K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Business

Jul 07 2016

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Designing for Athletes

We talk a lot about universal design and aging-in-place, but what about the busy, hyper-scheduled millennial client? Working with one of us is probably frustrating- we’re all over the place, we won’t have time for meetings and we usually know exactly what we want, and you can’t do much about it.

One aspect of our generation that designers – particularly ones trained for aging-in-place designs – can speak to is our concentrated (not always, of course) focus on fitness and health. Some of the design requirements for aging-in-place clients can actually help protect us and help us stay healthier longer.

I know I’m in the extreme range of this group. I wake up at 4 or 5 a.m. most weekdays to train for two or three hours before work, either running up and down Buckhead or cycling and swimming indoors. I run trial half-marathons usually twice a week. As I’ve gotten into my late twenties, I have to keep doing more to keep myself from getting hurt, and that’s where my bathtub comes in.

10623374_10202288078899649_912448506195404287_o                                         My mom and I before a recent race

For any type of athlete, hydrotherapy is one major part of recovery. The horrible ice bath after a hard workout decreases swelling and pain, and then a hot bath later on increases circulation and promotes healing. It also decreases tension in the muscles and joints.

And of course, getting in and out of my tub I’ve had to grab at the wall a couple of times to keep myself from falling – hence the universal need for grab bars.

Even if the client isn’t athletic, we as a generation are stressed. That’s where the growing trend for an in-home sauna comes in. Saunas promote sweating, which flushes out toxins. It increases blood flow, like the hot tub, helping tired, stressed bodies recover faster. Plus, apparently saunas improve blood flow to skin and keep us looking younger longer.

So as designers, you can help make our lives less stressed with suggestions like these, and hopefully we won’t stress you out with our tricky schedules!

Apr 22 2016

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Best Practices for Getting Published

Blog Coverings Session

Last week during Coverings 2016, I was part of a panel titled “Getting Published,” which focused on best practices for industry professionals and their PR counterparts to get their projects and products under an editor’s radar.

The panel also included Elaine Markoutsas, a columnist with the Chicago Tribune and Modern Luxury Chicago; Eileen Kwun, senior editor of Dwell; Julie Taraska, products editor for Architectural Record; and moderator Paul Makovsky, editorial director for Metropolis.

418 KBB Raw2

Here is an abridged version of the session with some key points to consider when pitching to an editorial personality – specifically mine.

– Email is better than calling since we can’t see pictures on a call. The call will come later if we set up an interview.

– Send professional photos. You can send low-res at first, but make sure you have the high-res versions and the rights to the photos so we have permission to use them. Please do not send a query without a photo.

– For extremely large photos, consider using a platform like Wetransfer or Dropbox to send those. Make sure you tell us who you are and which project it is when you send files from those sources.

– Let us know how old – or new – the project or product is.

– Specifically for projects, tell us if you are pitching it to multiple sources or if it has already been published in a similar publication/outlet.

– If it is a project, let us know what the reader may learn from it. We want to feature more than just an attractive kitchen, bath or showroom.

– Once you have emailed us, we will respond as soon as we can, but let us contact you if we are planning to cover what you sent. Our inboxes are ALWAYS full, so please do not send repeat emails.

– A lot of publications work weeks – and even months out – for their issues, so study the editorial calendar online to see what’s coming up in advance of contacting us.

– Make sure you know to whom you are pitching and that the content applies to that publication.

– It also helps to know the publication’s audience.

Those simple tips will make everyone’s experience easier when it comes to submitting projects/products to media outlets. If you have any questions, please email me at Chelsie.butler@emeraldexpo.com. You can also visit our social media sites to get to know us better:

www.facebook.com/KitchenandBathBusiness/
Twitter: @kbbconnect
Instagram: kbb_magazine
Linked In: KBB Design Network

Jan 14 2016

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5 Best Practices for KBIS Marketing

 

Floor shot

1. Stand Out. With hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of attendees and more events, sessions and activities than we can count, there are many opportunities to get your brand noticed at the show. Here are a few approaches to make sure that you stand out:

·      Partner Up: Joining forces with like-minded brands helps increase your footprint and impact. Cross promote your major products in partner booths, join forces to sponsor (and sit on) a panel session, and collaborate to co-host an experience for media or bloggers.

·      Get Involved: Make sure that your brand has a presence outside of your booth. Take advantage of networking opportunities, co-host educational sessions or sponsor a party or event. These activities get you out in front of people in unexpected ways and keep your brand name top of mind.

·      Find Your Voice: Identify a key point person to speak out on your behalf and help you rise above the clutter. Having a singular voice creates consistency of message and helps elevate you as an expert in your field.

2. Get Scheduled. Once you have your game plan in place, it’s not enough to simply stand in your beautifully designed booth and hope to catch media as they tour the show floor. Our job as an agency is to identify media who would be a good fit for your brand or product collection and make sure that you’re fitting into their busy schedules.

3. Do Your Homework. The real work is in the planning, which ensures that your time on site is as productive as possible. We help our clients develop a detailed schedule, making special note of important sessions to attend, networking events and appointments. We do our homework before, during and following the show to make sure that no opportunity is lost.

4. Be Social. Attendees are increasingly turning to social media to find out what’s trending at major events. Posting consistently and compellingly from your booth and around the show will ensure that you have a voice in that conversation.

·      Listen: Monitor the show hashtags to make sure you’re abreast of the latest trends and news.

·      Join In: Like, comment on and reply to messages from influential people. Provide value to these conversations beyond just talking about your products.

·      Get Creative: Make sure that your visuals are clear, compelling and sized appropriately for each channel. Short videos, GIFs and other dynamic content also help to catch the eye.

·      Go Live: Unveiling a product? Think about experimenting with Periscope or other live video offerings to give followers a behind-the-scenes debut.

5. Have Fun. And remember, have fun! These types of events are great opportunities for building relationships. Attending networking events, dinners and parties creates chances for you to meet new people, solidify friendships and cultivate partnerships. Enjoy!

– By Sharp Communications. Follow the Sharp team on Twitter @sharp_think or by using #SHARPxKBIS”

Jan 13 2016

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Inside the Boutique Showroom

Boerne, Texas is an exclusive town – a diamond in the rough. Located in the heart of the Texas hill country it is generous in treasures and rich in history, with plenty of fine dining and shops to buy rustic furniture and the latest country gear. But one thing it lacked during this time of massive expansion was a tile design center that encompassed tradition and modern flare.

KBB spoke with Stefanie Teat of Tile Studio 925 to find out more.

TS925 show room
Why did you open up here?
Most local remodelers, builders and designers typically drive more than 30 minutes to San Antonio to search for their selections. We noticed the need and aimed our focus at “bringing the best-of-the-best to Boerne.” The homeowners of the surrounding towns such as Kerrville, Comfort, Fair Oaks Ranch, Pipe Creek, Helotes and Leon Springs now have the option to stay close to home. We are a new favorite to neighborhoods like Cordillera, the Dominion and Anaqua Springs. Our priority was to create a comfortable, classy environment where designers can bring their clients, come hang out, use our free Wi-Fi and have a place to work or relax in between projects. We plan to use our studio to bring Boerne and surrounding communities together by hosting classes, mixers, charity events and more.

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Why did you pick this particular building?
After researching all of the available spaces along the I-10 corridor, we came across this gem. It was an old, dirty office space, carpeted with low ceilings, and particularly small. It was in need of a lot of work, but we saw that it had potential! With 20 years of remodeling experience, we immediately saw the vision and started creating a design.

What changes did you have to make?
Due to the limited space, we knew we had to expand UP in height-which meant we had to remove the entire ceiling in order to make it higher. We expanded it to 10 feet. We analyzed how important it would be to have a private workspace for our staff so we built a wall that would also become the prized view of each customer as they entered our doors. We could not afford to waste the closet space so we converted it into a single office for the show room manager.

TS925
What are some of your standouts?
Due to the cramped area, we felt the need for a sliding glass door, which would give the appearance of a larger area by being able to see through it and let the light through. This door has become our WOW factor! The slender, vertical, stainless steel door handle helped create the theme for the office cabinet doors as well. After visiting several cabinetry companies, researching online and calculating our need to use every inch of wall and ceiling possible, my husband, Trenton Teat, decided to make the cabinets himself. He knew exactly what he wanted and he got it, right down to the quiet close hinges.

repaplacement 4
Talk about the design of the space.
Knowing that we would have an abundance of tiles of all shapes and sizes to display in a mere 600-sq.-ft. space we aimed to make each wall its own unique display. To the left we have custom shelves that each encase 12-in. by 12-in. glass and stone mosaics, and the middle area is for larger tiles and crazy odd shaped wall coverings. Instead of building our shelves up from the floor, we built them up on top of a base that contains diagonal slots – holding more than 400 tiles! Again, as Trenton carefully planned this intricate design he realized that he would not be satisfied with anything less than perfection so he simply made them himself.

He then made a huge island that holds a refrigerator, two sides for larger tile planks and even inlayed cabinet doors designed to showcase tile on the outside as well! We chose Cambria’s Brittanica quartz countertop to really jazz it up. The right wall is made up of slat wall from floor to ceiling, which gives us the ability to be creative, artistic and versatile in our displays. With our handy, rolling ladder, we can easily change the scenery at any time, and it really elongates the depth of our store. White walls and bright lights accentuated the array of colors constantly on display. The bathroom was created to showcase the elegance of our upscale tile selections. We used all Emser tile for our bathroom and Caesar Stone for the countertops. The extended eight-foot door was installed to ensure that our Spurs (basketball players) customers won’t hit their heads when they are shopping! For our grand finale we spoiled ourselves with Emser’s Motion Advance porcelain floor planks, which blend perfectly with our color combination and are very durable in our commercial environment.

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Why do you think designers like your showroom?
One designer told us that it’s hard to lug huge samples from one store to another, and it takes up a lot of valuable time to drive to several locations. It is also difficult typically building a custom home that requires some of the basic brands that are affordable for a builder’s budget and certain exquisite, specialty tiles in key areas of the home that will wow the home owner and allow the designer to use her creativity. We offer the best of both worlds. Most high end tile stores will only carry upscale, very high priced tile, but we carry both, because as I mentioned, Trenton had the designers in mind when he conceived the vision for this place. As we get feedback from our customers our store is evolving to meet their needs and become a one-stop shop.

rolling ladder