A Visit to the Kohler Design Center – Kohler, WI


The Kohler Design Center

For three days last week I escaped the Southern California heat and experienced true fall – crisp temperatures ranging from 40-50 degrees, changing leaves and plenty of mums.  I was invited by Kohler Co. to their Wisconsin headquarters for their inaugural Kohler Bloggers Conference, where 21 Design, DIY and Lifestyle Bloggers gathered for 2.5 days.  During my time at Kohler, I experienced several facets of the Kohler “empire” which included  staying at Kohler’s own 5 Star and AAA 5-Diamond rated American Club Resort, spending an afternoon at the Kohler Waters Spa, and fine dining at several of their award winning restaurants.  Oh, and I can’t forget nibbling on  devouring the Kohler chocolates that were left in my room.

The Ground Floor at the Kohler Design Center

The Kohler Design Center, Kohler, WI

Kohler’s “Great Wall of China”

The first stop when we arrived was to the American Club – home for the next 2.5 days,  only to drop off our bags and head to the Kohler Design Center, where we nibbled on hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and food stations spread throughout the showroom.  Truth be told, there was not a whole lot of nibbling on my part, as I was in complete awe of everything around me and spent my time perusing every inch of the showroom.  The ground level showcased product by room and type, with the back wall a tribute to the product that made Kohler what it is today.  The “Great Wall of China” complete with full sized toilets, tubs, and sinks made of vitreous china are displayed along the back wall and are illuminated from behind. [Read more...]

The McKinley House Gets a Refresh with Adorne Light Switches

Adorne by legrand at the McKinley House in Venice, CA

The McKinley House

Last week I joined  Adorne by Legrand as they unveiled a complete retrofit of light switches  and outlets at the McKinley House in Venice, CA.  Those of you who are fans of the Showtime series “Californication” may recognize the home as the primary set for the show.  The home was designed by owner/architect David Hertz, FAIA and not only is it quite a structure to look at, but it also boasts the latest in environmental features, earning it the Sustainable Living Award by the Eco Home Network.  .  The home, built in two phases,  started in 1996 on a single lot and then completed in 2003 when the adjacent lot was purchased and the property extended. The property resembles a small compound and  is comprised of four smaller structures that are connected via natural light filled bridges.  These four structures open up to a central courtyard with a long lap pool and the indoor/outdoor spaces that blend into one another recall the modern Balinese style that I became so familiar with while I lived in Bali, off and on for 20 years during my last career.

IMG_0460 [Read more...]

Book Review: Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

A couple of weeks ago, I received an advance copy of the book Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a pretty coffee table book with lots of inspirational images, and Modern Country  certainly has its fair share.  Photos were taken from the archives of the French interiors magazines Côté Sud, Côté Est and Côté Ouest, and offer a look into informal living (from several different angles) that merges traditional ideas with a modern aesthetic.

Modern Country is a complicated book and does not simply tell a story through pictures, but rather takes us on a journey through every aspect of the modern country home by offering both stunning visuals and accompanying text that explains the how and why. For true design lovers like myself , sometimes understanding the history and process behind the design can be more fascinating than the design itself.

The book is broken up into four main categories:

  1.  Country Locations
  2.  Architectural Styles
  3. Materials and Finishes
  4. Country Living

Each of these categories are then divided into sub-categories that explore each aspect in further detail.  When merging two different points in time, as is the case with the homes in the book (an old space that has been converted/repurposed and merged with a contemporary “of the moment”design aesthetic), a new style emerges and Modern Country explores the most exciting and interesting examples of this new contemporary style.

Country Locations Modern Country - Coastal Escapes

“Country Locations” include those near the coast, mountains, and the “off the beaten path” countryside.

Architectural Styles

Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

The category of “Architectural Styles” touches upon structures that have been converted, restored and repurposed. Author Caroline Clifton-Mogg explains “one of the major differences between traditional and modern living is the way that the delineation between rooms has dissolved and softened” and many homes represented in the book have “completely rearranged the inside.” Today, the kitchen has become the center of most homes and now more than ever, the emphasis is on “a connection between the inside and outside of the house.”

Materials and Finishes

Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg “Materials and Finishes” does not merely show the materials that are used, but it explains how different construction materials and finishes, whether natural or man-made, can and should be used to inform character.

Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

Country Living

Lastly, Modern Country delves into the different aspects of country living and that the “life that is led in the houses in [the] book is the most important thing about them, and every element within them has been chosen and created to bring quiet pleasure to all.”

Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

Modern Country  Modern Country is not only a pretty coffee table book, but it is also a wealth of information for anyone who values time with family and friends, entertaining at home, and stylish  yet informal living that takes into account the beauty of the outdoors.  It is a must have guide to integrating traditional living with modern style and describes what is needed to achieve the modern country aesthetic and why. The sentence that sums up the book:  “the whole exercise is a gentle lesson in the art of reinterpreting and presenting the past in a modern yet timeless fashion.”

Modern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg is available through Amazon.

High Point Market Fall 2014 Preview

 High Point Market Fall 2014 Preview

High Point Market is right around the corner, and to kick off the season, Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor held her customary fast paced High Point Market Twitter Chat to showcase some of the newest introductions submitted by High Point manufacturers and showrooms, then curated by a select group of eight well respected interior designers and design visionaries. Of the 249 submissions, 45 were selected by the Decor Mentor Team. The chat moved so quickly, that if I even blinked an eye, something extraordinary  was sure to be missed.  Luckily both the complete selection of submissions and picks were posted, so I was able to go over each and every one on my own when I had the time to savor each detail. Here are the 45 picks chosen by the Decor Mentor Team

Below are my favorite High Point Market Fall 2014 preview picks – some were selected by the Decor Mentor Team and some were not (there was so much to choose from).  Judging by what was posted, I will have a lot of ground to cover once I arrive in North Carolina- in 2 weeks! I’ll have 15-25 of my own picks to select as a High Point Style Spotter and this selection of submissions gives me a head start on where to concentrate my efforts once I get there.

New Introductions via the Decor Mentor High Point Market Twitter Chat

Hudson BWG Burlwood cabinet

The natural finish of the Hudson BWG burlwood cabinet allows the mottled appearance of  the burlwood knots to be seen and appreciated.  Gold leaf accents that almost blend into the blonde tones of the wood give this three drawer veneer dresser a slightly glamorous edge without being too over the top. By Worlds Away.

Worlds Away

Worlds Away


Regent Bibliotheque

Ambella Home brings together classic and modern.  Beautiful execution of proportion, contrast,  and detail.

Ambella Home

Ambella Home

[Read more...]