Posted in Bathroom Faucets, Brizo, Faucets, Glamour, Kitchen Faucets

Faucets following Fashion

2010 has started out on a positive note. Finger to the wind, I detected business was steadily increasing as I already had more appointments booked in January than I did in the last quarter of ’09. So, I was a little worried that taking time off of work and accepting an invitation from Brizo*, the luxe faucet line from Delta, to attend the 2010 Jason Wu Fall Collection at Fashion Week in New York City was an extravagance I don’t have time for when business is picking up. I slept on it. The next morning I said to myself, “What, are you crazy? Work will be there when you come back as I stared at a hand written note from a colleague I have kept on my bulletin board for years. It reads: 

Dare to challenge yourself, dare to reinvent yourself, and celebrate success.” 

It’s during these times, when life is stressful, a plateful of commitments and obligations that you must seize opportunities as they arise. Was it worth it? Oh yes! What I am about to tell you is a little surreal on several accounts. Some of it is top secret for now. 

Who is Brizo?
The Brizo line was launched in April 2004, a fashion forward line manufactured by Delta. Having sold plumbing fixtures in the past for a retail showroom, I can tell you first hand that it’s bath fixtures were an instant hit with the retail public, especially female consumers. I made a mental note of that years back wondering why women stood in front of the Brizo displays longer than then the men; never dreaming that one day I would get an opportunity to meet the talented designers at Brizo. Hearing Judd Lord, Brizo’s Director of Industrial Design,  speak about his travels around the world, seeking out new inspriation for the Brizo line, I understood these are creative people who are intent that their product designs will not be the same as everyone else. The message is clear: this is a fashion forward faucet line that understands that people buy products for the home as an outgrowth of their personality. The design nuances of the Brizo line is now evident to me. It’s also why I noticed why more women lingered over a striking Brizo faucet on display in a retail plumbing showroom. They are envisioning using the fixture in their own home. Brizo’s emotional intent for the consumer is to take us to another dream state…that of envisioning a new kitchen or bath room.
 
This Oscar worthy faucet has Hollywood Glamour written all over it.
shown above: RSVP Collection.   
Photo Credit: Designer ANITA GALATTE & WENDY ILLIAN, KINSLEY DESIGN GROUP

The name Brizo is inspired by Greek mythology. Brizo (Greek: Βριζώ; derived from ancient Greek word βρίζω meaning “to slumber”) is an ancient Greek goddess who was known as the protector of mariners, sailors, and fishermen. She was worshipped primarily by the women of Delos, who set out food offerings in small boats. Brizo was also known as a prophet specializing in the interpretation of dreams. Source: Wikipedia. 

New York City: Meeting the Designers in Fashion Mecca: New York City. Somebody pinch me!    
I was thrilled to meet up with other kitchen and bath designers across the country, who’s blogs I have been following regularly for the past few years. Here is the list courtesy of Paul Anater’s site, Kitchen and Residential Design







Blogging has become a new phenomena for designers, a platform to share information with clients and readers as well as sound off about what we see, want and need in our design world. Or simply to share random thoughts and rants alike. It’s because of our blogging that we were tapped to come meet the designers at Brizo and give our feedback on the new products in development. While I can’t tell you what is coming, [shh, top secret], you will just have to watch for updates in Spring, I can tell you that getting to meet with Brizo’s Product Development team, Brian Nobbe, Judd Lord, Seth Fritz and all the fine people from Brizo and MS & L was a surreal experience. Suffice it to say, the Brizo design team knows how to make designers perk up and engineers cry. There I sat in a product preview think tank, elbow to elbow with some rock star Kitchen and Bath designers in their own right, and I just had to stop and think “Am I dreaming?” Brizo wants to know what I think of their new products. (In my head, I was thinking…”You’ve come a long way, baby”), from my past experience spec’ing out the product with customers in my showroom to being flown to New York for a Product Training Session with fellow Kitchen and Bath Designers that I admire was nothing short of surreal.  

Where Faucets meet Fashion. Meeting Jason Wu. 
The highlight of the trip was getting to attend a New York Fashion Show. Just as Brizo is a fresh new face on the luxe faucet scene, up and coming Fashion Designer, Jason Wu, made a splash on the fashion front as First Lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown designer. Known for his ethereal-like ball gowns, it was logical for Brizo to sponsor Jason Wu during Fashion Week. Brizo and Jason Wu are two brands with a similar design aesthetic. What we see on the runway first filters down to home interiors in color, pattern & style lines. 

On being inspirational. 
Imagine for a moment that you are a product designer for Brizo. The challenge is coming up with new and inspiring designs for consumers that are functional, built with cutting edge technology, and different looking than anything else on the market. Not to mention convincing the engineering department that the new concepts are relevant and not gimmicks. Having won the prestigious Adex Award for four collections, The Red Dot Award, The Graphis Award, House Beautiful KBIS Award, Brizo has consistently proven they are a formidable force on the luxury faucet market.

As Judd Lord said in our Product Training Session, “At Brizo, “We are aiming to create a statement just like the fashion industry would do and that means seeking out every nuance we can find, which almost never includes anything to do with plumbing fixtures!”


Design Inspiration is all around us. The design team at Brizo has the good fortune of being able to travel the world and translate their design ideas into faucets that you would want to have in your kitchen and bath. 


Here is a small sampling of where Brizo designers find their inspiration.  

From by-gone eras, (shh-top secret)  to lighthouses, 


Baliza effortlessly combines the timeless and the modern. Wrapped around its classical form is cutting-edge innovation, including a four-function pull-out wand that attaches with new MagneDock® Technology. Baliza is the first pull-out or pull-down kitchen faucet to allow water volume to be controlled from the wand.


from Blue Bell flowers…


Inspired by the bluebell flower’s distinctive silhouette, Talo is Brizo’s first traditional pull-down faucet. This unique form is married to a wealth of advanced features, including a 2-Button, 4-Function spray wand, 
MagneDock Technology®, and Brizo’s exclusive SmartTouch Technology®, which allows water activation with just a light touch.

Jason Wu Fall 2010 runway 

…and from ideas inspired by colors and shapes found in fashion. Ideas can start from a quick jot of an idea on the back of a cocktail napkin, as is the case of the Venuto Collection (shown below) which was inspired by hair pins worn by Japanese woman. Read the story told by Judd Lord at Kitchen and Residential Design.


The trip was a dream, Brizo style! I came, I was inspired, and grateful for the experience to bring back and share my experience with you.  Look for new product releases from Brizo in spring. 


The ethereal dream like photography images from Brizo’s ad campaigns are the work of  photographer Howard Schatz. It was interesting to know these images were created underwater. How perfect is that? Check out this video below to see how they did it. 


*Brizo compensated me for travel and accommodations. 


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Posted in Alternative Backsplash Materials, Art for Living Spaces, Art for the Kitchen, Canvas Prints, Decorative Cushions, Glamour, Glass Backsplash, Kitchen Trends, New Products, Quirky Design Details, Trends in Tile

Teo Jasmin

Teo Jasmin: for the largest choice of canvas prints and decorative cushions.
When your design calls for a bold splash of color or eclectic whimsy start your search with Teo Jasmin.





This next photo caught my eye, (enlarge the magnified image below). Using alternative methods: canvas print sandwiched between glass will make a bold and “splashy”statement to your otherwise plain backsplash. The kitchen backsplash shown below becomes a space for artwork. (although this photo looks to be just canvas-which I do not recommend for practical reasons). GFI Outlet locations can be cut into the glass or opt for a plug mold power strip located under cabinet can be used instead for an uninterrupted appearance. (Check your local code requirements first). I love glass backsplashes.

For more information on the canvas prints, contact TEO JASMIN.

Posted in Banquettes, Glamour, Kitchen Trends, New Products, Sunset Idea House

Week 2: Sunset Dream House

So this is week 2 over at the Sunset Dream Kitchen. The kitchen has a clean slate in spic and span “remodel mode” ready for the work to begin.

Last week was your chance to vote for the floor plan. Mind you, the process shown over at Sunset Dream Home is a condensed version of the remodeling process. In theory, it would be fantastic if decisions where made in rapid sequence, so don’t fret if you were not as quick as this. Also, what I would have liked to have seen was the initial step, establishing a budget. The drawings are absolutely stunning and all equally expensive, but in order to get to that step, and spend the time drawing up these options, the qualifier is establishing the budget. Otherwise, no matter how phenomenal the design, if the client can’t afford it, it will never get built. End of reality check. Onward.

Obviously, this is for show and Sunset has the budget. I mean, we are talking “The Dream Kitchen of the West” with sponsors including GE Monogram (appliances), Teragren (counters), Kohler (plumbing), Armstrong (flooring), and Benjamin-Moore (paint). Ah! Don’t wake me up, let me dream.

“We wanted to come up with a 21st century take on our original Idea House
concept,” said Katie Tamony, Sunset’s editor-in-chief. “The Dream Kitchen of
the West is our Idea House 2.0.”

I liked two of the plans and it was a toss up as to which one was my favorite. I liked plan 1, The Eco Kitchen because it had banquette seating and island seating. In a large space, it’s great to have room to spread out with two seating areas. Not every one likes sitting at an island for too long.

But, plan two is also pretty awesome as well. Who wouldn’t love this entertainer’s dream kitchen? With two wine refrigerators, a beverage center, and ice machine for the ultimate cocktail party. Oh, go on! Someone bring me a cocktail. Not to mention the professional range and warming drawers, double ovens and a secondary prep sink at the island. Fabulous amenities perfect for catered parties. Even Martha would be envious of this layout.

The viewers agreed, Plan Two, The Entertainer’s Kitchen took 36% of the vote and shows that glam is in, baby!

This week is your chance to vote for the cabinetry finishes. I have already voted for my favorite, have you?

Each week for ten weeks, new sponsor products, kitchen finishes, features and colors will be presented on the website for an online vote. The completed kitchen, which will incorporate the winners of each vote, will be revealed the week of June 1 on Sunset.com and will be featured in the October issue of Sunset Magazine.

In addition to casting their votes on the Dream Kitchen of the West website, users can visit the site to watch the Dream Kitchen come to life via photos, video, articles and blog posts.

“Whether remodeling this year, or farther down the road, Sunset’s Dream Kitchen gives visitors the opportunity to practice making smart design decisions as they consider all that goes into designing the most important room in the house,” continued Tamony. Visitors to the Dream Kitchen of the West website can register daily to win $10,000 and one day of on-site consultation from a Sunset style editor. The sweepstakes winner will be announced June 10, 2009.

Posted in Celebrity Kitchens, Glamour, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Tours

This weeks featured celebrity kitchen: Colin Cowie

Last week we toured Moby’s compact kitchen and discovered his favorite appliance: the microwave. A kitchen space that works well for a musician who spends most of his life traveling.

This week we take a tour to Colin Cowie’s kitchen through the web link at Epicurious. http://video.epicurious.com. Colin’s kitchen is the epitome of a well defined kitchen space, perfect for entertaining. Notice the grey stained oak cabinets. Very sophisticated.
Enjoy the tour. For more tours visit http://www.Epicurious.com or click on the side bar link.

Posted in cabinet hardware, Faucets, Glamour, Style Notes

Glam is in! Black and Grey accents in Kitchen and Bath

Imparting sexiness, glamor and oh so sophisticated; watch for the newest shades in decorative fixtures, stone and paint. In a sea of chrome and oil rubbed bronze, grays and blacks are making their way to the center stage.


Also for the floor, look at Galaxy Black stone from Ann Sacks. It comes in three finishes: Honed, Antiqued, and Bush-Hammered. With sealer, it simply glows as a surface.

Galaxy Black by Ann Sacks, brings a rustic yet sophisticated black limestone to our stone assortment. Reminiscent of a starry sky on a dark night, the character and patterning of this material has inspired its name. Offered in a variety of finishes, this material is uniquely flexible.

Vintage elegance. NDI botanical arrangement brings quiet elegance to
black marble and gray veined tiled walls.

Renea Abbott’s home in Houston is filled with uber drama details in nuetral shades of gray and muslin. I was searching in the November-December issue of Veranda for a picture of her kitchen with calcutta gold marble tops with the wall cabinets removed, bit no such luck. Instead, above is a sneak peek of the powder room. Walls painted in a soothing nuetral gray.

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Posted in cabinet hardware, Faucets, Glamour, Style Notes

Glam is in! Black and Grey accents in Kitchen and Bath

Imparting sexiness, glamor and oh so sophisticated; watch for the newest shades in decorative fixtures, stone and paint. In a sea of chrome and oil rubbed bronze, grays and blacks are making their way to the center stage.


Also for the floor, look at Galaxy Black stone from Ann Sacks. It comes in three finishes: Honed, Antiqued, and Bush-Hammered. With sealer, it simply glows as a surface.

Galaxy Black by Ann Sacks, brings a rustic yet sophisticated black limestone to our stone assortment. Reminiscent of a starry sky on a dark night, the character and patterning of this material has inspired its name. Offered in a variety of finishes, this material is uniquely flexible.

Vintage elegance. NDI botanical arrangement brings quiet elegance to
black marble and gray veined tiled walls.

Renea Abbott’s home in Houston is filled with uber drama details in nuetral shades of gray and muslin. I was searching in the November-December issue of Veranda for a picture of her kitchen with calcutta gold marble tops with the wall cabinets removed, bit no such luck. Instead, above is a sneak peek of the powder room. Walls painted in a soothing nuetral gray.

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Posted in Cinema Inspired Kitchens, Counter tops, Glamour, Happenings In LA, Traditional Kitchens, White Kitchens

Greystone Showhouse 2008

Shown here is the estate’s principal stairway,
featuring marble stairs and hand-carved ballustrades.

(photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Times, Sunday Home & Garden section announces the opening of the Veranda sponsored Greystone show house 2008.
To purchase tickets, go to www.BeverlyHillsGardenShowcase.Org

Magazine editor-at-large Carolyn Englefield, lined up 28 interior and landscape designers from Southern California and beyond — a list that includes Martyn, Lawrence-Bullard, Suzanne Rheinstein, Windsor Smith, Rose Tarlow and David Phoenix. Englefield’s directive: Create the feel of a Great Gatsby-style home taken into the 21st century.” Her second request, perhaps even harder to fulfill: “Make it feel like a real home.”

As an undergraduate at UCLA, I would steal away time between morning and afternoon classes, drive up the curvy streets in Beverly Hills to have a quiet moment in the gardens, study and daydream about the history of the Doheny Mansion. It was there, I would pullout my sketch book and study the architecture and dream about a career in design.

HISTORY OF GREYSTONE

Built in 1928 for the son of a prominent oil baron, majestic Greystone Mansion today is surrounded by 18.5 pastoral acres of lush, City-owned parkland. The former Doheny estate is now a registered historical landmark and serves as a stunning backdrop for cultural and educational activities, photo and commercial shoots, weddings and public events. Since 1965, when the property was leased to the American Film Institute, Greystone has had feature roles in many famous movies.

Visitors are invited to stroll through two public areas on the grounds—the beautifully maintained formal gardens with their centerpiece fountain, and the pool and inner courtyard area.

PHOTOS FROM THE LA TIMES. For more photos visit: Greystone show house 2008.

Appliances by Dacor and cabinets and countertops by Acquisitions
fill the family kitchen by Veranda.
(photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Detail of the carved hood.

Pictures from past events at Greystone.
Notice the kitchen transformed from a past Design House.
The lights and wall cabinets are original to the home. It appears the floor, paint, island, appliances and base cabinets have been changed from each Design House.

During my college years, the reflecting pond was one of my favorite areas to sit, although not as lusciously appointed as shown in this photo. Peel me a grape!

For a history of Greystone please visit Friends of Greystone Mansion.
The Beverly Hills house will be open through Nov. 16, and admission is $30. For more photos click in the above link to the LA Times.