Refrigerator of Art

Dolce&Gabbana, the Italian luxury fashion house that was founded in 1985, has teamed up with the high-end Italian appliance manufacturer Smeg for the design of a special edition of the FAB28 refrigerator, transforming it into a work of art.  While the two companies belong to different creative sectors, they both have strong values and a tradition of “Made in Italy” excellence.  The hand-painted refrigerators feature images of lemons, the trinacria symbol (which is located in the center of the Sicilian flag), cart wheels and medieval knights done by Sicilian artists. This colorful and super high-end refrigerator is clearly not for everyone as it can cost $34,000 or more!

If that price point is above your budget, it is possible to purchase a range of small kitchen appliances that could turn your counter into a work of art. This toaster or electric water kettle can be found at Williams-Sonoma for a mere $600!

Who can ask for anything more – Smeg quality and technology combined with Dolce&Gabbana style!    

 

 

 

 

 

Encaustic Tiles

 

We have recently been working on a bathroom remodel project and have become enamored with encaustic tiles we have seen. Encaustic tiles have been around since medieval times when they were made with two or more colors of clay inlaid together to create a pattern which is beautiful, colorful, and timeless. According to Tile-Magazine.com “this art form reached its peak in the mid-1800’s when Minton’s Ltd. began to supply them for walls and floors in churches, public buildings, and grand palaces.” Nowadays, these tiles are made with cement rather than clay. Yet, the process remains basically the same – instead of being painted with a pattern, the color and pattern in encaustic tiles are literally baked in.  Each tile is made by hand using a special frame resembling an intricate cookie-cutter. Layers of pigmented cement are then poured into the various sections of the mold.

We love the extra flourish these aesthetically pleasing tiles can add to any space.  Whether they are used for a kitchen backsplash, an entry way, or a bathroom floor, encaustic tiles are a great way to show off your personality and style. Our design advice, though, is to make sure that the style of your house works with the pattern you love.  There are so many patterns to choose from – graphic and contemporary styles, Moroccan-inspired patterns, and traditional Victorian to name just a few.

While authentic handmade encaustic tiles can be very expensive, there are many glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles that mimic the look yet are much more modestly priced.  We will post a new blog when the bathroom is complete – look for the encaustic tile in the post.

Photo Credits:

Photo of colorful encaustic flooring installed in the U.S. Capitol – www.wikipedia.com

This is an intricately patterned mold for making encaustic tiles – from Lynne Byrne’s Design Dictionary at www.decorartsnow.com

Kitchen backsplash in Kyra II Terrazzo from www.cementtileshop.com - this handmade tile is priced at $8.60 for each 8” square.

Revival Memory 8” square tiles by Merola can be found at Home Depot for $1.98 each.

A Fabulous Find for Your Kitchen

Elkay Colorful Sinks

Kitchen sinks have traditionally been white, stainless, or maybe a cream color. But, not anymore!  We love the new Quartz Luxe sink collection by Elkay. This collection comes in many sizes, shapes, and six new colors.  Included are deep, rich colors such as Caviar, Chestnut, and Charcoal as well as lighter Parchment and Ricotta.  Our favorite new and fun color, although it may not work for every kitchen, is Maraschino (just like the cherry!).  Made of material that combines quartz with a UV-stable acrylic resin, these sinks are fade resistant, easy to clean, and satin-smooth.

 Credits:  Maraschino Quartz Luxe Sink

Elkay.com

 

 

 

Bar Stools

So many people are opting for islands or peninsulas if space permits in their kitchens.  The open concept kitchen with space for a few cooks and guests who may want to be involved in the action is as popular as ever. Comfortable seating for casual dining, for kids doing homework while mom or dad is preparing the meal, and for those guests who want to be near is important, and there are numerous options that we love.  First of all, there is a difference between counter and bar stools.  Counter stools are 24” high while bar stools are 30” in height.  Some counters have a raised area for the seating and some even have a lower table-height section for the seating.  It is all about comfort, so it is entirely up to the homeowner to decide which height counter and stool they would prefer - for instance, some people may want to pull up a stool to the counter to cut vegetables while others may just want to stand and leave the higher or lower counter area for seating. The clear advantage of having a higher counter dividing the living space from the kitchen is that it will hide some of the mess!

At any rate, here are just a few examples of the many beautiful and functional stools we like.

Photo Credits:  Ballard Designs and Grandin Road

 

 Swivel seats are a nice option, and the stylish Marcello from Ballard is very comfy with many fabric choices.

Swivel seats are a nice option, and the stylish Marcello from Ballard is very comfy with many fabric choices.

 For those who like a vintage industrial style, we recommend Marian metal seating which comes in a backless stool or ones with backs in Brick Red, Distressed Cream, or Spa Green.

For those who like a vintage industrial style, we recommend Marian metal seating which comes in a backless stool or ones with backs in Brick Red, Distressed Cream, or Spa Green.

 Morgan stools feature a graceful, contemporary style with a beautiful sculpted back. They are available in a number of colorful leather options.  These stools are super comfortable with a spacious 23” wide seat!

Morgan stools feature a graceful, contemporary style with a beautiful sculpted back. They are available in a number of colorful leather options.  These stools are super comfortable with a spacious 23” wide seat!

 Finally, for those who may like a rustic farm look, there is the iconic Tractor Swivel Stool!  The hand-carved seat allows for extra comfort and it adjusts to various heights from 20”-28”.

Finally, for those who may like a rustic farm look, there is the iconic Tractor Swivel Stool!  The hand-carved seat allows for extra comfort and it adjusts to various heights from 20”-28”.