Category Archives: Kitchen

DCoop Sourcebook – Capital Cooking Culinarian Series

A sidenote.  Of recent I’ve been dreaming of new appliances.

My kitchen is a relic from 1992 and at this particular moment I feel like Agent Smart making his way through the Cavern of Doors every time I want to do something as simple as boil water (which I do quite well actually….. you should see the way the bubbles form!).

To light my cooktop I actually have to use a match.  Not a real match but one of those BIC long stemmed lighters – same concept.  I’m like Shelly Long in The Money Pit hoping it won’t blow my turkey out the oven and into the 2nd floor master bathroom. My oven?  It lights when it wants to.

And that isn’t too often.

Not to mention, the sight of not-so-pretty appliances means that I’m not showing you photos of my kitchen anytime soon.  In fact, when people come over, the super awesome dual swing door is shut in a semi open position (because it needs new hardware).

Anyway, you can only imagine that when Capital Cooking invited me to actually use their Culinarian 36″ range during a cook off for this year’s Dwell on Design, I was like a kid on crack, trying really hard to contain my excitement but failing miserably.

I think there might have been a little piddle involved.

I’ll just get right to the good stuff.  The Culinarian Series is not just for the true chef but is also for the Top Chef Wannabe and the Macaroni-&-Cheese-From-A-Box Enthusiast.  I’m somewhere in the middle (who hasn’t had a hankering for Kraft Mac n’ Cheese at midnight?) and attempt everything from my own interpretation of Coq au Vin to a horribly simple batch of hard boiled eggs.  A great burner output (23,000 BTUs per hour… don’t ask, I don’t know either) but the ability to simmer at 145 degrees F make for ease of use on the cooktop while its 4.6 cubic foot convection oven (with built in Rotisserie functions) means you’re putting out Thanksgiving dinner for the whole crazy family.  Three available top options mean you could be having a BBQ indoors or going all Line Chef on those pancakes with a griddle. Did I mention it’s self cleaning?  Yeah…. Because Rosie quit and I hate cleaning the oven.

But I know.  I’m a designer.  Which means I’m not just thinking about function. I’m all about aesthetics.  I mean big time.  Ten standard color options including wine red, cobalt blue, and signal yellow.  Yes kiddies, this is that injection of color I mentioned in last week’s post on Chromophobia. And I’m sure if they ask nicely you can have their ranges in damned near any color you can imagine.

Just in case…. remember that Coq Au Vin I mentioned?  It received high praises from Surjit Kalsi, the brains behind Capital Cooking.  Not to mention evoked thoughts of Provencal France from half of the convention center. Since I’m so nice, I’m going to give you the recipe…. —> Here.

Now don’t tell me I didn’t give you anything.

Designer Tip: If you have the opportunity, test drive appliances before you buy.  Get a feel for the burners, quality of flames and heat output.  Knock around the handles, knobs, buttons.  A range should be no different than buying a car (though less expensive) and you shouldn’t have to settle for the unknown.  A number of dealer/showrooms are working spaces and would love to have you cook lunch for them.

Capital Cooking | Available at Select Retailers |

If you’re interested in purchasing any of the items featured on the DCoop Sourcebook, shoot us an email.

DCoopMedia was not compensated for this post. Except for one great comment from the CEO Surjit Kalsi. 

All images courtesy Capital Cooking.

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#Project Hartford – Now the Fun Can Begin

On any remodel there are a number of favorite moments.

The moment when the client signs the contract and hands you the retainer fee. The moment when they have that “AHA!” moment and the design clicks. Or the moment when you hand the keys back to the client and let them enjoy their fully finishes *fill in the blank*.

But over time, one of my favorite moments is that period after the majority of the demolition has occurred.  The debris removed. That moment where you can walk through the blank slate of a space and know that something decent is finally going to happen in this now gutted space.

Earlier this week, that moment occurred at Hartford, the single family house in San Diego with the hideous mansard roof (more on that mansard roof in another post). The client and I had been going over kitchen and bathroom layouts using the basis that we’d be removing it all. Right down to the studs.

And within a day, just like that, it was all gone.

The appliances and cabinets and drywall and hideous tile counters were gone.  Zap.  A distant memory in the back of a very big dumpster.

Bliss.  Pure and utter bliss.  Can I just say that where there is nothing in the space it looks sooooo much bigger!

And now that we’ve settled on the layout?  Permit time…..

The real fun can begin.

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Like a 747 in a China Shop

It happened.  Mad Men has finally taken to the skies.

For the past few months ABC has been taunting us with preview images of their new Sunday drama. Steve is mad because it’s another show that he thinks I’m going to get sucked into watching every weekend.  Maybe he is right.  Of course it isn’t because of the brewing romances and those sultry stewardesses.  No, Pan Am is going to become my new addiction because we get to see those sexy girls serve martinis from a real bar in real glasses. Pan Am takes us back to the Golden Age of flight.  When men wore a tie on board (instead of sweats and flip flops).  When women pranced on board in their stilettos.

So in honor of the Golden Age, Monday’s post is all about mid-air dinnerware.  Enjoy the views from your window seat and we’ll make sure your glass is topped off.

Coffee? Tea? Or …..

Marcel Wanders for KLM via

Milk Design for Cathay Pacific via

Marc Newson for Quantas via

Leaves by LSG Sky Chefs for Lufthansa via


Now if you could please place your tray table in the upright position.

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Gimlet = opinion? Or wild ploy for commentary?

I’m sure by now that you all die over my super late night posts.  Of recent my new drink has become the French Gimlet (2 parts vodka, 1 part St. Germaine… shut up if you don’t know what this is!… and a 1/2 part lime juice… join me in getting sloshed) and aside from the fact that I’ve had to literally give the recipe to three different New York bartenders (those young bartenders by night, baristas at Starbucks by day types) Brizo has managed to plaster me with multiple iterations. It’s true… Brizo is contributing to my public drunkenness…. though I’m certain they’ve figured it out and want to keep me in a state of inebriation.

Brizo knows the best way to solicit honest opinions on their products!

Yes yes… my loyal readers know that I’m a big old drinking queen (hopefully Brizo’s Twitter Queen on Friday… wish me luck…. ) and as a result they’ve unlocked the door of secret opinions. Well, maybe not so secret but I guess you could say they inserted the truth serum where it belonged. HA!  So anyway…. most of you know that I try not to push specific brands without showing their counterparts. Whether it is via Twitter or via the educational novellas (more lemon pledge?) that I post I like to make sure my readers have a choice.  An educated choice but a choice none the less.

As many of you have read via Twitter, I’m in New York City this week at the kind graces of the wonderful people at Brizo. 19 of us (now formally known as the Blogger 19) made the trek to the Big Apple at the request of Brizo’s development team (the disclaimer is that yes, Brizo footed the bill…. those Gimlets were on someone elses’ American Express.  My favorite gimlet is a free gimlet!).  I know that Brizo really wanted to give us a first hand look at their products since we all know that the best way to really get to know a product is via all five senses.  I won’t spec anything over $500 without touching it first… or at least a really good bribe (vendors are you reading this?!). I don’t want to recap my entire visit to the Big Apple in tonight’s post (more later) but I wanted to touch on one thing.

We as designers are continually striving to select products that meet the needs of our clients.  Unfortunately, oftentimes we’re making compromises whether it is price or design or features.  Although I understand the trek that a product takes from initial concept to actual “in the box, on the shelf”, I always hate hitting that brick wall when you are trying to find the perfect product for the maybe not so perfect price point.  Happens so often.  So often in fact that I have brick imprints on my forehead as a result. I’ve learned to accept that.

So what’s my point?  (Seriously if you’re asking that you really  haven’t been reading my blog… Step one: I talk A LOT! Step two: When do I ever have a point?)

The point is that today, Brizo hosted a design charrette. And not one of those “Please kiss my ass

Brizo's Charlotte collection - The result of collaborative efforts. (c Brizo)

because we paid for you to be here” type of charrettes where we all ooh and aww over the new products.  I’m talking down and dirty, tell us what you really think type of events.  Hell, Meredith Heron and I warned them ahead of time that they were asking for trouble if they wanted honest opine. Any vendor asking for my honest feedback is really looking for a kick in the balls because I just don’t hold back. Hey, it’s their own fault.

The reality though, is that today’s design charrette showed a great committment to the design community.  You see, Brizo only introduces one to two suites of products per year; tiny in comparison to big name companies out there that force feed five or more new suites (those overseas designers must work nights) of not so perfect products.  It’s not often we actually get asked from a great mid-range vendor (and almost never from a lower price point vendor) “What do you really think?” and then  actually take that information and work with it. See it’s one thing to ask but another thing completely to really run with it.

Anyway, I wanted to send my kudos (publicly… here’s your chocolate chip Kudos… wrapped in a nice white wrapper) to the design development team at Brizo for taking our big ball beating and asking for more. Seriously, I can’t wait to see some of the new products hit the market!

And by the way… Go Team Vuelo!

A Tale of Before and During – The Rhodes Remodel Part 1

It’s Day 2 of my stint in the Blog-o-sphere and I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to bore you with today.  That is until my wonderful stainless steel fabricator sent me a photo of the templates in place for our countertops at the Rhodes House.  Since we aren’t exactly at “after” just quite yet (give me about three weeks) I thought I might regail you with photos of the during.

The expository (told you there would be dictionary words in my posts!): Rhodes is a Naval-retired bachelor with a typical 1970’s track home.  His house had a typical 1970’s track home kitchen (with added painted details from a prior owner).  Seriously…. how anyone in the 70’s was able to concoct full meals in these types of kitchens I can’t even begin to imagine.  Even I need no fewer than three pots and or pans to boil water!  Subtracting the range and the sink there was maybe five lineal feet of counterspace, two of which was obscured by his working microwave.  The rest of the counterspace was eaten (no pun intended) by the other minor appliances of a bachelor – coffee maker, toaster, tie press…..

How is that for counterspace?!

So this whole thing started when he wandered into the local green building supply store (Olive Branch Green Building Supply) with the intentions of replacing his carpet with EcoTimber bamboo flooring.  They in turn referred him to me and in true designer fashion we were tearing down walls shortly thereafter.

Originally the plan was to open up the kitchen to the neighboring family room, incorporate the dining room, and expand the actual kitchen itself into the adjoining sunroom.  However, as with many good intentions, the all mighty dollar crept in and an asking price of around $110,000 (USD… don’t make me translate into Euro or CAD).  Back to the drawing board and out came a great little galley kitchen with a nice sized island.  I think that my favorite part of the design is the built in pantry/dining banquette that is going in on the opposite of the kitchen. A nice way to eliminate some furniture and get in more storage, not to mention we incorporated three new 18″square windows above to bring in even more natural light.  More on that later…. His favorite part?  Well it’s a trifecta of a big piece of stone selected for the island and fireplace hearth, the faucet from Aquabrass (I thought he was going to hurt himself with that smile!), and the fact that his cabinetry all opens correctly.

ANYWAY…. one of the star attractions of the kitchen is the fabricated stainless steel counters with the integrated 18 inch backsplash and welded in single bowl sink.  Today the templates went in and now I’m a bit giddy because that means they’re getting ready to cut the actual steel.  Woot woot!  Once those puppies are in then the plumbing, electrical, and appliances can go in followed by none other than the floor that started it all.  So here, in all it’s glory – the stainless steel templates 😀

Here it is... MATCHING cabinetry and the templates for the stainless steel.