September 27, 2012

What do Dwell Magazine and I have in Common?

We can't get enough mid-century modern, and we both LOVE the Green Ant!

The October Issue of Dwell Magazine features my favorite local furniture store in an article called "Utah Bound".  Local blogger Creede Fitch, of Grassroots Modern, writes about the somewhat unknown history of Mid-Century Modern in Salt Lake City and the influence of such architects as Taylor Woolley and John Sugden on local modern architecture.

But back to the store... the Green Ant.  Ron Greene has done a great job with this amazing collection of Mid-Century Modern furniture, all at surprisingly affordable prices compared to what you might find in other markets.  I love walking in there whenever I have a chance, and often Ron is there, eager to talk with my husband & I about the pieces we have and are working on restoring (like our PK-22 chairs that are STILL works in progress).

Since I've been lucky to marry into a family that has given us some amazing Mid-Century pieces, we unfortunately just don't have room for any more furniture in our home.  So we had to settle for buying a little statement piece from the Green Ant, just because.  It's a silly thing, really, as we have no idea where it came from or what it was, but that's why we like it.  It has a story.  Plus it's the perfect splash of color for the dining room.  And when the time comes for new accessories, guess where we'll go first?

And in case you're wondering, this wonderful sideboard (and the Eames dining chairs) are some of the pieces from my husband's family.  

September 20, 2012

Let's Talk More About White Refrigerators

I recently posted about the Whirlpool Ice collection, featured in the House Beautiful 2012 Kitchen of the Year.  And then I thought I had the chance to use these appliances for a project, but unfortunately their limited models available in this finish did not include a slide-in range, convection microwave, or a cabinet-depth bottom-drawer refrigerator.  I understand that they can't offer everything in this finish until they get a better sense of how it might sell, but I am pretty surprised they don't offer the slide-in range.  (Whirlpool noted my comments on Twitter and said they'd pass my input on to the powers that be, so that's nice.)

In this quest for white appliances that don't look like they belong in a rental apartment, I've been surprised how few options there are, especially considering how easy it would be to just add that extra touch of style.  Even just replacing the standard white handle with a stainless or chrome handle (or perhaps even brass?!?) would make a huge difference!

Here are a few of the refrigerator options I've found.  If you know of others PLEASE let me know!

The 2 models from Whirlpool Ice:

AGA has a good option, with a vintage flair:

And I just discovered this new Retropolitan model by Big Chill:

And then there's this Fisher & Paykel model, which I thought wad discontinued but just found it on their website.  It may not look as stylish as the models featured above, BUT it was a great space-saving option at a fraction of the price of the others.  I used this refrigerator several times in smaller kitchen remodels, both in white and stainless.

And another Fisher & Paykel model that I hadn't seen before, and may love even more!  Note that both these Fisher & Paykel units are just under 33"wide.

Do you have other stylish white refrigerator models that I might be missing???  If so, please share!

September 10, 2012

Get that Kitchen out of the Corner!

Have you heard the saying "The kitchen is the heart of the home"?  Chances are, if you are in any way connected to the world of kitchen design, the answer is yes.  And while that is true, I'd like to argue that the statement "The kitchen is the hub of the home" may be even more fitting when it comes to truly functional kitchen design.

We usually see kitchens in a corner of the home... which accommodates the standard U-shape or L-shape layout well and usually allows the kitchen to be adjacent to 2 other activity areas.

But think about how you use your kitchen.  Doesn't it make sense that your kitchen be closer to many activity areas in your home?  Enter the idea of the kitchen as a centrally located hub, like on a wheel.  And imagine all the "spokes" that could extend from that central kitchen.  A kitchen located in the center of the home, if planned correctly, could allow you to be equally connected to all of these separate spaces (and more):

  • Dining Room
  • Family Room
  • Pantry / Butler's Pantry
  • Mud Room
  • Exterior Door (for carrying groceries in)
  • Bedrooms (easy access to morning coffee)
  • Office space (where kids might be doing homework)
  • Laundry Room
  • Separate bar area (for entertaining, keeping traffic out of the main working kitchen)
Note the kitchen rendering above.  I proposed moving this kitchen out of the corner, and doing so makes it so much more accessible from all over the home.

This isn't always possible in a remodel situation, but is a definitely possibility if planning a new home, and I strongly encourage it.

For more information, read this article and this article by Ellen Cheever.