Learn From the Pros

One of the best parts of covering the world of home renovation is getting a peek at The Goods—the huge array of kitchen, bath, and finish products that architects and designers use to transform an interior space. During my recent visit to the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin—design central for the all-American maker of toilets, tubs, sinks and the likes—I got a chance to wander the huge space filled with a vast variety of Kohler wares.

This is fun in and of itself, but Kohler goes one better. Each year the company asks a handful of big-name designers to create a space using their products. The result is several dozen high-concept bath and kitchen mock-ups, realistic down to the dishtowels and toothbrush holders. With no client to rein in their creativity, the designers get to use the space as an idea laboratory—one that's open to the public.

Can't make the trip just now? We brought back some of the clever tricks designers employ to give the rooms they create a little something extra: a little more space, a little more decorative interest, a little more originality.

by Kathryn Keller

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