Why This Kitchen Designer Attends Furniture Shows
Are you wondering why a kitchen designer would attend a furniture show? Yes, I am an interior designer, but my specialty is kitchen and bath. I love to attend industry events where I can be exposed to products, materials, education, and inspiration. Conferences like KBIS (Kitchen Bath Industry Show) ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) and HPMKT (High Point Market) are my favorites. These shows offer a glimpse at what is on the horizon for the design community which directly affects the kitchen and bath space. I hope you enjoy my finds from High Point, from a kitchen designer’s POV.
Kitchen Designer POV: Accessories
There is more to designing a kitchen than just the cabinets and countertops. Yes, those are important components but you need more than just those parts to complete the design. Shopping for accessories that are both functional and beautiful is always on my list of must-find items. These pieces are the final touches to a complete room design. Think of the beautiful images that grace magazines and IG. Now imagine seeing images of just a kitchen without all of the beautiful accent details. These touches add style and grace.
Color and Textures.
The colors and textures shown will influence everything from tiles for floors and walls to stains and paints for cabinets and bath fixtures, remember the colorful toilets from KBIS?
In addition to material finishes, these colors and textures will find their way into the wall coverings for many of my projects. Taking cues from these patterns will influence lighting selections and hardware details I specify. Many of the details shown on the furniture pieces will find their way into my cabinetry.
Kitchen Designer POV: Lighting
Nothing is more important than great lighting. Yes, you will need layers of light. While it may be true that kitchens and baths do rely on recessed lighting for general illumination decorative lighting is the star.
Lighting for a table area, an island, a mudroom, or a bar creates a visual impact on any room, especially in a kitchen. The pendants shown below would be right at home above a kitchen island or in a powder room
I would love to see this pendant in a primary bathroom. The globes remind me of bubbles.
This light fixture from Hudson Valley Lighting Group is on my list for a home gym I am designing. Lighting can be fun and functional.
Mirror Mirror on the wall.
Every bathroom I design calls for a mirror. Inlay was a very popular material on everything from furniture to functional accent pieces. Mirrors are great to source at the furniture market. I like seeing the products in person so I know that they are of good quality. I love the black and white inlay detail on this mirror.
Here is another simple but elegant mirror that could grace the wall of any bathroom.
Let’s not forget the furniture.
Just about every kitchen I design includes counter stools and or a table. The same applies to media rooms, home offices, and even bathrooms. A small side table near a freestanding tub or an interesting bench for a dressing table are pieces you don’t necessarily think of when envisioning a bathroom design. The furniture markets are great places to discover new sources for just these pieces.
Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, CKD
Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. She is a current member of the editorial board of KBB Magazine, the official magazine of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Sharon has also received a Kitchen Bath Design News 2022 Innovator of the Year Award.
Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Furniture Lighting and Decor, Designers Today, Bergen NJ magazine, Kitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger, and Aspire as well as several books.
Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on DesignNJ.com and KBBonline.com. She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini. Sharon was a featured speaker for *Voices From The Industry* at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and The International Surfaces Event and is available for further speaking engagements nationwide on all topics related to running a successful kitchen and bath design business. She is also a CEU provider for IDCEC.