KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Projects

Jun 22 2018

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From Los Angeles to Germany


Recently taking place over three exclusive evenings in Los Angeles, Gaggenau’s Restaurant 1683 paid homage to Gaggenau’s origins in the Black Forest in Germany. The name of the pop-up restaurant is a reference to the appliance company’s founding as an ironworks in 1683. The Los Angeles event marks the latest installment for Gaggenau’s 1683 series, which debuted in New York City in 2016.

Originally launched as an interactive dining experience complete with tableside cooking, this pop-up features models dressed in Black Forest folk clothes performing live interpretations of a cuckoo clock’s automata.  Chef Daniel Humm of New York City’s Eleven Madison Park created the menu for the event and prepared it tableside.

Inside the elegant dining room, seating was under a canopy of 22-ft.-tall trees and surrounded by snow. The sights and sounds of a working metal forge placed in the center of the lofty space represent the brand’s history. For this event, Gaggenau supported Operation Smile– a nonprofit medical services organization- and welcomed the organization’s brand ambassadors as hosts for the exclusive evenings.


KBB spoke with Natascha Kruusi, brand manager for Gaggenau USA, to find out more about the design and how this restaurant echoes the identity of its brand.

KBB: What was your goal in this space?

Kruusi: We wanted to transport guests from the streets of downtown Los Angeles into the lush surroundings of a serene winter night in Germany’s Black Forest.

KBB: How does the restaurant reflect the Gaggenau brand?

Krussi: Inspired by the brand’s rich history, from hand-forged beginnings to its evolution into the pinnacle of culinary luxury, the interiors and decor throughout Restaurant 1683’s lofty location are carefully selected to show Gaggenau’s admiration of functionalism, natural materials and luxury.

KBB: What was the menu like?

Krussi: Chef Humm created an extraordinary menu with his team, including eggs benedict with caviar and asparagus, chicken roasted with nettles and new potatoes and peaches grilled with honey and lemon thyme.


KBB: What was your favorite part of this space?

Krussi: The sunset bar is one of my favorite spaces in the restaurant as it captures the breathtaking views of a West Coast sunset and features a bar handcrafted entirely from a single oak tree sourced directly from the Black Forest. The rustic interior design of this space combined with the modern skyline of LA gives a sense of the brand’s long history from past to present.

Jun 07 2018

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The New Laundry Room


Unlike its dreary predecessors hidden away in a basement or side closet, today’s laundry room is becoming a celebrated and cheery space in the modern home. It gives homeowners an opportunity to create a multifunctional place fit for their particular family, and options range from including a craft table or a pet grooming area to using it also as a mudroom. This week’s KBTribeChat covered this trending space and how manufacturers are better catering to homeowners’ needs.

Trending Features

-Laundry machines now have bling – including chrome touches and unique finishes.
-The laundry room is becoming a bright and uplifting space, meant to inspire organization and cleanliness.
-Homeowners are stylizing their laundry rooms by adding cabinetry, sinks and more.
-Pet spaces – such as a feeding or grooming area – are on the rise in the laundry room.

Different Operations, Different Clothes

-Clothes are more casual and easier to clean, so there is less demand for dry cleaning or delicate washing.
-Laundry machines are operating with less water and shorter cycles, which saves both time and money for the homeowner.
-Speed-wash cycles, available on many models, is underutilized as most loads do not have heavy soil and can be washed effectively on this cycle.

Innovations in Laundry

-Automatic dispensers sense the size of the load and distribute detergent and water accordingly to save money and time.
-Connected dryers can anticipate their settings by communicating to the washer about how damp items are.
-Nearly half of all voice- and Wi-Fi-connected appliances introduced recently have been in laundry.
-There are more meaningful reasons to connect to the laundry room, allowing homeowners to start laundry remotely or know their laundry status.

Front-Load or Top-Load

Twitter users debated the pros and cons of the top-loader versus the front-loader without reaching a verdict. Along with being easier to lift clothes out of, the front-loader was found to be space saving – since they are stackable and more energy efficient. However, some users argued that front-loaders do not drain well, which can lead to mold and fungi.

The top-loader, which still makes up a majority of laundry room purchases, is now available with new features and finishes that make up for its bulkier size. Shorter cycles, Wi-Fi connectivity and more controllable options for washing cycles – all features also included in front-loaders – still make it a popular choice for homeowners.

Join next week’s KBTribeChat by searching for #kbtribechat on Twitter at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday.

Dec 11 2017

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On the Surface

Above: Antolini’s Corteccia is a soft quartzite from Brazil with a white background and colored veins. Hints of brown, cream and orange in the veins recall a light tree covering with its shades and speckles.

Some of my favorite materials to look at are surface products. From different natural stones to engineered countertops and beautiful mosaic tiles, there are so many varieties and unique pieces that can really give a space personality.

KBTribeChat covered some of these many choices in their recent Twitter chat, so we joined in to find out what the rest of the industry loves about surfaces.

Quartz. This man-made material is composed of resins, polymers and various types of pigments. The combination creates a very durable artificial rock without pores or cracks, making it easy to clean and maintain. We also love that it can be used in a variety of ways, including as shower walls, decorative pieces and fireplace surrounds.

Tile. Ceramic and porcelain tile is made using 100 percent natural materials – clay, feldspar and quartz. Glazed tile offers a surface that cannot be penetrated by odors or other contaminates. Only mild cleaners or even just warm water can clean tile sufficiently while avoiding adding dangerous chemicals to the water system.

Natural Stone. Along with being stunningly beautiful and of course straight from nature, stones like granite or quartzite are also long lasting when they are properly sealed. Clients also like the fact that they are free of petroleum-based ingredients.

Laminates. Made of pressed wood in a printing process, laminates can be designed to simulate the look of many different materials, including natural materials that are unsustainable. Laminates are also naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria, and they can also be treated with special allergen-resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make them even safer.

Luxury Vinyl Tile. LVT is a hard surface flooring material comprised of 100 percent vinyl, a color or photographic film layer and a protective wear layer. This material can replicate the look and style of different materials, withstand high traffic and is easy to clean and maintain.

These are only a few of the options out there, so be looking out for even more surface choices in our What’s Hot section – coming soon in the January issue of KBB! Also, be sure to join in next week’s KBTribeChat by searching for #kbtribechat on Twitter.

Nov 20 2017

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A Showhouse for a Cause

The proceeds from this year’s Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse are going to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The 8,800-sq.-ft. home, which is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 10, showcases the work of 20 of Atlanta’s top designers. It was built by Sheehan Built Homes and was designed by architectural firm Harrison Design. The cabinets throughout the home were designed by Bell Cabinetry & Design. Photo above by David Christensen

The kitchen, which features shades of white, gray and black, was designed by Meredith McBrearty of Meredith McBrearty Interiors. The quartzite countertops are from Levantina. Photo by David Christensen

A mudroom off the laundry space provides a seating area to take off shoes when entering the house. Plenty of storage was incorporated into this project, which was designed by Lauren Davenport Imber of Davenport Designs Ltd.

A bar off the living space designed by Robert Brown of Robert Brown Interior Design features a countertop in Striato Onyx by Levantina. Gold fixtures and hardware complement the rich, brown cabinetry. Photo by David Christensen

This enclosed shower area designed by Alice Cramer of Alice Cramer Interiors features a cotton white bench and curb in LG Viatera quartz.

The second-floor master bath designed by Patricia McLean of Patricia McClean Interiors features his-and-hers vanities, a tub from MTI Baths and LV Viatera quartz countertops.

The children’s bathroom designed by Mallory Mathison Glenn and Elizabeth Graves features a bold blue paint with splashes of red detail and a quartz countertop.

A freestanding soaking tub from MTI Baths takes center stage in the master bath on the home’s main floor, which was designed by Cathy Rhodes of Cathy Rhodes Interiors.

The ground floor powder room – our favorite room in the house – features marble countertops, DXV plumbing fixtures and whimsical wallpaper. The space was designed by Clary Bosbyshell of Margaux Interiors Limited. Photo by David Christensen