Archive for the ‘Kitchens’ Category

Countertops for Kitchens and Bathrooms

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Any real estate sales person will tell you that it is kitchens and bathrooms that sell a house, so this was no time to be cutting back on budget – however, I still believe that one can get a high quality product for a good price with a little time invested. There is a vast range of products available and it comes down to getting value, rather than cost reduction. Since the countertops are the ‘work zone’ in both bathrooms and kitchens I decided to start validating my design theme by looking at options in this area – as i felt there would be more constraints here than in cabinetry and hardware.

To get a sleek, contemporary look in either white or brushed aluminum look I sought out:

  • Laminates
  • Acrylic
  • Engineered stone
  • Granite


The high gloss laminates look much better today than a few years ago as they now have complimentary backing colors and finer edge joins so that one gets a near seamless look – not too different from the edge of stone.
The drawbacks were that over a large surface, gloss laminates still appear to have ‘bubbling’ in the surface and according to many sources scratch a lot easier than the manufacturers claim. Even though my look was to have a ‘brushed’ look to it anyway, the bubbling was a problem on all the horizontal surfaces I saw. To date I have not seen this problem with the vertical laminates – I don’t know why this is so as I imagine the process is similar, but they seem to be less apparent.


I was not keen to return to acrylic worktops – I have previously had Corian benchtops and they were not successful.
The final choice was down to engineered stone and granite. To get a ‘speckled-free’ look is quite difficult but not impossible. There is a big range in quality in these products so it pays to check them out carefully and ascertain the differences.

Engineered Stone

The sample I found I preferred was from Quantum Quartz – it contains 93% natural quartz, with bonding agent, pigment and additives making up the other 7%. The color range is extensive [50 colors].

  • Non-porous
  • High resistance to scratching & chipping
  • High abrasion resistance
  • High resistance to acids & oils
  • Strong resistance to staining
  • High flexural strength
  • Heat resistant

Design considerations:

  • 10 year limited warranty
  • Fabricate your design to suit sheets of 1400 x 3000mm x 20mm thick

Standard range
For a small flake – Luna white or new Diamond white
For a large flake – polar

Deluxe range
Alpine white
Dawn [grey] – for bathroom vanities

The Designer and Boutique ranges have large flakes and steel which are outside the design scope of this project.

Check out the product Gallery for Quantum Quartz

Porsche Kitchen For Men – Really!

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Poggenpohl’s Porsche Design kitchen. Would you believe it if I told you – a Porshe Kitchen!! Yet it’s real.

Porsche Kitchen

Jointly designed by German furniture company Poggenpohl M̦belwerke and Porsche Design Group, the P7340 kitchen has all the hallmarks of Porshe Рsimplistic handle-free styling, innovative materials and lots of aluminium, glass and brushed wood. Access to the units is equally stylish Рwith just a gentle touch to access drawers and pullouts, and an equally gentle push to make them retract. Appliances have not been forgotten, with Miele & Cie. KG designated as teh the exclusive supplier of all appliances. Appliance operation is via sensor keys instead of buttons, with user-friendly dialogue displays.

And of course, the pure male kitchen would not be complete without a high tech audio-video system, the one in the Porsche kitchen, an anodised aluminium frame with ultra-glossy surfaces in back-painted glass. All electronics in the built-in LCD module are installed behind glass for protection, and they require no ventilation system. The plug-and-play sound system is both analog and digital.

Poggenpohl explains that their “cooperation with Porsche Design enabled us to design a kitchen whose sleek and functional design language specifically addresses male customers.”

The new kitchen will be on display as a show kitchen and sold in Poggenpohl studios around the world as of spring 2008. US availability will begin in the summer.