You may be and not even know it! “Technicurean”, is a new term, cross pollinating tech enthusiasm with epicurean tendencies, creating the perfect pairing for modern entertaining at home. Signature Kitchen Suite, a brainchild of the tech minded folks at LG, is a new entry into the luxury home appliance market that brings technology in the kitchen to a whole new level. I have been intrigued by a sous vide feature that is a full top bay of a 48″ professionally styled range, with individual timers that will alert to your cell phone. If you are unaware of sous vide, it is a technique for keeping food at the perfect serving temperature for hours! I have been intrigued by the entire brand, really, that calls itself “true to food”, since the initial launch last year. My interest was further piqued by experiencing the timers of the Signature Kitchen Suite range at the CEDIA EXPO, a technology trade show, while participating in the Design Connection Tour, bringing together interior designers and technology companies and integrators. Who wouldn’t want tech to make the kitchen more convenient when entertaining and paying homage to your inner foodie? On a very exciting note, I have been invited to try out these appliances and experience the brand culture of Signature Kitchen Suite at their experience center in California this week. I will be in the fine company of designer, blogger and social media maven members of MODENUS Designhounds, while eating, drinking, cooking, touring vineyards, learning features and soaking up all the “true to food” technicurean culture I can! I am sure there will be much to report. Stay tuned!
On my recent Designhounds jaunt to Euro Cucina, I experienced a few eye opening moments that had me rethinking luxury living and appliance options to create that luxury statement. This new luxury is actually understated in look. All the pieces are true high performance, things like shot-peened stainless steel interiors, used in medical equipment for its natural antimicrobial properties. The options in sizes and modular pieces add to this personalized high performance and enhance the luxury kitchen experience.
Flush integrated cooking appliances like those of Fisher Paykel, can be lined up horizontally to create a kitchen space that offers ease of use and a great look no matter your cooking and entertaining style.
The under counter refrigeration offerings can be hidden from view and I am loving the convenience of the pull out door with slide out shelves. Perfection for a coffee bar, baking or healthy snack station.
Other new offerings from Liebherr had my wheels spinning with design possibilities. The component refrigeration that can be stacked horizontally or vertically or both in a cluster, creates universal ease of use and is suitable for the unfitted kitchen furniture on legs that I have seen lately.
Modular cooking components for the cooktop create endless placement possibilities and with induction, you can actually hide the burner elements in a way that is both artful, convenient and safe as there is no hot surface where someone could get burned.
Yes, all these appliance options feel like magic to me! I encourage you to rethink your appliances as you dream up your new space with the understated kitchen of luxury through high performance!
I recently attended my first Salone Del Mobile in Milan thanks to Designhounds, Digital Community Network of Design Experts, a platform by MODENUS Media. Aside from the mind blow of Milan itself, the show was still more than I expected. Beauty, fused with innovation, whimsy, history, and technology, as well as every sort of material from fabric to glass to wood and stone and metal, both practical and just dreamy filled my eyes and the few days I had there.
As an interior design specializing in kitchen and bath, one of the things that impressed me most was the variety of unfitted furniture housing appliances and the spread of cohesive storage through out the living space displayed at the show. Poggenpohl had some interesting offerings with hidden supply, drain and exhaust in clever feet that made a seamless transition to other room solutions and open floor plan living. I like this un-encumbered look and love the use of open display space cleverly integrated into islands as well as the mix of organic materials like natural stone and wood to give warmth to modern design.
This new organic modernism incorporates streamlined technology and seamless integration in a way that simplifies living and creates a new luxury statement. The finest materials like the solid wood of Team 7, a environmentally friendly company from Austria, now offering it’s lines of fine wood and stone furniture in the US, creates a luxury feel that doesn’t need adornment to feel rich. The simple integration of lighting and convenience oozes luxury like a Tesla. Ultra high performance, simplicity, and that “feel good” environmental sensitivity are what I see as the luxury statement going forward. I am interested to see how quickly the US market will fully embrace these trends.
The simple integration of function and utilitarian comfort doesn’t mean coldness or lack of personality in the design. The use of texture and lighting play a major role in creating interest and the personalization of everything adds new and unexpected dimension to a space. The kitchen can actually become almost hidden as the full integration blends appliances and storage into the living space with innovative shapes. I am thinking of “the kitchen as hidden in plain sight”! This new integrated living style is both innovative and fun!
Richard Anuszkiewicz, a great designer and a Designhound on our excursion to Milan, designed a space so lovely that yes, the kitchen is truly an afterthought! This from KBIS 2018, bringing that “kitchen hidden in plain sight” to the US in an avant garde, “before the trend” way! The Liebherr refrigeration integrates beautifully in this modern, eclectic, artful, BEAUTIFUL space!
Now more from the Euro Cucina floor showing this integrated trend….. these from Stosa Cucine.
Please stay tuned as I have more thoughts from Eurocucina and Salone Del Mobile concerning how our appliances are starting to show the versatility to reflect our lifestyle! Yes! Appliances can be quite exciting!
I have often said that I want to see the world through a kitchen and bath lens and I recently had the pleasure of spending time at Lago D’Orta, Italy, courtesy of ROHL Luxury Faucets & Fixtures, the White Good Agency and Designhounds. The trip was fantastic! A truly luxurious experience, which I will get to in detail, but it was incredibly special to experience the culture of this brand.
The story of founder Ken Rohl innovating the pull out kitchen faucet and bringing it to market is an impressive one, but even more impressive is the way the family continues to keep a finger on the pulse of the industry to bring exceptional products to our market. The polite generosity of the Rohl’s exhibited during our dinners and two factory tours is refreshing. The factory tours included a story told in animated Italian by Bruno Nicolazzi and translated to reveal how some designs were created at dinner from a napkin sketch. The actual plumbing has a variety of personalities from sleek modern to beautiful classic designs but all have a an artful quality that transcends trends.
As a young woman, I ran a plumbing showroom for a few years. I am guilty of looking at swans at a beach and thinking not of that natural beauty but the brass swan faucets in the showroom back in the day! I do love plumbing. I have designed pressure balanced loops for walls to distribute the water flow and understand the difference between pressure balance and thermostatic valve. I say this because I was particularly impressed by the quality, beauty and simplicity of the multi port manifolds I saw being assembled in the factory. Innovation, quality and commitment to the environment were on exhibit everywhere at these lake side manufacturing facilities. Watching hands craft, polish and assemble the pieces was impressive also. The hand crafted quality is something you can see and feel in the product and each valve is actually pressure tested. Yes, these are water appliances you can count on!
It is also interesting to note that the area has long been known for artisanal metallurgy. Beautiful church bells were produced here and that legacy and commitment to metal craft is now used in the faucet manufacturing process. In honor of this the members of our group were given a momento of a leather bracelet with a bell.
Now on to our full Lago D’Orta experience. The views were stunning during the drive through the countryside and the arrival at our hotel had me in awe. The Hotel San Rocco is lakeside and part of the historic little village Orta San Giulio. There is so much romantic beauty in the historic architecture and stone streets and each little lane inspires thoughts of the stories the walls could tell. Our group was taken by boat to an 11th century church on Isola di San Giulio in the middle of the lake. The art and architecture of the place is breathtaking. I loved the sculptures, the frescos, the marble and metal work and the scenic beauty.
I also must speak to the food and wine! The hospitality of the Rohls had us sipping wine lake side and dining on beautifully presented local Italian specialties. Feast your eyes on these beauteous desserts! All in all this was a trip of authentic luxury, indeed!
I hope you enjoy the photos I took as I bonded with this brand. I am quite impressed by the quality and company culture and hope you investigate their offerings for your next water appliance purchase.
I have just returned from a trip to Spain and am super excited and inspired! Invited by Tile of Spain USA to visit the Cevisama trade show and experience the culture of tile in this marvelous country, I have so much to share! Tile is in the DNA of the culture! From the architectural landmarks to the public park benches to the family run tile factories, you feel it everywhere, and it is inspiring to say the least.
First, let me thank the Tile of Spain, a part of the Spanish trade commission for their hospitality during this incredible opportunity. The trip was a design and architectural enthusiast’s dream…….. and oh! the food culture they shared with us! Some highlights included Paella cooking on an open fire, local wines, fresh produce, cheeses and breads turned into bite size tapas and a fusion meal that was foodie heaven!
The show was an eye opener. Although I have specified tile for countless jobs, I gained a valuable understanding of the quality, process and applications. Ryan Fasan, Technical Consultant for Tile of Spain USA and @tile_trends on social media, guided us though the booths pointing out various new trends and explaining manufacturing process, applications and generally good things to know.
Digital printing is revolutionizing the tile industry. The process is impressive to watch as we saw during a trip to the Rocersa Ceramica factory. The resulting patterns that truly imitate wood and natural stone, some toned in colors not found in nature but resulting in amazing design possibilities are astounding.
Digital printing opens all sorts of possibilities for creating tile murals and patterns, ranging from comic book scenes and post cards to replications of old school patterns and new geometrics. The possibilities are endless and the commitment of the tile industry to foster student design competitions is also notable. The innovative patterns inspired by textiles were inspirational. The tile is at home in any room and creates a beautiful and durable wall covering for commercial, hospitality and residential use. Here are a few of my favorites…..
Also notable are the textures that play with the light. Simple white takes on an intriguing and sophisticated look with the velvety and linen like textures. Show trends certainly included texture and a modern element in design referred to as brutalism at the show press conference. A look we call modern industrial among other names here in the states. Also notable is a new “timeless”. The tiles we need to create something that works with lifestyle and architecture will not “date” to a specific trend in time. Yes, trends are trends, but the design options these collections offer goes beyond time with a look and quality I love working with.
Another innovative use of all the new technology is the addition of formed tile steps and stunning exterior pavers. Notable when making transitions.
I hope you have enjoyed the photos and the inspiration and encourage all design enthusiasts to check out #tileofspain18 and #cevisama18 on instagram for more inspirational photos from our group.
Show pictures taken at Cevisama, tiles by Natucer, Tau, Ceracasa, Argenta, Saloni, Cevica, Rocersa, Roca, Gespania, Estidio Ceramico, Vives Ceramica, Peronda, Keraben Grupo, Equipe, Dune, Aparici, Ibero Porcelanico
Once again I say thank you Tile of Spain for this mind expanding trip and I cannot help but share a few more pics of the amazing architecture!
As the New Year approaches, I am compelled to write thanking 2017 for all its gifts and good fortune! The highlights include a new grandson, a new vanity line, trade shows, speaking engagements, and the confidence of my peers to elect me as president of the NKBA Manhattan Chapter.
Enrico IV is a handsome, healthy little marvel of a boy and I feel blessed!
Onto the vanity line… the Retro Collection by Toni Sabatino for Baden Haus is a dream come true! It is a blend of quality, modular convenience, value and good dose of art! We launched the line exhibiting at ICFF in New York, and it was truly a thrill to invite my peers to our booth. Our well received collection has also exhibited at Cersaie in Bologna, The Big 5 in Dubai, and will be at KBIS in Orlando shortly, booth S4877. I encourage you to check out the full collection catalogue on my website http://tonisabatinostyle.com/retro.php or at badenhaus.it.
The design events in New York City are always exciting and full of festive networking and presentations. I had the great pleasure of speaking about the latest features incorporated by Woodmode cabinetry in a talk at “What’s New, What’s Next” 2017 at InHouse Kitchen Bath Home in the New York Design Center. The talk was a collaborative effort featuring craft cocktails and embellishments with renowned author, food critic, speaker, horticulturist and all around fun person, Leeann Lavin.
I was also invited to speak on a panel with Belwith-Keeler at Design Chicago. The discussion revolved around fashion and the design industry, a favorite topic indeed!
As I say adieu 2017, I look forward to the new year with joy and anticipation! KBIS is around the corner and I can’t wait to present the vanity line to our community as well as find new products and innovations to share with my clients. NKBA training will be happening at the show as well and I look forward to my role as president working with the best of our industry in New York City to continue our tradition of bringing quality networking, education, value and sheer fun to our design community.
Wishing you the best in the New Year!
Over the years, I have had mixed feelings about surfaces. The look is all important but durability, longevity and performance have always been key when making selections for clients. On the emotional side, there is also environmental impact to consider. There was a time when I favored man made materials because of quarrying desecrating the planet. A few years ago I visited the quarry of Georgia Marble, operated by Polycor, and found out how wrong I really was! The process is simple and clean. There are no toxic agents and the best part was seeing new life that had come to the quarry in the form shrubbery, trees, birds and animals that were truly flourishing there. This was a truly thrilling personal discovery! The beauty and feel of natural stone cannot be imitated and the feel good quarry moment, emotional reaction I had makes it easy to specify the real deal. There are so many varieties of natural stone, each with it’s unique features that can be researched. MIA+BSI, marble-institute.com the website of the Natural Stone Institute is a great resource for stone research to find the stone that is right for your project. Choosing stone that is less porous for heavily used surfaces like kitchen and bath counters is fairly simple and there are so many to choose from. Proper maintenance is also key to keeping the surface beautiful and there are also a variety of good products on the market for that as well. Natural stone can also be integrated into home designs with wall panels, mosaic tile, flooring and furnishings. Marble cocktail tables have always been a classic favorite of mine. Organic modernism is a style I have embraced. It incorporates simple lines, metal, and the beauty of wood and stone. properly curated, it is an elevated casual look for easy living with an air of sophistication and authenticity.
Whether your look is classic timeless elegance or organic modernism, or anything in between, natural stone adds that special “je ne sais quoi”. Here are a few of my latest loves for incorporating the sophistication and durability of natural stone into home design.
I hope you are inspired to take a look at where natural stone fits into your decor!
I recently went to Dallas for the annual Interior Design Society National Conference. The trip was so enriching on so many levels. My friend, Suzanne Felber, a fellow designer, Dallas native, and fellow member of the Thermador Design Council was my guest and Dallas tour guide. The Dallas Market Center, where the IDS conference was held, offers floor after floor of finely curated furnishings, some incredibly artfully displayed. Aside from the eye candy of the market, the conference offered education on topics such as building a better business, artful uses of LED lighting, Feng Shui and child safety related to window treatment cords. All good things to know.:) The conference closed with an awards dinner and I am proud to share that I won an Interior Design Society “Designer of the Year” award in the kitchens over 50k category! Yes, a moment in the sun! My love for kitchen design is partly due to my love of food culture. I love cooking, entertaining and all things design that give you that space to feed your inner foodie. I think feeding your friends and family feeds your soul. I also think of art and music as “soul feeders”, too, and was amazed by the sculptures at Fair Park, the Nasher Museum, the Hilton Anatole, where I stayed the week and even the shopping area known as NorthPark Center. The feasts for the eyes were everywhere and fed my mind with inspiration. Speaking of feeding or “grazing” as I have come to know it, I was privileged to attend the Raiser Grazer event put on by Les Dames D’escoffier Dallas Chapter. The “Dames” went all out with food, drink, music and decor to transform a farmers market space into an elegant salon featuring the delectables of Dallas’ finest. The enticing dishes kept me grazing all right! Broth, soups, meat and vegetarian dishes, amazing desserts and innovative cocktails at table after table sent me to foodie nirvana. As the sun set on the evening and my Dallas trip, I was full with gratitude.
The yearly Architectural Digest Design Show, held on a west side pier in New York City, is some thing I really look forward to. I love getting together with friends at favorite booths like Thermador and viewing the new product offerings over a glass of wine. I love the artisanal offerings and I love the little worlds created with wall covering, lighting, tables, place settings and accessories in the DIFFA portion of the show. The eye candy from custom manufacturers like Ercole Home, Galas Studio and KOKET get my brain churning with ideas but this year I was also thinking about the “story” behind the design. I bought a great bag from Sustainable Furnishings Council member,Tucker Robbins. It is a great bag, indeed, but I also felt good about the story behind that bag. According to Tucker’s website, he has created thriving artisanal workshops around the world and uses sustainably harvested or reclaimed materials. That is a “feel good” win, win, kind of purchase..
Lighting is something that I believe sets a tone. I loved the pieces displayed by Michael McHale Designs.The lighting from Hubbardton Forge has a story of “modern American blacksmiths” with it’s origin in a barn with some borrowed tools. Great success story, beautiful lighting.
The wall coverings from Black Crow Studio in the picture at the top of this post were partnered with some inspired lighting and furnishings like this bed styled with rumpled covers, under wear, liquor and lipstick on the pillow. Inspired urban living! I am sure there is a great story behind this!
The DIFFA offerings have stories all their own. The big story is a fabulous fund raiser giving grants for AIDS research, care for HIV/AIDS patients and public policy initiative but there are also the stories and inspiration behind each artistically imagined and realized dining space. Here are a few of my favorites. I loved watching an artist create part of the space from Knoll and Rockwell Group. I look forward to reading the press coverage of the spaces I photographed to get the inspirational stories of each vignette.
I hope you enjoy the photos and they inspire you to tell a story through your personal design.
Design and Construction Week is such an energizer for anyone in the business or building and remodeling particularly kitchen and bath. The ability to network with peers from all over the country and all over the world is something I really look forward to. This year was special to me because of the personalization and artisanal quality presented by the exhibitors. On the KBIS, Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, side of the main exhibition hall, innovations from favorites like Robern, for which I an a Brand Ambassador, included technology and innovative storage for the bath that make a real difference in everyday life moments like “getting ready” for the day. The artisanal quality of the metal products, some with sculptural animals, from Thompson Traders had me taking notes as well. Truly functional art that shows creative passion.
A Pinocchio faucet, move the arms and water flows from his nose, was noteworthy from Italian innovator Emmevi, and innovations in cabinet conveniences from Richelieu had my brain churning with ideas. The International Builders Show side of the conference center included a booth with new Themador product that I really adore. A new 60″ range with oven capacity for a full sized catering tray, a steam oven, a warming drawer and a 2 bay griddle is a culinary enthusiast’s dream. I salute them at their 100th Anniversary and am proud to be as member of their Design Council.
The Freedom Column refrigeration has been branded as “preservation center”. The innovations in food preservation are perfect for clients as the options in beautiful integrated appliances allow the client to maximize space whether they are enthusiasts of wine, the farmers market, the need to freeze large quantities or all of the above. A class in business practice held at KBIS and hosted by the NKBA also had my attention. IThe class was given by my colleague Scott Kohler and related to technology. I learned how to use apps for ease of informational flow to keep projects moving. All in all the Design and Construction Week experience helps me bring the best of the best in all aspects of this business to my valued clients and I am already looking forward to next years’ show.