InnoDraw: Digital Measuring Services for KBB showrooms

January 16th, 2011 § Leave a Comment

We’ve all been there, you or your company goes out to measure a job site, photographs the site, double check’s the measurements. However, when inputting the dimensions back at the office you realize you are missing a dimension or something does not add up requiring another trip back out to the job site. There is a service being offered, not nationwide yet, but well worth looking into. A digital measuring service will eliminate expensive measuring errors and CAD design-related costs are significantly reduced.

InnoDraw is a cutting edge Digital measuring service especially suited to the needs of the KBB market in the 21 Century. Customized software and extremely accurate laser measuring devices together with a strong service orientation, provide the ultimate solution for a variety of home improvement projects in the KBB market.

InnoDraw provides a win-win solution for designers, fabricators and their clients.

Compared to using fabricator’s own employees for templating:

  • Templating is now a job cost, not included in fixed overhead
  • The InnoDraw Measuring Specialist works with fabricators’ personnel to get the best value from the service
  • Save up to 40% or more in templating costs
  • Fabricator can work with InnoDraw Measuring Specialists in other locales, avoid long distance commutes and employees’ time

    Compared to mechanical and “stick” templating:
  • Light-weight and highly portable (everything packs into a small shoulder bag)
  • Less set-up time and on-site assembly
  • Measuring Specialist can complete all details on site thus eliminating additional steps in the shop and send directly to fabrication
  • Increased measuring accuracy (about 3/100” at 100’ plus)

InnoDraw  combines laser technology and powerful software together with many years of experience in  the most innovative measuring system available in this market.

Check out this real time video of a kitchen measure:
http://www.screencast.com/t/PuOMcanOCXDy

The Future of Sourcing Product Materials

August 23rd, 2010 § Leave a Comment

I am lucky to have great friends who share really cool ideas with me. This one came from my K & B designer pal Kathy Phillipson who shared this web link, The future of shopping, from Flixxy.com.

In this video, software designed by Cisco,  shows a virtual clothes shopping experience. But can you imagine the possibilities in the Kitchen and Bath Industry? Download a photo or import a new computer rendering of your kitchen or bath, and watch the virtual remodel begin. Imagine viewing a photograph or computerized rendered view with the actual materials for the project in a life like virtual image? Preview tile patterns and layouts, cabinets, paint, appliances in kitchen and bath layouts. This would be so very cool and handy in many ways.

Designer’s would save themselves from scraped knees and sore backs lugging huge tile samples back and forth from store to showroom to job site. Manufacturers could place their virtual product catalog in front of more consumers and update it electronically with ease. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine downloading the newest stain color or door style from your cabinet manufacturer instantly instead of waiting two weeks or more for a sample. Of course actual samples are absolutely necessary before making a decision, but with the power of virtual shopping, this would be an awesome tool to help your client visualize the materials in place in their kitchen or bath remodel. Seeing it in life size views beats a small screen computer monitor any day. It is a known fact many consumers share the same problem in trying to visualize what their kitchen will look like. You can show your client a sample tile or a swatch but with software like this, you can show your client on a life size screen many more design options. The power of this software is truly awesome.   This concept is not far off from what most designers offer now with photo realistic renderings printed from their computer screens, but I believe this software with it’s life size images would take photo realistic images of a remodel to the next level in sales opportunities and ease of more product access.

I can see this as a phenomenal sales tool in a plumbing showroom too. It’s not possible for showrooms to carry samples of every single line available. But with this new software, there are so many cool things you could do with it. Envision a life size virtual kiosk, with a sales associate showing your client a custom shower system, imagine selecting the placement of the body jets, shower head, hand held in a virtual setting. Don’t like the handle style or want to see it in another color? In a flash you pick another. Move the hand held shower to a different spot? No problem. Maybe even show the water spray patterns on shower heads. I mean, think about it, there are endless possibilities with this software.

SketchBook Mobile

September 17th, 2009 § Leave a Comment

Imagine what Michelangelo could do today with this technology.
Watch and be amazed!

For more information, read at It is Alive in the Lab

Free Online Kitchen Visualizations

November 16th, 2008 § 1 Comment

My Edited Image created online at http://showroom.labs.autodesk.com/
Matrix
EuroElectroluxKitchen

Matrix EuroElectroluxKitchen

Builders Homesite, Inc. American Kitchen with Island
My edited image of same kitchen

Rendered images courtesy of http://showroom.labs.autodesk.com.

Kitchen Design Notes was contacted by Noah Kennedy, a product manager for a new technology under development by Autodesk that would allow DIY’s and interior designers to experiment with home remodeling ideas in an entirely new way.

Autodesk, an industry leader in several key design and visualization industries wants to here from you. Autodesk has a vision that decorators want to (1) see their designs quickly, easily and photorealistically before they are real, (2) privately browse real products (furnishings, appliances, paint/wallcoverings, tiles, fabrics, etc.) from real manufacturers, and (3) be able to mix and match products together.

Noah states, “What we need now is feedback: do you and your readers like this vision and do you want to see more? What are we doing right, and what are we missing?”

“Our technology preview shows how this might work- it is free and works on all browsers, and there is no software to install. What we need now is feedback: do you and your readers like this vision and do you want to see more? What are we doing right, and what are we missing?”

Send Noah your feedback. This is a chance for designers and homeowners to give your opinion on what you want in design software.
http://showroom.labs.autodesk.com

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Free Online Kitchen Visualizations

November 16th, 2008 § 1 Comment

My Edited Image created online at http://showroom.labs.autodesk.com/
Matrix
EuroElectroluxKitchen

Matrix EuroElectroluxKitchen

Builders Homesite, Inc. American Kitchen with Island
My edited image of same kitchen

Rendered images courtesy of http://showroom.labs.autodesk.com.

Kitchen Design Notes was contacted by Noah Kennedy, a product manager for a new technology under development by Autodesk that would allow DIY’s and interior designers to experiment with home remodeling ideas in an entirely new way.

Autodesk, an industry leader in several key design and visualization industries wants to here from you. Autodesk has a vision that decorators want to (1) see their designs quickly, easily and photorealistically before they are real, (2) privately browse real products (furnishings, appliances, paint/wallcoverings, tiles, fabrics, etc.) from real manufacturers, and (3) be able to mix and match products together.

Noah states, “What we need now is feedback: do you and your readers like this vision and do you want to see more? What are we doing right, and what are we missing?”

“Our technology preview shows how this might work- it is free and works on all browsers, and there is no software to install. What we need now is feedback: do you and your readers like this vision and do you want to see more? What are we doing right, and what are we missing?”

Send Noah your feedback. This is a chance for designers and homeowners to give your opinion on what you want in design software.
http://showroom.labs.autodesk.com

###

Paint your Kitchen with Cyber Paint

April 6th, 2008 § 1 Comment

Time is money when your painter is waiting for an answer. Hearing the painter ask. “What color?” can be unsettling when all you have to base your decision is off of a small paint chip the size of a business card or a postage stamp.

My client and I were going back and forth on the idea to paint the molding dark or not.
Seeing a concept before you put the paint brush to work is a huge help to visualize the space.

For us, we needed to see french windows, doors and door casing and lots of molding for a comparison. The cabinets and cabinet crown molding is a dark cherry wood, the crown molding around the room is paint grade. Should we go with a dark stain on the exterior doors and casing or paint them light?

There are two on line tools I want to tell you about that are invaluable.
Experimenting with different colors before painting saves a lot of time and mistakes.

Quick Tips:

  1. Take the smaller paint chips from the paint store, grab a 1/2 dozen and paste them together to make one large paint chip if you don’t want to buy a small quart of tester paint.
  2. Dunn Edwards offers larger paint chips (about 4″ x 8″) through the architectural division. You can order these large paint chips on line at no charge.
  3. Have your painter (or do this yourself), apply test samples on the walls and trim. Live with it over the weekend before you commit to the color. View the color in morning, noon and night lighting.

I really like the Paint Brush tool offered at House Beautiful. It is great for quick room concepts, and saves the trip to the paint store. You can do this in the convenience of your home. There are 25 room images to select.The paint colors are from Benjamin Moore, Valspar and Sherwin Williams.

HB Paint Brush is missing the advanced options. It only allows you to pick one color trim for all the trim.
When comparing it to Dunn Edwards Palette Previewer, Dunn Edwards is more advanced and offers more flexability. Again, there is another learning curve. It is not for the impatient, but once you understand how to use it, it is really great to see your scanned photo of your actual room transformed with the paint colors you select. If you want to keep it simple, you can use the sample pictures to paint with.

Both programs allow you to print out the photo of your room with the paint numbers listed. Great idea.

Environment Friendly. I use the Dunn Edwards Computer Palette Previewer on my projects all the time and the larger paint chips so clients don’t have to invest in a quart of paint three or four times over to test multiple samples on the walls. I just wish Dunn Edwards would come out with smaller paint testers. A quart of paint is really a lot of paint when you add up three or more colors consumers may buy before making the final decision. Half empty paint cans for the recycling centers is not eco-friendly.

Virtual Faucet Creator

April 1st, 2008 § Leave a Comment

“Ta da”! Exactly what I needed and I created it.”

Here’s an example of what you can do with the Virtual Faucet Creator… Start with the original BELMONT in a Weathered Copper finish, and then swap the handles for CAMARILLO in Satin Nickel for a new look.


California Faucets launched the new Virtual
Faucet Creator at www.calfaucets.com. This new web based tool provides anyone with the ability to design their own custom bathroom faucet or kitchen faucet by combining any spout style with any handle, in any of over 25 decorative finishes.

Interior designers, architects and homeowners alike can enjoy creating unique custom faucet designs for their home, clients and friends. You can design your custom faucet and share it via email, online or printed in Adobe PDF format. California Faucets’ uniquely flexible product line allows you to create over two million custom faucet combinations quickly and easily.

“Our new Virtual Faucet Creator has revolutionized custom faucet design. With the ability to customize instantly – you don’t have to limit your choices to rigidly mass produced faucets any longer,” says Noah Taft, California Faucets’ Vice President of Marketing.

“Just like Starbucks allows you to customize your coffee, the Virtual Faucet Creator allows you to customize your faucet by pairing any spout with any handle in any of over 25 decorative finishes,” says Jeff Silverstein, President of California Faucets. “You can experiment to your heart’s content until you find the exact faucet that satisfies your unique vision.”


Virtual Faucet Creator’s Key Features

• Thousands of Custom Faucet Configurations Possible

• Select Custom Spouts, Handles and Finishes

• Custom bathroom faucet and kitchen faucet designs may be printed, emailed or saved on-line

California Faucets Virtual Faucet Creator™: www.calfaucets.com/vfcpress

California Faucets Press Room: www.calfaucets.com/frame.asp?main=prssroom.html

Virtual Faucet Creator

April 1st, 2008 § Leave a Comment

“Ta da”! Exactly what I needed and I created it.”

Here’s an example of what you can do with the Virtual Faucet Creator… Start with the original BELMONT in a Weathered Copper finish, and then swap the handles for CAMARILLO in Satin Nickel for a new look.


California Faucets launched the new Virtual
Faucet Creator at www.calfaucets.com. This new web based tool provides anyone with the ability to design their own custom bathroom faucet or kitchen faucet by combining any spout style with any handle, in any of over 25 decorative finishes.

Interior designers, architects and homeowners alike can enjoy creating unique custom faucet designs for their home, clients and friends. You can design your custom faucet and share it via email, online or printed in Adobe PDF format. California Faucets’ uniquely flexible product line allows you to create over two million custom faucet combinations quickly and easily.

“Our new Virtual Faucet Creator has revolutionized custom faucet design. With the ability to customize instantly – you don’t have to limit your choices to rigidly mass produced faucets any longer,” says Noah Taft, California Faucets’ Vice President of Marketing.

“Just like Starbucks allows you to customize your coffee, the Virtual Faucet Creator allows you to customize your faucet by pairing any spout with any handle in any of over 25 decorative finishes,” says Jeff Silverstein, President of California Faucets. “You can experiment to your heart’s content until you find the exact faucet that satisfies your unique vision.”


Virtual Faucet Creator’s Key Features

• Thousands of Custom Faucet Configurations Possible

• Select Custom Spouts, Handles and Finishes

• Custom bathroom faucet and kitchen faucet designs may be printed, emailed or saved on-line

California Faucets Virtual Faucet Creator™: www.calfaucets.com/vfcpress

California Faucets Press Room: www.calfaucets.com/frame.asp?main=prssroom.html

More Talk Around the Blogs on What Else? Color in the Kitchen

October 17th, 2007 § 1 Comment


Have we gone so neutral that we are starved for color? Kitchens never have to be bland. Ok, so the ranges above are a bit wild and may not sell in Iowa, but the point is we have freedom of choice to add color where ever we want in appliances, paint on the walls, choice of artwork, tile splashes, textures and colors for counters, cabinets and hardware means that you can personalize your kitchen with color in any form you desire. Me? Color me happy with anything other than white walls. I tend to shudder when clients want white walls and white ceilings. Give me white appliances, white cabinets and white sinks, but I would really rather eat paste than paint my walls white. Wild pattern on appliances , I am not so inclined to take the plunge preferring muted color pallets instead, but colored LED lighting my water is groovy!

Here is what is going on in the world of design: Over at Design Undercover, the talk is about Cookers in Britain (that’s a “range” to you and me in America), coloring up in new shades. The Cooker as Couture? Inspired from the Catwalks of London, Paris and Milan to Britannia’s new line of Couture Ranges. Leave it to the Europeans. Ooh, la, la!

Britannia says: “Get your inspiration from anywhere and we’ll match it!You’re free to take your colour inspiration from absolutely anywhere and it can be as outrageous or subtle a colour as you like.”

Over at Trendir the news is on Italian new colored Temperautra Colorata Faucet by Guglielmi.

Within this modern form, the Guglielmi Kitchen faucet features an integrated LED light which reveals the water’s temperature through the use of color. Cool water appears brilliant blue, warm water a vibrant violet, while hot is a fiery red. A wonderful faucet for children, the simple use of color adds both a safety feature and a modern glamour. A clever and dynamic design, the Temperatura Colorata faucet by Guglielmi uses LED technology to create an innovative kitchen fixture.

Back in the States: the statement in color for 2007 is more subdued: The newest colors introduced this year: Jenn-Air introduced Oiled Bronze appliances at the 2007 Kitchen and Bath Show.

Jenn-Air combines the traditionalism of bronze sculpture with the polished look of stainless steel accents to create a unique, enduring Oiled Bronze finish for kitchen appliances.

The depth of bronze hues, coupled with the stainless steel handles and hardware, allows the Oiled Bronze kitchen suite to balance with other design features in the kitchen. This versatility allows consumers to outfit a full kitchen of Oiled Bronze appliances or add an Oiled Bronze offering to soften kitchens with stainless steel or black appliances.

The Oiled Bronze finish is available on refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, cook tops and hoods.

Perlick also introduced Amethyst and Copper into their line up of under counter refrigeration systems. Amethyst? Yes, This isn’t the first appearance of tints and shades from the purple family of colors. We’ve seen AGA’s Aubergine and Heather and Caesarstone’s Mulberry Mist.

Not sure how to integrate color into your kitchen? Take a look at these sources for some additional help.

Christopher Lowell has a magnificent talent for coordinating color. Go to the Room Designer page, to help you visualize what the coordinated colors will look like in a room,

“we’ve developed our Room Designer feature. We’ll show you how the colors of the walls, ceiling and trim look together. It’s easy to use. Just roll over the wall color below and watch the room change. Is this cool or what?”

Dunn Edwards offers a Palette Previewer that lets you upload photos of your room and try out a multitude of color combinations on the walls and trim moldings. Fabulous!

Download Benjamin Moore’s Ensemble Winter 2007 catalog for inspiring room combinations.

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Do It Your Self Design

September 18th, 2007 § Leave a Comment

Want to design your dream residence, plan your renovation, or play around with interior decoration colors and furniture placement? Consulting a professional is always advisable. But, sometimes you just want to play with ideas on your own. Visualizing a renovation is hard to imagine with flat line 2d drawings. What is unique about this product is that manufacturers of products like Forbo and Panasonic subscribe to My Virtual Home so that you can get photo realistic representations of their products in your room. The down side is that their generic catalog is more extensive than the actual manufacturers that subscribe to this product. The photo-realism in my opinion still looks cartoonish, but hey for the price of $0 if you buy it in your September issue of Better Homes and Garden Magazine, you can’t beat it, Regular price is under 10 bucks! Although, you will have to have the system requirements on your computer to run this software. I use 2020 that costs on average $4,000. I can customize and show photo realistic rooms but even then it has it’s limitations. Some designers have gone beyond 2020′s limitations by adding .gifs, animations, photoshop edits and so on. See Michael Martinos web site to see how he has taken his drawings to the hilt.

But for easy and quick results if you want to play with layouts yourself, My Virtual Home is a product to try with virtually no investment.

See real products
Because the MyVirtualHome software uses the latest graphical rendering technology, all the products you see are near photorealistic representations of real products from manufacturers and suppliers who are members of MyVirtualHome.

As well as being able to see the product in your home in various lights and from all angles, you see comprehensive and detailed information about each product that is listed.

If you have ever played with videogame architecture such as the Sims or Second Life, then you will be able to navigate this product. My Virtual Home is a budget-priced option based on videogame architecture (instead of CAD), providing an easy-to-use, walk through approach. You can experiment with the placement of real products via a mouse driven drag and drop system. This software is for PC’s only. There’s a flash animation of how it works at

www.myvirtualhome.com


MyVirtualHome, Free with November’s issue of Better Homes & Gardens

The very latest version (v1.7) of MyVirtualHome will be given away free with the November Issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. The Magazine goes on sale from the 19 September 2007 through to the 16 or 17 of October unless sold out. Some of the new features included in MyVirtualHome V1.7 are:

  • HomeShare, functionality that enables you to save your home file online and then share it with friends or businesses listed in the MyVirtualHome directories.
  • ProductShare will enable you to download products from websites where you see the MVH logo. Once downloaded you are then able to include them in your designs and projects
  • The Panasonic Air Conditioning Calculator enables you to select the most suitable air-conditioning unit from the Panasonic range within MyVirtualHome.
  • Radiosity lighting and reflections have also improved making MyVirtualHome even more realistic

You can use MyVirtualHome to experiment with design ideas presented in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens to see how they suit your existing home or new project.

mvh1-7cover.gif

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