Top 10 Kitchen Solutions | Hot Kitchen Must Haves

Our top 10 Kitchen Solutions and Hot Kitchen must haves...
(in no particular order)

Kitchen Compost - Blanco Solon Compost

The BLANCO SOLON™ Compost System makes kitchen composting easy! Crafted of the highest grade recycled stainless steel, the SOLON allows you to effortlessly collect organic waste from egg shells to coffee grounds, beneath the counter and out of sight.

Simple to clean and dishwasher safe, this eco-friendly solution is the winner of the prestigious international if award for product design, so you never have to sacrifice style for sustainability. Welcome the BLANCO SOLON™ Compost System into your home, and enjoy the beauty of BLANCO inside and out.

Pantry Storage –Kesseb√∂hmer Swing Pull-out Pantry

Swing pantry- Clever Storage by Kesseböhmer allows for easy front access of stored contents, swings left or right with adjustable basket/shelves.

Drawer Organization – Blum Orga-Line

ORGA-LINE an adjustable organization system that can be used in wood drawers to organize utensils, knives, cutlery, and any other items stored in a top drawer. This customizable system is made of stainless steel dividers and trays, making it easy to adapt to any drawer configuration. The trays are also dishwasher safe, so keeping them clean is easy.

Hands Free Faucet - Brizo Smart Touch Vuelo Kitchen Faucet

Allowing you to activate water flow with a simple touch to the faucet body, spout or handle, SmartTouch Technology brings a new level of convenience to the kitchen. This functionality makes it easy to activate water flow only when needed, helping reduce water usage and promoting efficiency of motion. Integrated TempID™ Technology lets you know how warm or cool the water is with an LED light that changes color as the water temperature changes.

Drawer Light – Hafele Loox LED Drawer Light

The Loox LED drawer light turns on via an integrated sensor switch and evenly distributes the light into the drawer.

Garbage Disposal Air Switch – InSinkErator SinkTop Switch

Add a touch of convenience to the kitchen with the easy-to-reach SinkTop Switch, available only from InSinkErator.  The stylish SinkTop Switch is air-activated and easily mounts to the sink or countertop.  It is perfect for island installations and works with any disposer.  The unique dual-outlet design also makes it a great power source for an instant hot water dispenser. 

Automated Drawers - Hands Free – Blum Servo-Drive

Drawers open automatically with just a light touch of the drawer front or a light pull of the handle. This amazing feature is based on an electrical drive that, when activated, opens the drawer for you.

Pot & Pan Storage – Glideware

Home Storage Made Simple - Simple solution to pan and lid storage, fits in standard base cabinet depth and comes with synchronized motion and weighted hooks to keep cookware quiet while in use. Winner Best of KBIS2014 Silver Award.

Built-in Coffee Maker – Miele Coffee

Built in plumbed whole bean coffee machine - The Miele CVA Built-In Whole Bean Coffee System is available plumbed or with a removable water reservoir which allows the unit to be easily installed virtually anywhere – from the kitchen to a butler’s pantry to even the master bedroom.

Corner cabinet solutions – Blum Tandem Space Corner

SPACE CORNER drawers bring items in your cabinets out to you – even the items in the very back corner.

Waterfall Living Room | Natures Beauty | Design Inspiration

While traveling recently, I visited Amicalola Falls.  Located in northern Georgia the Amicaloa Falls State Park and Lodge is a beautiful place, after spending time there it is easy to understand why it is one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. 

In addition to its spectacular scenery the park is filled with beautiful hiking trails, a campground a wonderful lodge and the breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. At 729 feet, Amicaloa Falls is the tallest waterfall in the Southeast and I can’t imagine anyone not being inspired by the magnitude of its beauty.  

As an interior designer I am always looking for inspiration and fresh new ideas to incorporate into my projects.  I love to incorporate my inspiration by translating it into my designs.  The textures, the colors and the essence of that moment woven into a space I am designing. 

Looking back on the photos I took during my visit to Amicalola Falls I created a design inspiration board for a  living room space.  The waterfall is breathtaking and awe inspiring in all of its natural beauty and to capture that I began with selecting a piece of artwork that captures the color palette.

I then selected the anchor pieces, the sofa, side chair and book case.  Each of these pieces grabs an element from the waterfall, the sofa with is crisp lines and a bit of curve reminds me of the flowing water over the falls, the staggered pattern of the bookcase is reminiscent of how the rocks step down the mountain and the texture of the metal side chair gives a textural element much like the texture of the rolling water over the jagged rocks.  From there I am drawn to the gray color palette of the stones, the green in the trees that frame the waterfall and the crisp white of the water as it cascades down the face of the falls. 

PAINT COLORS – Benjamin Moore Colors A-BM Midnight Oil 1631, B-BM Steel Wool 2121-20, C-BM Hot Apple Spice 2005-20, D– BM Herb Garden 434, E– BM Winterwood 1486, F– BM Chantilly Lace 2121-70. (Please note these colors are photographic representations and may not depict the true color)

After the color palette is established the other elements are brought in to complete the look.  The large coffee table resembles a tree stump but also mimics the rock face of the falls.  The side tables, the lamps and the accessories bring it all together for a complete sophisticated living room space inspired by the natural beauty of this waterfall.  

What do you think?  What inspires you?

Photo Credit - 1 Uttermost, 2 Made Goods, 
3 Worlds Away, 4 Made Goods, 5 Cyan Design, 
6 Made Goods, 7 CR Laine, 8 Cyan Design, 
9 & 10 Century Furniture, 11 Surya Rugs

I Showered at Hansgrohe | Aquademie ShowerWorld

I recently completed training at the Hansgrohe USA manufacturing and Aquademie training facility located in Alpharetta, Georgia.  It is a training course I have been hearing about from my peers for a few years and I was so excited when my name was selected in a drawing during a local ASID event inviting me to attend Hansgrohe’s Aquademie Training.  

With over 110 years of history, Hansgrohe has proven to be a true leader and innovator in the shower industry.  During my training I learned a great deal about the company, its history, their innovations and how it all began in the small village of Schiltack in the Black Forest, Germany. (a little more about that in my article Aquademie Here I Come)

(photo credit wikipedia)
Though the company headquarters still remains in Schiltack, Hansgrohe has become a global brand in over 140 countries around the world.  Hansgrohe is steeped in history and with their think-tank approach to design and products they have proven that they are innovators and leaders in the revolution of the shower.

I was one in a group of about 20 brought to Hansgrohe to attend their Aquademie training.  After a few hours of training and learning all about Hansgrohe’s history and their many innovations in the shower, we were told we could give them a try and see for ourselves.  What better way to experience the truth behind the words than to be able to “try them out”.

Inside the Aquademie training center is a super-sized over the top shower room they aptly call “Showerworld”.  It is a beautiful spa like area that showcases every Hansgrohe shower head and they are all fully plumbed, available, ready and waiting to be tested and tried out.

I was able to go into their super-sized shower room they call “ShowerWorld” and test out all of their showerheads for myself and it was pretty fantastic.  It is a great way to really understand the differences, options and quality of the Hansgrohe products and I highly recommend!  (Check out my Instagram video post here LINK) It is actually open to anyone, all you have to do is call up and make an appointment.

After being “Wow’d” by “Showerworld” we were taken on a tour of their state of the art manufacturing facility and customer service center.  I have to say I was impressed to learn that the average maximum wait time, when you call into their customer service department, is only 30 seconds. 

Once we began our tour of the manufacturing area it was clear to me that they take pride in their work and the product they are making.  We even got to see their fancy PVD machines.  PVD is short for Physical Vapor Deposition, which is a super scientfic machine that allows them to create their finishes and also enables them to create special finishes with superior durability. 
In addition to this very advanced technology the assembly process is all done by hand.  Each and every faucet and fixture is put together, assembled, tested and packaged by hand.  Their employees are all cross trained and most have worked for Hansgrohe for several years.   

After our factory tour we went back into the Aquademie training center to learn a bit more about Hansgrohe.

Here are a few highlights of Hansgrohe's Innovations:

1928 - First hand shower with white porcelain handle – provided a convenient alternative to the overhead shower that had until this been the norm.  It was truly a trend that made showering affordable for lots of private households.

1934 - First Cable Drain

1953 - Worlds First Wall Bar – during the years of the German reconstruction and economic miracle, the first Unica wall rod models went into production and was an absolute novelty.  It enabled the hand shower to be attached at the desired height for the first time. Today, the shower bar is standard all over the workd in 1953 it was a bathroom sensation.  Hans Grohe invented it at 82 years of age.

1968 - First Fully Adjustable Hand Shower – The worlds first hand shower with adjustable jet types went into prodctuion and more than 30 million Selecta hand showers have been sold and is still part of the product line today.

1985 - First in Color – Tribel Hand Shower

1987 - Mistral Eco Hand shower – long before everyone started talking about climate change, Hansgrohe developed the first hand shower that reduced water consumption by 50 percent the Mistral Eco.

2001 - iBox Universal  - The iBox Universal revolutionizes concealed installation.  To date, it is the first and only basic set for all standard and thermostat solutions.  It is a one box solution!  And in my opinion is brilliant.

2004 - Raindance Shower – Total shower fun the Raindance shower multi-talent becomes a trendsetter.  Raindance with AirPower comes onto the market.  This intelligent shower technology infuses water with air producing a shower that reduces the water consumption but it doesn’t feel like it.  The plump, light, soft droplets rain gently down on the person showering, completely enveloping them.

2013 - Select (available and shipping in the USA 2015) creating an intuitive control with the Select button Hansgrohe allowing the person showering to select the jet type they want in just one click. 
Wow, right? And those are just the highlights....

In addition to the many Hansgrohe products they also have Axor, which is their luxury product line.  The Axor brand represents the diversity and fascination of personal lifestyles in the bathroom.   Axor basically takes Hansgrohe to the next level.  Axor is comprehensive and individual bathroom collections created in cooperation with some of the world’s most successful designers. 
These collections are as individual and different as people themselves, and offer multiple different styles - from lively, charming living rooms/bathrooms in one to nature-inspired havens of peace.  Beautifully designed luxury for the kitchen and bath.  

Be sure to check out Axor ONE, it is the next, NEXT LEVEL! 

A heartfelt thank you to Hansgrohe for a wonderful training opportunity.  It was such a pleasure learning a bit about who you are and what you do. (Please note photo credit via unless otherwise noted)

 Thank you,
Carmen Christensen
(The Traveling Designer)