K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Inspiration

Aug 31 2016

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High Roller Living

KBIS is changing it up this year and moving to Orlando, but all of my time with KBB and our sister publications has granted me countless trips to Vegas. I’m not one for the Vegas “experience,” but I do love opening the door to a different hotel every time and marveling at all the unique designs.

Recently I got a secondhand look at the Residences at Mandarin Oriental – specifically the 2,126-sq.-ft. Penthouse 4101. Speaking with the designer, Pedram Rahimi of Las Vegas-based Rahimi Designs, I learned that designing for such a luxurious space is a challenge in high thinking.

KBB: What were your challenges, and how did you solve them?

PR: The challenge was to set the design apart from the norm and provide a luxurious living experience, providing everything that one would want and need while at the same time taking your breath away. This was achieved by the selection of materials and the use of space, and features like marble baseboard, a television built within a mirror, artwork, high-end furniture and a luxurious master suite bathroom with a spa tub and a teak-paneled ceiling and floors.

mandarin4101-56KBB: What was your goal for the kitchen?

PR: The idea was to create a kitchen that blends and expands into the dining room and the unparalleled strip views to create an overall dining experience. The choice of appliances, materials, cabinetry and finishes enhances the appeal of this space. A focal point of the kitchen is the waterfall design on the island.mandarin4101-27

KBB: What was your favorite part of this project?

PR: I was able to design the space in a way that I could express my design ideas and utilize materials in order to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Aug 27 2016

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Trends & Influences from the Experts

Trends and Influences_Vol 3_title page
I’ve always been a book-lover, so I’m excited to share what just came out: Trends & Influences, vol.3, completed by the product experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

And it’s one of my favorite kinds – a 25-page, full color inspirational look-book. This newest edition showcases product design trends for the kitchen, bath, laundry room and outdoor.  New this year are four online-exclusive trends: Interactive Features, Stacked Design, Larger Fixtures and Modern Industrial.

Here’s a quick look at the trends illustrated in the guide:

Metallics – From soft rose gold to strong black stainless steel, products are now available across the entire metallic spectrum.

LE Okeanito_Environment
Form = Function– No longer competing for importance, form and function are united and stronger than ever.

Texture– Creative use of texture awakens the senses in products that feel as intriguing as they look.

Approachable Pro – Enjoy the benefits of commercial grade kitchen fixtures and appliances – without them having to look that way.

Striking Forms– Modern shapes and forms are daring, yet their clean, curved lines and soft edges make them easy to incorporate into any design style.

American Standard_2016_Estate-Suite_Final

Mid-Century Modern Lighting – Mid-Century Modern re-emerges as a dominant lighting trend, incorporating updates for the 21st century.

Of the Earth – Celebrating nature with designs that showcase organic forms and materials, the Of The Earth trend is inspired by the great outdoors.

Hubbardton Forge_Winter_139759D-08-LS-1 (1)
Tech Innovations – From digital readouts to wireless connectivity, today’s thoughtful tech innovations give you more “smart” choices than ever before.

Classic Black, Cool White – Stand out or blend in with classic black and cool white.
V&A Warndon gloss black US
LED– Planes and plates of LED modules are showcased in varying widths and lengths, blending into the shape of sculptural fixtures to produce illuminated pieces of art.

Have you been seeing these trends too? We’d love to hear!

Aug 10 2016

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On the Rise

Here at KBB, we love finding new designers. They range anywhere from a newly discovered artist to an up-and-coming firm. Recently I ran across one of the latter – a Chicago-based design firm Sarah Whit design.

Founded by two sisters, Sarah and Whitney Vaile, the firm focuses on clients with young families and produces a classic aesthetic. The firm has also been named “One to Watch” by the Chicago Merchandise Mart and was listed on INC 500’s 2015 Fastest Growing Company.

We spoke with Sarah about her recent kitchen design to find out more about her design process.

KBB: What were your client’s goals?
SV: They wanted to have a more efficient use of the space, add more storage (specifically a larger island and pantry), create a more open floorpan/better flow and fit in a banquette.

KBB: What was your biggest challenge in this project?SV: The biggest design challenge we faced was the layout of the eating space. We didn’t feel the kitchen flowed properly but there were limitations as to what we could do without overspending to move plumbing, pipelines etc.

The eating space was originally configured with a breakfast table in front of the windows – making the surrounding corners dead space; one corner with a desk and the other was a door to the backyard.  The clients both worked outside of the home so they did not need additional work/desk space.  The corner with a door leading to the backyard was redundant to doors in adjacent sunroom.
KBB: How did you solve these problems?
SV: We decided to remove the door and make the corner a cozy breakfast nook with a lovely banquette. The previous desk space we removed and opened up into the sunroom. The larger and open space allowed for us to make an even bigger island with seating.

KBB: What was your favorite part?
SV: The reclaimed wood open shelving since it’s unique, and the new island – particularly the stone waterfall down the side.


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.

simplywhite_OC-117simplywhite_OC-117 simplywhite_OC-117

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.