K+B Insiders Look: The Best of WestEdge 2016

By K+B Insider Karl Champley, Los Angeles, CA

Last month, the fourth annual WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica, CA, drew over 11,000 interior designers, builders, retailers, and consumers to see the latest in contemporary design — including furniture, appliances, lighting, kitchen and bath fittings, and more. Los Angeles local and NKBA K+B Insider Karl Champley, AKBD, who also sat on the WestEdge Host Committee, attended the three-day fair to check out the hottest K&B trends the West Coast has to offer.

“New York has always been the epicenter of the United States’ design industry, but in recent years attention has started turning to Los Angeles,” Champley says. “The creativity and energy at WestEdge is absolutely incredible and it always leaves me excited for what’s around the corner at KBIS.”

1. Unique Materials for the Home

Natural materials had a huge presence at WestEdge this year, with wood and crystals exhibited in many forms and uses. My favorite included light fixtures that combined multiple natural materials. Los Angeles-based Thomas Cooper Studios designs large-scale custom lighting often found in world class hotels and casinos, as well as high-luxe residential fixtures — all hand-crafted. Another favorite was designed with crystals in various forms, resulting in a bold statement. This lighting introduces an element of nature back into the home, an ongoing trend more and more designers are embracing.

2. Functionality First

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of functional design and really appreciate the amount of work and planning that goes into a piece that embraces technology, functionality, and aesthetic. One of my absolute favorite designs seen at this year’s show was the ORBITAL extending table from the Italian furniture manufacturer Calligaris. This high-tech dining table’s extensions automatically slide out in one fluid motion from beneath the glass top, while still maintaining the design’s modern elliptical shape. Its laminated thick ceramic glass top is both sleek and easy to clean. This design really offers that wow factor.

Photo Credit: calligaris.us

3. Barrier-breaking Appliances

More of us are cooking at home, so why not do it in style? Italian manufacturer Tecnogas Superiore introduced its new TriFuel Range, an appliance that puts cooking performance first with a unique combination of four induction zones, a griddle and two gas burners — an ideal worktop that lends itself to high-end cooking. I like to call it the Ferrari of the kitchen. In addition to the cooktop, the range includes dual gas ovens, two convection fans and a broiler. The beautiful glass doors and dials provide added flexibility and easy maintenance.

For more from NKBA K+B Insider Patricia Davis Brown and Karl Champley’s favorite finds at WestEdge, check out #kbinsider and #westedge on Instagram. NKBA’s 2017 class of NKBA K+B Insiders will attend KBIS in Orlando to report on the latest industry trends, hot product launches, and how to take your career to the next level in 2017.