Improvised Life » kitchen http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Find: HUGE 100% Cotton Dish Towels Have Many Uses http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/17/find-huge-striped-dish-towels/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/17/find-huge-striped-dish-towels/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:00:53 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44246

We stumbled on these HUGE dish towels and ordered a set to check out, having learned the hard way that the real thing is often way different than pictures. We washed them and…they are great, 100% cotton, wonderful-looking and useful for many things. (more…)

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Introducing Improvised Life’s New Store http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/10/introducing-improvised-lifes-new-shop/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/10/introducing-improvised-lifes-new-shop/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:05:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43973

Over the years, Improvised Life has featured some seriously good stuff, from books about design, art, productivity and poetry to all manner of tools for making and living. Since these wonderful items have been buried in the archive, we decided to gather the BEST of them in one place, Improvised Life’s Store. (more…)

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How to Keep Cast-Iron Cookware Naturally Nonstick http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/16/collecting-caring-cast-iron/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/16/collecting-caring-cast-iron/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:00:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=40498

bestmadeco.com

This image of vintage cast-iron reminded us how much we love the endlessly-useful, impossible-to-destroy cookware. We’ve been using it for years having inherited many pieces from friends or relatives. It provides the even heat of heavy copper cookware at a fraction of the cost.  We use a 10- year-old griddle to heat tortillas, small skillets to fry eggs, our classic big skillet to hot smoke salmon, and a big 12-inch Finnish Littala pan (below) to make our faux-fried bricked chicken

If properly cared for, cast-iron will build up a naturally nonstick surface that can take the place of commerical nonstick cookware, (more…)

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DIY Silverware Drainer + Dish Drainer Hack http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/04/diy-silverware-drainer-dish-drainer-hack/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/04/diy-silverware-drainer-dish-drainer-hack/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:02:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42532

Sally Schneider

When we renovated the Laboratory, moving and installing our 25-year-old kitchen cabinets for the 3rd time, we had to also install new countertops. We choose original white colored Corian from Home Depot (the prettiest and cheapest) and treated ourselves to something we’ve always wanted: built-in dish drainer gooves that would wick water from just-washed dishes into the sink.  We want minimal and good looking when it comes to draining dishes AND silverware. Our minor obsession takes the form of NOT wanting to look at the big stainless steel dish drying rigs that are around these days.

First, we bought the lowest profile dish drainer we could fine, and ditched the tray underneath that make it look bulky. YAY. That made for nice neat lines. Then we fashioned our own silverware drainer out (more…)

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Fantasy Kitchen in a Rock Shelter Camp + Others http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/14/fantasy-kitchen-rock-shelter-camp/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/14/fantasy-kitchen-rock-shelter-camp/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 23:00:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41074

A.J. Perier

We are smitten with this  c 1900 makeshift kitchen/dining area created by Perier family in the sheltered space of a giant boulder in New South Wales. It reminded us of the many makeshift kitchens we’ve created over the years, outdoors and in. Those elemental kitchens taught us that we could make an inviting space and cook well with foraged furniture, a pan or two, mismatched plates and often a single knife (the Opinel we travel with).  It was a great lesson in “bottom line” that helped us to know what we DIDN’T need when we designed our most recent kitchen in a limited space. (more…)

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Clever Storage in the Realm of Laminate http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/30/storage-possibilities-realm-formica/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/30/storage-possibilities-realm-formica/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:00:14 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=40714

Lukáš Kordík/GutGut Architects,

Our new favorite blog Moon to Moon has a swell house tour of the lightly renovated 450 square foot apartment of architect Lukáš Kordík of GutGut architects. The major takeaway for us, aside from the pleasingly UNconstructed feel of the space, is Kordík’s use of laminate. First there’s the stylish turquoise kitchen cabinet with oven and storage built in; it acts as a piece of furniture unto itself and gives a sparkly hit of color. We especially like the notched out “handles”.  Second, is the free-standing open-shelving that holds a kitchen’s worth of stuff. (more…)

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Chic, Makeshift, Unfinished Kitchen http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/24/chic-makeshift-unfinished-kitchen/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/24/chic-makeshift-unfinished-kitchen/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:03:46 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=40567

emmas.blogg.se

This kitchen is so stylish and inviting, we’re wondering if it’s in process and unfinished OR if it’s purposely as is: walls wonderlly patterned from the removal of old storage, a clamp task light, a ladder rigged with shelves, tables as counters, a hot plate. We’ve cooked in many a kitchen outfitted this way, with great pleasure, in part due to the constraints it imposes. (more…)

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Geometric Fireplaces and Stove Hoods http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/21/geometric-fireplaces-stove-hoods/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/21/geometric-fireplaces-stove-hoods/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:29:47 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=40045

AQQINDEX

This image of a beautiful, VERY geometric, sculptural fireplace by Peter Harnden got us wondering WHY fireplaces and stove hoods are almost invariably rectangular boxes. We’re thinking it’s most likely due to the trickiness of getting a chimney to draw the smoke up into the chimney properly, rather then having some fly into the room. Our experience with fireplaces AND stove hoods is that it takes an experienced tradesman to be able to figure it out, whether you’re installing ready-made or special design. (more…)

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The Delishness and Connection of Collective Meals http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/11/collective-cooking-fun-connection-delish-food/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/11/collective-cooking-fun-connection-delish-food/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:16:32 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=39225

blog.williams-sonoma.com

Outerlands, a restaurant in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood, is known for its menu of seasonal food, rustic dishes and the strong sense of community created by the space. There, meals are a way for people to gather together, relax, and enjoy a shared experience.  Recently Williams-Sonoma Taste featured one of Outerland’s collective meals in which staff, family and friends cook together, making quick work of what otherwise might be a chore, all the while having time to talk and hang out. It is the opposite of “in-control entertaining” where everything is pretty much taken care of when the guests arrive. (more…)

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Recycled Iron Kitchen with Modern Lines http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/03/17/recycled-iron-kitchen/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/03/17/recycled-iron-kitchen/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:02:42 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=38940

Zep Studio

We’ve gotten a bit obsessed with Costanza Algranti’s recycling of materials we love: copper, wood and iron, and that she is big on rust and rivets. We went on further rambles through her website for ideas.

We were knocked out by this kitchen made of distressed iron. These oxidized copper panels could make surprisingly beautiful cladding for the front of a fridge… (more…)

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Modern Lines From Recycled Materials http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/03/13/modern-lines-recycled-materials/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/03/13/modern-lines-recycled-materials/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 18:01:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=38905

style-files.com

Italian artist Costanza Algranti forges recycled material such as copper and iron into uniquely modern items for the home, with an aesthetic very different from many repurposed home design we see. She forages and stores all kinds of stuff in her Milan laboratory — benches, gutters, barrels and metal sheets — and then imagines how they might become fresh and unconventional furnishings: lamps, shelving, mirrors, chairs. Above, her very original kitchen. (more…)

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Jars (and other Glass) Labeled with Markers http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/02/20/canning-jars-labeled-markers/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/02/20/canning-jars-labeled-markers/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:00:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=38277

We often scroll through long house tours —even ones we’re not crazy about — to extract the few ideas we can use. Spotted at Remodelista recently: an iteration of a favorite theme: marking on glass. Here water-based, all-surface Uni-Posca markers are used to label glass canning jars (they come in different point thicknesses and colors). When you change the contents, just wash the jar.

We’d use these markers for other glass and mirror markings… (more…)

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Ellen Silverman’s Video Ode to Soft Boiled Eggs with a How-To http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/02/04/ellen-silvermans-ode-soft-boiled-eggs-hacked-egg-cups/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/02/04/ellen-silvermans-ode-soft-boiled-eggs-hacked-egg-cups/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:00:18 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=37666

(Video links HERE and HERE.)  Recently, photographer Ellen Silverman borrowed the Laboratory to shoot Girl + Egg, her whimsical 1-minute video of…just that. Although Ellen brought a variety of egg cups she had bought or borrowed, she ended up using one we’d hacked (the hack is THAT good.)

The video gives a nice glimpse of the Laboratory’s kitchen in action, (more…)

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Toast as Comfort and Stovetop Toasters http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/02/03/toast-comfort-stove-top-toasters-tattood-freckles/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/02/03/toast-comfort-stove-top-toasters-tattood-freckles/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 21:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=37277

Sally Schneider

At Kottke, we learned about the latest Bay Area food craze: $4 artisanal toast, and the compelling way it came about:

Trouble’s owner, and the apparent originator of San Francisco’s toast craze, is a slight, blue-eyed, 34-year-old woman with freckles tattooed on her cheeks named Giulietta Carrelli. She has a good toast story: She grew up in a rough neighborhood of Cleveland in the ’80s and ’90s in a big immigrant family, her father a tailor from Italy, her mother an ex-nun. The family didn’t eat much standard American food. But cinnamon toast, made in a pinch, was the exception. “We never had pie,” Carrelli says. “Our American comfort food was cinnamon toast.”

Toast, she says, represents comfort. (more…)

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