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.

Kohler Artist Edition - Empress Bouquet

From the Koher Artist Edition, Empress Bouquet

Kohler Glass Countertop Sink

Antilia Glass Countertop Sink

The Second Floor at the Kohler Design Center

On the second floor I found one inspiring room after another, where kitchens and baths were designed  and built out using Kohler product by well known design talent such as Laura Kirar, Jonathan Adler, Eric Cohler, and Bunny Williams.

Some baths resembled full-fledged spas and utilized the latest in technology such as this Turkish inspired bath.  Kohler Bathroom

The Numi toilet which utilizes touch free controls was prominently displayed.  Notice the blue light on the lower right side of the toilet which raises and lowers the seat with a simple swipe of the foot.  I have yet to install a Numi in any of my projects, but having 3 boys in the house I think my own house might have to be the first.   Kohler NumiNotice how the tv screen is built into the bottom edge of the mirror.  Kohler technology in the bathroomIncorporating technology isn’t the only thing Kohler does well.  Kohler offers a variety of finishes, which keeps them up to date with the never ending debate of “which metal finish is trending now?”  Kohler - Jonathan AdlerJonathan Adler uses a satin brass finish in his ultra hip and glamorous bathroom that he designed for the Kohler Design Center. Brass has made a big comeback over the last few years and it isn’t the lacquered brass that last made an appearance in the 80s.  Both the finish and silhouette Adler uses for his design are very much on target with what has been trending in the market place, so the folks at Kohler are definitely doing their homework!  Kohler - Jonathan AdlerBut Kohler isn’t only about the most on-trend product. They have a wide product range and the product from their line can be incorporated into rooms of varying tastes and design aesthetics.  I know it sounds like a cliché, but there really is something for everyone.Kohler bathroom - Kohler Design CenterMinimalist and evoking well living and a zen lifestyle…Kohler bathroom - Kohler Design CenterKohler has also not forgotten about the traditionalist, who finds it difficult to stray too far from what they grew up with as a child, and Kohler still produces claw foot bath tubs today.   In some cases they are being incorporated into more modern settings, and in other cases the rooms they occupy reflect the time period in which the claw foot tubs were originally produced.
Kohler bathroom - Kohler Design CenterKohler bathroom - Kohler Design Center

I was excited to see this kitchen incorporating not only one Karbon faucet but TWO Karbon faucets.  I installed a wall mount Karbon faucet in my own kitchen about 4 years ago and to this day it is the one thing I love most about my kitchen.  Kohler Karbon kitchen - Kohler Design Center

More plumbing solutions in the modern kitchen…

Kohler kitchen - Kohler Design Center

Before I arrived, I knew that the Kohler name was synonymous with quality and impeccable detail as it pertained to kitchen and bath fixtures, but now I see that the company’s  attention to detail extends further beyond just the kitchen and bath.  The mark of Kohler symbolizes a commitment to enhancing  our everyday enjoyment and well-being, whether it be through their amazing kitchen and bath product, a relaxing stay at the resort, an unforgettable meal in one of the award winning  restaurants, or a round of golf with friends.  Kohler is in the business of enhancing our everyday enjoyment and their family name stands behind every product, as it has since the company’s founding in 1873 by Austrian immigrant  John Michael Kohler.

Kohler Design Bloggers Conference 2014

Pausing for a quick shot while catching up with friends Charlotte, NC based designer Lisa Mende and my LA cohorts, Jill Seidner and Laurie March taken on the 2nd floor of the Kohler Design Center.

Aside from the amazing sights and stimulating conversation, my favorite part of the evening?  Definitely the beer caramel macarons.  When in Kohler, Wisconsin…

More to come on my visit with Kohler in the next few weeks. There is so much to cover that I couldn’t possibly have done it in one post. Tomorrow I am heading to the Westedge Design Fair and Friday at the crack of dawn I am heading to High Point, NC where once again I will be one of 8 High Point Market Style Spotters and my duties will include spotting the latest and best market introductions, identifying the latest trends,  and speaking on a couple of panels discussing trends at market.  In addition, I will be sourcing new product for clients, attending discussions, and meeting up with friends.  High Point has 11.5 million square feet of show space, so needless to say I will be doing a lot of walking and will be constantly on the go from before dawn until well after the sun goes down.

Be sure to follow the High Point Style Spotter hashtag (#HPMktSS) on both Twitter and Instagram so you can see all the market happenings without actually being there. (Friends who don’t know how to do this, ask your kids – they know!) and follow the High Point Style Spotter Pinterest boards where we will be pinning our top picks for market. If you are so lucky to be attending High Point this market, be sure to maximize your time at market by planning your visit on the High Point Market website and the using the Market App .  If that’s not enough, check out the Designer’s Guide to High Point that was recently published by the Editor at Large.


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 Please note that while Kohler provided me with transportation and expenses during my stay, all opinions expressed are truly genuine and my own.