Around the Web

Sometimes people ask me what I read when I’m surfing the web. Here’s a collection of posts that I found worthwhile.

Over on Hadley Court, Leslie Carothers put together a great post discussing the true remodeling costs and important remodeling considerations for kitchens based on data from industry professionals, Houzz, and Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value Report.

Aound the Web with KitchAnn Style

The Founder of, Leslie Clagett always covers what’s new in appliances and innovative technology. I liked her post showing GE’s new combination of their Café Refrigerator with hot water dispenser technology with a Keurig K-Cup Brewing System. I think we all like the idea of being able to remove one more appliance from the countertop area. Sadly, it won’t be available until later this year.

Aound the Web with KitchAnn Style

“As an innovator in the personal beverage system industry, Keurig is excited to partner with GE and to be the first to offer hot single-cup technology right from a refrigerator.”

In addition to Blogs written by designers, I also read Blog posts from manufacturers. I recently discovered that Systempool, part of the Porcelanosa Family, offers the new Attica shower enclosure collection.

A large part of the value of an Attica enclosure is the availability of customization. Systempool realized that not all bathrooms are shaped the same – some have sloped ceilings, steps or structural columns that have to be addressed.

Attica Made to Fit |KitchAnn Style

Jeanne Chung is a gifted Interior Designer whose blog is titled Cozy•Stylish•Chic. Her posts are fabulous and I hope one day soon we will meet. (We’ve both been on Modenus BlogTour trips but not together.) I am sharing her post on 3 Must-Have Luxury Kitchen Appliances from Thermador.

My favorite of the three is the Freedom Induction Cooktop which is the first full-surface induction appliance with the flexibility of a natural-mapping user interface.  This technology  recognizes cookware size, shape and position, and delivers heat to these targeted areas (up to 13″ x 21″),while all other areas not in contact with a pot remain cool.

Thermador Masterpiece Induction Cooktop |KitchAnn Style

The new trimless model with first full-color touch-screen interface can heat up to four pots at a time. The 36″ cooktop is built with 48 individual 3-in. heating elements below the surface of the appliance, which translates to a 63 percent more effective cooking area on the surface.

Thermador Masterpiece Induction Cooktop |KitchAnn Style

Dekton Offers Five New Colors

Dekton by Cosentino introduces five striking new colors that highlight the beauty of natural stone as part of the Natural Collection.

Aura: A New Design Concept

Aura replicates the elegance and beauty of Calacatta marble with large-scale veining for an impactful design statement. Aura provides a stunning option for those interested in the luxurious look of marble – a trend that has shown a recent strong resurgence in the U.S. market – without the maintenance issues typically associated with natural stone.

Dekton Aura | KitchAnn Style

For the first time, Cosentino has developed a slab design with an endless symmetrical pattern. Aura can be composed so that the veining continues from one slab to the next, giving a true mirror effect known as “book-matching.”

Dekton Aura Bookmatch | KitchAnn Style


Edora is uniform in color yet contains delicate, undulating textures offering a minimalist concept and a natural look. Its warm neutral tones are distinctly stylish and classic.

Dekton Edora | KitchAnn Style


Thin, delicate veining gives Irok its unmistakable appearance. Its creamy tones and a subtle movement evoke the look of limestone, offering enduring beauty for myriad of applications.

Dekton Irok | KitchAnn Style


Another marble-like variant in the collection is Kairos, which offers a soft, white base striated with subtle, pale grey veining reminiscent of Italian Carrera marble. Its natural veining and milky appearance brings an elegant brightness for both classic and cutting-edge environments.

Dekton Kairos | KitchAnn Style


The stormy taupe of Vegha reveals a layered depth, which is impactful yet neutral. Inspired by the formations of limestone and sandstone, its innovative look is sophisticated and versatile enough for a variety of aesthetics.

Dekton Vegha| KitchAnn Style

Dekton retails for $58-$96 per square foot, depending on thickness and color.

How It’s Made

Dekton is made using a proprietary process called Particle Sintering Technology (PST), which is an accelerated version of the change that rocks and stone undergo in nature when subjected to heat and pressure over thousands of years. Dekton has reduced this process to four hours with extreme heat and pressure resulting in an ultra-compact surface with superior technical characteristics.


Dekton offers a 25-year limited residential warranty on the material. The warranty does not cover “commercial uses” of the Dekton products. “Commercial uses” include but are not limited to use in commercial buildings such as
retail stores, restaurants, offices, hotels, or apartment complexes.

Fiora Shower Pans

European minimalist shower trays that mimic stone are now available in the US.

The pans are manufactured by Fiora Bath Collections, located in La Rioja, Spain, renowned for the design and manufacture of furniture, mirrors and accessories for the bathroom. Coastal Shower Doors will be introducing the pans at KBIS Jan. 20-22 in Las Vegas.

Flora has patented a new concept in shower flooring based on the use of an artificial stone called SILEXPOL. This new material has anti-slip and bacteriostatic properties, qualities that have proven to be highly desirable to the European audience.

Fiora Silex |KitchAnn Style

“We expect Americans to not only love the design, but also appreciate the nanotechnology that goes into making the trays water repellent and the maintenance easy and safe,” Patrick Cobb, national accounts for Coastal Shower Doors

While I’m not sure if the full line up will be available, the pans are offered in two patterns (regular and brick) with fourteen colors in each.

Fiora Silex |KitchAnn Style

One of the new features of the Fiora SILEX shower tray is its adaptability and flexibility to fit into any decor theme, whether in residential or commercial applications. Moreover, two of the trays within the SILEX collection, Extra Flat made-to-measure and Framed made-to-measure, can be adapted to spaces that are not rectilinear or have obstructions such as columns.

Fiora Silex Made to Fit |KitchAnn Style

If you are not building a new home, careful planning will be required to lower the floor in the shower area if you desire the flush fit. If you are currently living in a condo, you may need to become besties with the neighbors below you to rework the drain and the trap.

Fiora Silexpol |KitchAnn Style

Bitdefender Box protects your Smart House

Do you worry about hackers gaining access to your Smart House? Truth is the more connected our technology becomes, the more data our devices and appliances can gather about us. That data can be shared in ways we don’t anticipate or can be revealed as part of larger breaches.

In a speech at International CES, Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, said the trend toward having so many things constantly connected to the Internet presented serious risks that start-ups and big companies needed to take seriously.

Because connected devices are relatively new, there are few security features built into many of them or the apps and services that power them. Even fewer products exist to lock down your smart home.

Bitdefender Box | KitchAnn Style

That’s why I was happy to discover a new product from Bitdefender, which makes antivirus and anti-malware software for computers.

The new Bitdefender BOX is a mix between a router, network firewall and intrusion prevention system. It can sit behind an existing router, connected to one of its ethernet ports, it can be placed in front of a router, so that it also protects the router from Internet-based attacks, or can act itself as a router.

With the help of Bitdefender’s cloud-based threat intelligence network Bitdefender Box constantly scans your network and the websites you visit for potentially harmful software or viruses.

“The whole idea is not to let it inside your network,” said Bogdan Dumitru, the company’s senior threat analyst.

One common security problem, for example, is that a person visits a website that has malicious code embedded in it. You don’t have to click anything for the code to run, and after it does it can deliver a virus that can co-opt your computer and put it to work as part of a botnet. A botnet is a giant network of computers linked together to break codes or passwords or initiate distributed denial-of-service attacks that can take down entire sites.

“When you’re opening a malicious page, before the page is downloaded, it is intercepted in the box, flags are sensed in the cloud and it doesn’t show up in the first place,” said Dumitru.

More interestingly, this layer means that it can be used to set up a VPN connection when users travel away from home, protecting them against man-in-the-middle attacks.

It will also handle things like vulnerability alerting and OS updates and even anti-theft.

Bitdefender Box | KitchAnn Style

Bitdefender plans to start shipping Bitdefender BOX this month. The $199 MSRP includes the hardware and a one-year subscription for the service. After that, expect to pay $99 per year to protect an unlimited number of connected devices.

As with most antivirus and anti-malware products, the box can scan for and detect only code that has already been identified as a threat. Something new could still sneak through.