Kitchen & Bath Design News

FEB 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Global trends continue to impact the kitchen and bath market, with international influences increasingly coloring how designers create. BY JANICE COSTA Design Without Borders he culture of Europe is rooted in art and architecture, so it's no surprise that designers often find inspiration there. But in a world where the internet makes any place on the planet just a click away, international influences have increasingly tran- scended borders, and that's impacting everything from design and technology to energy efficiency, wellness trends and more. Designers, long used to taking fashion cues from Europe, now find inspiration worldwide, and that continues to have an impact on the kitchen and bath industry. Of course not all global trends translate to the U.S. and Canadian markets, but savvy designers are finding ways to interpret global trends to best suit the needs of their fashion-conscious clients. Most recently, the Hackettstown, NJ-based National Kitchen & Bath Association has jumped on the global band- wagon with a newly created international community of kitchen and bath industry professionals, called NKBA Global Connect (see related story, Page 52). INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCES There's no question that international influences are increasing- ly inspiring designers here. Indeed, California-based designer and author Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, sees Europe as a goldmine for design ideas, and says global trends have long had a power- ful influence on her. She notes, "I've been traveling to European trade shows for the past eight years, and am always impressed by the level of design, quality and innovation I see there." Gold believes that following global trends is also a good way to "preview" the future, explaining, "Many of the products on display by the larger brands do make their way to the U.S. in six to 12 months." However, she admits, "new trends and materials tend to take more time to catch on here. An exam- ple would be thin porcelain slabs for countertops and shower walls, which I first saw in Europe on my earliest trips." Robin Rigby Fisher, CMKBD, CAPS, of the Portland, OR- based Robin Rigby Fisher also likes to travel overseas to find design inspiration. She says, "I have had the wonderful oppor- tunity to travel to Europe for the last three years. Each time I attended some sort of design event – the Cosentino [event], EuroCucina (and Milan Design Week) and next week I leave for a week in Valencia, Spain attending Cevisama (Spain's tile and stone show). What I'm most influenced by in my travels is the European comfort with using multiple materials in the same room. I have always embraced this philosophy, but the Europeans bring it to an even higher art form." Rigby Fisher also cites "the higher use of man-made mate- rials (laminate and quartz) and using natural materials as an accent" as global trends that influence her work here in the U.S. She says, "Since natural materials are a resource that's becoming more challenging to obtain (i.e. clear grain wood, granites, mar- bles), it makes sense that we use these products more sparingly. [And] it's easier to sell this concept to our clients as man-made materials are easier to maintain and keep looking fresh. The global influence I have retained and applied to my work is that each material is precious and should be used accordingly." Patricia Davis Brown, ASID, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD, and owner of the Vero Beach, FL-based Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC also takes a global perspective into her designs, stating, "I am in- fluenced by the world." She is passionate about applying shapes and textures to her designs, and is always looking for inspiration – which makes travel an essential part of her design journey. She explains, "Global travel offers me the chance to see old architecture that influences today's trends. Most trends begin in Europe, which is where design began." For that reason, she feels it's important to attend the international shows and keep an eye out for trends that will come to the U.S. so she can stay ahead of the curve. "As a designer," she continues, "it is my job to stay on trend for my clients. I never want to finish a design on a new project that isn't fresh." However, she also works to apply the trends she sees in a unique way, explaining, "I never repeat a look over and over again; that's boring. I let trends inspire me, but I do not copy them." As an example, she cites a coastal design project where she created back-painted glass and mixed it with mahogany panels for a featured wall. "Mixing unexpected materials that are trending is a way to do that." She notes that her next planned trip will be to the inter- national tile show in Spain "because tile trends influence my designs in a big way. Tile adds textures and color to the space that I play off of with other elements in the room." T Designer Robin Rigby Fisher finds that her designs are often influenced by her travels, particularly the European comfort with using man-made materials, as seen in this kitchen. Photo: NW Architectural Photography February 2019 • KitchenBathDesign.com 51 GLOBAL TRENDS

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