Editor's Picks

Editor’s Picks: Design Objects for the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, which means everyone from family members to guests seem to migrate to it. No longer locked away and out of view from the rest of the home, today’s open floor plans put the kitchen front and center and integrate it into the common living space. For both of these reasons, product designs for the kitchen have come a long way.

From high end appliances to countertops and cabinets, kitchen designs can now blend seamlessly with the rest of the house, even all the way down to the little details like kitchen tools and gadgets. You might not realize how many designers have turned their attention to practical food prep pieces. So, we’ve gathered together a list of our favorite sophisticated kitchen designs that not only work, but offer sleek modern design.

Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer

Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer by Philippe Starck, from Alessi

Designed in 1988 by Philippe Starck, the Juicy Salif citrus squeezer is one of Alessi’s most recognized products. Looking like an alien ship that’s just landed, the long slender legs suspend this juicer above a glass so you can squeeze the juice from lemons, oranges, or limes straight in. Crafted in Alessi’s trademark stainless steel, the sleek silhouette of this piece is definitely a conversation starter.

Sarpaneva Cast Iron Casserole

Sarpaneva Cast Iron Casserole by Timo Sarpaneva, from Iittala

Known for their glassware, not everyone knows that Iittala also creates cookware. Designed in 1960 by Timo Sarpaneva–and winner of the silver medal at the Milan Triennale the same year–this pot is crafted from one of a chef’s favorite materials, cast iron. The interior surface is enameled and you can use it on the stove or in the oven.

The unique wood handle really makes the look of this pot. Removable, the handle’s curves are visually appealing and it can also be used to remove the lid so you don’t burn your hands when it’s hot.

Pasta Pot Set

Pasta Pot Set by Patrick Jouin, from Alessi

The Pasta Pot Set is perfect for pasta loving cooks. Designed by respected French chef Alain Ducasse in collaboration with designer Patrick Jouin, this pot simplifies the process–and reduces the number of dishes–by allowing you to cook sauce and pasta in a single pot. The set includes a pot, lid, spoon and trivet so you can go from stove to table.

Bread & Butter Short Board

Bread&Butter Board Short from Teroforma

Once you’ve sliced all your lovely bread, you need an easy way to serve it. The Bread&Butter Board is made out of wonderful walnut wood, and really is more than meets the eye. What really makes this piece stand out is the integrated butter, dip or oil dish. The soapstone dish sits in a circular opening of the board, which doubles as a hook when not in use. The dish can also be chilled in the fridge to help keep dips chilled longer.

The board has two sides: a flat one that can be used for cutting and the other has a sloped well that lends itself to serving crackers and sliced bread. With so many functions, this board will be a go-to serving piece for any gathering.

Forma Cheese Grater

Forma Cheese Grater by Zaha Hadid, from Alessi

Design by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, this cheese grater features all the organic shapes and curves her style is known for. The grater itself is crafted in Alessi’s trademark stainless steel, is shaped to fit comfortably in the hand and creates a variety of shred sizes. A similarly organic tray offers a convenient place to put the grater and a block of cheese between uses.

Pescher Extensible Trivet

Pescher Extensible Trivet by Donato D’Urbino and Paolo Lomazzi, from Alessi. Image via

Trivets are a necessity when you’re serving food, but they tend to take up a lot of space. The Pescher Extensible Trivet is designed to collapse down small when it’s not in use to save space. The interesting motif is reminiscent of M.C. Escher’s style with a hint of humor. Simplistic fishes in varying sizes create the body of the trivet and when it’s collapsed down small, the fish appear to intertwine with each other, making it an eye-catching piece.

Stone Spice Grinder

Stone Spice Grinder from Tom Dixon

As part of the cool Stone kitchen tools family, the Stone Spice Grinder really adds to the look of a countertop and to the preparation of a meal. The base is made out of smoothly hewn Morwad marble. A heavy brass sphere provides a complementary golden gleam even as it quickly pulverizes whole spices with the simplest pressure of your palm.

Pulcina Espresso Maker

Pulcina Espresso Maker by Michele de Lucchi, from Alessi

Partnering with Illy Coffee and designer Michele de Lucchi, Alessi set out to brew the perfect cup of espresso. The result of “intense research into the optimization of the shape of the coffee pot in order to improve and enhance the organoleptic properties of coffee,” Pulcina automatically stops filtering coffee at the right moment.

Everything from the special shape, filter, and even the pour spout were carefully considered to make your morning cup just right. Just pop it on the stove and you’re minutes away from exquisite espresso.

Cylinda-Line AJ Press Coffee Maker

Cylinda-Line AJ Press Coffee Maker by Arne Jacobsen, from Stelton

Everything from the Cylinda-Line collection by Stelton offers pure modern aesthetics, and the AJ Press Coffee Maker is no exception. Double walls and a large button for the press make this coffee maker sleek and practical. The elegant, cylindrical style and signature shape of the handle make this coffee maker perfect for the modern design lover.

Utilo Coffee and Tea Measure

Utilo Coffee and Tea Measure from Blomus

Smart and simple, you can prepare a morning cup of brew with ease using the Utilo Coffee and Tea Measure. Two spoons combined into one: one side holds 2 teaspoons of loose tea while the flip side holds 1.5 teaspoons of coffee grounds. The stainless steel construction just enhances the sleek, modern lines.

With all the kitchen designs available today, it’s possible to infuse all aspects of your life with elegant, modern design. Start your search with classic modern brands and you’re sure to find the right piece for your needs. Ready to start? Then be sure to check out the YLiving selection of modern kitchen designs.

Nicole Tatem

Nicole Tatem

Nicole is the Sr. Site Merchandiser for Accessories, Kids, and Textiles at YLiving. She is obsessed with great design in all forms with a special love for jewelry, wine bottle labels, and tableware. When she’s not exploring the many museums and art galleries of the Bay Area, Nicole spends time looking for and visiting obscure and unusual destinations (locally and abroad) while practicing her photography skills.

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