Seen at KBIS 2013 in NOLA

Of course, my trip to New Orleans for our fabulous BlogtourNOLA adventure was not just about touring the city and discovering its charms. We were invited to visit and report back from KBIS 2013, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. Many of our sponsors had fantastic new products and great booths to flaunt and I very much enjoyed my visit and learning about these. I should also mention the hospitable Press lounge hosted by the NKBA, thank God for their snack station and their inviting and gigantic white sofas and chairs!

For starters, I was extremely impressed by the Cosentino Group. Cosentino, a large Spanish Company, is famously know for its Silestone Brand, but I also discovered their Eco brand, and learned that they make sinks!

Through superior strength, incredible beauty and an unparalleled distribution network, Silestone is rapidly becoming the choice for discerning consumers. There are many advantages to using Silestone: since it is a surface that is manufactured from natural quartz, it’s highly resistant to stains and scratches, and has a low level of fluid absorption. Silestone comes in over 60 quartz colors for countertops, two textures (polished and suede) and several different formats, which make it extremely versatile, and can even be used in large pieces without requiring any joins. Silestone is perfect for use in a great many applications in the kitchen and bathroom.

I fell head over heels for the Nebula series:

Lyra in the Nebula series by Silestone. Photo via Cosentino.

I was surprised by how it closely resembles marble yet is extremely durable and resistant to liquids.

Photo by Barbara Elza Hirsch for Chez Elza.The latest Ismir pattern in the Nebula collection by Silestone. Note the discreet gold lines threaded throughout. Photo by Barbara Elza Hirsch, Chez Elza.

We were lucky to meet with Silestone’s VP of Marketing, Lorenzo Marquez, who took the time to answer questions and present upcoming top secret creations. All I can say is “Wow!”

Integrated sink made of White Zeus:

Integrity One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Integrity sink by Silestone courtesy Cosentino Group.

Integrity sinks gives you the sensation of unity, of perfect integration with the rest of the elements of your worktop.

This most innovative product launch boasts all the remarkable characteristics of Silestone that make it the premier product on the market. These features include: high scratch resistance, durability and of course the highest performance in terms of design and guaranteed bacteriostatic protection.

An example of Silestone in the bathroom for the sink:

TOTO toilets are world class. We all know someone who needs a new toilet. “Mine won’t, hum, (whisper) f-l-u-s-h what it’s supposed to!” “I am tired of craning my neck to clean all the nooks and curves of my toilet pedestal!” Shhh…But really, guess what? We hear this time over and again, and TOTO has truly a response to every toilet dilemma!

Consider the wall mounted (extremely popular with designers and home owners alike):

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaThe tag is self explanatory and showcases the advantages to a wall mount. No more huffing and puffing with your hair brushing the toilet lid (eek!) as you bend over and attempt to take out dirt from the sinewy pedestal…Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Then there’s the one piece toilet. A cleaning dream!

Chez ElzaThe Legato One piece toilet by TOTO. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

TOTO is unabashedly in love with its products, and they are perfectly justified in being so! Imagine a company whose commitment to environmental sustainability goes “beyond compliance.” Their high-efficiency toilets, faucets and showers lead the industry in water savings, and their expert engineering results in first-rate performance, reliability and customer satisfaction. I loved that they have a People First policy as their core principle, the people are central in their innovations.

TOTO also creates beautiful sinks and bathroom products such as this little favorite of mine:

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaThe Maris semi-recessed vessel sink by TOTO. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

I have to share a snapshot of local Cape Cod based designer Linda Merrill under an umbrella, testing one of TOTO’s pulsating shower heads!

Linda 's dashing smile. Photo Barbara Elza HirschDashing smile on designer Linda Merrill. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Other impressive products I noted at KBIS 2013 were the trendy free standing tub fillers by Brizo:

Photo by Barbara Elza Hirsch-Chez ElzaOr the mother company Delta:

Chez ElzaAnd the frenzy over stand alone tubs…such sculptural elements :

Chez ElzaChez ElzaTwo beauties by Fleurco line Aria, Vivace and Adagio. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

I could not resist this pièce de resistance, a miniature wall exhibit of Aria tubs:

Chez Elza

And my pet peeve, exceptionally built shower doors:

 Kinetic In-Line KS by Fleurco . Stunning shower door systems. Photo courtesy Fleurco.

Well, it’s time for me to renovate my bathroom, folks! When I do, I promise to document the redo here and share with my readers!

In the meantime, it is time to bid you farewell. A bientôt!

 

 

Bare Toes to Gourmet Cooking | A Brizo Adventure

I almost missed going to the Brizo Event. I received an email on a Sunday, which I cast aside for later and did not open. Thankfully, I was called early in the week by the Brizo team, and had to have them repeat what I was hearing:

Me: “Um, excuse me, did you just say I was invited to learn about your products and to see the Jason Wu Fashion Show, all fees included? Hotel and trip?”

The rest is history. I breathlessly figured out logistics to escape my clients and family life, and then shopped desperately for New York worthy outfits.

D Day started with bare toes in the sunshine, driving back home with sticky nails, and imploring my husband to drive me to the airport:

Brizo FW-2013 129He said yes, Whew! And, no, for the record, I’ve never bared my toes in 35 degree temperature before. This was an “EMERGENCY”! Photo Elza B. Design.

I landed to New York and was pleasantly picked up by a chauffeur and zoomed to the Eventi Hotel (read more about the hotel here)

This is what my room looked like when I first came in:

Brizo FW-2013 146

A glamorous little nest for sure. Photo Elza B. Design.

Drinks followed with the Brizo team that evening and we all got to mingle:

Brizo FW-2013 155

Brian Nobbe, Brizo Marketing Director with fellow bloggers Todd Vendituoli and Marilyn Russell. Photo Elza B. Design.

Brizo FW-2013 158.editedFrom left to right: Fellow designers and bloggers Marilyn Russell, Yvonne Blacker, Adele Young and the one and only, Judd Lord, director of Industrial Design for Brizo. Photo Elza B. Design.

Bright and early the next day we attended a presentation of the Brizo lines:

_H1U6912.JPG

The lovely Laura Brooks, Senior Brand Manager for Brizo. Photo courtesy Jayme Thornton.

 

Designers and bloggers hard at work. Obviously good students, seeing from the level of participation! Photo courtesy Jayme Thornton.

Later that day we went on a tour of the Hearst Tower and attended a presentation by  ELLE DECOR‘s editor Amy Preiser:

Brizo FW-2013 226Sorry for the fuzzy photo, Amy. You were extremely charming and bubbly. Note to self: take photos with a regular camera once in a while. I-Phone not always optimum.

Beautiful Hearst Tower view:

Brizo FW-2013 218Photo Elza B. Design.

Did you know the Hearst tower is not not only the heart of numerous famous magazines, it also hosts the Good Housekeeping Institute Office!

Brizo FW-2013 239Famous Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is delivered here, in the heart of New York city! Photo Elza B. Design.

The tower offers an ideally sound proofed auditorium, its own Cafe, an art gallery space, a sculpted water fountain, and a 70 feet high fresco hand painted by artist Richard Long with mud and water.

Brizo FW-2013 229Fabulous architecture inside the building. Photo Elza B. Design.

But what I found most fascinating about the tower’s recent addition is its exemplary environmentally conscious and breathtaking diagonal grid construction. Designed by British architect Norman Foster, it features among many things: the fastest elevators of New York, high efficient glass construction, rain water collection and recycling, and it is made of 90% recycled steel. Click here to view a video and learn more.

The day was topped off with a fast speed and mouth watering cooking class at Sur La Table with the Brizo team and guests. We cooked three main courses and then sat down to eat

_H1U7055.JPG

My fabulous teammates, Brian Nobbe and Judd Lord of Brizo and designer and cooking buddy Susan Jamieson. Photo credit Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

_H1U7114.JPG

The art of folding pasta…Photo courtesy Jayme Thornton.

Brizo FW-2013 278 copy edited

My teammates and I made this pasta!!! I love this photo. It makes me happy! Photo Elza B. Design.

The whole Brizo group before dinner:

_H1U7208.JPG

Above and directly below, photos courtesy Jayme Thornton for Brizo._H1U7233.JPGBrizo FW-2013 288.copyOne of our delicious creations, fresh tomato pappardelle with ground beef and scallions. Photo Elza B. Design.

I will share the Jason Wu Fashion Show later this week. In the meantime, I leave you with this telling photo of how everything came to an end:

Brizo FW-2013 125Landing at Boston Logan Airport with Yvonne Blacker, we had to come back to reality! Hello, Nemo! Goodbye fairytale!

My Latest Houzz Top 20 Guest Picks: Dress Up Your Bathroom

My latest trip to New York with Brizo clearly influenced this recent selection of items I curated for Houzz! Feel free to  click on any image below to be brought to the Houzz article. Let me know your favorite!
Browse Furniture on Houzz- For Example:

Brizo: Smart, Hot and Technologically Trendy

Dear Friends,

I am back from New York and Brizo Fashion Week was simply fabulous. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people!

 Brizo Team members, includes Industrial Designers, Product Marketing Managers and Communications and Events members. Such a friendly and genuine group! Photo courtesy Brizo Facebook Page.

The Brizo Faucet Line is part of the DELTA Faucet company and is aimed at a more fashion savvy clientele. “Glamorous”, “Elegant” and “Minimalistic” were buzz words used by Brizo members to describe the product lines. During the seminar we learned that Brizo is a “lifestyle”, and its mission is to inspire others to dream.

Brizo gave detailed presentations on current product lines. From traditional to contemporary, and everything in between, the company offers a plethora of bathroom or kitchen faucet designs. Imagine they shipped these cumbersome displays from their Indianapolis offices:

Display of some Brizo Faucets Presented at the Meeting

An example of a more traditional kitchen faucet:tresa kitchen Faucet

 Tresa Faucet system by Brizo for the Kitchen. Photo courtesy Brizo.

An example of a more contemporary faucet line:

siderna bath Faucet

Siderna Bath Line by Brizo is a personal favorite. Photo courtesy Brizo.

Brizo has been working on some pretty impressive  technologies. From SmartTouch Technology where you

SmartTouch  

Photo courtesy Brizo.

can operate the faucet by simply tapping it, to H2OKinetic Technology:

 

Typical
Shower
H2Okinetic Shower
Typical Droplet Size H2Okinetic Droplet Size Droplet Size:
Larger water droplets offer a more massaging shower experience.
Typical spray coverage H2Okinetic spray coverage Spray Coverage:
A dense shower spray offers a more drenching blanket of water coverage.
typical thermal dynamics H2Okinetic thermal dynamics Thermal Dynamics:
Larger water drops and a dense spray pattern results in a warmer, more consistent showering experience.

Comparative drawing from Brizo showing difference between a regular shower and the H2OKinetic Shower Technology.

Another technology of interest is Temp IQ, or Temperature Sensing Technology , which is water temperature information given to the user via a strategically located faucet light.  It turns blue for cold, pink for medium and red for hot. There is also an internal sensor which stops the hot temperature from going too high.

Brizo-Wu -faucet

 

 

The Jason Wu Faucet at left is lit in the red (hot) position at base of faucet neck. The little medallion on back is there for demonstrating purposes of the display.

 

 

 

 

 

The little handle on right of this model shows no screws at all. It is smooth as a snake and incredibly nimble to operate:

http://imageserve.deltafaucet.com/is/image/DeltaDynamicWeb/BeautyShots/65675LF-PC_002.tif?fmt=jpeg,rgb&wid=476&hei=350

Shown here in the Odin chrome and in mid swerve of the handle. Note the little light at base of faucet. Photo courtesy Brizo.

The handle is ingeniously activated by a series of magnets and internal attachments and rotations unveiled here in this clear handle used to demonstrate the complexity of the design (graciously held by Jon Dartt, VP of Sales for Delta, who gave me his permission to take a photograph):

Mechanics of Odin_edited-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the beauties of the Brizo lines is how invisible screws are on the faucets and handles: this creates smooth, elegant product lines.

Brizo truly taught us so much and I am so grateful for the lovely invitation to join them!

I will blog more in the next few days to share more from my trip.

A bientôt!

 

 

First #INSTYLETOUR Celebrates Sinks, Art and Tweeps: Press Release

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=a4a3ac9d13&view=att&th=13a11fbf99820684&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_h7oozw8l1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-DJdQq3IBP534J7BAeuamt&sadet=1348960934998&sads=i7XxXTUS4zPerh63fQqQrHXZ1Ns

Twitter-inspired social media gathering attracts national sponsorship, interior
design bloggers and original artwork!

Boston, MA: What began as a desire to bring regional design bloggers together in
real life has morphed into a celebration of inspiration and excellence in art and design
for over twenty-five interior designers from the Boston area and beyond. The two-
part event on Tuesday, October 2nd, sponsored by Blanco America and internationally-
acclaimed artist Giovanni DeCunto, is being held at north-end restaurant Villa Franceso
then moving to DeCunto’s studio for a special viewing. Highlights of the event will be an
interactive presentation from Blanco representatives and a draw for an original piece of
Giovanni DeCunto’s art.

Art by Giovanni De CuntoCourtesy artist’s website.

Blanco Purus 1 Faucet in Truffle

The Blanco Purus faucet with Side Spray in Anthracite mix is elegant and brings a bit of additional color to the counter top.I love that it comes in all sorts of colors to coordinate with the kitchen materials.

The idea for this event, labeled with hashtag #instyletour on twitter, was born at a July
2012 tweetup hosted by local interior designer Andie Day and Vermont-based builder-
turned-social-media-specialist Todd Vendituoli. “Art, interior design and fashion continue
to overlap as today’s technology-infused lifestyle evolves,” explains, Andie Day. “We
know that bloggers play an important role in communicating trends to consumers. We
wanted to continue to push that envelope by exposing designers to manufacturers with
beautiful, functional pieces for the home and unique styles of fine art. We’re excited
about our first #instyletour evening.”

“Blanco America embraced the concept right away,” adds Vendituoli. “They see the
value in harnessing the power of design blogs and talking about their beautifully-crafted
sinks and faucets to such a targeted audience. Exposing their product to an audience so
heavily immersed in communicating good design is invaluable.”

Day and Vendituoli hope to roll out the #instyletour concept to other design-centric
markets such as Miami and San Francisco. The goal is to provide venues for those
who have met via twitter to meet face to face and interact with brands that provide
products to the design industry. “Face to face connections are still incredibly important,”
says Vendituoil. “We all ‘talk’ virtually all the time, but now we’ll be in the same location
learning more about design and art, and making our connections even stronger.”

Members of the media who wish to attend the first #instyletour night, contact organizer
Andie Day at 978-500-8172 or aday@andieday.com.

I personally cannot wait to attend this private event and am so thankful to Andie and Todd for coming up with these opportunities to meet fellow designers, bloggers and vendors. It is so enriching to exchange ideas and meet in real life: we really all learn from each other AND have a lot of fun! I love being part of such a vibrant community!