Monthly Archives

February 2013

Point of View

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One of the most important qualities architecture can give us is a point of view. Windows frame our everyday world and give us an essential connection with Nature.

On a trip to Austria a few years ago, my husband and I stayed in a lovely 1800’s hotel on the village square in Hallstatt. Each morning we would look out the window across the cobbled square to view the morning rituals of the town locals. Merchants opening their shops with familiar routines that seemed to shape their lives in remarkably comfortable ways. A stray dog sniffing about to see what was new from the day before. Children running to school.

All were entertaining to watch but the most intriguing was the sight of an elderly man. Every morning he sat at the same window, in the same position gazing out to the lake. His countenance was gentle and soft as he sat motionless, totally engaged in his observance. His arm rested on the sill with such grace, they seemed to embrace each other like good friends.

I wanted to see what he saw. I tried to imagine what his point of view was, but could not fully grasp it. When I watched him, I felt a calmness come over me. Each morning I found myself thanking him for these shared moments.

I think of that gentle man often when I catch myself gazing out my window, with a softness that offers me a moment to just observe with appreciation.

Design Philosophy Musings

What makes a design inspiring?

I sat down at the keyboard and came up with a few ideas. Have any ideas you’d like to share?

  • blends together things that are treasured
  • looks great even as it ages
  • lasts longer than anticipated
  • mixes together things that draw interest and observance
  • transforms the mundane into sublime
  • surprises the senses (in a good way)

Refrigerator Comparisons

When clients are designing their kitchens, one of the most important decisions they make is what style of refrigerator to get. Each style has its distinct advantages. The best way to make this decision is to first determine how much space you have, not only to fit the refrigerator width, height and depth, but also how much clearance you have in front of the fridge. This can influence what door style will work best. Below are some brief descriptions of the styles to help you determine which will be the best for your lifestyle.

1. Top-Freezer
Traditional top-freezer refrigerators feature a smaller freezer section placed above a larger refrigerated section. They are one of the most common and least expensive models. Most top-freezer models offer more usable space per cubic foot than other styles and have wider shelves that are easier to access. Repair costs are typically lower than other styles of refrigerators and the doors open wide to allow shelves and bins to be removed and cleaned easily.

 

2. Bottom-Freezer
Increasing in popularity, bottom-freezer models are built with the refrigerator on the top. They are one of the most energy-efficient styles. Bottom-freezer styles owe much of their popularity to placing the most frequently used levels of the refrigerator at eye level. While bending is required to move items in and out of the freezer portion, it is not necessary for use of the refrigerator section, which is typically used much more often than the freezer.

 

3. Side-by-Side
Side-by-side refrigerators offer a freezer that runs the entire length of the unit on one side, usually the left, and a refrigerator unit on the other. Most side-by-side units also have additional popular features such as ice makers and water and ice dispensers on the front of the freezer door. This makes them especially popular with large families. Side-by-side units often offer more space and better organization of the freezer section. The doors are not as wide as top-freezer and bottom-freezer units, so they can be placed in tight spots where wide doors could pose a problem.

 

 

4. French-Door
French-door refrigerators have a lower freezer like bottom-freezer styles, and double doors on the top, like a side-by-side. They combine the eye-level convenience of a lower-freezer refrigerator with the space-saving narrower doors of a side-by-side. They are also generally more energy-efficient than side-by-side units and offer more storage per cubic foot.

 

 

5. Under Counter Drawer                                        This contemporary invention has revolutionized the concept of refrigerators. Because they are installed below the counter top, they can integrate seamlessly into any kitchen style, contemporary and sleek or covered with wood panels for a more traditional setting. They free up vertical space allowing for more counter top and freedom of placement. Using several drawers within a kitchen layout, gives the homeowner the ability to centralize areas for specific tasks, such as having the vegetable drawer near the cutting board and sink. This style is generally more expensive than the others and usually is best suited in larger layouts.