KBB - April 2015 - (Page 72)

LAST WORD Designer Rhonda Knoche talks success, K&B trends and becoming the NKBA U Professional of the Year How does it feel to be the NKBA U Professional of the Year? That was such a nice surprise and a great honor. After I finished my presentation in the final round at KBIS, I threw an impromptu fist in the air, saying "Stay in school!" I have taken 15 classes in the last five years from NKBA U and other organizations, and I'm honored to represent the important role continuing education plays across our industry - not just for designers but for remodelers, builders, wholesalers - all of us. Finding the time and committing to your professional development can be challenging, especially when you own your own business and wear many hats. But NKBA U offers its courses online - many on-demand, available 24/7, so there is no good excuse not to stay current with education. For me, winning the NKBA U Professional of the Year also validates the value of certification in our industry. It took me four times to pass the CKD and three times to pass CBD. It took JFK Jr. five times to pass the bar. Even for some of us with bad test-taking skills or learning disabilities - giving up is not an option. That made receiving this award an even bigger honor. How did you get into the kitchen & bath industry? My mom was a caterer for 33 years, so we lived in the kitchen. She renovated our kitchen when I was 16, and she was so very far ahead of where design was at that time. My upbringing ignited a passion that would come full circle in my late 20s after I decided a career in oncology in the health sciences sector wasn't for me. I went back to school to get my interior design and architectural design degrees (35 years ago) and had an internship with a great mentor who would become one of many to help shape me as a professional. I'm so grateful for each of them. What has been one of your most rewarding projects? My projects are a reflection of my clients who live in the space - not a reflection of me. In fact, you should not be able to recognize "me" in any of my projects; it is all about my clients' tastes.You'll see that in the diversity of projects featured in my Houzz portfolio, especially a project I completed with my metal sculptor client. I showed him a concept that didn't make it off the drawing board several years ago, but he loved it and wanted to see more. I designed hardware for his kitchen that could transfer from one cabinet door to another. We used copper on the backsplash, knowing the material will patina as it ages - something the homeowner is looking forward to. A large question mark serves as the refrigerator handle, and an exclamation point opens the wine cooler. My client was open to my ideas and was a good collaborator. Knoche's kitchen project with the help of her metal sculptor client finishes and details. People are talking more about functionality and ergonomics as part of a comfortable lifestyle, and personalization is key. I'm also excited that homeowners want to make full use of their home - they're moving away from formal dining rooms and using the extra space to add to the kitchen - or adding an outdoor kitchen so they can fully enjoy their backyard. If you are not using the space, it's expensive real estate. When it comes to the bathroom, steam showers are growing in demand; clients see this space as a retreat to wind down and decompress. Gone are those two-person tubs that came standard in homes built during the 80s and 90s. Unless a client thoroughly enjoys a luxurious soak, they have no issue losing the tub to make room for something they'll enjoy and use much more. I am seeing more contemporary lines because we are trying to calm ourselves and make our spaces cleaner and more minimalist. What are some lessons you have learned you can share with other designers? After 23 years of working at the same large design/build firm, I launched my own business during the worst economic times, so I had to learn to think outside the bubble and say "yes" to everything. I joined the NKBA and other associations, I networked at various events, and I always wrote thank you notes. I force myself to do something new each day and recently met 10 new people at KBIS I had only known via social media. Expanding your wheelhouse with more education and classes is pivotal. n - By Chelsie Butler Knoche's Secrets to Success * I force myself to do something new each day. * We need to stop sometimes and assess where we are in our careers and look forward with fresh eyes. * Some of our best ideas are often on the cutting-room floor. What are some kitchen & bath trends you've recently noticed (and liked)? * Take advantage of the wonderful opportunities and people around you every day. To balance out all of the technology and electronics, I'm seeing softer 72 + K BB April 2015 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - April 2015

Contents
Online Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Director’s Note
People & Places
Universal Design
Before & After
Solutions
Special Report
Tech Savvy
ICFF Special Section
Trends
Products
Design
Hidden Agenda
Not Your Typical Kitchen
The Rest Is History
Learning Corner
Last Word

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