KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for November, 2016

Nov 28 2016

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Kohler…Bold, Hospitable and Right on Trend

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Editor’s Note: The Kohler Company recently had its annual Media Trends Summit at the company’s facilities in Kohler, Wis. One of our Editorial Advisory Board members, Toni Sabatino of Toni Sabatino Style, attended on behalf of KBB and shares her experience, as well as some new product trends.

Arriving at the American Club is a pretty magical experience. The beautiful historic building has been updated and outfitted to five-star glory; it is picturesque, comfy and includes both a world-class golf course and spa.

The Media Trends Summit experience included a look at new products, several presentations, a factory tour, some great lunches and dinners with members of the company and Kohler family and a choice of a world-class spa experience or golf lesson. I chose a spa treatment, Lavender Rain, a heavenly hour of exfoliation and hydrotherapy accompanied by relaxing music and aromatherapy.

The rooms at the American Club have unique decor items relating to historical figures, and the bathrooms in the guest rooms are full of luxury Kohler products. The charm of the brick buildings and furnishings is reminiscent of a bygone era of opulence, which is a perfect pairing with the hospitality of the Kohler Company and family.

Mr. Herbert Kohler V., Jr., current executive chairman, shared the history of the Kohler Company, the Kohler family and this area of Wisconsin with our group over cocktails and dinner at Riverbend, a restored Kohler family home converted to a private club. The Kohler commitment to quality is notable in every detail. The restorations of the buildings and farm-to-table food selections are both examples of the passion the Kohler family brings to all of its endeavors.

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The new product offerings are no exception. The Veil toilet (above) is Kohler’s entry into the wall-hung hygienic toilet market. It features remote operation, washing and drying features, a self-clean system and heated seat all with the sleek attractive styling I have come to expect from Kohler. A new offering in the bathing category – a solid surface freestanding tub – comes in two sizes and at an excellent price point. Artifacts, the eclectic, artful faucet collection from Kohler boasts several new matte finishes. New entries to the lavatory sink market include tactile finishes that work perfectly with more artisanal and fashion-focused interior design. Shown below is Kohler’s Purist faucet, which offers clean lines and soft curves.

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Mark Bickerstaffe, director of new product development, shared a presentation on marking the importance of softer whites, matte black and mixed metals, warm neutrals, shadowy tones, textural quality and personality pieces being of major factors in the interior design market place. “Sultry” is a word that comes to mind when thinking of the thought-provoking images presented during the presentation. It seems that super clean lines and crisp grays are being replaced by an eclectic mix of metals, light reflectivity, glamour and romance with a smoky dose of intrigue.

Artisanal products and finishes continue to be notable trends to watch for. I can confirm the emergence of warmth, matte metal and a host of soft, textured, eclectic finishes to be prevalent in the furnishings at the Highpoint Fall Market. I find the Kohler’s new entries to the market to be right on trend. I also find that in our global world, where we have access to everything, creating a unique, sultry, artisanal space that fits like good fashion is a trend that will be with us for a while.

– Toni Sabatino

Nov 27 2016

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Tips for the Best KBIS 2017 Experience

As usual, the holidays have snuck up on us and now KBIS is only weeks away too. So how do you make the most of everything KBIS has to offer in just three days? To help attendees prepare for their trip to Orlando in January, we asked NKBA K+B Insider Karl Champley, AKBD – who has attended 200 trade shows over his 32 years in the industry – to share his tips and tricks on how to make the most of the experience.

Plan for KBIS Like You Plan a Vacation
Do your homework up front – check out the exhibitors, learning opportunities and must-attend networking events on KBIS.com. The more prepared you are upfront, the more you will gain while at the show. KBIS.com also offers discounted hotel rates for attendees if you’ve yet to book your accommodations.

Download the KBIS App
In years past I’ve mapped out my areas of interest at the show by hall, checking off my must-see exhibitors and panels as I walked the show floor. The new KBIS 2017 Mobile App provides a centralized location for fast access to the trade show map, special events and learning opportunities. The app even has an Agenda tab that allows you to input your events over the course of the show.

Attend Panels that Align with Your 2017 Goals  
A good place to start building your itinerary is by identifying the programs you want to attend that best align with your 2017 business goals and further your understanding of the industry. Have a team attending the show? Divide and conquer to maximize each learning opportunity. Take note that many programs are held Jan. 9, the day before KBIS officially opens. This year, the NKBA will host 70 Voices from the Industry sessions led by influencers from different industry segments. As a newly certified Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer, I’m also excited to check out the NKBA Certification+Design courses to earn some CEU credit while I’m at the show. Plan to attend the panels, speakers and/or design competitions.

Network, Network, Network!
KBIS is a great opportunity build new connections with like-minded folks. It’s also a chance to connect face-to-face with those in other markets who you’ve connected with over social media – or those who you’ve met at KBIS in previous years. To make the most of it, let your network know you’re attending #KBIS2017 and make plans to grab coffee or attend a program together. It’s also important to be ready for impromptu introductions to potential partners, vendors or clients, so come ready with lots of business cards and a positive attitude. And after you’ve returned home from the show, remember to send a follow-up to solidify the meeting! For additional opportunities to connect outside the convention center, don’t miss The Bash on Wednesday, Jan. 11th – it’s a festive way to celebrate the show and the success that lies ahead for the New Year!
Wear Comfortable Shoes
I’m talking walking shoes and dancing shoes. This goes for both ladies and gentlemen. As many industry professionals head straight from breakfast to the show floor to dinner and events, it’s important to dress the part. Wear shoes that will last as long as you do! 

For more information or to register for KBIS 2017, please visit www.kbis.com.

Nov 18 2016

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Cooking for a Crowd

In recognition of the upcoming holiday, this week’s KBTribeChat discussion covered planning, cooking and cleaning up for a feast. KBB tuned into this Twitter chat co-hosted by Whirlpool and KitchenAid to find out industry experts’ tips for pulling off a successful Thanksgiving.

1.    What kitchen features help you prepare the perfect Thanksgiving meal?
•    A sink with a divider for organizing cleanup
•    The convection oven for the perfect roast
•    Food processor for dicing and slicing
•    Samsung Flex Duo Slide-in Range with Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can monitor your food and entertain simultaneously
•    A traditional pot filler – it saves so much time!
•    Having a diversity in cooktop heating for all our special dishes
•    A warming drawer for keeping food and plates warm
•    KBB: Grandma’s old roasting pan for the perfect turkey!
samsung_range        The Samsung Flex Duo Slide-in Range with Wi-Fi connectivity

2.    What’s the best type of kitchen layout for interacting with guests?
•    A kitchen with an open plan and an island
•    Islands are perfect for food prep and provide an open space for guests to chat with the chef.
•    Island counter = barrier to the work zone
•    An open, thoughtful design and a place for guests out of the way of the work area
•    Large or small, open or closed off, it’s all about who you celebrate with! (We agree!)

ALNO_CreditElementImage                  Designer: ALNO Miami, Credit: Element Image

3.    How do you find space for cooking and storing multiple dishes?
•    If you live somewhere cold, just put it outside!
•    Move your fridge shelves around to create extra space.
•    A foil-lined cooler
•    Do a dry run and make sure all the pots fit in the fridge and oven.
•    Deep drawers and tall wall cabinets free up counter space.
•    Space-saving appliances, like the compact oven from KitchenAid
•    KBB: Share refrigerators with your neighbor!

kitchenaid_compactoven                                           KitchenAid’s Compact Oven

4.    Quick cleaning solutions? Go!
•    Scrape, don’t rinse.
•    Clean as you go.
•    For stainless steel appliances, spray some white vinegar and rub messes off with a paper towel in the direction of the grain.
•    Start with fingerprint-resistant surfaces, like the 36-inch Wide French Door refrigerator from Whirlpool.
•    Make the kids do it!
•    Have an assembly-line approach with a table clearer, a washer, dryer and put-a-wayer.
•    KBB: Make it a team effort, and chat while you go.

whirlpool                 The 36-inch Wide French Door refrigerator from Whirlpool

5.    Where do you find Thanksgiving recipe inspiration?
•    Pinterest is a given.
•    The KitchenAid blog (http://blog.kitchenaid.com/holiday-entertaining-made-simple/)
•    Family recipes are our favorite thing about the holidays; sometimes I update them and sometimes they’re perfect just as they are.
•    The best recipes are handed down from generation to generation. That’s what makes the meal special and nostalgic.
•    Great inspiration at the CIA culinary blog: (http://blog.ciachef.edu/category/recipes-and-techniques/)
•    KBB: Just bringing in new friends and family starts new traditions.

Join KBTribeChat on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. EST by searching for #KBTribeChat on Twitter. Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Kitchen and Bath Business!

Nov 16 2016

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Powder Room Perfection


Lori Carroll of Lori Carroll & Associates recently won the 2016 International Design of the Year Award from Designer Kitchen & Bathroom, a trade publication in Essex, England, for her “Gemstone” bathroom. The award celebrates innovation and inspiration and is open to entrants from around the world. It is judged by a panel of professionals with expertise in kitchen and bathroom design, architecture, retail, interior design and business.

KBB spoke with Carroll about her project and why it was a no-brainer for this award.

What was the idea behind the design of this bathroom? 

Carroll: Luxury is all about the experience. I wanted to create a powder room design that allowed guests to relax and reflect in uncompromising style. Ambient light, high-end materials and rich tones and textures were all the qualities for a truly amazing space.

What were the homeowner’s goals, and how did you achieve those?

Carroll: These well-traveled clients definitely wanted a powder room in their new custom home that was different from any others they had seen. Each element in the design appealed to their adventurous side from the intricate stone slabs to the spectacular wall sconces that sparkle like jewelry for a one-of-a-kind bathroom.


What are the standouts of the space?

Carroll: Of course the onyx gets the most attention in this powder room, however, even the smallest details stand out, including fixtures like a Neo Metro Mini Loo stainless toilet powder coated in amber bronze. Dazzling sconces guide the way into this powder room; hand-formed, angle-cut crystal rods are infused with mineral crystalline that creates a spectacular display over the vanity.

Did you overcome any challenges along the way?

Carroll: The greatest challenge was keeping the powder room design as unique as the architectural features to provide the most impact. Using sources of light to avoid a dark, heavy feeling generated the small footprint and resulted in an energized space guest could enjoy.


What criteria did your bathroom meet to win the award?

Color has everything to do with setting the tone in a space; adding light orchestrates the perception of that color. When designing this alluring powder room, the rich hues in the specialty paint finish and a glass bead wall covering became the backdrop for layers of light, each highlighting elements that make this bathroom unique.