K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Kitchen Design

Aug 10 2016

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On the Rise

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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.
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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.

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Aug 09 2016

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Help Your Clients Make the Most of Entertaining Outdoors

Coyote_Asado_grill

Coyote’s Asado Smoker

Warmer weather signals the perfect time to take the art of entertaining into the great outdoors. Long gone are the days where a grill, a folding table and chairs constituted a patio. Today’s outdoor spaces are viewed as extensions of our existing living spaces. The experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery offer tips to turn your clients’ outdoor space into an alfresco culinary oasis with these thoughtful enhancements.

Grill Marks
Whether built-in or freestanding, the grill is the focal point of every outdoor kitchen. Start with high-quality construction and features that make the cooking experience easier. When selecting a heating element, the choice of a gas versus charcoal grill ultimately comes down to taste versus convenience. Fans of charcoal and wood grills claim to appreciate more flavorful results. Gas grill advocates prefer the convenience and easy maintenance of propane. Or your clients can have it all with a grill that allows them to cook over an open flame, sear on electric grates and smoke-in natural flavors. Above all, don’t isolate the cook! Keep the location of the grill close to the entertainment.

Patio-Perfect Entertaining
Preparation is key for flawless entertaining, so prepare your clients’ outdoor kitchens with practical features. Think through the features of the primary kitchen and bring those elements outdoors. Functional additions like a side burner and warming drawer will provide more space to cook, keep prepared food warm and minimize extra trips in and out of the house. They can serve ice-cold beverages straight from an integrated refrigerator and ice machine. A built-in trash chute will help minimize insects, while a weather-rated sink and pullout bar faucet allows for quick rinsing of meats, fruits and veggies on the spot.

Light It Up
Once the grill and functional additions are selected, make sure the space is well lit for nighttime entertaining. Place task lighting above cooking stations to prepare food. A decorative chandelier, ambient wall sconces and freestanding lanterns can be used to create the perfect ambience for sitting and dining areas, as well as points of entry. Consider accent lighting to illuminate trees, wash walls and light pathways and trails.

Today’s outdoor kitchens are an extension of the indoors.

– Content and photo provided by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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

FLORIM_CDC_kitchen

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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