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SPIRAL WINE CELLARS?

I received an email from one of my fave clients the other day.  She is contemplating a dream kitchen for 2011 (Maybe you should too!) Anyway she sent me some of these amazing photos. Check out this dreamy spiral-trapdoor-otherworldly-cool wine cellar!  Was this an internet hoax, an urban legend, I wondered?

NO!  It’s for real and you can check out the UK firm that builds them here.  The appeal is not only novelty but efficient design.  The concept was designed in 1978 by a Frenchman (of course).  It’s not a basement, as I first thought, but an actual hole in the ground!

It’s not only space efficient but it’s Green as well.  They claim the temperature stays constant at 55 degrees.  Ok, so it’s probably still only a dream for us in Florida.  If you dug that deep under my kitchen you’d have an undersea wine cellar.  Now there’s an idea!

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SMALL KITCHENS, BIG SOLUTIONS

Sometimes we just can’t contain ourselves, or at least the contents of our kitchens.  If you’re someone who’s love for kitchen living  is at odds with an undersized space you’re reading the right blog.  Did you know small kitchens can be a good thing?  For example if you’ve organized efficiently you can work with more efficiency, taking less steps and with less movement than someone doing the same task in more spacious quarters.  That being said, there’s no denying that a few tricks are needed to achieve that high function.  Here’s what I recommend:
 –Maximize the interior storage that you do have.  Even older cabinets can be outfitted with roll out shelves or inserts to help you get into blind corners.  
These roll outs are an old trick that works!
My clients love this blind corner cabinet accessory!
 –Look up.  Do you have unused space above your cabinets?  Although it’s not handy for everyday it could be a great place for what I call “remote storage”.  Get those Halloween decorations up and out of the way to free up the prime real estate in your kitchen.  How about using some interesting containers to add a little visual interest over your cabinets while you’re at it?  Remember, remote storage doesn’t even have to be in the kitchen at all but wherever you have a bit of room.
Baskets above cabinets look great and hold a lot! Check out those open shelves. Photo by designfabulous.com
Focus on the function.  If you have a small kitchen you have to pick a focus and approach everything towards that purpose.  If it’s for cooking then anything not related to cooking must be gone.  Sorry but that means the junk drawer, your bills (who wants to look at those anyway?), your meds and whatever else that doesn’t fit your main purpose.
Clear the decks.  If you have limited counter space think about what you can put away or up in a cabinet.  A general rule of thumb is if you don’t use it everyday put it away.
Open shelves are also great for items you use daily, or almost daily.  They make items easy to find and reach.  Dust is not a worry if you’re using these items all the time.  Open shelving also creates a more open spacious feeling.
See the light.  White is IN (and never really goes out of style in the kitchen.)  Use it along with cleverly placed mirrors and lots of lighting.
If you have a tiny dining area in your tiny kitchen make sure you’re using armless chairs.  Clear lucite is back and it’s a great modern furniture choice that practically disappears!  Last but not least, add a dramatic hanging light fixture to draw the eye up. 
It’s small and complete. Photo by ApartmentTherapy
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