KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for November, 2011

Nov 21 2011

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The Good Flush

I went to a press event the other night in New York City. INAX, a Japanese corporation, was introducing its incredibly gorgeous line of water saving toilets to the U.S. market.
An incredibly gorgeous TOILET? I’m guessing that the only people who can get jazzed about a toilet are the ones who are reading this blog, and you know who you are…
The Japanese are well-known for their sleek organic design, and INAX didn’t disappoint with its display of at least 30 or so modern and elegant toilets. All of them deliver either a dual or low-flow flush, and are WaterSense-certified. Beyond that, there were options like integrated bidet features, automatic flushes, deodorizers, music and motion sensors to automatically lift the lid or seat when approached! I should also mention some sexy blue LED lighting, and price points that range from reasonable to astronomical, depending on the features.


One of the first KBIS shows I ever went to many years ago opened my eyes to the world of THE GOOD FLUSH. I honestly never gave much thought to what makes a good toilet flush prior to that introduction by “another” toilet manufacturer. Men in white lab coats were flushing multiple hot-dog-shaped water balloons down a toilet and remarking on the “flushability.” I thought this was quite humorous until I installed a toilet in my home that continually clogged and occasionally overflowed. After replacing it with a new HET toilet, which I still have to this day, I have to say it’s never ever overflowed and has clogged maybe twice in 5 years. So I continually specify an HET toilet for my clients, and with the introduction of this beautiful new line from INAX, I’ve got so many more wonderful design choices.

One of the other great products that INAX was introducing was its line of ECOCARAT wall tiles. Made from a porous mineral called ALLOPHANE, the tiles are used to absorb excess humidity, odors and chemical VOCs. Great for public areas such as schools and restaurants, they are also great in residential settings, such as accent walls, to absorb household odors and repel mold growth. These tiles are also great installed in rooms designed for meditation or relaxation, purifying the air and promoting a sense of well being. They would be a boon for people with chemical sensitivities or small children, as INAX claims the tile will absorb chemicals such as formaldehyde.


I love this idea. It’s another very innovative way to include beautiful products that have a positive effect on the user and promote health and wellbeing. And isn’t that what good design is all about?

Patricia Gaylor

Nov 10 2011

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Social Networking Fatigue

Social Networking fatigue
Do you suffer from social networking fatigue? I know I do.

For many, the fatigue comes from doing all the work of posting content and thinking up new content only to see no results.

If you feel like you’ve been posting the same thing over and over again on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, you are probably not alone. I’m sure many readers feel that too much content is rehashed and repackaged.

Is your content boring?
Print out your last 20 posts and after a while take a look at them from a reader’s point of view. Are they dull? Do you say the same thing too many times? Fortunately, this problem can be fixed fairly easily.

Too many platforms?
Do you rush to join the newest social networking site only to lose track of who is in your network? If you don’t know who is in your network then how do you know what they want from you?

One-sided engagement?
Do you neglect to reply to comments other leave you? Do you post weak comments on other blogs and fan pages just to leave a link to your page? If you are not interesting, people will not click through.

I’d love to know if you are experiencing any social media fatigue and why you think that is. Leave a comment so I can know someone read this post and feel a little happier on the inside.

I’ll even post a few more questions to get the conversation started:

Do you think marketing contributes to the fatigue or does it feed your growing appetite for information?

Do you enjoy hearing from companies and brands you are a fan of? Are you dropping brands because they are cluttering your information stream?

Ann Porter

Nov 02 2011

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Changing wood colors? No problem

If you’ve ever designed with cherry or lyptus or any of the woods that undergo a rapid color change after they’re installed in the home, you know we have a couple of challenges.

One is educating the customer that we’re designing their color choices for the woods after they change and cautioning them that until the doors and trim age, all the colors won’t look exactly right.

The second is dealing with exactly what color of wood putty we need to fill holes—do we match the color now with the understanding that it won’t match down the road? Or do we guess what the color will be down the road and warn the client now that the putty won’t match at the beginning?

I prefer the latter, but it does take some skill to know what the color will be. If the installer is experienced, there are no worries. If not, then consider this tip:

Always keep two samples of a door, one new and one a couple of years old, especially if it is in a wood that changes color. Send the older door out to the job site for the installer to color-match the putty during installation.

Of course, there will always be slight variations, but I thank our own cabinet installer, who has extensive experience in wood installations, who suggested this tip to me a while back.

Until next time, Kelly