23 October 2012

blogtour london: 100% design & amtico

we went to what seems like a bazillion design shows during blogtour london, and 100% design was the first we visited, and a favorite, with its multidisciplinary design emphasis. we only have one suggestion to make it better: WIFI! (oy, the luxury problems of the social media junkie).

we were whisked to the 100% design show in a fleet of mercedes town cars. a boy could get used to this kind of thing.
the entrance to 100% design was a light show in a darkened tunnel- really set a mood of anticipation. US trade shows could learn a thing or too about creating some drama to heighten the experience within.
loved these sconces from delightfull. love their whole lighting line, actually, and we would be very happy if they had a showroom here in LA that i could take clients too.  their retro inspired pieces are right up our alley, and it would be awesome to be able to show them off in person.
these are steel boxes on a magnetic wall- configure and reconfigure to your heart's delight! very cool for an office, kitchen or kid's room- anywhere flexible yet attractive storage would be useful. from magnetic spirit.

loved these clustered metallic pendants from original BTC lighting.
everyone was charmed by these flat pack lamps from vita living
the amazing 3d cork tiles (top) from granorte aren't available ...yet, but we also really liked their cubist printed cork (below).

these cratered metallic wall tiles from zsolnay were far and away my favorite product at 100% design, so naturally, they have no US distribution. so cool.
here's a close up so you can understand a little better why i rave.
last, these simple pet dens from arquipets were the one item i wished i could have brought home in my luggage. richard would LOVE one, and they aren't an eyesore like so many pet products. modern & fun- exactly what you want from a design show!
while at 100% design, we were treated to a champagne fueled luncheon in teh knoll media lounge by one of our sponsors, amtico flooring
you can tell by how tightly my pretty blogtour friends raina (a stylist's life), erin (modenus) and jennifer (dec-a-porter) are gripping their phones, that we had wifi here! jennifer is particularly excited by this development!
i was vaguely familiar with amtico flooring before blog tour, associating it with hospitals and schools, and frankly, i gotta admit, i wasn't initially excited about blogging about it. BUT this is why things like blog tour, where manufacturers and designers come together one on one, are so important! at a US trade show, i would have walked right by their booth, thinking it was too contract-y for me, but meeting them in person forced me to look, and well, i guess you could say i was FLOORED by what i saw. i mean, how groovy is the above floor? i would TOTES use it in a graphic residential kitchen, yet if it wasn't for blog tour, i might never have known it existed.
so many interesting combinations, the variety is near infinite, and it's durable as all get out, so perfect for hard use applications.
after talking to amtico's designers, and viewing the possibilities of their incredibly diverse product range, i'm completely psyched about how i can use their product in all kinds of cool ways.  look at those juicy colors- can you imagine the possibilities for fun with m21, a good installer and a palette like that? can't wait to dig in!
of course, we've barely scratched the surface with our two blogtour london posts thus far, so expect a very british fall here at m21 as we intersperse london coverage with coverage of design and events closer to home, and as always, thanks to modenus and our blog tour sponsors for providing us with teh trip of a lifetime:

17 October 2012

thanks, apartment therapy! ("it hurts like the flu.")

talented molly luetkemeyer's mezzanine jam room. photo by bethany nauert
 just wanted to say thanks to apartment therapy for the california home + design "small space big style" house tour!  such a pleasure to work with the apartment therapy team on this, so thank you to bethany nauert (our talented photographer), abby stone (our talented writer) and gregory han (our talented AT west coast editor). you guys are the BESTEST!
christopher kennedy's awesome living room. photo by bethany nauert.

ps- as you know, half the fun of apartment therapy is in the comments. here's some snippets of my favorites so far:

"Run for your life - except for a few rooms, the very definition of over-decorated and unlivable."

"It hurts like the flu."

"My eyes! My eyes!"

seriously- I LOVE THESE! of course, a few kind words would be appreciated too, so get on over to AT!

chic powder room by azadeh schladovsky. photo by bethany nauert.

the hollywood condos
6735 Yucca Street
Los Angeles, California 90028

13 October 2012

planes, trains, taxis, and NAPS- finally, a blogtour london post!

the thames from the tate modern- a 2 minute walk from our fabulous hotel, citizen m
here i sit  in the greensboro sheraton in north carolina having just got off a plane (here for high point market, 'natch), blogging about the last time i got off a plane (just a little further east), for blog tour london, and frankly, since i got back 3 weeks ago, this is my first chance to sit down and talk about it. i might have posted sooner, but even though i arrived home 3 weeks ago, my laptop took took a more leisurely route home and arrived 9 days later (hey, at least it arrived!). so between that, and the demnds of my business, i am just super behind on EVERYTHING.

i am TERRIFIED of heights, but the london eye was on my agenda as a "must do" while in london.
white knuckling it on the eye- it was pretty cool, and i'm sort of proud of myself for doing something that scares the bejesus out of me. downside, it lasted 20 minutes which was about 10 minutes too long so i was pretty happy when we made it to terra firma again.
i think some people wondered if i was EVER going to post about london (i'm sure that crossed the minds of my hosts, modenus, and their generous sponsors,  who graciously have said not a word about my silence), but now that we have laptop in hand and have somewhat caught up on work, we can finally start to post about our amazing london trip.
big ben at sunset from the eye. i went the first HOUR i was in london, and couldn't stop grinning about how stupid crazy good it all was.
and teh trip was amazing, from start to finish. the city, as i'm sure many of you know,  is spectacular, and modenus, our sponsors and the amazing group of designers/social media peeps i was a part of couldn't have been more delightful.  i gots lots to share,  as well lots of sponsors to thank, so like the trip itself, we will mix the business with the pleasure and jumble it all up in our posts. frankly, i couldn't do anything but "mix it up" as the trip was so jammed packed with fun and design goodness, that i'm having a little trouble remembering what happened when, where and with whom. also, to be perfectly frank, i was so sleep deprived the entire trip,  that i couldn't reconstruct a cohesive timeline if i tried. things get a little blurry when you're tired.
the blog tour gang, chatting, drinking, eating and tweeting over tapas and spanish red. a truly magical evening and one of the many highlights of the trip. i loved spending time with these people!
jet lag threw me for a loop in london because of the opposite time schedule;  every night no matter how tired i was, my body told me it was daytime and i should be up doing stuff, and during the day, no matter how excited i was about the day's amazing events, my body keep screaming at me "go to bed you fool- you need to be asleep!" but i wasn't going to miss anything, so i did my best to ignore it; sometimes that wasn't easy...
blog tour sponsor, and so to bed, purveyors of amazing beds and mattresses.
leather wrapped steel? nope- all metal, faux painted to look like leather- one of "and so to bed's' chic line of headboards.
kinda fancy, right?
it REALLY wasn't easy to ignore my body's need to get horizontal when we visited the showroom of one of our sponsors, "and so to bed"- an entire showroom devoted to beds and mattresses!  they threw us the most amazing tea party (a tea party with lots of champagne- gotta love that), but frankly, all i did in their showroom was test drive mattresses...
this comfy set up was calling my name!
and my GOODNESS they make a comfortable mattress! i won't lie (pardon the pun) i may have been pretending to sleep on their comfy product, but the pretend wasn't so pretend- i MAY have taken a cat nap or two. just for seconds but it helped!
mattress testing
all erin and i needed was a bowl of popcorn...
yup, passed out- only for a minute, but yes, though people thought i was mugging for the camera, i actually nodded off briefly- a pretty good testimonial for the beds, dontchathink?

i think i wasn't the only one enjoying a snooze as soon we were all draped over the relaxing beds like wet noodles!

it even devolved into a slumber party at one point...

not even this cute little lady could perk me up for more than a minute, my environment was so relaxing...

in addition to the "and so to bed" showroom, i also fell asleep on the tube at one point...

 thank goodness, again i only nodded off for a brief second so i didn't end up at teh end of the line (my inner 12 year old's favorite stop, "cockfosters". hehehehe. i know- grow up, christian!)

back at the hotel, the chic citizen m, i spent my evenings not sleeping due to my damn circadian rythm disturbance (their wall to wall beds were awesome, so not fault of citizen m!). while laying sleeplessly in bed staring at the groovy color changing glass shower enclosure,  i thought about another blog tour london sponsor, mr. steam,  and if wondered if that sleek glass enclosure had mr. steam's product inside, would it relax me enough to finally sleep?
love the mood lighting of the shower enclosure at citizen m, but why aren't you mcsteamy?
martha, VP at mr. steam, and her delightful partner susan, traveled with us for the tour and their enthusiasm for the mr. steam product was pretty infectious. they explained mr. steam's holistic approach to good health via steam therapy and left me really dreaming of a good steam almost daily. now that i'm home, i look at my regular, antiquated, shower everyday and think "what's wrong with you- GIVE ME SOME STEAM, DAMMIT!' but it just sits there, spraying out stupid old regular water.  the mr. steam website says wouldn't be crazy to retrofit one at home (they start at about $1500) but of course, my bath remodel isn't happening anytime soon, so for now, i'll just have to recommend the product to clients! (one of the great things about meeting manufacturers face to face like this is the chance to truly share their personal commitment to their product and it's infectious; i might not have specified the benefits of a steam shower to my clients before, but i sure will now- i'm a believer!)
i'm in need to some steam therapy to cancel out the jet lag- AGAIN
last, the low point of my jet lag is ironically now one of my favorite moments of the trip, even though i don't really remember it. thank goodness my design partner in crime, jill seidner captured the moment for posterity:  one morning when i felt the ill effects from sleep deprivation particularly badly, i found a sofa in an unused corner of the chelsea design centre and after begging jill to watch over me to make sure i wasn't arrested for vagrancy, i took a 20 min power nap. that power nap enabled me to keep going with our busy blog tour day, and to jill's credit, she didn't abandon me and flee from embarrassment while i snored like a champ. now that's what friends are for!

looking homeless, m21 style! (photo by jill)
more later about london, high point market, some fab LA events- all sorts of good stuff-  but first i need to get some z's. nighty-night, y'all!

as always, thank you to our generous blog tour sponsors.

10 October 2012

taa daaah! (california home + design showhouse bath- with before and afters!))

i never showed y'all the finished product, did i?  i sort of put it everywhere (facebook, instagram, the twitters, pinterest, etc) but forgot to put the finished product on ye olde blogge for posterity...

so taa daaah!
photo by john ellis for CH+D
crazy right? but look at it before- it was just sad...

 i'm kind of in love with my own vignette here... certainly more interesting than a blank wall
(photo by gregory han, apartment therapy's tech editor and a heckuva nice guy)
when you opened the door, here's the view of the bath that greeted you before- total snooze, right?
my niece said it looked like a rest stop bathroom- and frankly, it did.
here's what greets you now- kinda grabs your attention!
hiding that nasty plumbing behind the cabinet sure helped- bonus, now there is somewhere to hide the extra roll of TP!
just a bit cheerier i think- of course it's helped by first walking through molly luetkemeyer's "perfect in pink" office space- imho, the pink with the black and white is a knock out combo!

last here's the shower before:
and here's after:
 i LOVE the matte back rubinet fixtures provided by snyder-diamond. the stacked white ceramic tiles are from walkon tile in west LA, and the black tiles are 12" x 24" porcelain tiles from spec ceramics in the PDC (links below). i had the black tiles cut down to 6" x 24" and ran them up the wall for some verticality in a room that is less than 8 feet tall.
it's hard to tell from the photo but the tiles in the shower pan are actually matte finish for a lil grip, while the rest are glossy to reflect light in the windowless room.


it takes a village to build a bath (even a bath with a footprint smaller than a sheet of plywood), so i gots lots of people to thank:

erin feher, executive editor of californa home+ design magazine (and a pretty cool chick) for asking me to take part in the "small space big style adventure" (and her entire team for making the damn thing work). you are awesome peeps, CH+D!

molly luetkemeyer and team- all talented designers, and the best showhouse neighbors a boy could want.

vanessa kogevinas, the project manager for the showhouse who patiently held my hand through the process, and was always a friendly face onsite (even though she was probably pulling her hair out from holding 7 other designer's hands as well).

tracy hiner of black crow studios who helped me take my wallpaper from crazy concept to beautiful reality (btw, the "memphis" wallpaper is available by custom order through black crow studios... if you dare to go bold!). tracy hiner simply rocks.

the good people at synder-diamond kitchen and bath who provided the awesome matte black rubinet fixtures and toto toilet. with great the customer service and professionalism like snyder-diamond offered on a PR project like this, they've definitely won my business for future paying projects. ;-)

walkon tiles for coming through in a pinch with the stacked white tiles, and spec ceramics for the black tiles- and for going the extra mile to cut them down to the size my eye said i needed. you know us designers- we are never satisfied with stock.  ;-)

lampsplus for the cool bulkhead outdoor sconce (thanks rich!)

jeff the tile guy and wayne the wallpaper guy did bang up jobs- no websites, but if you want their numbers, email moi. wayne the wallpaperer gets extra props for happily taking off the ceiling panel i thought was a good idea, but in fact, was not (sh*t happens- design is a living, evolving process ;-).

warner brothers studio facilities for the custom mirrors, shelf and cabinet: great work, turned around on a dime, and nice guys to boot- interior designers should really make use of this "only in LA" resource. i'm certainly going to in the future (they did all of azadeh's kitchen cabinetry, and christopher kennedy's curved sofa too- all in the tightest of time frames).

accessory preview inc for loaning out the fabulous glass knot sculpture for a lot longer they had planned. i'll bring it back next week, promise!

rudy calvero, one of my oldest and dearest, for loaning me his personal collection of vintage glass vases when my other accessories looked like poo-poo. thanks, homie.

last, to my design house co-conspirators who provided many laughs, much moral support, and made me be sure to have my A-game on so i didn't look like an fool alongside their stellar talents: Molly Luetkemeyer, Azadeh Shladovsky, Brian Patrick Flynn, Christopher Kennedy, Erinn Valencich, and Mary Gray & Annette Goliti Gutierrez of Potted. for lotsa great pictures of their fabulous work, please the visit the CH+D website (remember, this blog is about ME), or better yet visit the "small space big style" showhouse in person and marvel at their awesomess:

the hollywood condos are at 6735 Yucca Street, Los Angeles, California 90028- right next to hollywood and highland, and the walk of fame, so make a hollywood day of it!