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March 16, 2014 / Ann Porter

FLOwer Power

FLOwer Evolution is a unique vessel concept from GlassDesign, an Italian Plumbing Company in the heart of Tuscany. Designed by Marco Pisati, the organic inspired tub and sinks draw inspiration from the Calla lily.

Glassdesign FLOwer Tub | KitchAnn Style

With the calla lily’s distinct shape, the faucet  is reminiscent of the pistol, promoting an exotic and extremely artistic design. The series is manufactured with state-of-the-art materials such as VetroFreddo, Pert, and Inox, which enhance its artistry.

FLOwer sink black | KitchAnn Style

VetroFreddo (CoolGlass) is an innovative material composed of glass pigments and resin. Its major characteristics are its versatility in adapting itself to any form or shape imaginable. The material’s unique characteristics are expressed through colour, which is available in transparent, semi-transparent or opaque form.

VetroFreddo is temperature resistant up to approximately 100°C and can be worked with and carved just as marble or glass.

FLOwer Gold Pedestal | KitchAnn Style

All fixtures manufactured with the VetroFreddo can be cleaned with any type of non-granular soap, using soft sponges or towels. To remedy scratches, the damaged area should gently be rubbed with a cloth soaked in olive oil. In case of deeper scratches or damage, a special replacement glass paper is available from the manufacturer for every color.

Glassdesign FLOwer Tub | KitchAnn Style

Pert is a technological polymer of great quality, combining a low specific weight with high mechanical resistance. It is particularly suited to fields where light weight is essential (e.g. in nautical, aeronautical).

It is a material which enables the creation of products of high design, allowing perfectly crafted angles and a smoothly plane surface, with the possibility of choosing among a wide range of colors to suit individual demand.

FLOwer sink white | KitchAnn Style

Vessel Sinks are available in matt and polished white, matt and polished black, Ferrari red, platinum, gold leaf 3D and silver leaf 3D. Pedestals are available in white, black, Ferrari red, gold leaf 3D and Silver leaf 3D. The bathtub is available fully white , or in bi-color finishes : black mat/white , Ferrari red/white, or with gold or silver leaf and white.

White and chrome pedestal cabinets are also available for added storage while keeping the minimal design aesthetic.

FLOwer sink Ferrari red | KitchAnn Style

FLOwer is a highly stylish design collection – it’s basically haute couture for the bathroom.

March 9, 2014 / Ann Porter

Mosaic Art

Stark industrial scenes, high contrast abstract patterns and bold graffiti make up the URBN mosaic collection – a collaboration between Artaic, a Boston mosaic design and fabrication company and Boston non-profit Artists For Humanity (AFH).

Artaic Mosaic Pattern | KitchAnn Style

Artaic worked with AFH youth to transform their original artwork into unique tile mosaics. All the designs can be customized to fit any space, application and color needs.

Artaic Mosaic Pattern | KitchAnn Style

Artaic trained AFH youth on Artaic’s Tessera software with the aid of a Mass Ventures START grant and commissioned a collection of one-of-a-kind mosaic designs. AFH youth toured Artaic’s studio where they manufactured all of their mosaics to experience first-hand the blend of art and technology. Utilizing their new mosaic software skills, the AFH participants transformed original artwork, including paintings, sketches, mixed media, and graphic designs, into mosaic murals.

AFH Mural | KitchAnn Style

“Sharing the software and touring our facility, I was able to see teens’ eyes light up with realization that there is actually potential to make a business and earn money through creating unique art.” – Paul Reiss, Artaic Cofounder

Artaic Mosaic Pattern | KitchAnn Style

Currently, 83 percent of AFH’s youth participants are from low or very low-income homes and 44 percent use their wages to support their families. Proceeds from any of the designs sold from the collection will support Artists for Humanity to continue its work transforming the lives of Boston’s urban youth.

Artaic Mosaic Pattern | KitchAnn Style

About Artaic:
Artaic was founded in 2007 to make mosaic more accessible to artists as a medium to work with. Artaic’s design software and robotic manufacturing systems enable the creation of high-end, custom mosaic projects fast, efficiently, and with exceptional value.

Artaic Urbn Mosaic Pattern | KitchAnn Style

March 3, 2014 / Ann Porter

Lumen Depreciation

LED Bulb

As LED technology continues to evolve, so too grows the efficiency and lifespans of LED lamps. Because LEDs have such long lives (estimated at 35,000 to 100,000 hours), it’s rather challenging to measure precisely how long they really do last — few groups have the patience or resources to measure an LED in various environments for 5 or more years. However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently working on such a project.

Without a predictable failure point, manufacturers decided to define LED life as the amount of time it takes for the light to fade to a certain percentage of its original strength. “Lumen depreciation is widely understood in the lighting community and is not unique to LEDs. But it doesn’t come into play when you have a light source that only lasts hundreds or thousands of hours, as with incandescents. On average, incandescents fail before the eye notices a difference in their output,” says Philips Marketing Communications Director Steve Landau.

People in an average office setting can’t tell there is a change in illumination until a lamp has dropped 30% in output. So it is not objectionable to wait until the LED is at 70% of its original spec before you replace the lamp.

This designation is represented by the letter ‘L’ followed by a set of numbers such as:

L70 = time to 70% of original light output. There are other ratings, but this is the most common rating and is universally accepted as the standard to measuring LED life.

For colored accent and exterior lighting, the lumen acceptable lumen drop-off threshold is often considered to be 50%.

Still, even these numbers are highly variable depending on how and where the LED was operated. Things that may influence the LED’s life are line current, ambient temperature, the type of luminaire and the quality of the material used. These differences make defining a LED’s service life even more challenging, since the lamp’s environment can drastically influence its lifespan.

Simply, we can’t determine the service life of an LED without considering its housing and application. This is the major reason why the NIST is conducting their LED study. They are monitoring LEDs in various scenarios with the goal of uncovering a reliable method of projecting how long LEDs will last.

HOW LONG is 100,000 HOURS?

bulbsWhether you believe 100,000 hours is realistic or not, I’ve included a chart to make understanding the life of a 100,000 hour rated bulb easier.

Hours of Operation:  100,000 hours is:
24 hours a day                11.4 years
18 hours per day             14.8 years
12 hours per day             22.8 years
8 hours per day               34.2 years


Although the lighting industry is still learning about the efficiency of LEDs, what we currently know holds real promise for major energy savings in the future. And while the LED bulb you pick off the store shelf may not entirely live up to its 100,000 hour rating, it will certainly outperform most traditional bulbs.

February 27, 2014 / Ann Porter

Kitchen Inspiration

Here’s a fabulous traditional kitchen with a modern feel that successfully mixes different materials from full slab stone backsplash and dual tone tile walls to pro-style range and rustic farm sink.

Kitchen inspiration from KitchAnn style

I think the styling went a little overboard and I’m not a huge fan of the knob placement. But, overall, I think this is a gorgeous kitchen. What do you think?

February 24, 2014 / Ann Porter

Grow at Home

Spring is starting to creep into everyone’s minds and with that the thought of fresh herbs and vegetables. While it is possible to sow your seeds with snow on the ground, many areas of the country are still too frozen with the harsh arctic blast and ten named winter storms.

Growing herbs | KitchAnn Style

Some gardeners use a cold frame, which is a box-like structure with a clear glass or plastic top, to get their seedlings started. However, if you don’t have the space or find it a little too dirty, there is another option – the Urban Cultivator.

The Urban Cultivator Residential is a dishwasher-sized appliance with interior grow lights. Inside are racks that hold flats designed to contain one of three growing mediums — a Sure to Grow mat (, sterilized soil or landscape fabric. In these, users can grow 50-some greens — including beet-tops, baby broccoli, wheat grass, pea sprouts, radishes, mustard greens, lentils, nasturtiums — as well as any number of herbs.

Urban Cultivator Home | KitchAnn Style

The unit is not difficult to install and requires a water connection similar to a dishwasher. You can choose between different door screen options (clear, frost, half-tone and dark) and even add a custom panel to match your cabinetry.

Micro greens| KitchAnn Style

The Urban Cultivator will allow you to grow fresh herbs 365 days a year and know that they are pesticide free and healthy for your family. The cost savings for growing your own micro-greens can be as high as 90% according to research.

Your Urban Cultivator can be operated between 55 and 90 degrees with a relative humidity between 30% to 60%. The automated system does all the work and provides measured water to and from each grow tray. If your unit is set up as a stand-alone unit, you will need to empty and refill the water reservoir once a week when the indicator light is on. Four humidity domes are also included with the unit to aid in starting seeds.

Kitchen Cultivator | KitchAnn Style

A larger commercial unit is also available for restaurants and cooking schools where larger supplies are demanded. Besides herbs, small vegetables such as cherry tomatoes can also be grown. Pricing starts at $2,200.

February 19, 2014 / Ann Porter

LEDs and Carpet

LED integration into surfaces is growing by leaps and bounds and stands to add an exciting dimension to interior design. Let’s look at what is making news.

The Cell+LED Carpet from Lama Concept

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 years since this carpet made it’s debut at the Paris Airshow fitted into the isles of the Airbus A350. Since then it’s been used in various commercial applications and even in the Land Rover LRX Concept.

Lama Concept Cell | KitchAnn Style

The carpets and rugs are made from 100% wool felt strips that are formed around eye-like forms – like knots in wood. Some of these knots are replaced with LED lights and oriented with the direction of the strips. The carpets can be created to form a directional path with the LEDs, or the lights can just be placed randomly for a glittering array.

Lama Concept Cell | KitchAnn Style

Although this carpet might not work with every decor, it’s an innovate approach to flooring that opens the door to endless design possibilities.

Phillips and Desso

Two Dutch-based companies, Phillips Lighting and carpet maker Desso, recently announced a partnership to create light-transmitting carpet–smart flooring capable of displaying all kinds of information.

Desso LED  | KitchAnn Style

Desso envisions the new light emitting LED carpet as serving several purposes. One would be to quickly and intuitively guide people through buildings including to designated safety routes and exits. Another would be to add to the ambiance and atmosphere of public spaces. The carpet would add “lighting, design and color” as the joint statement from both companies explains.

For now, the partnership is limited to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and the official product is slated for sometime in 2014.  Who knows, one day we may be able to turn an average living room into a disco lounge with the touch of our phones or tablets and use the same system with our fire alarms enabling it to send a signal to specifically light the best way out of our homes.

February 16, 2014 / Ann Porter

Wine Barrel Vanity

Wine Barrel Vanity Sink | KitchAnn Style

Premier Copper Products has introduced a new line of vanities made from recycled solid oak wine barrels and featuring recycled copper sinks.

The new vanities are repurposed from Napa Valley barrels and air-dried in the Arizona climate for two and a half years before being dismantled and rebuilt into furniture by Arizona designer and craftsman John Koering.

The barrels measure 28 ins. wide, 34.5 ins. tall and feature an 18-in.-by-13-in. door (the original bung hole is repurposed for a door opening). Each unit also comes with a pre-installed 17-in. oval hand-hammered copper sink and drain.

The vanities are available in three non-VOC finishes and are priced at $2,398 (for vanity and sink only) and $2,726 (for vanity, sink and faucet package).

Wine Barrel Vanity Sink | KitchAnn Style

I love this image I stumbled across on the internet. The stone ledge is a great way to add more surface area for items like soap and finger towels. This is the perfect vessel for letting your imagination run wild.

Wine Barrel Sink Ledge | KitchAnn Style

Premier Copper Products is a Phoenix, Arizona-based importer and designer of handmade copper products from a plant they control in Mexico.

February 7, 2014 / Ann Porter

Toto Connelly Suite

TOTO’s new Traditional design Connelly Suite is inspired by the “timeless sophistication of classic Hollywood imbued with the curvilinear aesthetic of the Arte Deco period.”

When looking for a clean lines and bold geometric shapes with sophistication for a fresh and uncluttered look, the TOTO Connelly Suite is an ideal choice.


Connelly Collection | KitchAnn Style

The Connelly Undermount Lavatory measures 15″ by 15″ leaving plenty of space on the countertop. The deep basin reduces waters splashing, and its SanaGloss glaze saves homeowners time cleaning as the super-slippery surface repels bacteria and soap scum. It is available in Cotton, Colonial White, Sedona Beige, Bone, and Ebony.

Lever Faucet

Connelly Collection | KitchAnn StyleAn example of TOTO’s inclusive design philosophy – providing ease of use for all ages – the sophisticated faucet’s lever handles serve as a graceful counterpoint to the vertically detailed, gently flared bases, which lends a tactile element to the fixture’s design.

The spout has an organic curve that adds an elegant and soft design element to the sleek lever and base. The faucet has WaterSense technology and only uses 1.5 gallons per minute without a decrease in pressure. The faucet is available in an array of finishes including Brushed Nickel, Polished Nickel and Polished Chrome.

Connelly Collection | KitchAnn StyleDual Flush High-Efficiency Toilet

The Connelly Dual Flush High-Efficiency toilet is an elegant design with a strong geometric tank supporting a sizeable lid. The inclusive-design Connelly toilet is 17” from base to seat top, making it ergonomically correct height for a person to comfortably sit down and rise from it with ease. It is available in Cotton, Colonial White, Sedona Beige, Bone, and Ebony, with trip lever finishes available in Polished Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Polished Nickel, among others.

The design specializes in its Dual-Max Cyclone Flushing system uses bio-mimicry to eliminate the need to scrub due to streaking after flushing.

Inspired by cyclones in nature, TOTO engineers harnessed the power of gravity and water to spin away waste. To achieve their vision, they designed a seamless bowl interior with a concave rim to channel high-speed water jets for superior bowl and rim cleansing action. Each flush spins away debris, matter, and bacteria, which reduces the time needed to clean the unit.


February 5, 2014 / Ann Porter

Flir One Thermal Image Device

Flirone | KitchAnn Style

The heat is on with the Flir One Thermal Image Device

The Flir One released the very first personal thermal image device designed specifically for your iPhone 5 & 5s at CES 2014.

As the first and only personal thermal imager for the consumer market under $350, Flir One is compact, easy-to-use, compatible with the iPhone5 and 5s and fits on the phone like a protective case.

Once mounted, the device displays a live thermal image on the phone’s screen, giving users unprecedented ability to “see” in an array of conditions, including complete darkness.

The device combines an infrared thermal camera that converts energy (heat) into an electronic signal which is then translated into an image on to your phone’s screen. With the ability to see heat, it allows you to identify those pesky things like moisture detection, energy loss, and many more creative possibilities.

Cool Features:

•The onboard battery source powers the device for more than two hours of continuous use; can also be configured to boost the iPhone5 and 5s* battery life by 50 percent.

•It can see in the dark, observe invisible heat sources, see through smoke, and even see through some materials. Scene range temperature: 32 °F to 212 °F (O °C to 100 °C)

•MSX Blending (Adds visible spectrum detail to thermal images and enhances resolution)

•Video capture (.mov format), Still image capture, Choice of color palettes (B/W, W/B, Rainbow, Contrast, Arctic, Hot/Cold, Iron)

FLIRONE | KitchAnn Style

While the case adds a bit of chunkiness to your svelte handset, it’s a minor trade-off for awesome Predator-like heat vision. And while the iPhone 5 version of the Flir case will be available this summer, the company is working on an Android version as well. :-)

Whether you want this device to detect a leak, look at deer in the middle of the night, or help you navigate through smoke you have to admit it’s pretty cool.

FLIRONE | KitchAnn Style

FLIRONE | KitchAnn Style


February 3, 2014 / Ann Porter

The Docking Drawer

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a contractor scratch his head and look at me with glazed eyes as I try to describe what I need from his electrician to provide a drawer for my clients to charge their devices out of sight.

Charging drawer | Kitchen Studio of Naples

The Docking Drawer™ from JTech Solutions removes the hassle with a convenient and safe way to integrate a grounded outlet into a cabinet drawer.

The outlet comes with two grounded  3-pronged outlets and two USB outlets with integrated on/off safety switch. The Docking Drawer™ is UL 962 approval pending and max rated for  3A/375w. The circuit is protected by 5A pop out breaker accessible from inside the cabinet.

Charging drawer | Kitchen Studio of Naples

The Docking drawer is best installed during new construction but can be retrofitted if you can run an electrical line to the rear of the cabinet. The drawer may need to be modified since the device has a limited reach. The device alone costs $139.00.

I think I might need to test one and see how it works with my standard cabinet specs.


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