Kitchen Design Planning : Reporting back from JENN-AIR

This summer I had the amazing opportunity of being invited by the JENN-AIR brand at the gorgeous World of Whirpool Corporation in Chicago. Other design specialists and myself were flown out to the windy city and treated to an intensive training forum on state of the art kitchen technologies. Chicago Airport | Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch   I was mesmerized by the psychedelic lights in the Chicago airport corridors! Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch

Whirpool clearly knows how to treat their guests. They have their own chef on site and employees get to eat gourmet meals every day..Sigh. Delicious lunch on the rooftop terrace at Whirpool Headquarters | photo Barbara Elza Hirsch 2014-07-08 19.55.52 All dishes prepared by Whirpool Chicago’s Corporation chefs | Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch

It was a good thing the food was nutritious as there was a lot to learn about in a short visit. Here’s what I learned. JENN-AIR was founded in 1947 and is the inventor of down draft technology, a form of ventilation on the cooktop. They are also the first brand to have offered convection ovens in the USA. After going through a dark phase, it was aquired by Whirpool in 2006. Relaunched in 2009 as a luxury brand, JENN-AIR is considered a step above the Kitchen Aid, Maytag and Whirpool brands. Whirpool did some strategic thinking to figure out how to define and place each of their brands so as not to compete with each other. It was great fun to walk through the Whirpool training center and showrooms and see Maytag washing machines, Whirpool fridges or Kitchen Aid mixers. 1919 Kitchen Aid Mixer | photo Barbara Elza Hirsch The first Kitchen Aid mixer (1919) came attached with this cabinet and was wheeled by saleswomen door to door! Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch

JENN-AIR now offers a full suite of beautiful streamlined appliances. General Manager Steve Brown-an architect by trade-brings to the designs European flair and a great sense of clean and appealing design. Kitchen Design Considerations: Ellen Cheever of Ellen Cheever & Associates was a tremendous speaker and source of knowledge. I’d like to share some tips she shared which are essential in today’s kitchen design. -Kitchen planning standards have changed. Start with selecting appliances before you select cabinets. It helps with issues such as clearance rules or installation differences which one wants to be prepared for before specifying cabinetry. -As much as possible, try to select a suite of appliances so to offer clients a cohesive design look. -Two sinks is ideal but if there is not enough room, try to specify a multi-configuration sink. -As much as possible, try to invest in a small under counter ice machine. It makes the best clean ice, at an ideal temperature. -The height of appliances is extremely important. Design with your client in mind. -People are interested in new technologies such as an integrated coffee machine, a steam oven, induction ovens, etc.

Below are a few features on some of the newer technologies I saw in action and was most impressed with:

Induction cooktops have made tremendous progress. In the 80’s and 90’s induction burners used to steal power from each other. Modern induction burners offer a very responsive source of heat and offer the advantage of doubling up as an extra work surface. Today’s induction cooktops are 90% efficient compared to electric (60%) or gas (40 to 50%). Jenn-Air Induction Cooktop, 36" JIC4536XS JENN-AIR offers an induction cooktop that has a sensor boil option: it boils the water automatically for you and lets you know with a beeping sound when it is ready. The induction cooktop has elements below the burner surface that send electromagnetic forces to heat conducive pots. This allows for a safe cooking surface, as human hands being non-heat conducive, they cannot burn. Middle burners are today’s prime piece of real estate on any cooktop. It’s where the strongest heat source is located. JENN-AIR offers an exclusive 5000 wattage (36000 btu) middle burner.

Another fascinating technology was ventilation:  This Jenn-Air® luxury telescoping downdraft ventilation offers minimal design and powerful performance right at the cooking surface. The sleek telescoping downdraft vent appears at the touch of a button, and elegantly retracts back into the countertop when not in use. An unexpected refinement in ventilation, each Accolade™ Downdraft Ventilation System is individually crafted and hand-polished. Its graceful movement is matched by its singular performance: It powerfully, quietly, beautifully clears the air, then disappears on command. It’s truly at the forefront of design and performance. JENN-AIR has beautiful ceiling ventilation such as this beauty (offering high clearance, ideal for taller individuals): JENN-AIR ventilation | photo Barbara Elza Hirsch  The average home kitchen releases 1 to 5 gallons of grease per year, hence the importance of ventilation! One should never underestimate the importance of adequate ventilation. Ideally, a ventilation system should be 6 inches wider than your cooktop. it is ok to have it the same width, but some states have different code regulations regarding this matter.

I was pleased to hear downdraft vents (vent is on the cooktop and vents downwards) have much improved over the last few years.

Steam Oven cooking grabbed my attention and I sure wish my kitchen had room for this 24 inch Steam/Convection oven: Jenn-Air 24-Inch Steam and Convection Wall Oven JBS7524BS This versatile wall oven uses steam to preserve nutrients in vegetables and tenderness in meats, and convection for evenly-baked pastries and roasts. One can use steam and convection together for food that’s tender inside and roasted or crisped outside.

The steam/convection oven offers 11 preset food categories in its steam options, 89 presets in all! These can be used manually or automatically. It operates with a water reservoir that needs to be refilled (but never mid cooking). With steam cooking,  there is 0% odor transfer between foods being cooked. This means you can easily cook salmon, baked beans and dessert all in one!

The eco-focused Whirpool facility we trained in was built at this Chicago historic landmark building using locally-sourced construction materials; materials made from recycled, renewable and/or recyclable content; low-flow plumbing fixtures; and low VOC coatings. Even the construction waste was carefully recycled throughout the project. The location uses extensive day lighting, and includes a large outdoor space with an herb garden providing fresh ingredients for cooking demonstrations and events. Housed in Chicago’s Reid Murdoch Center, it offers a fantastic clock tower with offices inside the tower: Inside the Whirpool Tower, chicago | Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch

Views from the tower were amazing:

Chicago | photo Barbara Elza Hirsch  | photo Barbara Elza Hirsch The outdoor terrace of the Whirpool Facility as seen from the tower.

A really cool brick detail of the inside of the renovated tower:

Inside Whirpool Clock Tower | photo Barbara Elza Hirsch

I’d like to share a final fantastic new JENN-AIR product called the obsidian refrigerator:

Obsidian fridge

 The Obsidian Refrigerator by JENN-AIR: The dual evaporator system creates two distinct and independent climates for enhanced food preservation. Offering LED lighting throughout the interior, the Obsidian minimizes shadows and reflects against the black interior to dramatically display ingredients. Saw it in person: as cool as it sounds!

Technologies are constantly evolving and it is so helpful for us to see what is out there. I truly enjoyed my time in Chicago, the kind hospitality of Whirpool and JENN-AIR. I came back with a better understanding of what one needs to consider in today’s kitchen designs.

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!

 

 

Blogtour NOLA, New Orleans, Me Voilà!

I am cramming. Cramming for a good cause. I am off to New Orleans next week for an exciting week of discovery, design education, socializing and sight seeing.

Favrot

New Orleans photo via Courtney Price Design

Trying to juggle all clients before my departure plus the organization of my upcoming show house in Maine, with a sick child who ended up staying at home the end of the week after almost breaking his toe and a rush to X-ray Wednesday, I admit I feel wiped out. But this cramming and exhaustion serve a good purpose. It’s 1 AM and I am writing with some news I have to share before I leave!  I have been generously invited to a very special event called Blogtour NOLA, organized by Modenus. Veronika Miller is the founder and CEO of Modenus the leading interior design resource in the US and UK. For the past few years now she has been partnering with sponsors to invite trend setting bloggers and design minded individuals to Blogtour events.

Definition of a Blogtour organized by Modenus: bloggers are invited to scout the world for great design and report back live from the world’s greatest cities and the most recognized design trade shows.

Blogtour NOLA is taking us to KBIS 2013 this month, a Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, which will be held in New Orleans this month. KBIS is a huge industry event which allows industry professionals to connect, exchange ideas, learn and discover new products and technologies. I look forward to learning a lot, and adding many new design tricks to my practice! I am particularly interested in new technologies, materials used for surfaces, and plumbing design.

This trip could not be possible without the generous sponsorship of KBIS, The NKBA, Mr. Steam, TOTO USA, Blanco America, Poggenpohl USA, Silestone USA, and Duverre Hardware

I will be writing more about these brands as I discover them firsthand.

I love that Veronika conceives her blog tours as not only opportunities for bloggers to learn a lot about all the latest trends at these trade shows, but also as an opportunity to discover  the culture of the area they are traveling to. In this case, I am really blessed to travel to New Orleans, a city I have never had the pleasure of visiting. I am looking forward to learning about ” the effort to rebuild many parts of the city and hear stories of how people have coped with the emotional and physical devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The mere fact that this is still a topic today, eight years later, made it clear that BlogTour needed to share the latest with its readers” (in Modenus’ own words).

And sharing we will, Veronika!

I could not resist to leave you with a photo of the hotel we will be staying at. My readers know my love for hotel design :-)  !

Photo of a room at the Renaissance Arts Hotel, located in the heart of New Orleans warehouse district.

New Orleans, this Frenchie is ready! Beignets? Oui, avec grand plaisir!

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:

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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

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

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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!

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!

 

 

Brizo, Water, Bloggers and Jason Wu

You may be wondering why I would bunch these words in my title together. Where am I getting at??

Definitions:

Brizo: Brizo is “a premium faucet brand that promises distinctive design, inventive faucets and accessories that make a fashion statement in the home”.

Water: We all know what water is. Water is graceful, clean, soothing, in perpetual movement.

Bloggers: A contraction of two words, “web” and “log” is at the origin of the word “blog”. Blogging is a form of online public journal keeping or journalism where the blogger has freedom of press and puts a lot of him/herself in the writing. Hyperlinks allow the readers to be redirected to related articles or.websites.

Jason Wu: Jason Wu  is a talented Taiwanese-Canadian Fashion Designer who lives in New York City. Among other things, he designed Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball dresses, two flowy, very long dresses, Ruby red velvet and chiffon for this year’s Presidential Inauguration Ball, white chiffon in January 2009.

About Shot

Jason Wu, photo via JasonWuStudio.com.

Brizo deals with Water and design and Wu deals with movement and design. Water moves. Bloggers move ideas and Design bloggers are designers or writers interested in the design process.

Jason Wu and Brizo have been collaborating on a special fashion forward line of faucets and shower systems for a few years now and Brizo is Wu‘s main sponsor.

I think you’re starting to see the correlations…

jason-wu shower Shower

Jason Wu for Brizo Medium Flow Custom Shower

Today’s post is about how Brizo, Water, Wu, and Bloggers will be reunited for a very special event.

Drum Roll Please:

Brizo has invited me and 18 other bloggers to New York to see its newest products and attend an exclusive expenses-paid, design-focused event during Fashion Week.

The New York City event will include an introduction to the Brizo brand and interactive sessions with the product and design teams as well as the chance to build or strengthen the camaraderie between other elite design professionals through meals, team projects and unique shared experiences.

We’ll take a trip to see esteemed fashion designer Jason Wu show off his Fall 2013 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and cap off the entire event with a private cocktail party with Jason Wu himself.

It is a formidable opportunity and I am truly truly honored to be part of it. To meet other designers and share ideas about creation and design is very exciting. Traveling to these types of VIP events on occasion is not about glitz for me. I’m just a nerdy gal in love with beauty and design.  I cannot wait to learn about fabrication and technology and exchange with my colleagues.
I applaud brands like Brizo or Kravet (Read my blog about last year’s Blogfest 2012) who understand how we are all in this together. If designers learn about products, then they can collaborate better and sell something they truly know and understand. And simultaneously,  brands benefit from exchanging with designers, who deal with clients’ needs and tastes on a daily basis.
We all gain from interacting with each other and I have learned this firsthand with Interior Designer Chat, a weekly Twitter platform chat (twitter handle: @IntDesignerChat) founded by Barbara Segal, where dedicated designers, vendors, and other professionals share and discuss diverse topics related to design. Frankly, it’s like going off to a weekly fantastic seminar!

And boy, am I looking forward to this Brizo “seminar”!!!

 

Thank you, #InStyleTour for a fabulous event!!!

Yesterday I attended the well awaited #InStyleTour event I was telling you about in my last post. I had a lovely time, enjoyed great conversation and food at Villa Francesca, where the cuisine is truly divine.

Villa Francesca private dining room offers the perfect cave atmosphere. Low ceiling with exposed beams, brick walls, dim lights. Notice the wine cellar gates are LOCKED. Mmm, wonder why?

Fellow designers take the pose! From left to right Elizabeth Benedict, standing, Andie Day, and Michele Cortizo.

Three happy designers enjoying dinner to come at Villa Francesca. Linda Merrill, Laurie Gorelick and myself. Photo courtesy Linda Merrill.

After dinner, we all walked through Little Italy cobbled streets to Giovanni DeCunto‘s studio.

Delicious spreads of Italian desserts expected us. I don’t think anyone could beat the scrumptious locally made tiramisu .

Amazing portrait of artist and rapper TUPAK by Giovanni De Cunto. Painstakingly executed dot by dot -à la Seurat, this black and white painting actually changes to color when the lights are turned off. Special effect glow in the dark paints allow this process to occur.

Painting by De Cunto.

One of my favorite paintings along with TUPAK was this one:

Transmission 21 by Giovanni De Cunto.

A business card drawing for prizes occurred and Laurie Gorelick won a small abstract painting by De Cunto! Laurie wins at every of these events, I swear!!! As she says, she needs to play the lottery now! Michele Cortizo won a BLANCO faucet:

Christy Emens of BLANCO presents Michele Cortizo with her prize, a faucet by generous event sponsor BLANCO AMERICA.

As for myself, I won a …um, yes, embarrassing but true, hickey kiss on my right cheek (yes, a hickey!) from the artist himself, Giovanni De Cunto! Giovanni, I know I am irresistible, but please, no more unsolicited hickeys! Next time, paint me a kiss on a canvas and I will gladly accept it :-) !!!!

I cannot part without thanking dear Andie Day and Todd Vendituoli! They put in a lot effort behind the #InStyleTour event creation and implementation!

They’re gonna kill me cause it’s a poor shot (why is there no WHITE EYE correction on my Photoshop??) but I believe it will give you an idea of how happy and friendly this bunch is:

Lovely Andie Day stands in red top, Michele Cortizo-laughing as always-shows her back, seated center is Christy Emens from Blanco (voted best haircut of the evening), Todd Vendituoli is seated in front of his partner in crime, Sidney, shown taking photos. These folks were laughing so hard and moving so much, I just could not take a good shot!!!

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!