Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Appliance energy savings (on a stick)

August 23, 2013
stainlesssteelfrenchdoorrefrigerator

Check out the energy savings on THAT one! A fairgoer learns about the payoff of Energy Star appliances.

Again this year we’re educating Minnesota State Fair-goers about the money and energy you’ll save by using Energy Star appliances.

The Eco Experience, housed in the Progress Center building, educates Minnesotans about sustainable living practices from not throwing away your aluminum can (can you believe 60% do?) to keeping our drinking water clean to — the main event — Energy Star appliances!

energystarsappliancesThe federal government created the Energy Star label 20 years ago to promote to consumers appliances that went above and beyond the standards set for energy efficiency.

These energy-efficient appliances, though sometimes more expensive at point of purchase than standard appliances, represent a greater lifetime value when factoring in the money saved through lower utility costs.

Only refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and washers currently carry Energy Star ratings, though the word is that dryers will soon follow. Not all appliances can be Energy Star rated because there’s not enough difference in energy use within the category to create a meaningful distinction for buyers. We’ll see if that changes.

New this year!

Warners’ Stellian is proud to partner with the University of Minnesota College of Design for the Gen Y Eco House  exhibit, designed by students to reflect the future of home design for Millennials. The students say that their generation cooks little but values energy and water efficiency so we’re featuring appliances that pack a punch in a smaller footprint: a Bosch induction cooktop, a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer and a U-Line compact refrigerator/freezer. The laundry is stackable with an Energy Star washer and a sensor dryer. Instead of an oven, the students chose an Electrolux convection microwave, which works double duty to both reheat and bake.

 

I’ve taken a Pinterest in home HOW TO and DIY decorating

January 30, 2012

My growing collection of pins!

Not since Facebook my freshman year of college have I seen a social network take off so wildly as Pinterest.

I’ve been collecting clever ideas and pretty kitchens for years on another, less visual bookmarking site but have finally given in.

I’ve traded my tags for pins! Find me and plenty of kitchen and home inspiration under Warners’ Stellian.

If you like, follow some of my boards. And then please add your account in the comments below so I can follow you back!

How to buy a range: choose a style

October 25, 2011

We've come a long way, baby. (Photo courtesy of Time)

Now that you’ve figured out where to buy a stove (as if there were a question), here are some quick tips on how to buy a stove.

The fastest way to narrow your options — beside knowing your existing fuel type, gas or electric — is to identify your style.

 

Freestanding ranges

The freestanding range is the most commonly used range style in homes, probably because it’s the most affordable and easiest to install. Featuring finished sides and a flat back, this range can sit flush against a back wall.

>>Shop freestanding electric ranges

>>Shop freestanding gas ranges

 

Built-in ranges

With the growing trend of kitchen islands and decoratively tiled backsplashes, the slide-in range has become one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. Featuring unfinished sides and back, this style is designed to be built in between two cabinets.

The body of the range is typically 30-inches wide, and the top of the range is slightly wider to prevent crumbs from getting in the crevices between the countertop and range while providing a more built-in appearance. The oven and burner controls are located on the front of the range, just above the oven door.

Though similar to a slide-in range, the drop-in range has waned in popularity in recent years.

The primary difference is that while a slide-in range touches the floor, a drop in range sits on top of a cabinet baseboard. Though a drop-in range looks more built in than a freestanding range or even a slide-in range, it’s also more difficult to replace because of its height and the limited selection of drop-in style ranges.

>>See built-in gas ranges

>>See built-in electric ranges

 

Professional (pro-style) ranges

While it is the most expensive range style available in the industry today, the professional range is becoming more common in high-end and gourmet kitchens. Pro-style ranges take the performance and styling of a true commercial range and make it safe to use for a home cook.

The oven and burner controls are always located on the front, just above the door.  Professional ranges feature burners capable of reaching high temperature for rapid boiling as well as extremely low temperatures for delicate and precise simmering. Larger models (36”, 48” or 60” wide) offer flexibility in the cooking surface, allowing for the addition of built-in griddles, grills and other specialty surfaces. Large oven(s) generally boast convection capabilities and intensely high-temperature broiling.

Professional ranges generally come in a stainless steel finish although some manufacturers such as Viking and Bertazzoni other distinctive colors (i.e. beyond white and black).

 

>> Read more advice on buying a range in our Range Buying Guide.

>>See all our Appliance Buying Guides

Local kitchen on DIY Network

September 26, 2011

Months ago, we helped the super cool, Minneapolis foodies Carrie and Robert Shidla create a cook’s kitchen for their episode of DIY Network’s “I Hate My Kitchen.”

Magnetic Productions' videographer shoots our pink truck during the delivery of the Shidla's appliances. Remember all that snow? Ick.

Delivery guys Dave and Brian navigate the range into the living room, where it lived during the remodeling.

Our episode finally aired last Tuesday, Sept. 20, so I can finally share the photos.

Carrie is such a doll; she happily posed with her new LG fridge for me. She LOVES to cook, so she was so excited to have a beautiful, functional kitchen.

And now for the big reveal (drumroll, please?)…

Photo courtesy of DIY Network

We chose all LG appliances. Click on the image for more information on the specific product.

Photo courtesy of DIY Network

Photo courtesy DIY Network

Photo courtesy of DIY Network

Photo courtesy of DIY Network

If you missed the episode (I can’t post it online, unfortunately), you can catch it when it replays on DIY Network (ch. 121 on Twin Cities Comcast). Here’s the schedule (all times in CST):

Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. & 2:30 a.m.

Sept. 29, 4 p.m.

Oct. 11, 9 a.m.

Oct. 16, 1 p.m

Homes By Architects Tour — Sept. 17-18

September 14, 2011

Architect Jean Rehkamp and Carla Warner check out a kitchen on the Homes By Architects Tour.

So, you’ve heard of the Parade of Homes, but this weekend visit a select group of homes in Minnesota designed with all the thoughtfulness and beauty an architect can lend.

Now in its third year, the Homes By Architects Tour runs Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18 from 10-5.

Want a sneak peak?

Carla Warner previewed Home #6 in Edina with architect Jean Rehkamp of Rehkamp Larson Architects about integrated appliances (streamlining the look of appliances into your kitchen cabinets).

And in case you missed it, a couple months ago, I visited with the owners of  Home #11 in Grant and learned how a perfect kitchen is created for the Homes By Architects blog.

>> Read “For the Love of Appliances”

Dana Wheelock photo

I was jealous of their setup, to say the least. It’s a must see!

Since Warners’ Stellian is featured in several of the homes (also #7 and #10), we’re sponsoring the tour.

Buy tickets online through Friday or at the door at any house Saturday and Sunday.

Vintage refrigerator for the modern retro kitchen

July 27, 2011

Move over Big Chill. There’s another brand of retro fridges called Northstar (part of Elmira Stoveworks, which also makes antique appliances).

Those decorating their houses in midcentury modern style want to continue the retro look into the kitchen. But it’s not the best idea to use actual retro appliances.

Why? They’re extremely inefficient, offer smaller capacity than conventional appliances and often run loudly. Plus, if it breaks, good luck finding decades-old parts.

Luckily, Northstar makes retro refrigerators with all the modern features:

  • Modern configurations like bottom freezer style, which keep the food you need most often in easy reach
  • Energy Star rating saves you money on your utility bill
  • 19 cubic feet accommodates way more food than an antique refrigerator
  • Comes in your choice of colors (shown – Cherry Red, White, Bisque, Flamingo Pink, Robin’s Egg Blue, Buttercup Yellow, Textured Black, Mint Green and Quick Silver)
  • Interior lights and freezer baskets
  • See more features and benefits

We’re showing this model, the 1950 in Cherry Red, at our appliance store in Edina across from the Galleria if you want to take a peek. And we deliver and install these for free to our local customers :)

Laundry room ideas that do double duty

June 24, 2011

Because it’s the sole unfinished room in my house, my laundry room is my project in waiting.

I love browsing laundry room designs for inspiration, and my favorites incorporate multiple purposes into an otherwise underused space.

Now that washers and dryers are less noisy, people don’t mind setting up a gift-wrapping station into laundry room shelves. You might see a craft or scrapbooking station among laundry room cabinets and decor. Some people are even including laundry into mudrooms and bathrooms. I say it’s smart!

Check out these laundry room photos I grabbed (mostly from houzz.com) exemplifying some multipurpose room ideas.

Laundry Room traditional laundry room
traditional laundry room design by grand rapids architect Visbeen Associates, Inc.
Not only is a laundry room counter a great place to fold clothes, but it’s also ideal for wrapping presents.
Willowgrove Laundry Room contemporary laundry room
contemporary laundry room design by other metros interior designer Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.
I’m a sucker for black and white, so I love this mudroom/laundry room. So clean.
Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. eclectic laundry room
eclectic laundry room design by dc metro kitchen and bath Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
Tuck a small office space next to your laundry to kill two to-do list birds with one stone. I especially like that the office chair can fold up easily.
Master bath / laundry eclectic laundry room
eclectic laundry room design by boston kitchen and bath Artisan Kitchens LLC
Why devote an entire space to doing laundry when most front-loading washer and dryers stack easily to hide in a bathroom cabinet?
No 2 contemporary laundry room
contemporary laundry room design by san diego kitchen and bath Tina Kuhlmann
Another laundry room with a gift-wrapping station, but a bit brighter this time. I love the hexagon tile on the floor :)
inspiration contemporary laundry room
contemporary laundry room design
Another bathroom/laundry room, but a countertop acts as a supplies shelf and folding station this time.
woodlawn residence traditional laundry room
traditional laundry room design
Clean your pets while you clean your clothes!
Modern Laundry Room by Normandy Builders modern laundry room
modern laundry room design by chicago general contractor Normandy Builders
I believe that the washer and dryer are tucked in these cabinets? It also includes a gift-wrapping station and gardening center.

Haven’t you always wanted a corner office?

Center Street Mudroom traditional entry
traditional entry design by boston kitchen and bath Venegas and Company
Mudroom with peak-a-boo stacked laundry.

This laundry room, while less chic, makes space for everything in cute, colorful containers and includes a counter space for folding, wrapping and crafting.

Kitchen appliance colors 2010

November 5, 2010

You won’t see color appliances outside white and black in many kitchens, but gee, isn’t it fun to look at pictures to get kitchen color ideas?

I’d pledge my firstborn Le Creuset to someone who could actually produce a photo with this combination of kitchen appliance colors, but for some Friday fun, I assembled a roundup of fall-inspired colored appliances.

Viking Colored Microwave

This little (Viking Pumpkin Colored Microwave) guy’s so festive, I’d like to carve him up and put it on my doorstep.

No, you can’t panel a microwave — and yes, lots of people ask — but Viking Appliances does let you choose among a bunch of colors:

Viking appliance colors

Red Wine never looked so good. (Actually, red wine looks good to me on a regular basis, but it’s still a very attractive range.)

Viking iconic pro-style ranges aren’t the only choice for cooking in colors.

Bertazzoni, an Italian cooking appliance-maker, uses the same paint as car-maker Ferrari to paint its appliances.

(What is it with appliances mixing with automotive design?).

In fact, one of its ranges is even called Ferrari Red.

This Bertazzoni colored range in Wine just seems so cold-weather inspired.

>> See other Bertazzoni range colors

Perhaps Plum is more of a winter color…but I couldn’t resist including a big purple refrigerator.

Back to Viking: Doesn’t your dream kitchen include a built-in colored refrigerator…in plum?

Those not in the high-end appliance market shouldn’t feel left out.

There’s always seasonal dishwasher magnets.

Win tickets for this weekend’s Homes By Architects Tour

September 13, 2010

Note: Tell me why you’d like to go to AIA-MN’s Homes By Architects Tour in the comments by 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 for a chance to score a pair of tickets. I’ll probably choose at random, unless someone writes a super good comment.

Photo courtesy AIA-MN

I’m in love with the kitchen from the Star Tribune’s September Home of the Month (see the photo gallery).

The article talks about how the homeowners worked with Nguyen Architects to open up their fixer-upper Lake Minnetonka home, including adding priceless views to their “cave-like kitchen”:

The most dramatic improvement is that Jen can look at the lake through massive picture windows while she chops veggies.

I guess that’s the benefit of working with an architect (and living on Lake Minnetonka) — changing a sore spot into a functional, thoughtful and of course, beautiful, space.

The Orono home is No. 3 on the American Institute of Architects-Minnesota’s Hom

Home No. 9

es By Architects Tour, happening Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19 from 10-5.

We supplied the appliances for this gorgeous project, as well as those in the kitchen of the No. 9 home.

Get a video sneak peak of this European-inspired kitchen from Carla Warner and architect Rosemary McMonigal, AIA, of McMonigal Architects LLC:

Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door. Plus, we’re giving you several chances to win a pair of tickets (see note above and our Twitter and Facebook) prior to this weekend.

HOW TO: ace the Spaces portfolio review

July 9, 2010

Spaces magazine asked us to host the local shelter publication’s kitchen and bath portfolio review on July 22 at our Warners’ Stellian Edina showroom.

Editor Heidi Raschke and Art Director Ellen Thomson will give designers three minutes to present a project or two, which will hopefully lead to a future feature! To help you best prepare for the review, I asked Heidi and Ellen to offer some advice, which follows below. For more information on the event and to RSVP, visit our events calendar. Good luck!

1. We’re looking for a variety of projects, and we’re looking for good stories. Sometimes a project itself is so innovative or grand or dazzling that it’s strong enough for a story. Sometimes the story behind the project makes it interesting. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. If you’re excited about it, we probably will be interested, too.

2. You only have three minutes to meet us and tell us about your work, so come prepared with a focused presentation. Show us one or two projects that you’re really proud of or that is indicative of your style rather than a smattering. Leave us printouts or discs with photos as well as your contact information and any other information you’d like to share about the project or projects.

3. If you have projects that have already been professionally photographed, that’s a huge plus. Not a requirement, but a plus.

Ellen Thomson (back) and Heidi Raschke (front)

4. If you know the homeowner will talk to us, that also is a plus. We prefer to have homeowners on the record.

5. Don’t be intimidated. The time limits are necessary, but try to relax. You’re helping us get smarter and do our jobs better, and we appreciate the help. Portfolio reviews are fun for us. We really enjoy getting out of the office, putting faces with names and seeing your work.

6. If you have questions in advance, feel free to e-mail Heidi Raschke at hraschke@pioneerpress.com or Ellen Thomson at ellenmthomson@pioneerpress.com.

Hope to see you there,
Heidi Raschke and Ellen Thomson


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