K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Oct 30 2014

Posted by
Comments

Bathroom Update Wins Award

www.andreahanksphotography.com

Nate Coombs and his team won the DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen’s Franchisee of the Year award for the redesign of an outdated master suite. The owners wanted a modern, elegant look without using too much tile.

The homeowner wasn’t happy with the following:

-       White tile

-       Gold (polished brass) fixtures

-       Empty wall between the vanity and tub deck

-       Inadequate storage space

-       Floor tile that did not flow from the vanity/tub room into the shower, toilet room and closet

-       Too much grout on the tub deck and shower tile

-       Small, enclosed shower with too much glass and a metal frame (below)

Before

Improvements included:

-       Installed stone-simulated porcelain floor tile in warm, earth tones that flows into all spaces

-       Modified the tub deck and updated it with marble slabs with no grout lines and a stone/glass mosaic splash (below)

www.andreahanksphotography.com

-       Added cabinetry – painted white maple – for more storage and a new makeup area

-       Installed marble vanity tops

-       Updated plumbing fixtures

-       Enlarged the shower so it is now a walk-in with light marble slabs, a glass/stone mosaic and a frameless piece of glass to allow light in (below)

www.andreahanksphotography.com

Sources
Cabinets: Wellborn Cabinetry
Countertop: Emperadora Dark by Bedrock Quartz
Glass/Stone Mosaics: Daltile
Hardware: Jeffery Alexander
Lighting: Kichler
Marble Sheets on Tub Deck and in Shower: ForzaStone
Photographer: Andrea Hanks Photography
Plumbing Fixtures: Moen
Tile: Unicom Starker
Toilet: Gerber

Bookmark and Share

Oct 27 2014

Posted by
Comments

An Inside Look at Generation Y (Millennials)

Moen Watch NYC Image_1

Millennials – or Generation Y’ers – as they are often called, are shaping the future of design and upcoming trends. Millennials are described as people who are between the ages of 19 and 36, and they make up about 24 percent of the U.S. population. They also represent a generation in flux – while some are in college or recently graduated and are living with their parents, others are already married professionals caught in the work/family crunch. No matter what stage of life they’re in, the reality is they represent between $1 and $1.7 trillion in annual spending power,and that number will only increase as their youngest members mature.

Recently, Jack Suvack, senior director of consumer and insights for Moen, gave a presentation on this rising generation of these young consumers.

“This up-and-coming generation of young consumers is unlike any segment we have seen in the past,” he said. “They are the most educated, socially aware generation with the potential of possessing a large portion of spending power. These individuals are prepared for what lies ahead and are looking to interact with brands that can offer them a well-rounded, meaningful experience.”

Generation Y holds two-thirds of all outstanding student loan debt. They’re also waiting to start their next stage of life after college. Twenty percent have put off marriage, and 22 percent have delayed having children. In addition, the rate at which Generation Y heads their own households has declined, compared to the population growth[1].

Gen Y holds a clear set of values and attributes, which serves as an important lens for their everyday lives. When looking to engage with brands, these individuals seek out companies with traits that align with their own. Some of these include:

-       Authenticity – This group prides themselves on being true to who they are, and they have come to expect the same from the brands they interact with on a daily basis. These individuals actively seek out companies that position themselves with integrity and promote honest communication.

-       Personalization –This generation has matured under the value that everyone is unique and should be celebrated for individuality and has an innate desire to tailor their experiences to fit their needs.

-       Connected Experiences –These individuals came of age in a connected world with the ability to access anyone and any piece of information at any time. A lifetime of connectivity has caused this generation to expect and value a connected existence.

-       Socially Conscious –While this generation may be known as self-involved, they value the concept of social consciousness. Growing up in a globally connected environment, they are more likely to pay a premium for items offered by socially conscious brands.

So, we can see that this budding generation is educated, tech-savvy and optimistic for meaningful experiences, both personally and professionally, and expect a higher level of service and experience from the brands with which they choose to interact.

[1] Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University tabulations of US Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey & Intercensal Population Estimates

- By Ryan Bellinghausen

 

Bookmark and Share

Oct 15 2014

Posted by
Comments

Designers Discuss Favorite Trends & Products

October is National Kitchen and Bath Month, and we thought it would be interesting to ask designers what they thought were some of the most significant trends and products in kitchen and bath design today.

Outdoor Living Environments on the Rise

“There is growing interest in bringing the comfort and hominess we love indoors outside,” said Grace Kelly of Kitchen Designs. “At Kitchen Designs we are also noticing a major upswing in demand for creating outdoor environments, especially outdoor kitchens.” When you specify for the outdoors, it’s important to consider quality components that can withstand the elements.

The Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet and BLANCO kitchen sink and faucet are featured in this outdoor installation by Kitchen Designs.

The Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet and BLANCO kitchen sink and faucet are featured in this outdoor installation by Kitchen Designs.

Timeless Elements Inspire a Sense of Permanence

“In new construction, there is a movement toward traditional kitchens, with an emphasis on quality that inspires a sense of permanence,” said Drew Lang of Lang Architecture, designer and developer of Hudson Woods. “Today’s homebuyer – whether it’s their first, second or third purchase – doesn’t want a trendy kitchen that will need a refresh in five years; they are looking for timelessness, and Hudson Woods evokes precisely that sentiment. Our kitchens are built to last with handcrafted finishes and cutting-edge accouterments.”

Hudson Woods architect Drew Lang sought a timeless look with SMEG appliances.

Hudson Woods architect Drew Lang sought a timeless look with SMEG appliances.

Blending Traditional and Modern Elements

Many clients are looking for the comfort of classic styles but at the same time seek to be fresh and contemporary. “I look for something ‘different’ that has not been over used and is on trend yet [with a] classic style,” said Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Design. “Just the right blend of traditional and modern.”

Tile of Spain manufacturer Porcelanosa offers just right blend of traditional and modern for this In Detail Design bathroom.

Tile of Spain manufacturer Porcelanosa offers just right blend of traditional and modern for this In Detail Design bathroom.

Another tactic to blend old and new: Use contemporary finishes with traditional hardware patterns by Top Knobs as featured in this In Detail Design kitchen.

Another tactic to blend old and new: Use contemporary finishes with traditional hardware patterns by Top Knobs as featured in this In Detail Design kitchen.

Layered Conversations – Designing for Multi-Uses

”Kitchens these days are all about a layered conversation,” said Christopher D. Martinez, Poggenpohl Paramus, N.J. “How are all the individual pieces working together as a whole for the end user and their guests? The kitchen should communicate both functionally & aesthetically.”

Clients want spaces for storage, cooking and entertaining. Defining workspaces for each, homeowners can prepare meals and remain part of the conversation with guests and family.

Defining workspaces helps homeowners to prepare meals and remain part of the conversation for this Poggenpohl kitchen.

Defining workspaces helps homeowners to prepare meals and remain part of the conversation for this Poggenpohl kitchen.

Baths Are a Calming Getaway from the Stress of Daily Life

Michael Adams recently designed a bathroom space for the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. While he was designing for the many families in crisis who will be using the space, the need for a calming getaway from the stress of daily life is certainly a trend today in everyday bathroom design.

“I wanted to create a contemporary space that was serene and calm for the families who are staying there,” said Adams of Michael Adams ID. “Kartell by Laufen offered me the look and the functionality for this space where so many families just need a clean environment and a pampering break where all their needs are met in this time of crisis. The fixtures are pure, simple and highly designed. They rise up to meet the need while maintaining the clutter free and calming space I was hoping for.”

The need for a calming getaway from the stress of daily life is certainly a trend today in everyday bathroom design, according to Michael Adams of Michael Adams ID.

The need for a calming getaway from the stress of daily life is certainly a trend today in everyday bathroom design, according to Michael Adams of Michael Adams ID.

 

Bookmark and Share

Oct 10 2014

Posted by
Comments

K&B Talent: What Potential Employers Are Looking for in YOU

Image by of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is much talk about not being able to find reliable talent in the kitchen and bath industry. This LinkedIn discussion asks professional what they are looking for when hiring talent. What qualifications do they desire? What level of experience is required? What kind of experience – marketing, tech, business savvy, design – is necessary?

Anne-Marie Harvey, Kitchen and Bath Design Consultant

One thing I learned in my previous career is that having the correct pedigree is not a guarantee for success in any given field. Having the right disposition, as well as the ability to use your entire brain, is crucial for success in this business. I encourage business owners to take a chance on hiring people who chose kitchen and bath design as a second career and graduates of NKBA-endorsed kitchen and bath design certificate programs.

As in any other career, the process of staying up to date and maintaining your proficiency is ongoing. Talent is overrated; some people with tons of talent waste it because they lack the work ethic required stay on top. If you have someone with a true passion for what they do and the aptitude and work ethic to improve, they are likely to be successful.

Rex G Hirst, CKD Au, Interior Designer at Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors

What we all do in this profession very much requires a right brain, left brain set of skills, which are REALLY hard to find. We recently sent out an advertisement that stated: If you are a qualified CKD, CBD or interior designer with loads of experience in the K & B sector – with a minimum of five years of REAL commercial experience – then we should talk. What was interesting when I placed this advert was the sheer number of applicants we got from all around the world, (about 60) and the very few who could meet the criteria. It’s not that the applicants aren’t there; it’s the fact that most just don’t have the skills.

Something else that I believe is critical in anyone looking to work in a creative discipline is the desire to do great work, not just make money. 
If you are good at what you do, the money will automatically follow your success. The word “passion” comes to mind. It’s not findable on the resume, but if it’s there, you’ll see it in an interview and the way they talk about past projects.

Cathy Osborne, Designer at Auer Kitchens

Within a 150-mile radius of Cincinnati where I am, most of the design firms are small, family-owned businesses – particularly at the high end. The hardest thing to find is that intangible “good fit.” A personality that meshes well with the other five – 15 people within the company, complementary (not identical) personal goals and expectations, a similar amount of “fight” in their souls, background that provides experiential balance for the company. 
Those may seem like trivial or frivolous qualifications, but the secret weapon of a small business is having team members pull their weight more-or-less equally, who genuinely respect, trust and support each other and who are willing to seek recognition for the group, not for the individual.

Growing a respected company name has immense value, and one poorly chosen person can set a company reputation back years. I could overlook a few weak spots in the credentials if I saw, for example, “five-year volunteer for Habitat for Humanity” or “PTA president” on the resume. As time consuming as it is, the interview is far more enlightening than the resume.

Nina Green, Principal Interior Designer at NGD Interiors

I would first like to see somebody who has an interior designer degree. This lets me know they have had the basic technical/space planning training that I am looking for. (I am willing to overlook this if there are other strong qualifications/credentials as in years of experience/certifications, etc.) I am also looking for skills that can’t necessarily be taught, i.e., organization, attention to detail, a sense of aesthetics, enjoys being around people/communication, etc.

The rest depends on the level at which I am hiring them. If I want a junior designer/assistant, I would prefer them to have basic interior design skills, some kitchen knowledge experience, and I would guide the rest. If I am looking to bring on a designer at the senior level, I look for designers who are at my level or higher who prefer to be independent, preferably with a CKD/CBD.

I think it is important that designers understand the business/sales side of things, but I have found through guidance/role play this can be refined. I do prefer that the designers have had training/experience selling to low-middle markets & high-end markets, as they require different skill sets. In terms of marketing, business, etc., I would typically outsource these to consultants that only do that function.

Amy Britton, CKD, Founder, Owner & Principle Designer, Artisan Kitchens LLC

Honestly, I almost think I would prefer to train someone from scratch. The character traits I would look for are: true artistic tendencies (eye for color a plus but not mandatory), bright engaging personality, eagerness to learn, superior attention to detail, good computer technical skills, literacy and organizational skills (!) and ability to work with people. All of those can be shaped into a competent K&B designer with good training and mentoring. And yes, we are all “designers,” but there’s also a sales component to what we do, and someone who is reclusive or introverted ultimately isn’t going to be a success.

Nava Slavin, President of The Creative Edge, Inc.

Designing a kitchen requires some very specific knowledge. You need to understand space planning, circulation and the overall use of the space. One needs to understand the requirements for appliances, electric, venting and plumbing.
We need to have product knowledge, know how different floors will affect heights in the room and how symmetry or asymmetry will look. Once you have all the technical knowledge, you need to understand the best ways a kitchen

Bookmark and Share