Tag: design details

Aging Gracefully

Being in this business, we see a lot of different trends and “looks”; some aren’t able to hang around too long (remember shag carpets?) but others are deserving of the spotlight and should be given their due attention.  One of them is “living finishes” or “organic finishes”, for plumbing fixtures.

After hearing about faucets of this type a couple of times from clients, I wanted to know more about this product. What I’ve learned is that sinks or faucets with this finish are beautiful, wear well and add a lot of character to your space.

Unlike traditional plumbing fixtures, pieces with living finishes are un-sealed or un-lacquered and are allowed to change over the years and with use, allowing a gorgeous patina to be revealed (in other words, oxidation). When talking about these fixtures, it is referring to any metal, usually copper, brass, bronze or nickel silver (nickel is sometimes considered non-living but will actually patina over time). Stainless steel is typically considered non-living as well, though the surfaces can dull or change over time depending on how they are cared for.

So, what’s actually happening to the metal? Well, over time, the original layers of metal will show through, depending on the application and environment that it’s being used in. Everyday things like humidity, cleaning solutions, water hardness, salt air, etc can bring out the patina to your sink and faucet and really bring out its beauty over time. And since it’s “living”, it will continue to change through the years, bringing you different shades of patina and lots of character over its lifetime.

To care for a living finish is actually pretty simple: soap and water – a good scrubbing here and there will keep it looking great and will allow the patina process to continue. If you are finding that you aren’t crazy about the changes and you have a sink that is copper or brass, you can find a cleaner for those materials and revert the patina right back to its original state. Of course, you’ll need to do this every few months to fight the oxidation process.

Next time you are in the market for plumbing fixtures, give these a glance. Think of them like you see yourself, aging gracefully and only getting better over the years!

Kitchens: Form follows function

Design & Detail Spotlight

Kitchens: Form follows function

Louis Sullivan a 19th Century Chicago based Architect held the belief that “form follows function”, in essence saying that the shape and design of a building should be directly related to or even dictated by it’s intended function. This axiom has become a cornerstone of many design & architectural firms principles.

A kitchen designer often takes this same approach to designing your kitchen, creating a space that functions as well as it looks and is catered to the way the space will be used.  After all what good is a beautifully designed space if it doesn’t function well? From the overall layout,  inserts and unique cabinet modules to varying operation of cabinet doors and drawers, all of the so-called bells and whistles contribute to the increased functionality of a new kitchen.

Deep drawers instead of cabinet doors.

The full extension soft close drawers allow for easy access to all of its contents without having to open a door bend down and reach in.

Dual Islands

The old kitchen work triangle concept dictated that you should keep your fridge, sink and cooktop in close proximity to each other, but not everyone uses their kitchen the same way and with kitchens becoming larger and more of a social gathering spot homeowners are breaking the rules.  This client from our Plymouth Summer Retreat project opted for two islands, one with seating and storage (the gathering spot LEFT) and the other a more utilitarian application with the cooktop, prep sink beverage center and ice maker door (RIGHT). This keeps the prep and cooking mess away from the island seating area.

Fridge Drawers & Microwave Garages

This Fridge (below left) has a main upper door and two lower drawers that are individually temperature controlled, great for storing items you use often and want quick access to or to allow younger members of the family to be able to help themselves to healthy snacks.  Also pictured are some handy appliance garages, in this case to house the microwave but really these top closing “garages” could be used to hide any appliance you’d prefer not to look at on a daily basis. They keep them out of sight but still readily accessible when needed.

        

Food Storage & Paper Towel Dispensers

Storing your potatoes & onions and paper towels are not what most think of when creating their dream kitchen, in fact these details can often be overlooked. Good design however will factor in even the little things that can add to the overall functionality of the space. The client from our Lincoln Kitchen & Interior  project preferred not to have her counter cluttered with a paper towel dispenser and this handy dispensing drawer located just beside the sink solved the dilemma. You can even store additional rolls behind the main dispenser for easy change out to a new roll!

The metal mesh drawers & cabinet doors allow for storage of items like potatoes & onions that would benefit from some additional ventilation but the feature also adds a unique decorative element.

 

Want to incorporate some of these clever solutions into your next project? Contact us and we will pair you with one of our trusted Kitchen design partners to get started in planning your dream kitchen!