Category Archives: faucets

Authentic Luxury Italian Style……..

Lago san giulio (2)

 

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.

rohl collage italy

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.faucet collage 3

 

rohl collage 2rohl italian collage italy 2018

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!rohl italy factory

 

faucet collage 4It 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.

italy 2018 collagehotel san rocco collage

isola di san giulio lago d'orta

 

lago collage

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!

italy trip 2018 desserts

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.

Toni

:)

 

 

KBIS, “trends” and INSPIRATION

KBIS kbbThe Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, known as KBIS is part of a yearly home improvement and building convention known as Design and Construction Week. I love attending the show, networking with industry partners, checking out new products, absorbing industry news and information and generally having fun.

As part of the Kitchen & Bath Business trade magazine Editorial Advisory Board, I walk the show looking for anything really innovative or particularly beautiful to report on. I also keep an eye open for trends. Personally, I tend not to follow “trends” but feel they play an important role in our industry. The designer that is working for a higher end client can weave together a tapestry that is a combination of lifestyle, architecture, functional art and purpose. The retailers, DIY-ers, design students and budding HG network producers need to see what is new, sexy and available to the mass markets to keep our industry fresh and deserving of all the attention.

kbis metal 2 matte black 2 kbis matte black 1 kbis

This season, a movement toward “warmth”, earthy tones, deep tones, and mixed metals took over the show booths. Natural woods, mixed in innovative ways, with very simple straight lines has created a look of “organic modernism” that I really love. The blend of glass, slate and other natural stones, texture, matte finishes and artisanal accents creates a warm environment that is easy to personalize with pops of color or personal effects. A nod to industrial or chic glam or mid century can all be accomplished with lighting and accessories when working in this new warm neutral palette.

kbis mod

Classic square inset shaker cabinetry still seems to dominate. I am a believer in the theory that classic white inset shaker will never go out of style. I also love the use of inset to create modern and industrial moods as well. I was happy to see the classic lines of inset shaker in a new mix of wood textures, interesting colors and finishes to keep it fresh.  Another  “trend” of note I was experiencing is the move towards industrial styled “foodie” faucets in the kitchen.I love this trend and anything that adds fun and authenticity to kitchen life. Industrial inspired metal lighting in soft matte and satin finishes were seen in so many of the lifestyle vignettes. Mixing metals is another trend that I think is here to stay. The mis-matched metals for lighting, appliances, faucets, hardware add an authentic, personal vibe to a space as opposed to a “match-y” stiff feeling. The introduction of more copper adds warmth, too. Hoods, farm sinks, lighting and hardware with all sorts of functional art type styling were all over the show floor and should be available online or at a retail shop.

copper lav KBIS kbis foodie faucet

“Convenience is KING” is another thought that I take away from the show. Beautiful product that helps us to organize or is low maintenance is always a bonus. Of note this year? Opulent closet organization, vanities with personal storage compartments and a 3D printed counter surface that is impervious to burning, staining, scratching and UV fading. A pretty miraculous counter surface indeed, and soon to a retailer near you.

kbis luxury closet kbis baden haus vanity

KBIS 3d print surface I love this business. I love the impact that good home design has on our daily lives and I love to bring the best of the best to you! Happy remodeling :)

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!

DSC_4711 KBIS (201)

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.

DSC_4711 KBIS (119) DSC_4711 KBIS (111) DSC_4711 KBIS (104)

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!

 

Handcrafted Feels Good

California Faucets buffing-spout

I had the pleasure of visiting the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky a while back and it made a big impression on me. I was amazed at how many hands actually touched the car! Automation is utilized but the car is actually hand assembled by people taking great pride in their work. Watching as the energy in all those hands touched each car gave me a real feel good sense and also made me think of the car as more worthy of the sticker price.

I like to find handcrafted items for my clients when working on their homes. Finding affordable original art and handcrafted furnishings and rugs are key to my designs. I also love the idea of handcrafted quality in those items we take for granted like light fixtures and plumbing ware. Surprisingly, there are handcrafted faucets made right here in the USA. The products made by California Faucets give me that handcrafted feel good sense I love to incorporate into my work. Here is a quick take on their hands on approach.

http://www.calfaucets.com/video/the-2-minute-custom-faucet

Here’s to hoping you are inspired to add some handcrafted items in your home that give you that “feel good” vibe!

Corvette living the dream