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Archive for the ‘Design Center’ Category

Creating the Perfect Indoor/Outdoor Space

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Courtesy: Toll Brothers, America’s Luxury Home Builder [via]

It’s summertime, and the living is easy. For many of us, this is a time when we leave the front door open, uncover the patio furniture and heat up the pool. Our inside lives seamlessly blend with the great outdoors, and our home suddenly plays double duty: Part shelter, part oasis.

To help craft that perfect indoor/outdoor space, we spoke with our very own Kohler Senior Designer Leigh Salem, ASID at The KOHLER Store in Glenview, Illinois for some words of wisdom.


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Create the Perfect Indoor-Outdoor Kitchen

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

The following is a guest post from Linda Levene, the head designer at LLi Design –interiordesignLondon. LLi specialise in high end residential and commercial interiors. Linda also publishes a regular blog on interior design, trends and products. While not written by Abt, we loved the article and wanted to share it with you – our readers.

When the sun starts shining we all love the thought of outdoor entertaining – if you have the weather there’s nothing nicer than being able to prepare food outdoors as well as eating it.

The humble barbeque has come a long long way from it’s roots. The must have item now is to have an outdoor kitchen. At the luxurious end of things this incorporates oven, wood burning pizza oven, sink and fridge.

However if space is a problem why not extend your kitchen worktop into the garden as architect John Pawson did (above), thereby allowing the cook to use the space outside as a kitchen whilst not duplicating appliances or using up valuable garden.

Another sleek answer to creating an outdoor kitchen is to bring the outdoors in. This home (below) by the architects

Eldridge Smerin, in Highgate London incorporates a retractable roof that gives the sensation of an outdoor kitchen, perfect for an urban environment.

However if your tastes aren’t for the sleek and minimal an outdoor kitchen can be created to blend more with the outside by incorporating a pergola, plants and using more naturalistic materials.

Creating an outdoor kitchen is an opportunity to create something unique. This is an environment that’s purely for pleasure. This is where you’ll entertain and enjoy life, so it’s a chance to be as creative as possible. Start by thinking about the atmosphere you want to create and when you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen -day or evening? Family gatherings or sophisticated groups of friends?

A few practical things to consider when you create your outdoor kitchen. First, you’ll need shelter from sun or rain. Consider lighting for evening cooking – both task lighting to see what you’re cooking and ambient lighting to really give your kitchen atmosphere. This is where you can really go to town with lanterns, chandeliers or candles.

You’ll need an area to prepare food as well as cook it – so even if you don’t want something custom made you could use a sturdy work bench or table. It’s also nice to incorporate shelving to display plants and crockery. When creating your outdoor kitchen, think about where your guests will be and how they’ll interact with you whilst you’re preparing the food. You don’t want to have your back turned to them as you cook. It’s important to ensure that your space is as sociable as possible. This is a fantastic way to extend the summer and make the most of outdoor living so if you’ve ever hankered after one now is the time to create your outdoor kitchen.


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Build Your Dream Man Cave With a Little Help from Abt

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Lots of Money

You’re walking down the street and a man approaches you at the corner.  He’s glaring at the new pair of Jordans on your feet like they are crafted of Sphinx leather and laces of Rumpelstiltskin’s golden thread.  He tells you he’s a dignitary from a far away land and he’s visiting America on a diplomatic journey to bring western capitalism to his home country. He explains that he’s made a lot of money over the past few years selling Unicorn horns to collectors and he must have your shoes. He reaches deep into his pocket and just when you think he’s going to pull out a six-inch switch blade and cut them straight off your feet, he pulls out a ruby-laden checkbook and offers you a blank check for the rubber and leather around your toes.

What do you do? Obviously, you make the sale and take the next cab over to Abt Electronics and start building your dream man cave.  It’s just your luck – We’ve already spent the time finding exactly what you need to build that grotto of gentleman’s dreams. (more…)

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Turn The Grad’s Old Room Into a Closet Boutique

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

As recent graduates are (hopefully) beginning their lives with new jobs and new apartments, moms and dads around the nation are rejoicing are their offspring spread their wings, fly, and leave the nest. We’ve all seen the State Farm commercial where Dr. Cox, and his wife, kick Phil of The Future out of the house. The couple then runs through some ideas on what to do with new space.  While a personal Dojo is incredibly awesome, California Kitchens at the Design Center have much better ideas for those newly vacant bedrooms. (more…)

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