By Patricia Gaylor
I don’t think any one of us in the design and building business think we have an easy job. Some of the design shows on TV make us look like wizards, and the edited version of a home renovation show seems like it’s done in the blink of an eye.
They make it look so effortless and easy! As we all know, it’s anything but that. The reason we make it look that way is because of our desires, talents, education, training and the constant quest to keep ourselves informed and current. We work at it. Most of us live it and breathe it.
That’s why KBIS and Design & Construction week is so important. The collection of creative souls in one space is necessary to fuel the passion for our craft, surround ourselves with like minds, exchange ideas and further our education.
So most (not all) of the design shows the public attends are backed by thousands of hours of real work and dedication by our trade.
To me, last year’s KBIS was all about style. There was a major shift toward cleaner, more modern design, with a focus on mixed finishes, textures and interest in creating a more personal design experience for your client. So this year, I was anxious to see how this trend would evolve even further, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Technology took center stage, with most manufacturers showcasing phone- or voice-activated products. It was everywhere. From pre-heating your shower, remotely peering into your refrigerator, asking your kitchen faucet to measure out a precise amount of water for a recipe – this was the year of Alexa, Siri and smart phone connectivity. Of course, I had no doubt that this would happen someday, but here it was. Secretly, I was a bit overwhelmed by it all and observed that some of these applications are practical and some are just convenient. This is more than a trend, I’m sure. We are at the very beginning of another huge shift in the way we design and build around the rapid improvements in technology.
At this year’s show, the current trend for clean, modern design was still front and center. But there was also great attention to detail and craftsmanship. Tile designs ran the gamut from simple to ornate patterns, small or large format, embossed or raised details and anything in between. Tile is, after all, art for your floors or walls so you can create an artful, personal space for your client. Some of the tile designs from SOMER Tile look handcrafted or even aged. The BRAGA tile captures the artistic look of cement tiles in ceramic.
What goes on inside your cabinetry is just as important as what’s outside. Interior charging stations put messy cords and wires inside a drawer, so you can charge your phone or tablet in a designated area and out of sight. In the bath, interior drawers can be customized to fit your needs. Rev-A-Shelf drawer systems include up to seven storage compartments with five acrylic bins to organize even the smallest items. A pullout grooming organizer solves the problem of storing a bulky hairdryer and puts combs and brushes upright for easy access. Their slide-out, under-sink organizer puts both large and small items at your fingertips.
At SMEG, elevating a mundane appliance to an artform was courtesy of a limited-edition line by Dolce + Gabbana. I’m swooning over this one.
At GE Monogram, the mantra was “Elevate Everything,” which summed up the key theme of the company’s thoughtful attention to detail and craftsmanship. Introducing its first indoor electric pizza oven, GE partnered with a small Michigan-based woodworking company, Anvil Goods, which created a handcrafted walnut and brass pizza peel. This hand-sculpted piece is the perfect partner with GE’s oven, showcasing the personal, purposeful design of everyday objects and elevating them to an art form.
Thanks, KBIS, for delivering a great show, reminding us that our business is always evolving and changing and that the smallest details can fuel the passion for our never-ending quest for good design.
Patricia Gaylor is the owner of Little Falls, N.J.-based Patricia Gaylor Interior Design