KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Oct 26 2016

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Remodeling Today with Christopher Grubb

  AIDG-WGN-Aug2016-9242Photo courtesy of Arch-Interiors Design Group

Beverly Hills interior designer and KBB Editorial Board member Christopher Grubb recently talked with television and radio personality Lou Manfredini on the Chicago morning show “Mr. Fix it.” At the show, Grubb shared ideas for updating the home with today’s hottest trends, even for those on a budget. KBB spoke with the designer, who hails from Beverly Hills-based Arch-Interiors Design Group, to see how he gets a trendy look with less cost.

KBB: What are the biggest trends you are seeing today?
CG: Gray – whether it is a stained wood, thermofoil or lacquer for cabinets or gray countertops. We have been doing all-white kitchens for a year, and it is a nice complement to the crispness of white. Quartz countertops have also been popular, and the trend continues in their use and introductions of new finishes. Granite has faded from use. I speak with vendors in stone yards, and they now sell only a few types or those that are unexpected.

Full-height backsplashes are another new trend. We are still doing backsplashes with tile, but with more contemporary projects, the desire is to have a clean, contemporary flow from counter to backsplash.

AIDG-WGN-Aug2016-0712                       Photo courtesy of Arch-Interiors Design Group

Then there are smart kitchen features. Several islands we are designing are incorporating file drawers, pencil drawers, etc., because they have become the new “working desk” in the kitchen. We outfit drawers with electrical and HDMI plugs as well as connections for the telephone so it doesn’t have to sit on the counter. One other popular feature we are doing is putting electrical and HDMI plugs under overhang counters on the island for convenience, but it also keeps a clean look.

KBB: How can designers help clients save money but still be on trend?
CG: Quality appliances come in a variety of price points. Most of our clients show me their desires, which are name-brand, high-end appliances. That’s the moment I need to tell them their appliance package is between $25,000 to $30,000! Most companies are doing appliances that will take a panel matching their cabinetry, and that saves on appliance cost.

  • Paint or refinish existing cabinetry to gray or an updated finish. When I discuss this with a client, the reaction is, “Paint the wood?!” They can’t see that it’s outdated and painting is an affordable way to update. One can also replace cabinet doors and drawer faces that will stretch a budget.
  • Open shelving is also becoming popular. One can remove a section or two of their upper cabinets, patch and paint the walls and install shelving for this look.
  • Make an existing island a feature. Often one’s kitchen may be timeless, but the client wants something to make it feel updated. One suggestion is to take an existing island that may match to the existing countertops and cabinetry and refinish the existing doors/drawers and replace the countertop itself to complement their existing counters.

AIDG-WGN-Aug2016-Pendant3                       Photo courtesy of Arch-Interiors Design Group

KBB: Explain “stainless steel fatigue” and what you mean by alleviating it.
CG: For years, stainless steel has dominated the look for appliances, hence I say that clients are starting to get tired of it and don’t want their kitchen to look like everyone else’s. We use panels that match the cabinetry, which blends the appliances in with the cabinetry and also makes the kitchen seem much larger to the eye. Double ovens are a challenge, but some appliance manufacturers are creating ovens with glass fronts in brown and white so they too blend into the cabinetry.

KBB: Talk about creating art on vinyl.
One can take a favorite image, such as a skyline of a city, an abstract art piece or even a photo they have taken on vacation. As long as it is high resolution, it can be enlarged and screened onto vinyl that applies like wallcovering and really gives a wow affect to the room.

AIDG-WGN-Aug2016-1021                          Photo courtesy of Arch-Interiors Design Group

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 at 4:45 PM and is filed under Kitchen Design, Projects, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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