Month: September 2014

NKBA 30 under 30 designer profile: Molly Switzer

In July, the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 30 under 30 designers. These designers were nominated by their peers and have already shown impressive results in their careers. And they are a lot of fun!

We interviewed each designer to learn a little more about their background and design experiences so far. Today’s profile highlights Molly Switzer with Precision Countertops in Portland, Oregon.

 

Molly Switzer, NKBA 30 under 30 designer, and recent MEC attendee

Molly Switzer, NKBA 30 under 30 designer, and recent MEC attendee

 

SRFD: How did you become interested in Design?

Molly: My entire family is artistically talented – it was a natural step when i decided studying music specific business wasn’t going to full fill my personal needs . I started the pre-architecture program with the University of Oregon which spoke more to my artistic and creative capabilities. I quickly identified myself with the residential side of design and the discovery of the kitchen and bath program with my university pushed my love for design over the edge – I had finally found my calling. I became heavily involved with both the student and professional NKBA chapters to nurture my passion and found a huge amount of personal joy in the design field.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Molly: The best projects are the ones where your clients get involved in the design process and begin to develop a fluid and trusting relationship with their job. I have had a few clients recently that have trusted me with some exciting and out of the box design concepts which allowed my design creativity to flourish. These are the projects I look back at and smile, especially when the clients are just as excited to show off their new space as I am.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Molly: The kitchen island being a different color cabinet set and countertop from the perimeter, it is easily the most obvious next “white tile Plague” which will severely date a space. Not to say that this trend cannot be done well, it can, but it is typically not thought about enough at length to be a successful design.

SRFD: A trend you are excited about?

Molly: I am extremely excited about the increase in available textures in today’s designs. From reclaimed woods, to a variety of metals both in finish and types, also the textured countertop products and the huge variety in backsplash options. With amazing lighting these textures bring a space to life.

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Molly: I’m ready to sell every millennial I have ever met an Advantium SpeedCook Oven, it fits the true millennial lifestyle – and everyone that I have explained the oven to has fallen in love. GE’s research and technology development processes go above and beyond. I cannot believe the amount of detail they have thought in for all of their products we had the pleasure of learning about. The 48″ Professional series range is amazing, I had one installed in a good friend’s project of mine, and was able to educate him on many of the features and benefits for the best possible cooking experience for him and my ability to sell this product to many future clients.

NKBA 30 under 30 designer profile: Andrew Saladino

In July, the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 30 under 30 designers. These designers were nominated by their peers and have already shown impressive results in their careers. And they are a lot of fun!

We interviewed each designer to learn a little more about their background and design experiences so far. Today’s profile highlights Andrew Saladino with Kitchen Cabinet Kings.

 

Andrew Saladino, one of the NKBA 30 under 30 designers

Andrew Saladino, one of the NKBA 30 under 30 designers

 

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Andrew: I’ve had a love for design for as long as I can remember. It’s a way to express yourself without the need for words.

At Kitchen Cabinet Kings, our customers come to us with an idea for their kitchen and we work together to create a kitchen design that is unique and designed specifically for them and their needs. I get an amazing sense of satisfaction knowing that I helped them create a kitchen that is an extension of their personality that they’ll enjoy for years to come. I can’t think of anything else like it!

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Andrew: I had so much fun working on my brother’s kitchen in his new home. My brother and I started Kitchen Cabinet Kings together and this was the first time we worked together on a design. We went through countless revisions and had a few disagreements along the way, but ended up with a kitchen that we were both proud of.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Andrew: I think after all of these years, I’m finally over stainless steel appliances. This trend has been around for nearly 10 years and has become a staple in nearly every kitchen we design. It’s so boring!

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Andrew: This question goes hand in hand with the last question … a trend that I’m really excited about are new appliance finishes. On my recent trip to the GE Monogram Experience Center, I learned about GE’s new premium appliance finish, Slate, and fell in love. It provides the same elegant look of stainless steel without actually being stainless steel. The dark matte finish hides fingerprints (the worst part about stainless!) and looks fantastic in person.

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Andrew: I learned about the history of GE and how much work goes into making the everyday appliances that we use. My perception of appliances has changed forever and I will never take my refrigerator for granted ever again.

If you’re a huge fan of kitchen and bathroom design like I am, I highly recommend the Kitchen Cabinet Kings blog. You’ll find creative design tips, ideas and DIY projects that are sure to keep you busy if you’re looking to make a change.

FirstBuild is Louisville’s first microfactory

Louisville is quite lucky (for so many reasons!), but today I’m going to focus on the new FirstBuild microfactory that opened on the University of Louisville campus in July. A partnership between GE, GE Appliances, Local Motors and the University, FirstBuild is introducing the next generation of appliances – designed, built and sold using an online community co-creation and micromanufacturing model, which will revolutionize the way things are made.

The concept is a unique collaboration between a physical community and an online community whose ideas build upon each other to help design products and solve engineering questions. And the end result? Consumer-driven products in the market at a rapid pace. Until now, customization and speed to market presented challenges for mass appliance manufacturers like GE Appliances. FirstBuild not only enables customization through small-batch production, but also helps get these products to market faster than ever before without the cost and risk of traditional mass manufacturing.

FirstBuild community members will submit ideas, vote on which concepts become challenges or projects, and determine which products move on to production. Prizes and sales royalties will be awarded to community members who make significant contributions. To learn more, sign up at FirstBuild.com.

Mary Beckmann, community lead, works in the FirstBuild lab where community members come together to build prototypes of next generation appliances.

Mary Beckmann, community lead, works in the FirstBuild lab where community members come together to build prototypes of next generation appliances.

NKBA 30 under 30 designer profile: Brittany Gardner

In July, the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 30 under 30 designers. These designers were nominated by their peers and have already shown impressive results in their careers. And they are a lot of fun!

We interviewed each designer to learn a little more about their background and design experiences so far. Today’s profile highlights Brittany Gardner from the Atlanta, Georgia area.

 

Brittany Gardner, one of the NKBA 30 under 30 designers

Brittany Gardner, one of the NKBA 30 under 30 designers

 

How did you become interested in design? I’ve been interested in design since I was a child. Back then it was more about being creative and I would spend hours playing with paint and making things from different materials. I’ve also been super organized since that time and it was always fun to rearrange my room and closet. I officially decided I wanted to be an interior designer in high school after taking a drafting class and I haven’t looked back since.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed:

Brittany: I work with new home builders and I recently designed the cabinetry for a model home with Ashton Woods Homes in Atlanta. This company is known for their forward thinking design and everything is over the top for their models. This home is still under construction but the kitchen is state of the art with professional appliances and gray cabinetry with a large island for entertaining. The secondary rooms were so much fun and its the first time I’ve seen a residential home equipped with a Speakeasy basement bar and fully custom wine room.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Brittany: I’m over tumbled marble backsplashes

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Brittany: I’m excited about seeing more vibrant colors available on appliances and the mixing of different metal materials. Brass is back … but it’s the “real” brass color and not the polished gold we think of from the 80’s!

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Brittany: I learned so much in Louisville and found it very interesting to see some of the new products being developed. It’s apparent that GE is working hard to listen to consumers and professionals to make products that look good and work well across all residential markets. After comparing pro ranges from several luxury brands, I learned that GE Monogram gives you more bang for the buck.