Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

What’s your favorite finish? White, black or stainless steel?

June 23, 2010

I really like the contrast of the white appliances against the black cabinets here. And it surprises, because we now expect stainless steel. Image courtesy theletteredcottage.net

Appliances historically have been white, but how do you feel about colors like black or alternative finishes like stainless steel?

Tradition makes white classic, but it also makes anything different stand out all the more in a kitchen.

Trendy right now are stainless steel appliances, which followed the popularity of commercial-style ranges and cooking appliances that were always made of stainless steel. Their clean modern looks makes it hard to argue against their popularity.

houzz.com

But stainless steel appliances usually cost more, and in some cases a great deal more (though right now through Aug. 1, GE is offering a free upgrade to stainless steel from white and black).

I think when I replace my appliances, I’ll probably choose stainless steel because my sense tells me it will add to the resale value of my home, which I don’t plan to live in for more than seven years.

Plus, it’s hard to match commercial cooking products to colored finishes, leaving me to lean toward the even more expensive integrated (or paneled) looks.

What do you have now: black, white or stainless steel? What will you replace it with when the time comes and why?

Are stainless steel appliances an environmental no-no?

May 19, 2010

Stainless steel has become the standard finish for many when replacing kitchen appliances.

The growing popularity of commercial ranges like Viking and Wolf ranges introduced stainless steel to the kitchen.

And soon homeowners wanted to coordinate the clean, contemporary look with refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves.

But environmental concerns wisely also influence purchasing decisions today.

The Star Tribune’s Fixit columnist, Karen Youso, posed the question of whether stainless steel appliances should worry eco-conscious consumers.

Her answer, happily, is no:

Stainless steel can be — and is — recycled. (According to the International Stainless Steel Forum, new stainless-steel products are made from about 60 percent recycled stainless.) Its alternative, enameled steel, also is recyclable, so stainless steel isn’t significantly better or worse for the environment.

But materials aren’t all that important when trying to determine how earth-friendly home appliances are. What matters most is energy efficiency, said Lise Laurin, founder of EarthShift, a Vermont company that works with corporations and institutions on sustainability.

Of course, we recycle replaced appliances for free on most purchases, so you can feel comfortable about upgrading to stainless steel. Just make them Energy Star appliances.

Interior design home tour kicks off Saturday

May 14, 2010

The 2010 ASID Showcase Home Tour starts Saturday — and this year there’s two homes.

You can take a self-guided tour of both homes, a result of the work of 26 designers from the Minnesota Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, May 15-June 13.

The homes

The brand new Calhoun condo (the first ever in the Showcase) is located on the northeast corner of the lake and is “designed for a future homeowner who appreciates clean-lined, sophisticated spaces,” said the Minneapolis.St.Paul Magazine website.

Then again, a note from the local ASID president said the styling tries to be pleasing to anyone.

I guess that the future homeowner is “anyone” technically, so…

Anyway, I saw the sketches and photos of the finishes and furniture, etc. and it looks gorgeous.

Add $60 to your ticket and tour the homes during a Culinary Evening. Hosted by Stephanie Marsh of Minneapolis.St.Paul Magazine, the tour includes food from

Next up, the Lake of the Isles turn-of-the-century home is “designed for a world traveler, Dan Buettner.”  Buettner, author the “The Blue Zones” (which I’ve honestly never heard of) incorporated his travels and theories about longevity into each room.

He’s even having “Blue Zones Day” at the house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Saturday, May 22. For $20 (plus an additional $20 if you want an autographed copy of his book), Buettner will “discuss how Power 9 is incorporated into his home” and there will be healthy living experts on hand (and wine sampling).

Ticket info

Buy your tickets at a participating ticket outlet for $15 and save $5. Otherwise, you’ll pay $20 by phone (Mpls.St.Paul Magazine at 612-336-9296) or online.

Audio tours will be offered again this year, which I’m excited for. Detailed room information can be accessed from a handheld device at your own pace. Don’t care about kitchens? Fine, skip it (more for me).

Have you ever been on the tour? Let me know what you think.

For more events happening around town, check out our Special Events Calendar.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers