KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Ann Porter

Ann Porter

Ann Porter is a 1994 honors graduate of the Virginia Tech Interior Design program. She gained exceptional experience designing kitchens and bathrooms in the Northern Virginia/DC area before moving to southwest Florida where she started Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc. in 2002. Porter is a National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and has volunteered her time and skills to the NKBA by serving on the Marketing and Communications Committee from 2005 to 2008. She specializes in creating highly custom interiors that uniquely suit each client’s sensibilities, functional needs and budget. Her cabinet designs have been featured in Southwest Florida-based publications and national publications. In addition to her design work, Porter also writes for her blog, KitchAnn Style and Ask Ann, a blog for the Naples Daily News.

Jul 09 2018

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Appliances for Growing Your Own

Whether or not you favor cannabis legalization, medicinal and recreational marijuana for the masses is gaining momentum. Cannabis researchers report North American legal pot sales jumped 34 percent in 2016 to $6.9 billion, and spending on legal cannabis worldwide is expected to hit $57 billion by 2027.

Several companies are racing to serve the cannabis markets, and a new category of home appliances is cropping up to position itself for new revenue growth.

Sustainable Choices
Canadian company Danby Appliances already has a home herb-growing appliance called the Danby Fresh Eco to facilitate sustainably growing favorite herbs, micro-greens and flowering plants all year round in the home.

A new appliance called GYO was co-developed between Danby and BloomBoss, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency, high-performance LED grow lights. It is a grow box designed specifically for home cannabis cultivation. GYO (pronounced “jee-yo” and stands for “grow your own”) contains a turnkey system to grow plants hydroponically – all the consumer needs to do is plug it into a standard 120-volt outlet, fill the reservoir, plant their seeds or cuttings and grow. The appliance is a self-contained environment that masquerades as a sleek mini-refrigerator and includes systems to regulate temperature and humidity. Powering the grow is an energy-efficient BloomBoss TrueSun LED, which keeps monthly operating costs low and increases the potency, flavor and aroma of the cannabis grown in it.

Cloudponics’ GroBox
San Francisco-based Cloudponics is first company to offer a completely automated system for growing marijuana (or any other plants) in your home. The GroBox controls air temperature, nutrients, humidity, water flow, airflow, light schedule and pH balance to sustain consistent, repeatable and predictable yields all with a mobile app. According to Cloudponics, the Grobox can produce about eight ounces of dried, cured cannabis every four months.

In case your client lives in an apartment building or has kids, the box locks and can only be accessed by those who have the app on their phone, A refill service delivers filters, sensors and nutrients tailor made for 60 different strains every six months for $200.

Another refrigerator-shaped grow box available to the home market is the Leaf. Developed by Corsica Innovations of Boulder, Colo., Leaf is a self-contained, automatic grow box that’s designed to yield a bountiful harvest of mint, basil, strawberry, kale or other plant types with no green thumb or prior horticultural knowledge required.

The box itself measures 62 inches high by 27 inches wide by 25 inches deep. It is finished in anodized aluminum and comes equipped with sensors, nutrient packs and blue spectrum-enhanced PAR lighting, an HD camera for remote viewing and a mobile app. The Leaf platform also includes a social network that allows home growers to share live-stream feeds of their plants and share recipes and growing tips.

The company introduced its concept for the Leaf automated cannabis growing appliance in 2015. Corsica Innovation has raised approximately $4.5 million in equity from investors such as Boca Raton, Fla.-based cannabis-focused private equity firm Phyto Partners and cannabis investment firm CJV Capital Ltd. The Leaf is $2,990 and is expected to ship in the third quarter of 2018.

These appliances probably aren’t going to be permanently built into kitchens any time soon until federal restrictions are lifted. Do you think these buzz-worthy appliances are worth the hype? Will we see more major appliance manufacturers enter this market? I think we will – probably under different names at first. Large companies have shareholders to think about, and the thing that makes them the happiest is money. The growth of this market is too big to ignore.

Apr 30 2018

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PANTONE Colors That Will Be Trending in 2019

Fashion isn’t the only industry affected by rapidly-changing consumer taste. This is why I scour the trade shows, publications and the internet for insight, updates and forecasts to inform you of color trends and styles for the home.

The authority on all things color recently released a taste of their PANTONEVIEW Home + Interiors Guide for 2019, with 72 forecasted hues inspired by culinary-inspired shades, fashion and movies such as “Black Panther.”

Two of the eight palettes Pantone highlighted in their announcement are “Cravings” and “Classico,” which come from opposite sides of the color spectrum.

Cravings (Left) and Classico (Right) Palettes (Photography Courtesy of Pantone)

According to Pantone, the Cravings palette includes allusions to “fetish foods” – yup, you read that right – from rich cappuccino and chocolate to spicy chili pepper and cayenne.

The neutrals of tasty Cappuccino serve up a delectable warming presence, while grassy green promises a cooling respite from the heat of the surrounding shades. These exceptional flavors will draw upon memorable sensory experiences to inspire new ones that will be just as pleasing.

The hues of the Classico palette skew more elegant with a nod to style fundamentals. This is the palette where “a graceful swan white” and shades of camel pair perfectly with deep teals, gray flannels, burgundy reds and caviar blacks.

Metallics are still in vogue for the coming year. After all, we can’t help but be drawn to shimmering objects. For 2019, metallic gold is part of the Classico palette.

“With more choices than ever before, it is essential for home furnishings and interiors brands and designers to connect with their consumers and deliver the themes, palettes and colors that engage and stimulate beyond the surface,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

The Pantone trend book contains visual inspiration, color themes and suggested color harmonies. CMYK printing equivalents are supplied for each of the forecasted colors making it easy to achieve the right match in your designs.

Here are the remaining PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2019 palettes:

Syncopated – A palette pulsing with all the right moves, Syncopated is lit with energy and exhilaration by bright white, glowing yellow and a hot yellow-red.

Paradoxical – A synthetic color language that is both luxurious and accessible, the Paradoxical palette proposes style and design created by unconventional couplings, an eclectic mix of high and low and a mix of traditional and modern.

Musings – Musings, a quietly reflective yet vital palette of gentle and hushed shades, conveys a relaxed, healthy lifestyle made even more so by a sense of pleasure and excitement.

Cherish – A grouping of idealized combinations of color, pattern and texture that form a quiet, conflict-free refuge for the senses. Cherish captures memories of comfort, enjoyment, affection and contentment.

Meanderings – Whether travelling in person or in your imagination, to destinations known and unknown, Meanderings implies a winding course done at a leisurely pace that often reveals unexpected treasures and pleasures.

Proximity – Forming a hybrid of technology and nature that speaks to the complexities of 21st century life, Proximity gathers together sister shades of tropical green-blues and blue-greens that blend fluidly into royal blues and clean crispy greens.

Jul 11 2013

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2013 Trends in Tile

Have you noticed that the top trends emerging in the tile market are tiles with depth and movement, large-format tiles and tiles that look worn and weathered?

I think these three trends will stay strong well into next year. One of the best ways to incorporate these looks without being too trendy is by incorporating large beveled subway tiles.  The new Oxford Tile from Marazzi  fulfills both the depth and large-format design trends.


I like this contemporary takeonan old classic butif you prefer something smaller, there are tiles available with deep bevels in a more manageable size such as the Flatiron Collection from Ken Mason Tile. These handmade tiles come in gorgeous colors and wonderful metallic shades.

I particularly like this diamond pattern shown in Matador Red. The 4” x 8.5” size is large enough to make an impact but small enough to work in tight spaces such as backsplashes.

Ken Mason flatiron red

– Ann Porter, CKD
Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc.
Blog: www.KitchAnn.com

Feb 14 2013

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Expand your business with dressing rooms

Did you see the Wall Street Journal article about Opulent Closets? If you haven’t read you should check it out.

I learned that closet spending is up and they aren’t called closets any more. They are “dressing rooms.” I think the article is encouraging news. While I suspect the average designer is not going to land $50,000 remodeling projects for a single dressing room, knowing that there is interest in this new trophy room can increase sales.

So if a potential client walks into your showroom or calls you on the phone asking for a new Master Closet do you have product to show them?

—Do you have jewelry accessories or know anything about watch winders?

—Do you have examples of LED lighting or lighted clothes rods that illuminate the garments hanging below?

—Can you discuss UV protection on widows to keep clothes from fading or how to integrate the A/V components and Security system?


Winona Solutions + Light


October Company

Ann Porter