Monthly Archives: February 2014

2014 New American Home in Las Vegas

Suite Upgrades

The 2014 New American Home demonstration house in Henderson, Nevada, sponsored by Builder magazine, debuted during the big home builder show (IBS) in Las Vegas last month. I expected over-the-topness. At 7,440 sq. ft. — including a three-room master suite, “VIP” guest suite, in-law “carriage suite,” casita-office, outdoor bar and grill, lap pool, and extensive roof decks — it wasn’t as

TNAH exterior large 1-27-2014

as lavish as some, but did not disappoint. Design-wise, it’s “Desert Modern.” Aging in place was a priority — hence the secondary ground floor master suite and an elevator to the “carriage suite.”As I have mentioned before, despite the name, Continue reading

Kitchen, Bath, Garage, & Color Palette News

Sliding, Storing, Painting & More at the Las Vegas Home Show

Several home trends — from versatility to Universal Design — remain strong or are gathering steam, as evidenced at last week’s Home Builder/Kitchen & Bath Show in Las Vegas (also known as Design & Construction Week). Hafele, a company known for innovative connectors, hinges, and other cabinet hardware systems, used its booth to showcase several cool ideas with the help of noted


kitchen designer Mary Jo Peterson, CKD of MJP Design. She gave me a tour. Sliding and pivot-up doors (instead of the conventional swing-out kind) were much in evidence.


They’re especially convenient for tighter kitchens with higher cabinet clearances. Most striking to me was the large kitchen island with

IMG_4826the Silestone top that extends on sturdy Hafele drawer glides to become an eating bar. In this photo it’s in the original compact position — forming a slightly raised counter  1- inch above the sink surface in the background — perfect for a

Hafele kitchen island extended

casual buffet. Now see how the top section extends to become a cantilevered eating bar (photo courtesy Hafele). Mary Jo made me realize that every trade show booth should be more like this idea lab that she designed — showing not just new products but innovative ways to use them.

In some ways the garage is becoming an extension of the kitchen — or vice-versa — according to what I saw at the Gladiator Garageworks press conference, where  IMG_4850the company debuted its new butcher block-topped rolling cart, which works well as a small kitchen  island or versatile counter extension. It will also come in stainless steel. Garageworks also launched new colors — including red, green,


and purple  — for its trademark diamond-plate pattern cabinet fronts. I think the company is beginning to realize that not everything in its line needs to have that heavy gray plated look. And their wall storage systems — with snap-in storage bags and other accessories — keep getting more versatile.

Universal Design — which is about achieving accessibility in the home and elsewhere — was well illustrated by Toto, the international Japanese bath products company. Toto’s roll-in shower mock-up at the show, shown below,


proves that sleekness and accessibility are not mutually exclusive, with elegant wheelchair-ready surfaces and grab bars complementing the overall design.

The big Kohler booth was crowded —  a Pinterest sign led me to their new “Damask” line of traditionally styled wood vanities. This 60-inch model comes


with many different drawer options, including a clever charging tray that slips around the plumbing, and various inserts for storing smaller items. I liked the way the traditional design offered some very practical contemporary storage options.

Selecting paint color for the interior of your home is daunting because there’s just too much choice — some color wheels have more than a thousand chips. What’s needed is a well curated selection to get you going — and Benjamin Moore has done just that with their 23 hue Color Trends 2014 paint palette, which

Benjamin moore rooms

they launched at the show. The accompanying text tries a little too hard to be poetic but the palette offers a fine range and all the colors work together.

Benjamin Moore

It’s billed as a “natural palette” and according to the company  “is a reaction to all the color cues that we have noticed popping up in the home furnishing industry… textiles, carpets, wallpapers, tabletops and pottery, as well as color schemes that emerge in landscape design, the auto industry, fashion, and graphics.”  You can see the cross-branding trend mentioned in the previous post at work here — some of these Benjamin Moore colors are shown at the Kohler booth in their vessel sink display. I guess the epigraph for E. M. Forster’s 1910 novel Howard’s End — “Only connect” — is now a corporate mantra!





2014 Home Builder/Kitchen & Bath Show

Consolidation and Collaboration

There was new energy and excitement at this year’s International Home Builder Show (IBS) in Las Vegas thanks to its joint presentation with the National Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). More than 75,000 attended. Collaboration and cross-branding were the order of the day. Indeed, the 3-day event is now called Design and Construction Week and is the start of a three-year association. This means that where there was trade show pain due to the Recessions, there is new potential. And it seems an overdue connection, since kitchens and baths tend to be popular features of most homes — one wonders why someone didn’t think of this before!


For the first time since 2007 exhibits seemed to be expanding and the convention floor felt crowded with customers. And companies have discovered the usefulness of social media sites like Pinterest — Kohler seems to be the early

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