K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Creativity

Feb 17 2017

Posted by
Comments off

Victorian Charm


There is something about old houses that captivates us. Despite their captivating histories and stories hidden in those walls, homes unfortunately do not age gracefully. Designer Shawna Dillon of Washington, D.C.-based Snaidero DC Metro is well acquainted with this problem, particularly with a recent project in her area.

“This charming 100-year-old Victorian had all the quaint architectural details you would want, but since kitchens were held in a different regard at that time, the space had not been addressed appropriately to function as an integral part of the home,” Dillon said. “It felt very much like an afterthought.”

Age Issues
Careless renovations over the years left a large refrigerator hindering access to the back door, which served as the main access into the kitchen. The workspace was cramped, and the range was too close to the main sink. This created an unusable corner and limited counter space where clients needed it most. Since the room was long and narrow, navigation through the space was tight. This was partly because of a large peninsula positioned awkwardly in the kitchen.


“We knew that peninsula had to go, which would lead to additional work to the wood floors,” said the designer.

There was also a small window on the main wall, which faced an alley. The clients agreed to brick in the window, allowing the design team to maximize the wall space.


“Once the window was eliminated, the wall immediately transformed into something way more functional,” said Dillon, adding that the refrigerator now sits in front of where the window once was. “We could then move the range further down, which would open up more counter and storage space.”

The kitchen was still long and narrow, and since they could not physically expand the space, Dillon raised the wall cabinets, allowing for a slightly taller backsplash for the idea of more space. She also added a small desk area for seating.


White and Warm
“My main design goal is always to create an end product that looks stunning while improving the way the kitchen functions for the client,” said Dillon, adding that the clients enjoyed cooking and needed the kitchen to have more accessible storage.

The homeowners were creative professionals and craved a modern, all-white space. While Dillon appreciated the desire for the classic white kitchen, she wanted to make sure the end result did not appear clinical. Instead, she suggested a slightly warmer white for the cabinet finish and a white Ceasarstone countertop with some veining to add depth and character to the room. The dark hardwood flooring also warms the space.


“My favorite part of the design is that the kitchen maximizes efficiency on all levels: storage, workspace, cooking and navigation,” said Dillon. “Not once did the client, nor the design, have to sacrifice form over function. There is a perfect harmony between the utilitarian and the aesthetic requirements of this kitchen.”

Source List
Designer: Shawna Dillon, Snaidero DC Metro
Photographer: Jennifer Hughes

Backsplash: Caesarstone
Cabinetry:
Snaidero
Countertop: Caesarstone
Dishwasher: Miele
Hood:
Miele
Range: Wolf
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Feb 06 2017

Posted by
Comments off

The Outside In House

AirBnB_Greenery-004

This AirBnb rental lies in a row of inconspicuous homes in central London. Inside, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery, comes to life in every room in the house.

The 2017 Pantone Color of the Year, Greenery, was inspired by a world seeking natural experiences, calmness and a hopeful attitude. Airbnb caught onto this idea and partnered with Pantone to build the ‘Outside In’ house – a home in London that brings the color Greenery to life.

AirBnB_Greenery-082

A woodland reception – complete with living plants – greets guests upon entrance.

This home has a floor plan far different than the typical walk-up. It includes a woodland reception, an indoor greenhouse that doubles as a dining room, a garden bedroom with mown lawn, topiaries and soporific plants, a tented nook for children to sleep in and an herb garden in the kitchen. Guests staying in the home will hear the sounds of nature throughout and can forage from the walls (literally) for vegetables and herbs. Other activities include drinking tea with leaves picked from a hydroponics installation and choosing plants to make terrarium vases.

AirBnB_Greenery-104

The kitchen has an herb garden design with rustic cabinetry and Edison-bulb lighting.

As guests enter, they will be greeted by the house “groundskeeper” with green juice made locally and color-matched to Greenery. They can also rest assured that the house is of course environmentally green too; all materials will be recycled where possible, and spare plants will be donated to community gardens.

AirBnB_Greenery-162

This kitchen takes advantage of open shelving to show off the theme color.

“As Greenery is a warm and zesty yellow-green shade that speaks to our desire to disconnect, replenish and energize, it seemed a natural extension for us to partner with Airbnb for the very first time to bring the Pantone Color of the Year 2017 to life,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “The holistic view of travel and community – on promoting a feeling of connecting to nature and each other no matter where we go – speaks to the spirit of Greenery and has changed the way we explore and experience cities internationally.”

AirBnB_Greenery-196

This bath has a spa-like ambiance with tropical foliage and a freestanding tub.

The ‘Outside In’ house is at 4 Dingley Place, Clerkenwell. To book an overnight stay, visit https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/16908431. All proceeds from the overnight stay will be donated to the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

Let us know if you go on Facebook, on Twitter @kbbconnect or Instagram @kbbonline!

Jan 26 2017

Posted by
Comments off

The Schizophrenia of Design

Barn Doors

One of my jobs as an interior designer is selecting paint colors and related design materials (plumbing fixtures, tile, lighting, etc.) for a homebuilder in Florida. This particular company builds around a dozen spec homes a year, all of which are traditional in style. Not a heavy ‘traditional’ look; one geared more toward young family buyers – with open floor plans and simple, clean lines – which is the current ‘trend.”

There’s that word again…

I have a little difficulty with the word trend, only because I remember trends from years past I’d rather not ever see again. But they come back, in different forms, as basically just a re-worked old ‘trend.’ For example, what was once called a Tuscan look has returned in a cleaned-up version called Napa style. Less ornamentation, lighter in feel, but with all the same elements.

I’m asked countless times to write articles and speak about current design trends. This is the reason I go to trade shows – so I can see all the beautiful new products that are the style of the moment. And that’s the problem – our ‘moment’ has become just that. Because of social media and related outlets, trends are reported instantly and unfortunately change just as rapidly.

The builder I work for was showing the latest home they built to a realtor, who mentioned that the barn door slider we used on the first- floor room that is used for an office and doubles as a guest room was so “2016.” And as I write this, it’s January of 2017. So one month into a new year, and I’m already out of style?

3 Za_MantleDetail__MG_3203.5jb

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year being Simply White and how a ‘non-color’ can work beautifully by building texture and contrast around it. This year’s B. Moore’s color is the polar opposite, a dark, beautiful shade of dusky purple called Shadow.

So there’s the split. Every time I open a magazine or go on my computer, there’s a newer trend. This could be a real problem for the average person who’s re-decorating or remodeling their home and attempts to make a decision they can stick with. What’s the solution for us designers and specifiers who see it all and have to make a living doing it?

First, whatever you do, do it well. Nothing goes out of style more quickly than a cheap, hastily done design. Follow trends, but make them your own. Add your own style. Tread lightly, don’t kill it. My personal style is clean traditional, but I’ve done contemporary, urban farmhouse, industrial, craftsman, etc. The key to a long-lasting design is simplicity and quality, which never go out of style.

So whatever the trending style is, or the color of the year or even the minute may be, just do it well. It’s our business to promote styles and trends, after all.

Jan 22 2017

Posted by
1 Comments

The New Bathroom

duravit3
It was obvious at KBIS last week – the bathroom is no longer just a utilitarian space. Designers are turning it around and making this room into a spa, an escape and a place for fun. We spoke with one designer, Fenton, Mich.-based Mark Mangapora, who had this in mind when he completed the winning Duravit Design Bath in his own home.

KBB: What was your goal in this project?
MM: I wanted to reimagine the bathroom and transform it into something unrecognizable from its previous state. The new design was to be more open and functional without sacrificing any amenities while also improving storage capabilities.

KBB: What were your challenges and how did you solve them?
MM: The existing bathroom felt like a bunch of items clumsily crammed into one area with an awkwardly shaped master closet as leftover space.  The first solution was to include the closet in the design scope and thus have more floor area to work with. However, the total footprint was still relatively small and presented a big challenge. Combining the shower and tub into one “wet area” greatly helped to free up the layout and also allowed for a significantly larger tub and an additional shower bench.

duravit2

KBB: How did you prioritize openness, clarity and warmth?
MM: The basic concept is a quadrant of four distinct areas without the compartmentalization of the original bathroom. The concept is quite evident upon entry: the “wet” area and the “prep” area are to each side but in a completely open and transparent space. The eye is drawn straight ahead by the oak-finished storage units at the end of a short hall containing entries of the more private spaces: the toilet room and the master closet. A mix of natural light and a variety of concealed and exposed artificial lighting brighten the bathroom day and night.

KBB: Talk about the different materials that you used.
MM: I started off with by choosing Duravit’s Mediterranean Oak finish for the vanity and storage units for its visual texture and warmth.  The color palette is intentionally minimalist to let the oak objects really stand out as focal points.  The walls are a simple bright white with a minimal base and trim detail. 

 The “wet area” has a matte ceramic tile in a stacked pattern to complement the geometric forms of the vanity and storage units. The stone shower bench and niches are a white and gray marble with a naturally uniform character, and their edge profiles were cut to match the radius of the Duravit tub and shower tray. The floor is oversized, staggered porcelain tile with subtle differences in tone and a textured finish, which provides some character and a slightly rough natural feel but does not overpower the space.  

I would also say light has a very material-like quality in the space.  The bright walls maximize reflections and allow diffused sunlight from the small frosted window to penetrate and naturally light the whole bathroom.

duravit1
KBB: What was your favorite part of this project?
MM: Seeing the project become a reality was really quite satisfying. I enjoyed the opportunity to work out the details on paper and later with the builder during construction. As of now, it is still somewhat surreal when I step into the bathroom, as it feels like I’m stepping out of my house and into a high-end spa.