K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Showrooms

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 20 2017

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Inside Magic


After attending the Architectural Digest Show this past week, I was invited to visit the brand new Häfele showroom in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. The showroom itself is a step up from their previous location near Central Park. Although the neighborhood is more out of the way, the expansive windows and the ability to be on one floor won the company over.

The hardware and lighting technology Häfele is known for is showcased around the showroom in two working kitchens, office spaces and in different kinds of sliding doors. One standout addition catching everyone’s eye is a series of remote-controlled sliding walls.

These four walls have product on both sides, so to save space the walls were put on tracks. This way they can open on demand, revealing a hallway in the middle for people to walk through. The three other walls, meanwhile, remain closed until needed. This saves space and introduces potential consumers to the high-tech nature of some of the company’s products.


Another major theme of the showroom is lighting. As Scott Kaminski, marketing and PR manager of Häfele introduced it, light can be considered a furniture piece. A placard in the showroom suggested the interaction of light in a room has an influence on well-being. Bright, cold light enhances alertness, while softer light sources enhance relaxation. LED technology within furniture brings in a whole other dimension to a design.


As designers, you know integrated lighting is essential for today’s kitchen and bath, but have clients recognized this? Unless the cabinet manufacturer explicitly includes special hardware – like swing-outs – do clients know they can make the interiors of their cabinets much more functional? One concern another designer brought up was that there is disconnect between hardware and cabinet manufacturers. Clients might assume their cabinetry comes with special interior hardware, but that is often not the case. In addition, designers have to educate themselves on how to bring the two together in a design.

What do you think? Have you been challenged by any disconnect between interior hardware and cabinetry? What are your favorite types of interior hardware to use? Let us know on our Facebook page, our Twitter @kbbconnect or on Instagram @KBB_magazine.

Feb 27 2017

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On the Wild Side

Verona, Italy, is best known for being the hometown of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Now it is also the hometown for stone surface manufacturer Antolini, which just unveiled its showroom and headquarters in the medieval city. KBB spoke with Milan-based designer Alessandro La Spada to find out what made the Antolini Haute Nature Lifestyle showroom so unique in an already distinctive city.

The Layout: The 12 rooms that make up the showroom are underground, beneath the sample factory. This was to give visitors an unexpected “wow” factor when they descend the stairs.


The Theme: Each room pays tribute to Mother Nature. According to La Spada, an animal theme was chosen to show that just like in fashion, there are reoccurring patterns throughout nature. No real – or faux – animals were used in the actual showroom.

The Rooms
Bar Area (Lion Room): Bianco Lasa/ Covelano “Vena Oro” in a polished and leather finish matches the pelt of the white lion.


Kitchen (Panther Room): In a book match display, the Black Cosmic pattern extends creates a mesmerizing setting that observers are drawn to. The central island is made with Black Cosmic in leather finish, Naica Quartz in polished finish and Black Cosmic in polished finish.




Corridor (Tiger Room): All rooms connect to the corridor, made with Alhambra Brown. The lighter earth tones and smooth stripes in the natural pattern recall that of a tiger.


Sitting Area (Peacock Room): Adjacent to the bar area is a seating area made with the same stones while also featuring a colorful blue wall. The bench, mounted on the wall, is entirely made of Bianco Lasa/ Covelano “Vena Oro.”


Winery (Turtle Room): Jurassic Brown is a fragment of our planet’s history and is a natural stone that truly captures a moment in the evolution of our planet. The versatility of the stone is shown in the multiple finishes like polished, hydro, riven and split-face.


Dining Room (Leopard Room): A stone that has been used to decorate royal settings for hundreds of years is the centerpiece of the room. The rich pattern of Brêche de Vendôme makes the setting appear like a contemporary palace – ideal for the royal figure of a leopard.


Bathroom (Falcon Room): The soothing character of the Corteccia is perfect when creating a getaway. The book match display creates a setting where escapism and peace come together.


Bedroom (Hyena Room): Soothing earth tones are brought to life in this unique, relaxing setting. The versatility of natural stone is shown here by a book match application of Sequoia Brown in different finishings.


“The design of the spa area was my favorite,” said La Spada. “Alberto Antolini gave me unrestricted freedom to express my creativity. The awe-inspiring setting is the perfect final chapter in the Haute Nature Lifestyle showroom.”

Jun 16 2016

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Becoming a Household Name

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We all are guilty of taking a manufacturer’s name and applying it to everything remotely similar. I’m thinking of Kleenex, Lysol, Chapstick or Sharpie – all items we use daily and don’t really think about how they started.

Last week, one of those household names turned 60 years old. I met with the company at the newly opened Ferguson Kitchen and Bath showroom in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood to find out how they got to be known as Jacuzzi.

It started as many American companies do: with immigrants. The Jacuzzi family came to the U.S. from Italy in the early 1900s. The Jacuzzi brothers started a life here in the fields of aviation and agriculture, inventing things like a water pump to help irrigate crops.

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In the 1950s, one of the brother’s children came down with premature rheumatoid arthritis. His mother would drive him all the way to hydrotherapy a few times week, and noticed that the child’s pain lessened significantly after each treatment. So the family designed a pump, the J-300, that could be submerged in a bathtub for personal use. The family started manufacturing it, and it later became popularized as the prize in a game show.

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Of course, we all know that evolved into jet whirlpool baths and hot tubs, and now into the freestanding baths we know today. The company is working on promoting more than just whirlpool tubs, but they are proud to be known as the original whirlpool tub.

And by the way – did you know we turned 60 too just last year? I ran across an old archived page from a 1950s version of Kitchen Business (our original name) on my recent trip to the Wilsonart factory – it’s crazy how much design can go in and out of style, but I don’t foresee aqua cabinetry coming back in anytime soon!

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