco with friend of Cupboards, Grace Kelly sharing some insight on the Culina.

The Culina has some primary features that shouldn't be over looked. Besides the solid brass construction, the Culina has a 2.2gpm water usage rate and has ceramic discs(if you buy a faucet without ceramic discs, you're asking for drips down the road).

The faucet itself turns in to a wand and has a magnetic attachment. The arm has an easy switch two-way spray that allows users to make quick work of many tasks.

Remember the maximum range I mentioned earlier? This is Paul Anater giving the Culina a real work out at IMM Cologne last year(take a look at that sink, too- it's undermount on laminate!).

So what do you think? Would a Culina fit in at your home?

Coverings 2012 - Great seeing old and new friends!

Coverings in Orlando this year was a huge hit!

Not only was the show as awesome as expected, but it allowed for lots of visiting with old and new friends alike. If you missed you, plan to be there next year in Atlanta!

pictured, from left: Nick Lovelady, Ginny Powell, Mark Johsnon, Amanda Wilson, Jeremy Parcels, Veronika Miller, Irene Williams, Lisa League, Nora DePalma, Bill Buyok

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What Does Organic Really Mean?

I buy some organic groceries... Here lately, it's become more and more important to know what the words on food labeling actually means.

There's some good info here... Take it with you to your market!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

American Standard ICU Sink and Faucet System

If you wash your hands when you're finished with your business in a public restroom(and you all should be), you've undoubtedly used a sink that ended up splashing you in all the wrong places. 

Is there ever a gracious way to greet your friends and blame the sink for your obviously wet crotch?

Now we just have to get municipalities, airports, restaurants, etc. to get on board with American Standard and their new ICU sink and faucet system. 

from American Standard:

"Every element of the new integrated ICU sink and faucet system from American Standard is designed to minimize splashing and create a more hygienic environment:
  • the deep, sloping profile of the hand washing sink;
  • the specially designed gooseneck faucet spout that directs the water flow to the sink’s slanted back wall;
  • the hygienic, touchless faucet operation that eliminates contact with the faucet.
            The ICU faucet delivers hygienic, hands-free operation thanks to the universal Selectronic sensor that is used in all Selectronic products, including flush valves. The laminar flow device in the spout base prevents air from being drawn into the water stream, and the plain spout end eliminates areas for lime and debris to collect. An optional auto-purge function allows users to program the faucet to open periodically and purge the faucet and water linesof stagnant water.
              The vitreous china sink includes the permanent EverClean surface, which inhibits the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew on the surface.  The sink design also includes a sealed overflow to prevent water from pooling and potentially harboring bacteria. Even the custom-fit offset grid drain and p-trap include the SANIGUARD coating (on the interior & exterior) that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface.
            The potential for splashing is also reduced by offsetting the sink drain, allowing the water stream to fall gently on the sloped back wall of the sink, instead of splashing off the grid.
            The well thought-out design of the ICU sink and faucet system includes special features for easy cleaning and maintaining, as well.  The removable acrylic shroud allows easy access to the faucet electronics for hassle-free maintenance."

I LOVE it. Commercial bathrooms should take notice!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Faucet Love - Kohler Karbon

Sometimes the kitchen faucet gets to be the centerpiece of the room. This is that time.

The Kohler Karbon is just flat stunning. The carbon fiber construction and unique ability to change positions make it truly unique.

I could go on and on about the features, but it'd sound better coming straight from Kohler. Listen in...

With the success of the traditional deck mount Karbon, Kohler announced the release of a wall-mount version. Ultra-awesomeness!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Inspiration - White Dream Kitchen

Can I go a week without posting another gorgeous white kitchen? Unlikely.

White kitchens are timeless to me. I can't help that I'm super traditional and kind of conservative when it comes to my design taste- this kitchen will be stunning in 20 years, and would've been a mega-star 20 years ago.

Check it out:

Sometimes the small details are what makes a space so fulfilling. Everything is understated, yet stunning in it's own right. 

Interestingly enough, I'm not a huge fan of desks in kitchens. They tend to be catch-alls for mail and junk and everything that may not have a permanent home. I can't help but love this space- seems to fit right in with the room! 

What details do you like?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

#KBTribeChat and #Coverings2012!

A few days ago I mentioned how important trade shows can be to the design professional. Now, you get to see one of those benefits in action!

#KBTribeChat is a regular chat on Twitter that brings kitchen and bath professionals together to discuss common issues, products, and events. This upcoming Wednesday, #KBTribeChat will be LIVE from Coverings in Orlando, Florida.

Great looking bunch! via #KBTribeChat 

Making the chat even more exciting, a panel moderated by Mark Johnson FAIA will collectively host the chat right at the show!

If you'll be at the show, make sure you're there. If you're still at your home base, you'll be able to follow along by using the hashtag #KBTribeChat on twitter.

Stacy Garcia and the gang at #KBTribeChat has all the information you need to know about how to join in and participate. The chat likes lurkers, but loves participants. Get involved!

Stress is Running My Life!

With spring here and summer just ahead, lots of folks are stressed.

Take a few minutes and get your head back on straight... It'll get better!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kitchen Designers and Trade Shows

Trade show season is in full swing for the building industry and some clients may be wondering why it's so important that in the middle of the spring building boom designers and contractors "take off" half a week or more to go to some show in another state.

Why should new home builders and potential remodelers care if their kitchen and bathroom designers attend trade shows. The answer is more complicated than you think.

from KBIS in 2011

Kitchen and bath designers have a tougher job than most homeowners think. Even though it would be awesome if all the new products and trends could be beamed from some magic kitchen ray in to our heads, but no one has seemed to perfect that yet. Trade shows, specifically those that feature aggressive manufacturers, are a bonanza of information that in the end benefits each client a designer signs.

When a homeowner sits with a designer and is presented a plan, the end result is the best suggestion for the homeowner's space. There are MILLIONS of options and your designer has chosen from virtually endless possibilities a perfect situation for you.

The marvelous Stephanie Oyer from MSL Chicago and kitchen wizard Arne Salvesen.

Trade shows allow designers to see what's new and hot. I know that everyone is not ultra-trend focused, but sometimes it's not the form that's hot but the function. Manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and allow for most features of products to be right on display at these trade shows. When designers are able to put their hands on products, it's one step closer to being in a design and home you're working on.

Kitchen Design Power: From left- Susan Serra, Corey Klassen, Pam Rodriguez, Kelly Morriseau, Sarah Lloyd, Arne Salvesen and Nick Lovelady

So if your designer abandons you for a few days this spring don't fret. They're off gathering the best information they can(and networking with some of the brightest people in the industry) to help create the kitchen and bathroom of your dreams.

I can't imagine any designer not wanting to be at the shows. If they aren't interested, you might not be getting the best products! Ask your designer where they're going. They'll be happy to share!

Just a few of the trade shows coming up soon...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter by the Numbers

Hopefully the Easter Bunny was good to you this morning!

Don't eat all your candy at once... and chocolate bunnies MUST be eaten ears first. I'm not some heathen!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Natural Easter Egg Dyeing!

I love Easter Eggs!

Having Easter Eggs around is almost like having turkey the day after Thanksgiving. It's a leftovers-bonanza.

You can color your eggs naturally... Did you know? Check out these ways to decorate your Easter Eggs!

Awesome, right?!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Find - OCTOPUS Hood

Kitchen ventilation is an integral part of the design process but is often overlooked because of the utilitarian nation of hoods. 

Maybe ventilation can be a focal point, too.

This is the OCTOPUS hood designed by Bora Cakilkaya from P-ARCH. One of the primary issues with kitchen ventilation is directed airflow and the adjustable arms solve that issue.

The body is a white stainless steel and houses a main motor unit while the four adjustable arms contain a smaller motor that allows arms to operate independently of the others.

The look is extremely unique and fortunately the function appears to be as awesome and inspiring as the form.

Bottom line: Homeowners, would you want it in your kitchen? Designers, would you spec it?

I'd rock one in my kitchen, for sure!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Inspiration - Not Your Grandma's Astroturf

Astroturf takes me back to a time when country porches and concrete pads were softened by the glorious and shiny green plasti-grass that was once one of the hottest and most desirable home accents available.

What were we thinking?

And then comes this Ortis designed home in Austria....

Complete with stairs to nowhere, sideways windows and goats, mind you. Wouldn't goats eat the house?

So what do you think? It's like camo in the summer!
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