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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Are you having a Mid-Life Crisis?

If you decide that you want a new kitchen you can be undertaking a journey of personal self discovery and unwittingly shouldering a social mantle, placing yourself before your piers to be judged and scrutinised.  So why not decide to encourage some whispers at the local women’s institute coffee morning buy revisiting your youth and indulging in a kitchen design that challenges expectation.
This kitchen is not a mid life crisis, it is an expression of the artist within you, the forward thinking design guru that you always knew you were and the person who will be admired for being different! 
Kitchen design is now a multi-layered discipline that has the ability to define not only the surrounding architecture but also the people who bring life to the space!

The Mogul Passes Judgment on the Kevin McCloud Debate!

Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has angered the kitchen industry by openly criticising the relative value of furniture at different ends of the market saying it’s all the same!  In his book “43 Principles of Home” he says:  “Frankly, the best made kitchens in the world are still ‘carcassed out’ using orientated strand board, chipboard or plywood. Structurally, there’s a negligible difference in quality between the £5,000 kitchen and its £50,000 equivalent.”  Below you will read The Mogul’s thoughts on this issue: (source KBB Review)
“The Kevin McCloud debate is a positive process for the kitchen industry because it is making us take a serious look at ourselves!  We all know how the cost of materials and overheads can vary, and that these factors will cause serious product price differences; but what value is given to the intellectual property of the designer?

This debate overlaps with the ongoing issue of kitchen and bathroom design quality in the UK and charging for it accordingly.   This healthy debate has started a process whereby the true value of any kitchen should be evaluated at its source; with the intellectual input and skill of the designer.

The kitchen and bathroom industry has historically fumbled with the notion that there is a value to good design and designers being rewarded for their efforts!  Skilled bespoke kitchen designers can look at each project as a piece of functional art so surely this should be given a higher value than a mass produced product sold from a pre-manufactured check list!

It’s not just about being a celebrity designer either, as there are thousands of unseen designers working in this country, putting their heart and soul into every project and not being rewarded for it!  If something is designed well, it will work well for longer and give the user greater satisfaction and value for money, even if the product was a little more expensive to begin with!!”

Oh yea, one last point!  Top marks to McCloud’s marketing people who have pulled off a master stroke here by enrolling the entire KBB Industry as spin doctors for his new book! What do they say; any publicity is good publicity!!  
To see the full debate please visit the KBB Review website

Please feel free to give The Mogul your throughts.

Simply Complex

Even the simplicity of contemporary design can benefit from aesthetic layering.  Layers can provide definition and interest to a design and help the viewer appreciate how simplicity can be derived from complex thought!
Here we see how a simple step in the work surface and deliver multiple contrasts of material, texture, colour and form.  Offsetting the feature creates definition along three planes and introduces some asymmetrical styling to the design.  The elevated placement of the cleaning zone may also deliver enhanced ergonomic performance.
This idea is simple but effective and The Mogul loves it!

Raspberry Ripple

This is an imposing kitchen, a dominant example of stylish functionalism that has the ability to cause gasps of social envy and cause the surrounding architecture to pale into insignificance in its presence.  The island dominates the space and the trendy timber bridge element sinks into the heavy set worktop as though it is a heated wafer and the island where raspberry ripple ice cream!
The design ticks a lot of boxes offering sociability and visual gratification in equal measure but The Mogul must question several elements of the design.  The bridging element, although a marvel of technical achievement having concealed the services to the hobs within what appears to be a piece of solid wood, does divide the kitchen in two! 
This imposing border effectively makes half of the kitchen inaccessible to the kitchen user.  There is a great deal of this kitchen, most of the foreground in-fact that is dedicated to servicing non-cooking activities.   Could it be argued that this design should be more functionally sympathetic and that there has been a luxurious promotion of aesthetical ideology here?  You decide!

Kitchen Specimen

It is argued that the kitchen has become the focal point of the home, the ultimate functional and architectural style influencer, the provider of family sustenance and the catalyst for human interaction. 
It could be imagined that this mantle of responsibility needs an imposing kitchen superstructure in order to dominate the space and the humans who live within it.  But sometimes small and understated can be equally as powerful as carefully chosen words spoken softly. 
The focus of this design is not its size but instead the quality, precision and focus of the design.  If this design had been manufactured in a different material it would not have had the same presence.  Using stainless steel gives this kitchen all the industrial authority of a precision tool and it modest size only makes the onlooker more curious about its potential!
The gravity defying cantilever provides a social twist to the design and adds the appropriate amount of aesthetical contrast. 
This petite kitchen which is beautifully perched in an understated pose would certainly have its functional limitations if you were keen on  throwing dinner parties but if you were well prepared it could still do the job. 
This is a truly beautiful kitchen specimen but The Mogul can’t help feeling that the casters, however functional, detract from the design, giving this residential kitchen a hospital catering feel!

Space- time continuum kitchen

This latest offering from Johnny Grey studios ignites the imagination and represents how kitchen design has developed since being released from its architectural confines.
There is a shameless contradiction to this design that empowers the viewer to question how something so futuristic can be accompanied by Georgian framed windows.  But that’s the point!  This is cross over piece, an example of how the right designer mixed with the right client can create something that remoulds expectations, allowing functional requirement to overflow into artistic medium!
The springboard island is the centre piece and defines the entire design; it has a looming presence which exudes the strength of steel with metal rivet detailing, more commonly found in a 19th century shipyard adding heritage to the design.  But this glance into the past is overshadowed by the stellar ambience created by this kitchen. 
Any potential user will certainly feel in control as though they are steering a motley crew of friends and family towards an intergalactic rendezvous with a gastronomic death star!  The social side of the island has two cylindrical transporters, like those found on the Enterprise masquerading as duel larders and behind the hob a semi translucent force field protects the contents of the dry food store.
This design is pushing the boundaries of what kitchen shoppers should expect!  Whether it is through a shift in the space- time continuum or by a client’s leap of faith the order of things has changed!  Here we see the bright beacons of architecture and interior design fading into the back ground and the kitchen imposing its functional and aesthetic influence over the crew members who occupy the helm of this domestic ship! 
This is a glimpse into the future and a lasting monument to how far kitchen design has come!
The Mogul approves!!

Kitchen Design 2011

Earthy colours, island bridge, asymmetrical design in an open plan setting with living space integration and semi recessed ovens.
Welcome to kitchen design 2011 style!

Perfect Equilibrium!

Sometimes it can be hard to find balance, difficult to create perfection and virtually impossible to find the perfect combination of elements that will appease the tribal issues created by form and function.
Upon looking at this design it becomes evident that functionality has become surpassed by the need for visual stimulation.  The worktop is allowed to envelop the cabinetry forming both a waterfall edge and a mirror image plinth.  The creation of a cabinetry gap and a subtle shadow line between the underside of the cabinetry and the plinth makes it appear as though the units are free floating, somehow suspended from the worktop above.  But consider what this powerful aesthetic focus has done to the functionality of the design.
Despite the size of the kitchen both the cleaning and cooking areas appear to be compressed together in an uncomfortable functional arrangement.  Options have been limited by the inclusion of the cabinetry gap and even if the hob was placed into the free floating section, conflict would soon arise between the wall units and the extraction system.
Perfect equilibrium can be difficult to achieve!