What is the NKBA? I’m so embarrassed to admit that before our trip to Milan with Modenus Blogtour, I knew that the NKBA stood for the National Kitchen and Bath Association but I wasn’t involved nor did I have any buddies involved. Well, now I do!!
While in Milan at yet another fabulous cocktail party, I met President Elect for 2014 the extraordinary Maria Stapperfenne. She agreed to let me interview her so that our readers could learn more about another one of our fabulous Modenus Blogtour sponsors.
Our fearless leader in Milan, Veronika Miller of Modenus and my new friend Maria
Kandrac & Kole: What is your position with the NKBA?
Maria: I am the President Elect for the NKBA in 2014. This means I will automatically become 2015 National NKBA President! VERY exciting!
Kandrac & Kole: How long have you been a Kitchen and Bath Designer?
Maria: I have been a kitchen and bath designer for the last 22 years. Yea, I’m old.
Kandrac & Kole: I’m embarrassed to admit this but before the NKBA sponsored Blogtour Milan which I participated in, I wasn’t aware of the NKBA. How did I miss such an informative, supportive organization?
Maria: WOW! I don’t know how you could’ve possibly missed us! Especially since our Georgia chapter is SO vibrant! What sets NKBA apart from other design organizations is that we focus on the performance, as well as the design. Our members understand the mechanical room requirements of fixtures and fittings. It’s a good resource for all designers. Here’s more about our Georgia chapter: http://www.nkbaga.org/.
Kandrac & Kole: The NKBA website is chock full of great information including a fantastic gallery of inspiring kitchens and baths. Do you think that it’s used more by designers or homeowners?
Maria: Thank you! The Inspiration Gallery is from our annual Design Competition Winners, and we know that homeowners, designers and the press access it frequently. Other tools for homeowners include our PROsearch http://www.nkba.org/Design/Homeowners/ProSearch.aspx and planners that explain the process of designing and installing a new kitchen or bathroom: https://www.nkba.org/Learn/Homeowners/Planners.aspx
Kandrac & Kole: The NKBA University is a cool concept. How did that come about?
Maria: NKBA University may be the COOLEST concept the association has ever done. Our Board of Directors set a strategic plan for the association where we elevated learning to one of the highest priorities. The world is changing: it’s not business as usual, it’s not marketing as usual. We wanted to give our members access to the learning tools that the biggest companies in North America use to train their people. Our learning offerings are available to anyone, but there are special options only available to members. Take a look at our offerings: http://www.nkba.org/Courses.aspx
Kandrac & Kole: Knowing all that you know and given what you saw at Eurocucina in Milan, what do you see as the hot trends for kitchen and bath design?
Maria: NKBA conducts an annual design survey among our design members, so I can speak to what we’re seeing across North America. More of our members are reporting more contemporary kitchens and baths, with clean, minimal lines and little ornamentation. Of course, there are regional differences, but 62% of NKBA designers surveyed said contemporary kitchens design is on the upswing for 2014, finishing a slight second to transitional kitchen design in 2013.
Photo by Chasen West for Modenus
Kandrac & Kole: I noticed at Salone Mobile in Milan that in the kitchens, all of the appliances are hidden behind cabinetry and the kitchens are much more contemporary. Do you think this trend will be mainstream America one day or our we too traditional?
Maria: As noted above, there is increasing demand and acceptance of contemporary designs with clean minimal lines in North America. I would expect to see many inspirations such as this crossing the pond, as they say. 😉
Kandrac & Kole: Let’s get down to business – how did those Bernie Mev shoes hold up after all those hours of walking in Milan? I got lots of comments on mine. How about you?
Maria: Those Bernie Mev shoes were great! I loved the memory foam inside! I personally found that they worked better if I wore them with bare feet, as my foot was less apt to slide forward and have my toes get all crunchy in the front of the shoe. But they were wicked comfortable, and I wore them all day without issue! I knew I was wearing only dresses, so I needed a shoe that was comfortable and yet would look decent with a dress – tall order. I was so tickled to see that we had the same shoe, only in different colors – LOVED your metallic color!
Kandrac & Kole: While you were in Milan, what is the most delectable dish you ate? Mine was the lasagna!
Maria: Far and away, the lasagna at Gotto Rosso was my absolute fav!
Kandrac & Kole: Lastly, you are quite the personality (I loved you right away). What will your stamp be on the NKBA as President?
Maria: Thank you so much for the kind words – you made it easy by being such a comfortable person to be with! I have no ‘stamp’ I hope to leave other than that I was helpful to our members in moving our strategic plan FORWARD, this direction and plan is determined by our members and their representatives to the Board of Directors. Our amazing staff helps execute these directives, all for our members’ benefit. Its a wonderful feeling to be a part of the solution for so many to be the very best professionals that they want to be. 🙂