Monday, April 24, 2017

Coming Soon To A Kitchen Near You: Induction Cooktops!

I am seeing a great interest among my clients in induction cooktops. This new(er) technology does not use a radiant heat source to heat a pot or pan but instead employs an electromagnetic field. The result is that the pot or pan itself heats up, thus heating the contents, while the cooktop itself remains relatively cool (of course there is some radiant heat form the metal pan but the cooktop does not generate its own heat).

But you might be asking yourself why you would want to switch to something like this. Well, the real advantage of an induction cooktop is incredibly fast cooktop heat and extremely precise simmering control. If you do a lot of cooking, you will realize the value of an induction cooktop. For example, it only takes an induction cooktop 2 to 4 minutes to bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. If you've ever waited for pasta water to boil, you know what a time saver this could be. The heating only happens when a pot or pan is in direct contact with the electromagnetic field and stops immediately when that pot or pan is removed.

Whirlpool induction cooktop demonstration showing how the electromagnetic field only heats the pan where it comes into contact with the field. The rest of the cooktop is cool.

And because the cooktop is completely smooth, cleaning is easy.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning for an induction cooktop. First, not all pans will work--you will need induction-capable pans to use the cooktop. And not all stainless steel is induction-capable. Generally speaking, if a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan, it is induction capable. Second, because the cooktop does not generate heat, it is difficult to tell if the unit is on so some manufacturers have started adding some form of a light cue to let users know when the induction unit is generating an electromagnetic field.

Wolf induction range with pop up vent
Miele induction cooktop
This Samsung induction cooktop shines blue LED lights (to simulate a gas flame) up on to the cookware
to let the user know the electromagnetic unit is in operation
Thermador induction cooktop with pop up vent

If you are thinking of a kitchen remodel and are considering an induction cooktop, give me a call!
Happy designing!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wattles Mansion Showcase House, Los Angeles 2017

I am eagerly awaiting the opening of the San Francisco Decorator's Showcase in a few weeks--and regular readers know I always post photos--but in the meantime, here are some images of the second annual Wattles Mansion Showcase House in Los Angeles, which was just held in the historic Wattles Mansion.

The website of the production company responsible for the Showcase says:

About Wattles Mansion:

This year the City of Los Angeles will allow a Designer Showcase to be presented in one of the historic homes owned by the city. Wattles Mansion, a 1908 Mission Revival built by the firm of Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey (Rose Bowl, Huntington Library & Ambassador Hotel). The house has been recognized as “the only remaining intact example of the once plentiful Hollywood estates from the period preceding the film industry”. Gurdon Wattles, originally from Omaha Nebraska, was responsible for bankrolling much of early Hollywood and the movie studios.

About the showcase:

In the spring of 2017 (March 24th-April 16th), REITZHAUS will team with acclaimed interior designers for this event for the second year. The theme for the showcase, ‘Historic Hollywood; The New Classics’. We look to this historic Los Angeles home and how it would be deigned and lived in today, while keeping all of the homes original historic features. This creative process will be a unique endeavor. Wattles Mansion and Gardens benefits from this event with restoration and donations provided by talented designers.

And the designers lived up to the brief with interesting, eclectic, and modern furnishings and finishes in this historic home.

Designer David Dalton created a marvelous, welcoming entry to the mansion. This foyer sets a tone both modern and antique, befitting the stature of the building.

Because it is an historic site, the original kitchen in the mansion cannot be removed and renovated, but a design team from Williams-Sonoma Home gave the kitchen and butler's pantry a funky, cool modern edge with dark grey paint and interesting accessories that support the original era of the house.

Here is a BEFORE image of the lilving room. Clearly the spacious room has good bones. But the design duo of Woodson and Rummerfield got a hold of it...

...and hung art salon-style (including a large painting, center, of Norman Talmadge that was found deep in the basement of the house!), and furnished the room with pieces that evoke different times and locales. It feels collected and curated over time which is the goal of good interior design!

This BEFORE picture of the dinign room shows elements typical to a Mission Revival home like the coffered ceiling and the Arts and Crafts lighting.

But Patrick Dragonette lined the walls with purple velvet, and added modern art and a stunning chandelier to create a sultry, sexy dining room perfect for dinner parties by candle light.

Fernando Diaz showed great respect for the library by keeping the walnut paneling and bookcases as well as the original ceiling painting intact. His choice of furniture--and lighting fixture!--is a fitting compliment to the room.

The large second floor landing is a luxurious spot to sit thanks to designer Jessica Brende.

Nicole Gordon added lots of art, not only on the walls but also in the form of art pieces like the Chuck Moffit coffee table to this light and airy sitting room.

The Jonathan Winslow and Fariba Cohen-designed game room feels casual and inviting.

Connecting the game room and sitting room is a gorgeous bar area created by Nicole Gordon (who also did the sitting room). I love the wallpaper she used (Tiger and Magpie by Krane) and the ethnic, dramatic feel of the entire space. The doors on the casework are lovely and the best part is the carved wooden  jungle cat console table under the window!

The master bedroom by Kym Rodger is particularly stunning. I adore how all the eclectic elements come together in a surprising way to create a truly unique feel and vision.

The Ladies' Lounge by Kelley Jackson brings an expected feminine color, pink, together with the Mission style of the home... and it works!

For every Ladie's Lounge, there must a Gentleman's Lounge, and this one designed by Mae Brunken and Melinda Ritz is pretty cool. The retro elements are superb--I love the Art Deco blue glass mirror--especially the neon "Haircuts and Shaves" sign! It feels like an old fashioned apothecary or barber shop.

And the grounds got some sprucing up with a new landscape design by Anna Hoffman.

You can learn more about Wattles Mansion here. For information about visiting or renting Wattles Mansion, click here.

If you are in the Los Angeles area next year, keep an eye out for a possible third annual Wattles Mansion Showcase by visiting this site.

And stand by for coverage of the San Francisco Decorator's Showcase, coming soon.
In the meantime happy designing!

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Bunny Wall

I must confess I have a thing for rabbits and this time of the year makes me giddy. I always say if you want to see a grown man turn into a five year old boy, just show me bunnies. Or better yet, let me hold and pet one.

Or we can put them on the walls. And artist Hunt Slonem, internationally renowned for his colorful and expressionistic images of tropical plants and animals, has done just that with his charming new wallpaper and fabric line for Groundworks/Lee Jofa (Kravet). Based on his famous salon-style bunny walls in his own studio (which feature scores of small paintings of rabbits, some hung while still wet) seen here:

...Groundworks' Bunny Wall is a trompe l’oeil wallpaper created from a digital image of one of Slonem's many Bunny Walls in his studio and is available in a background of ivory, black, blue, or red.

And even cuter and more uniform is his Hutch pattern, featuring a sea of his frolicking bunnies, available in several different colorways.

Happy designing!

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Minimalist Master Bathroom by Fiorito Interior Design

I have seen an interesting trend recently in bathroom designs and that is: clients removing bath tubs in favor of luxuriously spacious walk-in showers. I don't think tubs are on their way out (I am currently doing a master bath that includes a beautiful, sculptural free-standing bath tub) but clearly people want elbow room when they shower. And my client's bathroom in this post (with a 10-foot ceiling height!) certainly has the space!

This client has tubs in other bathrooms in the house should anyone want to take a soak, so she really wanted a roomy, barrier-free shower in the master bathroom. We removed a large tub and claimed that space for a wonderful pre-shower area. And thankfully she was very open to my design ideas which included continuous flooring material (linen-striated ceramic tiles) covering the entire bathroom and running into the zero-clearance shower with a hidden, tiled drain; opulent, large-format, marble-patterned wall tiles; a glass wall shower enclosure; modern mirrors with integrated LED lights; and a glamorous but tailored chandelier to infuse sophistication and luxury to this sleek, minimalist space. The new room based on a relaxing blue and cream color palette is light, bright, and uncluttered. These days, the ultimate luxury is not having a space full of things, but having a space that is simply full of space!

All after photos by Bernardo Grijalva.

Below, you can see the former tub and shower, and vanity with a single, large, dated mirror...

If you have a bathroom in need of a shower make-over, give me a call!
Happy designing!