Starck By Warendorf

stark dualityAs Miele kitchens re-brands itself and takes on the name of the German town in which the company is based – Warendorf – it is making this change with a new kitchen destined to make a significant impact.

They’ve chosen one of the biggest names in design – Philippe Starck – to develop the first kitchen under the new brand.

Starck has created a kitchen design that represents something of a departure, both emotionally and functionally, from the traditional wall-to-wall arrangement of the fitted kitchen.

He calls the concept “democratic design” because its wide range of individual elements and the ability to combine them in different ways gives it potentially wide appeal to a range of consumers, lifestyles and spaces.

Starck’s first kitchen design concept, Starck by Warendorf, is complemented by functional tables that can be integrated into every Philippe Starck kitchen but may also be used as a standalone concept. It is a modular system made up of kitchen elements and individual pieces that leave all interior design options open.

A key element of the Starck by Warendorf concept is the way it combines living functions with the functions of eating and food preparation.

Starck does this with a number of specific design references. His bookshelf-style elements are intended to combine culture and food in the domestic kitchen. The bar-style counters are a response to the changed dynamic governing meal times.

Starck has banished visible appliances from these kitchen designs. Refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ovens etc are all concealed behind handleless unit fronts. The accompanying exhaust hoods disappear into the ceiling when not in use.

stark library stark_tower stark primary

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Showerheads are filled with nasty bacteria

New research suggests that many shower heads are teeming with Mycobacterium avium, a bacteria that can cause lung disease. Should you be worried?

Researchers from the University of Colorado conducted  tests on 45 different shower heads from nine cities in the United States, using genetic testing to reveal bacteria that can’t be detected by the usual method of growing them in a dish.

The type and number of bacteria in shower heads varied from place to place, often corresponding roughly with levels of bacteria in the water supply. However, one type of bacteria, called mycobacteria, appeared in higher numbers inside shower heads. The researchers think these bacteria form a waxy biofilm that’s not easily washed away by water.

The most noteworthy finding was a species called Mycobacterium avium. It’s common, often found in water and soil, and about 20 percent of the swabs gave test results suggesting that Mycobacterium avium could be present. Mycobacterium avium does have the potential to make people ill, although the immune system of a healthy person will almost always keep this germ in check.

“If you are getting a face full of water when you first turn your shower on, that means you are probably getting a particularly high load of Mycobacterium avium, which may not be too healthy,” said lead researcher Norman Pace.

Since most people do not stand facing the shower when they first turn it on  and attempt to swallow the first water that comes out there is no reason to be alarmed.

“[The study] is nothing to freak out about because most germs don’t hurt you,” says Philip M. Tierno Jr., PhD, the director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center. People come into contact with 60,000 types or groups of bacteria on a regular basis, says Tierno. “Only one or two percent are pathogenic,” he explains.

If all this talk of bacteria has you worried,  before you rush off to bleach your showerhead know that mycobacteria will slowly grow back. When researchers did try treating one shower head with diluted bleach, they ended up with a greater proportion of some (harmless) bacteria in subsequent tests.

Metal showerheads appear to be less likely than plastic showerheads to grow biofilm, according to the researchers. Tierno recommends taking a steel brush and good cleaning solution to wash out metal showerheads or replacing them once a year or more frequently, like they do in hospitals.

If you are still feeling scared that your immune system will not protect you consider taking cold showers since bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments.

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Color Trends for 2010

rooted color trend | KitchAnn Style
New color trends presented recently by Sherwin Williams reaquaints designers with the past for inspiration in the near future.

Rooted
rooted

Rich, earthy colors associated with African, Aboriginal, and Native American cultures.  Inspiration comes from members of Ethiopian tribes who paint their bodies with green and red pigments sourced from volcanic ash, as well as weeds, grasses, and shells. The deep teal and ash gray of African wildlife and landscapes, as well as the bright designs of the locals’ textiles and beads, also serves a launching point for new designs.

Simplified
simplified-hrd

Lines are well-tailored and clear, translucent materials that reveal shape and structure. This is a nod to the Bauhaus style of architecture, with its absence of ornamentation and its harmony between form and function. A current example of this trend is Guggenheim Museum.

Treasured
tresured

Elements are weathered and the design is enhance  by organic aging. An example is the Rough Luxe Hotel in the United Kingdom, where the original layers of peeling paint and ancient wallpaper are still visible on the walls. This “less-than-perfect aesthetic” also includes the use of distressed leather, vintage tapestries, found objects, and patina.

Refreshed
refreshed

Bright, energized floral colors that evoke optimism and exuberance.  “Flower power” of 1960s vintage, with a hippie spirit makes a return. Lemonade yellow, crisp green, and vivacious violet are among the colors that play into this theme.  These vibrant colors comes partly as a response to the challenging times and a need for something positive to balance out the stress many are currently facing.

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Folding Kitchen Faucets

When it comes to new trends in kitchen faucets, manufacturers are introducing new designs that are not only utilitarian-chic and of minimalist design, they also fold.

When space is a premium, the Tac Tac geometric faucet by Ritmonio is an ideal choice.  For a wall mount option, the folding Karbon by Kohler is the only option.   The folding Snake faucet by Nobili Spa discretely has numerous folding options. The Tower Tech faucet by Cascade is similar to the Snake with fewer folding options but it has more finish choices and is more readily available in North America than it’s Italian counterpart.

Folding faucets from KitchAnn Style