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- 09/10/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 09/10/15--04:00: _Artful Wooden Spoon...
- 09/14/15--10:30: _Enter to Win: Euroc...
- 09/15/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: Th...
- 09/15/15--04:00: _Noir Enamelware: Fa...
- 09/16/15--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Kit...
- 09/17/15--02:00: _Philadelphia Story:...
- 09/17/15--04:00: _Next Wave Cookware ...
- 09/18/15--03:00: _World's Most Beauti...
- 09/24/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 09/24/15--04:00: _Blenheim Forge: Gra...
- 09/28/15--08:00: _Trend Alert: 17 Dec...
- 09/29/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: An...
- 09/30/15--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Mod...
- 09/30/15--04:00: _Domestic Science: H...
- 09/30/15--06:00: _5 Favorites: Wooden...
- 10/01/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 10/01/15--04:00: _5 Storage Ideas to ...
- 10/05/15--06:00: _Modern Primitives: ...
- 10/08/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 10/13/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: Ho...
- 10/13/15--04:00: _Remodeling 101: Cei...
- 10/14/15--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Win...
- 10/14/15--04:00: _From iTunes to Hand...
- 10/15/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 10/20/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: In...
- 10/20/15--06:00: _Object Lessons: Ita...
- 10/21/15--06:00: _6 Elegant Cookware ...
- 10/22/15--02:00: _The New Italian Cou...
- 10/27/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: Cr...
- 10/27/15--04:00: _10 Favorites: Color...
- 10/27/15--06:00: _Pretty in Pink: 7 K...
- 10/28/15--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Col...
- 10/29/15--04:00: _Colorful Cookware: ...
- 11/03/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: A ...
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- 11/13/15--08:00: _Kitchen Installatio...
- 11/19/15--06:00: _The New Art Gallery...
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- 11/26/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 12/03/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 12/08/15--02:00: _Steal This Look: A ...
- 12/10/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 12/10/15--06:00: _Remodeling 101: Nea...
- 12/17/15--02:00: _Kitchen of the Week...
- 12/22/15--04:00: _DIY: Winter Market ...
- 12/30/15--04:00: _Secrets from the Sw...
- 12/30/15--06:00: _16 Tricks for Maxim...
- 12/31/15--04:00: _15 Ideas to Steal f...
- 12/31/15--06:00: _Remodeling 101: The...
- 09/10/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: Cookbook Author Anna Jones at Home in London
- 09/10/15--04:00: Artful Wooden Spoons from Hope in the Woods
- 09/14/15--10:30: Enter to Win: Eurocube Faucet Giveaway from Grohe
- 10 Favorites: The Urban Galley Kitchen
- Remodeling 101: Best Colors for Urban Kitchens
- The Urban Coffee Station, Space-Saving Edition
- 09/15/15--04:00: Noir Enamelware: Falcon Basics in Black and White
- 09/17/15--02:00: Philadelphia Story: Two Creatives Tackle Their Own Kitchen
- 09/17/15--04:00: Next Wave Cookware from a UK Entrepreneur
- 09/18/15--03:00: World's Most Beautiful Tea Set?
- 09/24/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: The Dinesen Wood Kitchen
- 09/24/15--04:00: Blenheim Forge: Grassroots Kitchen Knives from South London
- Expert Advice: 15 Things to Know About Knives
- The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer?
- 6 Stylish Wood Knife Racks for the Kitchen
- 7 Ways to Corral Your Kitchen Knives
- DIY: White-Painted Knife Block
- 09/28/15--08:00: Trend Alert: 17 Deconstructed Kitchens
- 09/29/15--02:00: Steal This Look: An English Kitchen with a Rustic-Modern Edge
- 09/30/15--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Modular Kitchen Workstations
- Good Küchen: 9 German Kitchen Systems
- Bella Cucina: 8 Italian Kitchen Systems
- 10 Easy Pieces: Instant Kitchen Islands
- 09/30/15--04:00: Domestic Science: How to Load a Dishwasher
- 09/30/15--06:00: 5 Favorites: Wooden Bread Bins
- 16 Favorite Accessories from the English Kitchen
- 10 Favorites: Colorful Accessories for the Kitchen Sink
- 10 Favorites from the French Scullery
- 10/01/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: The Movable Kitchen from ModNomad Studio
- 10/01/15--04:00: 5 Storage Ideas to Steal from Berlin Kitchens
- 10/05/15--06:00: Modern Primitives: 6 Kitchen Accessories with a Rustic Edge
- 10 Easy Pieces: Instant Kitchen Islands
- 11 Kitchen Islands Gone Glamorous
- Kitchen Islands and Tables on Wheels
- The Kitchen Island Reimagined
- 10/13/15--02:00: Steal This Look: Hotel Covell's Glamorous Kitchenette
- The Clean White Laundry Room
- A Room at the Ace Hotel in London
- A Tiny Family Bathroom
- A Botanically Inspired Workspace
- 10/13/15--04:00: Remodeling 101: Ceiling-Mounted Recessed Kitchen Vents
- Design Solution: Industrial Kitchen Vents as Decor
- 8 Rustic Wood-Clad Vent Hoods
- Decoding BTUs: How Much Cooking Power Do You Really Need?
- 10 Easy Pieces: Best Appliances for Small Kitchens
- 10/14/15--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Wine Refrigerators
- Remodeling 101: How to Choose Your Refrigerator
- 10 Easy Pieces: Built-In Refrigerators
- 10 Easy Pieces: Compact Refrigerators
- 10 Easy Pieces: The Best Under-Counter Refrigerator Drawers
- 10/14/15--04:00: From iTunes to Hand-Carved Spoons with Windy Chien
- 10/15/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: Practicality in White Marble
- An Industrial Yet Romantic Swedish Kitchen
- A Seventies Overhaul by Hearth Studio
- Eclectic English Kitchen, Color Included
- A Young Couple's Brooklyn Kitchen Reinvented
- Steal This Look: The Kitchen of Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast in Brooklyn
- Steal This Look: East Hampton Kitchen by Sawyer | Berson
- Steal This Look: A Glamorous Swiss-Italian Kitchen, Chandelier Included
- 10/20/15--06:00: Object Lessons: Italy's Best Knives from Coltellerie Berti
- 10/21/15--06:00: 6 Elegant Cookware Lines, Italian Edition
- The World's Most Beautiful Dutch Oven
- 5 Favorites: The Indispensable Grill Pan
- Object Lessons: Lodge Cast Iron Classics
- Jasper Morrison's Japanese-Made Cast Iron
- 10/22/15--02:00: The New Italian Country Kitchen by Katrin Arens, Scrap Wood Edition
- 10/27/15--02:00: Steal This Look: Creative Color in a Dutch Kitchen
- 10/27/15--04:00: 10 Favorites: Colorful Accessories for the Kitchen Sink
- 10/27/15--06:00: Pretty in Pink: 7 Kitchens with Pastel Color Schemes
- 10/28/15--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Colorful Freestanding Kitchen Ranges
- 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding 36-Inch Kitchen Ranges
- Trend Alert: 13 Kitchens with Colored Refrigerators
- 10 Easy Pieces: Kitchen Countertop Appliances, Small-Space Living Edition
- 10/29/15--04:00: Colorful Cookware: Terra Cotto Ceramic Pots from Italy
- 11/03/15--02:00: Steal This Look: A Star Chef's Scandi Kitchen
- 11/13/15--08:00: Kitchen Installation: 9 Rooms with Wooden Spoons as Art
- 11/19/15--06:00: The New Art Gallery: 9 Kitchens with Artwork on Display
- 11/19/15--08:00: Remodeling 101: 8 Sources for Used High-End Appliances
- 11/26/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: Oakland Family Kitchen by Medium Plenty
- More Boat for the Buck: A Cost-Conscious California Houseboat Remodel
- A Neo-General Store Opens in Oakland
- The Architect Is In: Medium Plenty in San Francisco
- Tile Intel: A Budget Remodel with Heath Seconds
- 12/03/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: A Shaker-Inspired Kitchen in East Dulwich
- Sebastian Cox Designs for deVol
- A Complete Sebastian Cox Kitchen
- The Original deVol Shaker Kitchen, laundry drying rack included
- 12/08/15--02:00: Steal This Look: A Gilded London Kitchen by Rose Uniacke
- Subtle Splendor in London
- 11 Kitchen Islands Gone Glamorous
- Greatest Hits: 12 Favorite Kitchens in the UK
- 13 Favorite Minimalist British Kitchens
- 12/10/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: The Three Lives of Antonio Martins's SF Kitchen
- 12/10/15--06:00: Remodeling 101: Nearly Invisible Downdraft Kitchen Vents
- 12/17/15--02:00: Kitchen of the Week: A Boundary-Breaking London Remodel
- 12/22/15--04:00: DIY: Winter Market Punch Recipe from Sweets & Bitters
- 4 lemons
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, strained
- 750 milliliter bottle vodka
- 1 quart cold water
- Nutmeg (for garnish)
- 12/30/15--04:00: Secrets from the Swanson Kitchen, SF Edition
- 12/30/15--06:00: 16 Tricks for Maximizing Space in a Tiny Kitchen, Urban Edition
- 12/31/15--04:00: 15 Ideas to Steal from Vintage Kitchens
- 15 Life-Changing Storage Ideas for the Kitchen
- 11 Design Details to Steal from High-End Bespoke Kitchens
- 14 Kitchen Storage Tricks to Steal from the Bathroom
- 11 Kitchen Islands Gone Glamorous
- 12/31/15--06:00: Remodeling 101: The Viking vs. Wolf Range
- Reduced-Size Ranges
- 7 High-Style Italian Kitchen Ranges
- 6 Chateau-Style Cooking Ranges
- 10 Easy Pieces: 36-Inch Gas Cooktops
- 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding 36-Inch Ranges
- 13 American-Made Appliances, from Countertop Mixers to Ranges to Refrigerators
- 15 Made-in-America Kitchen Classics
- 7 Sources for American-Made Hardware
- Henrybuilt's Custom Kitchen Systems
We first dropped in on up-and-coming vegetarian chef, stylist, and cookbook author Anna Jones a year ago; since then, she's come out with a new cookbook and solidified her standing as the UK's "next Nigella." All from a humble kitchen in East London, proof that you don't need a lavishly appointed kitchen to create cookbook-worthy meals.
Photography by Jonathan Gooch for Remodelista.
Above: Jones at work; "My cookbooks were shot in this kitchen" she says. "We chased the best light as it changed throughout the day."
Above: The L-shaped kitchen is simple and functional; for more on this kitchen layout style, see Remodeling 101: The L-Shaped Kitchen. Instead of cabinet pulls, the plywood kitchen cabinets and drawers from Russell Bamber Works feature cutouts (see more ideas at 10 Favorites: Cutout Kitchen Cabinet Pulls). "I love the cutout handles," Anna says. "They're such a simple and clean little design tweak.
Above: A white Bialetti Moka Express Coffee Pot (available from Amara in the UK).
Above: An assortment of knives within easy reach; for sourcing ideas, see 6 Stylish Wood Knife Racks for the Kitchen.
Above: A pleasing jumble of dishes, organized by color. The yellow-rubber-dipped earthenware cups on the top shelf are by Up in the Air Somewhere.
Above: The wood dining table can seat up to 15; it came from the Ardingly Antiques Fair. The Circus Pendant by Corinna Warm casts a warm glow over the table.
For a tour of the rest of the house, go to Fresh and Clean: A London Chef Lives the Way She Cooks.
More Stories from Remodelista
Here's what our new favorite spoon carver has to say: "My name is Luke Hope and Hope in the Woods is my journey from an office, where I've spent most of my working life, out into the woods." Hope recently started whittling wooden spoons by hand, "working with organic material, revealing natural form, and creating and blending new lines and shape." Sculpture or utilitarian kitchen accessories? We think both.
Above: The Large Maple Spoon has a deep bowl and angled handle with a tight grain and is finished with raw linseed oil and beeswax; £70 ($107.53).
Above: The Rustic Campfire Eating Spoon with burned end handle and leather loop is £45 ($69.12).
Above: The Porcelain Coral-Edge Bowl and Walnut Spoon is £50 ($76.81).
Above: The Cosmo Cake Slice, made from dark American walnut, was inspired by Luke's sons' "love of baking"; £50 ($76.81).
We also like Hand-Carved Kitchen Implements from Hatchet & Bear, another UK utensil company dabbling in kitchen utility.
More Stories from Remodelista
Tired of your kitchen faucet? Good news: Grohe is giving away two new Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucets—valued at up to $1,229 each—to a pair of lucky Remodelista readers. To enter, sign up for emails from Grohe and Remodelista by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this post by Monday, September 28. The winners will be chosen at random and notified by email by September 30. The contest is open to US residents only; see Official Rules for details.
Grohe faucets are known for their superior quality and innovation, and have long been picked as favorites by Remodelista architects and designers. (See recent accolades for the Grohe Concetto and Minta Touch kitchen faucets.) Grohe has just added a new faucet to its lineup: the Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet, launched in August. The idea behind the faucet is simple: to combine professional utility with a minimalist cubic aesthetic.
Eurocube is the only kitchen faucet with an all-cube design, down to the face of the spray. The faucet offers a sturdy yet flexible pullout metal spray and a rocker-diverter to deliver full water flow and cleaning spray. The spray face features Grohe's SpeedClean technology, so all that's required to remove lime stains is a quick wipe of a towel. The faucet arm swivels 360 degrees, meaning Eurocube can be operated with one hand or used to fill pots on the countertop. Grohe's patented SilkMove ceramic cartridge guarantees the smoothest handling and effortless precision. The StarLight finish secures a scratch-free surface—for a lifetime.
Above: The Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet comes in two finishes: Supersteel Infinity and Starlight Chrome.
Above: Eurocube is the only kitchen faucet with a modern, all-cube design on the faucet base, lever, and spray. The edges of the spray handle are slightly rounded for comfort.
Above: Grohe is especially proud of its SilkMove ceramic cartridge system, which assures a lifetime of smooth movement on levers to control temperature and water flow. Especially important for arthritic hands and hands that tire from hours of cooking prep, SilkMove prevents stuck levers or jerky movements in the Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet.
Don't delay: Enter your email address below by September 28 for a chance to win a Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet from Grohe.
More Stories from Remodelista
Lyon Porter, owner of Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, designed a communal kitchen for his overnight guests featuring open shelving, all-white appliances, and some of our favorite accessories. Here's how to get the look.
Above: The clean white kitchen is airy and open.
Above: A well-stocked kitchen with all the essentials; an enamel tea kettle, Italian espresso makers, a water dispenser, and plenty of vin glasses.
Above: The B&B has four bedrooms in the main house as well as a parlor floor that's open to all guests. The open parlor floor has an operable garage door that opens onto the courtyard, a dining and lounge area, and the all-white kitchen.
Above: The white Viking 36-Inch Pro-Style Gas Range with six VSH Pro Sealed Burners is $7,369 from AJ Madison.
Above: The Aga Wall-Mount Canopy Chimney Range Hood in white is $999 from AJ Madison.
Above: The white Viking 36-Inch, Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator holds 20.4 cubic feet and costs $9,739 from AJ Madison.
Above: The Rohl Shaws Contemporary Classic Single-Bowl Fireclay Apron Kit Open Sink measures 30 by 18 by 11 inches; $1,035.99 from Home Perfect.
Above: The Danze Opulence Single-Handle Deck-Mount Kitchen Faucet with Spray comes in eight finishes (shown in polished chrome) and starts at $316.99 from Wayfair.
Above: This Pendant Light Fixture with a White Porcelain Enamel Dome Shade is available in five socket colors and you can choose from eight different cord colors; $109 from Olde Brick Lighting via Etsy.
Above: American Black Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Counter Tops from John Boos come pre-oiled, measure 1.5 inches thick, and are available in several lengths. A top measuring 109 by 25 by 1.5 inches costs $109 from John Boos.
Above: Ikea offers several basic white shelving options. The Ekby Hemnes shelf, 31 1/8 inches wide and 7 1/2 inches deep, is $14.99. Companion brackets also available in several styles.
Above: The Tolix Marais Counter Stool in white costs $305 from DWR. The stool is also available on gunmetal gray and black.
Above: The industry workhorse: the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker was invented in 1933 in Italy and is made from cast aluminum; $34.95 from Peet's Coffee (for a six-cup coffee maker). For more, check out 10 Easy Pieces: Stovetop Espresso Makers.
Above: The classic Jacob Bromwell Colander in stainless steel starts at $149 from Jacob Bromwell.
Above: Ikea's Svalka Red Wine Glass cost 79 cents each (no need to worry if guests break one now and then).
Check out these three Urban Kitchen posts for more inspiration.
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For the high-style campfire or kitchen: classic, no-nonsense enamelware, now in coal black from Falcon in the UK.
Above: The Falcon Enamelware six-piece Prep Set comes with five nesting mixing bowls and a colander. It's £64.99 ($100.24), and, like all designs in the line, is also available in gray, red, and white with blue trim. Unison sells the Prep Set for $120 in black and $99 in white with blue trim.
Falcon's online store showcases the full collection and offers free international shipping for orders over £125 ($192.85). A number of US retailers also carry select pieces of Falconware in black, among them: Huckberry in SF, Unison in Chicago, and Pigment in San Diego. Go to Falcon for a list of sellers around the world.
Above L: Nine-centimeter-tall (three-and-a-half inch) stacking Tumblers are £5.99 ($9.24) from Falcon, and $32.98 for a Set of Four (marked down from $40) from Huckberry. Above R: Mugs are £7.99 ($12.33) from Falcon and $12.50 from Pigment.
Above: A four-piece Plate Set in white with black, blue, red, or gray trim is £24.99 ($38.55).
Above: A 1,000-milliliter Teapot is £19.99 ($30.84).
Above: All of Falcon's enamelware is oven and dishwasher safe. It's made of enamel-coated steel and if dropped, the outer layer will chip. The five-piece Bake Set—two pie dishes and three baking pans—is £64.99 ($100.27).
We have a weakness for enamelware. Browse our Archive for our favorites, including the Enamel Drinks Dispenser and Barn Light Electric's Colorful Enamelware Made in the USA. Go to New Kitchen Basics from Falcon to see the company's aprons, oven mitts, and other enamelware companions.
More Stories from Remodelista
To begin my investigation into the world of compact countertop appliances, I thought I'd first measure my own countertop. The verdict: 18 inches wide with a depth of 15 inches. My kitchen is small—not suburbia small, but city small—with a tiny refrigerator, an oven that barely fits a small baking sheet, and flatware drawers of odd dimensions. Since I need every inch of the countertop as prep space, my kitchen cannot afford a single stationary countertop appliance; they all go back into cupboards and drawers and anywhere I can shove them.
Here is our selection of countertop appliances, where no single dimension breaches my own 18-inch requirement. Have a favorite small countertop appliance to share? We want to hear your suggestions in the Comments section below.
Toasters & Toaster Ovens
Above: As thick as an average cookbook, Japanese company Plus Minus Zero's 1-Slice Toaster in white is 6.6 by 8.8 by 3.1 inches; $67.79 at Amazon.
Above: The Breville Bit More 2-Slice Toaster is one of the smallest among two-slice toasters, measuring 7.75 by 11.25 by 8 inches. The electrical cord stores up inside the toaster from below, which could prove useful if it can't live on the counter full time; $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: While difficult to source, the Plus Minus Zero Vertical Toaster Oven, from Naoto Fukasawa, is as slim as they come (8.8 by 9.5 by 11.7 inches). It can be found in both black and white (shown) through various dealers on eBay in the range of $275 to $320.
Above: A great two-in-one appliance, especially for kitchens lacking a proper or functional oven, is Cuisinart's Compact Toaster Oven Broiler; it measures 8 by 15 by 13 inches and is $49.99 at Amazon.
Above: Naoto Fukasawa's pop-up toaster will retail for $95 at Muji in Palo Alto, California, and other Muji locations this fall. Contact Muji for more information.
Blenders & Juicers
Above: Available in as many colors as a Birkin handbag, the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor has a three-cup capacity and measures 5.9 by 10.2 by 8.4 inches; $35.99 at Amazon.
Above: As someone whose large Vitamix is dissected into parts and stored in various cupboards (in the interest of space), I wish I had purchased the Vitamix S55 Personal Blender instead. It measures 6 by 9 by 16 inches and includes two containers (both a 20- and 40-fluid-ounce size); $449.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: The L'Equip Mini Pulp Ejection Juicer has a funny, nostalgic look—like the juicer your great aunt passed down to your mother or the sort of kitchen appliance you'd see in a 1970s-era French film. Nonetheless, it measures 7.5 by 13.5 by 11.5 inches; small proportions for a decent juicer with a 480-watt motor; $109.99 at Sears. For more, see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Juicers.
Above: The smallest microwave we're able to source is the iWavecube Personal Desktop Microwave Oven (10 by 10.5 by 12 inches) for $129.99 at Amazon.
Above: Whirlpool's 0.5 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave is a compact 13.75 by 15.38 by 14.13 inches and is available in black, silver, and white (shown) for $139 at Home Depot.
Above: LG's 0.7 Cubic Foot Compact Microwave is a little wider than the largest MacBook Pro; it's 10.13 by 17.9 by 12.25 inches and costs $99.99 at Syn Mart.
Above: The Zojirushi Micom Rice Warmer and Cooker has compact dimensions of 9.88 by 13.25 by 8.5 inches; $99.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Above: The Naoto Fukasawa–designed rice cooker is 7.3 inches tall and 8.2 inches wide; $195, bamboo paddle included, available at Muji in Palo Alto, California. Contact Muji for more information.
Above: For the avid tea drinker, an electric kettle is a countertop essential. The Universal Expert Electric Kettle is an appealing option at 7.8 by 6.6 by 10.3 inches; $90 at West Elm.
Looking for major appliances for a small space? See 10 Easy Pieces: Favorite Appliances for Small Kitchens for a set of ranges, refrigerators, and more. For more functional inspiration, sift through all our Small-Space Living posts.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 29, 2015, as part of our issue The Organized Kitchen.
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Ada Egloff and Rick Banister bought their Victorian row house in South Philly for a steal back in 2007, when they were fresh out of college: "Philadelphia real estate: How is the secret not yet out?" she asks. They've been chipping away at their place themselves ever since. And though neither came to the project with remodeling experience, they each brought talents to the table: A former vintage clothing store owner and buyer for Anthropologie, Ada runs Young Ladies, a brand-consulting agency that fosters young design companies. She has the eye and knows how to source what she's after. Rick is a UX (user experience) designer at Automattic who works on WordPress, and happens to be a hobbyist woodworker.
"The house had great bones—all original moldings, stained glass—but the 1990s kitchen was a nightmare," she says: "Drop ceilings with missing tiles, beige linoleum floors, and flimsy oak veneer cabinetry. But we left it until we had saved just enough to do it right." They gutted the room the summer of 2012, only to discover plumbing problems in that drop ceiling that derailed plans for the next six months
Finally back on track, they built out the kitchen over the course of many, many weekends, nights, and vacations, hand chiseling out the old tile and keeping a close watch on expenses every step of the way. Now complete with soapstone counters built from remnants and a secondhand Viking found on Craigslist, the kitchen is all that they had hoped. Total budget? "Since we tackled so much of the work ourselves, we were able to do it for under $20k," says Ada.
Photography by Michael Persico.
Above: Rick and Ada at their own coffee bar.
Surprise detail? The floor looks like slate but is actually hardwearing porcelain tile found at Earthstone Tile Works in Philadelphia for about $6.50 per square foot.
Above: The space is about 200 square feet, and Ada calls the layout "a U with a little extra something—sort of a G." Of the setup she explained: "Workspace flow was really important. We do a lot of cooking and entertaining, and wanted to be able to move easily from sink to stove, and from island to fridge. We also wanted to maximize under-counter storage so we could avoid upper cabinets and keep the space feeling open and light. As it turns out, we have more storage than we even need with just one floating shelf around the perimeter of the room."
Above: Rick built the cabinets with the help of their friend Tim Lewis, a builder/furniture designer who has his own Philadelphia studio. "The task of making them on our own would have been really daunting." They're birch plywood and have MDF fronts with hardwood-edge banding. The bin pulls are from Horten Brasses and the knobs from Restoration Hardware. (For more ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Bin Pulls.)
Ada and Rick bought the Viking range from a local seller on Craigslist—"it needed some updating and parts, but it was a steal at $500," she says. The stainless exhaust hood is Ikea's $399 Luftig.
Above: The farmhouse sink is made by Alfie and has an Essen Single-Handle Pull-Down Faucet. Prepping the walls before they could be painted and tiled took some doing: "Two of the walls are structural, so we had to carefully chisel off the original early 1900s subway tile that was underneath the 1990s renovation," Rick told us. "I wish it had been salvageable because they just don't make tile like that these days, but much of it was damaged, so it had to go. We then had to wire mesh and reapply the masonry layers to those walls before we could plaster and tile. It was a grueling few weeks, but a good workout."
Above: The new subway tile is Daltile's three-by-six-inch Rittenhouse Square design in a semigloss with gray grout and the counters are soapstone: "By purchasing cutoffs and seconds and cutting them ourselves, we got a deal at $15/square foot." The espresso maker is a Gaggia Classic, and the yellow mixer is from KitchenAid's Artisan Series 5. (See more options in 10 Easy Pieces: Kitchen Stand Mixers.) The orange teapot is vintage Danish.
Above: A black walnut island serves as both a prep area, grocery unloading station (the fridge stands opposite), and table. In addition to designing and creating it, Rick built the paneled ceiling and milled trim to match the original in the rest of the house. "The plywood ceiling panels come from the dance floor Rick and my father built for our wedding," says Ada. "We used three-inch poplar strips to emulate that old English tavern style."
Of the overall palette, she says, "We stuck with neutrals—white, gray and black, save for the black walnut island, which brings some warmth to the room. We wanted to have a workspace that would double as an eating area for breakfast and casual dinners, and we forfeited the potential storage space of an island for the open and airy feeling of a table."
Above: The soapstone used on the island is heavily veined: "When we rub the counters with mineral oil, the peach and mint color in the stone really shines through," says Ada. "And we like that each piece has its own character."
Above: The side-by-side refrigerator, positioned so it's convenient but not prominent, is Ikea's Nutid, and the built-in microwave next to it is also from Ikea's Nutid line. (For advice and more ideas, go to 10 Easy Pieces: Built-In Microwaves.) "We were really surprised by the quality of Ikea's appliances, including our dishwasher," says Ada. "So far, they've served us really well." The storage cupboards over the fridge are used for "dog food, paper towels, baking sheets, and weird roasting pans that don't fit anywhere else."
Above: "The place was dingy and came with pests we had to get under control."
Above: The first weekend of demolition.
Above: Peeling back the layers revealed damaged wallpaper and subway tile. "We wanted to modernize the space but keep the overall vibe true to the earliest kitchen this house would have had."
Remodeling your own kitchen? Explore our Kitchens of the Week, including A Young Couple's Brooklyn Kitchen Reinvented and a Low-Cost Cabin Kitchen for a Family of Five, Faux Soapstone Included.
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Founded by food writer Charmain Ponnuthurai (she's behind the London on a Plate guidebook app), Crane Cookware is a just-launched cast ironware collection for the style-minded home cook. The idea came about when Charmain found herself chatting with British product designer Barnaby Tuke about the lack of "serious competitors to French companies like Le Creuset and Staub." The upshot is Crane Cookware, a modernized version of classic vitreous enamel cookware, manufactured in Picardie, France, in a foundry established in 1840. Barnaby, who studied at the Royal College of Art, designed the smart-looking set of five pieces with ergonomically designed handles that make carrying the heavy cookware from stove to table less arduous.
Above: The line on display (table and chairs by Very Good & Proper).
Above: The Griddle Pan is £58 ($90).
Above: The Frying Pan is £85 ($132).
N.B.: During the upcoming London Design Festival, from the 22nd to the 24th of September, Lyle's Restaurant will host one-off dinners "celebrating the intersection of food and design," serving food prepared and presented in Crane Cookware. Go to Lyle's for booking information.
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Sue Pryke's background is "firmly rooted in the crafts," as she says. "I started my journey into ceramics at a small pottery in Lincolnshire, learning the skills of production throwing." She's worked at Wedgwood and as a product design consultant; not long ago, she launched her own line of finely detailed everyday items. "I wanted to create my own collection of objects that sit comfortably in the home, that aren't awkward, audacious, or tricky to use or care for, but are familiar, have fluency, and sit effortlessly." We especially admire her subtly luxurious tea set, made from slip-cast porcelain with oak detailing; plus a companion pewter milk pourer. See the range at Sue Pryke.
Above: Mr. and Mrs. Teapot is £80 ($125) at Such & Such.
Above: The Mr. & Mrs. Oak Lidded Sugar Box is £30 ($47) from Sue Pryke.
Above: Pryke collaborated with Wentworth Pewter in Sheffield for her Pewter Pourer; £45 ($70) from Sue Pryke.
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Makers of some of the world's most beautiful wood flooring, Dinesen, the three-generations-old Danish company, is now applying its planks to kitchens. These designs are the work of Garde Hvalsøe, three cabinetmakers and an architect who have come up with a Dinesen kitchen series—Noma chef Rene Redzepi has one in his own home. Our favorite is the compact kitchen in Dinesen's new showroom in Copenhagen designed by Danish studio OeO. Not coincidentally, it's in the deep mossy green we predict is about to have its moment—see Interior Trends for Autumn.
Above: The galley design, conceptualized overall by OeO and created by Garde Hvalsøe, is in Dinesen's vast new headquarters at 5 Søtovet in Copenhagen. The kitchen is used for Dinesen events and private dinners. "The challenge in this small, not very wide space was to create a fully functional kitchen for two professional chefs," says Søren Aagaard of Garde Hvalsøe.
The paneling and cabinets are constructed of oak floorboards that Dinesen calls heart oak; milled from the middle of large trees, they produce exceptionally wide boards. Photograph via Dinesen.
Above: The counters are made of green marble and the sink and area around it are hand-welded brass treated with a dark stain. The drawer section closest to the window contains an industrial made-to-measure drawer refrigerator.
In the wall paneling, note the butterfly joints, a Dinesen signature used to patch natural cracks. The boards used for the cabinets and paneling are treated with Dinesen's Natural Oil. The floorboards, which are also heart oak, are treated with Dinesen's White Oil. The company sources most of its wood from Germany and explains the sustainable forestry practices of its suppliers here. Photograph via Hviit.
Above: The sink backsplash is darkened brass patinated by the lime in the water. The brass faucet is a commercial model by Danish brand Toni. "They're for use in industry and hospitals, but found in many homes in Denmark," Aagaard told us. "We took it apart and stained it." Photograph via Hviit.
Above: The range is from Electrolux's Grand Cuisine line. "A lot of appliances are labeled professional quality," says Aagaard, "in this case, it's actually true, but adapted with a more sexy interface and exterior." Photograph via Garde Hvalsøe.
Above: The long work counter is fitted with finger-jointed storage and has an Electrolux Grand Cuisine Induction Cooktop and Vacuum Sealer—for sous vide cooking and packaging food to freeze. A Fisher-Paykel Drawer Dishwasher is also concealed behind two of the drawers. The base and legs are made of raw steel and the open shelf is stained brass, fitted over the cooktop with an exhaust shelf in stained brass, a made-to-measure Garde Hvalsøe design. Photograph via Dinesen.
Above: A closeup of the welded brass shelf. Dinesen uses leftover wood to make stacks of chargers in various sizes. The walls are painted in Vineyard 61, a matte green from Flügger of Denmark. Photograph via Garde Hvalsøe.
Above: OeO says that the palette throughout the showroom was inspired by the work of turn-of-the-20th-century Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi. The ceiling lights are the mega version of Artemide's Tolomeo design; there's also custom LED shelf and back-of-the-counter lighting. The trash bin is a Vipp, made in Denmark. See more at Dinesen.
Go to London couturier Anna Valentine's kitchen to tour another design modeled after Vilhelm Hammershoi's paintings.
For more small-kitchen inspiration, take a look at 10 Favorites: The Urban Galley Kitchen.
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We recently discovered the work of Blenheim Forge, three ernest dudes forging knives in a dark South London studio beneath a railway arch. The threesome, Richard Warner, Jon Warshawsky, and James Ross-Harris, were roommates in Peckham who got into knife-making by way of YouTube in 2012. Years of failed attempts, repetition, and refinement followed. Along the way, they became quite picky about their steel—a good thing—working with Japanese blue paper steel, a top-quality, low-impurity metal. Handles are handmade with hardwood foraged from customers' gardens or by an agreement with the neighborhood cemetery.
Above: A selection of Blenheim Forge knives on a magnetic knife rack. Four kitchen knives are on offer online (they do custom orders as well).
Above: Cofounder James Ross-Harris at the forge.
Above: A detail of the hand-forged blue paper steel blade, a Japanese steel type with low impurities.
Above, L to R: The five-inch Petty paring knife is £90 ($137), the seven-inch Santoku chefs knife is £160 ($244), and the six-inch Nakiri vegetable knife is £160 ($244). Also on offer (not pictured) is the ultrathin Gyuto knife for slicing fish, meat, and vegetables; £400 ($610).
Above: Founders Richard Warner, Jon Warshawsky, and James Ross-Harris in their studio on Blenheim Grove. Photograph by David Harrison for Foodism.
We have a thing for good knives:
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Throw out all the rules; here are 17 examples of the next wave in kitchen design, which we pegged as an emerging trend in last week's post 15 Interiors Trends for Autumn 2015 (a reader agreed with us: "I'm all over this trend. Perfect looks suburban.").
Above: A kitchen in Japan by Heft Design.
Above: In Sweden, a modular Bulthaup kitchen via Bolig Magasinet
Above: A kitchen in Japan with a mix of concrete and wood by Naruse Inokuma Architects.
Above: The kitchen in the Fujimidai house in Hujimidai by Snark Architecture.
Above: A modular kitchen from a Berlin company; see more at The New Old-World Kitchen from Noodles, Noodles & Noodles Corp.
Above: An airy cooking space in Scandinavian Simplicity: A Reimagined Swedish Summerhouse.
Above: An open kitchen in a simple, economical 1950s cottage in the Gothenburg archipelago by Johannes Norlander Architects.
Above: A stainless steel open kitchen in Japan by Naruse Inokuma.
Above: A kitchen in Todos Santos, Mexico, photographed by Laure Joliet.
Above: In his own kitchen, Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, a partner in the Copenhagen firm Norm Architects, installed a cooktop set into a workbench for a sense of airiness.
Above: Belgian architect Hans Verstuyft opted for open shelving in a kitchen in Antwerp; see more at Sober Luxury in Downtown Antwerp.
Above: A farmhouse kitchen from the portfolio of UK photographer David Charbit.
Above: Two examples of sinks on pedestals or counters via Boro.
See more Trend Alerts here and head over to Gardenista to see a deconstructed outdoor kitchen in Outbuilding of the Week: A Cookhouse at Kurtwood Farm on Vashon Island.
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One of our favorite projects of all time is London architect David Kohn's conversion of a former stable into a house that seamlessly blends past and present, rustic and clean-lined. Today we're spotlighting the stable's compact eat-in kitchen, a soulful layering of wood and white bricks that also has a sense of modernism (thanks in part to a highly covetable midcentury table and set of chairs by Pierre Jeanneret). We've sourced a checklist of products—from a compact refrigerator to a Swedish broom—to achieve a similar look.
Above: Kohn's kitchen is evidence that rustic and modern can happily coexist in a compact space. For a full tour of the project, see A Stable Reborn in Rural Norfolk.
Above: Benjamin Moore's Steam Paint is a color that appears quite yellow on a swatch, but on the wall is a very neutral white: not too yellow, not too blue. It's the white that was used at couture kitchen store March in San Francisco and is a close match to the white paint on the stable's brick walls; $36.99 per gallon of Ben Interior Paint.
Above: The Viking Professional Series Pro-Style 30-Inch Induction Range is $8,059 from Elite Appliance. For more Kitchen Range options, visit our Shop section.
Above: The small kitchen features a compact under-counter refrigerator; the Avanti Built-In Outdoor Refrigerator works inside and out and has an extra-long power cord and casters for portability; $689 at Best Buy. For more ideas, see our recent post 10 Easy Pieces: Compact Refrigerators.
Above: A highlight of the kitchen is the pair of vintage V-Type Chairs designed by Pierre Jeanneret in 1958-59. The chairs have a black-stained teak frame and a caned seat and back. They're available in the armchair version for (gulp) $10,000 each through midcentury dealer 1950 and many other sellers on 1st Dibs.
Above: We found a vastly less pricey stand-in at West Elm; the Upton Dining Chair with an upholstered seat and caned seat back; $254.
Above: The kitchen table is another Jeanneret teak design, the PGI University Dining Table, from 1950. It's hard to come by, and pricey, but an alternative period piece, minus the tapered legs, can easily be sourced from a flea market or vintage dealer, such as Midcentury LA, whose restored vintage Danish Teak Dining Table, shown here, is $900.
Above: From Fern Handcrafted Furniture in New York's Hudson Valley, the Amoeba Cutting Boards are a set of three boards made from locally sourced slabs of maple, black walnut, and cherry in three different sizes; for pricing and information, contact Fern.
Above: From World Kitchen, the classic Revere 2 1/3-Quart Copper Bottom Kettle is $23.51 on Amazon.
Above: Cleaning products from Australian company Murchison-Hume are now widely available in the US. The Heirloom Dishwashing Liquid, in a large amber glass bottle, is an eco-friendly solution said to improve the condition of your wastewater as it drains; $21 from The Line.
Above: A variety of antique Wooden Serving Trays and Bowls are available at Galerie Half in LA; contact for pricing and availability.
Above: From Swedish company Iris Hantwerk, which employs visually impaired craftspeople, the Swedish Broom has a birch handle and palmyra fiber brush; £18.50 ($27) at Objects of Use.
Our Steal This Look column appears every Tuesday morning; click here to browse past posts. For another kitchen featuring white-painted bricks, see An Architect-Designed Compound in Shanghai. For more rustic cutting boards, have a look at British Roots: Hampson Woods' Curvy Handled Serving Boards.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 25, 2014, as part of our Winter Break issue.
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When it comes to rental appliances, we're partial to the European style of installing your own kitchen gear—investing in a good oven and refrigerator and taking it with you from one rental to the next. By that logic why not bring your own sink, cooktop, and counters with you too? Here are 10 recent finds in the area of modular kitchen workstations.
Above: Danish company Vipp makes an Island Module that can be assembled with various front cabinets, a sink, and gas burners in the worktop; $34,300 at Vipp.
Above: The March Work Table is built of white oak and steel and can be customized with leather accessory boxes, a wine rack, or an ash basket. The worktable is $15,180 with accompanying components starting at $900.
Above: German industrial designer Dirk Biotto's ChopChop is a well-thought-out storage kitchen worktop. Contact Dirk Biotto for more information.
Above: Boffi's Mini Kitchen Cart has a built-in mini refrigerator, storage compartments, and sockets for electical cords. Contact Boffi for retailer information.
Above: The Barnstaple Oak Kitchen Dresser is a mix of lacquer and oiled wood with three drawers and a cubby system for small items; £1,200 ($1,818) at Habitat.
Above: A kitchen island from Alpes Inox features a five-burner gas cooktop, a sink, and drawers. Read more about it and more modular kitchen pieces at Race-Car-Style Appliances for Compact Kitchens.
Above: Katrin Arens, a German in Italy, designed a wooden kitchen workbench. Contact Katrin Arens directly for more information.
Above: Danish company CPH Square's Travel Kitchen in a range of colors and customizable styles. The workstation is on wheels but has all the necessary hookups. For pricing and information, contact CPH Square.
Above: The In-Vitto 120 Stainless Steel Kitchen by Metalco in Italy is a powder-coated kitchen trolley with a stainless steel sink and double burner cooktop. For pricing and shipping information, contact Metalco.
Above: From German kitchen design house Bulthaup, the b2 Workbench, a modular kitchen island with the option of including a cooktop, one of three widths of sinks, and a worktop. For more information, visit Bulthaup.
Above: Designed by Michelle Villa for Lgtek Outdoor, the Steel and Wood Outdoor Kitchen is best for in-between indoor/outdoor spaces or kitchens that open onto patios. For more information, visit Archiproducts.
For more modular kitchen ideas, see our posts:
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There’s an Arthur C. Clark quote that gets used way too often about how the best technology is indistinguishable from magic. I will not quote the quote because it’s quoted all the time in Silicon Valley, where I work. But you get the idea: Great technology fills us with unbridled, slack-jawed, how’d-they-do-that awe.
That’s pretty much how I feel about my dishwasher.
The Miele is the best piece of technology in my home. It is as fast, silent, and discreet as a ninja assassin, if ninjas killed dishes. Also, I love how it’s so endlessly adjustable, detachable, customizable and economic in its lines and power consumption. Oh, and the Miele’s top rack for silverware? Jesus wept.
My wife and teenage daughter, however, don’t see the Miele as great technology. They think it really is magic.
How else is one to explain the quasi-mystical way they load the thing? They think the normal rules of physics go out the window when the dishwasher door is open: Water can suddenly penetrate glazed dishes and glassware as if these solid objects were riddled with intergalactic wormholes. Anything can be put anywhere in the Magic Dishwasher! Martini glasses can be jammed in the silverware tray, god help us. And, why not pile up plates on bowls, glasses on pots, and pots on roasting pans, all of it on each other, like so many clowns in the circus. The dishes will come out, sparkling clean. Like, magic!
Why do my wife and teenage daughter, who are so much smarter, more logical and math-y than me, think they can put a large cooking pot on top of three filthy bowls that recently held stew? Why doesn’t my wife get that the stew bowls will be just as grotty at the end of the wash cycle as they were when I finally pried them from her freeloading friends’ hands, after they “dropped by on a lark” at dinnertime?
When I woke up this morning, I did not set out to mansplain the rudiments of dishwasher loading, to them or anyone else. But, on behalf of husbands and fathers everywhere—to whom dishwasher duty inevitably falls—it’s time to tell the loved ones with whom we cohabitate that the dishwasher is not a Hogswarts Sorting Hat. It is a beautifully engineered machine that works only as well as the people tending it.
So here are some simple rules. Go ahead and print them out. Or tell your husband to.
1. Keep your apples with your apples and your oranges with your oranges. All other rules about Dishwasker Stacking stem from this simple concept. It starts in the drying rack, where all your forks go with all the other forks—right down to salad forks going with salad forks and dinner forks spooning against dinner forks. Put all your spoons in a separate area and the knives in their own ghetto, too. This will not only allow for proper spacing, it’ll make it easier to put cleaned items away later. Similar sized bowls are clustered on the ground floor, as are dinner plates and salad plates. (For similar tableware, consider the Hand-Pressed Jadeite Plates from Kaufmann Mercantile; prices start at $19 for the smallest size.)
2. The juice cups, which we use for all beverages, go on the top right. That’s because they are short, and you can fold down that clever secondary shelf, where you can stack six demitasses side by side.
3. The big dinner plates go on the main level, either in the center (American style) or on the right center side (a la mode). I am OK with either so long as you put one plate in each rack slot; do not stuff two into one slot because NO WATER WILL GET THROUGH.
4. Sorry for yelling.
5. The sandwich plates go on the same level as the dinner plates, but in the rack space in the front that runs perpendicular to the dinner plate racks. Please, please, please: Do not waste the big rack space on little items like salad plates.
6. Do not put your favorite outsized serving plate that you got at a yard sale in the main rack. It is too high and will prevent the dishwasher’s arm thing-y from rotating, and water will just drip from it, forlornly and nothing will get clean. I mean, honestly, you could run it like that from now until Trump gets elected pope and NOTHING WILL GET CLEAN.
7. Sorry for yelling.
8. Yes, it is a dishwasher, and yes, there is a drought in the west, but some things, such as filthy stew bowls, need a quick rinsing before being dishwashed. I don’t care what the salesman told you.
9. Heavy-duty stuff, such as Thanksgiving Day roasting pans, and my precious bone-handled knives need to be cleaned by hand.
10. Ignore the different mode settings; they are not for you.
11. That said, if you put a fully shuffled deck of cards in the silverware rack and run the machine in Express mode, the cards will reshuffle themselves by suit, in ascending numeric order. No clue how this works, but it blows my mind every time.
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There are times when I'll set out on a half-hour-long pilgrimage for a single loaf of my favorite bread (no errand in New York is ever easy). The investment of time and money (it's an artisanal loaf) is so much that every bit should be savored. I wrap the unsliced portion in a linen towel but recently I've noticed the crust goes soft so I've been taking note of appealing bread bins. It turns out, a bin with a wood component allows for just the right amount of breathability; here are five I've noticed lately.
Above: From one of our most trusted cultivators of utility goods, Iris Hantverk, comes the Large Birch Bread Box. The simple, slatted box is £60 ($90) at Tea and Kate in the UK, who will gladly ship abroad.
Above: From Berghoff in Belgium, the Cubo Deluxe Bread Box has a rubber wood bottom, a stainless steel cover, and can store two loaves of bread; $110 at Berghoff.
Above: The John Lewis Round Bread Bin is perfect for that sort of rounded country loaf. It's made in beech and is £35 ($53 USD) at John Lewis.
Above: The Plain Wood Bread Bin is made of sustainable birch ply and according to the designers, it can hold several loaves, even misshapen ones. Pair it with a slatted wood Breadboard to better allow the bread to breathe in the bin. The bin is £85 ($128) at Ella's Kitchen Company.
For more kitchen accoutrements, see our posts:
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Part art project, part problem solver, the Go-Go Kitchen in writer/activist-designer Jennifer Nix's Sausalito, California, home pairs cast-off cabinetry with energy-efficient appliances, sends gray water into her garden, and stands ready to roll. The experiment—which Nix created in collaboration with sculptor and fellow ModNomad Studio founder Jeff Smith—has attracted so much interest that the art collective is now taking commissions, and Nix hopes its website will become home base for the salvaged kitchen community.
Photography by Anna Lee-Fields.
Above: "The drought and housing crisis here in the Bay Area were both on my mind as my husband, Steve Leonard, and I moved from Brooklyn, New York, to our two-unit 1880s fixer-upper cottage in Sausalito, California," writes Nix in the ModNomad Studio blog."We wanted to be part of some solutions here in Marin County." The two moved into the smaller unit, a 550-square-foot studio, and immediately ripped out its "ugly and oversized" kitchen to create a bedroom. After living with a sawhorse-and-plank cooking setup in the main room, Nix learned what's essential and what's extraneous. The Go-Go was born out her desire to come up with an adaptable, portable, eco-conscious solution that offers a departure from "the tyranny of the typical built-in kitchen."
Above: Constructed over the course of two very productive weeks, scavenging for parts included, the Go-Go incorporates a vintage Craftsman steel tool chest, a wardrobe found on Craigslist, salvage yard marble, and leftover plywood, oak, and ipe wood from work done on Nix's rental house and a friend's deck. She chose to spend her money on state-of-the-art compact appliances and a new stainless sink for "a meeting of the rustic and the modern."
Casters, a Jeff Smith signature detail, enable the design to travel. In lieu of a range, the kitchen has a Breville Smart Oven, which toasts, bakes, roasts, and has a time-saving convection option.
Above: The tool chest holds utensils, flatware, and plates. The counter is topped with Heath Overstock Tiles in chartreuse purchased from the company's Sausalito factory store. (For more inspiration, read about architect Ian Read's Budget Remodel with Heath Tile Seconds.)
Above: The kitchen is neatly divided into three work areas. Cooking is done on a two-burner Ramblewood Green Induction Cooktop with a built-in fan.
The design, while not intended for catering to a crowd, is adaptable. And as is, Nix points out, it works well for studios, guest houses, garages turned into apartments, and offices. "I hope it can offer people an easier way to get a kitchen installed in some extra space they might want to rent out. And later they can roll the kitchen somewhere else, sell it, or turn it into an outdoor kitchen—so there's no waste."
Above: Open storage is incorporated on one end, and a wheeled set of True 24-Inch Under-Counter Refrigerator Drawers (not shown) have since been added to the sink end. The sink is Vigo's 23-Inch Stainless Steel Single Bowl Undermount with a Grohe faucet (see our High/Low: Dornbracht vs. Grohe Kithen Faucets). A third ModernNomad, Kurt Norstad, hooked up the Go-Go to water and electricity, and collaborated on the design of the gray water system. "We called on the expertise of Laura Allen of Greywater Action and her very thorough book, The Water-Wise Home," says Nix. "The system includes an actuator and diverter valve that allows me with the flip of a switch to send kitchen water to either the sewer or the garden."
So far, the kitchen has lived in two different spots in Nix's living room, and the Sausalito cottage has become ModNomad's HQ and live/work studio. Nix and her cohorts are at work on new ways to "bring art, design, and activism together." Stay tuned for more of their instigations.
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Since our Berlin Bound issue, we've been trolling for good-looking kitchens in Berlin with storage ideas to steal; here are our findings.
1. Think modular.
In Europe, it's not uncommon to rent a flat with no kitchen; tenants often buy their own modular components and take them with them when they move.
Above: German kitchen brand Naber offers a furniture system designed by Bureau Kilian Schindler based on five modules: work surfaces with integrated range, sink, butcher block, storage rack, and technology tower. Ideal for apartment dwellers who can take the system with them when they move.
Above: A modular kitchen by Noodles, Noodles, and Noodles comprises components you can pack up and take with you.
2. Keep cooking utensils within reach.
Above: German company Rosle pioneered the concept of the Open Kitchen by offering adaptable stainless steel modules that allow you to keep utensils in easy reach. Photograph of Erik Spiekermann's Berlin kitchen via FvF.
3. Use wooden crates as storage.
Above: Spotted in several Berlin kitchens: wooden crates as storage. For something similar, consider the American-Made Poplar Wood Crates from Kaufmann Mercantile; available in three sizes (prices start at $29).
Above: A modular kitchen by Noodles, Noodles, and Noodles Corp.
4. Consider built-ins for seating.
Above: Built-in seating and modular elements make sense for Berlin apartment living; shown above, a custom kitchen by Rainer Spehl.
5. Think outside the box.
Above: Dirk Biotto created the ChopChop kitchen for ease of use by the elderly and physically impaired.
Above: Designed by Moritz Putzier as a graduation project, the Cooking Table won a German Design as Best Newcomer 2015.
Above: The Essential Raw Element kitchen by craftsman/carpenter Peter Klint features customizable smoked oak trays and grates that slide in and out to create customizable open shelving.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 8, 2015, as part of our Berlin Bound issue.
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Rough-hewn kitchen tools with a rustic vibe (plus a witch-worthy broom).
Above: The magnetized Fair Catch Knife Rack from Buccholz Berlin is €149 ($167).
Above: The Table Dustpan and Brush by Geoffrey Fisher is £40 ($45) from the New Craftsmen.
Above: The Tripod Stool from Buchholz Berlin is €90 ($101).
Above: Kitchen Hooks made from tree branches are $40 from Live Wire Farm.
Above: The Vegetable Peeler by E.J. Osborne has a handcarved handle; £14 ($21) from Hatchet & Bear.
Above: A selection of brooms from Haydenville Broomworks in Haydenville, Massachusetts; the Traditional Broom is $65.
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Lisa and Chris Goode, NYC green-roof designers and cofounders of Goode Green, undertook a top-to-bottom renovation of their shingle-style house in the Hamptons. Having designed many projects, including Brooklyn's Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and the meadow atop New York's Crosby Street Hotel, they decided to save money by acting as their own general contractor.
An avid cook who likes to be joined by a crowd, Lisa envisioned an island—but not just any: "An island is the one place where everyone congregates, so I wanted an overhang on two sides where we could pull up stools. This island had to be perfect and I needed to find someone to design it." Tight on time, Lisa began an initial search on the Internet and soon found herself, via Etsy, on the home page of Siosi Design & Build, a two-woman furniture workshop in Bloomington, Indiana, 860 miles away. “The image on the company's opening page had the exact aesthetic I was looking for,” she says. “From the first email and throughout the process of dimensioning and pricing, I came to really trust owners Ivy Siosi and Audim Culver. Even though I hadn't met them, I could tell they were talented and professional craftspeople; they were the ones I was looking for.”
On the same day that the Goodes moved into their newly renovated place, they received their wood-topped island—hand-delivered by Ivy and Audim, who had driven 14 hours to get it there. It's now the heart of the kitchen—and the home.
Top Tip: The Web is smaller and more personal than you think. "When it comes to pulling the trigger on final decisions, online research is incredibly useful for comparing costs and finding discounted items, not to mention talented designer-builders." Read on to see all the kitchen elements Lisa sourced on the Internet.
Photography by Lisa Goode.
Above: The Goode's custom kitchen island sits in the elbow of their L-shaped kitchen. As Lisa envisioned, it has a butcher-block top and two overhangs so that people can congregate around one corner, leaving the other corner free for her to cook and move around.
Above: The Goodes incorporated shiplap paneling on the walls to match the vernacular of historic houses in the area. The walls and ceiling are painted in White Dove by Benjamin Moore. Learn more about interior shingles in Expert Advice: The Enduring Appeal of Shiplap.
Above: "The pendant lights are by my friend Michele Quan of MQuan who makes beautiful ceramics and jewelry," says Lisa. "The lamps are celadon-dipped porcelain and the metal finishes are brass." Quan also makes Ceramic Bells Inspired by Japanese Temples.
Above: The countertop is Alberene soapstone, which Lisa bought directly from a quarry in Alberene, Virginia. "Sourcing the slabs from images at a distance was difficult, but I persisted because of the large cost saving," she says. "The slabs were shipped to a local fabricator, and I worked with him on setting up the patterning and seams. I love the waxy, warm feel of the stone, and this particular soapstone has a slight veining that adds depth and character without becoming too much of a pattern." Later today, see our Remodeling 101 primer on soapstone countertops.
Above: The carpenters who renovated the house also built the kitchen's wood cabinets and painted them Midnight by Benjamin Moore. "I designed the cabinets with lots of drawer access—I think it's easier," says Lisa. The existing Douglas fir floors weren't salvageable and were replaced with new Douglas fir. "Although the new Douglas fir doesn't have the color variation of the older wood in the rest of the house, the Bona Traffic matte lacquer that we used does a great job of pulling it all together."
Above: The island has two drawers and a powder-coated metal base of open shelves. "There are several items that I use every time I cook, and I love being able to access them so easily. Also, the metal is so easy to clean," says Lisa.
Above: The island's butcher block is called ambrosia maple; the sink side is detailed with a continuous grain waterfall edge achieved with a miter joint. The wood is named for the ambrosia beetle that burrows in maple trees, causing the darker coloring. Lisa's everyday plates, purchased as part of an auction lot, are easily accessible.
Above: On the inside of the island drawer, a spline-reinforced rabbet joint in contrasting wood tones is an example of Siosi's ability to, in Lisa's words, "take a common joint and make it into a beautiful and defining design element."
Above: "Working with Audim and Ivy was a definite highlight of the project, and having them show up at my door with the island after several months of emails and phone calls was like having long-lost friends appear for dinner," says Lisa. "Anyone who has done construction knows that there are often mishaps and frustrations. Having something go so well is worth taking note." Reluctant to see the duo go, Lisa commissioned them to design and build something else—a small writing desk for a corner of the kitchen.
Above: "I knew I wanted a spot in the kitchen for my laptop and for flipping through cookbooks," Lisa says. "Sometimes the island works for this, but it's also nice to have a chair with a back when you've been on your feet." The chair is part of a set of eight that Lisa sourced on 1stdibs. "They're Willemer Stuhl chairs from 1958 that German artist Markus Friedrich Staab painted in 2013."
Above: "The desk is in constant use as a place to plug in electronics," says Lisa. Contemplating your own remodel? See Remodeling 101: Where to Locate Electrical Outlets, Kitchen Edition.
Above: The original owners named the house Massakeat after a character in The Maid of Montauk, a 1902 story by Forest Monroe. "The name was painted on the floor at the entry to the kitchen," says Lisa. "We just recently had it repainted where it originally was."
Above: A decidedly different kitchen with a table in the center.
Above: A look at the walls that the Goodes removed to open up the space.
For more island inspiration, see:
On Gardenista, have a look at Brooklyn landscape architect Julie Farris's Rooftop Meadow, and read Michelle's domestic dispatch on The Unused Kitchen (for all that she wishes she'd known when she remodeled).
This post is an update; the original ran on June 25, 2015.
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Yesterday we checked in at LA's buzzing new Hotel Covell, designed by Sally Breer of Co-Mingle. We're particularly taken with the playful, glam-retro vibe of the kitchenette in Suite 5, known as The Heir. Here's how to replicate the look.
Photography by Bethany Nauert.
Above: Someone suave lives here: Suite 5's kitchenette with black and gold accents.
Above: The design has simple open shelving and a Smeg refrigerator.
Above: A detail from Suite 3, the Parisian Atelier, with hexagonal cement tile from Kismet Tile (read our posts about Kismet and How to Select a Backsplash.) Each kitchenette is equipped with Studio Mugs ($31), Plates ($29), and Cereal Bowls ($30) from Heath Ceramics' Coupe line.
Above: The 1950s-style Smeg Refrigerator holds 9.22 cubic feet and comes in more than a dozen colors; $1,999 from AJ Madison.
Above: The kitchenette countertop is matte black Corian. Learn about the made-to-last material in Remodeling 101: Corian Countertops, (and the New Corian Look-Alikes).
Above: The Kingston Brass Satin Nickel Magellan Centerset Bar Faucet with Metal Lever Handles is $51.87 from Faucet Direct.
Above: The kitchenette has a vintage bar sink in brass. For a look-alike, consider the Barclay Bar Sink with Ledge in Polished Brass; $225 from Amazon.
Above: Breer used vintage pulls on the cabinets. For a similar look, try these Vintage Brass Cabinet Bin/Cup Pulls by Cal Crystal; $12.86 from Martell Hardware. Another good option: a Depression-Era Glass Bin Pull from Crown City Hardware.
Above: The matte black Colfax Wall Sconce was custom-made for the hotel by Park Studio LA. It's now available for $80 from Park Studio's online shop.
Above: The Half Gold Light Bulb is $6 from Anthropologie.
Above: The Ekby Hemnes Shelf in black/brown is made of solid pine and comes in two lengths, starting at $14.99 from Ikea.
Above: For mounting the shelves, Ekby Valter Brackets come in two sizes and are $3 or $4 each at Ikea.
Above: The Architec Gripperwood Concave Cutting Board is made of beechwood; $30.23 from Amazon.
Above: West Elm's Gold Flatware Set is gold electroplated stainless steel. A single place setting is currently on sale for $31 (marked down from $39), and a four place-setting set is $112 (marked down from $140).
Above: The Chemex Wood Collar Glass Coffeemaker comes in four sizes, starting at $34.95 from Williams-Sonoma.
See more of our recent Steal This Look posts:
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The least-fun thing to think about when designing a kitchen? Our vote goes to the range hood, that hardworking, often noisy machine that can hog precious space and ruin sight lines. That’s why we were excited to see a new, discreet option starting to appear in open kitchens with center islands. Meet the ceiling-mounted surface vent. Blink and you might not even notice it.
Above: In place of an intrusive ceiling hood, this setup has an inset stainless-steel-framed vent over a stainless steel island from German kitchen systems masters Bulthaup—island and cabinets are from Bulthaup's B2 line. (See Good Küchen: 9 German Kitchen Systems for more details.)
What are these vents?
They're remote-controlled hoods that are inset in ceilings, so that only a stainless-steel frame and panel (often of dark glass detailed with lights) is visible. Positioned directly over a cooktop, the vents, like all hoods, are there to absorb cooking odors and grease. Available in a range of rectangular sizes and increasingly popular in Europe, these unobtrusive versions are just starting to make inroads in the US.
Above: To decrease the distance between stovetop and vent, a Siemens ceiling-mounted recessed hood is set in a soffit in this newly remodeled kitchen belonging to Norwegian blogger Nina of Stylizimo.
Where do they work—and what's the catch?
The majority of these vents are ducted to the outside, so in most cases, you need to be in a house to have one in your kitchen. (On top of venting considerations, many states have strict requirements for the amount of "makeup air" channeled in in proportion to what goes out, and not all recessed ceiling vents are strong enough to meet these codes. Local appliance specialists can fill you in on the details.)
For a ceiling-mounted recessed kitchen vent to be most effective, it needs to be larger than the cooktop that's under it—for a 36-inch cooktop, for example, use a 42- or 48-inch hood—and to be close enough to do its job: The ideal distance between ceiling vent and stovetop varies, but for optimal effectiveness, Matt Avery of Faber tells us no more than four feet is recommended.
If you have a powerful commercial-style range and do a lot of frying, one of these models isn't likely to do the trick. But if you do regular cooking and there isn't a great distance between stove and vent—a too tall ceiling can be remedied by inserting the vent into a soffit—this open-plan option may be the perfect problem solver.
Above: A recessed hoods draws steam in a Corian model kitchen in the UK.
Who makes ceiling-mounted recessed vents?
Are there other unobtrusive kitchen vent options?
Yes, under-the-cabinet hoods are another popular choice (and can work in apartments) as are downdraft hoods, that rise in the back of the range at the press of a button. The latter, we're told, work particularly well with induction cooktops.
Above: A Miele stainless steel Extractor Unit with dimmable halogen lights is neatly incorporated in a shelf over a cooktop. Its price, $1,699, including external blower, is in the ballpark for most ceiling vent brands.
Go to our Kitchen Appliance posts for more advice, including:
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In California it seems as though everyone has a wine refrigerator (half the state is wine country, after all). If you're cultivating a wine collection, it might be time to start thinking about a sophisticated wine storage system. Here are some options selected for both appearance and functionality.
Above: The Alpes Inox Column 128 Wine Cooler has two columns and a single drawer. Contact Alpes Inox for pricing and availability. Read more about the company in Race-Car-Style Appliances for Compact Kitchens.
Above: The Miele 28-Inch Tri-Zone Wine Storage has a 178-bottle capacity and separate controls for storing wine at three different temperatures. It's $6,999 at AJ Madison.
Above: The GE Monogram Stainless Steel Wine Reserve has a red or white wine temperature setting and seven cherry wood shelves. It installs flush under counters and is $1,899.
Above: Aga's Marvel 15-Inch High-Efficiency Single-Zone Wine Cellar has maple shelving and a stainless steel handle. It controls temperatures precisely from 40 to 65 degrees.
Above: Miele's DWT 6312 UGS Under Counter Wine Storage System is another wine refrigerator from Miele with a smaller profile holding 46 bottles of wine. Contact Miele for pricing and availability.
Above: The Gaggenau Wine Storage Unit holds 99 bottles and has two independently controlled climate zones. Contact Gaggenau for pricing and availabilty.
Above: The U-Line 15-Inch Wine Captain has six beech shelves, holds 24 bottles, and has a black exterior. The refrigerator can be built-in or freestanding; $1,719 at U-Line.
Above: The Smeg Classic Aesthetic Wine Cooler holds 115 bottles (or 198 bottles facing front to back). Its glass door has an anti-UV-ray tint, and the cooler can be built-in or freestanding. Contact Smeg for pricing and availability.
Above: Sub Zero's 30-Inch Integrated Wine Storage with Refrigerator Drawers holds 86 bottles of wine and also has a pair of refrigerator drawers for other beverages; $7,995 through Sub Zero.
Above: The Electrolux 24-Inch Under Counter Beverage Center has multiple storage options on each shelf, designed for wine and other beverages; $2,099.
Above: The Viking 30-Inch Full-Height Wine Cellar holds 150 bottles. Contact Viking for pricing and retailers.
Above: The Liebherr WU 4500 holds 46 bottles of wine with exact temperature controls. Contact Liebherr for pricing and availability. And check out our post Keeping It Cool: Liebherr's 5-Zone Refrigerator for more info on the refrigerator/wine cooler duo.
For more on kitchen cooling, see our posts:
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"I got to SF before the techies," says rising crafts star Windy Chien. "It was freaks, bohemians, and artists; you could do anything and it was a valid life." Windy is a case in point. Now a full-time master spoon carver living in the heart of San Francisco's Mission district, she has been a punk rocker, a filmmaker, a record shop owner, and an Apple executive who helped create iTunes. "The whole time I was at Apple, I knew it was temporary," she says. "I will always be a punk rocker at heart." Her work combines the sensual with the pragmatic, updating classic genres: wooden spoons, but also macramé and jewelry. Each piece is slyly funny as well as beautiful, something both Steve Jobs and Jello Biafra would love. To see more, go to Windy Chien.
Above: Windy's walnut Small Corner Everything Spoons are $92 each.
Above: Windy with a bouquet of her hand-carved spoons.
Above: The Modern Macramé Light, made from natural white cotton rope, is $180.
Above: A set of four Bad Ass Brass Knuckles, designed to be worn every day, everywhere, is $160.
See all our favorite Kitchenware products here.
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One benefit to spending years designing kitchens for others is that when you're ready to design your own, you know exactly what you want. Such was the case for LA interior designer Amy Sklar, who wanted beauty in her own kitchen—but wanted efficiency even more.
Sklar set out to design her dream kitchen in the 1936 "Colonial Revival" style bungalow she's shared with her husband for 13 years. The house, in LA's Silverlake neighborhood, came with plentiful period details and a desperate need for an update. Over the years, Sklar and her husband added two daughters and one "very drooly" English bulldog to their family, so by the time renovation was in the cards Sklar knew practicality was key. So was an adherence to a budget. As advice to fellow remodelers, Sklar sums up her philosophy on both utility and spending: "Not everything has to be top of the line," she says, "but the things that will get heavy use should be good quality. It's a tragedy to have to replace things after a short time."
Photography by Amy Bartlam.
Above: Because she cooks for her family every night, Sklar's overarching goal was to design her kitchen for efficiency. To her, an efficient kitchen is one that follows the old adage: "A place for everything, and everything in its place."
Sklar chose an East Linear faucet from Newport Brass, Calacatta Delicato marble countertops, and Benjamin Moore Black Iron for trim on the original bay windows. Her countertops taught her an important lesson: White marble is a good choice for a family kitchen if you accept this as truth: "Marble will patina."
Above: "Digging for a pot or utensils gets old when you cook every night," says Sklar. To eliminate the problem, she outfitted every cabinet with interior fittings designed for specific cooking tools, such as a vertical pullout tray for baking pans and flat pullout drawers for bowls and serving pieces. To banish countertop clutter, she added appliance garages for the toaster, coffeemaker, and laptop and cell phone chargers, plus a hidden set of drawers to stash paperwork and kids' homework supplies.
Above: Like most people, Sklar and her family had to keep budget top-of-mind. She purchased materials over the course of a year to distribute costs over time, and chose her splurges carefully: Thermador appliances (range, hood, refrigerator, and dishwasher) and Kitchen Aid wall ovens to last for the long haul, plus a light touch with the pricey cabinet hardware she fell in love with: "I chose solid white bronze handles and pulls; they were a splurge, but they feel good in my hand every time I open a cabinet and they patina so beautifully." For the lesser-used island and pantry, Sklar used inexpensive hardware from Anthropologie.
Above: To avoid a pricey overhaul, Sklar worked with the existing placement of windows and doors—meaning flexibility in layout was minimal. "We toyed with the idea of knocking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, but in the end the expense—coupled with the fact that I am a sucker for a formal dining room—made the decision for us." Sklar used Benjamin Moore White Dove for the walls and Pale Oak for the cabinets.
Above: One of Sklar's favorite features is her custom walnut butcher-block island on casters. The island hides the trash and recycling bins, and can be easily tucked away for party time. "For big holidays where there are a lot of people milling around, it nests back against the wall near the kitchen table, so I still have the counter space but with more floor area for standing guests."
Above: The breakfast nook sports a Saarinen Tulip Table and Chairs, a Rudi pendant light from Roll & Hill, and Khotan Rubia upholstery by Zak & Fox. One thing Sklar learned from spending years designing other people's kitchens: "Laminate the seat cushions in homes with kids!" Sklar's distressed floors are from Martin Lane—"They are so forgiving with spills," she says.
Above: In the bay window above the sink, an art print by graphic artist Gregory Beauchamp and a Heath Ceramics bud vase by Adam Silverman.
Above: Sklar's catchall pegboard storage for pots and pans is a copy from her mother—"a great cook and pastry chef"—who had been inspired by Julia Child's own pegboard rack. Says Sklar, "It's just so easy to grab what you need, and to me the pans feel like art."
Above: The door off the hallway is painted in Black Iron by Benjamin Moore and the wall hooks are from West Elm.
Browse more kitchen inspiration in these Kitchen of the Week posts:
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Architect Sabrina Bignami of B-Arch Studio in Prato, Italy, is a master when it comes to mixing modern Italian and vintage design. A few years back she remodeled one of our all-time favorite kitchens, featuring stainless steel cabinets, concrete countertops, a French work table, and industrial pendants. In the dining room she added a midcentury table and chairs paired with a glamorous paper chandelier (and let's not forget the funky floor lamps). Get the look with the following elements.
Above: The open shelf kitchen was custom designed by B-Arch studio as a highly functional area. The cabinets are stainless steel surrounded by a concrete counter and backsplash. An antique French work table is placed in the middle of the kitchen, industrial pendants hang from the ceiling, and a wall shelf holds hanging copper pots.
Above: Bignami used a table base by Eero Saarinen with a custom tabletop; a Zettel'z chandelier by Ingo Maurer adds a playful touch.
Above: A view into the kitchen from the living room. The 1960s floor lamp is an original by Harvey Guzzini, purchased from a hotel closing sale in Germany.
Above: Ikea Sektion Stainless Steel Base Cabinet with two doors and three drawers measures 24 by 24 by 30 inches and costs $342. Several sizes and cabinet and door options are available.
Above: The Kohler Purist Single-Hole Kitchen Faucet is the simplest version of Kohler's top-rated Purist line. It has an eight-inch spout that rotates 360 degrees with a 9.7-inch clearance; $466.35 in a polished nickel finish via Amazon.
Above: The Summit 24-Inch Gas Cooktop in Chrome with Four Burners costs $345 from Home Depot.
Above: The 1930s Industrial Steel Bar Cart is $895 from Restoration Hardware.
Above: The Ashland Pendant from Barn Light Electric starts at $109 for a 12-inch shade. The pendant is available in a variety of colors and finishes with several cord styles.
Above: The kitchen features two white shelves floating above the backsplash. Consider Ikea's Lack Wall Shelf in white with concealed mounting hardware.
Dining Room Essentials
Above: The Eames Table Segmented Base Round is available in three sizes in black or white; a 42-inch-diameter table is $899 from Herman Miller.
Above: The Prouvé Standard SP Chair comes in 10 colors (shown, warm gray/basalt); $420.75 from Design Within Reach.
Above: The Zettel'z 5 Chandelier, designed by Ingo Maurer, is made of 31 love letters printed in different languages on Japanese paper sheets. The lamp also comes with 49 blank pages, inviting the owner to participate in creativity. The lamp costs $974.75 from Stardust.
Above: The floor lamp in the living room is by Harvey Guzzin, featuring a chrome stem and colored sphere shade made of perspex. The Quadrifoglio Floor Lamp (designed in 1974 by Gae Aulenti for Harvey Guzzini) is another option; $2,000 from 1st Dibs.
Above: The Mauviel M’héritage Copper 10.2-Inch Frying Pan is $200 from Food52.
Above: Chabatree Jargala Jars are handmade from mouth-blown glass with sustainable teak wood tops that seal with a rubber ring; currently on sale and available in small, $20, medium, $24, and large, $29, from Merchant No. 4.
Above: The Tuscan Three-Tiered Cake Stand by Arte Italica is made from pewter and costs $450 from Distinctive Decor.
For more kitchen ideas to steal, see:
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For four generations the Berti family of Tuscany has been in the specialty knife business—they offer seven designs devoted to the correct slicing of Italian cheeses. (Looking for a tomato knife? A prosciutto slicer? A pesto knife? A sponge cake knife? They've got those, too). And as always, each knife made by Coltellerie Berti (translation: Berti Cutlery) is created start to finish by the same artisan (look for the initials on the blade) and expected to be put to work for a lifetime of cooking. Prices, too, reflect that devotion to craftsmanship.
Founded by David Berti in 1895—he taught his son, Severino, who, in turn, taught his son, Alvaro—the company is currently run by Andrea Berti, son of Alvaro, who has maintained tradition while venturing into new territory by offering the option of laser-cut blades and Lucite handles. Most knife factories these days have succumbed to modern manufacturing practices, but Berti, now available worldwide, cuts its own swath.
Five to Buy
Above: "We took our time choosing a great all-purpose chef's knife," writes cookbook author Heidi Swanson of online shop Quitokeeto. "If you prefer stainless steel over (higher maintenance) carbon steel, this Coltellerie Berti knife is a great option." It has an eight-inch stainless steel, high carbon blade—"weighty enough for serious work, yet finely balanced and sturdy"—and a Lucite handle; $265.
Go to Secrets from the Swanson Kitchen, SF Edition to see more of her picks.
Above: Didriks of Boston offers a large selection of Berti knives, including this seven-piece Small Set for Kitchen; $2,064 with handles of black Lucite handles (shown) and $2,678 for ox horn handles (harvested, Berti says, in a sustainable, harm-free way). Didriks offers a good explanation of Berti's full-tang and anchored-tang blade options.
Above: A Berti Set of Three Boxwood Cheese Knives in a fabric roll—a serving knife for soft cheeses, a Parmesan knife, and a cleaver for semihard cheeses—is $412 at March.
Above: This Berti Knife Set—a chef's knife, bread knife, paring knife, and serrated tomato knife with Lucite handles—comes housed in magnetized knife blocks; $1,375 for the set at Quitokeeto. A variety of individual Berti knives in wooden blocks are available from ThatsArt.com starting at $261.
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All-time sexiest cookware? In Italy, designers have started thinking beyond the burner, creating streamlined, multifunctional pieces that can go from stovetop to tabletop.
Above: Designed by Milanese architect Rodolfo Dordoni for KnIndustrie, the Foodwear line features bronze exteriors with polished stainless interiors; the lids (which can be used as presentation stands) are available in either bronze glass or polished stainless steel. An Eight-Piece Bronze Italian Cookware Set is $399.99 via Amazon. Individual pieces are also available from Dep Design Store.
Above: Ceramic cookware with clip-on detachable handles, ABCT Pans have an eco-friendly nonstick surface and can be used on the stove and as serving dishes. Thanks to their removable handles, they're easy to store, and they come with mahogany lids that double as hot pads. Pans and woks start at €24.34 ($27.62) at Dep Design Store.
Above: Designed by architect Massimo Castagna, the eight-quart borosilicate Glass Pot for KnIndustrie is handmade in Italy (only 10 are produced per day) and is $200 from the MoMA Store in NYC (the Silicon Lid is sold separately for $53). The KnPro Glass Pasta Pot is €114.05 ($129.48) from OWO.
Above: Designed by Enzo Mari for Zani & Zani, the Cookware Set is available in black (featuring a nonstick coating) or brushed stainless. The ensemble includes two stock pots, three casserole pans, two low pots, and four covers; €2,099.21 ($2,426.46) from Serafino Zani (the pieces are also sold individually).
Above: Massimo Castagna's KnPro cookware line is made of aluminum with a white nonstick nanotech coating and steel handles. The shallow Skillet is €63.93 ($72.55) from Mohd in Italy.
Above: Same Same but Different is Castagna's KnPro companion family of multifunctional cover plates—porcelain-enamel-coated stainless steel plates or serving platters that double as lids when used with an oversized walnut knob. Prices start at €30 ($34.05) for the 25-centimeter size from Erresse Shop.
Above: Toast carries the Terra.Cotto line of fireproof terracotta Italian cookware, handmade in Italy and available in a range of colors. The pieces have a ceramic-glazed interior with a chalky, hand-dipped exterior; prices start at £52.50 ($70.48) for the Terracotta Saucepot. In the US, the Terra.Cotto Line is available from Fitzsu; prices start at $85 for the saucepot with lid.
Shop our Cookware section for more finds, including:
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 19, 2015, as part of our Italian Renaissance
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For 20 years now, Italy-based German interior designer and furniture maker Katrin Arens has been finding fresh uses for discarded wood. She's still on the vanguard of the reclaimed movement: "I love reusing wood to make things that will last," she tells us. "I aim for designs that are simple and clean without being cold." Today we're spotlighting a compact kitchen that Arens designed for a young restaurateur couple in Bergamo, in the Italian lakes region, where Arens herself has a second home and workshop. The landscape and architecture of Northern Italy, she says, serves as both her inspiration and her source for castoff materials.
Photography via Katrin Arens.
Above: Set in an apartment in a newly remodeled early 19th-century house in the center of Bergamo, the kitchen is built largely from salvaged scaffolding wood with a dramatic back wall of iron sheeting that wraps around the range hood. The dishwasher is to the right of the sink and there's a freestanding fridge to the left, out of the photo frame.
Above: Arens made use of her clients' Ikea sink and faucet from their former home: "Why not reuse something that's nice?" (Note the top drawer, built around the plumbing.) The iron utensil rail was fabricated in Arens's studio.
Above: Arens uses all-wood drawers and cabinets with basic carved openings in most of her designs. As for the various finishes, she explains, "We produce some in our studio using bee's wax and pigments. All are the result of years of experimenting and we keep them secret. The white finish is a pigment that has to be brushed on the wood several times; otherwise it won't last. The wood counters are sealed to waterproof them."
Get the lowdown on wood countertops in Remodeling 101.
Above: In a narrow slot next to the range, three drawers are camouflaged behind a tall front.
Above: "When I started working with old wood, I had to find a way to make repeatable designs that someone could order in different sizes—without losing the unique aspect," says Arens. Plentiful scaffolding wood became a favorite material, and the tall, narrow cupboard with cutout openings is one of her signature pieces.
Above: A cupboard just beyond the kitchen is patterned with a mix of raw and painted panels. See more at Katrin Arens.
Designer and Hollywood house flipper Amanda Pays builds shelves from scaffolding wood; take a look at her 11 Money-Saving Remodeling Strategies.
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There’s an elegant insouciance that we admire in this kitchen in the Netherlands by Dutch textile designer Hellen van Berkel, especially in the nonchalant way the colors come together.
After graduating from the Design Academy in Eindhoven with a degree in graphic design, Hellen van Berkel began her career in the fashion industry designing scarves; eventually she launched her own label Studio Hellen van Berkel specializing in the creative use of textiles. Her offbeat color concepts are in high demand, and it’s easy to see why. Here, a look at her kitchen (spotted on Bloesem) and how to source some of its key colors and materials.
Photography by Marjon Hoogervorst.
Above: Van Berkel uses an array of atypical greens to set a fresh tone in her kitchen.
Above: Red accents, including the Red White Vase by Hella Jongerius (€340 from Droog), complement the mix of greens.
Above: The Cross-Colors porcelain tile collection comes in Primavera and Oceana.
Above: For a similar backsplash, try Mint Green Mosaic Tile from the Daltile Sonterra Collection at Discount Flooring Supply (shown). Another option: 3/4-Inch Brio Color Spearmint Glass Tiles; $4.25 per 1.15 square foot from Mod Walls.
Above: From the Color Cord Company, the Red Pendant Light Cord is $25. See more in our post Design Sleuth: Mix and Match Lighting from Color Cord Company.
Above: The Samuji Cutting Board in ash or rowan wood is $140 from Steven Alan.
Above: Red accents can be worked in with linens like the Red Chef's Tea Towels, $12.84 each from Amazon.
Above: Van Berkel's kitchen counters are made of a black hardwearing composite material; for something similar, consider Nocturne from Corian.
Above: A majestic Elk Antler Mount rides high on van Berkel's kitchen wall; $219 from Roughing It in Style.
Above: Still life paintings like the ones van Berkel hangs on her kitchen walls are available at reasonable prices on Etsy.
A little bit of colored tile can go a long way; seeking more inspiration? See 510 images of Colored Tiles in our Photo Gallery of rooms and spaces.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 6, 2012.
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Dosa designer Christina Kim has an affinity for fuzzy pink sponges that she picks up at bodegas in Mexico. She's the one who taught us this lesson: Humble kitchen accessories in bright colors can make your heart sing.
Happiness from a scrub brush? More than you can imagine. The Scandinavians have clearly been onto this for some time: Nearly all of our favorite tools for use in and around the sink come from Sweden and Denmark.
Above: A longtime Remodelista favorite, the Normann Copenhagen Washing Up Bowl & Brush is newly available in mint; $87.50.
Above: From Flotsam + Fork, Iris Hantverk's Mexican-style Washing Up Whisks are made in Sweden by visually impaired craftspeople; $11.99 each.
Above: Absorbent, quick-drying Växbo Linen Dishcloths from Sweden come in 22 colors and are pretty enough to leave lying around; 103 KR ($11.91). This one is in Michelle's kitchen—read about her remodel in The Death of the Dining Room.
Above: Hay of Denmark's Porter Paper Towel Holders are made of ash and come in four finishes; $48 each from Huset.
Above: Clear the crumbs with the Mr and Mrs Clynk Epousette + Ramasse, a brush and pan from Andrée Jardin of France, €28 ($30.66). Also see the company's New Must-Have Chopping Block and Vegetable Brush Set.
Above: For mop day: Xala's Drop Bucket comes in pale green, navy, yellow, and red with contrasting metal handles; $25 each from Neo-Utility and $59 NZD ($38.57) from Everyday Needs in Auckland, New Zealand. See more of the Antwerp design company's everyday goods in our post Belgian Basics with a Fairytale Twist. Photograph via Everyday Needs.
Above: Pine meets pink: Pantry Design's Scrubbing Brush is £3.95 ($6.17) from the DotComGiftShop.
Above: Christina Kim alert: The Casabella Green Scrub Sponge is $1.95 at Crate & Barrel. To see the sponge at Dosa headquarters that started our obsession, go to page 69 of the Remodelista book.
Above: Wooden Washing Up Brushes by Rice of Denmark come in three color combos; £1.99 ($3.11) each at Trosta Home.
Above: Scholten & Baijing's Tea Towels from Danish design firm Hay are available in a range of patterns and bright colors. Made of a cotton mix, they're $32 for a set of two at A+R.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 30, 2015, as part of our Global Color issue.
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Pretty in pink (or pale green or robin's egg blue): a roundup of kitchens that mix pastels to great effect.
Above: A kitchen in the Netherlands via Vt Wonen.
Above: A kitchen in Rotterdam by Dries Otten.
Above: A Scandinavian kitchen via Emma Persson. See more at Steal This Look: A Mint Green Kitchen from a Scandinavian Stylist.
Above: A mix of pastels in a Danish kitchen via Boligcious.
Above: A kitchen in Scandinavia. Photograph by Heidi Lerkenfeldt.
Above: A cubist kitchen by Dries Otten (see more at Kitchen of the Week: A Color-Blocked Kitchen in Belgium).
Above: A sky blue accent wall in a Berlin kitchen by Karhard Architecture & Design.
Above: A pale blue backsplash with olive green cabinets in a kitchen by French architect Philippe Harden.
For more color inspiration, see The Power of Pastels: A Color-Blocked Family Loft in France.
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When it comes to color in the kitchen, we think it better not to overthink it. Start with a color you're instinctually drawn to, one you find yourself pinning again and again, and pick a large appliance in the same. Here is a multicolor splash of options in quality ranges you can rely on.
Above: Lacanche's Chassagne Range, shown here in yellow, is 43.5 inches and is available in nine other colors; $9,200 at French Ranges.
Above: The Big Chill 36-Inch Pro Range in Basil is $2,995 from Big Chill.
Above: Smeg's Victoria Aesthetic Free-Standing Dual Fuel Range in glossy cream is available directly through Smeg.
Above: The Viking 36-Inch Professional 7 Series Dual Fuel Range with six sealed burners in Cobalt, Apple Red, Burgundy, Graphite, Black, or stainless steel is $10,739 at AJ Madison.
Above: The classic Aga Cooker in two, three, and four oven models is warm at all times; available in White, Pistachio, Pearl Ashes, Heather Gray, Duck Egg Blue, Dark Blue, Cream (shown), Claret, British Racing Green, Black, Aubergine, and Pewter at March in San Francisco.
Above: The 30-Inch Ilve Nostalgie in burgundy with chrome trim is $5,849 at AJ Madison. It's available in seven different color options paired with brass or chrome.
Above: The Bertazzoni Six-Burner Free-Standing 36-Inch Gas Range from Italy is $6,399 at AJ Madison. Check out more of our picks in red at 5 Favorites: Red Range Roundup.
For more kitchen appliances, see our posts:
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On our wish list: Terra Cotto, Milanese architect Stefania Vasques's colorful, angular clay cookware line. Made of fireproof terracotta known for its heat-diffusing properties, the pots can be used on stovetops, in ovens and microwaves, and over flames; they're also fine in the dishwasher. We like their matte colors and Russian-Constructivist-style geometry.
Photography via Unison Home, except where noted.
Above: Vasques designed the Terra Cotto line for Italian cutlery company Sambonet (now a division of Rosenthal). There are nine oven-to-table casseroles in five matte glazes; each comes with a terracotta recipe booklet. Photograph via the FonQ, which offers the line in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Above: The 9.5-inch-tall, 5.5-quart Terra Cotto Sage Green Conical Saucepot with Lid is $150 from Fitsu. Unison Home of Chicago also offers the line, though it's currently sold out. Other US retailers include Rodale's and Bliss Home.
Above: The 3.5-inch-tall, 4.25-quart Terra Cotto Casserole in Nutmeg is $135 from Sambonet.
Above: The 3.75-inch-tall, 6.25-inch-wide Terra Cotto Saucepot in Saffron is $115 from Rodale's.
Above: Each pot has a dark glazed interior for easy cleaning. The four-inch-tall Terra Cotto Oval Casserole is $170 from Sambonet.
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A few years ago Danish chef and author René Redzepi was just beginning to gain ground for his experimental restaurant, Noma, in the Christianshaven neighborhood of Copenhagen. Today Redzepi is a household name; his cookbooks are on the shelves of most serious kitchen libraries, his restaurant is internationally known, and his Instagram account challenging the average brunch-goer's feed.
The star chef enlisted Garde Hvalsøe, three cabinetmakers and an architect working with Dinesen wood, to design and build out a custom family kitchen in his house in Christianshaven. A couple of years ago, we profiled the humble dining room in Redzepi's former flat and took note of a few things he kept during the move (Noma ceramics, an antique bench, dining chairs). Here is a look at the key elements of the chef's latest home kitchen.
Above: Glassware and Noma ceramics are seen in the open storage kitchen island.
Above: Redzepi requested a long kitchen workspace to span the length of the room.
Above: Weathered brass fixtures blend quietly with oak countertops.
Above: Details of the cabinetmakers' work. A custom extractor range hood was built by Garde Hvalsøe.
Above: The kitchen opens out onto a light-filled dining area.
Above: The Induction Zone from Grand Cuisine by Electrolux Professional is an induction cooktop with a glass surface. Contact Grand Cuisine for pricing and availability.
Above: The Combination Oven accounts for cooking in dry and wet heat with the option of using a steam generator. Contact Grand Cuisine for pricing and availability.
Above: The Waterstone Fulton Suite Prep Faucet in blackened nickel is $1,115.20 at eFaucets. The faucet in Redzepi's kitchen is a custom darkened brass Fushion Square Faucet from Quooker, which is available to purchase in polished or brushed chrome.
Above: A similar sink to the custom one in Redzepi's kitchen is the Burnished Brass Sink from Officine Gullo in Florence, Italy. It has a brass edge and a drainer on the right side; $5,206.81 at Officine Gullo.
Above: The kitchen is built almost entirely of Garde Hvalsøe's Dinesen HeartOak wood. The long floorboards and countertops are created from a single plank for continuous grain patterns. Contact Dinesen for pricing and information.
Above: Black Uneven Ihada Pendant Lights are made from a special casting technique of Kobi brass. Contact Futagami for pricing and availability. For more on Futagami lighting, see our post Accessories: Brass Fixtures by Ohji Masanori.
Above: BDDW's Walnut Slab Dining Table makes use of a live-edge slab of wood. Contact BDDW for pricing and availability. For more ideas, see our post 12 Favorites: Live-Edge Tables in the Spirit of George Nakashima.
Above: A similar chair with a paper cord seat is Hans Wegner's Wishbone Chair with a black lacquered frame; $599 at Design Within Reach.
Above: Source an antique storage bench similar to this 19th-century Swedish Bench from 1st Dibs; contact Dos Gallos for pricing information. For more ideas, see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Modern Wooden Benches with Backs.
Above: Sarah Kersten's handmade Mini Fermentation Crocks in black glaze are $180 each at March.
Above: Elektra Micro Casa Lever Espresso Machine; $1,349 at Kitchen Universe. For more, see our post Appliances: Elektra Micro Casa Lever Espresso Machine.
Above: The Staub Cast-Iron Round Cocotte is Redzepi's stovetop pot of choice; $285 for the 5.5-quart size at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: The Staub Cast-Iron Mini Round Cocotte Set in Granite is $185 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: Magnus Lundström's Black Mortar & Pestle is $120 for the large size at Food52.
Above: The McCoy Antique Brass Cube Sculpture of three is $168 at Pure Home.
For more on Noma and Scandinavian design, see our posts:
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Last spring we featured English woodworker Sebastian Cox's "urban rustic" design for deVol, the UK bespoke kitchen company. Here's the first domestic installation of the kitchen in an "industrial-style, large and very light space near Exmouth Market," according to deVol founder Paul O'Leary. "This design brings a bit of woodland into the city, with some style, using British grown (and often overlooked) sustainable timbers, a mix of natural colors, inky blue-black dye, and a dash of copper."
The Sebastian Cox kitchen range by deVol is handmade in their Leicestershire workshop, with prices starting at £15,000 ($22,900).
Above: "Materials include sustainable timbers, a mix of natural colors, inky blue-black dyed cabinetry, and a dash of copper," O'Leary says.
Above: A German Biergarten Table serves as dining table.
Above: "The simple run includes a cooker, sink, dishwasher, and plenty of storage," O'Leary says. Plus windows overlooking the garden.
Above: "The Smeg fridge is always a good idea, and paired with the pantry it looks uncomplicated, practical, and so simple," O'Leary says.
Above: Steel support beams are painted black and integrated into the design.
Above: The first glazed glass pantry cupboard has slender beech panels, small copper knobs, and a woven panel.
See more noteworthy culinary spaces in our Kitchen of the Week gallery.
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When I first fell for Joshua Vogel's hand-carved spoons, a friend said, "But you can't actually use them." I dismissed this with a breezy, "Of course I can." Since then, I've bought three from the collection, and guess what? I don't use them for cooking; instead they hang on my wall as art. And I couldn't be happier.
The spoons are meant for utilitarian purpose, but for me, they double as just the sort of art I want on my wall. We've noticed the influx of wooden spoons before, but worshipping the new art objects has left us wondering how to display them when they're not in use.
Above: Dunja Von Stoddard arranged a tableau of wooden spoons in her kitchen; see more at Hudson Valley Hues: At Home with an Inventive Textile Designer.
Above: Toronto-based blogger Margaret Oomen designed a chalkboard pegboard to display the variety of wooden spoons she owns in her kitchen; noticed over at Dwell Magazine.
Above: Brooklyn-based woodworker Ariele Alasko hangs a hand-carved, sanded, and beeswax-finished Walnut Hanging Spoon in her studio; contact Alasko for ordering information. And see her workplace at A Sculptor Turned Furniture Maker in Brooklyn.
Above: On display in Spitalfields (sitting in the window carving for eight-hour stretches) is spoon carver Barnaby Carder, who made this custom rack to display his wares. For more, see our post A Spoon Carver in Spitalfields.
Above: A trio of objects hand carved by Joshua Vogel at Blackcreek Mercantile. The individual pieces (a Turkish-style flatbread tool and two spoons from the 365 collection) present a variety of unexpected forms; available at March in San Francisco. For more, see our recent post Required Reading: The Artful Wooden Spoon by Joshua Vogel.
Above: Six spoons arranged by size in the Balcombe house in West Sussex from Shoot Factory.
Above: Spoons hang from heavy thread in the home of artist June Schwarcz's home in Sausalito visited by Catherine Bailey of Heath Ceramics via AT.
Above: When searching for soulful kitchen items, one cannot pass up stylist Nikole Harriot's Harriot Grace, her online shop stocking items such as her hand-carved spoons shown here.
If wood is not your preferred medium, see all our Tableware items, ranging from enamel to ceramic in our Shop section.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on August 20, 2013, as part of our issue The Summer Kitchen.
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Some of our favorite kitchen spaces feature artwork casually propped on a countertop or a shelf (no need to confine the art to the more formal rooms of the house).
Above: A kitchen in Paris by architect Phillippe Harden, a portrait propped on the wood counter picks up the color scheme of pale blue and olive green.
Above: A painting on the counter of a London chef's kitchen from In the Kitchen with Skye Gyngell, London's Chef du Jour.
Above: A kitchen in Barcelona designed by Monica Dalla Polvere.
Above: A kitchen in London, from Living Etc.
Above: An abstract work in a Marylebone kitchen by London architects McLaren.Excell.
Above: Remodelista reader Danielle Arceneaux's DIY Kitchen Remodel for Under $500 (go to the post to see the Before).
Above: An oil painting rests casually on the countertop in the Kinderhook Retreat by Steven Harris.
Above: Ted Muehling's New York kitchen, via Automatism. Photograph by Christophe Kicherer for Maison Francaise.
N.B.: This post in an update; the original story ran on January 14, 2010.
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If you drive a secondhand car, you're well aware of the pros and cons of buying used machinery. But did you know you could shop the same way for a fridge or a stove or a mixer? We didn't until architect Elizabeth Roberts told us she found her Wolf range on Craigslist (see page 82 of the Remodelista book). So we started delving into the world of used appliances ourselves and discovered a network of sources for remodelers' castoffs.
Buying out-of-the-box goods takes legwork, flexibility, and a willingness to live with imperfection (and often no warranty). In return, you can find top-of-line, built-to-last appliances at a fraction of their retail cost. A few general tips: Zero in on sellers near you and find a handy friend who has a pickup truck—secondhand goods don't typically include delivery or installation. Look for known brands that have been little used, so what you're getting is likely to last a good while (and have replaceable parts)—refrigerators and ranges have an average lifespan of 20 years, and dishwashers 10 years. Look up the specific model on Consumer Reports; ask the seller a lot of questions, including whether the item is still under warranty; and, if possible, give the appliance the equivalent of a test-drive.
Here's where to look for used kitchen appliances. These sources also stand ready to take appliances off your hands. So save that unwanted microwave or toaster oven or bread machine from the landfill, and instead send it to a new home.
1. Craigslist is one of the best sources for finding local private sellers who are looking to quickly offload equipment they no longer need. When our out-of-warranty Frigidaire stainless-steel side-by-side developed a crack in the freezer, my husband sold it almost overnight to a landlord who was furnishing a loft.
DIY remodelers Ada Egloff and Rick Banister bought their Viking range (shown above) from a Craigslist seller near them for $500—see Philadelphia Story. "It needed some updating and some parts, but it was a steal," she says.
2. Julie's latest addiction, Everything but the House, stages estate sales online. Appliances of all sorts appear in its 150 monthly sales; find one near you and you can preview the goods firsthand (shipping quotes are also available). Everything is sold by online auction and bidding starts at $1. On the EBTH site, go to Appliances to see all the current offerings, including a Vulcan commercial gas griddle (current bid $30). A J. Corradi commercial-grade range (shown) recently got snapped up in a Chicago sale for $353.
3. Green Demolitions was founded in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2005 as a way to recycle luxury kitchens and raise funds for charities—see nonprofit companion site Renovation Angel. The company now has a 43,000-square-foot showroom/warehouse in Fairfield, New Jersey, and a nationwide reach via Kitchen Trader. In addition to selling entire fully-equipped secondhand kitchens, it offers used appliances, sinks, and bathtubs. Current inventory includes this Fhiabba 30-inch bottom-freezer built-in refrigerator that came out of a showroom. It's priced at $3,995 (retail is $7,990) but Green Demolitions also accepts offers.
4. A haunt for New York remodelers, Big Reuse is a nonprofit dedicated to giving used building materials, appliances, doors, and furniture a second life. It has warehouses in Brooklyn and Queens where you can find a steady supply of Sub-Zero and other high-end fridges. A two-year-old Miele Mastercool Bottom Freezer Refrigerator in need of a new door hinge is on offer for $3,500, and an all-stainless Miele Novotronic dishwasher is $340.
Chances are good there's a Big Reuse counterpart in your area: Search for building reuse centers. And if you're in need of missing parts, go to Repair Clinic.
5. Habitat for Humanity's ReStore store and donation centers across the country sell used appliances and apply the proceeds to building low-income housing. Each outpost is independently owned and operated, so the size of the stores and the pickings vary. Admired at the San Francisco ReStore: a Vintage Wedgewood Stove (above), $195, a Viking Stainless Double Oven, $375, and a Wolf Four-Burner Range with Griddle, $799.
6. Filter eBay listings by geography (click "Advanced" on the upper right of the site's home page), and you can zero in on sellers offering used appliances in your area. Ebay's reach is vast and confusing: The site itself offers a helpful guide to buying used appliances. Always plentiful: used Vitamix blenders and stand mixers, like this KitchenAid K45SS Classic in new condition for $149.95.
7. ApplianceXchange is an appliance classified site. In addition to posting listings for free, it offers a directory of appliance stores and dealers around the country that sell secondhand goods.
8. Portland, Oregon, startup ApplianceSwap is dedicated to "building a better way for people to buy used appliances." Partnered with a nationwide network of used appliance dealers, the site invites shoppers to make requests. In response, ApplianceSwap sends photos and descriptions of available goods; when a match is made, one of its affiliates delivers the appliance and, on request, carts away the old.
Antiques to go with your recycled appliances: See Editors' Picks: 10 Favorite Sources for Bargain Vintage Furniture.
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Before renovation, the kitchen of a 1915 historically listed bungalow in Oakland, California, had all the characteristics of kitchens of its day: dark, cramped, disconnected, with inadequate storage. The bungalow's inhabitants—a family of four—wanted a light, open, gathering space with lots of storage. As part of a complete overhaul of the 2,500-square-foot house, architects Ian Read and Gretchen Krebs of Medium Plenty in Oakland transformed the kitchen into a midcentury-inspired berth of white and wood anchored by a near-black kitchen island. It's now the heart of the home—warm, but without excess. Says Ian, "There's nothing you can point to that is a luxury rather than a need for the clients."
Photography by Melissa Kaseman.
Above: The clients' primary goal was "to bring light and order to the kitchen." Medium Plenty's solution was to add abundant cabinetry, a bit of open shelving, and plenty of bright, white surfaces.
The architects wanted to inject some low-level ambient room into the room for its nonworking hours, so above the built-in cabinetry, the architects installed a strip of warm-hued LED tape to cast a glow on the ceiling. A matching strip is beneath the lowest shelf, casting light onto the counter space below. Says Gretchen, "You don't always want to light up the space to working level if you're just going to grab a drink."
Above: The wall-mounted cabinets were fashioned in white oak and MDF by Treasure Island Woodworks in Emeryville. The circular cutouts that function as cabinet pulls is one of Medium Plenty's midcentury references—this one to the credenzas of George Nelson.
Above: The kitchen island countertop is Richlite—a warm-to-the-touch paper-based composite—in Black Diamond. The facings of the integrated drawers were painted to keep costs in check. The architects note that the Richlite will patina with age, likely lightening at first then darkening again over time.
As for the color scheme, the clients wanted something "light and airy but not stark," and in the end, the dark gray island anchors the space and adds warmth. "The idea of a light and airy room with a grounding element in the center just kind of worked," says Ian.
Above: Appliance garages over the kitchen island feature pop-up doors.
Above: The wall surrounding the kitchen window is tiled in Ann Sacks' Savoy Mosaics, in the Hive shape and color Ricepaper.
Above: Countertops are Caesarstone Misty Carrera, walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Silver Satin, and lower cabinets and trim are Benjamin Moore Collingwood. The drawer and cabinet pulls were sourced by the client.
Above: To minimize clutter, the architects installed a recessed exhaust hood above the island range. "We love how open it keeps the space by not having a dropped hood hovering in the center." But the tactic, says the architects, "can be tricky in a remodel because you need to work around the structure in the floor above." They put the hood's blower in the attic to reduce noise. For more, see Remodeling 101: Ceiling-Mounted Recessed Kitchen Vents.
Both the dishwasher and refrigerator are concealed behind cabinet facings. The door at right opens onto the laundry room, followed by a half bath and backyard access.
Above: The open-plan dining room, just off the kitchen, is illuminated by pendant lights from Schoolhouse Electric.
Above: Around the corner from the kitchen, stairs wrap around a partial wall hiding more kitchen cabinetry.
Above: The floors are engineered European white oak, stained in a slightly lighter shade and sealed onsite. The cabinetry in the living/dining room mimics the cabinetry in the kitchen.
Above: The hallway at the top of the stairs off the kitchen showcases Medium Plenty's custom guardrail design, made by Dialogue Design Build and Welsh Ironworks, both in Oakland. (Plus a cameo by the architects' daughter, Mica.)
Browse more favorite projects from Medium Plenty:
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Created for a design-conscious family in London's East Dulwich, the latest kitchen from deVol caters to a lot of tastes: Darkly elegant thanks to a palette of charcoal, black, and white, it's also designed for ease of use, classically homey (grab a seat at the breakfast counter), and seamlessly linked to an outdoor terrace and garden. Come take a look.
Above: Located in an extension of a newly remodeled Victorian, the kitchen pairs deVol's Real Shaker cabinets with counters of Carrara marble and Iroko wood and a subway-tiled backsplash. Casually displayed art adds an injection of life—go to our recent post New Gallery to see more art in the kitchen.
Above: The room opens to a dining area—the space is approximately 320 square feet in total—and has a cooly modern polished concrete floor. Like the cabinets, the partially painted dining table is a deVol original. The wall sconces are from Denmark interior design firm House Doctor.
Above: Sink and cooking counters run parallel to one another and each is anchored by cabinetry that conceals the fridge and range. DeVol's Shaker cabinets are made of water-resistant birch ply and have tulipwood doors. The pendant light is the Factory design in matte black from Dutch company HK Living.
Above: The owners' quandary: whether to go with deVol's Lead (a soft gray) or the much darker Pantry Blue paint on the cabinets? For contrast, they opted for the latter, fitted with deVol's Bella brass knobs and pulls (deVol sells its cabinets in modular units, but offers its paints and hardware only as part of complete kitchen designs).
Above: The bridge faucet is a deVol design made by Perrin & Rowe; for details see Found: The Perfectly Aged Brass Kitchen Faucet.
Above: The Iroko-topped island extends out as a breakfast counter. The subway tiles were sourced from Tons of Tiles in the UK and are in an offset brick pattern. Find more ways to use subway tiles in our Tile Pattern Glossary. Note the smart choice of dark grout and black switch plate covers. Read about where to locate kitchen electrical outlets here.
Above: The polished concrete floor continues out to the garden. DeVol's Shaker kitchens generally range in price from £8,000 to £25,000 (roughly $12,000 to $37,000). Cabinets, furniture, and accessories are also sold separately: Go to deVol's catalog to see some of the options.
We're longtime deVol addicts. Take a look at the company's New Showroom in London as well as:
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I often find myself returning to the same four Rose Uniacke projects for design inspiration, so it was refreshing to discover a project of hers that I hadn't seen before, a townhouse in North Kensington once owned by an art scholar and erotica author and reimagined by the British designer as a family home. The kitchen does glamour well and includes plenty of storage options (we especially like the creative V-shaped arrangement of copper pots on the wall). Here's how to get the look.
Above: White and off-white play off one another with paint, countertops, appliances, and lighting. Photograph via Domus Nova.
Above: A pyramid of copper pots, an antique chandelier, a farmhouse table, and leather dining chairs. Photograph via Domus Nova.
The Key Elements
Above: Shown here is a kitchen equipped with white Corian countertops. For more on the material, see our post Remodeling 101: Corian Countertops (and the New Corian Look-alikes).
Above: Lacanache's Cluny 1400 Range, shown here in white, starts at $11,000; contact Lacanache for a dealer near you.
Furniture & Lighting
Above: Rose Uniacke's Large Modernist Table is made of pippy oak and patinated steel; £8,000 ($12,078).
Above: For a rustic dining chair with leather upholstery, consider Restoration Hardware's Adèle Leather Side Chair; $619 each.
Above: The Belle Epoque Chandelier from Anthropologie, made of iron, copper, glass, and resin is $1,998.
Above: The Original BTC Task Wall Light in cream is $689 at Horne.
Above: The Custom Metal Mirror Level is a minimalist option with a metal frame that comes in three different finishes; $499 for the 30-by-40-inch size at Restoration Hardware.
Above: The All-Clad Copper Clad Sauté Pan is $379.99 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: The Bristol Smoked One-Inch Knobs with a French antique finish are $15 each at Rejuvenation.
Above: Handmade White Candlesticks made of stoneware ceramic in Portland, Oregon, are $36 each at Alder & Co.
Above: Neutral-colored Libeco Pot Holders in Taupe and Vision (green) are $35 each at March.
Above: The Le Creuset Cast-Iron Chef's Oven in Quince is $280 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: A set of three canisters as part of the Bread Bin Set in Chalk (white) is £55 ($83) at Garden Trading in the UK.
For more ideas, see our posts:
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In 2009, when Antonio Martins bought his Victorian house in San Francisco's Dogpatch, he was a new rising interior designer and his poetically named neighborhood was considered sketchy. Both have since come a long way. For Martins, who grew up in Brazil, studied hotel management in Switzerland, and worked in corporate positions internationally for Hyatt for 11 years, becoming a designer was a longstanding dream. And a second career leap: In 2001, when he was in his early thirties, he had moved to SF to study at the Academy of Art University, where he spent three years earning a degree in interior architecture and design. On graduation, he opened his own firm and the commissions started coming—which eventually led to the purchase of his own home.
When Martins bought his house, he was only its second owner and it had been largely—blessedly, he says—untouched but was in bad repair. He tackled the kitchen straight away, and five years later, with a very different budget and requirements (cue the romantic music), had another go at it. Here are the kitchen's three lives to date.
Photography courtesy of Antonio Martins Interior Design.
Above: A classic SF Victorian, the house was built at the turn-of-the-19th century when Dogpatch was being settled by European immigrants, many of whom found work at the nearby American Can Factory. (The garage, by the way, was added likely in the 1930s.)
Above: The previous owner was born at home in the 1920s, worked at the can factory, and walked home every day to cook for her two sons on her 1948 O’Keefe & Merritt stove (Antonio learned this from his stove repairman). A niece inherited the structure and Martins bought it from her in 2009, when he snapped these shots. Note the opening in the wall to the left of range—it's an old-fashioned pass-through to the dining room (on the other side, there's a built-in china cabinet with glass doors).
Above: The kitchen—approximately 350 square feet with 12-foot ceilings, a beat-up floor, and beadboard paneling—had been last updated around when the stove was installed.
Above: "The first renovation was fast, inexpensive, and to the point," says Martins, who estimates he spent $5,000 total. "I wanted a kitchen that would be my style—i.e. someone who does not cook and only has Diet Cokes and yogurt in the fridge. Accordingly, the old stove stayed in place, the only refrigerator was a mini bar from Costco, the cabinets were made out of industrial restaurant tables, and there was no dishwasher."
He created the center island from another industrial restaurant table—remember, he was once in hospitality—outfitted the lower shelves with baskets from World Market, and installed custom cold-rolled steel shelves to hold essentials. As for the the old pass-through, Martins enlarged it to hold storage shelves partially concealed with a steel-framed barn door. The chandelier, Droog's 85 Lamps, came out of his previous quarters and, he points out, is in the collection at SFMoMA. The wood floor was resuscitated and stained ebony.
Above: One of Martins' projects for Hyatt took him to Mendoza, Argentina, which is where these framed photos by Rocca were taken.
Above: Fast-forward five years: Martins, now sharing the house with his partner, Cris, who likes to cook and entertain, decided it was time to upgrade and fully stock the kitchen.
This time, working with a budget in the vicinity of $50,000, he introduced a custom island and cabinets by Fabian's Fine Furniture. The old stove stayed—he bought a similar model on Craigslist and used the parts to have his fixed; "now it works like a Swiss watch"—and paired it with a Best Stainless Steel Chimney Hood and a wall of subway tiles from Floorcraft. (Get installation ideas in our Subway Tile Pattern Glossary.)
Above: The two cabinets that flank the stove were modeled after classic Victorian chests of drawers; they're stained oak topped with Carrara marble and fitted with oil-rubbed bronze Duluth Pulls from Restoration Hardware. The new inset sink is by Blanco.
Above: The chandelier was given a second life as were the steel shelves and barn door storage. Built from reclaimed Douglas fir, the island has inset panels of birch ply to conceal two new under-the-counter refrigerator units. And there's a Bosch dishwasher next to the stove. Complete with four Plywood Bar Stools from H.D. Buttercup (in a Holly Hunt linen), the kitchen is now fully put to use. "Love changes everything," says Martins.
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Think about how much more open looking (but also how much more greasy and garlicky) kitchens would be without range hoods. Today we're spotlighting a nearly invisible option that clears the air while keeping sight lines open: the downdraft stovetop vent. (And to see more, check out our recent post Ceiling-Mounted Recessed Kitchen Vents.)
Above: It's there, but you don't see it: In lieu of a bulky ceiling-mounted hood, this townhouse kitchen has a Faber Scirocco Downdraft Vent concealed at the back of a 30-inch Capital Precision Series range. (The venting draws smoke in and conducts it to the kitchen's chimney, where fans send it out.) For a tour, go to Brooklyn Revival: A Bright and Open Family House by Ensemble Architecture.
Above: A Faber Scirocco Downdraft Vent in working mode.
What are downdraft vents?
Popular on kitchen islands, downdraft vents are slim retractable designs inserted at the back or sides of stovetops as an alternative to bulky overhead range hoods. At the press of a button, downdrafts raise and lower, allowing them to remain blessedly out of sight except when needed. They come in a range of sizes to match a variety of stovetop dimensions. (There are also stationary, low-profile downdraft models incorporated into the middle of cooktops; for years these have been a Jenn-Air specialty, but of late few others offer them.)
Above: Known for its clutter-free kitchen systems, Kitzen of Finland frequently specifies downdraft vents. The one shown here, in Kitzen's Minimasculin model, is a Bora Classic range with built-in extractor vent from Bora of Germany. Read our post on Kitzen's State-of-the-Art Kitchens. Photograph by Verna Kovanen for Kitzen.
Above: A 30-inch stainless steel Miele Downdraft Hood. It's available from AJ Madison with a 500 CFM internal blower for $1,749 and 1,000 CFM external blower for $2,099 (see below for info on CFMs).
Where do they work—and what's the catch?
Downdraft designs are compatible with gas, electric, and induction cooktops, and require space behind or at the side of the burners for insertion, which is why they work especially well on islands and peninsulas. Their vents rise to heights ranging from 8 to 19 inches (in general, the higher the better: You want your vent to cover your tallest pots). They serve as grease traps—most of the latest models have removable dishwasher-safe parts—and typically vent air externally (the more efficient and much more common way to go), but some, such as many in apartments, have motors with charcoal filters that recirculate air internally.
Ventilation effectiveness is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute)—that's the volume of air being exhausted through your hood—and most externally vented downdrafts offer a respectable 500 to 1,200 CFMs. What you need depends on how powerful your range is and the sort of cooking you do: Go to our Remodeling 101 post Decoding BTUs: How Much Cooking Power Do You Really Need? Downdraft designs are getting increasingly powerful, but the hitch is that for clearing the air, they don't compare to traditional range hoods and are generally not advised for pro-style ranges. Conor Sheridan, owner of the kitchen in the top photo and an avid cook, says his downdraft vent is "quiet and does the trick but will never be as effective as an overhead vent." Another longstanding complaint raised by Constantin Oltean, a New York–based kitchen designer for Bulthaup, is that downdraft suction steals heat from burners (especially gas, less so induction) making it hard to maintain a consistent temperature while cooking. Conor Sheridan hasn't found this to be the case, but others have, including a vocal group of Jenn-Air owners.
Above: KitchenAid (part of the Whirlpool corporation, which also owns Jenn-Air) offers this 30-inch Ceramic Glass Electric Cooktop with a central flush downdraft vent; $1,449 at Home Depot.
Who makes downdraft vents?
A lot of well-known brands offer downdraft designs. Among the most popular: Thermador, Gaggenau, Electrolux, Faber, Broan, and Elica. Prices start at $1,200, about 20 percent higher than mid-priced, high-end hoods says architect Elizabeth Roberts's go-to appliance specialist David Sugarman of Gringer in New York, who notes that costs triple for big-name brands "even though the concept isn't radically different than the others: You pay for the label and the fine detailing."
Above: To preserve a New York loft's dramatic views of a water tower, this Henrybuilt kitchen has a downdraft vent and windows that can be opened. Photograph via Henrybuilt.
Downdrafts are a compelling option for preserving views and keeping kitchens clean lined, but traditional overhead hoods get the job done better.
In addition to ceiling-mounted recessed kitchen vents—see Remodeling 101—under-the-cabinet hoods are a popular choice. There are also plenty of inventive ways to display or conceal range hoods. Take a look at:
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In a newly remodeled Victorian terrace house in Hampstead Heath belonging to a family of four, the kitchen's wall of colorful cabinets extends all the way up to the study on the mezzanine above. And steel-frame windows connect table to garden.
The bold design is the work of Melissa Robinson of MW Architects, who was inspired by the structure's existing "split section": The front of the house is half a story taller than the back. "The owners thought the steps down to the original kitchen were a negative aspect of the property," says Robinson, "but we immediately saw the potential to connect the key living spaces and open up the kitchen into a dramatic but functional family room." Formerly "dark and pokey," the room is now an architectural puzzle of solids and voids, planes, and angles—the dynamic hub of a traditional house reinvented.
Photography by French + Tye via MW Architects, unless otherwise noted.
Above: Stairs off the living room lead down to the large kitchen and dining area, which has been opened up in the front and back to the study. The steel banister echoes the lines of the balcony above and the new screen of steel-frame glazing below.
Above: The glass doors and windows visually enlarge the space and flood it with light and air.
Above: The bespoke cabinets, including the colossal island, are the work of Uncommon Projects, an architect-led London design-build firm specializing in plywood furniture. The counter and island are topped with Silestone (read about the material in our Remodeling 101 on Engineered Quartz Countertops).
Above: The cabinets are made of oak-veneered birch ply and have spray-lacquered MDF fronts paired with open shelves, a combination that gracefully morphs from kitchen storage to study bookshelves (to differentiate the two spaces, the colors gradually shift).
Above: A wall oven (one of two) fits nicely into the Mondrianesque design. To figure out your own appliance needs, see Remodeling 101: Range vs. Cooktop, Pros and Cons. Photograph by Jocelyn Low via Uncommon Projects.
Above, L and R: Each side of the island offers customized storage: The front (shown here) displays large serving pieces; the table end has flatware drawers, the side closest to the kitchen counter is stocked with bins for pots and pans, and the opposite side holds occasionally used items. Note the skylight at the back of the room that gives an extra influx of sunlight. Photographs by Jocelyn Low via Uncommon Projects.
Above: The fridge, dishwasher, garbage bins, and pantry are camouflaged behind cabinet doors. The walls are painted Farrow & Ball's Purbeck Stone, and the honed limestone floor tiles are Carnforth from Painted Earth.
The room is lit by surface-mounted spotlights, which Robinson has said she prefers over recessed lighting because "they give a lot more flexibility, particularly with the shelving system. You can direct them wherever you like.”
Above: Mathematical precision: The cabinets end in a series of triangles large and small.
Above: Stairs off the living room offer a view of the kitchen through a tall glass window and lead up to the mezzanine.
Above: A view from the study. The dining table and chairs are hand-me-downs from a next-door neighbor. The honed limestone flagstones continue out to the patio. See more of the project, including floor plans, at MW Architects.
Working on your own kitchen? Peruse our Kitchen of the Week posts for ideas and sourcing tips. We recently explored two other noteworthy London designs: A Shaker-Inspired Kitchen by DeVol and A Culinary Space Inspired by a Painting.
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Still a favorite for the holidays: an opening-party holiday drink from Mira Evnine of quarterly cookbook series Sweets & Bitters. She came up with this easy-to-make, citrus-spiked Winter Market Punch that's not only delicious but also a perfect accompaniment to snowy weather. (We served it up at our New York holiday market years back.)
Punch, as Mira points out, is ideal for big parties: "Your guests can help themselves to as much as they like, while you visit with them instead of fussing over drinks." Here's her recipe.
Winter Market Punch (adapted from David Wondrich)
Makes 24 (three-ounce) servings
You can vary this simple recipe with whatever citrus strikes your fancy—clementines, blood oranges, Meyer lemons—or embellish it with a sprig of rosemary or handful of coriander seeds. Just keep in mind that if you use grapefruit or orange, you’ll need to adjust the balance of sweet and sour to taste.
Photography by Liz Clayman.
1. Peel the citrus with a vegetable peeler. Put the peels in a glass jar and add the sugar. Seal, shake, and leave overnight.
2. Add the lemon juice to the sugar-peel mix, seal, and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour the mixture into a one-gallon punch bowl. Add the vodka and cold water.
4. If serving immediately, add a quart of ice cubes; if the punch is to be ladled out slowly, add a one-quart block of ice instead. Grate nutmeg over the top, and ladle out in three-ounce servings.
For more on Sweets & Bitters, see our Gardenista post Required Reading: Sweets & Bitters Quarterly.
Looking for holiday entertaining ideas? Have a look at 5 Quick Fixes: Holiday Entertaining Prep.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 24, 2013, as part of our Winter Wonderland issue.
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One of the best things about having friends who cook (apart from the obvious benefit of the great meals they whip up) is that you can learn so much from them. I have managed to add to my culinary skills over the years just from watching, or better still, cooking alongside such friends. When I received a copy of Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, I was taken with the way she had divided the book into recipes from different areas of the world. Each chapter begins with a pantry list of relevant ingredients, and it got me wanting to know more about her batterie de cuisine and what little tidbits I could learn from her kitchen. Although she has shared plenty of her ideas over the years on her website 101 Cookbooks, I was angling more for a behind-the-scenes look. With that in mind, I swung by the San Francisco home she shares with her partner, Wayne Bremser. Not so surprisingly, there were some good takeaways.
Photography by Heidi Swanson.
Remodelista: Your kitchen is pretty simple and spacious. You don’t have a lot of things in it, do you?
Heidi Swanson: Yeah, I like the kitchen as a blank slate; a place that evolves over time. I keep it as a neutral space that changes personality according to what's in season.
Above: A simple white space decorated with bunches of oregano, fennel in a vase, and a sprig of drying peppercorns over the window.
RM: Do you always have herbs on hand?
HS: I’ll keep whatever herbs I pick up at the market out on the counter, and they change a lot throughout the year. A friend just brought me some fennel, which I’ll use for cooking, and those are peppercorns hanging from the window. Sometimes there are four or five different bouquets around.
RM: Let’s talk about your marble countertops. I think you launched the whole white-marble-as backdrop look that's so prevalent on cooking sites.
HS: The thing I get the most questions about is the marble. People are obsessed with the marble, and they seem really preoccupied with it being perfect. I don’t do any sealing, as I like to have it as clean and chemical-free as possible. I do pastry here, and if I do get some lemon juice on the counters they'll get some etching but I don’t beat myself up about it. There are two things I’m careful with, and that’s saffron and turmeric. Even with micro-drops, you’ll end up with yellow freckles. That’s really the only thing that I’m careful with—and maybe red wine, but we don’t really drink that much red. It’s not the end of the world if there are some etching marks. I cook in here a couple of times a day and I like a kitchen that is being used—it’s not meant to be a show kitchen.
Above: Heidi's preferred pots include copper saucepans (L) and a clay bean pot (R).
RM: Go-to pots and pans?
HS: Generally speaking, I am more of a fan of individual pots versus sets, and I try and buy individual pieces. I have a clay pot for beans that I picked up at Rancho Gordo (for something similar, see our post on Bram Clay Pots in Sonoma), and I love that it goes from the stovetop to the table. I mostly cook with de Buyer copper pans—they're super responsive and beautiful and I love cooking in them, but I’m not obsessive about polishing them; I like the patinas they develop over time.
RM: Do you like your Viking oven?
HS: I’m not an appliance geek; the Viking came with the house and it’s been great. I expect appliances to do their job; I just want them to perform and work. I need it to be accurate and on point, which is really important when I am making recipes and testing. I do use a thermometer in the oven to double check the temperature to make sure it’s consistent.
Above: Heidi's go-to culinary add-ins at the ready.
RM: You refer to this corner in the kitchen as “the neighborhood of tasty bits and treats.”
HS: I have a few things around that allow me to throw together a quick-ish meal on a day-to-day basis. We are here in our kitchen a lot, but I also spend a lot of time in the Quitokeeto studio, so it’s nice to pack a lunch and then have something left over for that night or the weekend. These are things that I can just add to a bowl of grains or a salad. I like these crispy shallots that I just made that I can throw on a salad or, say, if it were spring and I brought some nice asparagus home from the market, I can quickly saute them, then flare them out with some toasted almonds and add a spice blend. I try to keep things around so I am not completely cooking from zero.
Above: Heidi stores her spices in glass jars with pink washi tape labels.RM: Any spice wrangling tips?
HS: I like to store my spices in glass containers. It's better than a thousand spice baggies crammed in a drawer, but I do lose my battle with the spice situation. I pick up spices one at a time, so I've always got a bit of spice creep going on; bags of poppy seeds and sesame seeds, just whatever I’ve come across.
Above: Heidi keeps her knives out in the open, stored on magnetic knife racks that Wayne made. She likes the rack so much that she commissioned the Jacob May Bleached Maple Knife Strip, available on Quitokeeto.
RM: Knife obsession?
HS: This Nakiri Knife is a beauty, and I use it a lot. It’s a Japanese hand-forged knife and I use it for vegetables. It’s quite thin so I can’t do a winter squash, and I steer clear of anything that may crack it, but it's great for so much. I’ll wipe it clean as soon as it’s done and put it aside. If I go somewhere, say to someone’s cabin, I’ll use the box it came in.
RM: You have quite a pile of chopping boards.
HS: Yeah, I use them for cutting boards and as serving boards, and I’ve accumulated a few over the years. There are some Jacob May boards and one from Nikole Herriott and some others I’ve picked up. I love all of them and use them in different ways depending on what I am doing.
RM: Do you have a specific board for garlic and onions?
HS: Ha, no way—that would never work here. I cook a lot with friends in this kitchen and I don’t see communicating that vision to whoever is here. People just grab what they need.
Above: A pile of mismatched linens, fresh from the dryer.
RM: Do you have any preferred linens?
HS: It’s a mixed bag. I’ll pick some vintage linens up at the Alameda Flea Market, and my friend Chanda gave me some. I don’t do matchy, and we use them, so they stain. If we sit down for lunch, I’ll literally pull the linens out of the dryer and I’ll fold them and put them right on the table; I’m definitely not ironing my linens.
Above: Less is more when it comes to dinnerware.
RM: What about plates and dishes?
HS: I keep a collection of hand-thrown bowls and market finds, but I don’t have a lot of one thing. I do have enough to have people over. I am not into matchy-matchy, and I keep things for a long time. It’s not about accumulating things—I only add it if makes sense. A lot of things come from people I know, people I have a relationship with, like the ceramics and boards and some of the ingredients. It’s comfortable to be surrounded by these things and inspiring to work with them.
Above: A collection of beans and grains stored in jars, with one jar devoted to remainders.
RM: How do you typically store your food?
HS: For beans and grains, I try to buy in bulk and I will put each different one in a jar—I use mostly leftover jars that I save for this use. Sometimes I have some stragglers left in a jar, so I started dumping my leftover beans and grains into a single jar. When it gets full, I throw together a soup. In a perfect world, I would cook the different beans individually, but say it’s a Sunday night, I just throw them all in together and cook until the one that takes the longest is done.
RM: What’s in your fridge right now?
HS: Really? What’s in my fridge? Well, there’s some ancho chile relish and some orange tahini salad dressing. I always keep a salad dressing in the fridge that I can chuck on a quinoa bowl, or at this time of year I will roast some cherry tomatoes down that I can then throw on anything from a frittata to a grain bowl. They’re just good flavor additions. There’s some nuts I had out on the counter, but since I am not going to go through them I popped them in the fridge. I’ll do the same with grains. Yesterday I made some coconut rice. Since there’s only two of us, I’ll cook extra then freeze it and thaw out for lunch later. I’ll do the same with beans. If I have vegetables that I am not using immediately, I’ll prep them, then put them in a bag and use within a couple of days.
Above: Notes for an upcoming recipe lie beside a Nakiri knife next to the stovetop. The waffles are breakfast leftovers (made for Heidi's nephew, Jack) waiting to be turned into croutons.
RM: Do you always take notes?
HS: If I think I am going to develop a recipe, I do my best to make notes as I’m cooking. I never wait until after and try and reconstruct the process on paper. I also jot down things that resonate, like the great beet salad we just had, so I don’t forget. I’ll add little photos, too. Right now I'm developing a recipe for whipped green chile goat cheese, so I'm taking notes on that.
Above: A copper pan doubles as a sound amplifier for Heidi's iPhone.
RM: Any other kitchen tips?
HS: This might not be be very Remodelista, but if I’m here by myself I’ll listen to a podcast. Kitchens can be loud, so I’ll throw the phone into a copper pan and it acts like a speaker. When I’m at the studio, I’ll use a ceramic bowl.
Above: Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel is the latest cookbook from Heidi Swanson and is available from Amazon for $16.49. We're giving away one copy to a reader; enter the contest on Gardenista here.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 15, 2015, as part of our Urban Life issue.
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A roundup of ingenious kitchen spaces—some no larger than a closet—that are minuscule yet functional (and full of ideas to steal).
1. Do Away with Cabinet Hardware
Above: Uncluttered countertops, lofty ceilings, and hardware-free cabinetry make this kitchen in the Villa Piedad in Spain by architect Maria Badiola seem larger; via Huh Magazine. We like handle cutouts as an alternative; for ideas, go to 10 Favorites: Cutout Kitchen Cabinet Pulls.
2. Use a Monochrome Palette (Kitchen Faucet Included)
Above: In Mischa Lampert's tiny NYC studio, even the kitchen faucet is white, creating a blank canvas. Photograph by Genevieve Garruppo via Lonny.
3. Install a Cantilivered Table
Above: A cantilevered table in the tiny Wroclaw, Poland, kitchen of architect Ewa Czerny of 3XA saves precious floorspace (one leg is better than two); via Architizer.
4. Consider an All-in-One Kitchen Unit
Above: A truly tiny Avanti 30-Inch Complete Compact Kitchen with Refrigerator at the Spruceton Inn. Photograph via A Journal.
5. Use a Tiny Kitchen Island as Room Divider
Above: In the Old Homestead in Provincetown, designers Kristin Hein and Philip Cozzi of Hein + Cozzi built a small kitchen island that defines a kitchen area without breaking up the loftlike feel of the space. See more at Low-Key Luxury: The New Old Homestead in Provincetown.
6. Choose a Skinny Fridge
Above: A tiny kitchen by Ore Studios has a refrigerator that measures a mere 24 inches wide. See more at 5 Favorites: Skinny Refrigerators.
7. Make a DIY Wall-Mounted Wire Storage Rack
Above: Make a DIY $38 Wire Pot Rack That's Perfect for a Compact Kitchen via A Beautiful Mess.
8. Source a High-Style Folding Table
Above: The Table Plus from UK-based Magnet Kitchens offers an extra work or dining surface and includes storage space. The leather pockets are handy for stashing mail and magazines.
9. Think Like a Puzzle Maker
Above: A tiny kitchen by Mesh Architectures occupies a nook in a 300-square-foot art dealer's studio. Bonus points: The high-mounted oven includes a drop-down feature. See Remodelista's Favorite Space-Saving Appliances for Small Kitchens.
10. Build a Tall and Slim Bar Counter
Above: A tall, slim table serves as a seating counter in the tiny kitchen of Karlijn de Jong, via Lisanne van de Klift.
11. Install a Bar Sink
Above: Karin Montgomery Spath used a tiny bar sink and slotted in a two-burner cooktop to create a mini kitchen in an Auckland space. See more at Small-Space Living: An Airy Studio Apartment in a Garage. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
12. Hang Utensils on the Wall as Art
Above: A galley kitchen in London by Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi features walls of framed photographs and—ingeniously—kitchen implements either hung from hooks or mounted directly on the wall for immediate access.
13. Consider a Radiant Electric Cooktop Surface
Above: The look of this minimalist Stockholm apartment is streamlined by a smooth surface electric cooktop. Photograph via Design Attractor.
14. Use Vertically Stacked Subway Tile
Above: In a London apartment, architect Charles Mellersch tiled the walls in vertically stacked subway tiles to create a sense of loftiness.
15. Spec an Integrated Sink and Countertop
Above: An integrated stainless sink/countertop in a revamped Oakland carriage house by Christi Azevedo provides a seamless work area. See more at A California Carriage House Transformed.
16. Use Every Inch of Vertical Real Estate
Above: When Danielle Arceneaux overhauled her Park Slope kitchen, she added an additional shelf above her cabinets and gained space for displaying her bowl collection. See more at Reader Rehab: Danielle's DIY Kitchen Remodel for Under $500.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 18, 2015, as part of our Urban Life issue.
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Sometimes we're so busy looking into the future that we forget to revisit the greatest hits of the past. Here are 15 ideas from old-fashioned kitchens worth incorporating into your own setup.
Above: An enamel farmhouse sink with a drainboard provides space for washing and drying plus elbow room to cook. This one is in the Queens, New York, kitchen of Aesthetic Movement founders Jesse James and Kostas Anagnopoulos (the cafe-au-lait bowls are from their housewares line Sir/Madam). Source a vintage sink from a salvage dealer near you, or consider the 42-Inch Cast-Iron Wall-Hung Kitchen Sink with Drainboard, $995.95, from Signature Hardware. Tour this apartment in Calm and Collected.
Above: An enamelware wall-hung soap dish keeps sinks clutter- (and slime-) free, and is also ideal for storing scrub brushes. See Julie's version in A Mini Kitchen Makeover, and source your own on eBay. Photograph via Martha Stewart.
Above: Store dishes tidily within reach in a wall-hung plate rack. For sources, see 10 Easy Pieces: Kitchen Plate Racks and Design Sleuth: The Stainless Steel Indian Dish Rack. Photograph via Fleaing France.
Above: For sink-side hand drying, the roller towel on a wooden rack is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. Shown here, Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen's Wood Towel Holder (£28), and Roller Towel (£28 for two) from Labour & Wait in London. Ancient Industries sells a similar Wood Towel Roller for $45. See Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen Air Their Dirty Laundry.
Above: Work-of-art vintage stoves are the ultimate hearths. And they're often scaled to fit small kitchens. This one is at the Hudson Milliner, a B&B in Hudson, New York (see Steal This Look: Hudson Milliner Kitchen). Reconditioned vintage ranges can be sourced from Savon Appliance in LA, which specializes in Wedgewood and O'Keefe & Merrit (Julie once lived with a vintage O'Keefe & Merrit and loved it). Antique Appliances of Clayton, Georgia, is another source. For a list of vintage range dealers across the country, go to Retro Renovation.
Above: A boon for any kitchen, large or small: a pullout cutting board. Kitchen cabinet specialists Wood-Mode make a range of built-in storage designs, including a Pullout Chopping Block. Photograph via J. Ingerstedt.
Above: Isn't it time to bring back a little pattern underfoot? This black-and-white tile design is in the kitchen of the Hudson Milliner B&B. Note that gray grout helps hide the dirt.
Above: The easy alternative to a root cellar? A classic hanging straw basket (with wide vents for air circulation), such as this one in Justine's Old Cape Cod Cottage. See Gardenista's 10 Easy Pieces: Onion and Garlic Baskets for sources. And explore Justine's house in the Remodelista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: A British favorite that deserves to be discovered here: the pulley laundry drying rack positioned above the range to catch the hot air. This one is in deVOL's Shaker Kitchen. See Object Lessons: The Sheila Maid Clothes Airer for a history and sources.
Above: In a kitchen by San Francisco architect Malcolm Davis, an open-to-the-outdoors California pantry is designed for fruit and vegetable storage. (See more at Steal This Look: Malcolm Davis Kitchen in SF.)
Above: When did the broom closet become a luxury? The perfect cleaning supplies cupboard, broom closets make perfect use of the narrow space next to the fridge. This one is in Jesse James and Kostas Anagnopoulos's New York apartment (see first photo).
Above: No need to go digging for a bottle opener when you have one waiting on the wall. Rejuvenation offers a range of vintage examples, including the Grand Prize Lager Beer Bottle Opener, $24.
Above: Old-fashioned, under-the-shelf cup hooks let you keep your mug handy (and on display). Photograph via Walnut Farms in East Sussex.
Above: A black-and-white checked floor somehow never looks tired. This easy-on-the-legs painted wood version is in Mark Lewis Interior Design's Tufnell Park project. See Steal This Look: A Classic English Kitchen for an Oscar-Winning Costume Designer.
Above: A working fireplace in the kitchen: the ultimate luxury? We think so; see more at A Floating Farmhouse in Upstate New York.
For more kitchen takeaway, go to:
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 6, 2015, as part of our issue called The Humble Abode.
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The offerings in professional-style ranges for the home kitchen have multiplied over the years, but two of the standard bearers still reign: Viking and Wolf. Similar in price points, features, and cooking power, they seem more alike than different. How to choose? It might just come down to the looks.
As the first brand to bring commercial-type cooking equipment into the home, Viking has name recognition as well as a reputation for reliability and quality. Also known for high performance in the pro-style market, Wolf challenged Viking with a wider array of high-output burners and heavy-duty components. The race continues. Viking has upped its cooking power. And Wolf has introduced a few features where it once fell short, such as a self-cleaning oven.
Are you already a Viking or Wolf devotee? Share your experience in the Comments section below.
Above: Viking was the range of choice in a kitchen by Commune. “We wanted it to feel like a chef’s kitchen, with a touch of the industrial,” the designers say. For a full view, see Steal This Look: An Exotic Tiled Kitchen by LA Design Firm Commune. Photography by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
How are Viking and Wolf ranges alike?
Both are American made, offer gas and dual-fuel pro-style ranges in sizes from 30 to 60 inches wide, have self-cleaning ovens, burners with high BTUs, and are available with different burner configurations. Even Consumer Reports offers similar reviews of the two brands, praising their burner auto-reignition features and low-heat cooktops (a detail where big-powered burners have failed in the past), while criticizing the placement of the oven in relation to the floor (too low for both makes). And because their price points are comparable, cost is not a deciding factor.
Above: Remodelista's Francesca has a Viking in the galley kitchen of her Brooklyn townhouse (featured in the Remodelista book). She has cooked on both Wolf and Viking ranges, but prefers the latter. "The Wolf definitely lives up to its name: It's fierce, and powerful; maybe a little too powerful for me," Francesca says. "I have the Viking, which must have a lower BTU, but it's plenty for me. I've owned three Vikings and two are great, one has some quirks. I would buy a Viking again for the classic design and functionality." Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
What are some of the key differences between Viking and Wolf ranges?
Above: Sick of stainless? Viking wins in this category. It offers ranges in a choice of colors, including black, white, red (shown here), burgundy, gray, and cobalt. Wolf ranges are available only in a brushed stainless finish.
Above: Don't underestimate the power of Wolf's signature red knobs. Remodelista editor in chief Julie has a six-burner Wolf range in her kitchen on Cape Cod. "This is kind of embarrassing, but I bought it for the cheery red knobs," she says. That said "it's more than 10 years old and I think we've only had to service it once."
Wolf ranges are available with red, black, or stainless knobs; Viking's latest knobs are stainless (black and white have been offered on some recent models).
Both companies offer strong warranties. The Wolf Residential Warranty provides two-year coverage for all parts and labor, along with five-year limited coverage on certain parts. Viking offers a Three-Year Signature Warranty with full coverage for all indoor cooking appliances.
Above: Wolf ranges have dual-stacked sealed gas burners with two tiers of flames: One delivers high heat; the other comes on for low-heat settings. Julie likes "the super firepower and the fact that it's easy to adjust the flame to a low simmer" on her Wolf range.
Above: Introduced in 2014, the Viking 7 Series ranges feature 23,000-BTU "elevation" burners with brass flame ports adapted from the Viking Commercial product line. They also offer a "VariSimmer" setting for even simmering at low temperatures.
Do Wolf and Viking offer a variety of appliances?
Wolf and Viking seem to have differing philosophies when it comes to their product lines. In 2013, Viking became part of the Middleby Corporation, the largest food-service equipment manufacturer in the world. Since then, the company has introduced more than 60 new products. Wolf, meanwhile, is part of Sub-Zero, a third-generation, family-owned company that prides itself on focus: "While other brands divide their attention among everything from trash compactors to vacuum cleaners, Sub-Zero and Wolf remain committed to refining and mastering their specialties: the world’s finest refrigeration and cooking appliances."
This is important to consider if you're outfitting your entire kitchen and want to stick to the same brand for either aesthetic or cost reasons (some distributors offer favorable pricing when purchasing suites of appliances). But this can cut both ways. "The reason I got a Wolf the second time around was because we had other Viking appliances that were bad," says Michelle, editor in chief of Gardenista. "Those appliances soured us on the brand, even though we thought the Viking stove performed well."
Above: A Wolf range surrounded by Shaker cabinets (painted in Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray) in an LA kitchen designed by Martha Mulholland—see LA Story: Mix and Match Garden for a Spanish Colonial. Photography by Laure Joliet.
Which is easier to clean, a Viking or Wolf stovetop?
That's a point of debate here at Remodelista, but, truth be told, they're likely comparable: Both Wolf and Viking ranges now come with sealed burner pans that make cleaning easier.
Remodelista's Sarah lives in a house that came with a 30-inch Viking gas range: "Besides being great to cook with," she says, "I love the pullout tray beneath the burners for easy cleaning."
When it comes to cleaning, I, too, had a good experience with Viking. In my Seattle remodel several years back, I chose a Viking range top with sealed burners, which, combined with removable burner grates, made for easy cleaning (and no fear of spillage creeping into unknown depths).
Above: Michelle specced a Wolf range in her Mill Valley kitchen redo. (Read why she does not recommend putting in a marble backsplash behind the stove.) Photograph by Liesa Johannssen for Remodelista.
Michelle has had both a Viking and Wolf range. She put a Wolf in her recent remodel and admits to liking it better than the Viking in part because of the cleaning issues. "The stovetop on the Viking was harder to clean. I can't remember the exact configuration, but for some reason food and liquids were able to drip down the burner covers and get stuck around the wiring. Impossible to really clean," says Michelle. "This is not true of the Wolf. The Wolf burner design is really smart—the removable burner rings fit tightly and prevent drips down into the stove parts."
Where do I buy Viking and Wolf ranges?
Sales of Viking and Wolf appliances are limited to dealers within defined geographical limits of the buyer. This means that they're not available for online purchase if you live more than a specified number of miles from a seller's location. Refer to the Viking dealer locater and the Wolf dealer locater to find the vendors nearest to you.
Both Wolf and Viking have tools to help with kitchen design and inspiration. Viking has a free iPad App, while Wolf offers an online kitchen gallery and curated kitchen collection.
Above: Last year Viking introduced the 7 Series, a new line of pro ranges for the home with features taken from the company's commercial line, such as elevated 23,000-BTU burners with brass flame ports, commercial griddles, and gentle-close oven doors, to name a few. The Viking 7 Series 36-Inch Dual Fuel Range is $10,839 through Viking dealers.
Above: The Wolf Dual Fuel 36-Inch Range (DF366) with six burners is $9,200 (or $10,180 with griddle or charbroiler option) through Wolf Dealers.
Are there other brands to consider?
There are so many professional-style ranges on the market that the burden of choice can be overwhelming. We've rounded up some favorites in different categories to help narrow the field.
Interested in outfitting your kitchen with American-made products? See:
And for another appliance comparison, see The Great Vacuum Debate: Miele vs. Dyson.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 12, 2015, as part of our California Cool issue.
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