KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for May, 2011

May 31 2011

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May 19 2011

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What does perseverance mean?

The dictionary states that perseverance is “the act of persevering, continued, patient effort.” I think it means getting worn down…getting beat up…being told no over and over again..not getting that promotion you wanted…not getting the position you expected…getting shut down by people who think you’re not talented enough, getting rejected, falling over and over…

But—and this is a BIG BUT—it’s getting up with an attitude of never ever quitting…not caring what other people think or say or do if you know deep inside you’re doing the right thing…using losing to come back with more intelligent action the next time you get to bat.

“No” can make you go if you use it wisely. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Attitude determines your altitude. Fall down eight times, get up the ninth. The harder you work, the luckier you get. There are more clichés like this…too many of them to count.

In fact, I wrote a book about the top 12 clichés. Why? Because for some reason a cliché becomes a cliché from being said over and over because of all the truth in them.

Perseverance is and does a lot more than “continued, patient effort”. It builds character, will power, determination, tenacity and a quiet confidence that gives one a rooted foundation because we have earned the right.

I know there is a lot of weight that money has in determining success, but I’ve never had the excitement or burst of enthusiasm from a check that I’ve received vs. an achievement with 20, 50 or 100 plus “no’s” included in the effort. In fact, the greatest achievements of all time have come from the bitterness of massive failure. Look up the light bulb, Post-It notes, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Walt Disney or any huge success and you will usually see a pattern of past failures.

It’s the fall that fascinates me because of the advantages gained when one gets back up:

“In each age, men of genius undertake the ascent. From below, the world follows them with their eyes. These men go up the mountain, enter the clouds, disappear, reappear. People watch them, mark them. They walk by the sides of precipices. They daringly pursue their road. See them aloft, see them in the distance; they are but black specks. On they go. The road is uneven, its difficulties constant. At each step a wall, at each step a trap. As they rise the cold increases. They must make their ladder, cut the ice and walk on it, hewing the steps in haste. A storm is raging. Nevertheless, they go forward in their madness. The air becomes difficult to breathe. The abyss yawns below them. Some fall. Others stop and retrace their steps; there is a sad weariness.


Barry Farber

May 17 2011

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Will generational shifts change the way you design?

At a KBIS blogger dinner sponsored by Masco a couple weeks ago, an index card on my table asked the question: “What are the top 3 kitchen extras for Gen Y, Gen X and Boomers?”

Since I’ve been prattling on for the past couple of years about the supreme shift in generational design and what that means to us as designers, you bet I was interested to see what the answers were. While the answers weren’t on the card, it was an invitation to find out in Masco’s new study called GenShift 2011: Lifestages Redefining the Kitchen.

The study asked more than 1,000 homeowners between the ages of 18-65 for their thoughts on kitchen design. While some of the results are as you expect, others are fascinating.

While there’s no surprise that safety and accessibility elements of kitchen design will become a major focus in the coming decade, a key finding of the study points out that 73% of homeowners live in homes that are not universally designed for young and old.

Many Boomers will face their parents moving in (since we’re all living longer) while Gen X is faced with a wider spread: sandwiched between children and parents in the same household.

The study also notes that:

• 87% of all homeowners would incorporate a semi-open or completely open floor plan if they were creating their ideal kitchen…unless they’re Gen Y: 92% of them consider the open plan ideal.
• While Gen Y is not yet our main market, they will eventually become the biggest demographic, topping out at 84 million compared to 76 million for Boomers and only 50 million for Gen X.
• Gen Y spends more time (44%) in the kitchen watching TV and working on computers than Gen X (36%) and Baby Boomers (33%)
• Gen X homeowners believe they will spend up to a decade in their homes, up from real estate estimates of five to seven years.

Further insight can be found at: www.GenShiftKitchen.com. (Download requires name and email to access.)

Are any of you still curious to see the top 3 kitchen extras for each generation? They are:

• A place for hiding small appliances (even if those small appliances will now include laptops, televisions, coffee grinders and pet food dispensers).
• A place for bulk food and/or cleaning supplies.
• A place for waste/recycling.

Let me know your thoughts. Do you think the study has captured your client segment or not?

Until next time,


May 11 2011

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New (inclusive design) tricks from an old friend

Last week in Las Vegas I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with old friends. KBIS was far smaller than in years past. It was possible to “walk the show” in one day with time for lunch and a couple of coffee breaks! In my quest to find product “inspiration” I found myself in the company of folks I have been doing business with for a long time.

Long-term relationships tend to get relaxed and blurry. You stop noticing the details. Who hasn’t experienced waiting three days for a significant person to notice a new haircut? (Are those new glasses?) Vendor relationships are the same.

Rev-A-Shelf is an old friend. I haven’t done a kitchen, bathroom or laundry area in years without specifying their inserts and pullouts. And that was the problem. I had gotten laid-back. I “knew” them.

Life is what you make of it. With my comfortable significant other (who only takes 1.5 days to notice a haircut) and a desk full of deadlines awaiting me at home, I could choose to either be annoyed at this less-than-scintillating trade show—or I can choose find inspiration by looking with new eyes.

Part of Environmentally Responsible Design (my passion) is Inclusive or Universal Design. It is truly Green Design. I challenged my old friends at Rev-A-Shelf to show me what products they felt should be incorporated in an inclusive and responsible design approach. These are some of the things they showed me:

Photo 1 electricassistrev
Electric Assist Trash Unit. Blum’s new Servo Drive technology allows the door to open and close with a touch of a finger, toe or knee. This trash unit comes ready to install from Rev-A-Shelf with Blum’s tandem heavy-duty slides and a dovetailed box to hold the trash receptacle. The cabinet can be opened manually in case of a power outage. The soft close never lets it slam.

• Servo-Drive technology is available from Blum and others separately for use in any door or drawer cabinets. A light touch anywhere on the door or drawer will open or close it. Think of the possibilities not only for “goopy fingers” but arthritic ones as well. It can be programmed to touch to eliminate “dog-tail” openings.

Photo 2 tambouttablerev
Tambour Table extends from the drawer slot of a 24-in. base. It locks to extend and contract, and is Carb 2-compliant for California (and indoor-air-quality-concerned) projects! We know this as convenient extra counter space but it creates the perfect prep area for folks in wheelchairs!

Photo 3 prepared pot drawerrev
New Chrome Accessories for organized and secure drawer storage of pots and lids, dinnerware, canisters, bowels, etc. Drawer inserts have been available for years. These offer a more modern approach without having to buy an entire European kitchen. In general, drawers are more easily reachable by folks in wheelchairs, children and anyone who prefers or needs a more ergonomically friendly storage solution than typical base or wall shelves. These inserts make drawers a flexible, easy and logical storage choice.

All these items are convenient and fun for the fit and fabulous, but they are indispensable for multigenerational and multimobility level households. While I have been in a comfortable haze not seeing them, Rev-A-Shelf (and others) have been busy working on things that are important and inspiring to me! Hmmm, maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at some other relationships…….is that a new haircut?

Thank you Rev-A-Shelf for reminding me that “golden” old friendships can provide the most welcome surprises.

Just a side note: Rev-A-Shelf chose to be one of the sponsors for the kick-off event at KBIS this year. It was a wonderful evening made even more so by spending it with old friends.

Roberta Kravette, AKBD, LEED AP ID+C