Thursday, April 26, 2012

Coolest looking cooking hoods


Remember the days when the only refrigerators you could purchase were big ugly white boxy looking appliances? These days are over. Nowadays your choices are much better looking: stainless steel, built in refrigerators and, best of all, paneled counter top depth ones, which basically look like another cabinet. 
The story behind these paneled built in refrigerators is interesting - it all started in the late 50's, in Madison Wisconsin, when a well-to-do lady decided she did not want a big ugly refrigerator in her kitchen. So she contact the people at sub-zero and asked if they could custom design a nicer looking built in refrigerator for her, an they did. The rest is history.

Now it looks like cooking hoods are changing their look too, and it's easy to see why. With cook tops installed on kitchen islands, the necessary ventilating hood over the island often blocks a pretty view or simply looks too big and bulky. 

See how this hood hides the beautiful view from the windows? 
I found some more stylish options of hoods that don't really look like hoods, but more like cool pendant lamps. 
Victoria hood by Elica

A combination of stainless steel and glass, this stylish contemporary hood is from Elica, a British company.T Elica has a collection of cool and sleek looking hoods which were all photographed to look as sleek and contemporary as possible, but I think they could also look beautiful in a softer, more cheerful kitchen. 
Here are two pictures of the Star cooker hood by Elic,. One from their website and the other from Houzz

Star cooker hood by elica

star cooker hood by Elica

Wave cooker Hood

If you prefer not see the hood when you don't you it, here's the hood of your dreams: Renaissance epicure raised vent. It's retractable: you can pull it up when you need ventilation, and retract it down when you don't. Very cool!

Renaissance epicure raised vent

Have you seen any other interesting looking hoods? please share.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Living room seating arrangements -furniture layout ideas

Flipping through magazines and internet images I noticed that a common living room furniture arrangement for smaller sized living rooms consists of a sofa plus two chairs, usually at an angle, like this one below:




The reason this is such a popular seating arrangement, especially in smaller spaces, is that it is probably the best "conversation" arrangement: everyone is facing each other and don't need to "twist and turn" like they do in the L shaped sofa + love seat combo we've all seen before.
The sofa + angles 2 chairs arrangement lets everyone get easy access to the coffee table which, along with a rug anchors the whole arrangement.

What about the "matchy-matchy" look? you can ahrdly find that one in any of the best design magazines. The sofa doesn't have to match the chairs, but having identical chairs is best. It's creates a balanced look, and by using different pillows on each will give just the right dose of asymmetry and visual interest.

It's also more common to find lighter looking chairs (with legs, sometimes skinny and tall) in this seating arrangement rather than heavy boxy ones. The lighter chairs simply look much better at an angle.

What about other seating arrangements?
Here are a few options for a small to medium sized living room:


For a larger living room, a sofa, love seat and 2 chairs would be a good arrangement. The idea is to create an intimate arrangement that feels contained in one area so people can talk and have a place to put a drink, plate or a book.

Illustration by Vered Rosen


If you'd are not sure which seating arrangement would work best in your own living room, consult an interior designer. The location of high traffic, architectural features such as a fire place or windows, as well as the size of your furniture and your lifestyle should all be considered.

If you'd like help with color, redesigning or decorating your own home, contact me @

additional reading: