KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Trends

Aug 03 2018

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Design that Heals


As designers and architects, we have a responsibility to protect the health, safety and well-being of our clients and, by extension, the broader public. But can our designed environments go one step further and actually help us heal, too?

Wherever one is in the course of sickness or healing, our physical surroundings can change the way we feel and, as a result, help catalyze and speed up the healing process. We are constantly exchanging energy with the environment around us, from the land, water, plants, trees, sky and stars. Thus, where we live, work, sleep and receive treatment directly impacts our health, vitality and ability to heal.

Biophilic Design: The word “biophilia” stems from the Greek meaning “love life.” Research suggests that both natural and man-made biophilic environments exert a healing effect on the human body. For example, significant health benefits are observed and measured in neighborhoods with tree-lined streets (Karden et al., 2015).

Biophilic design reflects a person’s inherent need for nature and is a discipline that inspires the integration of natural materials and renewable natural resources. I believe biophilic design is healing for both the architect and the user, just as living, breathing structures are energetically nourishing and stimulating.

Homes: A holistically balanced home is essential for our body’s regenerative processes. If we design our homes – particularly our bedrooms and kitchens – to be as healthy and balanced as possible, our bodies are able to heal and detoxify at a faster rate. Some of my favorite interior design strategies for this include: using organic and renewable materials, prioritizing natural colors, layering in greenery and implementing thoughtful lighting design.

Healthcare Facilities: The design of healthcare facilities has been influenced by a number of trends, including elements of biophilic design, in recent years. A common theme has been a focus on patient experience. Whether it’s creating single-patient rooms with residential touches to make them feel more inviting or providing access to sunlight, views of nature or beautiful artwork, it’s clear that the healing process is supported by promoting patient comfort and satisfaction in the design of hospitals and outpatient medical centers.

Jul 22 2018

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A Fresh Redesign


Often the best redesigns start with the worst original spaces. For one master bath in Ramsey, N.J., the existing space had a large and unused tub under the window, a small lower vanity and shower and an exposed toilet with no privacy. Designer Julia Kleyman of Ridgewood, N.J.-based Ulrich, Inc. stepped in to transform this space into a refreshing, modern bath.

Customized Shower

She used AutoCAD to lay out the new space and took out the tub to make room for a larger shower with a seat.

The new shower boasts a glass enclosure and white and gray tile, along with a mural of blue tile to create a focal point. Sharing a wall with a bench, a niche with three differently sized shelves offers additional storage to the homeowners.

“The client wanted a large shower with a place to house many products,” said Kleyman. “We provided a custom-shaped niche for his-and-hers products to solve this issue.”

Creating Privacy

It was important to the homeowners that the toilet had more privacy without it being in a completely separate room. To do this, the design team created a peninsula that is higher than the standard counter heigh, which divides the room but still gives it the appearance of openness.

“The white color on the peninsula keeps the space flowing and light,” said Kleyman. “It also offers additional towel and product storage.”

Fresh and Contemporary

Another request the homeowner had was for a vanity built for two and an updated but traditional look. To give the mainly white and gray space warmth and a touch of the traditional, Kleyman chose a maple vanity with a dark brown finish.

“This finish gives a modern furniture touch to the large amount of cabinetry,” she said, adding that the vanity has a drawer with an outlet inside so the hairdryer can be conveniently stored.

The new vanity also contributes to the openness of the bath with a gray and white porcelain tile backsplash that extends to the ceiling, drawing the eye up.

“With a wall of large dramatic tile, the vanity is its own focal point,” said Kleyman.


Designer: Julia Kleyman, Ulrich Inc.
Photographer:Peter Rymwid

Cabinetry: Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry
Countertops:
  Zodiaq
Faucets: Moen
Flooring: Piepur Grigio
Mirror: Baci
Mosaic Tile: Tommy Bahama
Sinks: Kohler
Vanity Lighting: Maxim Lighting

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.

May 30 2018

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On the Road in New York


The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is known as the North American platform for luxury international design, showcasing the latest in exclusive interiors and high-end furniture. However, it’s much more than furniture. Naturally, I wanted to hone in on the latest and greatest for the kitchen and bath.


I found lots of beautiful plumbing fixture booths featuring all types of sculptural freestanding tubs and faucets in the widest variety of metal finishes ever! Admittedly, the innovative furniture was the star of the show with an emphasis on bentwood – furniture literally made of bended wood – designs and mid-century modern styling. I also loved the international aspect, and one of my favorite sections was the Hand Made in Germany booth. There was a lot of Bauhaus-inspired design, and I especially loved a minimalist work center.

Another show, Wanted Design, was happening right down the street in the Terminal Stores at the same time. The venue was old warehouse chic, and there was a global focus here as well.


Wanted Design was also the venue for Modenus Talks, sponsored by LIXIL and hosted by Modenus and Design Milk. This regular series of talks is held in different locations, usually in conjunction with trade events. They are always so informative and relevant. The one we attended was “Sustaining the Sustainable Home,” moderated by Modenus Media CEO Veronika Miller and featuring materials expert Grace Jeffers.

It’s always great to have more knowledge about the materials I am specifying and to educate the public about safety and sourcing. Do you know the number one thing you can do to reduce pollution in the home? I’ll tell you because you’ll never guess: it’s removing your shoes at the front door. Your shoes track in not only dirt but also carbon monoxide! Honestly, even though some really relevant information was shared, it was also very scary.

All in all it was a great trip, topped off by a birthday dinner courtesy of my dear sister and brother-in-law at Shuka in the Village. What an amazing feast! Executive chef Ayesha Nurdjaja has a knack for flavorful combinations that feel Middle Eastern to me and are described as Eastern Mediterranean. The service was top notch too, even though it was packed for a Tuesday evening. Maybe everyone knew it was my birthday… back to work now, but at least I have some great memories to savor.