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Archive for Trends

Feb 22 2018

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Kitchen & Bath Tech Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss

A recent National Kitchen & Bath Association webinar gave insight into this important industry topic. As consumer expectations are increasing where technology is concerned, it is important than ever to stay on top of the trends.

Moderated by Ed Wenck, CEDIA content marketing manager, the panel included Jamie Briesemeister, CEDIA’s integration controls, sales & marketing director; Adam Gibson, CMKBD, Adam Gibson Kitchen & Bath Designs; and Christopher Wright, owner of WrightWorks, a remodeling contractor firm.

The panel covered four learning outcomes during the webinar.

Explore Current and Emerging Tech Trends and Their Application to Current and Future Projects
Briesemeister and her team attended the recent Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and were introduced to a plethora of connected appliances, as well as systems that allow users to access their homes remotely. She said voice control was huge, with many products including Alexa, and water leak detection products help homeowners save on their investment.

“We saw many ‘smart’ products, with smart meaning connected in some way to the internet or a mobile device – there is intelligence built in,” said Briesemeister. “I even saw a mirror with smart glass, which can display weather or a calendar and can also act as a touchscreen to control home devices and even email.”

KOHLER’s Verdera voice-lighted mirror with Amazon Alexa

She also said smart refrigerators add value by letting the homeowner view contents remotely (at a grocery store), and a smart stove can send alerts if it has been on too long. Gibson said the number one connected home need his clients specify is audio visual technology, followed by lighting, which can be controlled with a one-button press or a keypad.

Improve the Experience, Save Production Time, Gain Referrals
“I try to bring up the technology conversation early and ask what existing systems are in place,” said Wright. “I want to deliver options, not upselling or forcing anything on my clients, but rather adding to their quality of life. I find they are willing to pay more for the experience and the peace of mind.”

According to Gibson, every kitchen has some technological integration, but he recommends using an integration specialist to correctly do the install.

“I have learned not to be afraid because I have an integrator involved early,” he explained. “Really good electricians know their limits; they do not try anything they are not trained to do.”

The Bosch Built-in Coffee Machine with Home Connect features voice control through Amazon Alexa. 

Establish a Comfort Level with Emerging Technologies
“In the past, integrations were costly, and it was hard to make multiple systems work,” said Wright. “The early step for me was building relationships with tech pros at events and working with them on my projects.”

CEDIA also offers a database of integrators based on zip code. A good integrator is someone who will not slow down a project, who knows exactly what is out there and who does a great job.

“There are different types – those who do faster installations and those who work with a designer,” said Briesemeister. “Find out what kind you are talking to; you may need to know both.”

Tricks of the Trade
There are several advancements that can hide the technology you install in your client’s home, such as faceplates that match the surrounding material. You can also port a subwoofer through a heating and cooling vent to disguise it.

In terms of maintaining the overall project budget, Wright said there is no need to replace all the current technology in a client’s home.

“This alleviates the fear of having to start over from scratch,” he explained. “We want to present options so our clients have the power to decide what they want. Some will want the latest and greatest, and some only need the bare minimum.

Feb 19 2018

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Nancy Fire’s Top Trends

Meet Nancy Fire, design director for HGTV and creative director and founder of Design Works International, (http://designworksintl.com/) a lifestyle design studio in New York City. Her multi-discipline design studio specializes in original textile design, trend development, color and bespoke consulting services.

With more than three decades of expertise in the design industry, Fire works to provide brands, manufacturers and companies with trend research and development. KBB recently sought her out to hear the newest predictions and insights in interior design:

Open Floor Plans
Fire:
“Designing today is about duality, and that is exactly what an open floor plan provides. These open spaces that function as multiple rooms within a living space are still in demand, with the most common being the great room that combines the kitchen, dining room and living room in one shared space.”

“At Wilsonart, wood is warming up the home with accent shelves that bring a more contemporary and updated approach to bookcase-type style,” said Fire. “Using lighter wood in the home usually creates a brighter vibe and coordinates nicely with other textures and surfaces.”

What Makes a Luxury Home

Fire: “For me, it’s having things in my home that allow me to enjoy my interior space. I am a designer that has always mixed old with new, expensive with affordable and neutrals with pops of color to add personality and substance to a space. In our New York City apartment, the luxury comes from my furniture and accessories, but in the country the luxury comes from my appliances and open floor plan living because we have more space.”

“Moving away from the singular metal trend of seasons past, we’re now witnessing metal mixing through combinations of various finishes throughout the home,” said Fire. Shown here is True Residential’s black matte and copper kitchen at KBIS 2018.

Upcoming Trends

Fire: “People are looking for items with duality – products that do more than one thing. This includes ovens that are convention and steamers, refrigerators that allow you to see what is inside from your phone so you can shop straight from work and compost containers that have wood tops that twin as cutting boards.”

“There was definitely a floral theme at this year’s KBIS,” said Fire. “This Thermador Freedom Kitchen truly expresses our love of art by offering oversized panels of colorful artwork as an expression of custom creativity.”

Other trends Fire noted include:

1. A green thumb is a trend showing up in kitchens; this involves live plant/herb walls integrated in the space itself. This allows a true farm-to-table experience within your kitchen.
2. Colorful hoods in the kitchen are trending this season because they are affordable ways to introduce color. Shape and size as well as substrates are updated and inventive.
3. Accommodating small spaces in the kitchen this is happening on so many levels this season because we are seeing smaller appliance options.
4. Overexposed environmentally-friendly wood shelving is still important. Open shelving is continuing in many ways, as well as recycled beams returning to frame vaulted kitchens.
5. Touches of terrazzo in the kitchen range from flooring, backsplashes, cutting boards and even lighting. This highly versatile, solid surface material is comprised of marble chips embedded into a cement base, then ground flat and coated with a sealer.

Dec 28 2017

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This Year’s Interior Design Trends

2018 is finally here, so we found out what interior designers from the New York Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) see as trends in interior design for the coming year.

Sunshine Colors Our World. Karen Wolf, Associate ASID, of Karen B. Wolf Interiors in South Orange, N.J., forecasts sunshine yellow as on trend for 2018.


“Positive, confident, vibrant and enthusiastic, this color represents the future and our incoming Gen Z consumers,” said Wolf. “For a technologically savvy group, yellow is the missed sunshine they seek while plugged in and inside. We have not seen this color emerge for quite some time; it feels fresh, happy and young!”

Handcrafted Accessories. Homemade is a recurring macro trend that is rooted in celebrating home-grown artisans and artistry from all over the world. A rebuff of modern technology, this trend embraces the tactile senses and the spirit of craftsmanship based on the local source it derives from.

 “From the Aztec-themed pillow craze of last year and this year’s love for Peruvian alpaca, the trend is timeless and will continue to find new forms powered by advances in technology and the human touch,” said Wolf. “In 2018, look for Japanese/Persian folkloric themes and motifs. Also on the radar is Delftware, or Dutch pottery. First spotted in Europe, Dutch pottery is now reinterpreted as minimalist and also boasts Chinoiserie-inspired designs.”

Lighting Goes Linear. The long and lean linear chandelier has become the newest trend in lighting, according to Faith Hochman, Associate ASID, of FH Home Designs, Inc. in Mahwah, N.J.

“Its length creates a wow factor over a kitchen island or dining table,” said Hochman. “Available with shades and/or multiple lights to create bright light or ambient lighting, its sleekness will instantly change and enhance the beauty of your rooms. Manufacturers have flooded the market with a great range of styles in every budget and style.”

What’s Hot in the Kitchen & Bath. “White and gray are still maintaining their hold on color trends but are being softened with bluer hues,” said Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, of Thyme & Place Design in Wyckoff, N.J.


According to Sherman, white and navy are staples of the design world. Navy is softer than black but still provides the dramatic contrast. Gray is being softened with taupe undertones, providing warmth to the color palette. Matte black and charcoal gray are starting to make appearances in appliances; stainless is still king, but these finishes are being seen more often. Color on ranges – bright red, yellow and blue – is also creating pops in the kitchen.

Spacing It Out. Though open-plan living has its detractors of late [with some clients choosing to keep kitchens separate from the other spaces,] it is here to stay in 2018, according to Ivee Fromkin, Allied ASID, of Monmouth Beach, N.J.

“Jam-packed schedules and the prevalence of technology have made it more important than ever for today’s families to mingle and spend valuable time together,” she said.

Nov 27 2017

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2018 Houzz Home Design Trend Predictions

This time of year we’re already looking ahead at what 2018 will bring in terms of trends. One of our best resources is Houzz, which recently talked to industry leaders and drew conclusions from their community to determine what elements they think will be popular in the new year.

   Rikki Snyder © 2015 Houzz

1. More color in kitchens. White will always be a classic palette for kitchens, but its increased popularity means there’s going to be interest fatigue as homeowners look for ways to make their space personalized and unique. So while white kitchens aren’t going anywhere, expect to see a rise in color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Plus, warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets, leading to sophisticated, rich palettes.

©Sea Pointe Construction

2. Rich colors throughout the home. Delicious red and warm grays with rich, earthy shades of camel, rust, tobacco, brown-blacks and burnt yellow will edge out cooler neutrals for a more decadent look.

©Sheila Mayden Interiors

3. No more white or stainless steel sinks. Expect more concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.

Angela Flournoy © 2013 Houzz

4. Florals make a comeback. This popular print is getting a revival and a bit of an update. Forget low-energy patterns and think botanical references in high-contrast colors, such as black and white or teal and gold and over-sized blooms.

Kimberley Bryan © 2014 Houzz

5. Vintage lighting. Designers are reporting more interest in vintage-style fixtures, such as aged copper pendant lights.

©Designstorms LLC

6. Trough or bucket sinks. These deep, wide and durable sinks are great for hardworking laundry rooms and busy kids’ bathrooms. Their popularity goes well with the expected continued prevalence of quieted-down, modern farmhouse style.

Alexandra Crafton © 2017 Houzz

7. Concrete accents. Concrete has always been a popular material choice, but don’t be surprised to see it in more unexpected ways, such as in furniture, decorative accessories, wallcoverings, countertops and tile.

Michaela Dodd © 2017 Houzz

8. Millwork feature walls and detailing. Shiplap, millwork panels and reclaimed wood boards have been around for a while now, showing up frequently in bathrooms, on kitchen islands and fireplaces, but now expect to see the materials as feature walls in bedrooms.

Rachel Loewen Photography © 2017 Houzz

9. Wallpaper-like backsplashes. Several fascinating tile styles captured the attention of visitors to the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, or CERSAIE, which took place in September in Bologna, Italy. There’s new tile that looks like wood, concrete, resin, fabric and even wallpaper. The latter is prized for offering the elaborate pattern look of modern-day wallpapers while being durable enough to wipe down with a sponge and detergent.

Nanette Wong © 2014 Houzz

10. Casual and calm modern bedrooms. A pared down, verging-on-minimalist look that incorporates soothing neutrals, soft fabrics and simple, functional pieces is the direction homeowners are heading in this space.