K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Erinn Waldo

Erinn Waldo

Nov 13 2017

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Modern Retreat

It’s no secret that what was considered contemporary in the 1980s is outdated today. This obsolete master bathroom was updated by two of Washington, D.C.-based //3877’s architects – Meg Scott and Ryan Petyak – for their firm’s co-founder and principal architect, David Shove-Brown. KBB spoke with Shove-Brown to find out how his employees did.

KBB: What were the issues with the previous design, particularly the layout?  
Shove-Brown: The previous layout had a really large open space in the middle of the bathroom as well as along one wall adjacent to the vanity.  There was also a huge bathtub inset in a tile platform wasting more space. With these open spaces and the giant tub, the shower and closets were quite small. Overall, the flow was just poor.

KBB: What were your requests?  
Shove-Brown: I wanted a comfortable, contemporary spa-like master bathroom in which we could get ready at different times, not disturb anyone in the bedroom and not be crashing into one another. I also wanted to take advantage of the natural light and keep the design clean and simple.

KBB: Describe how the layout was made more efficient?
Shove-Brown: We moved the shower and rotated the bathtub location to create a wet area. We expanded one closet into the bathroom and rotated the toilet compartment to sit alongside the expanded closet. We had a great situation in that the house is a single-story ranch with a 4-ft. crawl space below and attic above, allowing the contractors to work on plumbing and electrical with little difficulty.”

KBB: What was your team challenged by?

Shove-Brown: In removing the existing tile and sub-floor, our contractor found that when the previous tub was installed, several joists were cut, causing significant damage requiring reframing. We also found that the existing drain lines from the sinks did not slope sufficiently and were almost completely clogged. All the plumbing was removed and redone to code.

KBB: How was the space made more airy?  
Shove-Brown: By creating a wet area, we were able to remove the traditional shower compartment and simplified it to a single, large piece of glass. The tub and vanities are freestanding, which minimizes their presence in the space. A single, elegant LED pendant floats over the tub for a statement. All of the materials are light, relying more on texture than tone to make their presence known. The only dark elements are the teak in the vanities, the shower seat and the ceiling over the wet zone.

KBB: What is your favorite part of the design?
Shove-Brown: Definitely the shower. The 16-in. by 16-in. flush-mounted rainhead over the pebble stone tile with the glass enclosure makes the shower an incredibly peaceful way to start the day.

Nov 06 2017

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A Parisian Remodel

Paris-based designer Stephanie Coutas recently had the opportunity to redesign her own home: a 19th-century townhouse in the heart of Paris. This four-story townhouse became infused with features this designer is known for: luxury and cutting-edge technology. KBB spoke with Coutas to find out the secrets behind her glamorous design.


Coutas: “The idea was to transform the townhouse, which had lots of small rooms on each floor, into a family home with a sophisticated, comfortable and cozy atmosphere.”


Coutas: “I wanted to keep the spirit of the house and yet bring it into the 21st century. I try to never erase the soul of a place; I like to give it a new life.

I thought it would also be interesting to include both Art Deco and contemporary fabrics and materials, including mixing metal finishing and sophisticated velvets, bronze and embroideries. That was a challenge!”

Coutas: “The lady’s bathroom in veined marble sits alongside an impressive dressing room in silver oak finishing. I choose the marble slate especially for the color tone of the vein.”


Coutas: “This is the most private space, and it needed to be spectacular and very efficient at the same time. The man of the house likes boats, so I wanted it to have the idea of a boat deck.”


Coutas: “I designed this bathroom to have a cheerful atmosphere but with masculine touches. His shower with the coral motif brings in the idea of the sea and a touch of color.”


Coutas: “If I had to choose a level, I would say the master suite is where I relax the most. LED lighting, aromatherapy and TV screens are always appreciated. The garden level is also such a fun space. In 80 square meters, I managed to put in a gym, Hamman space, home cinema, pool and massage room. That was an achievement!”

Oct 30 2017

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Art of the Table

After everything has been installed and all of the furnishings are in place, a beautifully set table is the final touch in a renovation. One recent event in New York City honored this form of art.

Bilotta Kitchens and Replacements, Ltd., in association with media sponsor Traditional Home, hosted the seventh-annual “Art of the Table.” The event featured five New York City-based interior designers and the five distinctive vignettes they designed at the Bilotta Kitchens showroom in New York City.

The participating designers for this event were Rajni Alex of Rajni Alex Design; Rayman Boozer of Apartment 48; Jennifer Flanders of Jennifer Flanders Inc.; Julie Schuster of Julie Schuster Design Studio; and Asler Valero of Asler Valero Interior Design. We spoke with each of them to find out more about their table settings.

“I tried to use the gardens of Versailles as inspiration to enhance a modern kitchen and create a colorful and convivial atmosphere. I loved the opportunity to mix old with new.”

– Rayman Boozer of Apartment 48

“My goal was to create a space that feels inviting and warm – a place where you would want to spend time with family and friends. I was not going for a completely polished look. Rather, I was trying to convey the idea of ‘getting ready’ to have people over in a very real way – setting out all the dishes in piles, organizing the silverware, cutting the flowers, baking cookies – all to prepare the house for guests.”

– Jennifer Flanders of Jennifer Flanders Inc.

“I used organic materials like dry lentils, stones from the Mediterranean Sea, bay leaves, corn husks and the table cloth fabric, ‘IMERA’ by ELITIS, which is made out of jute. I wanted to mix the white, sleek kitchen with sophisticated accessories, organic materials and whimsical art, while keeping a balance where each one stands on its own.”

– Asler Valero of Asler Valero Interior Design

“We layered fine china patterns with delicate crystal and sparkling silver from Replacements to set the stage. Beautiful floral arrangements from Starbright Floral Designs are reminiscent of an English garden and add subtle drama to the space. Delectable treats from Chantilly Patisserie, antique books, a bold black-and-white photograph and a beautifully framed print of an English manor from J. Pocker add to the overall ambience and elegance of the space.”

– Rajni Alex of Rajni Alex Design

“I wanted to evoke the amazing, vivid memories we all have of beautiful alfresco dining experiences: a summer evening, when the air absolutely caresses your skin. The scent of ripening grapes or night-blooming florals wafting into the arbor where the table is set to welcome family and good friends. For “Tuscan Garden Party,” I wanted to recreate these favorite alfresco dining memories we all have –when the tinkle of crystal glasses is punctuated with the laughter of friends enjoying one another’s company too much to allow the evening to end.”

– Julie Schuster of Julie Schuster Design Studio

Oct 23 2017

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Millennial Pink vs Matte Black

For anyone who knows or follows me, two things are obvious: I adore the color pink, and I love technology. With a previous career at Microsoft and living in tech heaven (Seattle), I am constantly inundated with the newest and shiniest trend. However, as an early Gen X who grew up slightly behind the times, I tend to avoid the fads and trends until they are tried and true.  This was also drilled into me with tech – let the bugs get worked out before installing the newest version.

Years ago, manufacturers started talking about what the next “stainless” would be, and they started working on slate, charcoal, rose gold, brass and black finishes for appliances and fixtures. I was HIGHLY skeptical! It even took me a while to adopt gray as the new neutral, but let’s face it, it actually IS neutral.

I was asked for my input on what I saw at #KBIS2017 recently, and I thought I’d be different and toss out there what I was seeing, which was pink. I was sure it really wasn’t what they were hoping for, but since then pink has exploded.

There are several reasons:

1. There is a resurgence of mid-century modern aesthetics where shades of pink were definitely a key feature.

2. “Millennial Pink” is actually a term and a color! I sat in on a CEU recently talking about millennials and the speaker said, “Trends and tech trickle up.” It’s the younger generations who are really pushing what’s new. Also, if you travel Europe at all, you will quickly notice shades of pink are a main staple of fashion, design and marketing.

                                                                              Millennial Pink

3. Pink surrounds us with a calm sense of joy and comfort and yet has a lightness about it. In lighter, more subdued shades, it can be a really nice neutral in many different palettes.

Back to Black
Up until VERY recently, I was a hold out on this new black until I started seeing these new cars on the street that were literally painted in a black matte finish. When a finish reaches the auto industry, you know it’s something to pay attention to. I have also long kept an eye on fashion from the East Coast and the runway to see what will be trickling down to our homes.

I saw a combo in a trade magazine of a matte black range with brushed brass accents in a color board next to a modern black matte faucet with brushed brass accents. Suddenly just like that it clicked! I am admittedly in the fan club of the matte black finish.

Black brings us a grounding and a rootedness. There is a grown-up sense of sophistication. The matte surface brings a depth of texture you just can’t help but want to touch. There’s an earthiness to it.

Both of these delightful colors together are a powerful combination. Enjoy!

Paula Kennedy CMKBD CLIPP Timeless Kitchen Design Copyright 2017