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Archive for KBIS

Mar 06 2014

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KBIS 2014 Sessions Were Educational and Fun

On Tuesday afternoon I attended the session: “SoLoMo – The New Acronym That Leads to New Customers,” presented by the president of my local NKBA chapter, Phil Zaleon. Phil runs a marketing and promotion company, Z promotion & design, and is also a partner in The Kitchen and Bath Channel, a mobile and social media community linking homeowners with kitchen and bath and remodeling professionals.

Phil discussed how social and mobile media, as well as local exposure in TV and radio commercials, all work together to bring in different types of customers. He provided statistics about which social media sites are currently the most popular: Facebook has been the top social media site for a year. Pinterest, however, drives traffic to websites, and 85 percent of its viewers are women over 40, who happen to be the main buyers of kitchen and bath design/remodeling services. These statistics are a moving target because the popularity of social media sites changes often.

On Wednesday afternoon I attended the seminar: “Designing and Selling Using 3D Software,” presented by Scott Harris, CKD, CBD, vice president of Chief Architect. Every designer who uses 3D software knows how valuable it can be in helping clients see what their space will look like when your design is implemented. When you show a prospect a flat, 2D floor plan you do not get the same reaction as when you walk them through a 3D, full-color presentation.

Scott demonstrated how easy it is to create variations of the same kitchen using Chief Architect. He discussed how to leverage the software’s power and appeal to the client’s emotions by incorporating their very own backyard into the design. With Chief Architect you can select the scenery that is visible when one looks out the windows of a 3D view. You can use the backgrounds included with Chief Architect or import photos that you have taken into the program so clients will see a familiar site when they “stand” in their virtual new kitchen!

Design & Construction Week was a success any way you look at it. I hope to attend next year, and maybe by then I will figure out how to balance attending seminars and sessions with seeing all of the exhibits. Thank goodness K+BB does such a great job of summarizing what KBIS had to offer!

- By Anne-Marie Harvey, a kitchen and bath design consultant in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

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Feb 20 2014

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Small, smart conveniences: A look back at Design & Construction Week

Smart move #1: Combining KBIS and IBS shows to create “Design and Construction Week” in Las Vegas. It was a huge hit, generating not only tremendous crowds, but a fresh, positive attitude about what lies ahead in the industry.

Smart move #2: Wearing comfortable shoes. Navigating all three halls of the convention center took every bit of the three-day show. So much to see, so much innovation and just plain pretty stuff. I’m torn between two worlds: that of the designer in me, who wants to keep up with the latest trends in gorgeous kitchen and bath products, and the builder/renovator chic who loves a good-looking roof shingle. A house has to be well built and beautiful both inside and out, right?

So I split my time between those two worlds and saw some pretty awesome stuff. Last year from KBIS in New Orleans, I reported a new trend toward texture and mixed finishes and the emergence of the color grey as ‘the new natural.’ These trends continued to expand at this year’s show and were even more refined. Simple, clean and uncomplicated design, now with a hidden secret: convenience. Yes, it’s all about that. Saving time, saving money, saving space and of course, looking great!

Here are some interesting finds from my hunt. Some smart, space-saving conveniences and technology that won’t break the bank.

Kohler’s “Tailored Collection” vanities
The Tailored Vanity Collection follows a basic four-step process:
1. Choose your exterior: multiple vanity styles, sizes, configurations, installations and wood finishes
2. Choose your interior: user-centric organization accessories: integrated electric outlets, bamboo storage trays and dividers, adjustable shelves and rollout drawers
3. Choose your top: variety of vanity top materials, sizes, shapes and colors
4. Choose coordinating components: finish-matched mirrored solutions, sconces, hardware, bridges and lap drawers

Untitled1 I love the interior accessories: Integrating electrical outlets inside the cabinet allows for plugging in hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, shavers, etc., and keeps the countertop uncluttered. Genius!

Leviton USB Charger devices

Plug your phones or tables in the USB port outlet and save space, conveniently locating them in one small area.

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Or you can combine the outlet and ports together if you need to plug something in. Sometimes the simplest ideas make the most sense.

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Brink’s Home Security “Push Pull Rotate” door lockset
Push Pull Rotate door locks make opening doors easier whether your hands are full or free. A quick bump with an elbow or hip, or a tug with a single finger, can open interior or exterior doors more easily and without having to set down groceries, babies or mobile phones. Although the Push Pull Rotate locks are easier to use, they still stay closed and locked when the user wants them to be – exactly as a traditional lock does. Push Pull Rotate handles provide a new door-opening solution and are ADA compliant.

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Kichler’s LED Tape
LED light tapes have revolutionized the way we use accent and even task lighting in kitchens or, for that matter, any room in the house. So small and compact, they can virtually fit anywhere. Now, Kichler’s LED tape is available to use outside in wet areas to use as accent lighting or to light a path. Convenient, beautiful AND energy efficient!

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SimpliciKey Remote Control Electronic Deadbolt
Isn’t it great that you can now open and close doors and turn on lights and appliances with your smart phone? But most of these systems require some sort of an organized whole-house wiring system, which is not only costly but also kind of confusing. I love this front door lock system. You can use it three ways: with a remote key fob, a numeric entry code or the old fashioned way: with a KEY. The door can also be accessed remotely with a phone app through their new KEYCLOUD system.

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So many great products, so little time. Suffice it to say, I could have used another day!

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Feb 05 2014

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New Location, New Contacts, New Products

The second day of KBIS ended with more than sore feet for me. As I made my way around the showroom floor, I learned just how many ways companies are becoming more and more creative with addressing clients’ demands and meeting the changing industry.

At the Wellborn Cabinetry press conference, I heard from Angela Wellborn O’Neill on the company’s move towards a solution for entire homes and the new colors that have been introduced, such as the color “cloud.” My favorite part was the small space design showcasing the Portland door style. Even though it was a small space, the kitchen, banquette, entertainment center and living area were integrated in such as way that it seemed intimate but not squished. Trends such as the driftwood finish in the kitchen and the simple edged countertops showed how the cabinetry can be mixed and matched.

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I was also particularly drawn to Estudio Group, LLC’s collection of green products. By taking concrete tile, brick, quarry tile and recycled glass, beautiful backsplashes and countertops could be created for a sustainable solution. EnGrain Wood Countertops also offered a gorgeous and durable eco-friendly product with a line of more than 20 wood species and color options for counters.

As usual I was awed by Rev-A-Shelf’s fun and innovative collection of shelving. It’s amazing how organization inside your cabinets can affect the rest of your kitchen. The “Cloud” blind corner cabinet organizer is still my favorite, with its sleek shape and smooth movement.

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Looking forward to seeing more innovation tomorrow!

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Feb 03 2014

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About to Begin

Everywhere there’s a buzz about this show happening at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Flights are arriving full, and the Vegas hotels are bursting with people and energy.

Out on the show floor, excitement builds as massive and beautiful exhibits are hoisted up and secured. Final touches are made on lighting and decor, and prized products are artfully displayed on countertops, tabletops and shelves.

Beginning tomorrow, the kitchen and bath industry is hitting the show floor with the newest, best and most innovative products, ideas and trends. We will see you then!

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