K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Jul 06 2015

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Suggestions for Marking a Cabinet Layout on the Subfloor

Image by Maggie Smith, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Maggie Smith, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Adam Abrams, CKD, president at Designer Cabinets, Granite & Tile, asked our K+BB Designers Network on LinkedIn about marking up floor cabinets for new home construction.

Does anyone have a secret – other than on hands and knees with a king-size Sharpie – to mark out the cabinet layout on the subfloor of a new home construction project? Getting older and wondering if there is a better way?”

Here are some of the responses Abrams received:

David Wagner, Dewitt Designer Kitchens

I use blue painters tape and it’s removable. I’m trying to figure out why you’re marking up the cabinet layout? I’ve always used detailed plans showing cabinetry floor plan, elevations, electrical, plumbing, ventilation, etc. The only reason I can think of is you’re trying to save on flooring by placing less expensive material under where the cabinets are going.

Cathy Osborne, designer at Auer Kitchens

I always lay it off. Still use the Sharpie. Though my plans are clear, complete and thoroughly dimensioned, I often don’t know the builder and his subs and how careful they are.

1) From time-to-time a minor framing error has been made. If I’m there on the floor with my Sharpie, I know about it early on. Sometimes we can nudge things, and other times I have to call the framer back to make changes. Best to know early.

2) I would rather take the time to make execution virtually idiot proof regarding where plumbing and electric are being brought up rather than play the blame game later when electric to the ice maker was missed.

3) The homeowner loves it when he stops by after work to see how his new home is coming along, and he can begin to see aisle ways and sight lines.

4) I make the builder look good to all of those other players and make his job easier. He will call me again.

Joseph Yencho, president and CEO of RCKsinks Inc.

Hire someone younger with better knees? Just kidding…32 years in and still doing the 1 ½-in. blue tape here.

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Jun 25 2015

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When Design Changes Lives

Every year since 1973, interior designers have transformed a luxury Manhattan home into the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Over the course of four decades, the project has raised critical funds for after school and enrichment programs for New York City children and has inspired design enthusiasts throughout the world.

Set this year at the Arthur Sachs Mansion, the home showcases the designs of 22 designers and architects – led by designer Bunny Williams – across a five-floor, 9,600 sq.-ft. townhouse in support of the organization’s 100th anniversary.

K+BB got an insider’s look at the house and some of the rooms within. For the kitchen, designer Christopher Peacock used a soft yellow backdrop with a mix of dark and white painted cabinetry. A wood slab makes up part of the island, and a plaid tile backdrop anchors the design with gray and white stone with yellow accents.

“I wanted to make the room formal but fun,” said Peacock. “It’s located right off the main foyer, and so the room needed to be elegant and a little more formal –  and not ‘pretty.’ The darker colors and sophisticated backsplash and hardware gave it that feel.”

The Midnight Manhattan Lounge, complete with a cocktail bar and full bath, was inspired by designer Charles Pavarini III’s favorite Lapis ring. Blue tile and marble make a dramatic statement, along with a silver leaf treatment on the ceiling and a baseboard made from a glass mosaic.

One bath, designed by Peter Sinnott IV, features a charcoal and white-striped zebra stone tile on the floor. The shower highlights a marble mosaic of vertical matchsticks framed in a blue glass pencil liner. Marble countertops and walls with pops of sea-blue glass complete the composition.

“In keeping with the architecture and history of the townhouse, I wanted to create a modern, classic space that would be relevant to today’s lifestyle,” explains Sinnott.

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Jun 19 2015

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Feng Shui in the Kitchen and Bath

One modern home in Hong Kong took all the buzz about eco-friendly materials and health-conscious kitchens and baths and took it to a new/old level: Feng Shui.

“It’s a modern and classical Scandinavian design – clean and minimal,” said designer Nelson Chow of NC Design & Architecture.

This flowing look starts with balance and harmony: like doubles in every room, seating conducive to conversation and fixtures that point all the light in one spot. For this 2,700-square-foot space, a sense of peace starts at the entrance and leads through to a living and dining area, an open kitchen and an open bathroom. A neutral palette of consistent materials in the three areas diminishes the notion of boundaries and maximizes volume.

Keeping with Feng Shui theory, every wall pane is curved, from the glass windows to the walls and fixtures. A wooden feature wall (secretly a storage space for appliances) moves from the living room to the kitchen.

“The feature wall graduates from gun metal gray in the living room to light ash in the kitchen, corresponding to the differing lighting levels in each area while creating a playful drama that draws in natural light to illuminate the apartment,” said Chow.

Branching off from the main area is a seamless corridor that frames a sculptural freestanding bathtub. After this partial view, occupants enter a small bathroom covered in blue hexagonal wall tiles. Three large, artificial skylights cast light into the living, dining and bathroom areas.

“The graphical patterns of the wall tiles and warm tonal graduations together form a contemporary yet unique design that maximizes volume,” said Chow.

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Jun 17 2015

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Tips for Making a Lasting Impression on Your Clients

Image from Idea, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from Idea, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In our K+BB Designers Network LinkedIn Group, designers Anne-Marie Harvey, AKBD, and Cathy Osborne discussed this topic: How do you leave a lasting impression on your clients? Do you follow up after a project to see how things are going?

We want to share the discussion with you.

Anne-Marie Harvey, AKBD

I make an effort to get to know my clients and understand their needs and preferences. Rather than trying to “sell” them something, I take more of a consultative approach in attempt to solve a problem.

I also try to keep a positive attitude – even when something goes wrong. These things, I believe, leave a lasting impression. I do follow up with past clients with holiday greetings and supporting any businesses or efforts they endorse whenever possible.

Cathy Osborne

You leave a lasting impression on a client by letting them know that they have left a lasting and positive impression on you. I love Anne-Marie’s comment about supporting their personal efforts. It is really important to make a mental note of things they may have shared casually, such as “That’s not a good day for an appointment. I volunteer on Wednesdays at the Food Bank.” Now you know something that is truly important to your client. You might comment: “That must be really rewarding. I’ll bet you have changed lives.” That brief dialogue can lead to a stronger connection between you and your client.

Remember their kids’ names, greet the cleaning lady. The lasting impression will be that you interacted with them as a whole person, not someone spending X thousands on “The Smith Project.”

Anne-Marie Harvey, AKBD

One of my past clients makes jewelry, so I attended her first show and bought some of her pieces! This couple had spent two years in the Peace Corp in Belize before moving back to the U.S. The wife had mentioned that she fell in love with an exotic wood called Purple Heart, and she loved the color purple. When they decided they wanted a second material for the upper level of their island, I remembered the exotic wood and found a local source. I also found granite that had purple streaks and mineral deposits. It brings me great satisfaction when I can find elements my clients really love!

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