K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Feb 08 2016

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KBB’s Editorial Advisory Board Talks Favorite Products and Trends at KBIS

Opening Photos

Kitchen & Bath Business’ Editorial Advisory Board walked the KBIS 2016 floor in search of creativity, sustainability and innovation. See what impressed them, and be sure and check out our upcoming February/March issue for even more of their findings and photos.

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Dekton Aura Bookmatch

Amy Ahearn, CKD, CAPS, Ahearn Cabinetry Designs, Bernardsville, N.J.

Consentino has remarkably done what the market demanded: create engineered natural material surface slabs that are bookmatched to each other, heretofore the exclusive domain of natural stone, specifically marble. Other properties include high resistance to heat (you can torch your crème brûlée right on the countertop), non-porous and not subject to thermal shock, which can affect traditional quartz tops. Dekton is not new (it debuted in late 2012), but it did have a great presence at the show. Not limited to countertops, Dekton – dubbed the “ultra-compact surface” – can be used for cladding, flooring and interior and exterior surfaces. A unique blend and proprietary recipe comprised of porcelain, glass and quartz, the realistic veining and bookmatching of the slabs might even have fooled Michelangelo himself!

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Nar Bustamante, Nar Fine Carpentry, Carmichael & El Dorado Hills, Calif.

This Kallista shower fixture (above) brought the feeling of classy yet something I could probably pick up at a plumbing supply store in Mexico City in the 50s. I loved the timeless simplicity and commanding elegance of this piece

Chemetal (below) has come a long way with some awesome finishes for its products. This line will do very well with the modern market. They had some great metal patinas and a variety of eye-catching, multicolored concepts.

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Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, CAPS, Timeless Kitchen Design, Seattle

Paula noted several trends at the show, including:

– Transitional is more widespread
– Growing confidence in color
– Desire to simplify lives and reduce footprint
– Healthy home, healthy living
– Wireless controls in the bath & appliances
– Appliances to fit “smaller living”
– Auto, tech & fashion-driven design
– Gun metal, mirrored and brass finishes
– Industrial chic growing/deepening

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From top left clockwise, Paula’s favorites from KBIS include ROHL’s new Mink finish, Flash Freeze & Blast Chill by Irinox and GE’s Monogram Pizza oven.

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American Standard’s Coastal tub

Michelle Henderson, Banner Plumbing Supply, Buffalo Grove, Ill.

There is a demand for freestanding tubs, but in most cases the tub is either a solid surface like material and a higher price point, or the more competitive tubs tend to be a double-walled acrylic. Because of the nature of acrylic and the backing required, the tub walls are thick and therefore have very small interiors. Somehow American Standard has made these tubs of cast acrylic, but they are only slightly thicker than their solid surface competitors. And here is the kicker… they’ve managed to offer a reasonable price point.

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American Standard’s Sedona tub

The Coastal (oval) is $2,799, and the Sedona (rectangle) is $2,599. Both of these tubs have integrated drains that consist of a finished slotted overflow and a toe tap closure. Many of my clients are ripping out their oversized built-in tubs they never use so they can expand the shower to a more luxurious size. When they do so, they want to keep a tub in the bathroom for resale, and the freestanding tubs are a perfect solution. The only catch is that price is very often a consideration because they never used the original tub, and this new one is just for show. The price point of this tub is perfect for that client, and the product looks great.

*Fairmont Designs

Fairmont Designs’ Belle Fleur

The simple yet elegant design of this vanity makes it a perfect fit for a formal powder room or a girl’s bath. Bow front, Queen Anne legs and glass knobs typically scream old world, but this piece is the perfect example of how something very traditional can be simplified and lend itself to a more transitional palate. The vanity features fully concealed soft-close hinges, as well as a hidden soft-close drawer perfect for a blow dryers or tissues. There is a coordinating blizzard white quartz top available and a very complementary white oval mirror.

Christopher Grubb, Arch-Interiors Design Group, Beverly Hills, Calif.

I’m seeing a lot of gold. Some manufacturers even said they showed a few pieces last year and because of demand and expanded the finish into other products they have for a more complete collection.

Last year I saw several items with or in black (faucets etc.) This year feel it was universal from a lot of manufacturers. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see black cabinetry in both contemporary and traditional styles making a resurgence.

Gray continues as a popular finish; like the shiny gray on appliances for those who are suffering from “stainless fatigue.”

Legrand

From controlling your appliances to Wifi switching in the home, technology continues to expand in unheard of ways. Legrand (above) has Wifi switching, and what I like is this is transitional in look so it will fit in more design projects.

*Laundry Vignette

Rachel Roberts, Kitchen & Bath Galleries of North Hills, Raleigh, N.C.

I loved all the laundry vignettes. Often it seems to be an overlooked area for displays, so it was great to get some inspiration for designs for these spaces –whether as a separate room or part of a closet.

Toni Sabatino, Toni Sabatino Style, New York

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Left, clockwise: Richelieu has done great cabinetry inserts, as well as surfaces and hardware. Emmevi Rubinetterie, Italy, featured a Pinnochio faucet with water coming out of his nose when you move his arms. Thompson Traders’ Artisanal sinks and accessories – this is really stunning handwork.

 

 

Feb 01 2016

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My Favorite from the #HowDoYouPerlick Design Contest

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The #HowDoYouPerlick Design Contest asked four industry experts to design a vignette highlighting the company’s refrigeration and beverage dispensers in each of the following categories: kitchen, outdoor, entertainment and rest of home. From the entries received, four finalists had their designs built into the Perlick booth during the recent KBIS.

Perlick announced the winner – chosen by attendees – during KBIS, and although the winning design was very innovative and clever, I chose another as my favorite. I’ll tell you a little bit about each of the four projects, and then tell you why I liked my favorite so much.

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Cart before the Horse

This winning entry by Richard Anuszkiewicz of Alt Breeding Schwartz Architects was designed around the famous phrase “putting the horse before the cart.” He chose custom wood door overlays, a leather countertop, gold-accented hardware and a sink and faucet in an equestrian print to create an entertaining bar cart. From Perlick, the designer featured the Signature Series Dual-Zone Freezer/Refrigerator Drawers.

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Zen Credenza

This vignette was designed by Rose Dostal, AIA, ASID, of RMD Designs and features Asian influence and bold color. Gold was prevalent in the display in the countertop, sconce detail and geometric mirror. She included Perlick’s Signature Series Sottile Wine Reserve and Refrigerator.

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Charred Bar

Designed by Michele Alfano of MODmadeNY Studio, this entertaining outdoor display features both the HP24 24-in. Signature Series Dual-Zone Outdoor Refrigerator/Wine Reserve and the outdoor model. A Signature Series Outdoor Beer Dispenser tops off the display and pairs with bottle storage/service in the top of the man-made concrete island bar.

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Wet Your Whistle Kitchen

This vignette, created by Patricia Davis Brown, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD, of Patricia Davis Brown Designs, was definitely my favorite. And maybe that is unfair since it was the largest display of all four, but she put some really creative thinking into this kitchen – right down to the martini glass-shaped sink and olive-topped soap dispenser. Another whimsical element was the “chalkboard” wall. Perlick products in her vignette included the Adara Beer Dispenser and a Signature Series Refrigerator, Refrigerator Drawers, Ice Maker and Wine Reserve.

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After touring the Perlick booth, attendees voted in their favorite design. The winner of the #HowDoYouPerlick Design Contest was determined following a popular vote during KBIS 2016. For his winning design, Anuszkiewicz will receive a Perlick product of his choice.

Jan 25 2016

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Kitchen Design Contest Winners and Forecast Results Announced

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From left to right: Suk, Otten, Quinn and Secter

Sub-Zero and Wolf recently revealed the results of their anticipated 2016 Kitchen Design Forecast. The event – Design Pros Call It – was recently held at the company’s Manhattan showroom and featured renowned designer Matthew Quinn, as well as the three first place winners of its 2013-14 Kitchen Design Contest.

The contest consisted of 53 regional winners and eight global winners, all of whom were polled on trends in kitchen design, appliances, materials, the role of the kitchen and kitchen “must-haves.”

Quinn, a previous Kitchen Design Contest winner, served as one of seven judges in the contest in which the three first place winners were William Suk (traditional), Mikal Otten (transitional) and Dovide Secter (contemporary).

When he first sits down with a client, Quinn says he most often takes the 50/50 design approach, which means a 50 percent focus on art and aesthetics and 50 percent on the science of living. The science aspect begins immediately by asking questions like where do they shop and what do they cook. He takes the time to be present and observe actual meals, particularly breakfast and dinner, which allows him to observe such things as food preparation and traffic congestion.

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One anecdote he shared was a client who had a tradition of lighting a single candle every night at dinner, which naturally kept electronic devices away from the table. It was a ritual that was clearly important to his client, so Quinn designed a small glass-encased area to showcase the candle.

“The kitchen is often thought of as the hard space of the home with all its hard surfaces,” he said. “We want to bring softness to it.”

All three contest winners and Quinn agreed that one of the primary roles of a kitchen design professional is to help make the client’s life easier and their time in the kitchen more efficient.

“Time is a great luxury. I do everything I can to help clients save time,” said Quinn. “A good designer can save a family 10 minutes every day, which equals up to 61 hours per year. It’s real numbers like these that get people excited.”

Poll Results: What’s In and Out

Quinn discussed a litany of key items derived from the poll of the 53 winners, including the following:

  • – Seven of 10 designers say the open floor plan is still in demand.
  • – 72 percent of designers agree the formal dining room is a phasing out (almost half of their clients are asking to have it removed).
  • – White is still the most popular color in the kitchen, followed by accent colors gray, blue and black.
  • – The hottest appliances are the convection steam oven and induction cooktop.
  • – Microwaves continue to lose popularity among designers and their clients.
  • – Integrated appliances are in demand, with more panels and panel overlays being used.
  • – Wood is the No. 1 material of choice, followed by quartz and stainless steel.
  • – 82 percent of design pros says the kitchen island is a must-have, and most say a recycling center is important as well.
  • – Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly popular.
  • – More clients are incorporating the needs of children as their interest in cooking increases.
  • – Aging Americans are looking for “cleaner” designs to showcase their best pieces when downsizing (or right-sizing) from home to condo.
  • – Organic design is increasing in popularity, particularly salvaged woods and recycled materials.
  • – Vertical gardens are practical for those with limited outdoor space.

Quinn said that while there is growing interest in the modern aesthetic, the most popular and widely categorized style of kitchen design is transitional.

“Timeless is different than classic,” he said. “Most designers start out with function, but that doesn’t mean we completely abandon form. If that was the case, we’d end up with a commercial-looking kitchen.”

After speaking on design trends, Quinn then turned the discussion over to the three 1st place winners.

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William Suk – 1st Place Traditional Kitchen for his “Chelsea Townhouse” design

Bill Suk of Suk Design Group LLP (New York City) said he faced the huge obstacle of creating a kitchen where there was none. Other obstacles were falling mortar, unleveled floors and a precarious staircase. They added a second story and built direct access to garden. His Chesea Townhouse design sold at a whopping $16.2 million, a price tag that Suk says is still the highest-priced sold property in the area.

Organic design topped Suk’s design forecast, including salvaged materials and textures and vertical gardening. For color trends, he said gray is the new white.

“I’m seeing more primary grays and black stainless steels, although I’m not necessarily a fan,” he said, adding that for countertops he’s seeing more wood and ceramics. “I am a big fan of stone. I’ve always felt that synthetics simply don’t have enough life in them.”

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Mikal Otten – 1st Place Transition Kitchen for his “Mountain Bliss” design

Mikal Otten of Exquisite Kitchen Design (Denver) transformed a vacation home in Vail. Some of the major obstacles in his project included low ceilings, no natural light and relocation of the kitchen to the living area where the fireplace sat. Luckily, he said, the bones of the structure were good because his clients “wanted to bring the outside in.” His parting advice on trend was to not be afraid of using dark colors, especially when there are so many excellent LED options available.

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Dovide Secter – 1st Place Contemporary Kitchen for his “Hide and Seek” design

Dov Secter of Secter Design Limited (Winnipeg, Maintoba, Candada) specializes in residential design with an aesthetic lean toward sleek and modern. It should be noted that this was Secter’s first time entering the design contest, and he lives in the prize-winning home with his wife and two young daughters.

“One of the greatest challenges was to build a modern family house,” he said. “Hosting guests, having enough storage and eating healthy are all important elements to me and my wife.”

Secter’s “hide and seek” approach meant he wanted to conceal certain elements of the kitchen. For example, he took common countertop appliances and stored them in floor-to-ceiling cabinets. A design trend that Secter mentioned is taking mainstream designs, like Ikea’s popular cookie-cutter designs, and making them more unique and individualized.

The 2015-2016 contest entry period will open in February 2016 and run through February 2017. Visit subzero-wolf.com/contest for further information.

By Carrie Farley

Jan 14 2016

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5 Best Practices for KBIS Marketing

 

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1. Stand Out. With hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of attendees and more events, sessions and activities than we can count, there are many opportunities to get your brand noticed at the show. Here are a few approaches to make sure that you stand out:

·      Partner Up: Joining forces with like-minded brands helps increase your footprint and impact. Cross promote your major products in partner booths, join forces to sponsor (and sit on) a panel session, and collaborate to co-host an experience for media or bloggers.

·      Get Involved: Make sure that your brand has a presence outside of your booth. Take advantage of networking opportunities, co-host educational sessions or sponsor a party or event. These activities get you out in front of people in unexpected ways and keep your brand name top of mind.

·      Find Your Voice: Identify a key point person to speak out on your behalf and help you rise above the clutter. Having a singular voice creates consistency of message and helps elevate you as an expert in your field.

2. Get Scheduled. Once you have your game plan in place, it’s not enough to simply stand in your beautifully designed booth and hope to catch media as they tour the show floor. Our job as an agency is to identify media who would be a good fit for your brand or product collection and make sure that you’re fitting into their busy schedules.

3. Do Your Homework. The real work is in the planning, which ensures that your time on site is as productive as possible. We help our clients develop a detailed schedule, making special note of important sessions to attend, networking events and appointments. We do our homework before, during and following the show to make sure that no opportunity is lost.

4. Be Social. Attendees are increasingly turning to social media to find out what’s trending at major events. Posting consistently and compellingly from your booth and around the show will ensure that you have a voice in that conversation.

·      Listen: Monitor the show hashtags to make sure you’re abreast of the latest trends and news.

·      Join In: Like, comment on and reply to messages from influential people. Provide value to these conversations beyond just talking about your products.

·      Get Creative: Make sure that your visuals are clear, compelling and sized appropriately for each channel. Short videos, GIFs and other dynamic content also help to catch the eye.

·      Go Live: Unveiling a product? Think about experimenting with Periscope or other live video offerings to give followers a behind-the-scenes debut.

5. Have Fun. And remember, have fun! These types of events are great opportunities for building relationships. Attending networking events, dinners and parties creates chances for you to meet new people, solidify friendships and cultivate partnerships. Enjoy!

– By Sharp Communications. Follow the Sharp team on Twitter @sharp_think or by using #SHARPxKBIS”