Kitchen & Bath
Although they may seem rather unexciting, wash basins have stood the test of time due to their obvious usefulness, unlike its bidet counterpart which is slowly becoming somewhat of a rarity. They have evolved from early forms of a simple bowl accompanied by a vase, sometimes found outside by pumps, to internally plumbed fixtures that offer clean hot and cold water in an instant.
If you ask someone to picture a wash basin they would most likely envisage a neutral coloured ceramic installation, with metallic fittings and an overall clinical feel. This style is usually adopted to emit the impression of a clean environment. However there are other materials that can be used to spice up your everyday wash basin, giving it an aesthetic overhaul whilst preserving its core function. Marble, metal and glass are all valid choices, but more and more people are opting for wooden basins, allowing them to sculpt impressive creations. Although they require a more careful approach to cleaning due to being prone to chemicals and corrosive fluids, they have an average life of 10-15 years; much longer if they are cared for properly.
We have explored the internet and handpicked our favourite wooden wash basin designs, from both established and young designers.
Designed by: Matteo Thun
This self-titled ‘Water Jewel’ is part of an extensive range of fixtures designed by Matteo Thun. It opts for a simplistic design with emphasis on curved edges and smooth surfaces, and is a great example of ‘less is more’.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 13 June, 2013
Architect Mark Lawrence recently renovated his personal home, 63rd Avenue Residence, transforming a 40s-era kitchen into a space that is fresh, modern yet still warm with nostalgia.
The home, which once belonged to the architect’s grandmother, had a limited main living space with compartmentalized rooms. To unclutter the floorplan, the architect removed parts of the loadbearing wall to form three separate wall “units” which feature shallow shelving and recesses on the living room side and stores the refrigerator, ovens and pantry on the opposite side in the kitchen.
With the major appliances off to one side, the countertop was elongated and wall cabinetry removed, creating an open vibe with plentiful workspace. Natural bamboo butcher block and stark white cabinetry and walls further enhance the clean, airy feel.
The bright red glass-topped dining table with antique chairs (family heirlooms) shares the open, 235 square foot kitchen space, with a sun-yellow wall creating a visual distinction between the two areas. On the other end of the room, an additional wall was removed so the kitchen could be viewed from the sunroom and home office. With windows on all walls, and a perimeter of recessed lighting, the new kitchen is light-filled and cheery.
Oak hardwood floors from the original dining and living room were kept and stained a light turquoise hue. In the kitchen, the dated linoleum was pulled up to reveal a knotty pine floor in good condition. This yellow wood floor featured grain characteristics that created interest, so it was salvaged and stained the same color as the oak to create unity and flow.
With imaginative and functional design, a former tiny, closed-in room becomes a bright and spacious modern dream kitchen for many more generations to enjoy.
Posted by Suzanne at 2 May, 2013
At one time kitchens and bathrooms were purely functional. Over the years, bathrooms and kitchens have become an important part of a home’s overall style. Today’s bathroom is designed with luxury and elegance in mind. Today’s kitchen is designed for practical function, but also personal style. If your bathroom or kitchen needs an update, it is your chance to create the room of your dreams. A bathroom remodel may be as simple as replacing an outdated bathtub or vanity or as extensive as remodeling every aspect of the bathroom. A kitchen remodel can involve updating the appliances or completely redesigning the flow of the room. Since the bathroom and kitchen are important parts of a home, homeowners might try getting home renovation loans. Studies have shown that money spent on bathroom and kitchen remodels can be partly recouped during a home sale since they increase the value of a home.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 5 April, 2013
Bathrooms have quickly become extended living areas of the home. For 2013, modern baths with all of their must-have accoutrements are gaining momentum with eco-smart amenities, unexpected colour themes and most of all, the home-spa experience.
As with the majority of today’s contemporary home design, bathrooms are encompassing this “green” trend with appointments that are not only earth-conscious but aesthetically beautiful.
Water conservation is a more obvious approach, whether through multi-function shower heads, smart-touch faucets or eco-fill toilets. A plethora of high-performance, low-flow products are available in today’s marketplace and the abundant design choices allow for zero sacrifice of form for function.
Gone are the powder blues and chalky pinks of bathroom interiors. Enter vivid colour splashes like oxblood red, deep navy, emerald green (Pantone’s Colour of the Year) and energizing orange to bring a fresh infusion to the floors and walls of these spaces.
That said, designers are still receiving high-demand for the all-white bath of 2013. This pristine “un-colour” perpetually portrays a clean, sophisticated yet utmost contemporary vibe.
One bathroom material skyrocketing in popularity for 2013 is quartz. Non-porous and naturally sealed, quartz is available in a vast array of luminous colours which enhance a countertop or basin magnificently, and complement any minimalist bathroom design.
Just Say Spa-aaaah
Perhaps one of the hottest trends of the modern bathroom redesign is the creation of the in-home spa. Showers are a design hot spot, with steam elements, multiple-heads and electronic sensor panels which control lighting, flow–even music–in high-demand.
Stand-alone tubs, horizontal showers (think vichy-like), frameless glazed showers, mirrored walls, streamlined “medicine cabinet” drawers, heated towel racks with aromatherapy-oil diffusers and LED, coloured mood-lighting all attribute to 2013‘s sought-after bathroom oasis. For finishes, stainless fixtures with a patina are being replaced with the more soothing appeal of brushed nickel. On the softer side, plush white cotton terry towels are essential and round out this 2013 bathroom design trend.
Posted by Suzanne at 21 March, 2013
The Museum Of The City Of New York is hosting an exhibition that is focused on showcasing innovation designs for compact interior living spaces from Jan 23 through Sep 15 2013. Increasingly New York City, and many other large cities around the world, face the need to provide housing for a population with constantly shifting demographics. Currently, the demographics of these very large cities are moving toward a rising number of single people and subsequently the increased demand for living spaces that will meet the needs of young single professionals. To address this change the “Making Room: New Models of Housing for New Yorkers” was developed. Through the combined efforts of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council, the Architectural League of New York, the Bloomberg administration and many talented designers and architects, there are now models, drawing and templates on display that will help to meet the upcoming needs of the citizenry of New York.
The exhibit’s centerpiece is a 325 square foot micro-apartment that offers the most ingenious designs for maximizing the utility of space constrained urban living. As a wonderful part of this exhibit, Duravit has brought big design to the micro-apartment living sector with the introduction of its Starck series designed by Philippe Starck. The Starck drop-in tub maximizes aesthetic value within its compact 60″ by 30″ size. The Starck 3 elongated toilet utilizes a wall hung design to give the illusion of greater space, while the SensoWash® shower-toilet seat adds that extra touch of luxury. I’m not certain if this is just a modern shower-toliet seat or a luxury product designed to perform for the international space station. This shower-toilet seat has individual, intuitive wireless controls for temperature, water and toilet seat surface. It also incorporates a child safety function, differentiated gender specific washing options, power saving mode and an LED nightlight. What more could anyone ask for from a toilet seat?
Posted by KarenShearer at 5 February, 2013
Joël Dupras has designed this contemporary version of a soaking tub for Wetstyle Design. The tub was called Tulip because its organic shape is modeled in a similar style to that of an opening tulip with an edge that curls over to crown the edge of the tub. It is also somewhat reminiscent of a slipper tub being higher on one side than the other, but this is certainly a beautifully modern design. The Tulip is available in both a True High Gloss™ and matte finish or the new Dual finish which combines a True High Gloss™ interior with a matte rim and exterior. It would make the perfect soaking tub for any contemporary bathroom.
Posted by KarenShearer at 31 January, 2013
The Four Seasons Hotel that was recently opened in Guangzhou, China has been designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. It is specifically located in the Guangzhou International Finance Center in China. This award winning hotel design is a 440m skyscraper that boasts 33 floors. The boutique hotel is rated more than 5-stars. For me, it looks organically contemporary especially with how the design concept has been implemented.
The hotel interiors were completed through the collaboration of Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Hirsch Bedner Associates. As a result, they created a spacious hotel with floor to ceiling windows allowing for natural light to seep through but in addition would pave the way for unhindered views. At night, the lighting scheme allowed the building to get the highlighting it deserved.
The hotel interior design is like an artful collection of prints, sculptures and paintings from modern international artists thus enhancing the modernistic approach of the interiors while complementing the dramatic architecture of the building. The project took more than six years to complete according to Wilkinson Eyre Architects but I think the result is worth the wait. You can just look at those walls, high ceilings and abundant light. It makes you think that this is definitely a home away from home setting.
I have seen many 5-star luxury hotels but this one is so remarkable especially when the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle was put into place. As a result, the interior has smooth transition of spaces without appearing cluttered. It is “elegant” but to say this is a huge understatement. At a glance, I knew this place is not only a beautiful hotel but a place where you can go “home” to during the holidays or one of your precious vacations. With this said, it is crystal clear that the hotel and its interior design is what makes it very special.
I know that a hotel will only become a comfortable space to stay at if it is closely connected to the warmth and coziness of a “home.” This hotel, although modern and sophisticated, has what it takes for luxury living without sacrificing convenience and comfort in whatever aspect you look at it. The elegant simplicity of the building is something worth noting for and I guess this would provide inspiration for those with inclination to appreciate interior and architectural design.
Photography by Will Pryce
Posted by JackieAzuela at 30 January, 2013