One of the strongest trends I saw at the show was texture. Clockwise from top left, we are talking about:
1/ Stunning Ann Sacks tiles inspired by Kelly Wearstler’s iconic string art
2/ Top Knobs‘ newly released faceted Serene Collection, which I’m dying to use on a project. The pulls feel so good in the hand.
3/ Thompson Traders‘ gorgeous hammered brass pedestal sink that simply has to make its way into one of my designs very soon. I thought I’d died and went to hammered heaven when I found this booth!
4/ The new Litze Collection from Brizo which is on my personal Lust List for my Designer Dream House. The perfect brass finish with articulated details and a touch of industrial texture on the valve makes me swoon.
Textural elements were everywhere to be seen, offering designers the opportunity to awaken the senses in fresh ways. While texture is nothing new, we’re seeing unexpected applications in 2016, as with these carved panels on the face of Thermador‘s culinary preservation centre (below).
More than the texture, it’s the technical details that get me excited with Thermador‘s integrated refrigeration. Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that counts, like the hidden hinges (see below) that make it possible for the panels to be perfectly flush and fully integrated with surrounding cabinetry. Finally. No more working around unsightly hinges in cabinetry design.
(Cue: Designers everywhere rejoicing!)
PRETTY GETS PRACTICAL
Not surprisingly, brass and gold finishes and fixtures were stronger than ever at KBIS this year. Rest assured that brass is still boss. If you’re looking to integrate a metallic finish on custom cabinetry and want it to be as pretty as it is practical, you’ll need to know about Wilsonart‘s new metallic aluminum laminates. Available in sheets as large as 4’x10’ and in several colours and textures, the applications for this line are truly endless. I’m thinking a previously budget-busting custom modern brushed brass range hood becomes a designer’s best kept secret when created using this innovative surface.
|From Top To Bottom: Polished Gold Aluminum, Satin Brushed Gold Aluminum, Ribboned Satin Brushed Aged Gold|
Also in the pretty and oh-so practical category is Blanco‘s latest introduction. The Ikon sink is made of SilGranit, the hardest composite material available on the market in sinks today. You can literally take a fork to this surface – with elbow grease and evil intentions – and still not leave a mark. My favourite colours in the Ikon are the Anthracite (below) and classic White.
Another innovative feature of the Ikon sink is the floating grid accessory, which can be used in a number of other sinks in Blanco‘s line up as well. From resting a colander on it (to keep food from sitting in liquids at the bottom of the sink while straining) to using it as a discrete perch for dishes to dry, the floating grid is a genius little accessory.
Last but not least in the pretty gets practical category, I’d say this is more of a practical gets pretty turnaround story. As a designer, I’ve always specified wool broadloom for both its hypoallergenic properties and its naturally stain-resistant nature. Until recently, most reasonably priced wool broadloom has only been available in very staid colour palettes and patterns, but Karastan‘s selection of wool broadloom makes the thought of creating a custom bound area rug or stair runner a much more enticing prospect. I mean, how gorgeous is the Cosmopolitan dove grey flame stitch pattern below?
Taking in the latest trends can prove daunting for some, leaving you overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Stay tuned for my upcoming posts on where to begin when designing a new kitchen or bathroom.