Electrolux Icon Kitchen Contest Winner Named

Electrolux named Marcello Zuffo as the Grand Prize Winner with his futuristic kitchen entry. The conceptual kitchen has movable components that can be reconfigured to adapt to the task at hand and is a sculptural component to a typically rectangular space.

“As a city dweller myself, I congratulate Marcello for addressing lack of space with a completely unique concept,” said Cindy Allen, judge and editor-in-chief of Interior Design Magazine. “The jury especially loved the ‘knuckle,’ which swivels, and allows the kitchen to serve utilitarian and sculptural purposes simultaneously.”

In its second year, the design competition, challenged members of the architect and design community to present innovative, thoughtful concepts for a kitchen that meets the changing needs of today’s modern family. 

Marcello is a Senior Designer at Motorola’s Consumer Experience Design Group (CXD)

Congrats Marcello!

Electrolux Icon 2008 Competition

New 2009 Bisazza Mosaic Collection

Bisazza Summer Flower Collection

Bisazza expands its Mosaic collection with some new decorative designs for 2009 introducing patterns and colors suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments.

The 2009 collection has ample choice of patterns and blends. The textile inspired murals are stunning.

The great variety of tones in the collection provide a myriad of ways to interpret the collection.  The hard part may be finding a wall large enough.

Corinzio Pink Glass Flowers Spring Rose Silk Blue New Diamond

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Can Crystal be Cleaned in a Dishwasher?

can crystal be cleaned in the disheasher? | KitchAnn Style
Can Crystal Be Cleaned in the Dishwasher | KitchAnn Style

I hear this question a lot.  Many people believe that new dishwashers with “Fine crystal and China” settings are safe for washing such items.  These settings are usually a temperature control since fine china and crystal are sensitive to heat and may crack.

According to Waterford fine crystal and glassware should be washed by hand in moderately hot water with a mild detergent and 1/4 cup ammonia to prevent spotting.  I had a friend tell me he squirts Jet-Dry in his sink when he washes crystal but I haven’t tried it yet.  It’s a good idea to put a rubber mat or dishtowel in the bottom of the sink to prevent chipping and breaking.

While I do not recommend it, if you must use your dishwasher, follow these tips.

  • If you have a China and Crystal Setting, use it.
  • If you do not, set the machine to Air-Dry and open the door to help with the air-drying.
  • Read the detergent labels for the mildest detergent possible.  Avoid detergents with bleach and acid (lemon.)  Then use only half the amount recommended.
  • Lower the top rack if possible to accommodate the height of your crystal
  • Make sure to space the items so they do not touch another.  Vibrations can cause chips and cracks.
  • Wash your china and crystal soon after use.  The longer food sits on the plate the more acid eats away at the glaze.
  • Items with gold or silver rims should never be washed in a dishwasher.

Does the back of the detergent box confuse you?  Here are some definitions for the ingredients you will see.

Phosphates tie up water hardness minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium) so the minerals won’t interfere with cleaning or deposits on surfaces. Phosphates also help keep food soil particles in suspension after removal from the soiled surfaces and prevent their redeposition.  Update: Most detergents no longer contain sodium triphosphate, or STPP.

Silicate Minerals or microporous silicate minerals (known as Zeolite A– sometimes called sodium aluminosilicate ) is used as a Phosophate alternative to soften water and suspend solids. Note: Many companies are moving away from using Zeolite because it has been found to significantly increase sludge volumes in sewage treatment plants.

Sodium Disilicates are now the preferred Builder Enzyme for detergents over  STPP and Zeolite.  Layered sodium disilicates (manufactured as SKS-6) protect glassware from clouding and pitting and dissolve completely in cool water and revert back to silicon (sand) in the environment.

Surfactants or surface active agents loosens soil and emulsifies fats, helps hold them in suspension, and leaves surfaces clean and free from spots and film. Specially developed surfactants having the lowest sudsing characteristic are used.

Chlorine or Oxygen Bleaches are added to help prevent spots by leaving a cleaner surface than would be obtained with either surfactants or phosphates alone. The very small amount of bleach helps break down protein soils and aids in removing stains such as coffee or tea. Note: Oxygen bleaches tarnish silver components more than Chlorine bleaches.

A Corrosion Inhibitor, such as sodium silicate, helps provide protection for the dishwasher and the wide variety of materials that are washed. The corrosion inhibitor is also a soil suspending agent and an important source of alkalinity.

Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that help break down food and soil residue into small particles. The small particles are then washed away. (Great for heavy duty cleaning.)

Special Additives, such as sodium aluminate, boric oxide or aluminum phosphate, may be used to inhibit the removal of overglaze and pattern from fine china. Sometimes antifoams are added to reduce sudsing.

Additional Alkalis, such as sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide  may be used to aid in handling greasy food soils.

Polymers help prevent film buildup from hard water.

Thickening Agents are used in gel automatic dishwasher detergents so the product remains in the dishwasher cup(s) until automatically dispensed at the appropriate time.

Colorants are added to lend individuality and an appealing appearance to the product.

Processing Aids, generally inert materials, allow the active ingredients to be combined into a usable form.

Fragrance covers the chemical odor of the base product and stale food odors that might come from the dishwasher.

Faux wood cabinets are great for remodeling

Glazed Thermofoil Doors
With the current downturn in the housing market many homeowners are looking to remodel their kitchens and bathrooms either for their own enjoyment or for selling their home in the near future.

Especially here in Naples where builders once offered only white melamine cabinets and white laminate countertops; they are now offering granite and wood-look cabinets as a standard.  This means all the homes and condos that are just a few years old are having a tough time competing with all the incentives builders are offering to unload their inventories.

So what is a homeowner to do?  When budgets are limited it is always a good idea to incoporate storage aids such as lazy-susan corner cabinets and pull-out trash bins.  Bathrooms can also be improved by adding linen cabinets.  According to a recent survey they are the number one requested item and are sure to help improve the value of your remodel.

I always suggest my clients look at a 5-piece glazed thermofoil door.  It’s similar to what the builders offer but it looks like a glaze has been applied.  The glazing makes these cabinets look more expensive than they really are – a great selling bonus.

Here’s a picture showing two of the 4 finishes  available through Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc.

Glazed Thermofoil Doors