Every two years the Europeans stage Eurocucina in Milan.
It's like Our KBIS, but bigger, and all about European kitchens!
Tonight I discovered a site where all the vendors who showed at Eurocucina 2006 are listed in a catalogue...And their web site links are listed too!
I entered "Plastic laminate kitchens" in the search box. You can change that if you like.
If you are interested you can easily spend DAYS perusing what the haute couture in European kitchens are up to.
They also have a Pre-Catalogue of 2008 exhibitors.
Kitschy Kitchens is a blog where I critique the worst of the worst in kitchens. Poor design, an assault on the eyes, wrong colors, wrong materials; they all can be found there. Take an amusing detour to discover what you DON'T want in a kitchen.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Every two years the Europeans stage Eurocucina in Milan.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I took a little trip across "The Pond" tonight to see how Majjie is doing over in the UK.
Majjie is a great blogger and kitchen designer. I like to check up on her every once in a while to see what she's up to design-wise.
She took me touring Mirari Kitchens' sleek and shiny offerings in apple greens and reds. And their glossy glass backsplashes...Interesting.
Then to Majjie's discussion "Free" Kitchen Designs - Are They Becoming a Thing of the Past?...Looks like the Brits are wising up about You get what you pay for too.
Then to What Do You Want From Your Kitchen Designer?
Now THERE is some food for thought!
Majjie discusses whether her clients prefer to design their own kitchens and have her implement their ideas, or whether she should impose her expertise on their kitchens because she "knows better" and they really don't.
"What I don't want to happen is for any of my clients to be disappointed with the finished result. I'd feel really bad if one of them said to me ... 'you knew this wouldn't really work didn't you? And yet you let me go ahead with it'"
Occasionally, in 25 years of designing kitchens, baths, and other rooms, I have run across a client who really DID design their own kitchen and use me to help them implement their vision.
Much, much, more often it is a collaboration: with me listening to the client's wishes, wants and clues, and then creating a vision for them that is far more than they ever could have imagined on their own.
Then I need to communicate my vision back to the client so that he or she can understand it.
The fact is, if I were turned loose with a client's budget and free rein to spend it any way I wished, then I would be designing a kitchen for myself...not for my client.
It is the give and take and interaction with the client and their space that gets the creative juices flowing. And, when a client throws up roadblocks and hauls me up short to meet what may seem like unreasonable demands; that is what inspires some of the very best solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
I LOVE what I do.
It's always different and exciting, never boring or mundane.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Today I received a notice about a comment on one of my blog posts about HomeAnnex, an enticing web site with lots of plumbing fixtures and other great items.
Here is the comment:
whgeiger has left a new comment on your post "Home Annex - A GREAT Resource":
You should check the BBB before you make such recommendations. My experience with this firm is contrary to yours. To confirm this, here is what the NY chapter has to say:
"On May 22, 2007, this company's membership in the BBB was revoked by the BBB's Board of Directors due to failure to cooperate with the BBB on advertising matters, unresolved complaints, and the company's failure to eliminate the underlying causes of complaints on file with the BBB concerning: non-delivery of merchandise, failure to respond to customer issues and complaints, failure to adhere to its posted policies, and misrepresentation of product availability."
The URL follows so you may verify these facts for yourself.
I must admit I was taken in by a well-constructed web site and recommended an apparently spurious and unethical business to my readers.
Mea Culpa please.
I hope no readers have been harmed by my lack of due diligence.
I will be more careful in the future to only recommend sites about which I have personal knowledge or a good recommendation. This is the way I run my business, so there is no reason to think I have to do things differently here.
I DO like to preview or comment upon new products here and on my other blogs. Obviously I can not be accountable for products that do not perform as advertised.
As always, buyer beware.
My deepest thanks to whgeiger.
I have removed the original, laudatory, post.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Not to be outdone by Blum, Grass too has a new drawer slide system that automatically opens and closes with a nudge.
Sensotronic is being introduced at KBIS (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) in April of 2008.
Grass presents the amazing drawer system, Sensotronic. It opens & closes automatically and eliminates the need for handles on the drawer fronts. The Sensotronic moves by means of electro/mechanical, full-extension cabinet members that mount underneath a Nova Pro drawer. When closed, using light pressure will open the drawer fully or stop it at any position with a light tap. To reverse the action, use light pressure again & the drawer will close automatically and reset to the parked position.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Over on HGTVpro.com; Andrew and Stacy, The Green Team, write about cork flooring pros and cons:
Popping the cork - getting to know cork flooring
I think cork is an ideal product for kitchens and other rooms where you want a smooth, cleanable floor but hardwood won't work because of noise transmission.
Cork has better sound dampening characteristics than any other hard surface flooring.
Easy on the feet, legs, and back too!
Monday, February 11, 2008
This morning I finally got a look at the new LR6 6" LED can light module from LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. (LLF).
After many disappointments in my search for an LED fixture that provides a comparable amount of light to a 65 watt incandescent flood light, the LR6 fills the bill and then some!
The LR6 actually provides more footcandles of light on the work surface than a 65-watt flood. Mounted side by side, the LR6 was clearly brighter.
An LR6 installed pulls just 12 watts of electricity. WOW!!!
Better yet (Well, that was pretty good but THIS gets a designer's attention), the LR6 has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 92. That means a tomato will look like a tomato; nice rich red...not purple, not brown. Very few light sources have CRIs over 90. That is considered the gold standard.
You may never change another light bulb, or even forget how! The LR6 lasts more than 20 years (50,000 hours) under normal use.
It comes in 2700 Kelvin (incandescent range) or 5300 Kelvin (sunlight range) temperatures.
The LR6 is dimmable, though Lutron is working on a better dimming system than what is available now (which I am told is a bit choppy in its dimming).
A lens that is quite unique covers the LEDs, so you don't see a light bulb at all. The lens refracts the colors of red and green LEDs in the fixture to make white light! Who'da thought?
It retrofits (screws into the existing light bulb socket) easily in most 6" recessed IC or non-IC fixtures. So if you already have can lights in your ceiling, chances are you can swap them out very easily yourselves.
If you are doing a remodel or new construction they have a hard-wired setup that conforms to California's Title 24 requirements (YEAY!) with a GU-24 base instead of the screw-in base. (Here in California we have had homeowners and contractors who install fluorescent fixtures and then swap them out for incandescent after the final inspection. Therefore the State requires bi-pin fluorescents and fixtures that are much harder to swap.)
They run cool. So no running up the air conditioning bill or burn spots on the tops of bald heads from hot halogens.
I've been saying they're not quite there yet for two years now. THE WAIT IS OVER. They are here.
I know, the next question is: How much?
They are pricey at about $130.00 each. They WILL pay for themselves pretty quickly in energy savings compared to incandescent. Comparing to fluorescent, the premium is a little harder to justify unless you are one who wants that perfect color rendering characteristic of a 92 CRI fixture.
LLF technology uses only 12 watts of power. That's 85% less energy spent per incandescent light, and 50% less than a CFL.
How can one light save hundreds of dollars? On average in the United States, running a 65-watt light for 50,000 hours would cost $325 in electricity alone. Because the LR6 uses only 12 watts, running the light for 50,000 hours will cost only $60 under the same scenario. In addition, you will no longer spend time or money replacing lights. Over the lifetime of one LR6, you will save $265 dollars or more on your electric bill alone. Imagine the savings if every light in your home was an LR6!
They're GREEN too! No mercury or other earth or people-poisoning substances.
I think most of my clients will want it enough to pay the premium once they see one on display. I'm putting one (2700 Kelvin) in my own kitchen to see how I like it...I have a feeling I'm gonna be buying four more for the other cans I have in there.
Before I post this, I think I'll invest in the company. I'm sold! ;-D
An addendum to this post is that LLF has just been acquired by Cree, Inc. After the acquisition is complete, in March 2008, LLF will be known as Cree LED Lighting Solutions. Cree will be keeping the LLF people on board.
A further addendum:
I have finally gotten around to installing an LR6 in my own kitchen (replacing the center surface-mount fluorescent). It is incredibly BRIGHT and there's a wonderful color to the light.
I STRONGLY recommend these fixtures, and using wider spacing than past practice. I'd say 4' on center would provide plenty of ambient light for a room. I will be interested to try the new LR4 in kitchens too, as that will be fewer lumens and likely closer to what we are accustomed to with 8' ceilings.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Here is a new product that I will HAVE to try:
Eluma Illuminated Backsplash
Element Designs' Eluma Illuminated Backsplash epitomizes functional design. The revolutionary new product features concealed LEDs encased in an aluminum framed glass or acrylic backsplash. It brings the element of innovation to kitchen design while eliminating the need for undercabinet lighting. Made with high quality LEDs powered by Tresco International, Eluma Illuminated Backsplash is an energy efficient and environmentally friendly interior lighting option.
If the light output is comparable to your typical fluorescent undercabinet fixture then these should be a hot new look, especially for the Euro kitchen.
The Eluma backsplash will be on display at KBIS (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) in April. You can find them on the Web at Element Designs
I appreciated your website and blogs and was impressed with the Eluma
Illuminated Backsplash you mentioned.
We are well along in the process of remodeling our kitchen but wanted
some better ideas for a behind-the-stove backsplash, and this looks
great. However, we're having trouble locating a source for it. Can you
point us in the right direction, please?
Jack and Jean
Jul 7, 2008
Their web site is http://www.element-designs.com/eluma.html
I haven't had an opportunity to specify them yet.
Please let me know how it goes.
Thank you, Peggy, for responding to my request.
I immediately went to Element Designs' website and sent an email by their "contact us" selection, but have not had any reply from them yet.
I have contacted their distributors in our general area (listed on the website), but they are uncertain about the backsplash uses. Apparently these units are normally used for shelves. Even so, they said they would have to special order any of these products from Element Designs and have them shipped across country to us.
I had hoped to get a 24" x 48" unit, but they only come in 18" widths at any length. The quoted price for 18" x 48" was $514.41. We'll have to think a little more about it, but we love the concept.
Thanks again for your kind response.
The latest innovation in kitchen cabinets is not sleek European styling or green cabinetry or hot colors.
Instead it's a new drawer slide from Blum:
SERVO-DRIVE, the new opening feature, and BLUMOTION combine to give us the highest quality of motion for drawers using TANDEM or TANDEMBOX.
Drawers open automatically with just a touch on the drawer front or with a light pull of the handle. This amazing feature is based on an electrical drive that, once triggered, opens the drawer for you. The drawer is not connected to the drive unit, enabling it to stop in any position. Another innovative solution from Blum, the company that is perfecting motion in the kitchen.
Imagine being able to OPEN your drawers with a nudge from your knee or hip with your hands full! Such coolness!