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Hawaiian designer fuses many elements into a modern style

June 05, 2009|By CHRISTINE BRUN / Creators Syndicate

They say that it is time for baby boomers to make room for Generation Y, also know as the millennials.

However, the fact many of millennial parents do not intend to leave the workforce will create several simultaneous style trends. And buying power always drives trends.

The sheer numbers making up both generations mean they will remain driving forces in the furnishing and home design marketplace. I often wonder how the impatient young people in Generation Y will choose to live when they are 45 years old. What style trends will appeal most to a generation devoted to technology and value-engineered products?

Studies show one notable fact: The millennials will accept living in much smaller homes, provided there are numerous enhancements offered in lieu of space. We need to add into this mix the refinements that inevitably come with age and experience.

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So what will they want? I think the heart of what they will seek is something now referred to as "fusion design." Fusion means the combining of several elements, or the synthesis into one thing from many elements.

There are some handsome examples in contemporary styles. One leader in the fusion movement is Troy Adams, who has trademarked his look as FusionDesign. He describes his creation as the seamless blend of Asian, European and American design for inspired living.

By combining multicultural influences and a minimalist leaning, Adams has created a niche for himself. FusionDesign is drawn from 17 years of living in Hawaii and uses an exotic palette of natural materials including basalt, lava stone, bamboo, cork flooring and stainless steel.

Adams thrives on hiding things in plain sight. "Now you see it, now you don't is a great way to approach design," Adams says. "Highlight the innovative, showcase furniture pieces and camouflage the necessities to create a space that offers gracious dimension and casual sophistication."

The kitchen in the photo hides a prep area behind sliding doors that are beautifully designed to sandwich a natural reed between two layers of custom glass.

"I have broken the contemporary kitchen up into two separate spaces," says Adams. "It is now the luxurious extension of living and dining areas, which promote socializing and light food prep -- and appliances are camouflaged. The other part is the real working kitchen, which is seamlessly hidden behind closed doors for major production and cleanup."

Adam's entertaining kitchen makes functional pieces appear formal. For instance, a Sub-Zero refrigerator with freezer and built-in wine storage is masked to look like a piece of furniture made of exotic wood. He calls it a "TansuChill," and it looks like a large armoire instead of a refrigerator.

His "Total Cooktop" features a cooktop, microwave, prep sink, and other appliances. But they are disguised in drawers and underneath sliding counters for an aesthetically pleasing design.

"Who wouldn't rather see beautiful furniture as opposed to appliances?" asks Adams. "Because several of my clients may only use their oven once a week, I've decided to conceal the unsightly food preparation aspects of the kitchen and present an elegant and open kitchen layout with standout pieces that double as fine contemporary furniture."

Adams has also designed a "HiddenScreen" media cabinet that is a flat-screen TV enclosure and storage unit. It conceals the television, offers storage shelves and doubles as a piece of art.

He has also designed the "Bench Toilet," which serves as a decorative solution to a typically unattractive feature - the commode. A wood piece slides over a storage drawer to reveal the toilet. When closed, the entire unit looks like a sleek contemporary bench.

Adams designs eliminate clutter and transform the necessities of daily life into a blend of serenity and tranquility, two attributes that enhance any small space.

o Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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