K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Dec 06 2016

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Neolith Joins the Tiny House Movement

Neolith Tiny House Launch Party (www.BenRosePhotography.com)

Neolith’s Tiny House pays homage to the material by displaying a number of applications in a small space, including exterior and interior cladding, flooring, countertops, shower walls, fire places and furniture.

According to Mar Esteve, marketing manager for TheSize, the goal of the mobile space is to bring Neolith closer to the residential A&D community across different states and to showcase all the properties of the material: lightweight (great for transportation), durable, uv-unalterable; anti-grafitti, etc.

“We want to convey the message that every space – no matter how big or small – can look great and high end if the right materials are selected,” added Esteve. “We want to communicate that TheSize is aligned with sustainable architecture as well as a way of live.”

Neolith is seen in the Tiny House in the following applications:
– Exterior Cladding (Calacatta gold, Basalt Black, Textil White and Iron Frost)
– Interior Floors (Strata Argentum)
– Interior Walls (Iron Frost)
– Countertops and Island (Estatuario Polished)
– Bathroom Walls (La Beheme, Calacatta Gold)
– Fireplace (Steel Marengo)

The home features an OG36 36- in. outdoor barbeque grill with four individually contained burners for independent heat control, including a sear zone to seal in juices and a two-position rotisserie system. The master bath features the TOTO Neorest 550H toilet with a heated seat, built-in bidet system and choice of an efficient 1.0 or 0.8 gallon per flush. This is paired with a Kiwami Renesse lavatory faucet and a slim Villeroy & Boch washbasin and vanity, which is wall-mounted to save space. The shower includes an Upton rain showerhead and Gyrostream body sprays with rotating heads. In the guest bath, there is the TOTO Aquia Wall-Hung Toilet that takes up less floor space, gives the bathroom a more open feel and is easier to clean.

Dec 01 2016

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Fun at Design & Construction Week


Have friends and family members joining you for the shows in Florida next month? The National Association of Home Builders has some good ideas for last-minute fun in this NAHBNow blog post. See you Jan 10-12 in Orlando!

The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye

This 400-foot observation wheel can be seen from miles away – and offers some of the most breathtaking views of Central Florida. Take in the beautiful Orlando skyline, theme parks, lakes and lush landscape, and on a clear day, even Cape Canaveral on the East Coast. The Eye is on International Drive at I-Drive 360, one of Orlando’s newest dining and entertainment complexes. Pre-book tickets online for the best savings.

Bowling at Kings

This retro-inspired establishment is a great place to hang out for a few hours. It has 22 10-pin bowling lanes, four billiards tables, more than 60 giant high-definition TVs (to catch the game) and great food and beverages. Families with children are welcome during the day until 6 p.m., but it’s 21 or over after 8 p.m.

Disney Star Wars Fireworks

If time is limited, the Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular is an excellent reason to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studio. According to the VisitOrlando blog, this show is a pairing of an “over-the-top fireworks show and larger-than-life video projections displayed directly on the Chinese Theater. The new technology transports guests directly into their favorite moments from the entire Star Wars saga.”

Universal’s CityWalk & Disney Springs

These are great places for nightlife, dining, entertainment and shopping. At CityWalk, there are a number of celebrity restaurants including Emeril’s, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and the Hard Rock Café. Disney Springs is home to over 175 shopping and dining venues, including the House of Blues and the Indiana Jones-themed restaurant, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

Crayola Experience

Here, creativity is encouraged with 26 hands-on attractions. Children (and adults) can learn how crayons are made, star in their own coloring page, name and wrap their own Crayola crayon, embark on a 4D coloring adventure and more. The Crayola Experience is at the Florida Mall, and for savings, buy tickets online and skip the line.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

Where can you find shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, a shooting gallery and a wild spinning vortex tunnel in Orlando? Spend a few hours exploring 10,000 square feet of exhibits that will leave you asking: Believe it … or not? Discount tickets are available online.

Madame Tussauds

Millions of people worldwide have enjoyed the extraordinary experience that can only be found inside Madame Tussauds. At the Orlando location, come and pose with some of the most famous faces from history, sports and pop culture, including Shrek, Will Smith, Michael Jackson, Dan Marino, Steve Jobs and Oprah. Discount tickets are available online.


Nov 28 2016

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Kohler…Bold, Hospitable and Right on Trend

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Editor’s Note: The Kohler Company recently had its annual Media Trends Summit at the company’s facilities in Kohler, Wis. One of our Editorial Advisory Board members, Toni Sabatino of Toni Sabatino Style, attended on behalf of KBB and shares her experience, as well as some new product trends.

Arriving at the American Club is a pretty magical experience. The beautiful historic building has been updated and outfitted to five-star glory; it is picturesque, comfy and includes both a world-class golf course and spa.

The Media Trends Summit experience included a look at new products, several presentations, a factory tour, some great lunches and dinners with members of the company and Kohler family and a choice of a world-class spa experience or golf lesson. I chose a spa treatment, Lavender Rain, a heavenly hour of exfoliation and hydrotherapy accompanied by relaxing music and aromatherapy.

The rooms at the American Club have unique decor items relating to historical figures, and the bathrooms in the guest rooms are full of luxury Kohler products. The charm of the brick buildings and furnishings is reminiscent of a bygone era of opulence, which is a perfect pairing with the hospitality of the Kohler Company and family.

Mr. Herbert Kohler V., Jr., current executive chairman, shared the history of the Kohler Company, the Kohler family and this area of Wisconsin with our group over cocktails and dinner at Riverbend, a restored Kohler family home converted to a private club. The Kohler commitment to quality is notable in every detail. The restorations of the buildings and farm-to-table food selections are both examples of the passion the Kohler family brings to all of its endeavors.

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The new product offerings are no exception. The Veil toilet (above) is Kohler’s entry into the wall-hung hygienic toilet market. It features remote operation, washing and drying features, a self-clean system and heated seat all with the sleek attractive styling I have come to expect from Kohler. A new offering in the bathing category – a solid surface freestanding tub – comes in two sizes and at an excellent price point. Artifacts, the eclectic, artful faucet collection from Kohler boasts several new matte finishes. New entries to the lavatory sink market include tactile finishes that work perfectly with more artisanal and fashion-focused interior design. Shown below is Kohler’s Purist faucet, which offers clean lines and soft curves.

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Mark Bickerstaffe, director of new product development, shared a presentation on marking the importance of softer whites, matte black and mixed metals, warm neutrals, shadowy tones, textural quality and personality pieces being of major factors in the interior design market place. “Sultry” is a word that comes to mind when thinking of the thought-provoking images presented during the presentation. It seems that super clean lines and crisp grays are being replaced by an eclectic mix of metals, light reflectivity, glamour and romance with a smoky dose of intrigue.

Artisanal products and finishes continue to be notable trends to watch for. I can confirm the emergence of warmth, matte metal and a host of soft, textured, eclectic finishes to be prevalent in the furnishings at the Highpoint Fall Market. I find the Kohler’s new entries to the market to be right on trend. I also find that in our global world, where we have access to everything, creating a unique, sultry, artisanal space that fits like good fashion is a trend that will be with us for a while.

– Toni Sabatino

Nov 27 2016

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Tips for the Best KBIS 2017 Experience

As usual, the holidays have snuck up on us and now KBIS is only weeks away too. So how do you make the most of everything KBIS has to offer in just three days? To help attendees prepare for their trip to Orlando in January, we asked NKBA K+B Insider Karl Champley, AKBD – who has attended 200 trade shows over his 32 years in the industry – to share his tips and tricks on how to make the most of the experience.

Plan for KBIS Like You Plan a Vacation
Do your homework up front – check out the exhibitors, learning opportunities and must-attend networking events on KBIS.com. The more prepared you are upfront, the more you will gain while at the show. KBIS.com also offers discounted hotel rates for attendees if you’ve yet to book your accommodations.

Download the KBIS App
In years past I’ve mapped out my areas of interest at the show by hall, checking off my must-see exhibitors and panels as I walked the show floor. The new KBIS 2017 Mobile App provides a centralized location for fast access to the trade show map, special events and learning opportunities. The app even has an Agenda tab that allows you to input your events over the course of the show.

Attend Panels that Align with Your 2017 Goals  
A good place to start building your itinerary is by identifying the programs you want to attend that best align with your 2017 business goals and further your understanding of the industry. Have a team attending the show? Divide and conquer to maximize each learning opportunity. Take note that many programs are held Jan. 9, the day before KBIS officially opens. This year, the NKBA will host 70 Voices from the Industry sessions led by influencers from different industry segments. As a newly certified Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer, I’m also excited to check out the NKBA Certification+Design courses to earn some CEU credit while I’m at the show. Plan to attend the panels, speakers and/or design competitions.

Network, Network, Network!
KBIS is a great opportunity build new connections with like-minded folks. It’s also a chance to connect face-to-face with those in other markets who you’ve connected with over social media – or those who you’ve met at KBIS in previous years. To make the most of it, let your network know you’re attending #KBIS2017 and make plans to grab coffee or attend a program together. It’s also important to be ready for impromptu introductions to potential partners, vendors or clients, so come ready with lots of business cards and a positive attitude. And after you’ve returned home from the show, remember to send a follow-up to solidify the meeting! For additional opportunities to connect outside the convention center, don’t miss The Bash on Wednesday, Jan. 11th – it’s a festive way to celebrate the show and the success that lies ahead for the New Year!
Wear Comfortable Shoes
I’m talking walking shoes and dancing shoes. This goes for both ladies and gentlemen. As many industry professionals head straight from breakfast to the show floor to dinner and events, it’s important to dress the part. Wear shoes that will last as long as you do! 

For more information or to register for KBIS 2017, please visit www.kbis.com.