KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Green

Jul 09 2018

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City Life

The 2018 Metro Designer Showhouse, which recently took place in Edgewater, N.J., tasked a team of designers to redesign six residences within a newly built condominium, the Glass House. With 12,000 square feet of waterfront space, the Glass House showcases skyline views of Manhattan and the Hudson River in each residence.

The showhouse aims to draw attention to Edgewater Harbor and offers visitors and potential buyers a glimpse of what might be the lifestyle for someone buying a luxury condo at the Glass House – where the second of its two buildings is now being completed.

Designer Anna Maria Mannarino of Mannarino Designs, Inc. in Holmdel, N.J., put her talents to work on a three-bedroom condo. With a modern Italian style, the condo features custom wallcoverings created by the designer, as well as pieces from her new pillow line. KBB spoke with Mannarino to find out more in particular about how she introduced a botanical twist to the condo’s luxurious kitchen.


KBB: What was your inspiration behind the kitchen design?

Mannarino: I hoped to create a chef’s dream space and entertaining haven with a bit of an industrial vibe.

KBB: By what were you challenged?
Mannarino: Since this showhouse was in a brand new condo, giving an existing kitchen its own personality was the challenge. A few elements we changed were replacing chrome hardware with brass, adding a textured wallcovering to the walls of the island and adding an industrial workstation in the nook.

KBB: What materials did you use to create a botanical look?
Mannarino: The light fixture created by Flowerbox Wallgarden is made of all-natural greens, which are preserved and maintenance free.

KBB: What was your favorite part of this design?
Mannarino: The light fixture, for sure! The combination of the natural botanicals, metal frame and hanging Edison lights captivate any visitor and draw them in.”

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.

Leaf
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.

Jun 22 2018

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Reducing Environmental Impact at Home

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption – about 1.3 billion tons – gets lost or wasted every year. Even if just one-fourth of this could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people globally.

With these statistics in mind, KBTribeChat host and KBB Editorial Advisory Board member Paula Kennedy held this week’s discussion on reducing food waste and energy usage in the kitchen.

Appliance and Storage Solutions

  • Many refrigerators offer features and temperature-controlled areas to keep fruits and vegetables fresher longe
  • Installing a compost bin in a new design encourages homeowners to throw away less and recycle more of their food into the soil
  • Innovative practices – like using a steam oven to rehydrate bread – should be explained to homeowners when they purchase a new appliance.
  • Using high-quality appliances that cook food more efficiently without the user’s expertise will lessen the throwing out of ruined meals.

Future Food Storage

  • Food will always have an expiration date, but hopefully smart storage will one day remind homeowners of those dates.
  • Vacuum sealing and canning are coming back in style, so the future kitchen may cater more to those.
  • With daily delivery options available for food, the need for a pantry will be reduced.
  • High-pressure processing, a new storage technique currently only offered commercially, can kill pathogens and bacteria but preserve vitamins and nutrients. If it can be translated for residential homes, it can greatly help keep foods longer.

Energy and Water Usage

  • Just having an open kitchen with plenty of natural lighting eliminates the need for always turning on the lights.
  • LED lightbulbs should now be a staple in the home.
  • Low-flow faucets and motion- and voice-activated faucets encourage homeowners to use less water.
  • An energy-efficient dishwasher uses significantly less water than handwashing dishes.
  • Energy-efficient windows and proper window treatments save energy on lighting, air conditioning and heating.

How are you helping your clients to reduce waste in their projects? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @KBBconnect.

May 25 2018

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Have a Seat in the Forest

Have a Seat

The Maine College of Art students explored wood, trees and the forest in the 14th Wilsonart Challenges Student Chair Design Competition. The chairs were designed around the concept of standing in the forest and being alone with a tree. The theme of this year’s competition focuses on the importance of Maine’s timber industry and Wilsonart’s commitment to educate design professionals about responsibly sourced wood.

The winning chair – “Tool for Translation” by Joseph Goodwin (above) – was designed around the idea of a chainsaw becoming the chair through flowing curves and geometry.

The following is his description of his chair:

As a cultural icon, the chainsaw is perhaps more fraught with contradictions than any other everyday object. The power tool is representative of competing ideologies, disparate politics and contentious debate. By translating these complexities into a refined, simplistic chair form, Goodwin attempts to draw our attention to the irony of being not one or the other, but both simultaneously. The universal language of geometry can mediate the divide between opposing viewpoints and can be a catalyst for constructive dialog. The chainsaw represents the threshold where a tree’s life ends, and a chair’s life begins.

The Runners-Up
Holey Blue by Kincaid Pearson
“My chair is an abstract representation of being in the woods during the night and looking up at the sky. I wanted to create a design that is more pattern based and reflects the silhouettes of the tree branches reaching across the night sky. I was looking to give the sitter a sense of being isolated, a feeling that is like being in the woods.”

Oxide by Dan Trottier
The origin of “Oxide” stemmed from my finding a broken, plastic Adirondack chair in the forest. There was something so cyclical about a chair design that was inspired by mountains, mass produced and domesticated and then returned to nature to be reclaimed and decay. It was, by definition, feral. That word, feral, became integral to Oxide’s form. The idea of designing from a broken state and still honoring the dilapidation with intentionality. The form of the chair is skewed and precarious to convey a sense of unkempt abandon. The chair shades itself with different tones of slate, while one rusty element pierces through, suggesting the imminence of the oxidation process covering the entire mass is yet to come.”

 

L ‘Dor V ‘Dor (From Generation to Generation) by Naomi Russo
“The concept of this chair relates back to the woods and my family. As a tree falls over in the woods, that tree may not hit the ground but will rather be held up by the other trees surrounding it. The same applies for a line of generations. As one ancestor may pass, the following generations are there to remember them. That ancestor may have passed, but they are not forgotten. The seat that pierces through the center of the piece is an ode to that fallen tree or lost ancestor. They may have fallen, but they have not been forgotten and are still carried on through their legacy. This chair gives the sitter two options for places to sit within the piece. There is also the option to sit alone on the chair, or with someone else, while using the chair as a means to start a conversation.”

Ascend by Jason Haskell
“The concept behind Ascend was to figure out how to incorporate the feeling of physical movement, the uplifting sensation of having a seat higher than normal and also the emotion nature presents when you interact with it. The form of the chair when put together is supposed to represent a tree trunk, along with the different levels of seats to signify different heights of branches, each placed at a certain point that is suitable for any climber. The woodgrain on the outside of the form grabs the attention and sparks the idea that this is a tree-based object, along with the inside woodgrain that reassures that thought. With the red tops being the last element to the piece, this color is for seating arrangement – a small indication of where you can end up.”

Please, Sit by Daniel Iwasko
“This chair was created after an experience in the woods where I found myself sitting at the base of a tree with a guitar. I found that the roots formed a perfect backrest for me as I was sitting at the base of a tree. Sitting there on the ground was very comfortable, and I wanted to recreate that feeling.”

“A year ago in Montana, I was drawing chairs in my basement at night after work and now I am headed to ICFF to show my design,” said Goodwin. “The path between those points is insane and to say that I’m ecstatic would be an understatement. I’m so grateful to Grace and you all for allowing me the freedom to make such an unorthodox piece that will be a portfolio booster as well as a conversation starter for some difficult cultural and environmental issues we face. I hope that moving forward my piece might open the door for designers to think conceptually and metaphorically about the power furniture can have and how material choices can enhance content within not just sculpture but also design.”