Wednesday, April 24, 2013

KBIS 2013

Sunday marked the end of a jam packed four days in New Orleans at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). For those of you that do not know, KBIS is a four day event focused on all things kitchen and bath related, specifically new products and design trends.

This was my fifth KBIS and my second time in New Orleans but as per usual, no visit or show is ever the same. This year's show was on steroids for me because in addition to attending the show as a designer, I was apart of the National Kitchen & Bath Association's (NKBA) first ever 30 under 30 group. I told you all about the program back in March, and as you know I was very excited. However, once I finally got to New Orleans and met the other uber talented, driven and inspiring 29 recipients my enthusiasm was really taken to the next level.

30 Under 30 Group at the Awards Ceremony.
These people were truly the bomb-dot-com. This group was comprised of CEO's, principal designers, bloggers, CKD's, design studio owners, co-owners, marketing/communications directors and design award winners. It was an honor to be recognized amongst this crew!

Before arriving in New Orleans we were split up into groups of 10 and assigned a topic in which we would research and present on the final day of the show. My group's topic was - Design Trends and Innovations. I was pretty stoked to have this topic, I mean HELLO we were at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show surrounded by trends and innovations. Plus, I was going to be looking for these things anyways for YOU, my readers, so yeah... I lucked out :)

After spending a few hours at the show I was hit by the semi humorous correlation between the trends I was seeing and the nickname for this city ......

Yes, The Big Easy, the famous nickname for New Orleans seemed to also be the theme of the show. Everything from faucets and tubs to cabinet doors and countertops were being designed to perform with as much ease as possible for the consumer.

Touch & Sensor Faucets:

Photo from Delta's website.
Delta Touch20
Delta, Moen, Kohler, Brizo, the whole lot of them were showcasing touch and sensor faucets. Where the need to pull a lever is no more. With just the touch/waive of your hand the faucet activates.

Here I am trying out Brizo's touch faucet at the show.

This technology is not brand new but anybody whose anybody at this show was displaying their version. Not to pat myself on the back but, a certain #StoneMountain kitchen features the touch faucet....

Shower head + Wireless Speaker:

Photo from apartment therapy.

With Kohler's Moxie Shower head you can listen to music while you shower. Using Bluetooth technology your device can link wirelessly to the shower head for your listening pleasure for up TO SEVEN HOURS!

The magnetic speaker literally sits right in the shower head. You can even pop it out and take it with you to other rooms in the house or to the lake!

Quartz Countertops:

We've talked about quartz countertops before, but for those of you out of the loop, quartz is a man made stone impervious to staining. There was a lot of quartz on display at this years show and it plays into the "Big Easy" concept in that people want the look of natural stones, specifically the white marbles without the maintenance. All of the big quartz players had their latest and greatest out on display, but the one that stole my heart was from Silestone. It's their new suede finish in white. Beautiful.

Photo from Silestone's website.


The blum booth was one of the first we visited upon entering the show and we left pretty impressed. For me, when I think blum I think ease of maintenance and efficiency in storage and their booth definitely did not disappoint. They were showcasing hardware that enabled you to open cabinets, like the trash cabinet shown below by just touching the cabinet door. Touch it with your hand, your leg or your head and opens. How nifty is this? I can think of about a 100 situations when this would be extremely handy.

Photo from Google.

Photo from blum's website.

See the lady above showing you how this works on their aventos lift. Just tap and.....voila it opens. Please note blum does not guarantee your hair will blow in the wind while inside your kitchen as shown in the photo. :)

Photo, my own.
The above vanity is from Robern. As you can see the doors have a beautiful wood grain that really makes this vanity pop. What would you think if I told you the wood grain you were seeing was actually a digital photo of wood on glass. Let that sink in for a moment and consider that with this product you get the look of wood with super easy maintenance. It's glass! You clean it by wiping it down with water, Windex, etc...I love it.

As you can see there is definitely a huge trend going towards ease and technology. For most of us we count on technology in almost every facet of our lives. For me, my cell phone is my alarm clock, calculator, camera and GPS. I use my cellphone to deposit my checks and talk to my Mom. It's my right hand man and I'd be lost without it.  At the show we saw technology that will allow you to unlock your house from your cell phone. There were tubs that you can turn on and choose your temperature, from your cell phone. There are even toilets with heaters, radios, lights, and remote controls all to make your life easier. Accessibility and convenience are key and these products have made it happen.

Of course I'm only skimming the surface of the products at the show but these were a few of my favorites. The rest of my trip was full of dinners, galas, parties and fun. I even got my picture made with famous designer Mick De Giulio.

Here are some of my pictures from my time in NOLA...

With fellow 30 Under 30 recipients Ashley Avery & Kelly Manas with Mick De Giulio.

With the Bell crew - Mike Bell & Holly Floyd at the 30 Under 30 Awards Ceremony.

Holly Floyd and I at the NKBA Gala at Mardi Gras World.
I enjoyed my fair share of Beignets. Maybe the best part of Nola.

This lady was at Mardi Gras world. We were comparing muscles. I win!
Needless to say I had a great time in New Orleans. A big thanks to the NKBA for giving me the opportunity to meet 29 great peers. This years show was a success and I'm already excited about KBIS 2014 in Vegas!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

#AgnesBath Project Introduction

Last week a new bath remodel project kicked off, I have dubbed this project #AgnesBath. On Monday the bathroom was demoed. The tile, the cabinets, the tub, the lighting, the mirror...all gone.

This master bath is original to the house and, as is the case with so many people, this bath remodel has been on the "to do" list for sometime. While the space is a nice size it lacked texture and personality.

The room is long with the vanities on the left wall and the shower, tub and water closet lined up on the right wall. As we went through the design phase we played with several options regarding layouts, but concluded that the existing layout of the space worked pretty well, it just needed a few tweaks and a material face lift.

As you can see from the photos above, there are a decent amount of cabinets in the existing space. Storage is important in a bathroom and is typically one of the top reasons to remodel. However, an abundance of cave cabinets (cabinet doors that open to an open cavity) can actually discourage organization.

Here are a few sketches that got us started.....

So, the game plan for this space includes rearranging the cabinet storage by separating his and her vanities. Not only will the clients end up with more usable/organizable space but the two vanities will look more like furniture pieces as opposed to standard cabinets. We also plan to do a cool, fresh tile on the floors, shower and on up the walls in certain areas. A new tub, countertops, lighting and a fun mirror will bring the whole space together.

This has been a fun project to work on . The homeowners have been wide open to any and all ideas and things have just come together so organically. No stress, just too much pretty to handle.

Below is a concept board for this bathroom.....stay tuned, this one is going to be a beauty! I can't wait!
Created by Courtney Foster through Oiliobaord.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho off to KBIS I go. I'll be back next week with all my finds and hopefully some celebrity sightings.
All photos are courtesy of the homeowner. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

MOOving Day

We just concluded another fast paced, jam packed weekend full of new house progress. And I'm exhausted in the best way possible.

Over the last few weeks Brent and I have capitalized on every free evening we've had by spending time at the new house, painting, working in the yard and completing miscellaneous tasks before the big dogs roll in. Of course the big dogs I'm referring to are kitchen cabinets and furniture. Well, this weekend, ready or not, we checked off one of those items and made a giant leap in taking this house from "job site" to home. We have furniture!!!!

The U-haul rolled up to the new house mid day on Saturday after loading up in Ringgold, Stone Mountain and at Brent's house in Atlanta. My parents are the bomb-dot-com and deserve a medal for all the loading, unloading, moving and putting together they endured this weekend. Of course we are all practically professionals at this moving thing by now because this is the second time we have done it this year.  As for me, this is my first move in 5 years, so I was pumped this Uhaul truck was actually carrying my stuff this time!!

I have been excited about this house for a long time, long before we even purchased it. For years I have been collecting items that caught my eye in anticipation of the day we would have this house. It was so fun to watch the pieces roll off the truck and into the house. We unloaded furniture, appliances, wedding gifts, clothes, shoes, art and rugs. 


As items were carried off the truck we tried to place them in the general vicinity of their final destination inside the house. Some pieces proved to be more difficult to maneuver than others....

While other loads just made you look good while carrying them...

#Muscles #Neiman #MacKenzie-Childs 

There are stacks and stacks of stuff in every room, but I don't care it's progress. We look forward to taking our time and putting everything away. Well, I do anyways. In fact I've already started organizing - first stop: closet. We have a few more items left to be moved in; the couch is being made and the bed for the master is on order. OH, and we get the new kitchen/downstairs bath cabinets this week!!! Eeeek - it's like Christmas everyday!

A big shout out to our family and friends - Mom, Dad, Candace, Jimmy, Scott and Mark - THANK YOU for your help!!

All photos are my own. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Grandmother's Kitchen Part 2

Here we go! You've been tortured long enough.......

As I began designing the new kitchen I realized the existing layout worked pretty well, the space just needed a few tweaks to boost functionality and aesthetics. Most of the major items (cooktop, refrigerator, sink, dishwasher) stayed in the same location, with the only exception being the oven and the microwave. We decided an oven/micro combo was the way to go, this way the microwave would not take up valuable real estate on the coutntertop. Then we decided to scoot the oven/micro down the wall which increased the amount of continuous counter space considerably.

Next up was the task of pumping up the storage. The first thing on the list was the removal of the soffit at the ceiling. I knew removing the soffit would really open up the kitchen and make the space feel taller. Plus, with no soffit the wall cabinets could go to the ceiling which meant more storage! Next, we removed the current desk and replaced it with a tall pantry cabinet with rollouts. This addition was huge. For 46 years my Grandmother would have to leave the kitchen and go down the hall to the laundry room/pantry to retrieve items. Now, all food and prep items are stored right in the kitchen so everything is within reach. 

Even the coffee maker has it's own little nook. When my grandparents have guests over or when they prepare their morning coffee they can keep the door open for easy access to the coffee maker. Once coffee time is over the door can shut and all is sleek again.

As I've mentioned before, today's cabinets have so much more storage potential due to the internal components available. In this space we utilized rollouts, a LeMans corner pullout, deep drawers for pots and pan storage, tray dividers and cutlery and utility dividers to amp up the storage and organization.

Deep Drawers for Pots
LeMans Corner Pullout


Cutlery Dividers
Tray Dividers

The cabinets are Bell custom cabinets from Bell Kitchen & Bath Studio. As we designed the cabinetry we decided to go with frameless cabinetry construction so as to increase the amount of usable space within each cabinet.  The cabinets are made from northern white hard maple and are painted Sherwin William's Anew Gray, SW7030.

The countertops and backsplash add pizazz to this space. For the countertops we decided to go with Cambria, a Quartz product.

I've talked in the past about the benefits of quartz in that it's a man made surface so it is impervious to stains. In my opinion Cambria is by and large the leader in the quartz countertop market because of the depth and movement their colors offer. For my Grandmother's kitchen we decided to go with Torquay, which is a white countertop with beige/gray veining through out. The backsplash  is a beveled white marble subway tile with gray grout. The tile is one of my favorite elements in the kitchen. We took the backsplash to the ceiling around the window and on the hood wall; it adds such dimension to the space.

The sink is a Blanco silgranit single bowl sink, color - truffle. I was so excited when my Grandparents chose the truffle color. It's a little outside the box and really works well against the white countertops. The hardware is from Top Knobs and the faucet is a Delta, all in a antiqued brass finish. Fun fact - the faucet is touch activated, my Grandfather who is an electrical engineer was instantly infatuated and convinced that the other faucets in the house were broken because they didn't work the same way! :)

Finally, my favorite elements in the space - the island and the chandelier, both of which remind me of my Grandmother in every way. The island, which fits perfectly in the space is painted the same Anew Gray as the perimeter cabinetry, but it has a dark brown walnut countertop with these delicious knots scattered on top. My Grandmother never had an island and never thought she would because of space restrictions. This island was used in a display in our showroom and when the display was replaced I knew this would be the perfect piece for their kitchen so I snagged it up! The chandelier that hangs above the island is beautiful turned on or turned off. It's got sparkle and shine, just like my Grandmother and really adds a little something extra to the room.

 I'm so pleased with how this space turned out. When you walk into the room you enter into a happy, calm, beautiful space, layered with textures and details. Every decision and selection was carefully considered and I think the end results are truly amazing. My Grandmother couldn't wait to get back to cooking and has since made numerous meals in the kitchen. All of the new appliances have taken some getting used to, but she took to the added storage like a fish to water. I'm glad I'm family so I can come visit this beautiful space often, and maybe get some yummy food too!

All photos are my own.