K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Products

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).

Mar 10 2017

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Times Are Changing in the Kitchen and Bath Industry

It’s striking to me how much has changed in the kitchen and bath industry over the past 10 years.

There have been many changes in communication, product sourcing, smart technology and consumer awareness, and they can all be traced back to the release of the first iPhone in 2007. Smartphones have changed the ways we communicate, shop and learn, and they have changed the way we live in our kitchens. Mal Corboy, a well-known Auckland, New Zealand, kitchen designer says all of this evolution has changed the design process. (http://i.stuff.co.nz/lifestyle/home-property/83715964/howmuch-has-the-modern-kitchen-changedin-the-past-10-years)

Most residential design/build project communications used to be done in person, by phone and by email. Dream Kitchen Builders still uses those tools, but now we also use messaging and social media apps, and we use these business tools to communicate via mobile devices.

The amount of kitchen and bath information that’s available to consumers is enormous and growing larger every day. This has made us all educated buyers and given consumers more control of each aspect of a design/build project.

We’re now experimenting with smart appliances and wireless devices in the kitchen and bathroom that use artificial intelligence to help us get things done. I cook, so I give voice commands to Siri to set a timer to adjust my music and more while I’m cooking. I’m hands free, so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing. Smart technology hasn’t gone mainstream yet, but appliance and device makers are designing and producing amazing new kitchen and bath products, and early adopters are trying them out and talking about them to their friends.

Last but not least, every kitchen and bath product seems to have almost limitless options and price points and many include free shipping. Clients are now buying kitchen and bath products online and sourcing them internationally. Kitchens and bathrooms have always evolved, but the changes we are now seeing are so revolutionary that they are disrupting the way kitchen and bath business is done – changing the relationship between professionals and consumers and changing the way we live.

 Scott Koehler is the owner of Dream Kitchen Builders, a design-build firm in North Carolina.

Dec 19 2016

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Three K&B Trends for 2017

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Wolf warming drawer. Image courtesy of Wolf.

As the kitchen and bath industry heads into trade show season and manufacturers prepare to unveil their latest innovations, the product experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery share three trends they expect to have a major moment in 2017.

Compact Design Gives Rise to Expanded Flexibility

Compact design coupled with high-powered performance ushers in a wave of products that delivers the most from a small space. As manufacturers design more appliances that offer luxurious functionality in a fraction of the space, we expect to see more designers, builders and remodelers developing creative ways to layer products where homeowners want to use them. For example, compact dishwashers allow for installation in a media room in addition to the kitchen, while a ventless dryer can be placed anywhere in the home. Built-in coffee makers that don’t require a dedicated plumbing line can be installed just about anywhere including a guest room, home office, master closet or all three.

Water Delivery Your Way

With the ever-growing options for dedicated faucets and fixtures, the plumbing infrastructure of a home is the starting point of possibilities. For the kitchen, pot fillers, bar faucets and filtered water dispensers all work in tandem to provide water delivery where homeowners use them most. Master baths will continue expansion to include bidets with programmable settings and hands-free faucets and toilets that reduce the spread of germs. The showering experience will further integrate the use of multiple showerheads, body sprays and handshowers to deliver an immersive customized water experience that also uses technological advances to preserve overall water usage. Digital showering systems will rise in popularity with enhanced personalized water delivery experiences that incorporate light, music and steam.

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Kohler Composed bathroom faucet and Kohler Veil intelligent skirted one-piece elongated toilet with integrated bidet functionality. Image courtesy of Kohler.

Farmhouse Modern

As the popularity of farmhouse chic evolves, more neutral colors, living finishes and natural materials blended with modern technology and luxurious details will be on the rise. For lighting, anticipate the inventive use of reclaimed wood paired with innovative LED lamping, especially in outdoor applications. The farmhouse sink will continue to make a statement in the kitchen, yet with updated designs, dimensions and finishes in soft golds and matte blacks to pair with contemporary faucets.

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Thompson Traders’ Haven apron-front sink. Image courtesy of Thompson Traders.