Hospitality of Pegboard


What a lady. Just look at that modern solution to kitchen storage. Julia Child’s kitchen makes great use of everyday pegboard to create visual interest, art if you will, and in turn a well organized kitchen. Or was it the other way around?  Pegboard is one of those ubiquitous everyday objects that often gets overlooked, simple perforated hardboard provides the flexibility to design a display. Traditionally used for tools, Julia’s inspiration suggests the possibilities are endless. And installing pegboard is an easy DIY-ers dream.


Image source

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Aniline Dye For Wood

When installing or renovating a kitchen, there are many finish options for cabinetry. Natural wood, lacquer, paint, or stain are just some of the many available. Aniline Dye is one of my favorites and is a bit more uncommon. It’s simple enough to do yourself, with a bit of practice. Aniline dye adds a rich luminous layer of color to wood without masking its natural beauty. Dyes are often confused with stains. A stain is essentially a thin, lightened form of paint which coats the surface of the wood without penetrating it. Dyes on the other hand, soak into the wood and create a deep layer of color. They are generally transparent, so they’re a great choice if you don’t want to cover up a beautiful grain. Dyes allow the natural hue of the wood to show through. For example, a pale blue dye applied to yellow pine might result in a slight green cast. Bleaching wood before you dye it will provide a more neutral background. There is a subtle and sophisticated quality to aniline dyed wood projects. Depth of finish can be adjusted by custom mixing to achieve just the color you are looking for. The dye comes in a dry powder form, and water or alcohol is added to create the desired color for your project. A great DIY project, providing the opportunity to create a custom wood finish, with a simple application using a brush, foam applicator or sponge. Typically, two to three coats result in a evenly colored wood, less for a more sheer look, and additional layers create a more opaque finish. Allow at least 12 hours between coats for dye to penetrate into the wood and dry. I’d love to see images of your project!

Image and excerpts sourced at Houzz.

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Vipp Kitchen


Vipp is one of my all time favorite brands. At once utilitarian and refined, the attention to detail in every piece they design is without compromise. Beautiful proportions, sophisticated colorways-  While reading Wallpaper I was thrilled to learn of their recent kitchen introductions. Vipp has always created accessory pieces for the kitchen and bath. Now, a gorgeous new line of kitchen cabinets. Not unlike the simplicity of St. Charles cabinets of the 1950′s, these new Vipp creations are simple, strong and true. The mechanisms of the drawer construction, and detail of the ‘floating’ countertop, are a welcomed addition to the ever growing kitchen market. I find even some of the most well known modern kitchen lines to be over-scaled, and often overwhelming to residential clients. Vipp’s line has managed to create clean, modern casework, that is scaled for  the user, and possess’ a feeling of welcome and comfort. “The complete Vipp kitchen concept unfolds in every detail. Even fixtures, drawer pulls and inserts, range hood as well as gas knobs are developed in respect to Vipp’s design DNA injecting a functional and visual cohesiveness into the kitchen. The kinship in the Vipp collection is unmistakable in both the choice of materials and style. New products are manufactured using the characteristic Vipp materials, steel and rubber, enhancing Vipp’s more than 70-year-old tradition for excellent craftsmanship.”

‘Morten Bo Jensen is the creative mind behind recent years’ new Vipp products. At the rather tender age of 27, Morten Bo was entrusted to carry on the Vipp family’s design legacy. Educated industrial designer in Denmark and with a past working for the Biomega Bike brand, Morten Bo took on the challenge of bringing the 70-year-old Vipp design DNA into the future.

From the company’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Morten Bo runs Vipp Design Lab that continuously seeks to combine aesthetics and functionality in order to reach new dimensions’.

Images and excerpts sourced at Vipp




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St. Charles Cabinets

St. Charles Cabinetry has been chosen for some of the most celebrated residences in America. Legendary 20th-century homes, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (above),  were designed with St. Charles Cabinetry . For those of us with mid-century modern homes, when faced with a kitchen remodel, we have often gone to great lengths to restore our existing St. Charles cabinets, and source additional cabinets through dealers or even on ebay. When we moved into our 1950′s ranch, we had the St. Charles cabinets original to our home electrostatic painted. When we purchased the house, the cabinets were peach. We painted them original high gloss white. They are as good as new, and it was quite a transformation.

St. Charles cabinets are worth restoring. They are tough, steel cabinets which stand the test of time. They are simple and timeless, and inherently modern. These cabinets are designed and built in the U.S., and are made from 70% recycled content, and the finished product is 98% recyclable. Doesn’t get any better than that. Or does it?

St. Charles Cabinets are now owned by Viking. This is great news for those looking to do restoration work, or even install a new simple, timeless, modern kitchen. I was thrilled to learn that Richard Meier is leading the charge with a new generation of architects choosing St. Charles Cabinetry for their projects. With the reintroduction, enhancements to the original design make this classic hard to resist.  Finish options have been expanded to include a palette of stainless steel and 24 powdercoat paint finishes, glass fronts, modernized storage options and base cabinets that even arrive prewired for lighting.

Check them out at:
Farnsworth image found at

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Witches Kitchen Collection Design with a Conscience Series.

Currently on display at the Cooper Hewitt as part of the Why Desgn Now? National Design Triennial, is the work of renowned design producer Artecnica.   Partnering with the nonprofit organizations Aid to Artisans and the British Council to identify artisan communities around the world with which to pair internationally respected designers such as Hella Jongerius and Stephen Burk, to create viable products for the global design market. Faced with a dwindling market for local artisan work, the Design with a Conscience collaboration successfully combines fair-trade practices, sustainable and recycled materials, and design insight to increase work and revenue for these impoverished communities. A true partnership, the designer’s work is influenced by the artisans’ materials, methods, environment, and culture.
Witches’ Kitchen, a handcrafted kitchenware collection, is the most recent project in Artecnica’s ongoing campaign. Inspired by the darker side of Western fairytales, industrial designer Tord Boontje worked with Brazil’s Coopa-Roca women’s cooperative to make an all black, hand-sewn selection of kitchen couture; with Guatemalan artisans to make hand-carved, double-ended wooden utensils; and with Colombian potters for a group of hand-formed black ceramic cookware. At the center of Artecnica’s series are the people who sustain the traditional crafts, building ongoing relationships with each group. The Coopa-Roca women’s cooperative, which previously made a Boontje-designed chandelier, makes the hand-sewn Witches’ and Wizards’ Apron and Glove collection. Boontje introduced a natural pattern from the forest as a new graphic addition to traditional Colombian black pottery. Leaves are pressed into the wet clay and burn away when fired, leaving an imprint. Made without glazes, the cookware—a casserole and saucepan—are naturally lead- and toxin-free. Each of the carved Guatemalan utensils is made from sustainable and reforested wood sourced locally.

Witches’ Kitchen collection, Design with a Conscience series. Tord Boontje (Dutch, b. 1968), Studio Tord Boontje. Client: Artecnica. France, 2008. Excerpts and images courtesy of

About the Exhibition

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
2 East 91st Street, NY, NY.
On view through January 9, 2011.


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