KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

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Jun 04 2018

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Celebrating Emerging Talent

ICFF and Bernhardt Design have announced the winners of the 13th-annual ICFF Studio. Every year, Bernhardt Design partners with ICFF to invite emerging designers and new talents to submit their unique concepts and innovative designs for evaluation by a jury of some of the industry’s top professionals. The finalists and their work were presented to the design industry in a special exhibition at ICFF.

“We receive entries from across North America and throughout the world that continually blow us away for their thoughtfulness, creativity and technique,” said Coleman Gutshall, director of global strategy for Bernhardt Design. “ICFF Studio helps propel many of these exciting new designers to international acclaim and rewarding careers.”

The ICFF Studio 2018 winners are:

1. Cecilia Zhang – Discrete Shelf / Stool – Bergen, Norway

2. Chenchen Fan – Lavida Chair – Toronto, Canada

3. Jialun Xiong – Back Kaleidoscope – Pasadena, Calif.


4. Sasipat Leelachart – Sensi Chair – Bangkok, China

5. Nupur Haridas – Snug – Los Angeles

6. Kelly Kim – Mokum – San Francisco, Calif.

7. Haeun Kim – Fog Table – Los Angeles

8. Adam Markowitz – Assegai – Melbourne, Australia


9. Christian Golden – Stackable Wooden Rocker No. 1 – Columbus, Ohio

10. Yeling Guo – Nostalgia – Pasadena, Calif.

 11. Huan Pei – Froz – Pasadena, Calif.

To enter the competition, a designer must have been in the industry five years or more and have a working prototype that is not in commercial production. Submissions are evaluated and judged on design aesthetics, the ability to be economically mass produced, marketability and commercial viability.

Apr 23 2018

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Did Someone Say “Pizza?”

It’s not uncommon these days for interior designers to suggest their clients add luxury appliances like wine refrigerators or built-in coffee centers to their kitchens, but how many times have you suggested that a client add a pizza oven to their home?

Frankly, I never have. But that’s all going to change following my time at the 2018 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando and the Design Bloggers’ Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. My experiences there with a few incredible pizza ovens have put the appliance in the forefront of my mind.

Not only do pizza ovens add a fun specialty element to home kitchens, but they’re also much more versatile than you may expect. Besides producing literally the best pizza you’ve ever had, a home pizza oven can be used to make delicious calzones, crusty homemade breads and even fire-roasted appetizers and side dishes using ingredients ranging from seafood to potatoes to fresh veggies. Once your client has the hang of cooking with their pizza oven, they’ll use it all the time!

When it comes to specifying a specific model for your clients, there are a bevy of options from which to choose. You’ll need to educate yourself on the merits of electric vs. wood burning, built-in vs. stand alone and even outdoor vs. indoor so you know exactly what to recommend for each client’s needs.

Say a client’s kitchen layout simply won’t accommodate a built-in model. Suggest a freestanding outdoor unit instead. But if you’re designing a client’s kitchen from scratch in a full renovation or a new build, show them how you can easily fit a streamlined, built-in model into their layout.

My first exposure to the Monogram 30-in. Pizza Oven was at KBIS (top photo), and I encountered it again at the closing party of the Design Bloggers Conference. Let me tell you, the pizza that came out of this oven was AMAZING. Granted, it was in part so delicious due to the fact that lauded chef Nick Liberato was handcrafting the gourmet pizza pies. After having the opportunity to actually taste pizzas made in this oven, I am thoroughly convinced that a pizza oven is an absolutely necessary addition to any dream kitchen.

The Monogram pizza oven’s looks are beautiful, as well. This model’s design has a brushed stainless exterior with discreet touch controls. The oven is flush  and blends well with all of the other appliances in the kitchen. This particular pizza oven blends the crisping performance of a more traditional coal or wood-burning oven but with better accuracy and ease. Its LCD controls allow the user to easily customize the settings to their exact taste. No more family arguments over thin and crispy vs. soft and chewy crust! Now everyone can have what they want – without loading down the delivery guy with four different pizzas!”

But perhaps the best part about this built-in oven is the installation process. It easily fits in a standard 30-in. width cabinet cutout, and it comes already equipped with an integrated vent system. That makes fitting a pizza oven into the design plan no more difficult than if you’d specified a cabinet. And since no additional ductwork is needed, your client saves big on construction costs.

The second pizza oven I’m a new fan of is a fantastic option for those clients whose kitchen space won’t allow for a built-in model (or those who’d simply prefer their pizza oven outdoors). The Kalamazoo Gourmet Pizza Oven is a stainless steel appliance that creates pizzeria-style pizzas without having to leave your home! The adjustable top and bottom gas burners can reach higher temperatures than a standard home oven – without the dreaded task of tending to a wood fire.

At around $7,000 each, you can choose from the freestanding outdoor model or the indoor built-in version, depending on your clients’ preferences and available space.

Just think how much your clients will enjoy eating at home after you steer them toward adding this simple luxury to their kitchen or outdoor living space. From now on, I am going to suggest pizza ovens to all my kitchen design clients. And if I’m lucky, they’ll even invite me over for a pizza party or two!

Aug 21 2017

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Leaving No Kid Hungry

Sometimes statistics can shock us. While all we often hear about is childhood obesity, thirteen million kids in the U.S. struggle with hunger. This is according to Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working to end childhood hunger, which also states that three out of four children come to school hungry, and twelve million kids eat free or reduced-price lunches.

Williams Sonoma teamed up with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign to fight this statistic. Their goal is to raise $2 million to help connect children in need to nearly 20 million meals. To help achieve this goal, Williams Sonoma joined forces with prominent chefs, brands and celebrities to design a collection of limited edition, celebrity designed spatulas. Thirty percent of the profit from the retail sales will go to benefiting No Kid Hungry.

Personally, I love fun spatulas – I have two my mom gave me when I got my first place, and they are green with ladybugs on them. They actually are a pop of color in my kitchen today, since I display them in a piece of pottery on my countertop. Although spatulas can just be a tiny part of a kitchen’s accessories, these can make a big difference in a child’s life.

These limited-edition spatulas were designed by the following celebrity personalities and brands:

The American Girl brand

Actress and activist Kristen Bell

Academy award-winning actor and No Kid Hungry National Spokesperson Jeff Bridges

Celebrity culinarian Alton Brown

Chef and author Giada De Laurentiis

Chef Bobby Flay

Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris and chef and actor David Burtka

Music superstar Faith Hill

Shake Shack


Follow @kbbconnect on Twitter and @kbb_magazine and use the hashtag #WSNoKidHungry to be a part of the conversation.

Apr 21 2017

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Delta Faucet Event Unveils New Products

KBB was recently invited to attend a press event at Delta Faucet Co.’s new Manoogian Center, a $15,000-million addition to the company’s headquarters in Indianapolis that celebrates its founder, Alex Manoogian.

We were given a look behind the scenes to see where the inspiration for the company’s designs originates, how they test packaging to ensure the products are getting to their customers safe and sound, how they incorporate new technology into their collections and how they test products for various certifications.

“We think faucets are of the utmost importance,” said Brian Noble, senior director, Brizo and marketing services. “After all, people interact with them multiple times a day.”

The Model Shop in the Innovation/Research Lab on the lower level

In terms of inspiration, Judd Lord, senior director of industrial design, and his team do a lot of traveling to national and international events to study various trends, including furniture and even automotive.

“We want to get out there and activate our senses,” he explained, adding that the creation of entire collections from start to finish takes anywhere from 18 months to two years.

My personal favorite was the RSVP Collection – a very literal, elegant take on the female figure.

Regarding new technology, it is helpful to keep looking forward to determine future needs.

“I started working on our H2O Kinetic technology in 2001 because I knew water regulations and the green movement were coming,” said Paul Patton, senior R&D/regulatory manager. “It’s important to pay attention to regulations coming down the road.”

What’s New for Delta and Brizo

Whereas research points to aesthetics being first on consumers’ lists of requirements, function/performance is following along closely. Brizo takes both seriously with its fashion-forward approach, as well as tech elements that include an electronic proportioning valve offered in some of its collections.

The Litze Bathroom Collection was introduced at KBIS 2016, and now the brand offers the Litze Kitchen Collection (above), which will be available later this year. It is available with three different spout options, two choices of handles and five finishes. When asked during KBIS 2017, attendees were most enamored with the black and gold split-finish option.

Brizo is also introducing the Vettis Bath Collection (above), which was inspired by the Vettisfossen waterfall in Norway, and both brands have created new display systems to elevate their products in the showroom setting (Delta below left, Brizo below right).