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Du Verre, The Hardware Co., Sustainably Beautiful

As a designer I’m always on the look out for products that will make my kitchens one of a kind.  Sometimes the necessary functionality of cabinet boxes can be redundant.  As much as I tell clients “less is more”, I can’t fight the fact that most of us have lots of stuff and we need our storage, dammit!  One way to add a little artfulness is with cabinet hardware.  Du Verre The Hardware Co. is one of the companies I discovered on the Modenus Blog Tour New Orleans.  Then, you know how you learn about something and then all of a sudden it seems to pop up everywhere?  That’s what happened to me and Du Verre.  Whilst writing about the NKBA design winning kitchen below I discovered that the hardware used was none other than the Forged 3 Collection by, you guessed it, Du Verre!
sports Forged 3 handles by Du Verre in satin nickel finish.  Photo by Evan White
Du Verre Hardware is a design leader for original, contemporary hardware.  Made from recycled aluminum, Du Verre is environmentally friendly.

Forged3, up close and personal
Forged3, up close and personal

Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director Gina Lubin teams up with innovative designers such as Clodagh to create truly unique and artful collections that can be considered sculpture with a function. Clodagh, who worked on the Primitive, Stacked and Tribal collections, is known for intelligent use of materials and natural elements.  One hallmark of contemporary design is minimalism yet there has to be enough.  “Clutter can undermine serenity, but minimalism should not be self denying”, says Clodagh.

Primitive collection by Du Verre is the result of a collaboration between international designer Clodagh and Du Verre's own Gina Lubin
Primitive collection by Du Verre is the result of a collaboration between international designer Clodagh and Du Verre’s own Gina Lubin

 

The Rio collection by Du Verre, one of my favorites.
The Rio collection by Du Verre, one of my favorites.

Marcel by Du Verre
Marcel by Du Verre

Lotus by Du Verre,
Lotus by Du Verre,

Available die cast finishes include Satin Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze polished chrome and more.  Each collection varies. I love that these are all as pleasurable to look at as they are to touch.  If you’d like to experience Du Verre in person, click here to find a distributor in your area.
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10 Etsy Treasures For Your Kitchen

In case you enjoyed a fabulous holiday weekend and are finding the Monday grind somewhat anticlimactic, I thought we’d have a little fun today.

Distressed Paint Vintage Oak Cabinet by PickersDesignCompany
Distressed Paint Vintage Oak Cabinet by PickersDesignCompany

Recently I wrote about the value of “the handmade” and the Arts and Crafts Movement of the turn of the last century.  (If you missed it, it’s right here.)  It must be a part of our American cultural DNA, we like to make stuff and we like to have stuff people made.  Read more

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RED PLUS BLUE EQUALS PURPLE IN THE KITCHEN!

After a long election I’m sure you’re in the mood for something TOTALLY different.  Me too.  Congrats to the winners and may we mend our fences and make up with all the friends we temporarily (hopefully) blocked on Facebook.  As someone who is passionate about art, I am always looking at color and the effect it has on our environment.  As a nod to the red and the blue states today I’m showing what they can make together, purple! Is purple a viable color in the kitchen?  If you love it, here are some ways you can incorporate a little lavender, lilac, plum, fuscia or just plain ole purple whether you are conservative, transitional or uber modern.  If you hate it, at least it’s something completely different!

KItchen by Spazzi. While purple cabinets are definitely a commitment, this kitchen is nicely balanced with neutrals which enhance the color.

 

Photo from theentertaininghouse.com
I would call this one traditional verging on transitional. I love the asymmetry of the glass front cabinets and open shelves. That aspect is more contemporary but the cottage style of the cabinets and ceiling treatment are leaning more towards the traditional.The lavender here is not as much of a commitment as it’s on the walls only.

 

Also from theentertaininghouse.com, this kitchen also has elements of both modern and traditional and what a creative use of the color purple!

 

photo by kitchen-furniture-info.blogspot.com There is something about this contemporary kitchen I love with its hints of Mid-century Modern and lilac background.

 

Photo from thekitchn.com
An island or a freestanding piece of kitchen furniture is another great way to add some color interest. This one is definitely traditional, right?

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HAUNTS IN THE KITCHEN?

 

Kitchen scene from Paranormal Activity 4. Kitchen appears pretty normal to me!

Just a note to say our thoughts and prayers are with those so heavily hit by Sandy.  Wishing a quick recovery for all. Please take this opportunity to help out by making a donation to the Red Cross.

Happy Halloween and welcome to today’s edition of Kitchens for Living (or Non-Living as the case may be) .  Last weekend we went to see Paranormal Activity 4.  Interesting that the kitchen is a pulse point in all the versions. This makes sense since the kitchen is probably the room of the house most connected with emotions and memories.  If you’re a fan of the movie series, or just curious here’s an insightful blog post for you from btchflcks.com.

Ok, so it’s not the kitchen but this was about the scariest part of the film for me!

 

They don’t call it “the heart of the home” for nothing.  Of course these movies are just scary and somewhat creative in terms of film making technique but they are not real.  Here’s one that supposedly is.  Check it out! I found it while hunting around for haunted kitchens.  Who knew?

A real haunted kitchen perhaps?

 

Apparently these people live in a haunted apartment.  I can tell you even if there was a chance that an entity was screaming “get out” at me I would be gone yesterday.  I hoped they moved! Are you a believer??

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BALANCE,HGTV BUDGETS AND WHERE TO PUT THE DISHWASHER

There are certain misconceptions in our industry that I see over and over again.  Today I thought I’d take the opportunity to educate and illuminate.  Sometimes you can come up with a much more interesting design if you are not limited by these “urban legends of kitchen design”.  As they say “free your mind”!  Think again, leave the box, so to speak.  Here are three big ones to start the ball rolling.
SYMMETRY, WHAT GOES RIGHT MUST GO LEFT? NO!
Not true.  Giving up symmetry doesn’t mean you have to give up balance.  In fact sometimes a balanced asymmetrical wall is  more visually interesting.  It’s okay not to have a mirror image. Sometimes you have to get creative with balance due to the constraints of the architecture your working with.  Check out the following samples from my inspiration stash.

Great example of asymmetric balance. You don’t have to have the same thing right and left of the hood. In this case the open shelves add a lot to the design. Not only do they look great, they add convenience and visual interest. The matching panel behind the shelves pulls it all together.

Perfect symmetry. It’s pretty but it’s not the only option.

Here we have the best of both worlds with a balanced asymmetrical layout on the wall and perfect symmetry on the island. I even love how they did even number doors with odd number stools.

WHY ISN’T IT THE SAME PRICE AS HGTV? Some of my peers have already addressed this but it bears repeating.  Any kitchen budget that I have ever seen on HGTV is completely unrealistic.  Where they obtain these figures is a mystery to me.  Think about it.  They can pretty much say what they want  and they don’t even have to be held accountable!  The end result is you, the viewer, are left with a false impression and a budget that lies woefully short.  Please understand that a kitchen remodel is all about details and every kitchen is different.  It also takes a lot longer than half an hour in real life! I must confess that I do love how Candice Olsen seems to pull her design choices  out of her a_ _ , all beautifully coordinated!  Not to mention what she can do with a Sharpie!
THE DISHWASHER ALWAYS GOES ON THE LEFT, OR RIGHT?
This is one issue for which there is no hard fast rule.  Some people think it’s a certain way because that’s what they’ve always had or that it’s based on your dominant hand.  None of this is true.  Dishwasher location depends on two things which are the space you have and what’s comfortable for  the way you work.  The dishwasher is the second most important component of the clean up zone in your kitchen, the main player being your sink.  Except  in rare space challenged cases, these should always be next door to each other.  The third component of the clean-up triad is your garbage receptacle.  If space allows you to include a cabinet with pull out trash/recycle bins it should ideally be located on the other side of the sink, the sink always  in between the dishwasher and the trash.  Think about it, you stand at the sink, scrape your plates, rinse if necessary (but not too much) and load the dishwasher.  It can be right to left or left to right, whatever feels right for you.

 

Dishwasher on the right in this case with sink in the middle and pull out trash on
the left.
If you have your own questions about what is correct, or not, shoot me an email and I will give you my take.
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