Dating back to the 16th century, ceruse was a white lead derivative used as a cosmetic by luminaries such as Queen Elizabeth I. Highly toxic on human skin, it found favor with woodworkers, who used the lead-white and wax to fill the porous open grain of oak planks to deter insects and rot. After a while it became a fashionable way to lighten up and enhance the look of wood.
Also known as “limed oak,” the finish was popular throughout the Art Deco era and employed by notable midcentury modern pioneers including Parisian Jean-Michel Franck and Viennese-born Paul T. Frankl. A version of the technique, with a whitened grain contrasting against a black stain, was widely imitated in the 1950s.
A cerused finish on cabinetry is created by using a wire brush across the surface to expose the natural grain of the wood. The base color and a glaze coat are applied to accentuate the unique patterns within the grain. Cerused cabinets have a weathered appearance.
This finish is most popular on Oak and Ash because of their open grain structure but I have seen it done on Alder and Walnut.
Today, cabinet makers are raising the grain on extra thick slab veneered doors. Paired with streamline hardware , a more modern look is obtained. This look is also popular with industrial accents to invoke an urban chic interior.
Colored pigments are also popular and as the demand for “driftwood” finishes starts to wain, expect to see more colors options available.
A word of caution, overuse of this finish can be distracting and knowing how to make it flow with the rest of your home’s decor is very important. Also be aware that I had seen slab doors where half the door takes the color one way and as the grain changes, the other half soaks it up another way. When working with a lighter cerused finish, always order a sample door, don’t work from a small color chip.
From inspiration and to see samples come see me in the showroom. 3415 Radio Rd., Suite 102, Naples, FL 34104
Participants are invited to conceive an interior design solution (such as furnishing, tables, seating, vanities, vertical cladding, etc…) for one of the following with the new DeepColour blacks:
• home environment (kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc…)
• public/commercial spaces (hotels, hospitals and medical facilities, shops, restaurants, bars, yachts, offices, airport and train stations, museums, banks, shopping centers, theaters etc…)
The contest excludes flooring and ceiling applications, lighting equipment, accessories and small objects. Entry deadline is June 15th, 2014.
The result is to give architects, designers and fabricators the confidence to experiment with the material through all manner of volumetric or surface treatments. “The newness of this technology and the depth of these colors offers designers something to play with that they haven’t had before,” says Mark Woodman, lead design consultant for Corian.
When the LDF needed a feature desk for the V&A entrance , the organizers approached Giles Miller for a solution that was the opposite of “off-the-shelf.” In response, Miller developed a system of intricately patterned, machine-cut panels that could be arranged volumetrically. The triangular panels, each uniquely grooved with a different surface treatment, were laid out in opposite directions, creating a dazzling effect of light and shadow.
Miller, who typically works with metals and other reflective materials was new to Corian, yet he was able to achieve the same, polished metal effect using only DeepColor solid surface. “Before we made the final desk, we laid the tiles out on the floor of our studio and saw the effect of the reflection,” recalls Miller. “We were blown away by the ability to make intricate profiles and have them all reflect light.”
For those who dare to use Corian as more than just sheet goods, you may have encountered “stretch marks” as you manipulated and formed the surface. DeepColor, however, now eliminates those unsightly lines and other imperfections, such as scratches, a constant issue with darker surfaces.
The new collection of solid surfaces is currently available in four dark, lustrous hues—Anthracite, Nocturne, Night Sky and Black Quartz. Still under wraps in DuPont’s labs, an extended palette of colors is about to be added to Corian family of colors.
As a Kitchen and Bath Specialist I don’t usually specify furniture or soft goods such as upholstery so I was a little worried when I saw BlogTour NY was scheduled to visit the Donghia showroom in the D&D Building that I’d struggle to come up with something to write about this sponsor.
My worries were quickly put to rest as I sipped Prosecco and was introduced to the new spring product offering. I quickly fell in love with the Murano lighting and wall coverings.
It seems like designers are always looking for great chandeliers to hang over kitchen islands now that open floor plans are preferred and higher ceilings are in more demand from homeowners. But what about table lamps in the kitchen?
Table Lamps in the Kitchen
Table lamps are great accessories in the kitchen and are too often overlooked. They provide great task lighting as well as soft ambient light when dimmed for parties or quiet mornings.
Whether you want to use a pair or a single lamp paired with a vase, picture frame or other accessory of your choosing, lamps can fit most any design theme.
Some planning is needed to locate outlets for the lamps in each designated spot. Lamp chords will also most likely need to be shortened by your electrician or lamp shop.
Lamps make a kitchen feel more like a room and less like a food laboratory.
What do you think? I think they are a better alternative to Swiss cheese ceilings with too many recessed can lights.
The Margot Lamp in satin sepia was my favorite piece from the new spring collection shown in the Donghia showroom (see first picture). The Murano glass is most alluring. For a shorter lamp, I really love the clean design of the Clara lamp.
Donghia, Inc. produces furniture, textiles, lighting and accessories sold exclusively to interior designers and architects through Donghia’s 12 showrooms across the United States and in over fifty representative showrooms around the world. With a forty-year history at the forefront of the luxury home furnishings industry, Donghia represents American design at its best.
Donghia Associates was founded in 1972 by Angelo Donghia and focused in the areas of residential, contract and hospitality design. In 1978 Donghia Furniture was established to produce fine upholstery and casepieces and Mr. Donghia continued the growth of his companies, expanding his network of showrooms and products across the United States.
Since his passing in 1985 Donghia was owned and operated as a private company. In 2005, the company was purchased by the Rubelli Group, a leading designer and manufacturer of textiles from Venice, Italy.
(Donghia is a sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)
One of the paradoxes of a recession is that luxury markets are booming… …and the people who buy those products are doing better than ever before. So, while it may not be politically correct to speak of luxury during times of recovery, the reality is that the industry is of strategic importance to American competitiveness, driving the revival of artisanal craftsmanship and saving jobs. In order to keep luxury goods as a ‘dream investment’, one needs to offer unique experiences and build an emotional connection with emerging consumers. American Standard has introduced DXV (which stands for Decade XV as American Standard is now in it’s 15th decade of operations) to help re-launch the 140 year-plus old brand into the luxury arena. American Standard is successful in encouraging consumers to reimagine the brand by seeing everything that’s old as new again with their DXV portfolio organized around the four most influential design movements since their founding: CLASSIC, 1890–1920; GOLDEN ERA, 1920–1950; MODERN, 1950–1990 and CONTEMPORARY, 1990–Today.
“DXV fixtures and fittings do not merely reproduce styles from each era; rather they are inspired by historically significant designs, re-interpreting them in light of today’s aesthetic and performance demands.”
To help communicate this theme, American Standard tapped into the creative power of the design community and commissioned six outstanding designer/bloggers to develop vignettes that tell a story and offer distinct creative interpretations of the design movements. The six designers selected for the project include: Corey Klassen CKD, Marilyn Russell, Allied ASID, Mary Douglas Drysdale, Susan Serra CKD, Cheryl Kees Clendenon and Meredith Heron.
Luxury appears to have come full circle, as consumers have become more demanding on the provenance and manufacture of products – authenticity is particularly important to younger consumers, who are more conscientious and certainly more vocal through social media. Here, DXV may have an advantage, given the brand’s vision to create an online and print community for designers, architects, and creative individuals to discuss their experience with the products in the real world.
“We want to democratize luxury by making it part of a conversation and engaging the community with this space,” Jay Gould, DXV CEO
I’d like to revisit the DXV showroom in the Flatiron District. Our first BlogTour event was a cocktail party hosted by Hearst Publishing and Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful. The event was fabulous – and crowded – and I spent the evening mostly talking to designers in attendance. The DXV showroom is gorgeous so I suggest if you are in the area to check it out. The space is not staffed and is accessible by appointment only (send requests to email@example.com). DXV has been a great sponsor of BlogTour NYC and has put together a little competition between the bloggers. We’ve been tasked to create Pinterest boards showing NY’s architecture, design and icon culture. The prize is an iPad mini which I really need because so many apps for designers are only available on iOS. Please help a blogger out and like or repin a few of your favorites. The contest ends May 30th. Thanks!
The new CULINA MINI from BLANCO offers all the function, performance and innovation of the original CULINA faucet, just in a smaller profile to give homeowners more options for open living spaces.
“Consumers still want to work in a gourmet kitchen inspired by world-class restaurants – but often these industrial features do not look very sophisticated in an open spa.” – Tim Maicher, Director of Marketing
The original CULINA Semi-Professional design is a perfect union of high performance and high style with its sleek closed coil, the streamlined handle inlay, and the magnetic spray holder.
• Solid brass body with ceramic disc cartridge
• 2.2 GPM flow rate – also available in 20% CAL Green water-saving model
• Double spiral flexible pull-out spray hose
• Reach 7-7/8″; Spout Height 7″; Faucet Height 17-1/8″
The CULINA MINI is offered in Polished chrome or Polished nickel and will retail between $650 and $725 when it becomes available in June 2014.
(BLANCO is a trusted sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, They were not displaying at ICFF nor WantedDesign NYC. Since smaller bar faucets are harder to find I wanted to mention this product for those in the planning process for their home.)
I had the chance to meet Mark Cutler and Dorothee Fisher from nousDECOR on my recent trip to NY with Modenus. If you aren’t familiar with nousDECOR, it is a design resource for everyone.
Everyone, from expert designers to decor enthusiasts, can interact and inspire one another by using a system of mood boards, inspirational images, and even personally uploaded items.
There’s also rich community on nousDECOR, where members passionate about decor can express their tastes and help each other get their interiors to where they want them to be.
How it works
Unlike other home décor sites or remodeling apps, nousDECOR provides much more than beautiful images and links to products, but also all the resources and tools you need to translate dream designs into reality. See a room that you love on nousDECOR, but it’s about 300 times out of your budget? Click on the moodboard, then click on each item and use the “SAME LOOK, DIFFERENT PRICE” button to search for similar items at different price points.
Have a room that you love from a Magazine but can’t find the products to recreate it? Have a couch that you can’t seem to find the perfect rug for? Try nousDECOR’s SEEKING HELP feature. You can upload a photo of what you need help with, then put it out there for the nousDECOR community to give you feedback, including their in-house designers and Chief Designer, Mark Cutler.
For those of you who fill your homes exclusively with “flash sale” decor but you get tired of hunting and hunting and hunting through them to find what you’re looking for, as you’re creating your moodboard, click the SHOW FLASH SALE FIRST button to give you products straight from all of those sites. There is also a SHOW DIY FIRST button for products that you can easily recreate at home.
Want to Win the Sofa?
To get your hands on the boss, Mad Men-style Mid-Century Modern sofa you see above, simply follow these simple steps.
1. Register/Log into your nousDECOR Account.
2. Go to the “Create” page. (nousDECOR.com/create)
3. Attach an inspirational image.
4. Create a moodboard with an inspirational image and the Bespoke sofa. Search “Bespoke sofa” and drag & drop to start styling.
5. Publish your moodboard and inspiration to enter.
6. Invite your friends and family to “Like” your moodboard on nousDECOR.com. (Share your moodboard on Facebook and other social media channels to help you get the most “likes”!)
The moodboard with the most “likes” on nousDECOR wins!
Submit your entry by June 3rd 2014 at 11:59PM (PDT)
One-of-a-kind sofa from Bespoke Furniture Inc.
Mid-century inspired custom-made sofa
Custom linen burlap fabric
Cast oil-rubbed bronze legs
Walnut burlwood detailing
Valued at $14,000
Dimensions: 84″W x 25″D x 32.5″H
For more details, see our contest rules.
What is the meaning behind the company name?
“Nous” is the French pronoun for “we,” and it underscores our commitment to helping anyone translate
their dream interior to reality, regardless of budget, time or expertise. Through our proprietary
technology and the power of our active community for guidance and feedback, we empower anyone to
decorate their space. And just in case you didn’t take French in high school–“nous” is pronounced
“new,” a pun we intended you to hear to convey a “new” outlook on interior decorating, or all those
“new” items you can discover through our search tools.
(NousDECORis a sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine. Be glad they told me about the contest so I could share it with you.)
Six talented design students will kickstart their careers during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) May 17-20, 2014.
The house was built in 1959 by Ralph Wilson Sr., founder of Wilsonart International. Wilson used it as both his home and a test lab to see how many uses his company’s plastic laminate could serve in everyday living. Wilsonart purchased the Wilson House from Ralph Wilson’s widow in 1997, and has since restored it to its original appearance in 1959.
The Wilson House has been recognized as a significant architectural structure by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, check out this circa 1998 article from The New York Times.
The students began the competition period learning about Chair History and Morphorlogy. They toured both a Wilsonart factory and the Wilson House museum.
The Chair Design Competition requires each entrant to create seating products that celebrate the richness of Wilsonart International’s laminate surfacing materials. In this challenge, students have an opportunity to design and build a unique chair around their individual talents. The chairs are required to be built in full scale and must be able to support 400 pounds. Each student is responsible to build their own chair.
The final student chairs have to be constructed with Wilsonart Laminate as surfacing materials but the early mock-ups were made using a variety of materials.
The students constructed half-scale models and full-scale drawings to further analyse design details, strength and the building process.
The final two weeks were spent building the chairs and according to the student blog, whatever time was left was used to create the presentation. (Sound familiar to anyone?)
“We deliberated this year more than any other year due to the outpouring of talent,”
— design historian and materials specialist Grace Jeffers
And The Winner Is…
The winning student was Jenny Trieu with her “Infinite chair” composed of a plywood rib cage, layered with veneer then Wilsonart Laminate flowing continuously like an infinity symbol. Congrats, Jenny!
Jenny’s chair epitomizes mid-century modernism through its unique structure and bold colors. Wilsonart Laminate Zebrawood, 7980K-18 is accented by eye-catching Wilsonart Laminate in Hollyberry, D307-60. Wilsonart Laminate in Black, 1595-60 lines the edges.
About “Wilsonart Challenges…”
Wilsonart sponsors the “Wilsonart Challenges…” student design scholarship program to foster the careers of emerging furniture designers in North America. Each year, this competition challenges students at a designated design school to create a unique chair that uses Wilsonart Laminate to answer a specific design challenge.
Wilsonart selected the College of Architecture at the University of Houston to host the 2014 Challenge. The competition unfolds as a semester-long course, this year taught by Professor Jeff Feng and Grace Jeffers, design historian and materials specialist ( and daughter of a Formica salesman). The students were taught about laminate, its history, technical capabilities, current market trends and sustainability issues as well as the history of chairs as decorative art forms.
(Wilsonart is a sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)
The BlogTour NYC countdown has begun and I’m super excited. One week from today I’ll be in a Spa in SoHo courtesy of Mr Steam and the company’s charismatic leader Martha Orellana.
After strolling the New York High Line the group will enjoy a relaxing Sunday at Ancient Baths in SoHo. I checked out their website and the services offered look amazing. I had to look up the terms effleúrage and pétrissage because I don’t speak Massage. The Red Wine Ritual looks quite incredible.
I met Martha Orellana, VP of Sales and Marketing for Mr. Steam, on my first BlogTour trip to London last fall. She is living proof of the benefits of steam (hydrates the skin, relieves stress, removes toxins from the body, etc. ) and is passionate about her company and it’s products.
Mr. Steam has been in the news lately with the many awards their new leading-edge iSteam steam shower control has been receiving.
The iSteam’s revolutionary touch screen display and feature-rich menu offer an unsurpassed, customizable user experience. Along with a stunning graphic interface and bespoke design by world-renowned Industrial designer David Farrage, whose experience with Movado™ and Lamborghini™ is evident in iSteam’s contemporary styling.
“We set out to create the best possible user experience, integrating all the benefits of steam
bathing and accessories into one highly intuitive control,” –Mike Pinkus, Mr. Steam President
High tech meets high touch with the iSteam home steam shower control. As easy to use as a smartphone, the highly intuitive LCD touch screen features beautiful graphics and high-performance in wet environments.
Swipe-touch simplicity controls temperature, duration, aromatherapy, chromatherapy and music, turning your steam shower into a sensory spa.
– The iSteam microprocessor deciphers between a touch or drag of a finger to perform the correct action.
– The iSteam’s Auto-fading display incorporates a real-time clock, individual user preference settings, and screen dimming technology.
– iSteam displays only the function the user wants, instead of a confusing array of tiny buttons or complex navigation.
– Manufactured with the highest-quality, fused silica glass and polished cast aluminum, iSteam has attained a high level ingress protection rating of IP-67, and is capable of full water immersion of up to three feet.
– iSteam employs an exclusive three-tiered safety system with passcode protection, temperature limit and time-out features built to ISO-9001 certification.
– Featuring an optional Bluetooth® Audio Streaming System, iSteam pairs up to eight devices and four in-shower speakers.
– iSteam can be used with all eSeries Generators, as well as the wireless iGenie® control.
Available in black and white finishes.
With an e Series generator, a complete iSteam home steam system starts at about $4,000, not including installation.
Mr. Steam is a leader in innovation, has the highest quality steam products, affordable pricing, best-of-class warranties, and unparalleled customer service.
Mr. Steam has been proudly manufacturing products in the U.S. since 1917.
(Mr. Steam is a sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)
True to its name, this new technology allows users to flush the toilet without making contact by using an innovative sensor instead of the traditional flush lever.
“Homeowners are of course worried about the hygiene and health of their family members, and the toilet trip lever is an obvious area of hygienic concern. Touchless takes that concern out of the equation, utilizing new technology to provide a touchless way to control the flush.”
You can find this technology in the iconic KOHLER Cimarron toilet and the San Souci one-piece toilet . Simply hold your hand over the tank lid directly above the sensor and the flush will be activated.
The touchless module projects an electromagnetic field through the top of the tank lid that senses your hand, causing the toilet to flush. The module runs on 4 AA batteries so no wiring is required. Batteries will most likely need to be changed out every six months.
A retro-fit kit is also available to convert most newer KOHLER toilets into touchless toilets in a few simple steps. Kohler offers a chart for checking the compatibility of your Kohler toilet. Toilets models over 5 years old were not evaluated and Kohler recommends you check their specification sheet for further information.
The small, black module attaches to the toilet tank with a metal bracket and fits perfectly inside the tank to remain out of sight. The chain from the toilet’s flush system attaches to a rotating arm on the Touchless module, which then acts as the flush actuator, replacing the traditional lever handle of the toilet.
As an option, the homeowner can remove the existing flush lever and replace with a color-matched hole cover. A small, raised adhesive flush emblem is provided for optional placement on the tank lid directly above the Touchless flush kit in order to indicate to users where to motion for the toilet to flush. This may help with unnecessary calls to the bathroom.
I don’t own a cat but I can think of a couple that may find this the best toy ever. What do you think?
In a few weeks I’ll be headed to New York Design Week anchored by the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) with BlogTour NYC May 2014 founded by Modenus CEO Veronika Miller.
This whirlwind trip will be in collaboration with WantedDesign. Eleven noteworthy bloggers from the US, Canada, Holland, England and Denmark will also be attending and posting updates.
NYCxDESIGN is New York City’s official citywide celebration of design. Spanning all disciplines of design, NYCxDESIGN creates a collaborative platform for cultural and commercial opportunities, elevates established and emerging design practices and increases awareness of and appreciation for design by all audiences. Events are staged across all five boroughs, from convention facilities and galleries to design schools and public parks from May 9-20, 2014.
WantedDesign is a premier creative destination for the international design community during NYCxDESIGN in May. Building on the success of WantedDesign’s groundbreaking debut in 2011, amazing programming and attendance in 2012 and 2013 (with more than 9,000 attendees last May), and various programming during the year to nurture NYC’s design dialogue, WantedDesign will continue to set the standard for international design curation with its fourth edition. The event will offer a 360-degree experience with innovative installations, memorable products, a pop-up store, interactive experiences, convivial lounges, thought-provoking student workshops, engaging discourse and more.
Located in the exceptional landmark Terminal Stores building on 11th Avenue, WantedDesign offers participants and visitors alike a unique and dynamic experience and serves as a meeting point for designers, manufacturers, industrials, distributors, craftsmen, students, design institutions, the press and all design lovers. WantedDesign is actively part of NYCxDESIGN and aims to showcase New York as a dynamic and unique design destination.
The 26th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s platform for global design, will map the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next in innovative and original avant-garde home and contract products May 17-20, 2014.
North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design, the ICFF annually lures those in determined pursuit of design’s timely truths and latest trends to an encyclopedic exhibition of up-to-the-moment offerings, as well as a series of fascinating, fun, edifying programs, and a packed schedule of exhibits and features.
Eleven categories will be showcased during the fair: furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, kitchen and bath and fabricators.
For the four-day duration of the Fair, 165,000 net square feet of the Javits Center will be abuzz with more than 29,500 interior designers, architects, retailers, designers, manufacturers, representatives, distributors, and developers. On Tuesday, May 20, the ICFF opens its doors to the general public, as well.