KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

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Apr 12 2018

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Tile Trends to Watch Out for in 2018

It’s no secret that tile makes a statement! And it can be a great conversation piece too.

We finally recently just wrapped up our very own kitchen remodel (https://bit.ly/2v9b9r7). Our own personal projects always get put on the back burner when it comes to our clients work, am I right? But we are so pumped to share what we did to the space. The number one thing my husband and I knew we wanted to do was to incorporate some cool tile design. We are a family that loves to entertain, and we wanted to have a wall of art, if you will. We’re also seeing a huge shift in tile and wanted to share with you what we’re seeing and what we did in our own home design and within our clients’ projects.

Handmade

Handcrafted, hand-painted and homemade tiles are the new rage. The quality is amazing, and in this kitchen, they turned out perfectly. Even though the tile and the cabinets are both white, the handmade look makes the tile stand out. Handmade tile looks so much richer than generic tile and brings in a character that isn’t found anywhere else.

Bold Patterns
Bold patterns are a great way to make a statement in the kitchen or bathroom and become the focal point of the space. For this bathroom, our clients were looking for a black-and-white modern look. They wanted to create a wet room space, and the black-and-white tile combined with a bolder pattern makes this bathroom feel clean, modern and chic. By choosing a bolder pattern on the floor, it draws your eye around the room and gives it a luxurious vibe.

Adding Texture
Texture adds depth and contrast. In this bathroom, our clients were looking for a modern farmhouse vibe and rather than incorporating all subway tile, we added a hexagon niche and floor. It creates a pretty focal point and brings in a beautiful texture that makes it feel like you’re showering at a spa.

Imperfection
Imperfect tiles look handmade and old world. Their character brings in the feel of a 100-year old home that was built by craftsmen. You can easily tell that the tiles are higher quality and handmade, rather than all perfectly the same and created by a machine.

Brighter Color
Bringing in color can transform your space from neutral and plain to fun and bright. The tiles in this shower are made by U.S. company Mercury Mosaics, and this fish-scale pattern is inspired by the movement of the ocean. The bright blue color reminds us of the Caribbean and adds excitement to the space.

New Shapes & Patterns
When we remodeled our kitchen, we wanted to incorporate some new patterns and shapes to create a unique wall that would become the statement piece. On this wall, we installed a custom hood and floating shelves, so the backsplash is definitely the main feature. Creating a custom backsplash allows you to choose the shapes and patterns you want and becomes like a piece of art in your kitchen. I can’t complain about cooking while looking at that!

Jul 07 2016

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Designing for Athletes

We talk a lot about universal design and aging-in-place, but what about the busy, hyper-scheduled millennial client? Working with one of us is probably frustrating- we’re all over the place, we won’t have time for meetings and we usually know exactly what we want, and you can’t do much about it.

One aspect of our generation that designers – particularly ones trained for aging-in-place designs – can speak to is our concentrated (not always, of course) focus on fitness and health. Some of the design requirements for aging-in-place clients can actually help protect us and help us stay healthier longer.

I know I’m in the extreme range of this group. I wake up at 4 or 5 a.m. most weekdays to train for two or three hours before work, either running up and down Buckhead or cycling and swimming indoors. I run trial half-marathons usually twice a week. As I’ve gotten into my late twenties, I have to keep doing more to keep myself from getting hurt, and that’s where my bathtub comes in.

10623374_10202288078899649_912448506195404287_o                                         My mom and I before a recent race

For any type of athlete, hydrotherapy is one major part of recovery. The horrible ice bath after a hard workout decreases swelling and pain, and then a hot bath later on increases circulation and promotes healing. It also decreases tension in the muscles and joints.

And of course, getting in and out of my tub I’ve had to grab at the wall a couple of times to keep myself from falling – hence the universal need for grab bars.

Even if the client isn’t athletic, we as a generation are stressed. That’s where the growing trend for an in-home sauna comes in. Saunas promote sweating, which flushes out toxins. It increases blood flow, like the hot tub, helping tired, stressed bodies recover faster. Plus, apparently saunas improve blood flow to skin and keep us looking younger longer.

So as designers, you can help make our lives less stressed with suggestions like these, and hopefully we won’t stress you out with our tricky schedules!

Apr 07 2016

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He Said/She Said: How to Design for a Husband & Wife with Differing Tastes

Image from David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

KBB recently asked our KBB Designers Network on LinkedIn about designing for couples with different tastes.

Here are some of the responses she received from the experts in the group:

Laura Vlaming, CKD, Arkiteriors, Charlotte, N.C.
Try to give each of them something in the design, if possible, and they will appreciate getting a design solution with which they both can identify. I have found that typically, there is a mutual respect between partners, which helps.
If their tastes cannot be meshed, using the architectural style of the home can be used to steer the design direction. Addressing the pros and cons of certain materials and finishes can help, and try to navigate the design process with some humor!

Sharon Evans, Kitchen Designer at RFK Ltd., Rugby, England
I try and find common ground – usually on something they both don’t like and go from there!

David Wagner Truth, General Manager & Senior Designer for Go Green Solutions, Los Angeles
Truth is stranger than fiction. I once had husband and wife clients. He wanted a black kitchen and she wanted white. I came to find out that they didn’t agree on most things yet they really loved each other. They left the decision to me, and they now have a dove gray kitchen and love it. I really sweated that one out!

Joel Kaszirer, Designer, Pine Park Kitchens, New York City
You have to ask who the decision maker is, or you can usually figure it out.

Robert Foltz, CKD, Kitchen Sales Coach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Like any good marriage counseling session, it involves asking easily answered questions and allowing each of them to speak without judgment. Why do you enjoy that style? What about it is attractive to you? And so on. At least that was my experience. David W., your comment is hilarious! Good job.

John T. Vanderkolk, General Manager, Oakville Kitchen Designers, Oakville, Ontario
I guess asking the pertinent questions up front will solve that problem.

Mar 21 2016

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Editors’ Picks from the AD Design Show

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Last week, we attended the 2016 Architectural Digest Design Show, which was held March 17-20 on Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. We spent most of our time visiting the kitchen, bath and luxury appliance exhibitors, which included new products from more than 100 companies.

We also received a special tour of this year’s DIFFA Dining by Design, which will be covered in next week’s Industry Watch digital newsletter and as a special news feature on kbbonline.com.

The following are some of our favorite products we saw at the AD Design Show, including ovens, ranges, cooktops, ventilation, bath and decorative hardware, cabinetry, countertops, stone, tile, windows and doors.

DA_Discovery WineStation

Dacor’s Discovery WineStation is the first of its kind to display, dispense and preserve four bottles of wine for up to 60 days with a commercial-grade dispenser and preservation system for the home.

Gemstone Tile

Gemstone Tile specializes in turquoise tile. The shower tile featured above runs $2,900/square foot.

Jenn-Air

Jenn-Air’s Obsidian Interior black interior refrigerator features white LED lighting and was released last year.

 

TracyGlover-Dimple-TourmalinePrimavera (1)The Blackburn Pendant by Tracy Glover features a dimple-shaped diffuser in the Primavera pattern in the tourmaline color.

SA Baxter

SA Baxter’s brass doorknob; the company makes pulls and knobs and recently added light fixtures.

*Blomberg Pro Gas RangeA 30-in. stainless steel pro gas range from Blomberg is one of the largest in its class.

Viking

Viking‘s own professional chef, Joe Arvin, demonstrated the latest in cooktop technology. The Incognito cooktop countertop allows the trivet to transfer heat from the countertop directly to the pan, creating more space for cooking and serving.

*SubZeroandWolf

This photo features Sub-Zero wine storage and built-in refrigeration, as well as a Wolf dual-fuel range/ventilation.

Rangecraft

RangeCraft’s Miami hood features mirrored titanium metallic enhanced with Swarovski crystals.

AGA Marvel solid cast-iron oven - one of 15 colors

Above is the AGA Marvel solid cast-iron oven in one of 15 colors.

*Stikwood Sierra Silver

Reclaimed Sierra Silver peel-and-stick planks from Stikwood are a mixture of brown, red and gray tones and retail for $14/square foot.