K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Bath Design

Jul 28 2016

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It’s All There in Black and White

Photo from Fabric.com

Photo from Fabric.com

As an interior designer, I’m constantly being asked to write about what the current design trends are. “Trend” meaning what’s popular right now, what people are drawn to – just like fashion, I suppose. Trends come and go, and I’d like to forget a lot of them from years gone by, like Tuscan design. Or in the fashion sense, gaucho pants.

But trends are important. It’s how we run our businesses, based on current styles and preferences. Where do they come from? What starts a new trend? In my opinion, I believe it’s all tied in with what’s going on in the outside world. For example, post-war 1950s was a time of relief, comfort and new beginnings. With that came bright, happy colors that conveyed the optimistic mood of the time (above).

I recently discovered that Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year for 2016 is for all intents and purposes, not really a color. “Simply White” OC-117 is a creamy off-white tint. I won’t get in too deep as to the whys and wherefores of what this means, but given the chaos of the current world climate, it’s pretty obvious to me that we are seeking calm and needing a breath of fresh air (and neutrality) in our somewhat unsettling lives.

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Photo from Benjamin Moore

But isn’t an off-white color a little boring? Not necessarily. Using this soft neutral as a background and adding layers of texture and contrast, “Simply White” becomes anything but. As designers, it’s our job to take this everyday mundane color and bring it to another level. By adding layers of texture and graphic punch, this otherwise bland color becomes the background to a stunning design.

Simply White Interior

Photo from Benjamin Moore

Adding graphic contrast by using black patterns with white has been a trend in Europe for some time now. This great looking floor tile from MEROLA is a good example of how to add an up-to-date look to a classic black-and-white theme.

Photo from Merola Tile

Photo from Merola Tile

Even inexpensive subway tile can be used as a background for a great shelf detail in a kitchen. By using contrasting gray grout, adding graphic punch with brass shelf brackets and bringing in texture with simple black shelving can turn mundane into magnificent!

Photo from Rejuvenation.com

Photo from Rejuvenation.com

So I’m good with “Simply White” for now. Simple is good, and we could all use a little simplicity right now.

Jul 25 2016

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KBIS 2017 – An Early Look at Product Offerings

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We are already gearing up for KBIS 2017 in Orlando from Jan. 10-12, so we wanted to feature a few kitchen and bath products that have come across our desk that will debut at the show. Be sure and follow our special KBIS section in the upcoming issues of KBB for all things KBIS – events, products, trends – and more!

This beautiful kitchen (above) is from the Casa Dolce Casa brand’s Stone & More collection, and features Calacatta and stone burl gray colors for the kitchen’s backsplash and slabs.

KWC’s INTRO bath line (below) is sophisticated, intuitive and ergonomic and is distinguished by technological innovations such as a Neoperl® Caché® SSR E swiveling jet regulator, which allows consumers to change the direction and angle of the jet of water to suit their needs. The collection also features a single-lever faucet and a widespread faucet and is available in chrome or splendure stainless steel.

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Watco’s Flex924 complete bath waste system (below) solves misalignment between the bathtub overflow and the bathtub drain connection. The Flex924 has flexible PVC tubing that connects the overflow to the sanitary tee of the bathtub. It bends to accommodate misalignment and eliminates the need for offsets. The Flex924 ships with a factory installed test membrane at the overflow and test plug for the drain that is testable up to five floors. The snap-on, Innovator overflow plate requires no screws and installs much easier than one- or two-hole overflows. Because the Innovator overflow extends through the overflow hole and is locked into place with a retainer nut, it eliminates leaks due to loose or faulty overflow attachments.

Flex

Kitchen Kompact’s Warmwood line (below) features a chestnut-brown tone, clean lines and recessed panel doors. The shaker-style cabinets are made in the USA.

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Jun 24 2016

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NKBA’s Manhattan Chapter Explores Pet-Friendly Designs

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These days, pets are part of the family, and more and more kitchen and bath designs are incorporating areas for pet storage, sleeping areas and feeding stations to accommodate this growing trend.

The NKBA Manhattan Chapter recently hosted a 0.1 CEU presentation titled “Design Unleashed: Adapting Interiors for People and their Pets” to address pet-friendly spaces. The program was led by Chris Prince, Manhattan Chapter vice president of programs; and host and speaker Dave Burcher, CKD, with In House Kitchen Bath Home. The presentation, which was underwritten by Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry, also explored materials, surfaces and furnishings suitable for pets.

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The event hosted nearly 70 guests and discussed the business of designing for clients and pets alike. Prince partnered with local animal shelter Bideawee, which brought in several “adoption-ready” dogs for the cocktail and networking hour.

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Burcher and his team presented gourmet “doggie-bags” with dog bone cookies, beverages from Chateau La Paws and donations to a pet rescue organization. Raffle prizes included a free vet visit, in-home grooming session, a designer dog bed and a handheld shower from Grohe that is perfect for a pet wash station.

Grohe handheld

Pictured above are Melissa Treuman, director of communications at Bideawee animal shelter; Chris Prince, Manhattan Chapter vice president of programs; and Renee Riddick, Manhattan Chapter president.

Jun 16 2016

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Becoming a Household Name

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We all are guilty of taking a manufacturer’s name and applying it to everything remotely similar. I’m thinking of Kleenex, Lysol, Chapstick or Sharpie – all items we use daily and don’t really think about how they started.

Last week, one of those household names turned 60 years old. I met with the company at the newly opened Ferguson Kitchen and Bath showroom in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood to find out how they got to be known as Jacuzzi.

It started as many American companies do: with immigrants. The Jacuzzi family came to the U.S. from Italy in the early 1900s. The Jacuzzi brothers started a life here in the fields of aviation and agriculture, inventing things like a water pump to help irrigate crops.

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In the 1950s, one of the brother’s children came down with premature rheumatoid arthritis. His mother would drive him all the way to hydrotherapy a few times week, and noticed that the child’s pain lessened significantly after each treatment. So the family designed a pump, the J-300, that could be submerged in a bathtub for personal use. The family started manufacturing it, and it later became popularized as the prize in a game show.

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Of course, we all know that evolved into jet whirlpool baths and hot tubs, and now into the freestanding baths we know today. The company is working on promoting more than just whirlpool tubs, but they are proud to be known as the original whirlpool tub.

And by the way – did you know we turned 60 too just last year? I ran across an old archived page from a 1950s version of Kitchen Business (our original name) on my recent trip to the Wilsonart factory – it’s crazy how much design can go in and out of style, but I don’t foresee aqua cabinetry coming back in anytime soon!

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