KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for November, 2010

Nov 23 2010

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Jeld-Wen’s New Authentic Recipe Pantry Door

Labeled “The Authentic Recipe Pantry Door,” the frosted glass features nine to 18 actual family-style recipes (the number depends on the door width), including apple pie, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, buttermilk pancakes, espresso biscotti and more. As the name indicates, the recipes are real, and meant to be used. The script is a clear cursive against a frosted base.

According to their release, pantry doors are one of Jeld-Wen’s biggest sellers and one of the most upgraded doors in a home. It’s available in nine different species of wood, including primed. It’s also so new that I don’t see it up on the Jeld-Wen website yet.

I have to admit, my first thought was the vision of parents explaining it to their children, “Yes, kids, that’s what people had before tablet PCs.”

Joking aside, it’s an attractive option for the pantry door that’s either a focal point or tucked away in a butler’s pantry or separate room. I could see it painted and in a traditional white kitchen, or as a softer element in a transitional cherry kitchen.

It could be helpful for those early morning risings—after all, the script is larger than what would be on my computer. Let’s hope the buttermilk pancake recipe isn’t at the bottom of the door.

For more information, contact your door dealer, or visit www.jeld-wen.com/findastore.

Until next time,


Nov 18 2010

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Designers spend so much time generating drawings, why can’t they be used after the buildings are complete?

I was talking with a senior person from Autodesk, the makers of the ubiquitous AutoCAD program, about the future of the design profession. Most of today’s buildings, structures, bridges and products are drawn with their software, so imagine the potential influence their interface could have on us in our design decisions. Our conversation began by talking about using mobile devices, but quickly moving into what happens to the CAD files after the building is built.

In reality, nothing happens. The files are archived and saved for legal and liability reasons.

Hundreds of man hours are spent to create a model of the buildings for the construction, mapping out the circulatory, respiration and skeletal systems of the finished structure. With a little foresight, these drawings could be used for the time after construction is complete, known as Post-Occupany.

The real impact of a building occurs in this post-occupancy period. Operating the lights, heating, computers, outlets and faucets hold the true environmental impact. Over 85% of the environmental impact of a building occurs post occupancy. The more information and measurements we have, the better we can operate our buildings.

For decades, architects and developers have used surveys, called “Post-Occupancy” evaluations, to determine how the finished building is used and enjoyed. With Green Buildings, such evaluations have helped determine the success of sustainability features, such as daylighting, energy management and thermal comfort.

Post-occupancy evaluations are vital to developing a high-performance building and may soon be required as part of certain building codes. Just read through California’s new CalGreen code to get a glimpse of the energy-efficient future of every building. Despite these advances, our detailed CAD drawings sit unused in a drawer.


A suggestion of how our mobile devices could augment our vision.

Imagine the possibilities of taking all of that data and making it available to the public. Ubiquitous and powerful mobile devices—all armed with cameras, GPS and internet connectivity—could overlay our CAD data onto the real world. Your iPhone could “see” through walls and show you where the studs are, where the plumbing is running and more. Repairs and additions could be simplified and opportunities to improve efficiency would emerge. In addition, a smart app could fetch the local planning code information and show you the virtual boundaries of a future addition.

Part of the step towards this future can be seen in Autodesk’s new AutoCAD WS software for the iPad, which allows you to open, markup and make minor edits to your CAD drawings onsite. I expect it won’t take long for a clever Facilities Manager to carry around a copy of the CAD drawings on his iPad or iPhone while inspecting the finished building.

Lastly, I am particularly thrilled that Autodesk has finally (re)released AutoCAD for the Mac.

You can download a free trial here.


Eric Corey Freed is an architect and author of four books, including “Green$ense for the Home”.

Nov 17 2010

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michelle kaufmann artefact concrete table
One of my favorite hidden gems is the Artefact Design + Salvage shop and showroom at the Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma. It is filled with a rich assortment of earthy and visual delights. Created predominantly by reclaimed and locally found materials, the furniture and object designs are simultaneously industrial as well as warm and organic.

Pieces include coffee tables and tall vanity sinks hand carved from local river rock boulders, tables made from reclaimed wood from railroad ties, strangler fig vine tables, and large spheres created from scraps of teak wood held together by bamboo pins.

Each item they have is unique and one-of-a-kind. As usual, during a recent visit, I spent hours in the back in their storage area visually soaking up all of the pieces.

If you are in wine country, it is definitely worth a visit. Oh, and did I mention there is wine at the neighboring shop?

michelle kaufmann artefact store

michelle kaufmann artefact table close up

michelle kaufmann artefact tub

michelle kaufmann artifact table

michelle kaufmann large sphere


michelle kaufmann tree vine2

michelle kaufmann vanity sink

Michelle Kaufmann

Nov 15 2010

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“Why” is why you don’t make more sales

“Why” is why you miss out on bigger contracts, better projects and higher add-on sales.

“Why” is why you don’t connect with better clients.

If you’re like so many kitchen and bath professionals, you don’t adequately explain WHY people should buy from you. And it’s costing you big time.

Sure, you tell your prospects and clients what to do: Make an appointment, check out our website, buy our cabinets, send us referrals and so on.

But you don’t always tell why. The result: thousands of dollars end up in your competitors’ pockets.

Tell them why, and they’ll buy. Don’t, and they won’t.

In challenging times like these, people are more apt to wonder why they should invest in a kitchen or bath remodel.

And why they need you.

And why they need you…NOW.

You need to address the “why” in every call to action.

Say: Make an appointment, and we’ll give you ideas on how to substantially increase the value of your home.

or, Check out our website, and you’ll see an article on the ten most common mistakes homeowners make in selecting kitchen and bathroom tile.

or, Buy our cabinets, because they carry the best guarantee available in this area.

or, Hire our firm because we’re only the one in the area with 27 years experience providing “eco-friendly” design solutions for vacation homes.

or, Send us a referral, and we’ll send you a check for $150 when they place their first order.
Remember: “Why” is their question. Make sure you have the answer.

Fred Berns, an interior design industry business coach and trainer, is the author of the audio program “12 Reasons You Earn Less Than You Could…and Should.”