K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Jan 16 2017

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KBB Does KBIS 2017

Our hard-working staff at KBB was truly dedicated to all things KBIS last week. We traversed the two massive halls looking for the latest product trends, and we were heavily involved in the show programming this year. We attended several parties, visited a showroom and toured a design home – all in just three days. The following is a photo diary of our staff at work – enjoy!


Erinn Loucks, Chelsie Butler and Natasha Selhi at the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s “Magic of Design” party at Epcot.

2Aladdin photo

Getting our picture taken with Aladdin at Magic of Design. Left to right: Chelsie Butler, Travis Hunt, Rebecca Corbett, Selhi & Diana Gallagher

3Orlando Jones

Natasha and Chelsie were lucky enough to meet the evening’s MC – Orlando Jones.

4KBB Booth

Some of our Editorial Advisory Board members coming to see us on the first day in the KBB booth. Left to right: Toni Sabatino, Ebony Stephenson, Diane Kennedy, Chelsie Butler

5Me with Brad

Chelsie Butler pictured with Brad Hunter of HomeAdvisor during one of four information-filled discussions during KBIS

6EAB with Toni

Toni Sabatino, Natasha Selhi and Chelsie Butler at the annual KBB Editorial Advisory Board meeting


Celebrating the KBB Editorial Advisory Board with a quick pic after our annual meeting


Travis Hunt keeping track of his steps while visiting multiple exhibitor booths

9Travis at booth

Here he is learning about all of Lenova’s new products.

10Erinn at socialmedialounge

Erinn Loucks learning social media strategies from other brands at the Social Media Lounge in the South Hall.

11The Bash

Chelsie Butler, Brian Pagel and Natasha Selhi celebrating another successful KBIS at The Bash


Post-show, Erinn relaxed at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!


Jan 08 2017

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It’s Showtime!

2016 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

2016 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

It’s finally here. We have just three days to see new products, learn from great leaders and network with other industry experts – and that’s just the beginning. As editors of KBIS’ official publication, we’ve done a lot of preparation and are anticipating a fabulous show. Here’s just a glance of what we’re most looking forward to:

1.    All the New Products. We’ve gotten a sneak peek from many of the companies at the show, and take it from us – you’ll see more innovation, style and pizazz than at any other show.

2.    Networking. There never is enough time to talk with as many designers and manufacturers as we would like during the year. KBIS gives us the chance to finally talk face-to-face with people we hear about and work with every day.

3.    The Opening Ceremonies. Did anyone else hear the keynote speaker is Peyton Manning? That’s going to be very cool.

4.    All the Parties. You could party every night if you’re not too tired from walking the show floor – start with the Magic of Design Opening Party on Monday evening at Epcot’s World Showplace, and make sure to attend The Bash on Wednesday starting at 8:30 at Mango’s Tropical Café.

5.    Learning Opportunities. Every year we have the opportunity to learn from our colleagues at the Voices from the Industry Conference, and this year will cover everything from online sales strategies to sustainable design.

6.    The Location. Las Vegas has been great, but we’re all looking forward to sunny Orlando for KBIS 2017!

Follow us on Twitter @KBBconnect, on Facebook and on Instagram at kbb_magazine to find out where in the show we are, and have a great KBIS!

Jan 01 2017

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Traditional or Contemporary

The line between two main styles – traditional and contemporary – is often blended in today’s designs. Keeping the right proportions of both is a tricky balancing act, so we spoke with designer Jennifer Gilmer of Chevy Chase, Md.-based Jennifer Gilmer Design, to find out how she did it.

KBB: What were the clients’ requirements for this design?
JG: The client’s immediate needs were for a better functioning island. The previous island only housed a sink, dishwasher and trash bin but no other cabinet storage. The trash bin was located on the opposite end of the island from the sink, which makes prep and clean up difficult tasks. When designing the new island, we centered the sink between the dishwasher and the pullout trash bin, which is ideal for a well-functioning kitchen. We also included cabinet storage on both sides of the island.

Macklin Kitchen 2
KBB: What were you challenged by, and what were your solutions?
JG: The client wanted to update the traditional look of the kitchen with a more contemporary design aesthetic. We were challenged to come up with a design that wouldn’t look out of place with her existing cabinets but would also transform the entire feel of the kitchen to be more contemporary. That led us to hot-rolled steel. Hot-rolled steel is a material that has been around for centuries, so it works beautifully with her traditional-leaning kitchen. However, the organic blue pattern that naturally occurs in process making the steel, along with the industrial feel of the material, automatically lends itself to a contemporary design. That material – along with a thick quartz countertop and a negative detail above the cabinets – subtly added contemporary details without straying too far from the existing traditional kitchen cabinets.

Macklin Kitchen 4
KBB: What did you use for the countertops and why?
JG: Arctic White from Q by MSI was chosen for the countertops.  The client has Carrara countertops on the perimeter of the kitchen, so we wanted something that would work with the Carrara and would provide a more durable surface than marble. Arctic White is a pure white, which pulls from the pure white in the Carrara. It also is a nice contrast against the hot-rolled steel without stealing the show.

KBB: What was your favorite part of this project?
JG: My favorite part is the negative detail under the countertop. Yes, it is such a small aspect of the island that most won’t directly notice it, but it is those small details in a project that can shift the feel of a project from traditional versus contemporary, rustic or industrial or even Asian inspired or farmhouse. In this case, the negative detail tricks the eye into thinking the countertop is slightly floating off the cabinets, which gives it a more contemporary feel.

We want to know – how do you mix, blend or contrast the two styles? Let us know at @kbbconnect or on our Facebook page!


Dec 22 2016

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Changing a City with Design

We all know our surroundings affect nearly every aspect of our life, and sometimes it’s the smallest, silliest things that make a big difference. I discovered one of these in my new city: the Seattle Design Nerds.

Headed by licensed architects Jeremy Reding and Trevor Dykstra, the volunteer non-profit group is dedicated to designing in the public realm as well as engaging designers with the public. I spoke with Dykstra to find out more.

KBB: Why did you start Seattle Design Nerds?

Dykstra: We wanted to form a group that focused on interactive outdoor projects, and that eventually lead us to the Design Nerds Society (founded in Vancouver, B.C.).  Each Design Nerd chapter operates autonomously, and each one has slightly different goals, but they all focus on their city, public space and collaboration.

KBB: What is the purpose behind the organization?

Dykstra: We like to say that the Seattle Design Nerds are here to make Seattle (more) awesome. That means we’re focusing on what we love about a place and highlighting that rather than ascribing ‘problems’ that need solutions. 

We have no paid staff or employees, we’re all doing this in our free time and we have over 200 members, but the core group is around 20. The membership is made up of architects, graphic designers, interior designers, furniture designers, interaction designers, mechanical engineers and yes, even non-designers. We’re free to join and open to all, and that includes making our entire process open to anyone who stops by. Because we believe in design by doing rather than simply generating ideas, we typically brainstorm as a group by making prototypes and quickly testing ideas physically rather than sitting around a table.”

KBB: What have some of your favorite projects been?
Our very first project as a group was a 120-ft.-long, 16 ft.-tall inflatable space we called CREATURE. It was installed in Nord Alley in Pioneer Square, and we assembled the entire thing in public parks using shipping tape and bits of plastic, because we had no access to a workspace and no funding. We inflated the entire thing using half a dozen fans we found at Goodwill and filled it with beach balls; it turned the entire alleyway into an indoor playground. That project has a special place in our hearts, not only because it was the first but also we literally didn’t know if it would all work.

creature2                                                                                 The Creature

Earlier this year we collaborated with a school district in Spokane to create an Augmented Reality Sandbox using software developed by a researcher at UC Davis.  We designed it in such a way that the plans could be downloaded and sent to a computer numeric control (CNC) anywhere in the world. The parts work like Legos so that they can be assembled without any tools or construction background. We’ve since made those prototype plans and cutting files available as a shareware download for other schools and museums around the nation.

Sandbox                                                                     Augmented Reality Sandbox

Another favorite is a project we call the ReFractor. The ReFractor is another inflatable space made from triangular pieces of plastic, reflective mylar and cardboard. It’s a mobile event space that has popped up around Seattle and packs down into a small box. We’ve had dancers in it, created a lounge, projected the football game and more all in public spaces on a moment’s notice. This year we took it down to Austin, Texas, for SXSW Eco, where it appeared downtown in Brush Square Park and served as a lounge for the conferences after-party.

refractor                                                                               The ReFractor

KBB: Explain your most recent project, Redmond Lights, and what you expect to come of if.

Dykstra: The Redmond Lights is a new experience for us, and we’re excited by the images of past years. When we were considering the theme of the event [holiday traditions, cultures and faiths in the city] we gravitated toward an inflated option as they not only create excellent lanterns, but they also have a friendly and comforting look. We’ve experimented with inflatables and lights in the past, but we’re ramping up the scale of that for Redmond Lights.  

We’re working on creating a 200-ft.-long inflatable called the GlowWorm, which will be filled with color-changing LEDS and feature inspirational quotes from Leonard Cohen and Dr. Maya Angelou. The piece is so long that we’ve been using the hallways of Inscape Arts (the building where we’re assembling) as our workspace.”

gloworm                                                                            The Redmond Lights