Kitchen interiors: The Polished Cool Kitchen

The kitchen is often called “the heartbeat of the home”. It is a place where food and drink are prepared, and if large enough, where food can be consumed and good company enjoyed. The best kitchens are those that have a “wow” factor, and yet remain totally functional and suited to their core purpose. Some people call it the polished cool kitchen. It is sophisticated and polished, but not so over the top that it looks gaudy or flashy… just cool!
An example of such a kitchen was a kitchen facing the Pacific Ocean in a house on the west coast of the United States. The kitchen cabinets which used exotic and dramatic high-gloss Macassar ebony with the wood grain running horizontally. There were several frosted glass-front upper cabinets. These were internally lit with LED lighting (cheap and casting only light, not heat) to produce an inviting occluded glow at night and providing a bright contrast from the heavily grained dark wood. The ocean views were complimented by having a turquoise reverse-painted glass backsplash.
The work surfaces (also called countertops) were made from ultra-thick Caesarstone. The kitchen was then kitted out with quality appliances such as a Sub-Zero wine column and a built-in Miele coffee system. Just in case you haven’t come across these I will describe them in more detail:
Caesarstone is a beautiful engineered quartz stone which comprises approximately 93% natural quartz. These surfaces are ideal for virtually any interior work surface, from kitchen worktops, countertops, bathroom worktops, vanity unit backsplashes, and wall panelling. It comes in a staggering 70 colours. As for maintenance, Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces are great to the touch and never need sealing. They require minimal maintenance to keep them looking like new. The surface is hard and non-penetrable so makes cleaning simple and in most cases, soap and water or a very mild detergent are all that are required to maintain its exotic lustre. While it may not be the cheapest material around it comes with a comprehensive 15 year guarantee.
Sub-Zero refrigerators are renowned for their design and superb quality, but they combine them with matching kitchen equipment and storage such as wine columns. They even do a three door matching item which is a fridge on the left, a wine storage area in the middle, and a freezer behind the right-hand door. Nice! So pull out a white wine from the middle section and slap it into the fridge behind the left-hand door two feet away!
The Miele coffee systems are a way to bring your favourite High Street Coffee Shop home to your kitchen. If you love the aroma of a perfectly made cup of coffee this company Miele offer a wide range of exceptional coffee machines, built-in if you so require. While the machines are not cheap, they look superb and are perfect for the every type of coffee connoisseur- whether you classify yourself as the amateur barista, the milk froth fan or the lover of exclusive Nespresso varieties.
So cool, so polished- that could be your kitchen!

Design Hunter loves

Are you a “design hunter”? Do you hate getting furniture, objects, and decorative ideas from chain stores? Do you love seeking out exclusive and innovative new designs, colours, materials and creations? Do you want to make your home as exclusive as your personality and character? Then you are a design hunter. Here are some ideas to set you off. But also go hunting yourself for designs on the internet, and from craft shops and workshops. You’ll be surprised at how much creative design talent there is out there, and it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg!
Pendant lights look great in the right situations. They can be the focal point of a room and change a good-looking room to a great one. Poul Henningsen’s PH range is well known and loved Scandi design classics. We are talking pendant lights in copper, based on Poul Henningsen’s 1920’s drawings.
We should all like ethically sourced home textiles and accessories crafted from natural materials. Urbanara is an online brand that sells these commodities. These include gorgeous textiles, tableware, vases, and art. The company has recently branched out into lighting. The designs are clean and contemporary.
Design hunters should also not be afraid to look out for great material and designs in the area of wood flooring. The minimalism of wood floors combined with its warmth and texture and grain make it a great idea for certain places in your home. Wood flooring has been around for ages, but it never loses its novelty when you walk into a tastefully floored room that uses wood blocks or tiles.
There are a number of woods that can each create an individual flooring ambience. For example rough unfinished and slightly worn wood can give a rustic effect. Darker woods go better in lighter areas of a home. Unless of course you are going for a snug introspective close-the-curtains type of atmosphere in a room- ideal for a study where you want no distractions from your work, computing or reading.
Paler woods like ash that have a softly coloured more uniform grain are a good option for spaces where the aim is to achieve a modern, minimal look. In high traffic areas that are likely to be subject to a lot of wear and tear over the years, go for ash which is even harder-wearing than oak. Ash also looks good in rooms with not much natural light.
There has always been something of a reluctance to have wooden floors in bedrooms- carpeting is just cosy, people say. But with clever use of rugs, a wooden floor in a bedroom, perhaps matching the wood of the futon or bedstead can be eye-catching. Make sure you keep a pair of slippers by the bed in cold winters, although many devotees of wooden floors in bedrooms say that the surface is no colder than a carpet!
Good hunting for your good designs!

Seemingly Floating Bed with Book Storage Space by Lago

While the kitchen is said to be the heart of the home, the fact is that the room that you are most likely to spend the most time in, is the bedroom. Most people spend a third of their lives in their bedrooms and it is important that the room is decorated and furnished in a way which gives you, and possibly your partner if you have one, a sense of peace, tranquillity and an ambience that will promote a good night’s sleep. There’s a well-known expression that one “floats off to sleep”. There is a new bed design which is catching the eyes of design commentators called the floating bed design. A few firms are making these types of bed, the most noted being by a company called Lago.
It’s called a floating bed design because it has minimalist features and because the “legs” are a thick transparent slabs of a Perspex-like material that you can see through. Hence it appears to be floating or hovering above the surface of your bedroom floor. Very science fiction you may think! It’s great for light bright modern bedrooms and shows off its best if the bedroom also is minimalist. In other words not cluttered up with wardrobes, dressers, chest of drawers, tables, entertainment centres etc. In fact if you were to have some hidden lighting, like a coloured LED strip, underneath the bed, the effect created would be sensational!
One of the features that is practical as well as good looking is a book storage space that can be included in the floating bed. This is an important feature if the rest of the room is not to be cluttered with storage items: You can store some books and magazines into storage unit and it does not detract from the floating appearance and the design. The design looks fabulous with a blue headboard, black mattress and pillows, and a light purple bookcase on the lower left angle.
To be sure this out-of-this-world bed is a stylish piece of furniture designed in typical Lago manner. It was first introduced at Milan Design week and was created by Daniele Lago. Will it float your particular boat? In a modern setting, the answer must be- yes! It would not go so well in an older country house type home, or one where there are many original features from an Edwardian or Victorian home. !930s onwards, you’ll have no trouble integrating the floating bed. It also has to be said that in order to appreciate the design and effect of “floating” the bedroom has to be large as well as uncluttered. This is most definitely not suitable for a box room!
One thing is for certain, if you have a suitable room and surroundings, you’ll feel like you are climbing onto a cloud as you get into bed, and this should send you off to the land on Nod in style! And when you wake up in the morning, reach to the end of the bed and grab a book or magazine from the storage part of this clever design.