Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

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I have been in the business of designing kitchens and baths for 25 years now, and I recently found some old pictures of projects I had designed back in the day. Beyond being horrified, I noticed how almost every kitchen was similar in its layout, plumbing, appliances, and countertop selections. And with the exception of some questionable decor choices and a ghastly balloon window valance every so often, the cabinet styles and finishes were fairly standard—and anemic. What happened since then? Did Madonna teach us to find our personalities and express ourselves?


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Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

A Quinn kitchen in Nashville that merges high style with high function. Photo: Mali Azima

It was probably not Madonna, but rather a combination of many factors that has transformed kitchens and baths into a multi-billion dollar industry and created an enormous community of kitchen and bath designers like me who are passionate about customized and curated spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful.

Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

A kitchen for the Kips Bay Show House that incorporates a corner sink. Photo: Josh McHugh

The popularity of open floor plans, affordable travel, globalization of products and ideas, boutique hotels, technology, the Food Network, and the rise of celebrity chefs are just a few of the many reasons why homeowners today consider their kitchen, their baths, and their dressing rooms not only to be their stylistic calling card but proof that they understand that a well-designed space will save them time and money, and enhance their quality of life.

Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

Quinn's innovative SocialCorner sink for Julian Home Refinements. Photo: Mali Azima
Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design
A diagram of how the corner sink allows for a more sociable kitchen. Image courtesy of Matthew Quinn.

Since the 80s are back in fashion, are we headed back to the days of sameness, but with spaces that are the opposite of anemic? I think we actually have to be careful as a design community. In an effort at saving time, many designers are using social media and beautifully curated websites like this one as their paint-by-numbers instruction manuals. So what once was conceptualized by a designer/architect as original and unique to a particular homeowner and situation, is now copy and pasted for some other homeowner—regardless of his or her personality, tastes, and desires.

Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

LaCornue's Chateau 150 range in Quinn's Quintessential Teal, a favorite color that allows total customization. Image courtesy of LaCornue.

I think of design as a kind of Bingo card. I might have a couple of the same numbers as the guy next to me, but there are 13,377 different combinations that will still get me to Bingo.  There are millions of colors, finishes, products, styles, and options that can be employed in these spaces; I want to explore them all and work hard to find the right ones for each of my clients.

Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

A tile design by Quinn for AKDO that brings vivid color to the bath. Photo courtesy of AKDO.

So what is the future of kitchen and bath design? This website is the future, because it is giving designers/architects and homeowners access to thousands of expertly curated products that can be combined with thousands of other products to achieve the perfect result for each space. Many manufacturers are integrating designers and architects into their research and product development, and the result is a plethora of licensed products that are elevating the taste and style of their offerings, and giving us that many more choices.

Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design

A Kips Bay Show House kitchen that turns the kitchen into a living area. Photo: Josh McHugh
Matthew Quinn on Trends, Timelessness, and Technology in Kitchen & Bath Design
A "virtual-reality" rendering of the kind that will transform client presentations. Image courtesy of Matthew Quinn.

Technology can already take this “shopping cart” of selections and create photorealistic renderings and virtual reality experiences; this technology will only become more accessible and user-friendly in the future. I look forward to not destroying another pair of Ferragamos at a job site meeting on a 100-degree day by attending that meeting via hologram. But more than anything, I look forward to wireless electricity, so I don’t have to determine the precise and proper location for another duplex outlet ever again.

Source: Internet

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