You may be and not even know it! “Technicurean”, is a new term, cross pollinating tech enthusiasm with epicurean tendencies, creating the perfect pairing for modern entertaining at home. Signature Kitchen Suite, a brainchild of the tech minded folks at LG, is a new entry into the luxury home appliance market that brings technology in the kitchen to a whole new level. I have been intrigued by a sous vide feature that is a full top bay of a 48″ professionally styled range, with individual timers that will alert to your cell phone. If you are unaware of sous vide, it is a technique for keeping food at the perfect serving temperature for hours! I have been intrigued by the entire brand, really, that calls itself “true to food”, since the initial launch last year. My interest was further piqued by experiencing the timers of the Signature Kitchen Suite range at the CEDIA EXPO, a technology trade show, while participating in the Design Connection Tour, bringing together interior designers and technology companies and integrators. Who wouldn’t want tech to make the kitchen more convenient when entertaining and paying homage to your inner foodie? On a very exciting note, I have been invited to try out these appliances and experience the brand culture of Signature Kitchen Suite at their experience center in California this week. I will be in the fine company of designer, blogger and social media maven members of MODENUS Designhounds, while eating, drinking, cooking, touring vineyards, learning features and soaking up all the “true to food” technicurean culture I can! I am sure there will be much to report. Stay tuned!
On my recent Designhounds jaunt to Euro Cucina, I experienced a few eye opening moments that had me rethinking luxury living and appliance options to create that luxury statement. This new luxury is actually understated in look. All the pieces are true high performance, things like shot-peened stainless steel interiors, used in medical equipment for its natural antimicrobial properties. The options in sizes and modular pieces add to this personalized high performance and enhance the luxury kitchen experience.
Flush integrated cooking appliances like those of Fisher Paykel, can be lined up horizontally to create a kitchen space that offers ease of use and a great look no matter your cooking and entertaining style.
The under counter refrigeration offerings can be hidden from view and I am loving the convenience of the pull out door with slide out shelves. Perfection for a coffee bar, baking or healthy snack station.
Other new offerings from Liebherr had my wheels spinning with design possibilities. The component refrigeration that can be stacked horizontally or vertically or both in a cluster, creates universal ease of use and is suitable for the unfitted kitchen furniture on legs that I have seen lately.
Modular cooking components for the cooktop create endless placement possibilities and with induction, you can actually hide the burner elements in a way that is both artful, convenient and safe as there is no hot surface where someone could get burned.
Yes, all these appliance options feel like magic to me! I encourage you to rethink your appliances as you dream up your new space with the understated kitchen of luxury through high performance!
I recently attended my first Salone Del Mobile in Milan thanks to Designhounds, Digital Community Network of Design Experts, a platform by MODENUS Media. Aside from the mind blow of Milan itself, the show was still more than I expected. Beauty, fused with innovation, whimsy, history, and technology, as well as every sort of material from fabric to glass to wood and stone and metal, both practical and just dreamy filled my eyes and the few days I had there.
As an interior design specializing in kitchen and bath, one of the things that impressed me most was the variety of unfitted furniture housing appliances and the spread of cohesive storage through out the living space displayed at the show. Poggenpohl had some interesting offerings with hidden supply, drain and exhaust in clever feet that made a seamless transition to other room solutions and open floor plan living. I like this un-encumbered look and love the use of open display space cleverly integrated into islands as well as the mix of organic materials like natural stone and wood to give warmth to modern design.
This new organic modernism incorporates streamlined technology and seamless integration in a way that simplifies living and creates a new luxury statement. The finest materials like the solid wood of Team 7, a environmentally friendly company from Austria, now offering it’s lines of fine wood and stone furniture in the US, creates a luxury feel that doesn’t need adornment to feel rich. The simple integration of lighting and convenience oozes luxury like a Tesla. Ultra high performance, simplicity, and that “feel good” environmental sensitivity are what I see as the luxury statement going forward. I am interested to see how quickly the US market will fully embrace these trends.
The simple integration of function and utilitarian comfort doesn’t mean coldness or lack of personality in the design. The use of texture and lighting play a major role in creating interest and the personalization of everything adds new and unexpected dimension to a space. The kitchen can actually become almost hidden as the full integration blends appliances and storage into the living space with innovative shapes. I am thinking of “the kitchen as hidden in plain sight”! This new integrated living style is both innovative and fun!
Richard Anuszkiewicz, a great designer and a Designhound on our excursion to Milan, designed a space so lovely that yes, the kitchen is truly an afterthought! This from KBIS 2018, bringing that “kitchen hidden in plain sight” to the US in an avant garde, “before the trend” way! The Liebherr refrigeration integrates beautifully in this modern, eclectic, artful, BEAUTIFUL space!
Now more from the Euro Cucina floor showing this integrated trend….. these from Stosa Cucine.
Please stay tuned as I have more thoughts from Eurocucina and Salone Del Mobile concerning how our appliances are starting to show the versatility to reflect our lifestyle! Yes! Appliances can be quite exciting!
I recently had the pleasure of visiting with Whirlpool Corporation’s training facility in Chicago. The trip was a wonderful experience. The facility is in a remodeled historic building, and the Whirlpool facility includes an amazing rooftop lounge where we ate several of our site prepared gourmet meals. Whirlpool, for those not so familiar, is also the parent company behind KitchenAid, Amana, Maytag, Gladiator garage systems and Jenn-Air luxury appliances. Jenn-Air may be known to some for the “down-draft” kitchen ventilation system invented in the 60s but the renewed commitment by the parent corporation to luxury cooking at home has brought with it many more innovations and conveniences. The color touch-screen operated wall oven is one I find particularly noteworthy. The straightforward and simple options had me smiling at first touch! Easier than an ATM and something an older, less tech savvy guest could easily navigate without the instruction book. OK, you say, it’s easy to use but how well does it cook. The meals we sampled, all made by a talented on site staff led by Culinary Training Chef Ann Nolan, were perfection. Crusty but moist bread, flaky pastry and wonderful roasted vegetables were a few that stick in my mind.
The line has an impressive induction cooktop, several models in gas, with or without down-draft, and also a series of modules to allow a “create-your-own” that can include a 15″ chrome griddle or an induction wok module. Ventilation options include wall models, island models and of course the down-draft that made them famous! Great options for creating slow simmer soups, crepes and all sorts of culinary masterpieces. Now on to the coffee system!
DeLonghi, of Italian coffee maker fame, actually partnered with Jenn-Air to create their built in coffee system. It is simple to operate, has minimal installation requirements (110V) and makes great coffee. Well thought out, it will also give ample warning for cleaning so there are no surprise shutdowns during dinner parties. The steam oven also operates on 110V and requires no in wall plumbing. The addition of convection allows for many cooking options from reheating to original temperature and texture to steam cooking to baking. Again, easy to navigate without a PHD or instruction book. The dishwashers in the line include drying and steam features but the depth needs to be considered when doing initial planning if inset cabinetry is being used. An under counter ice maker for those looking for “clear ice”, several tall and under counter refrigeration models, including wine storage, round out the kitchen suite offering.
Notable is the “Obsidian” refrigeration that makes your ingredients look like model food for a cooking show. Fun for the home culinary enthusiast! As a designer, I look forward to the new series of column refrigeration ideal for personalization and full integration due out early next year. I encourage those of you looking for appliances for your new kitchen to experience these gourmet appliances with simplicity and a great price point at your local showroom or appliance specialty store.
Thanks so much to Ellen Cheever-Giorgi and the entire Jenn-Air team!
Recently I was invited to experience a few days in San Francisco as part of the #zephyrbloggerretreat2016
Zephyr, an innovative range hood and ventilation manufacturer, had much to offer us in both product knowledge and company culture.
The amazing few days included a farm to table dining experience at Boulettes Larder, an educational in depth wine tasting and proper pairings at the Joseph Phelps Vineyard, an understanding of the beauty of the Napa Valley vineyards and wine grottos (as well as a wonderful lunch served in a wine cave), at the Rutherford Hill Winery and some truly incredible art and more wine(!) at the stunning Hall Winery which has thought provoking sculpture gardens. “But wait- there’s more!” Yes, there is more……..an inspired interior design walk through the design district of San Francisco (our group was welcomed by the Nido showroom, the Daltile showroom and the Coup d’Etat showroom), and the highlight of these action packed few days, a look into the design thinking and philosophical mind of Zephyr collaborator Fu-Tung Cheng, at the Zephyr Showroom.
The presentation was engaging, enlightening and seriously inspiring as we were shown through years of philosophy and design thinking resulting in some intense architectural outcomes.
I felt the emotion of Fu-Tung’s personal victory as the work of seven years concluded in the “Moon Door” entry to his family garden. I understood organic modernism in a new way as I watched a home take shape during the presentation. I felt Fu-Tung’s love of concrete as a design medium as well as building material with the introduction of Shapecrete, his venture into sharing that love in 20LB pails.
The Cheng Design philosophy, the organic connection of things, ease of living and homage to natural elements is a perfect pairing with the Zephyr Brand. The designs are simple yet thought provoking and at times playful. A model meant to be reinterpreted by applying decorative surfacing is actually lovely enough in shape and style that the majority left it as is. Another model, Horizon, the brainchild of Zephyr collaborator, Robert Brunner, is truly a sleek glass wall sculpture. It evokes that mood of organic modernism that works so well with the current trend of design for living interpreted as simple, personalized, functional art as home or common space.
So impressive to me is the Zephyr company culture, the how and why of their organic design philosophy, collaborations and marketing instincts. The generosity in sharing the things that they value that create that company culture is impressive down to John Smilanic, the showroom manager, creating our custom Zephyr pumpkin desserts as part of our showroom experience lunch.
While the shapes and finishes of the Zephyr product line are thought provoking, the quality of the product is also extremely noteworthy. The DCBL suppression system technology used in the product makes the ventilation quieter, more energy efficient and practically silent. A demonstration of this was a hood holding a piece of paper to the bottom while we were being shown the features. We could not even hear it. Better ventilation creates a healthier home environment. It seems to me that the culture of slow food, farm to table and healthier living will certainly embrace this technology in home design.
My brand of design is to bring out the passion of the inhabitants, pay homage to the lifestyle and enhance the environment of the space. I begin a home design with the kitchen and let the flow of the lifestyle emanate from that place where we feed our family, friends and ultimately our souls.
My takeaway from this experience is that Zephyr is a brand worth investigating when beginning the re-imagination of the home. Ventilation is a key ingredient to healthier living.
I was invited by my fab foodie friend and cookbook author Leeann Lavin to an event held by World Kitchen LLC to show some product they are launching and fell in love! The colorful and somehow sophisticated-ly whimsical Vintage Charm Brand is a winner! The updated Pyrex and Corelle tableware give the comfort of Gramma’s kitchen and the luxurious feel of something curated to be modern and artful even though it’s meant for everyday. Mid Century Modern design has those clean simple lines and vibrant color that make for happy, easy living and these haute housewares are simply perfect to accessorize with things you can actually use! Check them out! Coming soon to a retailer near you!
It’s a few weeks after design and construction week and I still can’t stop talking about it. Held in Las Vegas and comprised of several shows featuring the best in home furnishings and construction materials, this is by far the best trade show I have ever been to. The trends for simple lines, glitzy lighting, lush textures, fab faucets and fittings and amazing appliance configurations are all things that make me smile. My unabashed enthusiasm for the Thermador brand continues full force with the introduction of an apartment sized gas range with 5 star burners and the beauteous collection of refrigeration and wine columns that are the stuff “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” are made of! Can I really mean “gorgeous refrigeration’? YES! And what about wine? It seems that our “wine culture” is growing rapidly! Cooking with wine, wine pairings, wine dinners, and tastings are all on the rise and the home entertainer is taking note! With these beautiful columns, you can really add that entertaining experience so easily by creating your own custom wine and refrigeration wall. These pieces can be customized in so many ways………. and really integrate with any home fashion statement.
As a kitchen designer that believes in kitchen-centric living, I was happy to see continued trends for open floor plans that integrate the kitchen and more cabinetry millwork to adjacent spaces. There is also an increase in the popularity of banquettes. This casual dining idea is cozy and a great space saver. Welborn Cabinetry showed this trend well with a display that made you want to move right in!
Another trend I see is to have less kitchen wall cabinetry in favor of more tall cabinets, open shelving and walk in pantry space. The New American Home has a stunning kitchen great space that is an attractive example of this streamlined trend.
Other trends that I saw both on the show floor and at the this incredible show house were floating vanities and freestanding tubs. For more on my visit to The New American Home, please see the K+BB online blog http://kbbcollective.kbbonline.com/nahb-new-american-home-makes-a-statement-during-design-construction-week.html
And for my thoughts on bath trends please see the February/March issue of Embark Magazine…I am overjoyed to be a contributor to this exciting new platform.
I am truly captivated by the stunning array of new fashion forward products available from so many manufacturers. Brizo has a line of faucets by Jason Wu and Walker Zanger has put out Sterling Row, a tile line that actually includes houndstooth! I love it!! Rich textures, metallics, vibrant colors, and sexy silhouettes can all be found at the building supply! Design and Construction week is beginning to feel like “HOME Fashion Week” to me and I can not wait to see what the new looks are next year!
As a kid I was obsessed with magicians and magic tricks. Alacazam!! and the rabbit disappears in the hat…. Alacazoo!!!! and a bauble appears in what was an empty hand. I was amazed. As an adult, I am still obsessed with what I consider a certain magic although it can also be explained as technology. I consider appliances, especially ovens, to be magic boxes of a very special sort. Allacazam! I shout to my grandson as I put the gooey egg mixture in the oven. Alacazzoooom!!! I shout this time, 16 minutes later when a perfect cheese soufflé emerges from the magic box we commonly call the oven. “Wow, look what happened!” he says as I did back when I was a kid. Ovens were magic back then. Now, although totally explainable they are still magic to me, nonetheless. Todays’ breed of appliances is even more amazing with the introduction of steam as well as the convection I have come to love. Although I love the cooktop and wall oven arrangement above, my current favorite “magic box” is the Pro Grand Steam range from Thermador. This 48″ magic box includes seven cooking options. All of them are impressive and sure to thrill the home chef. I love this piece because everything is in easy reach for my “cooking station”. The built in warming drawer can warm my plates or allow my cauliflower gratin to stay moist and serving temperature while I’m searing steaks and my rosemary biscuits are magically rising in the conventional oven with convection option. The steam oven can be used to quickly make healthy meals from fresh wholesome ingredients without the need for added fats and oils. The steam oven can also be used for proofing. A nice feature for home bakers. The griddle option is perfect for that leisurely Sunday morning pancake breakfast, warming drawer so useful for warming plates or keeping the pancakes just perfect so everyone can eat together. All in all, I find the amount of cooking versatility built into 48″ to be a pretty magical thing. Cooking appliances are where I start when planning your magical dream kitchen. The rabbit and top hat are optional!
As a new member of the K+BB Editorial Advisory Board, I made my best effort to walk the entire show, seeking out beauty, function and innovation. I really enjoyed the fabulous booths from some of my industry favorites like Kohler, Wellborn, Robern and Brizo. I also loved the retro Merillat kitchen set up as a mid-century modern photo booth. A show highlight for me was finding the booth featuring the Falmec Mare E.Ion hood that I helped to select as winner of the Kitchen Product of the Year in the K+BB Product Innovator Awards. Another highlight came on Thursday morning. During a light drizzle, I took the bus ride out to The 2014 New American Home. The home was fabulous! Although a two story, indoor water fall may not be practical for most of my market, I was inspired to see some stunning wall treatments, innovative outdoor living spaces, beautiful baths and …you guessed it… an open kitchen plan.
Now for my show favorite, and let me say it is true I might be biased in favor of certain lines. I have long been a fan of Thermador . From the introduction of the pro grand range and refrigeration columns through to the steam ovens, coffee systems, and now the frameless induction cooktop series, I have enjoyed showing my foodie clients all that this line has to offer. My unabashed enthusiasm for this appliance company with the tag line “No Dinner Party Too Large” has actually led to a position on their design council and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Thermador + Bosch + Caesarstone + Genius Design of Mick de Giulio = One Killer IBS Booth!
So, yes, happily biased, but all that aside, the IBS booth featuring Thermador, Bosch and Caesarstone, designed by Mick de Giulio was amazing! The simple, clean lines, open flow and textural choices were stunning. I especially loved the use of polished steel in one of the Caesarstone countertops. I really enjoyed watching Chef Kyle create the perfect tuna bite on the new induction cooktop with accessory Teppanyaki pan. I enjoyed eating it, too! Relaxing in the lounge area adjoining the functioning kitchen, I took in the Caesarstone presentation of the “House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Retrospective”. It reinforced all that I believe about kitchen-centric design. I have always felt that open kitchen plans honor the foodie, the entertainer and most simply, the family.
So I will close with this equation: Open Kitchen + Innovative Design + Friends and Family = Good Living!
Well. are you?
If you are a foodie, a kitchen that makes you happy is a true necessity. Having gadgets and makers, a few great cookbooks and recipes, along with great cookware and a good set of knives are essential in my view. Gramps always said that you need the right tool to do a good job. I find that there is nothing like standing at the rangetop and grabbing the wisk from the adjacent drawer as you whip up that Hollandaise! Or looking into your well organized, partitioned drawer and grabbing your pancake flipper just before that batter starts to bubble. Maybe you need a lowered counter surface for baking and rolling out dough. A cookbook shelf may be something you need or a spot for that European style coffee maker you just have to have? What about that cheese curler you can also use for chocolate. Such a great gift, just what you wanted but where, oh where, are you going to put it? Designing a kitchen that flows with organization and looks like a dream is where I come in. I am knowledgeable and actually passionate about such things as warming drawers that will take a full sized catering sheet, ventilation cfm’s and convertible refrigeration. I will discuss your shopping habits, fresh food needs and storage requirements for both the things you already have and those you haven’t gotten yet because you had no place to put them. And then? I bet you’ll be truly happy in your kitchen!