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July 6, 2014 / Ann Porter

The Reveal Collection from Plyboo

The Reveal Collection from Plyboo, manufactured by Smith and Fong Co., is a series of carved and textured panels constructed of bamboo. When carved, the grain of the inner layers are revealed, creating a play on shapes and grain pattern.

Plyboo Reveal | KitchAnn Style

Additionally, Plyboo bamboo is 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified, as the material comes from well-managed forests, and the final product is manufactured without the use of formaldehyde, (no VOC’s) making it an eco-friendly choice for the home.

This artistic collection is available in 8 different patterns and color options. Sheet sizes are 4’x8′ X 3/4″ thick and available pre finished or unfinished. Reveal panels are fabricated in the USA with domestic and foreign components.

“Reveal is one of the most visually dynamic products we’ve ever introduced, It’s ideal for modern retail, hospitality and commercial projects that seek a cutting-edge design with a warm, natural look.” – Angus Stocks, president

If you are not familiar with the many offerings in the Plyboo Family, you may want to also check out PlybooSound, a collection of carved acoustical bamboo panels.

PlybooSound acoustical panels with QuietWall™ technology helps to reduce ambient noise and are great for large open spaces. These panels are so pretty you may just want to use them for their looks and get the added bonus of sound dampening.

PlybooSound |KitchAnn Style

About Smith and Fong:

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in San Francisco, Smith & Fong Co. was the first U.S. company to manufacture bamboo flooring for sale in North America, offering its initial product under the brand name Plyboo in 1993. In 1996 the firm began producing bamboo plywood, followed by coconut palm flooring and plywood products in 2000. Today, the company’s product range is distributed and sold throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East.

carved bamboo credenza cabinet| Kitchann Style

 

July 4, 2014 / Ann Porter

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy Fourth of July from KitchAnn Style

 

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. – President Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

June 29, 2014 / Ann Porter

GE’s New Micro-Kitchen Concepts

There seems to be ever growing interest in Small Living these days. Whether it’s due to pure necessity for tiny apartment dwellers and mobile home owners, a desire to live more sustainably, or for spiritual and health reasons; simple living is a distinct lifestyle.

As many people search for ways to de-stress, de-clutter (mentally & physically)  and move away from materialism they begin to practice mindful consumption.

Mindful Consumption: where you have everything you need and nothing you don’t. Mindful consumption restores balance in everyday life leading to less stress and better overall health.

For many Americans, the biggest turn-off from small-space living is the kitchen, or lack thereof. Fortunately, GE Appliances has chosen to tackle this challenge by creating “micro-kitchen concepts that help people maintain or enhance their lifestyle in substantially less square footage.”

GE Micro kitchen|KitchAnn Style

GE designers created the monoblock, a fully customizable standalone unit with cooking, cleaning, and refrigeration in a single standalone six-foot enclosure. It’s designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding cabinetry, and is controlled by a digital panel integrated into the countertop edge.

The monoblock was recently shown at Dwell on Design in LA with a price tag of $15,000.

GE Monoblock kitchen|KitchAnn Style

A second concept presented by GE is a 24″ wide modular drawer system designed to give homeowners more freedom is selecting the appliances and components they need. All traditional kitchen appliances, including a microwave oven, conventional oven, convertible refrigerator and freezer, and dishwasher are drawer-based. The cooktop and downdraft system also are based on the 24″ modules. These units come ready to accept custom panels to fit any decor style.

GE Micro kitchen|KitchAnn Style

I saw the prototypes for the micro-kitchen when I was in Louisville at the Monogram Experience Center last fall. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it then but I’m happy to say I was really thrilled to see such forward thinking from GE.

These units of course don’t have to be limited to kitchens, they would be perfect for company break rooms, master suites and bars.

  “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacker

FirstBuild

GE  built their own microfactory production facility  on the University of Louisville (UofL) Belknap Campus, called FirstBuild that will allow them to produce their micro-kitchen concept in late 2014.

UofL, which owns the building where FirstBuild will be housed, will be much more involved than a typical landlord. UofL and GE Appliances have plans to create an Advanced Manufacturing hub where students can conduct research while getting practical training on the latest additive manufacturing and technologies in the micro-factory setting.

More than just a factory, with the launch of FirstBuild.com, GE has created a global community dedicated to conceiving, engineering and building the next generation of major appliances.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

 

 

 

June 25, 2014 / Ann Porter

Kitchen Inspiration

It’s hard to believe the 4th is just around the corner. Here’s some red, white and blue kitchen inspiration. Which is your favorite?

Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

This photo was style so well with the red tomatoes contrasting with the gorgeous deep blue cabinets.

Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

This kitchen is super fun with the red SMEG refrigerator.

Modern Red Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

This red back-painted glass splash really keeps this white kitchen from looking sterile.

Americana Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

What’s not to love about this pale blue kitchen? The contrasting cabinet interior is a beautiful detail.

Americana banquette Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

I love kitchen banquettes and this one is complete with storage.

Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

This Scavolini kitchen is bold and beautiful. Love the square pulls.

Red Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

I love the countertop so much with the red cabinets, I’m going to overlook the drawer head mistake in the corner.

Blue Kitchen Inspiration | KitchAnn Style

This recycled glass top countertop from Vetrazzo is perfect for entertaining.

 

 

June 15, 2014 / Ann Porter

Electrolux Design Lab Competition

Each year Electrolux challenges design students all over the world to create a concept that is relevant to the time and raises questions about what design will be like in the future. Established in 2003, Electrolux Design Lab is a global design competition that is focused around themes such as healthy eating, sustainable living and internet generation. This year’s theme calls for Creating Healthy Homes under three focus areas; Culinary Enjoyment, Fabric Care and Air Purifying.

Electrolux Design Lab 2014 |Kitchen Studio Naples

Electrolux awards four prizes: 1st place is 5,000 Euros and a 6-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center. A 2nd prize of 3,000 Euros, 3rd prize of 2,000 Euros and People’s Choice prize for 1,000 Euros are also on offer.

The competition received over 1,700 submissions from over 60 countries is now entering the second stage of the competition with 70 submissions moving forward. At this stage, contestants are asked to deliver rendered CAD-files of their concepts with a logo, contextual images and design details.

Starting tomorrow through June 28, the public can vote online for their favorite concept. The three most popular submissions in the public voting will make it directly to the next round.

You may vote for one concept only once, but you can vote for different concepts so it is ok to support more than one contestant and idea.

Explore Concepts

Tree of Life

Tree of Life| KitchAnn StyleReplacing the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and even the cook, the Tree of Life (TOL) is the brainchild of Bulgarian designer Zahari Ganchev.

Based on the shapes of a Beobab tree and a Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, the biomorphic Tree of Life stores your food in its trunk and cooks meals on its mushroom caps. Individual ingredients are drawn from their refrigerated, organic polymer pouches when you order up a dish. Lasers (lasers!) cut and clean the food before the appliance deposits them on ceramic-coated stainless steel plates and cooks them for you. Your nutritional intake is monitored every meal, and replacing your plate tells the cooking lasers (more lasers!) to clean it for you.

Halo Fuse

Halo fuse| KitchAnn StyleThe Halo Fuse is a rotating induction cooktop with the freedom of cooking anywhere on the surface and is designed to be located on an island work surface.  This concept was submitted by Ryan Gardner, a senior industrial design student at Kendall College of Art and Design.

Special pans with detachable handles are used with this concept so large meals with multiple pans can be easily accommodated. Temperature settings are selected through sliding electronic controls within the pot handle. The pans synch with the cooking surface so if you need to reposition it the same settings are kept.

Fortunately, there is also a touch screen interface located to the side of the cooktop to show the location and setting of each pan. This could be very handy for multiple chefs.

PureTowel

PureTowel |KitchAnn StyleIntended for bathroom use, the PureTowel replaces your standard towel hook with a Smart Hanger that can disinfect your towel in seconds with UV light. This clever concept comes from Leobardo Armenta, a 3rd year Industrial design student at Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.

Simply hang your used towel on the Smart Hanger and the vertical motion of the UV ring will start, leaving your towel dry and clean.

The towel is dried by a silent, high-speed fan located inside the ring and the UV light has sensors so human contact is avoided.

This concept is great for families concerned about allergies and passing germs that thrive on damp towels.

To explore the 35 entries and vote for our favorite, visit the Electrolux Design Lab site. Tell me which ones are your favorite.

 

June 13, 2014 / Ann Porter

Happy Father’s Day

happy fathers day | Kitchen Studio of Naples

I wanted to pop in  for a sec – to give a shout out to all the dads on deck! Thanks, Dad for all that you’ve done over the years (especially the math homework) and helping to mold me into the person I am today.

June 8, 2014 / Ann Porter

What is a Cerused Finish?

Dating back to the 16th century, ceruse was a white lead derivative used as a cosmetic by luminaries such as Queen Elizabeth I. Highly toxic on human skin, it found favor with woodworkers, who used the lead-white and wax to fill the porous open grain of oak planks to deter insects and rot. After a while it became a fashionable way to lighten up and enhance the look of wood.

Also known as “limed oak,” the finish was popular throughout the Art Deco era and employed by notable midcentury modern pioneers including Parisian Jean-Michel Franck and Viennese-born Paul T. Frankl. A version of the technique, with a whitened grain contrasting against a black stain, was widely imitated in the 1950s.

Frankl for Saltman Furniture Co | KitchAnn Style

A cerused finish on cabinetry is created by using a wire brush across the surface to expose the natural grain of the wood. The base color and a glaze coat are applied to accentuate the unique patterns within the grain. Cerused cabinets have a weathered appearance.

Dark limed Kitchen | KitchAnn Style

This finish is most popular on Oak and Ash because of their open grain structure but I have seen it done on Alder and Walnut.

Today, cabinet makers are raising the grain on extra thick slab veneered doors. Paired with streamline hardware , a more modern look is obtained. This look is also popular with industrial accents to invoke an urban chic interior.

Rough Chic | Kitchen Studio of Naples

Colored pigments are also popular and as the demand for “driftwood” finishes starts to wain, expect to see more colors options available.

A word of caution, overuse of this finish can be distracting and knowing how to make it flow with the rest of your home’s decor is very important. Also be aware that I had seen slab doors where half the door takes the color one way and as the grain changes, the other half soaks it up another way. When working with a lighter cerused finish, always order a sample door, don’t work from a small color chip.

Transitional Kitchen | KitchAnn Style

From inspiration and to see samples come see me in the showroom. 3415 Radio Rd., Suite 102, Naples, FL 34104

Brown Ash Scattered Showers | Kitchen Studio of Naples   Knotty Brown Ash Red Alert | Kitchen Studio of Naples

 

 

 

June 4, 2014 / Ann Porter

Shape The Future of Black

Do you have what it takes to Shape the Future of design? DuPont Corian has established an international design competition that has been launched across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Participants are invited to conceive an interior design solution (such as furnishing, tables, seating, vanities, vertical cladding, etc…) for one of the following with the new DeepColour blacks:

• home environment (kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc…)

• public/commercial spaces (hotels, hospitals and medical facilities, shops, restaurants, bars, yachts, offices, airport  and train stations, museums, banks, shopping centers, theaters etc…)

The contest excludes flooring and ceiling applications, lighting equipment, accessories and small objects. Entry deadline is June 15th, 2014.

Corian DeepColour | KitchAnn Style
The result is to give architects, designers and fabricators the confidence to experiment with the material through all manner of volumetric or surface treatments. “The newness of this technology and the depth of these colors offers designers something to play with that they haven’t had before,” says Mark Woodman, lead design consultant for Corian.

Consider the work of the Giles Miller Studio. I saw their amazing tiles at the London Design Festival last fall.

When the LDF needed  a feature desk for the V&A entrance , the organizers approached Giles Miller for a solution that was the opposite of “off-the-shelf.” In response, Miller developed a system of intricately patterned, machine-cut panels that could be arranged volumetrically. The triangular panels, each uniquely grooved with a different surface treatment, were laid out in opposite directions, creating a dazzling effect of light and shadow.

Giles Miller Desk for VA | KitchAnn Style

Miller, who typically works with metals and other reflective materials was new to Corian, yet he was able to achieve the same, polished metal effect using only DeepColor solid surface. “Before we made the final desk, we laid the tiles out on the floor of our studio and saw the effect of the reflection,” recalls Miller. “We were blown away by the ability to make intricate profiles and have them all reflect light.”

For those who dare to use Corian as more than just sheet goods, you may have encountered “stretch marks” as you manipulated and formed the surface. DeepColor, however, now eliminates those unsightly lines and other imperfections, such as scratches, a constant issue with darker surfaces.

The new collection of solid surfaces is currently available in four dark, lustrous hues—Anthracite, Nocturne, Night Sky and Black Quartz. Still under wraps in DuPont’s labs, an extended palette of colors is about to be added to Corian family of colors.

Milan Design Week Corian | KitchAnn Style

May 31, 2014 / Ann Porter

Lighting on My Mind

As a Kitchen and Bath Specialist I don’t usually specify furniture or soft goods such as upholstery so I was a little worried when I saw BlogTour NY was scheduled to visit the Donghia showroom in the D&D Building that I’d struggle to come up with something to write about this sponsor.

Donghia | KitchAnn Style

My worries were quickly put to rest as I sipped Prosecco and was introduced to the new spring product offering. I quickly fell in love with the Murano lighting and wall coverings.

It seems like designers are always looking for great chandeliers to hang over kitchen islands now that open floor plans are preferred and higher ceilings are in more demand from homeowners. But what about table lamps in the kitchen?

Table Lamps in the Kitchen

Table lamps are great accessories in the kitchen and are too often overlooked. They provide great task lighting as well as soft ambient light when dimmed for parties or quiet mornings.

Table lamp ideas for kitchens | KitchAnn Style

Table lamp ideas for kitchens | KitchAnn Style
Table lamp ideas for kitchens | KitchAnn Style

Whether you want to use a pair or a single lamp paired with a vase, picture frame or other accessory of your choosing, lamps can fit most any design theme.

Some planning is needed to locate outlets for the lamps in each designated spot. Lamp chords will also most likely need to be shortened by your electrician or lamp shop.

Table lamp ideas for kitchens via Atlanta Homes | KitchAnn Style

Table lamp ideas for kitchens via 3rd Uncle | KitchAnn Style

Lamps make a kitchen feel more like a room and less like a food laboratory.

What do you think? I think they are a better alternative to Swiss cheese ceilings with too many recessed can lights.

Margot Lamp Satin Sepia | KitchAnn Style

The Margot Lamp in satin sepia was my favorite piece from the new spring collection shown in the Donghia showroom (see first picture). The Murano glass is most alluring. For a shorter lamp, I really love the clean design of the Clara lamp.

Clara lamp - Donghia | KitchAnn Style

 

About Donghia

Donghia, Inc. produces furniture, textiles, lighting and accessories sold exclusively to interior designers and architects through Donghia’s 12 showrooms across the United States and in over fifty representative showrooms around the world. With a forty-year history at the forefront of the luxury home furnishings industry, Donghia represents American design at its best.

Donghia Associates was founded in 1972 by Angelo Donghia and focused in the areas of residential, contract and hospitality design. In 1978 Donghia Furniture was established to produce fine upholstery and casepieces and Mr. Donghia continued the growth of his companies, expanding his network of showrooms and products across the United States.

Since his passing in 1985 Donghia was owned and operated as a private company. In 2005, the company was purchased by the Rubelli Group, a leading designer and manufacturer of textiles from Venice, Italy.

 

(Donghia is a sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)

May 29, 2014 / Ann Porter

DXV from American Standard

DXV logo| KitchAnn StyleOne of the paradoxes of a recession is that luxury markets are booming… …and the people who buy those products are doing better than ever before. So, while it may not be politically correct to speak of luxury during times of recovery, the reality is that the industry is of strategic importance to American competitiveness, driving the revival of artisanal craftsmanship and saving jobs. In order to keep luxury goods as a ‘dream investment’, one needs to offer unique experiences and build an emotional connection with emerging consumers. American Standard has introduced DXV (which stands for Decade XV as American Standard is now in it’s 15th decade of operations) to help re-launch the 140 year-plus old brand into the luxury arena. American Standard is successful in encouraging consumers to reimagine the brand by seeing everything that’s old as new again with their DXV portfolio organized around the four most influential design movements since their founding: CLASSIC, 1890–1920; GOLDEN ERA, 1920–1950; MODERN, 1950–1990 and CONTEMPORARY, 1990–Today. DXV Wyatt | Kitchann Style

“DXV fixtures and fittings do not merely reproduce styles from each era;  rather they are inspired by historically significant designs, re-interpreting  them in light of today’s aesthetic and performance demands.”

To help communicate this theme, American Standard tapped into the creative power of the design community and commissioned six outstanding designer/bloggers to develop vignettes that tell a story and offer distinct creative interpretations of the design movements. The six designers selected for the project include: Corey Klassen CKD, Marilyn Russell, Allied ASID, Mary Douglas Drysdale, Susan Serra CKD, Cheryl Kees Clendenon and Meredith Heron.

 Lofty visions bath DXV panel | KitchAnn Style Luxury appears to have come full circle, as consumers have become more demanding on the provenance and manufacture of products – authenticity is particularly important to younger consumers, who are more conscientious and certainly more vocal through social media. Here, DXV may have an advantage, given the brand’s vision to create an online and print community for designers, architects, and creative individuals to discuss their experience with the products in the real world. Screen Shot DXV | Kitchen Studio of Naples

“We want to democratize luxury by making it part of a conversation and engaging the community with this space,”  Jay Gould, DXV CEO

I’d like to revisit the DXV showroom in the Flatiron District. Our first BlogTour event was a cocktail party hosted by  Hearst Publishing and Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful. The event was fabulous – and crowded – and I spent the evening mostly talking to designers in attendance. The DXV showroom is gorgeous so I suggest if you are in the area to check it out. The space is not staffed and is accessible by appointment only (send requests to dxvappt@dxv.com). DXV Hearst Cocktail Party via Marilyn Russell DXV has been a great sponsor of BlogTour NYC and has put together a  little competition between the bloggers. We’ve been tasked to create Pinterest boards showing NY’s architecture, design and icon culture. The prize is an iPad mini which I really need because so many apps for designers are only available on iOS. Please help a blogger out and like or repin a few of your favorites. The contest ends May 30th. Thanks!

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