Objects of Desire, Arroyo Magazine, November 2010

“Eight Ideas for Updating Your Kitchen.”  All of the stuff I researched and wrote about…I could never, ever, ever afford. I can’t even afford to dream about them!

The article:

Objects of Desire

8 Ideas for Updating Your Kitchen

From undulating kitchen islands to a ventilation hood that produces a symphony of light, these creations will pepper your kitchen with 21st-century style.

By Brenda Rees

As the hub and heart of the home, the kitchen is where things happen. And with the holidays upon us, having a kitchen space worthy of entertaining is on our to-do list. You don’t need a complete remodel to create a kitchen that is comforting, stylish and chic; sometimes modest changes can bring out your room’s true identity as the center of the known party universe.

Mosaic Kitchen Sinks
Smooth, shiny, dreamy….there are plenty of ways to describe Linkasink’s line of artisan kitchen sinks. Bring out the thesaurus as you admire these hefty sinks constructed with heavy gauge, hand-hammered copper or stainless steel with a satin-nickel finish. Inside is a mesmerizing sunburst mosaic of small stainless steel tiles. Be careful when you’re near these burnished beauties — their gleaming resplendence can be hypnotic and you might find yourself staring and smiling at them for hours. $5,800 to $6,900.

Mission Tile West, 853 Mission St., South Pasadena, (626) 799-4595, and George’s Kitchen and Bath Showroom, 99 Palmetto Dr., Pasadena, (626) 792-5547; linkasink.com.

Lumen Colored Ventilation Hood
Miele’s Lumen is one very stylish slim-line stainless-steel ventilation hood. Leave it to German engineers to create this kitchen necessity with multicolored LED light bands artfully integrated into the edge of the canopy. You can program your hood to rotate through standard preset colors of white, green, red and blue, but the real fun happens when you set the canopy to flash through all the transitional colors in the human viewing spectrum (that’s 196,000, if you’re counting). Color changeover can be set at one-minute or 15-minute intervals; or you can freeze it to illuminate a favorite color or mood of the moment. We dare your toaster to do that. $3,000.
Snyder Diamond, 432 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, (626) 795-8080, mieleusa.com.

Dune Islands
Pedini takes the ho-hum kitchen island and tarts it up with its Dune line of fantastic parabolas that you haven’t seen since sixth-grade geometry. With 360-degree accessibility, these kitchen islands — in various shapes: Peninsula, Atoll and Boomerang — are definitely for the swinging Jetsons-loving crowd. Form indeed follows function here: These islands contain plenty of space for storage, sink, cooktop and dishwasher. Have your guests pull up a bar stool, shake up a martini and pretend it’s 1960 all over again. Prices vary.
Pedini L.A., 801 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 658-8801, pediniusa.com.

 Puget Sound Style
These lovely hand-blown art glass pendant fixtures from WAC Lighting cast a gentle glow over your kitchen. Chose from three stunning designs in the Puget Sound Collection: Red Rock (vibrant amber, terra cotta and sunrise yellow), Moss (brilliant lush green hues of a deciduous forest) and Seraphim (an elegant tone-on-tone motif). Not only are these babies beautiful, they are energy efficient (they use compact fluorescents) and eco-friendly as well (the family-owned manufacturing facility believes in zero landfill practices). Hang. Light. Enjoy. $399-$660.
WAC Lighting, (800) 526-2588, waclighting.com.

Integrated Door Fronts
“The kitchen can be like another room in the house,” says Pasadena designer Kristina Urbanas Spencer, who recently remodeled her kitchen with integrated door fronts, a.k.a. appliance cabinetry. “The new trend in kitchen design moves away from the industrial restaurant-style stainless steel world and brings it into a place of comfort and style.” Spencer’s refrigerator and dishwasher were incorporated into the cabinetry remodel; appliances were specifically ordered so their fronts would match the new cabinetry and blend into a seamless whole. “Before, we wanted to show off our appliances, now we want to conceal them,” she says. “This design harkens back to the retro-styles of the 1950s — seamless and sleek.” Prices vary.
Precision Krafts, Burbank, (818) 953-7343, precisionkrafts.com.

 Semi-Precious Stone Surfaces
Amethyst, wild agate, labradorite…they’re not just for earrings or necklaces anymore. The folks at Cosentino, a Spanish manufacturer of natural quartz surfaces, are thinking outside the jewelry box with their Prexury Collection, a line of surfacing materials that combines semi-precious stones, petrified wood and fossils with state-of-the-art technology. The result? Awesome-looking slabs. With 12 color options ranging from smoky quartz to red jasper, these smooth and elegant rock pieces can transform countertops and walls into works of works of art from nature. Imagine prepping a simple dinner of macaroni and cheese atop a semi-translucent carnelian surface….pure decadence!  $380 -$440 per square foot.
Visit  prexury.com.

The Penguin Machine
This handsome flightless bird hides a secret deep down inside its gleaming body — it’s really a homemade seltzer and soda-making machine from SodaStream. About the size of a coffeemaker, the Penguin effortlessly transforms ordinary H20 into sparkling water in just seconds. Because the bird doesn’t require batteries or electricity (it works with carbonaters), there are no messy cords to detract from its regal bearing as it stands guard on your countertop, bar area, patio, yacht or ice floe. $199 and up.
Williams Sonoma, The Commons, 142 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena (626) 795-5045. sodastream.com.

Arwa Twinflex Kitchen Faucet
Introduce a twisting serpent into your kitchen with the Arwa-Twinflex faucet. This chrome-finished faucet has a colorful sheath and head that can turn 360 degrees, helping you direct water where it’s needed. You can fill a pot, wash the lettuce, spray the annoying cat. You get the picture. Made of PVC, the faucet sheath is strong enough to hold any position until you move it. Geek alert: The faucet also regulates temperature (no more scalding water), sets limits on water flow and cleans and saves water with its patented Trigon mixing technology. Faucets are available in orange, blue, beige-gray and black, with sheaths easily interchangeable. Just like a snake shedding its skin… $980.
Order online at geminibkp.com.

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