Wellness in Kitchen Design: Is Design Making Clients Fat?


The Globe and Mail recently published an article “Is your sleek new kitchen making you fat? Modern spaces are not doing your waistline any favours” (Ellen Himelfarb, April 9, 2015) that claims that kitchen designers are “inadvertently helping to foster unhealthy habits.” and it is supported by two major influencers in the sphere of consumer habits:
The consumer behavioural and nutritional science researcher Dr. Brian Wansink (Ph.D. Stanford 1990), who authored “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think” and “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.”
The managing editor of Treehugger Lloyd Alter, who is also an Adjunct Professor of sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design (Toronto) and a well published writer in Azure, The Guardian, and Huffington Post.

Read the article here.

The fundamental premise that current kitchen design methodology lacks awareness of consumer eating habits and that designers are causing unhealthy lifestyles might go against all the principals, standards, and ethics that we are taught and/or learn as skilled professionals. The reaction is quite visceral and real. Have we, Certified Kitchen Designers, Interior Designers who work as professional kitchen designers, or associated industries contributed to un-healthy homes for our clients?

There is a new surge in the interior design and architectural field called “Wellness Design”. ASID has begun to shift their focus onto this topic and how they can help their membership and professionals become more nimble to the overall well-being of the end users – our clients.

Our discussion questions:

1.) Is the intent of kitchen design to make our clients fat?

2.) What is “wellness design” in kitchen & bathroom design?

3.) Do K&B professionals require more curriculum & CEU’s on consumer habits?

4.) Has the state of the industry distracted us from this important consumer change?

5.) What are some updates we can make to planning to resolve unhealthy habits in the kitchen?

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Talking Tile from #Coverings2015

Tile is a perpetually popular choice for covering floors, walls, and other surfaces such as countertops. From its timeless, artisanal appeal to its technical characteristics and performance, tile is a staple of quality and beauty, and data confirms that its consumption is on a steady increase throughout North America.

CrossvilleScreenshot 2015-04-07 12.42.25

Laminam Countertops

On April 15th—during the annual Coverings Expo, the ultimate tile and stone conference – #KBtribechat is having a discussion on the topic of tile. We’ll gather with our tribe, some of us live at the show and the rest of us from our respective corners on the map, to discuss the latest greatest tile trends and ideas for installations.

CrossvilleTileScreenshot 2015-04-07 12.42.06

Laminam by Crossville

Here are the discussion questions:

Q1: Latest tile trends: Discuss! (colors/sizes/textures)

Q2: What tile styles are tops for kitchens & baths? Share images!

Q3: Show/share your latest tile projects (or others’ projects you love).

Q4: Are you using more tile these days—beyond kitchen & bath?

Q5: Where do you get tile inspiration?

For the third consecutive year, our Coverings chat will be sponsored and hosted by domestic tile manufacturer Crossville, Inc, maker of beautiful, environmentally friendly porcelain, stone, glass and mosaic tile collections. We’ll convene in the Crossville booth—# 3818—at our standing chat time: Wednesday, April 15th at 11 a.m. P.T./2 p.m. ET. Make plans to join us from wherever in the world you’ll be for a great time talking all things tile.

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.


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Designer Op-Ed: Rising Tides Lifts All Boats

Design Collaboration – The New Normal

By KBtribechat host The Kitchen Design Network


There comes a time in our career when we recognize, if we’re smart, that we can’t be all things to all people; that learning the power of doing what we do and doing it well is better than being a mediocre “jack-of-all -trades”. But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

We’re talking about Kitchen Design, not heart surgery my friends, but let me go on the record and say that nowhere is precision planning, training, and years of experience more important than in the design and planning of a new kitchen, soup to nuts. However, that is not to say that kitchen designers are the only ones competent enough to practice the art of kitchen design?


The economic climate of the past few years found many in the design industry, by necessity, running a “jack of all trades” design practice and struggling to learn new skills to survive. When new work came along, who could afford to say no? While the design business in general was very weak, if you had a strong referral clientele, kitchen projects still existed that provided a lifeline.

Welcome to the “new normal”, a design industry where everyone “does” everything. We don’t have to agree with it or like it but it’s the way that it is. You either change or you’ll find yourself swimming against the current. Not smart. Through it all, many designers find that while designing kitchens is fun, it’s a lot of hard work and it takes a different set of skills than they have in their tool bag and if you make a few mistakes your profit margin plummets South of the Border along with your sanity.


Conversely, kitchen designers, while not trained interior designers, incorporate many aspects of interior design into their finished design projects. Many don’t charge properly and give valuable design time, they’re not buying product well enough to generate adequate revenue to make it feel worth it. So what’s the answer? Collaboration. We’ve been doing this for years and so should you.

The Kitchen Design Network Co-Founders, Rebecca Reynolds and Lori Gilder, own and manage their own design practices. On the majority of their projects they complete all aspects of the kitchen and interior design but have in recent years been asked to collaborate with designers who are not comfortable with designing or managing a kitchen renovation.

The KDN is stopping for next weeks KBTribeChat on Wednesday,  April 8th, to discuss how designers and vendors will benefit through collaboration with other design professionals. Enhance your profile, increase your bottom line and build your professional portfolio.

The Kitchen Design Network seeks to bridge the talents of both professional industries. The “new normal” is here to stay. So while we can’t be all things to all clients, we can say yes to new opportunities. Be savvy, smart designers and designers on both sides of the aisle will benefit because “Rising Tides Lifts All Boats”.

Our KBtribechat QUESTIONS:

1- What changes do you foresee in the Kitchen Industry that will alter how you do business/ generate revenue in the future? i.e., do you see manufacturers selling directly to consumer?

2- What changes would foster a more united industry among kitchen and interior design professionals? With vendors?

3 – What are the pros and cons of designer collaboration on Kitchen Design projects?

4 – What type of products or services would you like to see more of at KBIS?

5- Do you currently collaborate with a designers/architects on kitchen projects? How do separate the lines of responsibility?

6- What could the Kitchen Industry do to elevate the professional images of kitchen designers the way the interior design industry does for interior designers?

Join this Twitter Chat discussion

on Wednesday, April 8th

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Please follow The Kitchen Design Network on:




The Kitchen Design Network is extending an invitation to the KBTribe Chat community to submit 6-8 images of their best kitchen projects along with a head shot, a short bio and link to their site for inclusion in our curated invitation only designer directory which launches this spring. After May 31st, the directory will be by invitation only. Send your request to KitchenDesignNetwork@gmail.com and we’ll send you an invite from Drop Box to upload your images.

Please take our quick Survey!

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.


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What’s Trending in Bathroom Design?

The kitchen and bath industry professionals of KBtribechat will be discussing the latest in bathroom design at the next KBtribechat! photo-3

Here are our KBtribechat discussion questions: 

Our lighting choices for the bathroom are ever expanding and evolving. LED is being added in creative ways.

Q1 – What lighting products are you excited about for the bathroom?

Finish options for plumbing fixtures and bath hardware are abundant to say the least.  With so many choices available, the personalization trend in home design is strong….but is there a most popular material?

Q2 – What finishes are trending for the bathroom and why? Share pics!

At KBtribechat, we have noted that walk-in showers are very popular.  There are so many shower head design choices available. What type are you specifying for your clients? What type of shower head(s) do you prefer and why?

Q3 – What’s trending regarding bathroom showers?

Let’s talk countertops, flooring and walls!

Q4 – What surfaces are currently trending for the bathroom?

Q5 – In general, what’s trending now in bathroom design?

Please share pics of bathrooms!

Join this Twitter Chat discussion

on Wednesday, April 1st

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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Personalization in the Kitchen

At the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Thermador – the luxury appliance brand that offers real innovations for real cooks – is showing its solutions for ultimate kitchen personalization and demonstrating how its innovative built-in modular refrigeration and cooking products address every design, cooking, and entertaining style desired by culinary enthusiasts.


When it comes to designing a kitchen, no longer is it a question of “Do you cook?” or “What is your style?” Rather, the question is becoming: “How and what do you cook, and what elements of design and performance best suit your lifestyle?”

Personalization is growing in importance as more activity takes place in the kitchen, with family and friends becoming active participants in the meal preparation. The cooking experience is now an integral part of any gathering, and culinary enthusiasts want their home to feature a ‘kitchen theater’ designed in a way that enables them to welcome more cooks in the kitchen and put on their best cooking performance. This often means larger spaces, multiple cooking appliances and thoughtful layout that places the appliances in locations that are most useful to the cook.

Thermador is a leader in personalization, offering innovative cooking and cooling appliances that address nearly every design and cooking style. For example, there are now more choices for the cooking surface with the recent launch of the Professional Grill feature for rangetops and ranges, and beginning in June 2015, Thermador will offer the only range and rangetop that can be installed with zero clearance against a combustible wall – the new 30” Five-Burner Pro Rangetop and 30” Five Burner Pro Harmony® Range. Thermador also originated the concept of built-in modular refrigeration with the Freedom® Collection line of refrigeration, freezer and wine columns, and made it possible to break up the traditional side-by-side installation to virtually any configuration a culinary enthusiast wants.

The return of the pioneering, industry-leading One-Two-Free® promotion provides outstanding value when welcoming Thermador into the home, featuring savings of up to $6,097. Those who purchase any Thermador range, or any cooktop plus any oven, qualify to receive a free dishwasher. Embracing personalization, this year Thermador offers more choices for free appliances when refrigeration is added to a One-Two-Free® package. Culinary enthusiasts may now choose from an array of appliances that best suit their personal cooking and entertaining style, such as: a free MicroDrawer® Microwave, a second free dishwasher, free ventilation or they may receive a 50 percent discount on a Built-In Steam and Convection Oven.

To begin planning the ultimate kitchen, visit Thermador.com and browse through the dazzling collection of innovative and powerful appliances that allow real cooks to shine in the kitchen.


Thermador is sponsoring and hosting #KBTribeChat on March 25

to discuss kitchen design and take a look back at the 2015 Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

Join us on Twitter from 11am-12pm PT/2pm-3pm ET

by adding #KBTribeChat to your tweets!

Thermadorphoto 1

Here are the discussion questions:
Q1) What trends were featured at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show that you are most excited about?
Q2) Are there any design details from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show already being used in your current projects? Share photos!
Q3) Thermador originated the built-in modular refrigeration concept. Do you see more clients separating fresh food and freezer?
Q4) Are you seeing a change in the way home owners utilize appliances inside the home?
Q5) What innovations did you see the Architectural Digest Home Design Show that will inspire your designs?
Q6) Thermador has unveiled solutions for ultimate personalization this year. How do you design for the unique needs of clients?

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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Spring Into New Possibilities at the #ADHDS2015 #KBtribechat

Our goal is to learn during our hour of sharing while having fun. We aim to surprise you with new, relevant industry information in a way that inspires. KBtribechat is translating this onto the show floor at The Architectural Digest Home Design Show on Thursday, March 19th.

Join us as we spend an hour together at in person at #ADHDS2015 being spoiled by our sponsors!

from 2:30 to 3:30 pm eastern time

on Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not attending the show? Tune into #KBtribechat to join in via Twitter. BS-Marsala-Kitchen KBtribechat starts in the BlueStar booth (#285) at 2:30 pm eastern time. Handcrafted in Reading, Pennsylvania since 1880, BlueStar cooking products are designed for discerning home chefs who demand restaurant-quality results in their own kitchens.  The company’s commitment to precision in form and function is why many top chefs consider BlueStar to be the world’s top-performing residential cooking equipment. Endless configurations are available for ranges, cooktops and wall ovens, including 25,000 BTU burners, 130-degree gentle simmer burners, French Tops, griddles and even a commercial grade salamander. BlueStar also offers an unparalleled 750 colors and finishes, providing a new level of customization options for discerning design professionals.

The BlueStar KBtribechat questions:

Q1) New designs take influence from fashion industry. What fashion influences do you see in K & B trends here at BlueStar? Q1a) Specifically, what types of colors, metals, textures, finish options seem to be trending?

Q2) True pro appliances continue to be a theme.  What BlueStar offerings complete a true chef’s home kitchen?

BigChillPro_Fridge_3Q_french-blue Stop #2 – is in the Big Chill booth next door (#279) starting at 2:50 pm eastern time. Big Chill, creator of the iconic Retro fridge, will be showcasing a series of new products and designs at Booth 279 at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show giving the industry a first-hand look at the future of design innovation in home appliances. Not only will the company be showcasing products from its original, stunning Retro line and the newly-expanded and awarding-winning Pro Line, there will be a plethora of brand new launches and concepts also on display.

The Big Chill KBtribechat questions:

Q1) What are some of the more enduring and timeless trends as it relates to the kitchen?

Q2) Can appliances be truly beautiful as well as functional? Share ways to make the practical, perfect, from design innovation to color.

Bauformat_1-15_4_BDFE Stop #3 – follow the group to the Bauformat booth (#147). We will be there from 3:10 to 3:30 pm eastern time! Combining a family tradition of great design and the manufacturing precision and excellence that comes from expanding an international business over eighty-five years, Bauformat is a continuing innovator in the kitchen and bath cabinetry industry around the globe. Bringing dynamic detail-oriented design to a value-driven line with a broad range of customizable options, Bauformat designers look towards the future by integrating seamless technology with an edited, modern aesthetic. Incorporating details like standard in-cabinetry lighting, sophisticated touch mechanisms like Servo Drive, and a level of detail now synonymous with German production, the team is looking towards our next leaps forward; into kitchen design. Here where function is streamlined by technology, and wrapped in exciting new engineered materials and finishes. Beautifully designed. Flawlessly engineered.

The Bauformat KBtribechat questions:

Q1) Spring is here- what color trends in cabinetry will you incorporate into your designs?  With so many color options in cabinetry, do you go bold, or muted?

Q2) With the introduction of so many more weather-resistant materials into the market, how will you incorporate these into your outdoor living plans/designs?


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A Closer Look at a Special Range

Since its debut at the end of 2014, the Miele Range Series has been making a name for itself in the U.S. market as a revolutionary range that completely redefines the category. After stripping away all conformity in favor of individuality, Miele created a suite that met the consumers’ expectations from a design and functionality standpoint. On March 18th at 2:00 pm EST, come explore the Miele Range… and be prepared to be amazed.


In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the Miele USA YouTube channel to learn more about the only range sophisticated enough to be a Miele.


This KBtribechat is sponsored and hosted by Miele.

Here are their discussion questions:

Question 1: After exploring the Range videos on our YouTube channel, what stands out to you about #TheMieleRange Series?

Question 2: Although induction technology has been around for over 20 years, why do you think it is just recently gaining popularity?

Question 3: Our 48” Range ultimately can be up to 7 appliances in one, can you name all 7?
Question 4: #TheMieleRange offers unique capabilities, one of which allows you to make bread. Do you know our secret?

Question 5: Our M Pro infrared griddle allows you to cook on one surface with no transfer of flavor, what full meal can you imagine cooking on it?

Join this Twitter Chat discussion

on Wednesday, March 18th

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.

Leave a comment

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