Category Archives: design

Creative Artistry of Ceramic Tile: An Inspirational Trip To Spain

tile of spain top photoI 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.

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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!spanish food

 

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.

spain trade show

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.

factory tour

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…..

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setting spain tile show spain tile 2Also 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.

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Another innovative use of all the new technology is the addition of formed tile steps and stunning exterior pavers. Notable when making transitions.

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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!

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spain 28Toni :)

THANK YOU 2017!

2017As 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!

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 5_53_05 PM baden haus retroOnto 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!

Toni :)

“Digging” Natural Stone

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White Cherokee natural stone island counter from Georgia Marble.

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.

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Natural Stone tables from ANNA by RABLABS make a beauteous statement.

Natural stone from Artistic Tile makes a beautiful accent wall in any room.

Natural stone from Artistic Tile makes a beautiful accent wall in any room.

 

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From Williams and Sonoma ~ marble wine chiller

Natural stone and metal water jet tile from Studium maker an incredible Art Deco statement in this NYC bath.

Natural stone and metal water jet tile from Studium make an incredible Art Deco statement in this NYC bath.

Custom book matched marble shower~ Centre Island, NY, September 23, 2015: --- Interior designer Toni Sabatino worked her magic and created this beautiful living space at this Centre Island home on Long Island. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Custom book matched marble shower~ Centre Island, NY, September 23, 2015: — Interior designer Toni Sabatino worked her magic and created this beautiful living space at this Centre Island home on Long Island. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Marble cheese board from Peters of Kensington (petersofkensington.com.au)

Marble cheese board from Peters of Kensington (petersofkensington.com.au)

Stone fireplace accent wall is simple and chic.

Stone fireplace accent wall is simple and chic.

White marble table lamp from Fine Art Lamps.

White marble table lamp from Fine Art Lamps.

I hope you are inspired to take a look at where natural stone fits into your decor!

-Toni :)

 

 

 

 

 

Some Moments in the Sun

dallas ids trip with all thingsI 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. :)

Behind Design (are some inspiring stories)

AD Design Show booth collaboration by black crow studios, Neptune Glassworks & (wh)ORE HAUS STUDIOS

AD Design Show booth collaboration by black crow studios, Neptune Glassworks & (wh)ORE HAUS STUDIOS

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..

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Michael McHale Designs

Michael McHale Designs

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.

ad show 2016 48The 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!

ad show 2016 4 (2)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.

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creation of Tyler Wysler with Nourison rug

creation of Tyler Wysler whom I met in his space

I hope you enjoy the photos and they inspire you to tell a story through your personal design.

 

Design and Construction Week 2016

 toni at dcw2016

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.

pinocchio dcw2016

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.

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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.

October is Kitchen and Bath Month….

polycor vetrazzo trip (117)Toni in quarry with hard hatYes, October is Kitchen and Bath Month, celebrated by those of us in the industry to talk up our part in the new construction and renovation business. Of course, for me, every month is “Kitchen and Bath Month”, because I really love this business! So what does the hard hat have to do with my October celebration? I was invited by the fine folks at Vetrazzo to take a trip. The opportunities that come along like a quarry tour and hike in the mountains are little perks that make working in this business extra worthwhile. This trip was to Georgia, to visit the quarry and manufacturing facility of Polycor, responsible for Vetrazzo, an amazing recycled glass surface and Georgia Marble products, quarried and manufactured right here in the USA. The trip was amazing. There were breathtaking views, inspiring company camaraderie and I am grateful for the hospitality.

Aside from a good time, the trip was also very educational. I learned about the processing of the natural stone and have an understanding now of what makes the Georgia Marble a superior stone surface. I was also amazed by the different tones coming out of the quarry and the true natural beauty created by some innovative cutting creating a sort of cross grain effect in some of the product.

The Vetrazzo facility has bags and bags of recycled glass in colors like candy! The beautiful surface gives the term upcycled a whole new meaning! The mix of glass into their secret recipe creates a glistening almost luminescent sort of surface that I just adore! Another item of interest that caught my eye is the new cabinetry hardware from subsidiary Pierre Habitat. The glistening collection of knobs and pulls are truly jewels for the home. Enjoy the photos and Happy Kitchen and Bath Month! :)

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Romance on a Grand Scale….

Joe Ruggiero Chair- Highpoint Spring Market

Joe Ruggiero Chair- Highpoint Spring Market

I declare that “love was in the air!” at the High Point Spring Market and I am a sucker for a good romance story. Yes, there was plenty of contemporary and modern and industrial and traditional but not so much that felt really new. What did feel new, however, was this feeling of amore. I found myself nurturing my softer feminine side as so much of what caught my eye had this “come hither, follow, me” inviting quality that really drew me in. Color palettes that were somehow soft yet bold, like celadon mixed with vivid reds or deep purples, and sexy backs on couches and chairs, butterflies, inspired florals, sumptuous bedding, and whimsical golden and rose gold accents had me feeling the love.

The teaser picture of the chair shown above is part of a collection from Joe Ruggiero. The large scale stylized rose Sunbrella fabric had me “at hello”, but the details are exquisitely noteworthy as well. You can see more on Joe and his new collection in his “Into The Garden” you tube video.

Here are a few of the other standouts that had me feeling romantic on a grand scale.

This large scale bed from Modern History has a strong sexy vibe that I adore. Available in several colors with optional accents, it is an ideal anchor for a master bedroom to give it that sultry, boudoir quality.

Bed by Modern History

Bed by Modern History

This photo of some really fresh floral bedding is just a tease! The website of Ann Gish is well worth a look for some inspired linens of superb quality. I really love the impressionist nature of the floral. It has a versatility that can just as easily soften contemporary furnishings or revitalize the more traditional.

 

Another tease was a beautiful golden butterfly I was shown at By Koket. Funny that their tagline is “Love Happens”…… I am waiting with great anticipation to see what the makers of these incredibly sexy chairs do with this new collection….. Butterflies are coming!

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I’m mad about the back of this Elan sectional designed by Tina Nicole for Nathan Anthony! The urban expression, “Baby Got Back”, certainly applies here! A stunning look for a common dilemma that’s just hot!

NathanAnthony_Elan_041815 by Tina Nicole

Elan sectional from Nathan AnthonyThe bedroom from Eloquence, INC really brought out the romantic in me! I am normally not one for frills but the large scale pendants and the weightiness of the furniture gave this setting a substance that made it work for me.

Eloquence INCHappy Spring! And… hope you are inspired to add a touch of romantic freshness to your interior. ..xxoo

 

 

Tidbits & Trends from Design & Construction Week 2015

DSC_4711 KBIS (17) It’s a few weeks after design and construction week and I still can’t stop talking about it. Held in Las Vegas and comprised of several shows featuring the best in home furnishings and construction materials, this is by far the best trade show I have ever been to. The trends for simple lines, glitzy lighting, lush textures, fab faucets and fittings and amazing appliance configurations are all things that make me smile. My unabashed enthusiasm for the Thermador brand continues full force with the introduction of an apartment sized gas range with 5 star burners and the beauteous collection of refrigeration and wine columns that are the stuff “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” are made of! Can I really mean “gorgeous refrigeration’? YES! And what about wine? It seems that our “wine culture” is growing rapidly! Cooking with wine, wine pairings, wine dinners, and tastings are all on the rise and the home entertainer is taking note! With these beautiful columns, you can really add that entertaining experience so easily by creating your own custom wine and refrigeration wall. These pieces can be customized in so many ways………. and really integrate with any home fashion statement.

As a kitchen designer that believes in kitchen-centric living, I was happy to see continued trends for open floor plans that integrate the kitchen and more cabinetry millwork to adjacent spaces. There is also an increase in the popularity of banquettes. This casual dining idea is cozy and a great space saver. Welborn Cabinetry showed this trend well with a display that made you want to move right in!

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Another trend I see is to have less kitchen wall cabinetry in favor of more tall cabinets, open shelving and walk in pantry space. The New American Home has a stunning kitchen great space that is an attractive example of this streamlined trend.

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Other trends that I saw both on the show floor and at the this incredible show house were floating vanities and freestanding tubs. For more on my visit to The New American Home, please see the K+BB online blog http://kbbcollective.kbbonline.com/nahb-new-american-home-makes-a-statement-during-design-construction-week.html

And for my thoughts on bath trends please see the February/March issue of Embark Magazine…I am overjoyed to be a contributor to this exciting new platform.

I am truly captivated by the stunning array of new fashion forward products available from so many manufacturers. Brizo has a line of faucets by Jason Wu and Walker Zanger has put out Sterling Row, a tile line that actually includes houndstooth! I love it!! Rich textures, metallics, vibrant colors, and sexy silhouettes can all be found at the building supply! Design and Construction week is beginning to feel like “HOME Fashion Week” to me and I can not wait to see what the new looks are next year!