While on a recent trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, I became infatuated with all the cascading waterfalls in the huge atria that make the place a landmark destination. I realized how inspired I am by running water. I really love the sound it makes and the shiny reflective movement.
I try to find some way to honor that sensuous sound and soothing feel when I do a bath design so incorporating the Styledrain from California Faucets is a natural. The options for a simple tile-in square that let’s the water cascade in from all sides to “stylish” square covers with artistic patterns really enhance the look of a shower.
A few of my current projects incorporate these interesting pieces as it is truly the attention to detail that make a project special. I am also a proponent of using dual drains when implementing curbless showers for easy access universal design. A square piece below the main shower head and a linear one at the shower threshold. The linear drains are a great looking way to transition floor tile and keep any stray water from cascading into the rest of the bathroom.
Good looks and good sense all around. I encourage you to give the drain a second thought when planning your next bath remodel so here is a link to these award winning drain designs. http://www.calfaucets.com/video/styledrain-tile-the-best-drain-you-ll-never-see
Until next time….
I have always enjoyed perusing the artistic furnishings at ICFF ( International Contemporary Furniture Fair) but this year I found something really special. I found the mythical creature Pan, courtesy of Nick “the bronze” Davis. This incredible table is a true piece of functional art. I believe that good design inspires conversation. I believe that your furnishings say something about you and I know I would love the owner of this whimsical table. I believe that handcrafted furnishings nurture the soul of the user and meeting the artisan was a real pleasure. My unabashed enthusiasm inspired him to show me a chess set filled with armies of mythical creatures that also really captivated me! What could be more fun than playing chess with these incredible pieces? When you touch them you really feel them. This chess set or table would really make a statement in a room. So I ask you to ask yourself what your furnishings say about you. I hope it’s something special.
As a kid I was obsessed with magicians and magic tricks. Alacazam!! and the rabbit disappears in the hat…. Alacazoo!!!! and a bauble appears in what was an empty hand. I was amazed. As an adult, I am still obsessed with what I consider a certain magic although it can also be explained as technology. I consider appliances, especially ovens, to be magic boxes of a very special sort. Allacazam! I shout to my grandson as I put the gooey egg mixture in the oven. Alacazzoooom!!! I shout this time, 16 minutes later when a perfect cheese soufflé emerges from the magic box we commonly call the oven. “Wow, look what happened!” he says as I did back when I was a kid. Ovens were magic back then. Now, although totally explainable they are still magic to me, nonetheless. Todays’ breed of appliances is even more amazing with the introduction of steam as well as the convection I have come to love. Although I love the cooktop and wall oven arrangement above, my current favorite “magic box” is the Pro Grand Steam range from Thermador. This 48″ magic box includes seven cooking options. All of them are impressive and sure to thrill the home chef. I love this piece because everything is in easy reach for my “cooking station”. The built in warming drawer can warm my plates or allow my cauliflower gratin to stay moist and serving temperature while I’m searing steaks and my rosemary biscuits are magically rising in the conventional oven with convection option. The steam oven can be used to quickly make healthy meals from fresh wholesome ingredients without the need for added fats and oils. The steam oven can also be used for proofing. A nice feature for home bakers. The griddle option is perfect that leisurely Sunday morning pancake breakfast, warming drawer so useful for warming plates or keeping the pancakes just perfect so everyone can eat together. All in all, I find the amount of cooking versatility built into 48″ to be a pretty magical thing. Cooking appliances are where I start when planning your magical dream kitchen. The rabbit and top hat are optional!
As a new member of the K+BB Editorial Advisory Board, I made my best effort to walk the entire show, seeking out beauty, function and innovation. I really enjoyed the fabulous booths from some of my industry favorites like Kohler, Wellborn, Robern and Brizo. I also loved the retro Merillat kitchen set up as a mid-century modern photo booth. A show highlight for me was finding the booth featuring the Falmec Mare E.Ion hood that I helped to select as winner of the Kitchen Product of the Year in the K+BB Product Innovator Awards. Another highlight came on Thursday morning. During a light drizzle, I took the bus ride out to The 2014 New American Home. The home was fabulous! Although a two story, indoor water fall may not be practical for most of my market, I was inspired to see some stunning wall treatments, innovative outdoor living spaces, beautiful baths and …you guessed it… an open kitchen plan.
Now for my show favorite, and let me say it is true I might be biased in favor of certain lines. I have long been a fan of Thermador . From the introduction of the pro grand range and refrigeration columns through to the steam ovens, coffee systems, and now the frameless induction cooktop series, I have enjoyed showing my foodie clients all that this line has to offer. My unabashed enthusiasm for this appliance company with the tag line “No Dinner Party Too Large” has actually led to a position on their design council and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Thermador + Bosch + Caesarstone + Genius Design of Mick de Giulio = One Killer IBS Booth!
So, yes, happily biased, but all that aside, the IBS booth featuring Thermador, Bosch and Caesarstone, designed by Mick de Giulio was amazing! The simple, clean lines, open flow and textural choices were stunning. I especially loved the use of polished steel in one of the Caesarstone countertops. I really enjoyed watching Chef Kyle create the perfect tuna bite on the new induction cooktop with accessory Teppanyaki pan. I enjoyed eating it, too! Relaxing in the lounge area adjoining the functioning kitchen, I took in the Caesarstone presentation of the “House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Retrospective”. It reinforced all that I believe about kitchen-centric design. I have always felt that open kitchen plans honor the foodie, the entertainer and most simply, the family.
So I will close with this equation: Open Kitchen + Innovative Design + Friends and Family = Good Living!
How do you do it? Here is part of my thought process for creating something that is both striking and comforting. This Valentino purse and fabric from a vintage Evan Picone skirt were instrumental in making the selections for this bath in progress. The amount of products on the market can be overwhelming so taking cues from a client’s closet is my way of narrowing the options and creating a space the client can really live in. I love rich texture, shine, and compelling patterns. So does my client. Getting the feel of the client’s style by creating a custom border with black glass inserts that coordinated to the floor pattern that gives the feel of vintage fashion were how we created this “master-ful” bath palette that the client really loves!
Are you overwhelmed by the selection process? Drop me a note and we can create a space that fits just right!
Well. are you?
If you are a foodie, a kitchen that makes you happy is a true necessity. Having gadgets and makers, a few great cookbooks and recipes, along with great cookware and a good set of knives are essential in my view. Gramps always said that you need the right tool to do a good job. I find that there is nothing like standing at the rangetop and grabbing the wisk from the adjacent drawer as you whip up that Hollandaise! Or looking into your well organized, partitioned drawer and grabbing your pancake flipper just before that batter starts to bubble. Maybe you need a lowered counter surface for baking and rolling out dough. A cookbook shelf may be something you need or a spot for that European style coffee maker you just have to have? What about that cheese curler you can also use for chocolate. Such a great gift, just what you wanted but where, oh where, are you going to put it? Designing a kitchen that flows with organization and looks like a dream is where I come in. I am knowledgeable and actually passionate about such things as warming drawers that will take a full sized catering sheet, ventilation cfm’s and convertible refrigeration. I will discuss your shopping habits, fresh food needs and storage requirements for both the things you already have and those you haven’t gotten yet because you had no place to put them. And then? I bet you’ll be truly happy in your kitchen!
As a young child, I ate very well. Dishes some might consider exotic but always freshly prepared with ingredients from the local farm stand and butcher were the norm. A few years later a change in circumstance introduced Tang, Pop-Tarts and Tuna Cassarole to my diet. This was not a good thing. I realized that preservatives did not make the consumer live longer and began a love affair with cooking and farm fresh ingredients as soon as I could drive. I would read a cookbook, cover to cover, before endeavoring to create anything. I would read the ingredients and also assess the required tools for success. I would spend time perusing the cellar at Macy’s. Stainless pots, knives, colanders and bakeware became my favorite gifts. Cooking became my not so secret passion. Obsessing over organizing the kitchen for the best possible culinary experience became my career.
Hundreds of clients and kitchens later, in search of a gift my foodie clients would really enjoy, I found The Hamptons And Long Island Homegrown Cookbook. This book is not just a cookbook but an eating philosophy and a fabulous food tour of the East End of Long Island. After buying two dozen books I met the author, Leeann Lavin. My devotion to kitchen-centric design led to Leeann’s invitation to be her “plus one” at Author’s Night, a fabulous event in the Hamptons, one lovely summer evening. The first part of the evening was an incredible fundraising event for the East Hampton Library, sponsored in part by the Alec Baldwin Foundation. As I tippled and snacked under a huge tent, I literally bumped elbows with Alec as he and his lovely wife perused the aisles of the likes of Gwynneth Paltrow, my new friend Leeann, and other celebrities signing their books for the fundraising patrons. I then accompanied Leeann to a fabulous party at he home of Michael Braverman, editor-at-large of Hamptons Magazine and Gotham Magazine honoring some of the featured authors, including Leeann. Amazing how my love of kitchens, culinary arts and fabulous food have opened so many interesting doors. As you think of holiday gifts for the foodies in your life, or maybe even yourself, I highly encourage you to check out this book and bring some fresh homegrown love to the kitchens in your life. Cheers!