K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Creativity

Mar 30 2018

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Lessons from the Design Bloggers Conference


The Design Bloggers Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. this month drew hundreds of designers, entrepreneurs, journalists and others interested in unraveling the intricacies of what makes a blog a true business asset. They also covered how to create an effective social media marketing plan. Here’s some advice from the experts:

Be Serendipitous

Algorithms — those pieces of data that tell social media sites like Facebook an Instagram what you “like,” share and click on for more information — help expose us to more of the great things we love. The caveat, however, is that they also tend to weed out the posts that don’t fit into our “like” patterns. That in turn creates a narrow, highly-focused vision, eliminating exposure to different points of view and options for staying open-minded and well-rounded.

According to Adam Japko, founder of Esteem Media and the Design Bloggers Conference, this is why influencer marketing is taking off. Just let things be serendipitous and allow the unexpected to happen.

Build Collaborative Relationships

Build a network of professionals you can rely on, including photographers, trades, designers, trade associations, manufacturers and publishers. Provide each other recommendations and leads.

Chances are, if you are kind and easy to work with, you will be sought out by other professionals, thus creating a strong team in your design community.

Build Additional Income Streams

With technology at our fingertips, there are so many options for generating additional income streams. For instance, creating a blog provides opportunities to advertise manufacturers and brands, feature sponsored content, link to affiliate companies, provide advice columns and create eDesign for clients.

Stand Out

Find your unique story to stand out and capitalize on that as part of your branding efforts. Brands leveraging philanthropic initiatives are trusted, memorable and respected among all. Look at ways to connect your brand with something that gives back in a meaningful way.

At the conference, we learned about Savvy Designs, a company creating magical spaces for ill children enduring major challenges at a young age, and Save Iconic Architecture, a group that protects and preserves iconic architecture in California.

You can also look to create your own unique story promoting your specialty — what really makes you special. Do you have a story to tell with color? Are you specialized in small spaces, childproofing, yacht design or historic homes? Identify what differentiates you and play up these strengths.

Embrace the Evolution of Technology

Adapting to social strategies, algorithms and platforms is a way of the future — but remember, nothing is forever.

Be prepared for disruption. It is inevitable and will continue to happen. We’re all in this together, so ask for help!

Visit https://nkba.org/info/2018/03/5-tips-elevating-business for more information.

Mar 02 2018

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The Future Kitchen

We’ve heard a lot about new appliances, tech and gadgets for the kitchen. But will the kitchen of the future really use all of these? KBB magazine tuned into the NKBA Future Kitchen webinar to find out, and we were surprised what trends we discovered.

1. Changing Demographics. The baby boom generation is getting older and making up a good portion of the population, but that doesn’t mean they are any less active. The kitchen will help them thrive in their own homes longer with smart, universal design.

2. Individualization. Innovations in manufacturing technology mean that more products can be customized on a large scale. This will continue to evolve as homeowners demand more personalization at home.

3. Connected/Disconnected Lifestyle. Homeowners want to be connected, but they don’t want to be distracted by technology, either. Manufacturers will have to hide their new connected technology well to sell.

The GroBox from Cloudponics is an automatic grow box for growing plants at home. Select what you want to grow, plant the seed and the system will nurture the plant from seed to harvest without any maintenance from you.

4. Gathering Events. Staying in is the new going out. Homeowners want more entertaining space, more ways to cook easily and access to recipes for groups.

5. Healthy Lifestyle. Awareness of nutrition and health makes the future client look for ways to preserve fresh produce longer and cook cleaner. Bringing greenery and potted herbs into the kitchen will trend as well.

The SmartSlab Table can warm plates, cool a drink and even cook a meal using discreet digital devices embedded in a razor-thin, ceramic table-top.

6. Alternative Cooking. It might sound gross to our culture, but insects are eaten in 80 percent of the world’s nations and are a healthy, sustainable source of protein. Look out for ways to incorporate cooking them in our future kitchens.

7. Zero Waste Movement. Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about how much they throw away daily. Grocery stores (and therefore kitchens) will start helping them out with more unpackaged, bulk sources and innovative storage options.

The Ground Fridge from Weltevree is an innovative version of the traditional root cellar, making use of the insulating effect of the ground and the cooling effect of the groundwater. The temperature in the fridge remains stable throughout the year and is ideal for the storage of fruit, vegetables, wine and cheese.

8. Slowing Down. The future consumer will be moving through their day even faster than today’s society and will crave slower practices. Fermentation processes, slow cooking and preserving are expected to rise in popularity, and special storage will need to exist in the kitchen.

What do you think the future kitchen will be like? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @kbbconnect.

Jan 26 2018

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It’s All in the Details

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

Jan 22 2018

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It’s a Colorful Year

When all of the paint companies started announcing their color of the year, the trend was far from obvious. From a moody green to a bold red, the trending colors of the year seem to have only one characteristic in common: none of them fall into the cool neutral category like in recent years.

While we dove into these trends in our January issue, we decided to look back and explore more of the determining factors behind some of these colors and where we can expect to see them this year.

Benjamin Moore’s Caliente AF-290

The Shade: Caliente AF-290 is a vibrant, charismatic shade of red.

The Reasoning: The team selecting the color of the year brought together images and other color examples that covered a range of destinations, industries and experiences. For instance, one team member attended several events where red was a key color, while another person looked at how red is being used in interior design and in the auto industry and as a visual storyteller in art and retail. 

Where to Use It: This color can be used in a mid-century modern design for a bold, abstract stroke or in a modern farmhouse project for crisp, red detailing. Red could also give a beach house an unexpected touch of color.

Dunn-Edwards’ The Green Hour

The Shade: The Green Hour is a mysterious blue-green with a gray undertone.

The Reasoning: Darker colors and green are trending as the culture grows more interested in the environment and in health. The Green Hour provides a complex and moody mix of grayed green-blue. This color is also reminiscent of twilight, which around the turn of the century was called The Green Hour (l’heure verte) in France, because of the popularity of the green absinthe drink in bars, cafés and bistros.

Where to Use it: The Green Hour painted in a high sheen on kitchen cabinetry would infuse luxury into a space. When it is painted on the walls, accented with industrial accents and pops of white, the tone can also create a loft-like, contemporary space.

Oceanside from Sherwin-Williams

The Shade: Oceanside is a rich, bluish-green, jewel-toned hue.

The Reasoning: Searches on the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap app, online and social trends and contract and hospitality trend research have revealed a tendency for blue-green colors. This jewel tone reflects the positivity and connection with nature consumers are looking for in their homes.

Where to Use it: This tone is fit for both interior and exterior spaces, like a bedroom accent wall, a new look for a home office or a pop of color on the front door. It goes well with midcentury-modern and can update a home when paired with white marble and copper metallic tones. It also can be mixed with corals and yellows or with other calming shades of blue.

Pantone’s Ultra Violet

The Shade: Ultra Violet is a provocative blue-tinged purple shade.

The Reasoning: This color is meant to be a reflection of the ingenuity, creativity and visionary thinking of this age. With its cultural connections to artists like Prince and Jimi Hendrix and its association with individuality, Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity.

Where to Use It: Ultra Violet can be used as an accent piece, like for an appliance or accessory. Rooms painted Ultra Violet can be paired with dark-colored woods and leather for a romantic and moody feel. This tone can also be softened by pairing it with other shades in the same color family, like blush, mauve and lilac.