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Apr 07 2016

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He Said/She Said: How to Design for a Husband & Wife with Differing Tastes

Image from David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

KBB recently asked our KBB Designers Network on LinkedIn about designing for couples with different tastes.

Here are some of the responses she received from the experts in the group:

Laura Vlaming, CKD, Arkiteriors, Charlotte, N.C.
Try to give each of them something in the design, if possible, and they will appreciate getting a design solution with which they both can identify. I have found that typically, there is a mutual respect between partners, which helps.
If their tastes cannot be meshed, using the architectural style of the home can be used to steer the design direction. Addressing the pros and cons of certain materials and finishes can help, and try to navigate the design process with some humor!

Sharon Evans, Kitchen Designer at RFK Ltd., Rugby, England
I try and find common ground – usually on something they both don’t like and go from there!

David Wagner Truth, General Manager & Senior Designer for Go Green Solutions, Los Angeles
Truth is stranger than fiction. I once had husband and wife clients. He wanted a black kitchen and she wanted white. I came to find out that they didn’t agree on most things yet they really loved each other. They left the decision to me, and they now have a dove gray kitchen and love it. I really sweated that one out!

Joel Kaszirer, Designer, Pine Park Kitchens, New York City
You have to ask who the decision maker is, or you can usually figure it out.

Robert Foltz, CKD, Kitchen Sales Coach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Like any good marriage counseling session, it involves asking easily answered questions and allowing each of them to speak without judgment. Why do you enjoy that style? What about it is attractive to you? And so on. At least that was my experience. David W., your comment is hilarious! Good job.

John T. Vanderkolk, General Manager, Oakville Kitchen Designers, Oakville, Ontario
I guess asking the pertinent questions up front will solve that problem.

Mar 21 2016

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Editors’ Picks from the AD Design Show


Last week, we attended the 2016 Architectural Digest Design Show, which was held March 17-20 on Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. We spent most of our time visiting the kitchen, bath and luxury appliance exhibitors, which included new products from more than 100 companies.

We also received a special tour of this year’s DIFFA Dining by Design, which will be covered in next week’s Industry Watch digital newsletter and as a special news feature on kbbonline.com.

The following are some of our favorite products we saw at the AD Design Show, including ovens, ranges, cooktops, ventilation, bath and decorative hardware, cabinetry, countertops, stone, tile, windows and doors.

DA_Discovery WineStation

Dacor’s Discovery WineStation is the first of its kind to display, dispense and preserve four bottles of wine for up to 60 days with a commercial-grade dispenser and preservation system for the home.

Gemstone Tile

Gemstone Tile specializes in turquoise tile. The shower tile featured above runs $2,900/square foot.


Jenn-Air’s Obsidian Interior black interior refrigerator features white LED lighting and was released last year.


TracyGlover-Dimple-TourmalinePrimavera (1)The Blackburn Pendant by Tracy Glover features a dimple-shaped diffuser in the Primavera pattern in the tourmaline color.

SA Baxter

SA Baxter’s brass doorknob; the company makes pulls and knobs and recently added light fixtures.

*Blomberg Pro Gas RangeA 30-in. stainless steel pro gas range from Blomberg is one of the largest in its class.


Viking‘s own professional chef, Joe Arvin, demonstrated the latest in cooktop technology. The Incognito cooktop countertop allows the trivet to transfer heat from the countertop directly to the pan, creating more space for cooking and serving.


This photo features Sub-Zero wine storage and built-in refrigeration, as well as a Wolf dual-fuel range/ventilation.


RangeCraft’s Miami hood features mirrored titanium metallic enhanced with Swarovski crystals.

AGA Marvel solid cast-iron oven - one of 15 colors

Above is the AGA Marvel solid cast-iron oven in one of 15 colors.

*Stikwood Sierra Silver

Reclaimed Sierra Silver peel-and-stick planks from Stikwood are a mixture of brown, red and gray tones and retail for $14/square foot.

Feb 01 2016

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My Favorite from the #HowDoYouPerlick Design Contest


The #HowDoYouPerlick Design Contest asked four industry experts to design a vignette highlighting the company’s refrigeration and beverage dispensers in each of the following categories: kitchen, outdoor, entertainment and rest of home. From the entries received, four finalists had their designs built into the Perlick booth during the recent KBIS.

Perlick announced the winner – chosen by attendees – during KBIS, and although the winning design was very innovative and clever, I chose another as my favorite. I’ll tell you a little bit about each of the four projects, and then tell you why I liked my favorite so much.

Perlick Design Contest_Richard Anuszkiewicz_Vignette

Cart before the Horse

This winning entry by Richard Anuszkiewicz of Alt Breeding Schwartz Architects was designed around the famous phrase “putting the horse before the cart.” He chose custom wood door overlays, a leather countertop, gold-accented hardware and a sink and faucet in an equestrian print to create an entertaining bar cart. From Perlick, the designer featured the Signature Series Dual-Zone Freezer/Refrigerator Drawers.

Perlick Design Contest_Rose Dostal_Vignette

Zen Credenza

This vignette was designed by Rose Dostal, AIA, ASID, of RMD Designs and features Asian influence and bold color. Gold was prevalent in the display in the countertop, sconce detail and geometric mirror. She included Perlick’s Signature Series Sottile Wine Reserve and Refrigerator.

Perlick Design Contest_Michele Alfano_Vignette

Charred Bar

Designed by Michele Alfano of MODmadeNY Studio, this entertaining outdoor display features both the HP24 24-in. Signature Series Dual-Zone Outdoor Refrigerator/Wine Reserve and the outdoor model. A Signature Series Outdoor Beer Dispenser tops off the display and pairs with bottle storage/service in the top of the man-made concrete island bar.

Perlick Design Contest_Patricia Davis Brown_Vignette

Wet Your Whistle Kitchen

This vignette, created by Patricia Davis Brown, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD, of Patricia Davis Brown Designs, was definitely my favorite. And maybe that is unfair since it was the largest display of all four, but she put some really creative thinking into this kitchen – right down to the martini glass-shaped sink and olive-topped soap dispenser. Another whimsical element was the “chalkboard” wall. Perlick products in her vignette included the Adara Beer Dispenser and a Signature Series Refrigerator, Refrigerator Drawers, Ice Maker and Wine Reserve.


After touring the Perlick booth, attendees voted in their favorite design. The winner of the #HowDoYouPerlick Design Contest was determined following a popular vote during KBIS 2016. For his winning design, Anuszkiewicz will receive a Perlick product of his choice.

Jan 07 2016

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Creating Ripples to “Sustain” Interest


Image from zirconicusso, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sustainability is key. This message is everywhere – your inbox, social media, the news and workplace conversations – but how often does it change behavior? If you’re like many people, you may wonder, “What difference can one person make?” Maybe your actions alone won’t change it all, but the monumental shifts that need to occur won’t happen if we as individuals don’t do our part.

Mother Teresa once wrote, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” And that’s what this situation calls for – some serious ripples.

What Can We As Professionals Do?
As kitchen and bath professionals, we face a similar challenge. How much focus do we put on green initiatives, and will the results make a dent in the global scheme of things? Whether selecting more sustainable product materials, reducing flow rates or designing a greener space, there are many decisions and implications that go along with each of these changes. As our favorite fuzzy frog has been reminding us for decades, it’s not always easy being green, but it is critically important.

Just as one person’s actions create ripples, so do one company’s actions. We have a responsibility as the trendsetters and thought leaders of the industry to set a strong example for our peers, consumers, employees and the future leaders of the world by caring enough to invest the time and resources in creating healthier, more efficient kitchens and bathrooms. The incremental changes we make to our products and designs cause ripples of their own in the minds and behavior of the end user.

The Future Looks Good
The good news is that we are making progress and shifts are happening. In a recent conversation with Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and co-founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and author of the recently released book Greenthink, he shared the following insight: “With regard to sustainability in kitchen and baths, I think that there has been tremendous progress over the past 10 years in particular in electrical, gas and water efficiency, as well as the materials and technologies that develop those product categories.”

Fedrizzi believes that “the future holds even more promise,” and that “along with traditional environmentally focused design goals, we will begin to see a greater emphasis on human health and wellness. The lighting, air and water quality and material selection will be backed up by Health Product Declarations that more and more manufacturers will offer as the market becomes more aware and begins to demand them. Where we live is really the only place we can control – and making that place as healthy as possible will be a goal for most homeowners.”

Being on both sides of the fence – as a professional and a consumer – we have the unique power in our businesses to positively influence the decisions that will improve the health and efficiency of our own home. What greater example to set and what greater gift to be able to give yourself and your loved ones?

So as you think about “being green” in 2016, don’t think of yourself as one person or one company. In the case of sustainability, the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Our actions and decisions do make ripples and those ripples do make a difference. Commit to making a few changes – no matter how small they may be – that will create a greener environment in your little corner of the world. And with the convergence of our collective ripples, we will see the bigger shifts taking hold.

– Tracy Dacko is the head of marketing for VIGO Industries (www.vigoindustries.com), a kitchen and bath products manufacturer, and a longtime advocate of sustainable practices.