K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Inspiration

Jul 25 2017

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Bringing Light In

Since I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve seen a number of beautiful designs in my region. Two of our friends have recently purchased homes – one is a new build with an open-concept plan, and another is a renovated 100-year-old farmhouse. Here it can be rainy and cold seven months out of the year, so it’s even more important that our interiors are visually appealing.

The local NKBA Puget Sound recently highlighted some of the most standout designs in their 2017 Design Awards. Designer Shannon Boyle, AKBD, of Seattle-based Elements Kitchen + Bath, worked alongside Vawn Greany, CMKBD, of Mercer Island, Wash.-based Collaborative Interior Design on a coastal kitchen redesign, which won the 2017 NKBA Puget Sound Design Competition President’s Award.

Set on the Pacific Ocean, this view is stunning in the summer and moody in the winter. The kitchen had been renovated in recent years, but the dark cabinetry and low ceilings made the room dim – which is a fatal flaw in an area that experiences a lot of dark days. Boyle and Greany instead transformed this kitchen into a modern space that will be filled with light year round.

The ultimate objective for this kitchen design was to create a cohesive, efficient and open floor plan that works well for entertaining and everyday living.

Challenges: The existing floor plan was very chopped up because of the structure of the home. There were beams and structural posts that created inefficient flow throughout the kitchen and eat-in dining area. The design team added an addition to the corner of the home to square off the space, which allowed them to create a more open and cohesive floor plan. A new beam was also added over the wet bar area and concealed with two new structural posts inside the walls.

Materials: Pulling together a crisp, neutral color scheme of finish materials and layering new LED lighting in a series of pendants and suspended track lighting provides a bright and contemporary backdrop against the Pacific Northwest’s natural elements. Dura Supreme white-painted cabinetry with dark-stained maple cabinetry in the kitchen and a textured laminate cabinet finish were added to the wet bar area. Cambria Britannica quartz countertops create a cohesive bond between all the spaces. Adding Pental Sculpture Nero tile in the wet bar makes a major statement that helps balance the Puget Sound views.

Favorites: “The wet bar and statement tile wall are my favorite part of this design; we took an awkward area and gave it major drama and purpose in the space,” said Boyle. “It balances well with the view of the Puget Sound, so you have 360 degrees of cool views!”

Jul 17 2017

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Artificial Intelligence and Interior Design

Above image: A simulation of a design created by Artificial Intelligence.

It’s not just science fiction. Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to leak into our daily lives, from Siri to smart appliances and Amazon Alexa. According to a recent report from Tractica, a market intelligence firm, AI software applications will grow from $1.4 billion in 2016 to $60 billion by 2025.

Planner 5D, a consumer-focused interior design app, is currently creating machine learning algorithms that will train on more than 40 million real user projects. The app’s AI is also learning general interior design rules, technical requirements and how to match colors and styles. For example, the app is learning that a TV cannot be placed in front of a window or it will reflect light; that a bed should stand sideways to a window and that a couch should be placed in front of a TV or a fireplace in the living room.

Our question was, will technology like this make professional designers irrelevant in the future? We talked with Alexey Sheremetyev, co-founder of Planner 5D, to find out more.

The Advantages of AI in an App

Speed is the main factor. Any design project takes a long time, because a person working on it needs to think each detail over and sometimes mistakes happen. Computers work much faster and use information that has been collected from other users and projects. AI doesn’t make mistakes either, unless there was a human error in programming. Therefore, AI can design any typical project much faster and with better quality. A user will only have to edit the final product according to their wishes. That also affects the price, making design much cheaper, since the process will be much faster.

AI and Clients

A user has to choose a space they will be designing, put down the walls and windows and indicate the address of the house. AI will then calculate sunlight and other parameters necessary for the project. Then a user has to choose what kind of space this will be (bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc.), select the style (Provence, modern, Scandinavian, etc.) and color palette. In a few minutes, they will have their project ready.

AI and Interior Designers

If a designer is working on creative projects, AI can hardly help. But if a designer is creating various similar-looking projects by using one template that only needs to be adjusted and modified, then this is a job for AI. For example, AI can be successfully used for a multi-apartment buildings or new-build developments where the houses look similar and have similar floor plans. A designer can prepare one project, and AI will be able to adjust it to other apartments or houses.

What influence do you think AI will have on the industry? Let us know on Facebook or on Twitter @kbbconnect.

Jun 22 2017

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Summer Design Trends

Just like in fashion, trends and colors in the design world can vary based on the season. This summer, we’re talking bright accents and white materials. Michael B. Klein, CEO of Lincolnwood, Ill.-based Airoom Architects and Remodelers, filled us in on the specifics of this season’s trends.

White and Bright: Don’t be afraid of white! A predominately white kitchen makes for a clean, light and airy room. According to a recent study conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, quartz has quickly become the most popular countertop material. Quartz countertops require less upkeep and are non-porous, so they resist staining better than granite and marble.

Contrast and Accent: Accent the bright, white kitchen with some colored cabinets or interesting wood veneered cabinets to create just enough interest to keep it from feeling too stark and typical.

A Mid-Century Modern Twist: Update your living space starting at the top – the ceilings! Our designers have seen an increase in requests for adding exposed trusses. Trusses create an open feel and make the home seem larger than it is. Using reclaimed wood or open beams add drama and a mid-century modern twist.

What trends are you seeing this season? Let us know on our Facebook page or on Twitter @KBBonline.

Jun 16 2017

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Choosing to Give

Recently the second-annual St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway again raised funds for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Each raffle ticket purchased was donated to the hospital, which provides care and support for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases cost free.

The home, built by Nies Homes, features four bedrooms, four-and-a-half  baths, a master suite, a man cave in the garage with a bonus room above, specialty wine and craft rooms in the basement and an oversized covered deck. Local cabinet manufacturer, R.D. Henry, was named local sponsor of the cause and donated cabinets for the home. Located at The Oaks in Derby, Kan., the St. Jude Dream Home has an estimated value of $420,000.

Country Kitchen
“We chose to take on this project because we think it is an amazing cause,” said Kate Caplan of Wichita, Kan.-based Kitchen & Bath Expressions, who completed the design for the kitchen and one bath in the home.

To make the kitchen feel grand and luxurious, Caplan double stacked cabinets throughout the space and used rustic, white finishes to bring in a country feel. For the island, a sleek cabinet finish called Tattered Fence from R.D. Henry was used to accentuate the piece from the perimeter cabinetry.

A new touch faucet, donated by Brizo, was selected for the main kitchen sink, along with Whirlpool appliances donated from Metro Appliances & More. Caplan chose quartz countertops, donated by Quality Granite & Marble, because of the material’s growing popularity. Light fixtures from Accent Lighting with a glass interior and black lining add a final modern touch to the contemporary country design.

Bold Powder Room
“The powder bath is always an area where we can really get creative and use different and bold finishes you wouldn’t normally see in a bathroom,” said Caplan.

In the powder room, the design team wanted to create a fun and creative space that would make a statement. A gold faucet and gold hardware stand out against a gray vanity with an above-counter sink. Gold pendant light fixtures and bath accessories also highlight the mosaic tile backsplash, which includes white, gray and gold tiles.

“It was a rewarding experience to see a community of building contractors and vendors come together selflessly to donate their time, services and products to make this a reality,” said the designer.