What do you do when an industry leader invites you for three days of high-end design, food and wine indulgence in San Francisco? You say heck yeah and go. Zephyr Ventilation knows a few things about the details of living well because that is the highly detailed world they inhabit. Their scheduled events were so up my alley and beyond what any of our expectations could’ve been- delivering a memorable dose of the San Francisco area. Zephyr treated our design-focused group like royalty with an agenda that was equal parts destination and journey.
We stayed in the Union Square area at the Clift Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck, surrounded by edgy design. Designers and design enthusiasts, I highly recommend a stay in this hotel. Starck designed the rooms with such precision and sophisticated subtleties, that what might appear to be visually simple is … anything but.
The rooms incorporate multiple infinity areas into the design (my room had two infinity areas), and a highly sophisticated color-play that begins with a rich lavender-grey in the entry hallway to set the vibe. The palette of ivories, whites, blushes and whispers of light lavender of the rooms is executed with imperceptible shifts that could teach us all a few things about the psychology of color. My iPhone did not capture the color as accurately as I would have liked.
First stop for our group: the Ferry Building, to the welcome dinner at Boulettes Larder. The most inspired California cuisine and amazing wine flowed as we mingled with the group and got to know our gracious hosts.
A superb dinner followed with a few words from Luke Siow, founder and CEO of Zephyr.
The following day began with a visit to the Zephyr Ventilation showroom (the largest ventilation showroom in North America), located in the design district of San Francisco. This beautiful showroom has a nice quiet zen feel to it that will not interrupt the intake of kitchen design possibilities. There is a lot to see here, many options for various code requirements and a range styles — as well as a range of technology options to choose from. Zephyr rightfully prides itself of innovation, offering state of the art, proprietary features that one won’t find in other brands, which we will discuss a little later. Zephyr also has collaborated with a few notable icons of design to create lines for the brand.
A world-class artist and innovator in the use of concrete in architecture and design, Fu-Tung Cheng is an acclaimed Kitchen and Bath Designer, NKBA Hall of Fame Member and Best-Selling Author. Cheng has a strategic partnership with Zephyr Ventilation, where he has pushed the boundaries of ventilation hood aesthetics. The Cheng collection for Zephyr currently has five distinctive models, each delivering a clean, stylish look at an affordable price point. Cheng presented some of his architectural and industrial design projects, where he has successfully used concrete in unheard of ways. Just think of him as Mr. Concrete. He is the reason we now have the option of concrete countertops. Concrete is his medium, and he continues to use it as an art form and a structural element in ways that have not previously been accomplished. This man thrives on thinking outside of the box, and his creative enthusiasm is contagious.
Clean Air and Clean Lines
The Arc Collection by Zephyr (pictured above) is the result of another strategic partnership that Zephyr has with Robert Brunner, bringing a sleek, minimalist aesthetic to the kitchen. If you feel the iPad vibe of this line, perhaps it is because Robert Brunner was head of Industrial Design at Apple, where he designed the Macintosh Powerbook. He also designed the Dr. Dre BEATS headset, the Amazon Kindle, the Nook, Polaroid Square, Smart Tools for Williams-Sonoma, and more. *note: this vent hood style predates the iPad by years.
So we get an idea of why San Francisco-based Zephyr remains in the forefront of kitchen ventilation hood innovation, technology and design. This company takes pride in the details and features that set their products apart, showing us that Zephyr is extremely focused on the uniqueness of its buyers. Zephyr thinks of everything, insuring that buyers will never have to compromise when it comes to the choice of a vent hood.
Zephyr recently launched the Lucé Island range hood. This stunning island hood features industry-first fully integrated ICON Touch™ Controls, 3-color accent lights, and a modern aesthetic that combines glamor with technology. This sleek stainless and LED model is the future of range hoods. The integrated LED lights in Cloud White, Deep Blue, and Amber, wrap around the perimeter of the hood and add a soft element to the cooktop at night. The user can select a single color or rotate all three for an added design element. A futuristic hood for the most discerning home chef, Lucé Island with ICON Touch™ Controls makes a bold statement in the kitchen with its minimalistic elegance, smart technology, and competitive price.
A few of the stand-out Zephyr Vent Hood Features:
Clean Air Feature– turns hood on once every 4 hours for 10 minutes
Wireless Remote Control
Multiple Blower Options
Bloom HD LED Lightbulbs– an industry breakthrough offering 25,000 hours of life, are dimmable, and remain cool to the touch
DCBL Suppression System– in layman’s terms, it’s all about air quality. This system offers decreased ambient noise with increased power and efficiency, using 77% less energy, making 77% less noise, and delivering 30% more cfm than standard hoods. DCBL offers the quietest (virtually inaudible), most energy-efficient and best performing range hoods on the market. For those of you who are following the engineering details here, this motor increases torque at lower speed settings and provides increased CFM levels with lower noise levels simultaneously.
Airflow Control Technology (ACT)– all DCBL and select models include ACT, which is a proprietary feature that limits closer CFM to ensure your home is safe and in compliance with local make-up air codes.
ICON Touch Controls – techies, any model with this feature is for you-
Self Cleaning Systems (hello…)
Quick-Lock installation for island models- If you have ever installed an old school island hood or watched installation, you will appreciate this feature.
You may have heard the saying about how pointless it is to build a world-class concert hall, only to fill it with Walmart stools. Same goes for your home. Every detail matters. Zephyr Ventilation is driven by the idea that everything in the home is an opportunity for personal expression. That is why they have raised the kitchen hood to its rightful place as a distinctive design element that also delivers powerful performance.
After the showroom visit, the group ventured out for a design tour. First stop:
the Dal-Tile showroom for a tour and lunch. This San Francisco showroom is right on the front line of hot design trends, while still offering the classic tile options. The lovely showroom manager graciously schooled us on their product lines and design trends in general, over a stunning California-healthy lunch. Note that even the trays are lined in Dal-Tile.
Next stop- Coup d’Etat. I wanted to move into this place. The eye candy was never-ending; these people do contemporary RIGHT. Rumor has it that they actually empty the store and start fresh every time they restyle their look, which is part one of a kind items and part their own brand.
We took our blissful time at Coup d’Etat shopping, and the champagne flowed. Our Zephyr hosts curated the perfect design tour at the perfect pace, making our design day most delightful. They saw to it that we were welcomed graciously everywhere we went.
The next day, Zephyr took our show on the road to NAPA! They had a full day of continued spoiling planned for us, starting at the Joseph Phelps Winery…
…where a little bit of this happened.
And yes, we did get to taste the latest Joseph Phelps Insignia release, which was fabulous.
Next stop: Maisonry for a beautiful lunch and more wine tasting. The truffle chips were addictive.
When you find yourself in the hands of a leading manufacturer known for raising the bar for design, innovation and technology in the kitchen, you are dealing with pros who write the book on lifestyle with innovation. In other words, sit back and enjoy the trifecta of great food/wine/design.
Next Stop: Stags Leap Winery, a tour of their cave, followed by a tasting (but of course), before heading to the Traditional Home Napa Showhouse for a private tour.
The show house was actually three houses this year.
One of the houses was owned by Drew Neiman, of Neiman Cellars. He hosted ANOTHER wine tasting for us in his newly redone showhouse kitchen, educating us on cheese pairing and wine. Have you ever heard of Piave cheese? Neiman considers it his go-to choice that pairs well with just about anything. Note to self.
and a final stop at the Clift Hotel for a farewell gathering in the Redwood Room. Our hosts were incredibly gracious and thoughtful every step of the way. The trip was an informative feast for the senses. Not only has Zephyr elevated the range hoods to pieces of art for the kitchen, but they have done so with unmatched innovation and technology, which is need-to-know info when you are investing in your kitchen. See more about ZEPHYR on their website: ZephyrOnline.com
Visit Zephyr Ventilation San Francisco Showroom:
2277 Alameda Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Follow Zephyr on Twitter/Instagram: @discoverzephyr and Facebook: Zephyr
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