KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Erinn Waldo

Erinn Loucks

Erinn Loucks is the managing editor of Kitchen and Bath Business. She has had seven years of experience in publication and interior design.

Jun 07 2018

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The New Laundry Room


Unlike its dreary predecessors hidden away in a basement or side closet, today’s laundry room is becoming a celebrated and cheery space in the modern home. It gives homeowners an opportunity to create a multifunctional place fit for their particular family, and options range from including a craft table or a pet grooming area to using it also as a mudroom. This week’s KBTribeChat covered this trending space and how manufacturers are better catering to homeowners’ needs.

Trending Features

-Laundry machines now have bling – including chrome touches and unique finishes.
-The laundry room is becoming a bright and uplifting space, meant to inspire organization and cleanliness.
-Homeowners are stylizing their laundry rooms by adding cabinetry, sinks and more.
-Pet spaces – such as a feeding or grooming area – are on the rise in the laundry room.

Different Operations, Different Clothes

-Clothes are more casual and easier to clean, so there is less demand for dry cleaning or delicate washing.
-Laundry machines are operating with less water and shorter cycles, which saves both time and money for the homeowner.
-Speed-wash cycles, available on many models, is underutilized as most loads do not have heavy soil and can be washed effectively on this cycle.

Innovations in Laundry

-Automatic dispensers sense the size of the load and distribute detergent and water accordingly to save money and time.
-Connected dryers can anticipate their settings by communicating to the washer about how damp items are.
-Nearly half of all voice- and Wi-Fi-connected appliances introduced recently have been in laundry.
-There are more meaningful reasons to connect to the laundry room, allowing homeowners to start laundry remotely or know their laundry status.

Front-Load or Top-Load

Twitter users debated the pros and cons of the top-loader versus the front-loader without reaching a verdict. Along with being easier to lift clothes out of, the front-loader was found to be space saving – since they are stackable and more energy efficient. However, some users argued that front-loaders do not drain well, which can lead to mold and fungi.

The top-loader, which still makes up a majority of laundry room purchases, is now available with new features and finishes that make up for its bulkier size. Shorter cycles, Wi-Fi connectivity and more controllable options for washing cycles – all features also included in front-loaders – still make it a popular choice for homeowners.

Join next week’s KBTribeChat by searching for #kbtribechat on Twitter at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday.

Jun 04 2018

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Celebrating Emerging Talent

ICFF and Bernhardt Design have announced the winners of the 13th-annual ICFF Studio. Every year, Bernhardt Design partners with ICFF to invite emerging designers and new talents to submit their unique concepts and innovative designs for evaluation by a jury of some of the industry’s top professionals. The finalists and their work were presented to the design industry in a special exhibition at ICFF.

“We receive entries from across North America and throughout the world that continually blow us away for their thoughtfulness, creativity and technique,” said Coleman Gutshall, director of global strategy for Bernhardt Design. “ICFF Studio helps propel many of these exciting new designers to international acclaim and rewarding careers.”

The ICFF Studio 2018 winners are:

1. Cecilia Zhang – Discrete Shelf / Stool – Bergen, Norway

2. Chenchen Fan – Lavida Chair – Toronto, Canada

3. Jialun Xiong – Back Kaleidoscope – Pasadena, Calif.


4. Sasipat Leelachart – Sensi Chair – Bangkok, China

5. Nupur Haridas – Snug – Los Angeles

6. Kelly Kim – Mokum – San Francisco, Calif.

7. Haeun Kim – Fog Table – Los Angeles

8. Adam Markowitz – Assegai – Melbourne, Australia


9. Christian Golden – Stackable Wooden Rocker No. 1 – Columbus, Ohio

10. Yeling Guo – Nostalgia – Pasadena, Calif.

 11. Huan Pei – Froz – Pasadena, Calif.

To enter the competition, a designer must have been in the industry five years or more and have a working prototype that is not in commercial production. Submissions are evaluated and judged on design aesthetics, the ability to be economically mass produced, marketability and commercial viability.

May 23 2018

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Designing a New York City Kitchen

By Alice Tedesco

The world is getting bigger, but the interiors we live in are getting smaller. As interior designers, we have faced this fact often. With a small kitchen, the smokes and smells are free to go wherever they like. It is important to plan an efficient ventilation system where it’s possible to lead smoke and smells outside. It may not always be worth moving pipes to a more centered position, and the design may be compromised in a small space.

                                     Photo Courtesy of Cesar NYC

With a small kitchen and often open-plan kitchen, the mess in the space may be frequently visible. The mess factor should be a concern for any good designer, and we need to be able to work with clients and understand their daily flow of operations that can compromise the look of a kitchen. The kitchen’s functionalities need to be planned out to make day-to-day tasks as easy as possible. Ask plenty of questions, like where is the right place for the trash? Where is the right place for the fridge? You need to prioritize and give order to the kitchen.

My Example
I designed a new-build apartment in Midtown Manhattan, which was a tiny space of just 7-ft. by 7- ft. and was directly exposed to the living room. But there was no need to panic; you don’t need a lot of space, you just need a good design.

Small kitchens are always more complicated than big one – and making a small kitchen functional is a struggle – but I had a lot of fun with this project. We designed a space that allows my clients to both live in the kitchen and living room according to their tastes and attitudes. Whenever they want to have a romantic dinner or a party, their kitchen is the perfect solution.

                                       Photo Courtesy of Cesar NYC

We compromised on the size of the appliances to give them more storage, and we integrated all the functional appliances of the kitchen, including the preparation and food storage facilities. We made sure the kitchen has a great dialogue with the rest of the living space, thanks to the double height of the counter and a careful selection of colors and finishes.

                                     Photo Courtesy of Cesar NYC

The colors were selected accordingly with the main interior pallets to unify the space visually. The main material is a white elm melamine for the bottom units, and this runs from the bottom to the shelves dividing the space for functionality and merges the peninsula with the wall. In contrast, the upper cabinets are in acid-etched glass; this finish matches the back splashes and lifts up the space since the ceiling is just 7 feet. The material combinations and the paneled appliances are the strength of the project, with the layout hiding all the visible appliances inside the kitchen.

This kitchen looks way bigger than the 7-ft. by 7-ft. space in which it is located. It’s open, fresh, and the clients just love it!

                                 Photo Courtesy of Cesar NYC

Mar 12 2018

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Space-Age Design

In interior design, anything and everything can be inspiration. For designer Chuck Wheelock of Old Greenwich, Conn.-based Wheelock Design, space travel always sparks the imagination, and he drew from this in a partnership with Perlick.

“Perlick recently celebrated their 100-year anniversary, so we wondered what might be in store for the company in the next century,” said Wheelock. “In the near future, our great events may be a return to the moon and a mission to Mars. Nothing fires our imagination like space travel.”

Inspired by science fiction, new geometry and advanced technology, the firm developed its design for ‘Deep Space Wine,’ a wine room vignette that appeared in Perlick’s booth at KBIS 2018. At the show, Perlick launched its first-ever collection of full-size residential appliances, including 24-in. column refrigerators, freezers and wine reserves, as well as cooking units. Wheelock’s design featured the brand new wine columns, along with the undercounter units.

“Exacting precision is a key element to both the science of space travel and the optimum performance required to store wine,” added the designer, who explained that they related the wine reserves to common elements of a space craft.

Control Console
Space vehicles and bases have control consoles, which place the operator in the center of the control room and centralize all functions in a single space. For the center console, the firm included Perlick’s 24-in. Signature Series because of its temperature consistency, high performance and the control the user has over storing the wine.

Oculus
Wheelock refers to the importance of the Oculus with a large framed circle at the entrance of the booth. The Oculus is an observatory module of the International Space Station (ISS). Its multiple windows are used to conduct experiments, dockings and observations of the Earth. Windows are necessary to endure confined spaces, but of course they have to be extremely durable to hold oxygen in.

Oxygen is similarly the common enemy of wine. When air gets into a bottle of wine, the wine begins to oxidize. Advanced technology monitors humidity levels in the reserve, and if necessary, pushes additional moisture into the compartment to maintain 60-70 percent humidity.


Columns and Corridors
Beginning with 2001: A Space Odyssey, corridors in space ships make science-fiction believable because they’re so utilitarian by nature. The image of a sealed passageway that clearly connects two other chambers floating in space have become an iconic, cinematic staple of science-fiction films.

This sealed corridor is referenced in the wine columns, which feature 2-in.-thick foamed-in-place walls to create a vibration-free environment. Exposure to light will also damage the wine, so dual-pane glass with UV-resistant coating protects it from harmful light. Illuminating the columns, vibrant blue or white LED roll-on theatre lighting adjusts for display or storage.

“Our display design was inspired by the concept of futuristic advancement and exploration of the unknown,” said Wheelock. “What better way to depict this idea than to pay tribute to space travel and all the imagination and attention it captures.”