As a kitchen designer, quartz has been my long time favorite choice for kitchen counter tops. The reasons include durability, ease of maintenance and all the available choices for color and visual texture. Cosentino, maker of Silestone as well as other new counter top products, is the world’s largest manufacturer of natural quartz. Read more
The last two days of my exciting visit to New Orleans with the Modenus Blog Tour centered around the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). This annual trade show is produced by the National Kitchen & Bath Association which is celebrating 50 years as the industry leader (more on that later). I love to attend the show as it allows me to see the trends emerging in the American market and keeps me up to date with products and technology. This year I had an additional behind-the-scenes perspective as a member of the Tour. We were there for opening day, Friday April 19th and enjoyed a whirlwind tour of products followed by time for solo exploration and networking on Saturday. Every year has a theme and this year I thought it was particularly appropriate. The show as all about the concept of “evolution”. This is really a common theme across the board as it applies to everything from design and products and how we are evolving the way we do business in 2013. Here are some of my discoveries:
Let there be light
Lighting always plays a crucial role in kitchen and bath design but this year it was all about the light within. Why didn’t we think of this before? LED lights inside cabinetry, particularly closets is a great idea!
The look of leather
Leathery textures made a big appearance. Silestone by Cosentino debuted their new Suede line of quartz counter tops. Gator Mills ( a very local Louisiana company) showed leather (and leather look ) vanities and Richelieu is offering recycled, reconstituted leather veneer.
Cabinet doors no longer have to swing out due to new hinging technologies that allow doors to slide. Hafele calls theirs Frontino
Glaminates take the stage
It’s not your grandma’s laminate anymore! Taking a cue from our friends across the pond, American laminate manufacturer Wilsonart has upped their game introducing two new seamless edge details and increased durability and sustainability.
Blingy to sculptural
When it comes to handles you can go for the bling or the sculptural. Cabinet hardware manufacturer Duverre is all about very artful sculptural shapes and while I saw a lot of matte finishes, very shiny made an appearance too.
Look, no hands!
Hands free faucet technology has quickly become the norm across the industry and was shown by not only the original, Brizo but also Rohl, Kohler and Moen and Delta Faucets.
This year’s best in show award went to Toto for their awesome Neorest 550H toilet. Believe me when I tell you it can just about do anything but drive you to work! Stay tuned for an entire post about Toto and the Neorest 550
In a nutshell KBIS2013 was largely about technology and texture. Cabinet manufacturers are touting what’s inside more than ever as they maximize the ease of living in the kitchen. White cabinets, cleaner lines and pops of natural and engineered wood veneers are strong trends.
Next up: Poggenpohl, the cutting edge in kitchen cabinet design, inside and out
Ta daaaaa! Another beautiful kitchen is complete, and yes it’s white with Shaker doors. Surprise! Not. There were two main challenges about working in this home. First of all the architecture is very unique and is an integral part of the space. It’s comprised of posts and beams, angles and open lofts which remind me of a ship. The second challenge was a lack of unity with way too much going on visually. The existing kitchen had three different types of counter tops, two different types of cabinets and more stuff than space. In addition, hinges and drawer slides were failing and paint was chipping.
The homeowners came equipped with the most valuable of traits, an open mind. They were willing to see their kitchen and laundry area in a new way. Every step of the design process we would ask ourselves “does this unify and simplify”? Think “nautical zen”!
First off I decided to make peace with the posts and beams. The layout remained the same and we didn’t even change the door style or color! What we did was improve the fit and function. Using all white counters unified the space and allowed the blue granite back splash to be the star of the show. Here are some “before” pix and “after” solutions which will pave the way for smooth sailing in this new kitchen.