High design and functionality for kitchens, baths
revolutionary kitchen workstation named The Galley is one of the newest and hottest items in the Santa Fe By Design showroom. Made in the U.S.A., it’s based on a 16-gauge stainless-steel sink and features sliding panels in different tiers, some panels with holes for the bowls and colanders in the Galley culinary kit— available in bamboo, a graphite wood composite, and gray or white resin. “You’re working over a sink and you can set up with drinks and an ice bucket,” said Kathy Fennema, owner of the store with Bob Schwarz. “On the slate panel you can arrange an assortment of cheeses and write in chalkwhat they are.” There is an assortment of grates, a knife block, drying racks, cutting boards and chef ’s blocks, and condiment serving boards.
There are six sizes ofThe Galley available, the cost about $1,000 a foot. “It’s pretty pricey, but it’s so innovative,” Fennema said. “It makes prepping food and entertaining very easy. It comes with thin and thick cutting boards so it functions as a countertop, so even though you’ve taken up this much space for sink, you have movable tops. It’s a really lovely concept.”
Santa Fe By Design first opened its doors in 2002 and the showroom has since tripled in size. During a recent tour of the store, Fennema talked about a few more favorite pieces. Another isTheWheel byWaterstone. This is really only a kitcen faucet, but the large wheel from which the pulldown sprayer extends boasts a wonderful “Rube Goldberg gizmo” sort of design. It’s also very well made, with a commercial-grade lever to shift between spray and stream. The Wheel, which costs upwards of $3,000, is made by the Murietta, California, company Waterstone.
“We have concrete bathroom counters and sinks by Sonoma Cast Stone (Petaluma, California) in many textures and colors and they last and last. It brings a rustic feel to contemporary design.” The company has a broad line of products in both concrete and NuCrete, a material that resembles concrete but is impervious to lemon, wine, oil, and other common staining agents. Santa Fe By Design stocks a selection of beautiful, hand- made crystalline bowls by ceramic artist TomWallick of California. “The crystals actually grow as the kiln heats up, then they’re suspended,” Fennema said. “This type of glaze was very popular in the 1920s.”
A glassed-in shower enclosure in the store is a mini-showroom for shower heads. Among them are the Jaclo Rain Machine heads, six or 10 inches wide but very thin and with installed flow rates ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute.
Manufacturers are now doing faucets in bright colors. A vibrant yellow bath faucet is displayed in the showroom on a blue, stone-composite Ston tub, about $6,500, not an uncommmon price for a freestanding tub, according to the owner. Ston offers a dozen different designs in both freestanding and drop-in models. The British company Victoria + Albert uses a proprietary “volcanic limestone” (stone hardened by the heat and pressure of magma) mixed with resin for its tubs. They also have an easily repairable surface if scuffed or dirty, different from acrylic or cast iron, Fennema said.
Also at Santa Fe By Design are tubs by the Montreal companyWETSTYLE, boasting its environmentally friendly material, Wetmar Bio, that “displaces the petro-chemical additives in heavy use in the industry with a recipe composed of Mother Earth’s natural ingredients— soy and mineral stone.” Nearby is a lovely tub by MTI (Sugar Hill, Georgia) that has a heated bench built into the entry side so you can sit down on a warm seat and swing your legs over and into the tub. This one is about $4,200.
The showroom also carries a range of modern low-flow toilets. “Here is a selection of Toto toilets, which we believe are some of the best engineered toilets in the world,” Fennema said. “Some are 1-gallon flushers, which is what all the manufacturers are trying to get to.” Totos run from $450 to $5,000 and more. The company’sWashlet range incorporates remote-controlled sprayers for genital and anal cleaning, plus a dryer, and a room deodorizer. Many of these high-tech toilets are heated, and they open when you approach and close when you leave.
Santa Fe By Design is in the Pacheco Park commerce center located at 1512 Pacheco Street.
At top, a 6-foot version of the Galley
Above, The Wheel faucet and bowls by Tom Wallick