Aquariums – Then and Now

A few years back when Custom Home Builders and Architects in Naples were working at the height of the Real Estate Boom there were a ton of custom aquariums being built into kitchens, bars, fireplaces and room dividers.


It’s amazing how quickly these built-ins look dated. The second picture is more transitional than the first since its free of the carved moldings designer and architects were so especially fond of.

Care for these large aquariums can be quite costly which is probably one reason they fell out of favor during the recession. But if you have the space and the budget, a beautiful aquarium that is on trend is possible.


Photo Credit: Mike Butler Photography

I really like this tall family room aquarium. The built-in itself is quite clean and would easily tie into a future remodel if the homeowners decided to change the style of the room.

For the ultimate in luxurious interior design consider this kitchen island aquarium by Dutch designer Robert Koleik. The Ocean Kitchen (Ocean ‘Keuken’) was custom designed by Koleik’s firm Eco Chic Design and can be commissioned in limited quantities.

The aquarium island features a small sink, a linear cooktop, filter, automatic feeding system  and a hydraulic lift that raises the countertop – plumbing and gas line intact – for access to the aquarium below.

I can’t believe the top doesn’t bow under its own weight as the single lift raises the top. I’ve read that the top is made of acrylic (Corian) but I’m not sure that’s correct since the gas hobs are installed directly in it. Regardless, it still has to be heavy.


I do like  how the mirrored back makes this large aquarium look even bigger and makes you forget there is cabinetry on the back.



DXV from American Standard

One of the paradoxes of a recession is that luxury markets are booming… …and the people who buy those products are doing better than ever before. So, while it may not be politically correct to speak of luxury during times of recovery, the reality is that the industry is of strategic importance to American competitiveness, driving the revival of artisanal craftsmanship and saving jobs. In order to keep luxury goods as a ‘dream investment’, one needs to offer unique experiences and build an emotional connection with emerging consumers. American Standard has introduced DXV (which stands for Decade XV as American Standard is now in it’s 15th decade of operations) to help re-launch the 140 year-plus old brand into the luxury arena. American Standard is successful in encouraging consumers to reimagine the brand by seeing everything that’s old as new again with their DXV portfolio organized around the four most influential design movements since their founding: CLASSIC, 1890–1920; GOLDEN ERA, 1920–1950; MODERN, 1950–1990 and CONTEMPORARY, 1990–Today.

“DXV fixtures and fittings do not merely reproduce styles from each era;  rather they are inspired by historically significant designs, re-interpreting  them in light of today’s aesthetic and performance demands.”

To help communicate this theme, American Standard tapped into the creative power of the design community and commissioned six outstanding designer/bloggers to develop vignettes that tell a story and offer distinct creative interpretations of the design movements. The six designers selected for the project include: Corey Klassen CKD, Marilyn Russell, Allied ASID, Mary Douglas Drysdale, Susan Serra CKD, Cheryl Kees Clendenon and Meredith Heron.

  Luxury appears to have come full circle, as consumers have become more demanding on the provenance and manufacture of products – authenticity is particularly important to younger consumers, who are more conscientious and certainly more vocal through social media. Here, DXV may have an advantage, given the brand’s vision to create an online and print community for designers, architects, and creative individuals to discuss their experience with the products in the real world.

“We want to democratize luxury by making it part of a conversation and engaging the community with this space,”  Jay Gould, DXV CEO

I’d like to revisit the DXV showroom in the Flatiron District. Our first BlogTour event was a cocktail party hosted by  Hearst Publishing and Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful. The event was fabulous – and crowded – and I spent the evening mostly talking to designers in attendance. The DXV showroom is gorgeous so I suggest if you are in the area to check it out. The space is not staffed and is accessible by appointment only (send requests to DXV has been a great sponsor of BlogTour NYC and has put together a  little competition between the bloggers. We’ve been tasked to create Pinterest boards showing NY’s architecture, design and icon culture. The prize is an iPad mini which I really need because so many apps for designers are only available on iOS. Please help a blogger out and like or repin a few of your favorites. The contest ends May 30th. Thanks!

Miele Generation 6000

Even if the Miele Booth at EuroCucina 2014 didn’t have tempting aromas of gourmet food coming from two show kitchens, I still expect it to be a popular exhibit.

The company is set to unveil new design features offering the ultimate in appliance individuality.  According to Gernot Trettenbrein, Managing Director of the Domestic Appliances International business unit, this bold move is a step away from “off-the-shelf products.”

Discerning lovers of fine kitchens are simply bound to be inspired by the new design features – such as M-touch controls, and out-of-the-ordinary materials now offered for customized manufacturing.

The spacious Milan exhibit will cover the two design lines PureLine and ContourLine as well as showcase the Obsidian Black, Brilliant White, Havana Brown and CleanSteel stainless steel finishes.


For the first time, Miele will be presenting the entire Miele Generation 6000 Collection. This Miele product launch is the result of five years of extensive product development and embodies the “Design for Life” philosophy – each appliance is tested to last 20 years.

All Miele appliances flawlessly complement one another in form, function and materials and elevate the culinary experience – employing unprecedented convenience, performance and elegance. Included in the ground-breaking line are newly designed ovens, speed ovens, steam ovens, combi-steam ovens, coffee systems, and gourmet warming drawers

Eurocucina 2014 will run from April 8 until April 13. The Miele booth (Hall 9, Booth A02/B03) is part of a special show called ‘Technology for the Kitchen’.

Miele was founded in 1899 and has 8 production plants in Germany and one plant each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China and Romania.  thirds in Germany and is headquartered in Gütersloh/Westphalia, Germany.

With the single promise of Immer Besser or Forever Better, Miele is a premium appliance brand committed to the highest quality, performance and engineering.

Brummel Bar Furniture

If you’re into kitchen and bath design, you probably heard the term “kitchen furniture” before as it pertains to free-standing cabinetry. But, are you familiar with “Bar furniture?”

On display at  EuroCucina – International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition in Milan April 8-April 13 will be DIAMOND “Cheers Hour” from Brummel Cucine.

Diamond “Cheers Hour” shares the unique bombe island shape from the Brummel Papillon Kitchen Collection, created by Bassano Del Grappa.

Handmade by artisans in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, “Cheers Hour” is a masterpiece in glossy white perfection.

The glass island top slides open to reveal its functional side. The center of the island also moves and slides forward to create a bar ledge and reveal two wells – one for bottles, the other for stemware.

In addition to the sink and cooktop, the island also has an ice maker. No pricing information was given.


Created in 1974, EuroCucina – International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition takes place in Milan, Italy. The trade show is biennial, with SALONE INT. DEL MOBILE, Salone Int. del Complemento d’Arredo and Salone Int. del Bagno.

Some 2,400 exhibitors are expected, bringing all the very latest furnishing solutions to Milan. 130 leading Italian and foreign kitchen manufacturers will be exhibiting at the 20th edition of EuroCucina, International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition, ranged over 25,000o square metres, in the four dedicated pavilions: 9-11, 13-15.

EuroCucina’s collateral event, FTK (Technology For the Kitchen) – 35 exhibitors, in over 9,800 square meters  (Pavilion 9-11) devoted to built-in domestic electrical appliances and cooker hoods, is back again, showcasing products, prototypes and designs for kitchens  of the future. FTK has also acquired major new exhibitors, such as Arçelik (Beko) and Sub Zero Group (SubZero, Wolf), underscoring its prestige.

The show also has a Free App – Salone del Mobile.Milano 2014 –  iOS and Android
The app features the list of exhibitors (organized by event, pavilion and category), location of the stands, floorplan of the Fairgrounds, and schedule of events.


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