Tuesday, June 6, 2017

White Kitchens With A Retro Pop

White kitchens have been on trend for a while now. I think they are timeless and will probably never go out of style, kinda like a classic pair of blue jeans. Let's be honest though, basic white kitchens can get boring. To pump up the personality of a white kitchen, you need to put some thought into the other choices going into the space like the appliances, cabinet door styles, backsplash and counter selections that can take the blah out and deliver some needed pizazz. 

Via Houzz

So I'm thinking, why not go from the ordinary to the extraordinary with retro appliances that add a little zhush and confidence to an all white kitchen? I'm talking about appliances that call attention to themselves as soon as guests enter the room –  unique options like those from Elmira Stove Works that recall the automobiles of the 1950s with big tail fins and elongated chrome. 

Via Houzz

The 1939 Hambly house interior showcases a clean, minimalist millwork where your eye goes directly to the appliances. 

Hambly house. Credit:Elmira Stove works 

The turquoise Northstar stove and fridge from the owners former home was actually the starting point for the kitchen design. 

Hambly house. Credit:Elmira Stove works   

The Northstar ranges not only look retro but seriously perform up to modern standards with 15,000 BTU gas burners, 2500-watt high speed radiant elements, standard self-cleaning ovens, programmable delayed bake capability, true convection ovens and a two-cubic foot warmer. The control elements under the ceramic top model provide quick, precise cooking and easy clean up too. I love the timeless styling with state-of-the-art convenience and performance features. 

Via Houzz

White-on-white is the theme in the kitchen above. With their retro styling and hardware, the white Northstar appliances nicely complement the black and white checkerboard floors and natural stone countertops.

If you’re looking for your perfect kitchen, Elmira has an easy way to help you achieve it. Their interactive online kitchen configurator tool lets you “create your dream kitchen” so you can get an idea of how Elmira’s vintage inspired kitchen appliances can be applied in your space. Click here to try it out! 

Connect with Elmira Stove Works on their WEBSITE, FACEBOOKPINTEREST

All Images courtesy of Elmira Stove Works  

Thanks in part to Elmira Stove Works for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Steam, Lighting and Laminate Design impacts lives #Designhounds 2017

Last Monday, I darted into the city to meet up with #designhounds to embrace what is hot on the New York design scene. I started off at a breakfast with Mr. Steam at the delicious Landmarc and then shot off to the ICFF, North America's premier platform for global design to meet up with Hubbardton Forge and Wilsonart

Breakfast with #designhounds : Catherine Avery, Amy Wax, Christine Kohut, Veronika Miller, Michele Alfano, Deborah Von Donop, Laurie Gorelick, Patti Johnson and Martha Orellana

I enjoyed my day and noticed some overlap from brand to brand. I saw how each brand explored how the intersection of materials, design and technology can impact lives on a day to day basis.

NEW-Mr. Steam Linear SteamHead

Martha, Mr. Steam's VP of Marketing spoke about how "wellness should be a way life." There are so many benefits of steam and how we designers can educate our clients to understand how steam can promote a happier and healthier lifestyle. Why not "feel good" on a day to day basis versus the sporadic 'treat yourself' weekend to the spa? 

I have previously met Martha on the Modenus -Blog Tour California where I viscerally experienced the steam experience with TALA clay all over my face. I walked away understanding that there are major health and beauty advantages to steam-bathing that can fit into a well designed life. 

Mr. Steam Blog Tour Cali Image Credit: Chasen West

You know how awesome you feel from a spa steam afterwards! Your pores open up and your skin feels smoother; your muscles loosen up and you unwind; your sinuses clear and you breathe easier. The release of toxins in your body from steam also helps headaches and joint inflammation...the potential of steam is tremendous! Steam is therapy.... 

Mr. Steam's intelligent operating system iSteam offers an array of options with easy touch screen navigation: add music, aroma (aromasteam) , colored lighting (chromasteam) and/or control the temperature in your very own shower. Mr. Steams online virtual spa system makes it easy. Get a simple system or all the bells and whistles. You can see the pricing on their website as you select your options. 

Now Light Benefits....

Not only steam but also light has the ability to transform one's life. Hubbardton Forge, a lighting manufacturer in Vermont USA showcased new lighting collections that incorporate crystals and color. From the ancient Egyptian times of King Tut to the modern masters of Cartier, crystals have been prized for their beauty and their healing and spiritual properties. Light passing through crystals start a vibration within the minerals and will resonate with the faceted patterns of the crystal. I really believe that this reflection and refraction can help us to restore balance and stress in our lives. 

The Artemis LED pendant 

I would say Hubbardton Forge lighting is synonymous with craftsmanship where crystal design is taken to the next level. Each design is specifically crafted to display crystals like they were jewels in a jewelry setting as shown in the Artemis LED pendant above. How beautiful, right?

Solitude LED Pendant

Each crystal in the Solitude LED Pendant rises from an LED light guide so light is reflected and refracted. This pendant can be hand crafted up to 18'-0" long. What a statement this fixture makes over a dining room table!!

Color too affects one's mood and how we feel in a space. I loved The Cumulus light fixture below, its fun, colorful funkiness has some kinetic movement too. Shown as a floor lamp. Go to my instagram to see the video: @michelealfanodesign

Now Laminate... 

Wilsonart, a leading manufacturer of engineered surfacing developed Wilsonart Challenges, an innovative Student Chair Competition celebrating laminate with a "borders, boundaries and mashup theme" for 2017. Each entry from the San Diego State University explores a resolution of life between extremes by using patterns from the Wilsonart Laminate collection. Grace Jeffers, a design historian and materials expert told us #designhounds that the program is incorporated into the students curriculum and there was a winner and 5 runner ups.

The competition itself fosters inspiration, innovation with a hands on opportunity where the students actually build their design.  We saw all the cool designs at ICFF! Besides the students learning and understanding the properties of laminate, they most importantly learned how material emphasizes a message. Design has a way of touching a nerve and impacting lives....

Here were some of my faves:

Megan Acera. Chair:Joyful Frustration. 
Frustration from one's desires results in a happy resolution as evident in her fragmentation and color choice

Matthew John Bacer -winner of competition. Chair:A piece of Tlaltecuhtli.
He reflects on the use of appropriation of a famous stone monolith in Mexico city. The use of and color of laminate looks like real stone.

Anna Karreskog- Chair Waves- using her engineering knowledge, she celebrates the endless succession of San Diego's ocean's waves. 

Thankyou to Veronika Miller of Modenus and #designhounds, Mr. Steam, Wilsonart and Hubbardton Forge for a great day!!
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Monday, March 27, 2017

True Refrigeration with Vanessa Deleon Customized a Copper and Matte Black Kitchen

True, a leader in refrigeration showcased its new color custom finishes and hardware options at the Architectural Digest Design show 2017 where interior designer Vanessa Deleon custom-designed a black and copper kitchen booth design.

Vanessa Deleon is a New York-based interior designer, product designer, blogger, brand ambassador and lifestyle expert. Vanessa's kitchen design stopped designers in their tracks. Copper is the hot metal now and she combined matte black and copper. It was fun seeing her at the show. She stated,  "the color combination reminds me of a cool copper mug and a little black dress.

Moi and Vanessa Deleon

The new custom finishes for True include Stainless steel, Antique White, Matte Black and Gloss Black and the hardware options include copper, brass and chrome.

True is offering 30 inch column refrigerators, freezers and window models. These sleek and stylish columns offer homeowners the freedom to customize their appliance layout to your lifestyle and design aesthetic. 

Steve Proctor, True Director of Sales and Marketing stated, "Combined with the added flexibility of space and functionality of our new 30-inch Columns, the design possibilities are endless.”

Build Your True tool is True’s online customizer interactive tool on its website to help designers and customers visualize their finish and hardware combination. Once created, the color combinations can be easily downloaded and shared between designers and clients. 

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Outdoor Charred Bar for Perlick Design Competition

Last year, I entered into a competition called the #HowdoyouPerlick Bar Design Competition for the 2016 KBIS show. My submission, the CHARRED bar, showed a modern concrete outdoor entertainment island featuring a trough sink in the center for chilling beverages on ice. I was considered one of four finalists and the design came to life! Perlicks  undercounter refrigeration was front and center with the beer tap dispenser at the back of the island too! 

The inspiration for this design and the unique materials used:

The CHARRED bar design is when man-made concrete design and an artisanal Far East tradition intersect. The fusion for this outdoor space highlights Perlick’s innovative beverage system and under counter refrigeration. Inspired by the Japanese process called Shou-Sugi-ban, the design features dark charcoal Stikwood planks emulating handcrafted, aged burnt wood. The distinct wood grains adds warmth against the sleek concrete table lines.  This symbiotic relationship makes a bold statement and draws the individual into this enticing Perlick space.

1.   Display Wall and Overhang: Charcoal Wood Planks 5″ wide x 12″-48″ wide. Donated by Stikwood
2.   Concrete Table fabricated by Exhibit Systems
4.   HP24CO-3-3L Perlick Under Counter Refrigerator
5. Beer Dispenser

Ready for some wine or beer?

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What does Perlick refrigeration and Buster and Punch hardware have in common?

 Perlick undercounter refrigeration and Martini bar | Buster & Punch Hardware

At the Architectural Digest Show 2017 I was excited to see two of my favorite brands come together - Perlick and Buster & Punch. Both brands seems to be a perfect fit for their unique attention to detail and unrivaled quality!  Perlick is celebrating its 100th anniversary of cool by delivering superior appliances essential to entertaining - like indoor and outdoor undercounter refrigeration, wine reserves, beer dispensers and ice makers!! Their products are designed to combine old world craftsmanship with innovate technology!

The 24" refrigerator and freezer door models are compatible with the Martini bar where you can either hang empty glasses or hold pre-made cocktails! Love it, especially with the blue glow- perfect for a party ambiance as shown in picture above!

See the detailing of the Buster and Punch hardware. Above are their new line of switches. Perlick in their booth is showing how you can incorporate their hardware and unique lighting too with their beverage lines!

Cool right? 

Even cooler, I am 1 of 5 finalists chosen for Perlick's Ambassador of Cool! 

To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Perlick took the show floor at the 2017 Kitchen and Bath industry show (KBIS) in Orlando to find their company's Ambassador of Cool for 2017. Each participant had to audition with Editor at Large at the show! I guess I rocked it since Im one of the finalists. I would love to hear from you-  Shout out on Perlick's facebook page

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

All you need is Love: DIFFA DINING by DESIGN 2017

Fight. For life,for love. Roche Bobois + Gensler 

For 20 years, DIFFA National has invited renowned designers and brands to transform a raw space into an inventive dining-scape for its annual fundraiser - DINING BY DESIGN. #DBD20. It happened over this past weekend at Pier 94 in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show  where the mission is to raise awareness and help the support to fight against those living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. 

Moi and Kathy Sandler  having some reflective fun off 
of Rockwell Groups Sunset Dichroic glass!

I felt honored to be a part of the steering committee this year. There was enormous talent and I love how a community of people come together to eat and celebrate design in a highly creative forum. Besides Cocktails by Design and the Dinner Gala, you can visit the silent auction online where you can place bids on an amazing variety of designer furniture, exclusive trips  to signature pieces of art. Click here by Monday evening March 20th.

I was standing near David Rockwell of Rockwell Group and Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief of INTERIOR DESIGN MAGAZINE and I felt the power in their presence so I snapped a pic. 

All you need is Love reminds us what's important

 Picture of a picture - Cocktails Dining by Design in Mirmir picture booth

The creation of intimate, unique dining vignettes were cutting edge and had ingenious creativity! Scroll down and be impressed and inspired by some of my faves... 

Sculptural At from found objects. Parsons The New School for Design

The push and pull represents the fight prevention and cure of AIDS. Perkins + Will, SteelCase. Coalesse, Designtex, Empire Ofiice & Arktura.

 Manmade vs Natural. Design Within in Reach designed by Language Dept.

Light and Technology FLORIM with Messaana O'Rorke. 

 Desert at Dusk with projection on Cacti. Rockwell Group with Ovando

 Focus on Art. Twyla with Design Ed Granger

 Art of Craft. Sunbrella + Coral & Tusk

 Design Process through the lens of a kitchen. AJ Madison& Viking Range + ODA NY

 Urban life. Tai Ping and Designer Andre Fu

Light and Color merges to create unity
New York School of Interior Design

 Natural, Recycled and unexpected. Blue Ocean Design & Charleston Limewash

Nightlife. Pratt Institute with Tyler Wisler

Some party. New York Times designed by Liaigre with Douglas Little.

  Reflections. Materials Inc, Steelite + Tzelan.

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