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Interior Design trends 2016

Posted On: February 18, 2016

This year’s KBIS showcased a new trend in design that I would call “Industrial - meets- Mid Century- meets- Arts & Craft”  . I’m seeing it everywhere! In the furniture at the hi-end showrooms, in the clothing that is emerging, in kitchen cabinetry along with an evolution in new product materials. 

                     MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.                                      


*Distressed Cabinetry

*Distressed flooring,

*Wood countertop and

*Black metal countertops supports.

*Matte black hardware finishes



Kohler: Black kitchen sinks with dark countertops

 Black is everywhere! Distressed wood is everywhere!  along with  softer, warmer shades of gray.

 Industrial Revival Design...

Vintage influences abound!


    Accent furniture pieces     

Distressed wood! It’s everywhere. Interior walls, furniture, flooring, porcelain tile and kitchen/bathroom cabinetry.  I love it! However, it takes a trained eye of an interior designer to bring the elements together and make the space “work”.  There is so much product on the market it is impossible for the lay person to know all there is to know. 



                                             *Right: Fairmont Designs vanity

Farmhouse sink Vanity with distressed Oak wood doors.

 Black and Gold

One of these design trends that I am seeing in Kitchen and Bathroom design is the use of Matte Black for plumbing fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom. Also, combining this new Matte Black with Polished Brass or Satin Nickel for faucets. 


                   Check out these shoes! Black & Gold!


Brizo from Delta Faucets




KBIS 2016 Feedback Booth

Posted On: February 02, 2016


 This years Kitchen & Bath Industry Show  KBIS was a wonderful experience and well worh the effort it took to attend.  The show was in Las Vegas this year on 01/19-21/2016 at the convention center and was combined with the Builders Show IBS. Also part of the Design & Construction week was the window coverings show IWCE and last but not least the Surfaces Show located in Mandelay Bay. Whew, that was a lot to write let alone attend! There was so much to see and do with not enough days to do it in. We literally RAN to exhibits for the last 2 hours of the show.

My Iphone calculated anywhere from 8,000 to 14,000 steps a day.  I actually lost 5 lbs, if you could believe it.

Anyway, here is this one designer's out take from the show. I want to share all the inside scoop regarding Kitchen and Bathroom design trends and product innovation. 

It is with great pride that I extend my professional knowledge and opinion to you, I hope you enjoy!

Alison Solar


  Kohler had some great new kitchen sinks. As an interior designer I appreciate the selection that Kohler has to offer when it comes to sinks, both kitchen and bathroom.  

This year they showed some new colors in their pallet and beautiful farmhouse/ apron front sinks.  

Lots of nice new product.

 There is also a new product offered from Kohler, it is the Neoroc product excluve to Kohler. It looks fantastic.  And BLACK seems to be a new "IT" color for sinks, faucets and the like.  This new BLACK trend is shown in Matte finishes and even combined with gold ao stainless steel.

Like all new product finishes and materials only time will tell what becomes of it.  Your polished chrome, satin nickle and stainless steel are still strong players in the market, however will this new black stand the test of time wear and tear.

I took a sample of this material home as they were giving out 1 1/2' x 2" chips. Then I tried to scratch it.  I scraped it with a knife and below is the picture.  Soap, water and a scotch pad did not remove the scratches. 

So, on this product although I LOVE the look, I'm not sold on the material this year.




 This is a gorgeous faucet from Brizo showing the HOT color trend in faucet fixtures:

             Matte Black with polished Gold accents.

For those ofyou who aren't familiar, Brizo is the luxury brand from Delta Faucets.


Custom Furniture

Posted On: January 28, 2016


   Furniture designed by Alison Solar.



  • Solara Designs Custom cabinetry
  • Schaub Hardware
  •   Hafele Stainless steel desk leg
  •  Hafele Stainless steel cabinet legs




These are two pieces I designed for a commercial retail office of an International Jewelry buying & selling company, located in Manhasset, NY. The credenza is 66" W x 35" H x 18" D and the desk is 36" with a 60" angled open base.

I must say this was an exciting project to work on. My concept was influenced by the VP's desire for "simple", thereby relating to  a mid-century '60's feel. I had to do a lot of research to compile components available in the cabinet manufacturing industry to create the look. I had this vision in my head and needed to bring it to life.

The straight, clean lines along with the mixture of materials and textures gives these pieces their own unique style. The doors are flat panel, vertical grain maple wood with a custom stain. These doors are from a company called Conestoga, they are a cabinet door manufacturer that many kitchen cabinet manufacturers resource to for various custom cabinet components. Then there is the door and drawer hardware which is from a company called Schaub Hardware in a satin stainless steel finish. The desk support leg and credenza feet are from Hafele, another supplier of cabinetry components, both in a brushed stainless finish.  The countertops are from Northern Contours, a thermofoil door and surfaces manufacturer, utilizing their faux leather dark brown laminate with a bullnose edge.

All the components arrived separately to the job site and my contractors assembled the tops, legs and hardware to the custom cabinetry I had built.

Solara Designs is a private labeled cabinet line, comprised of all plywood construction, available in framed or frameless. Solid wood drawer boxes with soft close slides and soft close hinges are standard. Having a company that can produce these pieces for me gives me endless possibilities. Knowledge of product is paramount so I am always seeking. Like I say, "Knowledge is power"!

Here is a little background on me: After I graduated from FIT for Interior Design in 1992 I got involved with designing and building custom furniture, cabinetry, wall units and countertops, just to name a few, for residential and commercial projects. I had a woodworking shop in my garage and my then boyfriend taught me how to do custom woodworking. We would collaborate on projects, design unique pieces and build things together. I would use the table saw, routers, sanders and all kinds of things. However, I'm not a good detail person, so a majority of the finish work was done by my partner. I did assisted on installations, though! Along the way I grew my knowledge of woodworking and developed a passion for cabinetry, interior architecture and the like.