High Point Market: Challenging the Status Quo
A “Why Can’t I?” moment was among the takeaways at the NKBA Certified Designer Business Summit.
By Elle H-Millard, CKD, NKBA Insider
The NKBA brought more than 70 of its certified designers to a two-day business summit in collaboration with the High Point Market Authority, one of the most important communities in the interior design world to inspire, educate, help them grow their businesses, and gain new perspective on solving design problems in unconventional ways.
The two-day summit included private curated tours around the market, lectures and panel discussions on business strategies and provided Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to maintain certification.
For years now, kitchen and bath industry trends have been focused on cabinetry that looks and feels like furniture, all while providing maximum storage in spaces where every inch is intentionally thought out carefully around client needs and lifestyle. The way we think about cabinetry and furniture is much the same as we are looking for storage solutions that incorporate functionality, durability, cost, aesthetics and technology to create one unit. But infusing interior design with kitchen and bath design allows for new art forms to take place, and allows us to think in terms of “Why Can’t I?” — as in why can’t I repurpose pieces and materials in new ways, or think about untraditional functionality to solve design problems.
Exploring High Point Market offered kitchen and bath designers new insight on how to incorporate the interior design principles and materials into the kitchen and bath: perhaps by utilizing furniture pieces as they are, or maybe by making minor (or major) tweaks to accommodate new uses in unexpected spaces.
Something as simple as altering a finish allows a piece to become well-suited for a high humidity space. Other tweaks could be more subtle, like cutting chase-ways in the furniture to allow for plumbing access. Many manufacturers at High Point Market encouraged designers to create custom pieces with specifications to fit their needs in the kitchen and bath. With restrictions lifted and total creative control, the possibilities become endless with some imagination and determination.
A few top finds follow:
- European Influence: Mid-height cabinetry with tall legs elevating the cabinet off the floor allows illumination on the floor as well as a staging area, providing a warmer feeling to a kitchen or bath while providing storage at easily accessible reach heights. Imagine three or four of these banked together to create a built-in furniture statement wall.
- One-of-a-Kind Islands: The island has become the centerpiece of the kitchen, where having a statement piece is more than just a conversation. Using a bold piece of furniture that doubles as an island creates harmony and balance in a large-scale room.
- Negative Space: Open shelving concepts don’t always have to be floating shelves or a cabinet without doors. Consider using the negative space of a cabinet to create a new dynamic in the kitchen or bath.
- Barn Doors — More Than Just Entryways: The hardware used on barn doors can be incorporated into cabinetry, yielding easy access to storage and eliminating swing clearances.
- Bathroom Vanities: Furniture can often be transformed into a bathroom vanity with finish and plumbing modifications. Add some tall legs to this credenza to create a custom, one-of-a kind look that no one else has.
The NKBA recognizes and celebrates certified designers who have invested in themselves, their businesses and the industry at large. Besides promoting the kitchen and bath business and providing a wide range of services to its membership, one of the key missions of the NKBA is to foster a dialogue and collaboration with other industry professionals and organizations. The association hopes to make the certified designers summit in collaboration with High Point an annual event.