Wednesday, May 25, 2011

KBIS Wrap-Up and Nick in a TUB!

When I started planning my trip to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas a couple of months ago, I knew that this would by a different experience than any other KBIS I'd ever attended. 

Boy, was I right.

Between Twitter, this blog, knowing some kitchen industry hotshots and my delightful Southern charm(ha!), I saw more friends at KBIS than I ever would have imagined.

Not everyone was around to have their picture taken, and had I taken pictures of everyone I wouldn't have any pictures from the show! 

It was worth the trip just to sit and talk with some of the most fierce kitchen and bath folks in the industry. Through social media, we've created a force that the industry recognizes. Maybe they see it as a resource, maybe as a threat... either way, it's improved the experience at trade shows. The kitchen and bath world has taken notice, and it's rockin' awesome to be a part of it!

I could probably go through a zillion people that I met and spent time with, but a few more than the pictured folks need a shout-out: Sarah Reep, Mark Johnson, Jeremy Parcells, Jamie Goldberg, Dean Larkin, Becky Shankle, Brandon Smith, Laurie Burke, Serena Spell, the entire gang from Brizo(Judd, Jai, Christiana, Stephanie, Brian, on and on), Mike Tadros and gang from Igloo Studios/Google SketchUp, and I could go on and on... If I missed you(which I know I missed a lot), I'm sorry.

Without having these fine folks around, do you think this picture would have ever made it to public viewing?

KBIS was tons of fun this year... Even though I slept WAY less than I intended, the trek across country and lack of rest was all worth it. The show may have been the smallest I've ever seen, but there's nothing like walking through the aisles and having folks yell at you just to say hello. 

Thanks again to all of you that made my KBIS such a blast! 

*Additional thanks to all of those folks who knew I was a bit of a nervous wreck on Wednesday during the show- everyone knows the horrid outbreak of tornadoes that Alabama endured while I was helplessly watching from Las Vegas. I was blessed to have all the family safe and sound- so many of you have reached out and words cannot express how grateful I am for your friendship and concern.

#WordlessWednesday - Faucets in Heaven

Surely they aren't that ugly, but I'm sure the gummi bears flow from all faucets in heaven...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#LetsBlogOff - Favorite Shades of White

Let's Blog Off is the bi-monthly gathering of bloggers from different backgrounds chiming in on a similar topic. This weeks question: What is your favorite color?


"What is your favorite color?"

I've been asked this question more times than I'd like to admit. Even yesterday when talking cabinet color and counter choices, a potential client admitted that she was not interested in choosing because everything looked the same to her... she just quipped, "What is your favorite color?"

It took a long time for me to realize it, but there's really no greater compliment in our industry. When we are able to earn the trust of our clients to the point of choosing for them, we've crossed the line from order taker to true creators of spaces.

As each year passes, I have fewer favorites. We must learn to love all sorts of styles, colors and methods- I don't turn down work because it's not something I would want in my home. Instead, I prefer to accept the project as a challenge and expand my design horizons. 

That doesn't mean I don't still have some deep down loves...

White is a color- actually, White is the sum of all other colors combined. Maybe that's why I get that giddy feeling in my stomach when I see the perfect white kitchen.

all photos via Plain English

White kitchens are not for everyone... but they certainly are for me. This kitchen is in a Chelsea(UK) Studio and features cabinetry by Plain English. If you aren't familiar with their work, get to it. I go to them for inspiration on a regular basis. 

If you're a designer and someone asks about your favorite color, resist the urge to be crass and take it as a compliment... after all, it's you they trust!

If you're a homeowner and are worried that what you want may not be in style or "with-it", don't worry. Find a good designer and let them help you combine your favorite things/colors and create a beautiful space.

Hey, you could always call me... I'm always up for a kitchen in one of my favorite shades of white!

*Go read everyone else's post AND chime in yourself!

Nick's KBIS Quick Picks - Highlights

Winding down my posts on the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas... This is six of seven featuring the fun from KBIS! 

Being back in Las Vegas for KBIS was fantastic- it's easily my favorite city for the show. Plenty to do close by after show hours are done!

Here are some of my favorite moments from the show floor:

KraftMaid consistently sets itself apart as a trendsetter. The success of cushion close drawers as a standard option has now begat the Whisper Touch Hinge. Cushion close drawers AND doors... Genius! 

Available Fall 2011. Can't wait to have these in the showroom as a standard option!

Cambria(the only American quartz surface company) launched its Waterstone Collection and one color stole the show for me. With its white background with swirls of tan and gray, Torquay Quartz evokes a posh and continental feel. For those of us that fall all over Carrara marble, this is the perfect solution(sans temperment of marble). It's 100% more stunning in person... the pictures do no justice.

Also with a showstopper, Silestone had its Integrity sink on hand for ogling. The 16"x20"x6" single bowl sink is available in 10 colors and offers an integrated solution for quartz. 

Kohler had a massive booth full of tons of goodies... Amid the lovliness, The Whist lavatory in dusk was one I could have stared at for hours. The depth of the glass was stunning- and wasn't so over the top that it could be used in practical, residential settings.

Kallista featured sinks designed by Mick de Giulio... Boy, were they something?!

Never would have expected to look up and see him standing there...

Mick was on hand, explaining and demonstrating the features of his Kallista sink line.

Everyone knows I'm a sucker for some chewy ice. Scotsman had its Brilliance Nugget Ice Machine(the rockin' residential version) front and center for everyone to see. I asked for samples and was obliged. It really was a great part of the show. Now I have to figure out how to fit one of these things in my kitchen...

New Ravenna Mosaics made its first trip to KBIS and it was AWESOME to meet the great folks who are at the forefront of tile trends. The WEFT backsplash was nothing short of stunning- the leaf pattern is faint and almost invisible, until you realize it's there. The patterns are breathtaking!

Hope you were able to live a little vicariously through my camera lens if you weren't able to attend KBIS this year! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nick's KBIS Picks: Brizo Charlotte

Starting to wind down my posts from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.... This is post five of seven from KBIS!

It's no secret that I have a design crush on Brizo. The self-proclaimed "fashion forward" plumbing brand has set itself apart with superb designs, collaborations with hot fashion designer Jason Wu and promoted themselves through one of the most spectacular advertising campaigns the kitchen and bath industry has ever seen.

Of course I would be at their booth(multiple times...).

The Masco "family" was situated in the almost dead center of the show(if you're not familiar, that would be Brizo KraftMaid, Merillat, Quality Cabinets, Denova Surfaces and Delta Faucet).

For the bulk of my KBIS trip, I had the privilege of running around with Arne Salvesen from fantastic Useful Spaces Blog. He had booked a press tour at Brizo and I invited myself along. Thankfully, Arne is a good sport and let me join in the fun.

We met up with rockin' Stephanie Oyer(below with Arne) and she gave us the first leg of our tour...

Arne and I met Stephanie during our New York Fashion Week event with Brizo- it was great to reconnect with her and see some of the new offerings from Brizo.

For me, the highlight of the Brizo KBIS tour was the Charlotte Bath Collection.... 

Charlotte in Brushed Nickel

The Charlotte Bath Collection takes its cues from the Art Deco movement- bold lines, over-the-top style and design. MY love for Charlotte is that it takes a bit of a modern twist on a traditional look. 

The Charlotte is available in lots of configurations:
o    Widespread lavatory faucet
o    Widespread vessel faucet
o    Wallmount faucet(By far the most stunning application, in my opinion)
o    3 and 4 hole Roman tubs
o    TempAssure® medium flow shower and tub/shower trims
o    3 and 6 function diverters
o    Sensori® High Flow custom shower trims
o    Coordinating shower components:
·         New 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm) H2Okinetic Technology® 6 inch showerhead
·         New 2.5 gpm H2Okinetic Technology 8 inch ceiling mount showerhead
·         New handshower with slidebar and wallmount handshower
o    Coordinating bidet
o    Coordinating accessories, lighting and mirrors 

Charlotte in Cocoa Bronze

The Charlotte Bath Collection also served as the launching pad for Brizo to showcase its new Cocoa Bronze finish. 

The Charlotte Collection will be available in October 2011. Get ready folks! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nick's KBIS Picks: Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill

Stop number four of seven in Kitchen and Bath Industry Show(Las Vegas) adventures... 

KBIS had a heavy outdoor kitchen flavor this year.

Easily at the top of the mountain was the Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Hybrid Fire Grill. At my house, I have a gas grill, a charcoal grill and a smoker. The Hybrid Fire grill would allow me to get rid of all of those and just have a sole piece of barbecuing genius! 

How is the Hybrid Fire Grill really hybrid, you ask? This grill allows a backyard chef to cook with either gas, wood or charcoal... or all three. The nifty drawers above the temperature controls allow you to insert your favorite woods or coals- you can use the gas to crank it up and then once you have a good fire shut down the gas and just cook with charcoal or wood. Gas temps range from 250 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit while wood and charcoal have a 150 to 1200 degree Fahrenheit range. 

The Hybrid Fire Grill will be available in June 2011 and is available in 12 models in 4 sizes. Choosing between 50,000 and 150,000 BTUs will be the only challenge! The 150,000 BTU Hybrid Fire Grill boasts 10 sq. ft. of cooking grate. Pricing will start just shy of $10k. 

In addition to the Hybrid Fire Grill, Kalamazoo was proudly showcasing its Outdoor Dishwasher.... 

... and Artisan Fire Pizza Oven.

Kalamazoo Gourmet is made in Kalamazoo, Michigan by hand and is built to endure the toughest conditions.

Check them out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nick's KBIS Picks: Grothouse Lumber Company

Installment three of seven on my recent trip to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas...

Most people that know me understand that I am rarely star-struck. It takes a LOT to get me to top in my tracks.

Grothouse Lumber Company did just that in the middle of KBIS. I had to consciously remember to close my mouth. 

via Grothouse/Artisan Kitchen and Bath

The Pennsylvania-based Grothouse Lumber Company is as the forefront of custom wood surfaces and has been featured in just about every legit design mag and even on This Old House. Grothouse tops are made from more than 60 species of wood, 30 standard edge profiles and 40 stock stains. 

On top of the nearly limitless design possibilities, Grothouse manufactures with Forestry Stewardship Council certified wood species that can get you LEED credits! 

via Grothouse/MES Mitchell Interiors, LLC

The tops are nothing short of stunning- additionally, Grouthouse recently unveiled a "living edge" that resembles a hammered stone edge to me. It's chock full of mineral streaks, worm holes and other naturally occurring effects giving the slab even more one-of-a-kind features.

Perhaps the finest(and most used) kitchen gadget I have is my cutting board. After seeing this next product... I have a bad case of cutting board envy.

all photos via Grothouse

This is the Prestige Chef's Box(I like to call it #1 on my Christmas Wish List).

The storage box can be fabricated in the USA from all the species that are available from the Grothouse top line and is available in multi-drawer configurations(suggested retail is $875 for three and $1599 for five).

Laser engraving allows one to quickly choose the desired cutting surface. Each cutting board is coated with an edible food-grade oil finish and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Like I said... right at the top of my wish list!

#WordlessWednesday - Stacked for Convenience

Well... just one word...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nick's KBIS Picks: WETSTYLE IMAGE-in Collection

Continuing my posts on the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.... Here's #2 of 7. 

I would venture to say that one of the growing trends in the kitchen and bath market is applying some sort of decor to a normally blank canvas. There are many ways that it shouldn't be done... Fortunately, WETSTYLE figured out a stunning way to jazz up the bathtub.


All WETSTYLE soaking tubs are made by hand from the company's WETMAR natural stone composite material. Because of the high mineral content of WETMAR, these tubs are slip resistant and have great built in thermo-insulation.


The imaging seen is a result of combining a "True High Gloss" and a matte finish on the same surface. The gloss shows up in the pictures as the darker hue.

Each design can be "reversed" where the matte and gloss are switched... and even further customized!


WETSTYLE is offering the IMAGE-in tubs with the four pictured motifs as well as the ability for a homeowner to choose and create their own design. Because each piece is made to order, the opportunity for customization is limitless.


Because the tubs are shades of white, one can see how a solid dark floor really shows the depth and artistic value of the design. 

Customization has moved in to the front of the bathroom. Can't wait to see what WETSTYLE comes up with next! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nick's KBIS Picks: Dimplex PowerChef Grills

This is the first of seven posts about my recent trip to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show(KBIS) in Las Vegas. It was a ton of fun(and exhausting), but I've got lots of neat stuff to share.

I will probably take some heat(no pun intended) from some of my hardcore barbecue buddies for even uttering the words "electric" and "grill" in the same sentence, but times have changed!

 via Dimplex

This is the PowerChef electric grill by Dimplex. My only previous experience with Dimplex was with their line of electric fireplaces and knowing the quality of those, I was excited to see a line of cooking products.

Electric grills have notoriously underachieved when compared with more traditional outdoor cooking. Dimplex set out to change that and may have hit a home run. Many apartment and condo owners aren't permitted gas or charcoal cooking systems and the PowerChef offers a comparable(and easier) way to prepare those grilled feasts.

One of the features that really stuck with me was the direct-heating system. A lightning hot stainless steel upper grill is for searing and a lower element cooks via radiant heat. The grill has an even temperature surface that eliminates cold/hot spots and can crank up to a warm 650 degrees to sear in flavor. Optional rotisserie components allow for endless possibilities.

The PowerChef is also startlingly automated. The touchpad allows you to scroll through and choose your food and how done you want it- it does the rest! This grill even lets you know when it's time to flip the burgers!

Now I haven't had the opportunity to use one of these grills yet... But I will. I've already contacted the dealer nearest me and look forward to test-driving one of these bad boys.

What's your take on electric grills? Would you be willing to ditch the propane tanks and charcoal for the ease of electric?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is a day that I will celebrate Mama Cupboards and remember all the wonderful things that she did for my siblings and me.

Also, I'll remember some of the things she probably wanted to but knew that we'd likely not turn out so well if she was in jail...

So cheers to you, Mom! Thanks again for not locking us up for more than two or three hours at a time.

Hug you mom today!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Derby Time is Here! Horsey Interiors

Like every good Southerner, I plan to wear seersucker and eat entirely too much Kentucky Derby Pie tomorrow while we watch the opening leg of the Triple Crown.

Thinking of horses reminded me of a couple of equine scattered interiors from browsing times gone by...

Hope your Derby Day is as exciting as the "Fastest Two Minutes in Sports!" Get out your hats and mint juleps!

*Edit* The lovely(and fellow equine aficionado) Madame Sunday reminded me that she had written a horsey house post as well- we even used some of the same pictures! It's really because we might be the same person. ;-) Check it out! 
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