Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

St. Charles Cabinetry and famous architects

I have become enamored of technochic in recent years, and though I have not yet taken the plunge, it's coming. I am in the process of downsizing and simplifying my life and my possessions. I want clean lines and clean materials, and the appeal of stainless steel is overwhelming with 4 dogs in the house.

I recently ran across an ad in Food and Wine on vintage chic and it carried a picture of metal cabinets with the caption "St. Charles recently relaunched its colorful metal cabinets, a favorite of architect Miles van der Rohe's." First, who was Miles van der Rohe, and second, why did he love St. Charles cabinets? Van der Rohe was called one of the most important architects of the 20th century, creating "visionary products" using glass and steel. He designed Farnsworth House, in Illinois, and installed St. Charles cabinets. While the versions depicted in that house were very simple, the newly relaunched designs seem to combine the clean aesthetics with modern functional design; the result is stunning. See the gallery of photos here. (http://www.stcharlescabinets.com/index.php).

St. Charles cabinets were also featured in some of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs.

St. Charles was acquired by the Viking Range corporation, headquartered in Greenwood, Mississippi. They just relaunched the range in 2007, after stopping production in 2004 to work on new designs. These babies are a far cry from the old metal cabinets churned out by Montgomery Ward and Sears in the 40s and 50s. I still admit to a certain nostalgia about them as well, and especially those that had a porcelain sink with an integrated drainboard on either side. We had one of those in the house I lived in from age 5-7. The first house that Rand and I moved into together had blue metal cabinets in the kitchen. I always felt like Lucille Ball walking in each morning in my pale robin's egg blue bathrobe, though there was the slight difference of not being in a high rise in New York.

Right after I finish the hall bathroom remodel (ETA July 5), the kitchen is next. I want those St. Charles cabinets.

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