Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quotable Tuesday: Kitchen Art

(I wrote this a while back for the Design Public website, but I don't think it was ever used, so I'm reposting it here.)

My kitchen sees a lot of use. I cook an actual at-the-stove meal at least once a day (sometimes twice) and I am not neat doing it. I envy chefs who keep their stoves and counters spotless while they sauté. I don’t.

The flip side of this is that I also really love art and I think the kitchen – where people always hang out – is an ideal spot to showcase cool pieces. Fun, irreverent stuff that may look out of place in the living room just feels right in the kitchen.

Nobody wants to ruin their prized paintings with olive oil spray or the after-effects of a particularly steamy mistake. But the kitchen is for cooking. So how to reconcile?

In my case, with distance. I’m lucky to have a big wall far from my stove, sink and counters – that wall is now home to a favorite painting. If your floor plan doesn’t allow you to put space between your art and actual cooking area, look for hardy framing options, go for sculptures or cool mobiles that add interest but stay out of the way, or focus on inexpensive and resilient art – and cook away.

I was thinking about this article this morning, when I wrote this:
To me, "kitchen art" is in a category all it's own.
I'm writing these days for a new home design website called houzz.com. It's a cool site (and I am saying that not just because they hired me, though of course in my eyes, that makes them sooo cool).

You use the site as a place to create "ideabooks" - collections of images of spaces that inspire you. The idea is that these virtual ideabooks can replace the sloppy tear sheet folders that accumulate when you're into design. Of course, I'm sure I'll never be ready to totally give up my tear sheets (or my stacks of magazines) but it's always nice to have another source for design ideas.

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