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The Invisible Hood

August 29th, 2011

Every once in a while I come across new products in the kitchen and bath industry that truly amaze and impress me. Other times I go to the Kitchen and Bath show and get a lot less than I expect. Leave it to the Europeans to change this. We have not fully arrived here in the states on what I feel is available in the european market. You have the Japanese that are obsessed with toilets (TOTO), the Germans fanatical with faucets (Grohe), and the Italians to thank for their sleek cabinetry (Snaidero). It is a necessity to stay on top of new products and expand your knowledge of trends and offerings in order to be a service to your clients. That is why I emphasize clients hire a designer who specializes in kitchen design when designing this complicated piece of your home. Your kitchen is not only your home’s largest piece of furniture, but it is your home’s workhorse. Appliances, plumbing systems, lighting, electrical are just a few of the elements that are involved in designing a kitchen.
Every so often I get a kitchen project that lacks the need for a hood – not functionally of course – but asthetically. Either the kitchen is very small or the line of cabinets are broken up by this large piece of equipment. Of course you need one to function – especially if you are cooking with a gas range. I have tried some of the smaller under cabinet range hoods to no success. Some of them can be ok when used with an electric or induction cooktop but I won’t risk using one for a gas cooktop. I have also tried the pop up hoods that you see and they can be awkard for a client to use and get used to. I thought that I had exhausted my options – That is until I found the Airone Aida Hidden Range Hood.

Aida built in kitchen hood

The Airone Aida can actually be hidden in one’s wall cabinets, which is something I thought I would never see but desired this kind of product for my clients all the time (duh why didn’t I think of that). The visible ducting is almost non-existent, and the separate remote motor actually sits in the ducting, which takes that amount of noise away from the kitchen, not to mention the sizeable bulk of the motor itself. Even so, this unit will extract kitchen fumes at a rate from 800 to 2,000 cubic meters per hour. That works out to somewhere between two and five times as powerful as the typical track home under-cabinet hood.

Recessed hood

What I love about it is the design possibilities are limitless now (well almost.) No bulky hood to distract away from a minimal sleek kitchen. What a clever use of space now above the hood cabinet – where you usually store random holiday mugs around the exhaust pipe.

Remember when designing a kitchen – that knowledge and expertise count. Hire someone who specializes in kitchen design. Milk & Honey Design specializes in custom kitchens and remodels of all sizes and budgets. You can love your home again.

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Kitchen Jewelry

August 26th, 2011

Polished chrome cabinet bin pull

I like to think of cabinet hardware as jewelry for your kitchen. Nothing dresses a kitchen up more than handles, knobs and pulls. Cabinet hardware can makeover the look of a very drab kitchen. I have had my share of experience with hundreds of different lines of cabinet hardware. I love Rocky Mountain for the rustic look and their white bronze finish. And I love the unique mix of cabinet knobs that Anthropologie has. But I am often bored by the home owner’s choice of cabinet hardware. I see too many of the same top knobs handles everywhere. So when it comes to hardware let me introduce you to the creme de la cremeThe Nanz Company.

The Nanz Company produces some of the most exceptional (and expensive) hardware that I have every been able to lay my eyes on. I have used this hardware in only one of my projects thus far, holding it in your hand feels like heavy pieces of silver. The quality, detail and material is what makes The Nanz Company stand out from the rest.

Different cabinet hardware finishes

Nanz offers a variety of finishes to choose from then just the standard chrome, satin nickel, and oil rubbed bronze that gets oh so boring. I love options. Dark Oxidized Bronze, Medium Pewter, and Nanzcraft White Bronze are a few of my favorites. Break out of the mold of doing the standard finishes and add something unique to your cabinet doors and drawers.

Monogram Cabinet knob

While I am obsessed with options I am also obsessed with detail. When Nanz started to offer engravable knobs in multiple fonts and monograms the wheels in my head started turning. You can now get personalized with your family’s monogram on your cabinet doors. This truly is kitchen jewelry at it’s best.

Monogram initial kitchen cabinet hardware.

Emblematic Hardware dates to the time of the french monarchy when kings would appoint a royal hardware maker who would be in charge of manufacturing hardware for the royal residences that would be personalized with the family’s initials, crest, or other symbolism. These would look great changed out on a baby’s dressing table with their precious initials accessories the furniture. Or next to some initial tea towels in a family kitchen. The options are endless – and you know I love options.

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Great Room Remodel

August 16th, 2011

My latest and greatest project includes a great room remodel in a north Scottsdale home. The client is a wife, mother to three beautiful girls, and a successful business owner. The house is a beautiful Tuscan style bungalow that needs some wow factor. One of these areas is the great room. With an open floor plan into the kitchen and wood shutters on all of the windows there is a lot of wood and brown! I wanted to add some color into a very neutral space. Below are the options for the color schemes.
Green and brown room color scheme

A chartreuse and brown color scheme. The bright chartreuse color balances the rich browns in the space.

Great room remodel colors

An aqua colored color scheme offset with gold and brass accents creates the Hollywood Regency feel that the client adores. Starburst mirrors, chandeliers, and geometric prints work well in this elegant space.

Blue and gold Great room

Punchy blue and a pale gold bring pops of color to the neutral space. Different shades of blue can be pulled in to add excitement.

Blue and brown great room

The last option is a pale blue and brown color scheme that uses the brown pattern as the “pop” while playing with beautiful pale blues that sooth the room.

Now which one is your favorite? To be honest I love the chartreuse color scheme. It’s a color that calls to me. But the aqua is very elegant and very different than what I am using in most homes so I would love to see how this color turns out. The client will get the last say on what she likes.
If you are having problems with color in your home – contact Milk and Honey Design for consultations on color and material selection.

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Rustic Metal Love

May 11th, 2011

Raw Urth Designs News Flash

Raw Urth Designs premiers on DIY Sweat Equity tonight, May 11, 2011. If you miss this episode they will be featuring it all month long.

If you are not familiar with Raw Urth Designs the company is simply spectacular. This by far was the best product at KBIS this year. My trip to the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas this year was totally worth it by running into this small booth featuring hand made metal products, not to mention that it was in Vegas as well. Raw Urth featured a metal range hood in their display and it immediately caught my eye. The juxtaposition of rustic metals against wood always gets my heart pounding and this company does it right.

Rustic metal kitchen hood
Metal kitchen contemorary hood by Raw Urth Designs
Rustic metal kitchen hood with metal corbels
Rustic metal kitchen hood with tile backsplash

Rustic Kitchen hood with stone surround.

The pictures above reflect the beautiful craftsmanship of their kitchen hoods. The company provides custom work as well as offering from a standard of kitchen hoods in traditional, classic, and rustic modern giving you the ability to be used in a variety of traditional and contemporary settings.

Firecplace wood mantle with stone and wood mantle.

Raw Urth Designs also manufacturers other products that utilize metals to include metal back-splash, fire features, and shelving components. Their materials are endless and available in a wide range of metals to include zinc, copper, iron and bronze.

Metal shelves for office
Metal vintage shelving units.
The above photos are samples of the company’s shelving options. The first photo is the owner’s personal office using their Mod Series of shelving. And the second photo is an installation of their vintage line of shelving. Um…can we say furniture pieces please? On casters? Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Metal outdoor fire feature.

Their wide range of fire features make me want to design the ideal outdoor setting. I can see this in a backyard overlooking the Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley or on a contemporary Colorado town home patio. Nothing seem more luxurious than an outdoor fire feature and their choices of rustic, contemporary and sculptural are simply beautiful.

Metal instustrial style cart

The show also displayed an antique style industrial style cart island. I want this for my kitchen! You cannot get much closer to an antique with this piece and I had to look hard to believe that it was not vintage.

Bronze countertop

Raw Urth Designs also fabricates metal counter-tops to include a wide range of edge profiles and metals to include zinc, steel, bronze, copper and pewter. I’m so over granite so what a great option for counter-tops.

Range hood details

Raw Urth is also a green product, they recycle the steel from old appliances and cars to make new appliances. Here are a few words on the company’s outlook on their green offerings:
Did you know that our steel comes from American mills that recycle post-consumer American waste like old, junker cars and washed up appliances? This reduces mining waste by 97%, air pollution by 86% and water pollution by 76%. That’s huge!
What’s more, we routinely reuse and recycle our office and shop waste, use 100% wind energy credits for our operations and inform our clients that all of our products are recyclable. We believe smart, eco-friendly choices start in our own backyard.

Metal countertop kitchen island

Above is a photo of a stunning kitchen utilizing products from Raw Urth. They produced so many little details that make this kitchen such a beauty. The metal hood, counter-tops, beam accents, and hardware are all from Raw Urth Designs. Truly one of my favorite kitchens and an effective combination of classic and rustic elements to make a jaw dropping space.
Don’t forget to catch Raw Urth on DIY Sweat Equity.

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