Heather Jenkinson Interiors

A Design Blog

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Monday, 22 February 2016

CITY OF LIGHTS: HIGHLIGHTS | BLOGTOUR LAS VEGAS KBIS 2016


Who needs the Bellaggio fountains, when you have such a pretty display of colour and light?
From my previous post, you will know that I was fortunate enough to invited by Veronika Miller CEO of Modenus and Designhounds, to join 24 interior designers from around the world, on a design tour. This years event, held in Las Vegas was sponsored by KBIS, Thermador, TOTO, BLANCO, Top Knobs, WoodMode, Mohawk, Mr Steam and Wilsonart. We were invited to celebrate their latest products and share the experience with those we engage with online, every day.

Las Vegas, the City of Lights... 

 Following an extraordinary week in Las Vegas, attending the KBIS2016 show with the team from Modenus & Design Hounds, I have to say that it hasn't been easy, knowing were to start. It was such a big trip, with so many memorable experiences, and so I will be breaking it down over four posts, starting with an overview of the trip, and some of my personal highlights...



1. MEETING THE DREAM TEAM

Look at these beautiful faces!
Writing about the 24 interior designers, invited to attend BlogTour, would be a blog post on it's own right. Meeting these women, was a personal highlight, for me. Veronika Miller has a gift for spotting good eggs and inspiring intense productivity and love. (I could go on about this woman, but let's save the good stuff, for last...). I've been on two BlogTours and have attended three, in total (one of them was on my doorstep/London) and I have to say that there was something special, about this group of women. I feel very lucky to have been part of this year's BlogTour #KBIS16 event.

It was an absolute pleasure spending time with these, women... 
If you work in the design industry, and you care about what you do and who you do it for, you will love this post by designer, Sarah Walker:  'Why Peer Mentorship Is Essential For Entrepreneurs | Modenus BlogTourKBIS.  Landscape designer, Susan Cohen wrote another wonderful piece: My Hashtag Sisterhood. A wonderful read. 

I see Blanco packed everything, including the kitchen sink, for the KBIS event... | Photo Credit: Tori Aston 

 2. THE BLOCK PARTY | RESPONSIVE HOMES


Talk about making an entrance... Twinkling lights against the vast Nevada skies...  I LOVED IT. We were given free access to the show homes designed by Responsive Homes  - Design Director, Bobby Berk, and it was a delight to see two modern homes, designed so well. We need this in the UK.  (More on this, soon...)
Yeaaah, I'd say this house was built for good times...








If you have a minute, listen to Designer Bobby Berk talk about the process of creating the modern home, for millennials. It's fascinating. He is certainly one to watch...

3. THE NEW AMERICAN HOME
Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal



 This was such a staggering piece of collaboration between American heavyweights Thermador, and The New American Home, that I'll posting more about this, separately - the interior were Right Up My Street.  In the meantime, have a look around and join me in dreaming of life lived well, very well...
The growing demand for properties with extra bedrooms and space that can be shared signals concern over affordability among American home buyers.
Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal
Love the use of metals, and other natural, light enhancing, materials... 



4. AN EVENING WITH TOTO & Cortney Novogratz | SW Steakhouse at the Wynn  

The Team from TOTO USA, notably COO Katsuhito Nojima, & HGTV Interior Designer, Cortney Novogratz | Photo Credit: Tori Aston
Having spent time with the people behind the brand, TOTO, it made perfect sense that they invited Interior Designer Cortney Novogratz to speak about her work, and how and why she specifies TOTO products. Aside from being extraordinarily talented at creating spaces that both excite and make complete sense, she was a delight to listen to: Utterly grounded and so passionate about her work. This evening was another personal highlight for me. 

The dinner we had was so good, it was an emotional experience...  | Photo Credit: Tori Aston
Ann Porter and Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus Media | Photo Credit: Tori Aston
TOTO NeoRest 750H

NeoRest 750H | Groundbreaking technology

TOTO | The future is here, right here... There is so much I want to share with you, about this brand. TOTO is one of the most extraordinary companies, thriving, today. Yes, they hire the best teams, sure, their products are elegant, beautiful and cool, but it's the technology behind their products which leaves their competitors in the dust.

We've specified TOTO loos, in one of London projects and I'm going to write a special post about this because, aside from the emotional experience my client had, when the first TOTO loo was installed, onsite (more of that, later!), it's an extraordinary product. Revolutionary.

Photo Credit: Tori Aston 

Do you see what I mean? IT WAS EPIC! And we're only half way there...

Coming up, tomorrow, more highlights from the KBIS2016









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Monday, 18 January 2016

Ready, Set, Design | BlogTour Las Vegas 2016

    Image thanks to Anne Porter of Kitchen Studio of Naples 

All 24 interior designers, carefully selected for this exciting event, have arrived at The Cosmopolitan, here in Las Vegas. This means that, at last!, BlogTour 2016 is about to begin. BlogTour is in its 5th year and the build up to this year's event, the largest to-date, has been monumental.   

       Images form BlogTour NYC 2013

Aside from the known fact that Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus, is gifted, when it comes to bringing people together, she also has a good nose for what makes a successful business, how best to brand and market it. That she does this in such a way that builds genuine friendships that extend beyond spreadsheets and expectations, should tell you something about this charismatic woman. I'll sum it up with one word: Tone. She sets a good tone - the right tone, with everything she does. I admire her, enormously. 

         Image thanks to Flo von Pelet

It's worth pointing out that the interior designers who have been invited to attend and engage in this event, here in Las Vegas, are also business owners. We understand the value of engaging with leading brands, via social media. However technological our worlds become, 'face to face' meetings will always trump a 140 character drive by. 

Although a sponsored tour - and it must be said, the sponsors (Blanco, Thermador, TOTO, Mr Steam, Wilson Art, Top Knobs, KBIS., Mohawk and WoodMode) along with Modenus, have organised fantastic events, over the next few days, we have not been paid to be here.  I'm personally delighted to be here, to meet other designers, see great design and meet the people who work hard, behind the key brands that supply the UK market (and those aspiring to do so). But most of all, I'm here because Veronika is. If she's excited about something, I want to know about it. 


I don't know what the next few days will bring, but I know it will be great. Please feel free to follow us all, on Instagram and Twitter, via the following hashtags: #BlogTourKBIS #BlogTourLasVegas #designhounds. We'll be sharing the experience with you, as we go - do pop in to say 'hello'...  
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Friday, 11 July 2014

Let's Talk | Suzi Hoodless





I was reading through Interior Stylist Sophie Robertson's blog post Decorating on the dark side when I came upon a particularly arresting image from one of Interior Designer, Suzy Hoodless's projects -  her home, in fact. Hers is a design dialogue that I understand on a cellular level, and so, although I rarely post these days, I felt I had to share this with you.

There's something about the way she plays with colour and proportion that reminds me of all the great things in life: art, dialogue, music, food, love, sex etc. Her design work plugs into a particular rhythm that is replicated through these experiences: a dance between intensity and relief. A kind of golden ratio twinned with the vibrations we respond to when we experience all that it is to be human. And, in this way, I feel that Suzy Hoodless is more than a designer; she is a composer of experiences.

How do these images make you feel? Are they a little intense for your taste, or is the pitch perfect?
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Monday, 28 April 2014

Let's Talk | Joseph Dirand






There is something...military about the way Josef Dirand plays with light, space and colour. It's as though he uses these elements as highly trained and carefully selected foot soldiers and working horses, to orchestrate the space within. His detailing, elegant, his maths, thrilling...
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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Blog Tour NYC 2013: Miele



Even before my trip to NYC, with the bold & the beautiful of BlogTour NYC, I had been on first name basis with leading brand Miele. Every single client of mine, has either enjoyed a rather long term relationship with their Miele products, or they tend to specify it, up front, based on word of mouth.

Amanda Litster, (founder of the lifestyle culinary blog, Mrs Bakemixture), is the only client of mine, to date, who has begun a building project, with absolutely no preference for branded kitchen utilities. But this lack of preference was short lived, once the actual build began. 

Knowing how customer focused Miele are, I thought it would be fun to ask Amanda five questions about her experience with Miele. Amanda thought it would be fun to answer them...

Amanda, baking up a storm...

Q. LeCorbusier, the Swiss German architect from the Modernist era, talked about the house as a 'machine for living'. With you being a semi professional chef as well as facilitating a very busy household, you may recall this phrase coming up, pretty regularly, whilst we were designing your kitchen. Now that you're living in it, what do you love most about your kitchen?


A. My kitchen is the heartbeat of the house and unlike my old one, the energy flows, seamlessly. I know that this doesn't just happen and I remember, discussing with you, at the design stage, that this was my room and I wanted to get it spot on. One of the key things we did, in the beginning, was write down how I used the old kitchen, along with all the things that irritated me, and we sketched out how I would like to use the space.  




As you know, the word 'ergonomics' was never part of my conversational language but it is now! Just yesterday, a friend asked me "how do you keep your kitchen so tidy, I don't even cook like you and mine's a mess?"

"Ergonomics" I replied.  

Project KENT - kitchen progress shots



Back onto what I love: emptying the dishwasher, straight into the draws opposite; having my pans near my cooking space, ready to leap into action; a hob that instantly heats up my old fashioned whistle kettle; a pull out bin to scrap the surface mess into. 



My piece de resistance: the spice drawer you designed, allowing me to see what I have, without opening cupboards. In fact I have probably gone one stage too far, with the spices, by putting them in alphabetical order, but why not! I could go on, but I think you get the gist - it just works.





Q. I remember you had a list of kitchen appliance companies that you carefully researched before making your decision. You were very serious about choosing the best products for the new kitchen. What was your experience of Miele and how did you come to choose their products?

A. I went into the appliance decision making with a completely open mind. I knew making purchases in the past were made for the wrong reasons; availability, price and look and, I didn't want history to repeat itself. The fact that I replaced my ranges every 4 years showed me that I wasn't getting it right. I noticed at my sister's house, her Miele dishwasher, fridge and vacuum cleaner hadn't changed for years. I asked her about them and she said they are built to last so I added them to my list of companies to check out.  

Once I had a short list of companies I spent a few days going up to London to investigate. What immediately struck me about Miele was the breadth and quality of their showroom along with a warm welcome from their staff and the offer of a nice cup of coffee.  I had a rough budget and clear idea of what appliances I needed; a range and a fridge. I asked a lot of questions, was given clear answers and shown various options with no hard selling.  I made an appointment to come back to the store once I had my short list, and purchased the larder fridge, 3 ring induction hob, American sized oven, hod, steam cooker and warming draw. I couldn't quiet stretch to the dishwasher but it's on my wish list!

To round up on my Miele purchasing experience I booked myself into one of the demonstration sessions which meant that I could increase my warranty years cover but, even better, I had a most enjoyable day having a chance to see the products in action and met a friendly group of customers all loving the experience.



Q. A well designed kitchen appliance should work super efficiently (so you don't have to) whilst at the same time 'give good face'. Which of the Miele products do you enjoy using the most - and why?
A. Hard question! It's a toss up between my steam cooker and the American oven. They really do compliment each other, the steamer is such a clever thing. Obviously, it's super healthy as just a steamer but also, as it's a grill, conventional oven, defroster and re-heater, I use all of these functions, regularly.  

The American oven is superb for all my baking and cooking needs, I still get a thrill using the roasting probe, rotisserie and can keep it clean with very little effort using the Pyrolytic setting.  The best thing I did was to throw out the microwave, these two are my working horses.





Q. Whilst I was on BlogTour, Miele treated us to a wonderful evening event where I enjoyed a memorable chat with the effervescent Sherry, who told me that the very first product that Miele ever produced, back in 1901, was the butter churner. Followed shortly, by the washing machine in 1903 - they have very similar mechanisms. What was the first Miele product you ever bought?

A. Until the revamp of the house I didn't own a single Miele appliance but going forward it will be the first place to look.  Ask me again in a years time and I should have the dishwasher closely followed by the washing machine.


Miele know how to show a girl a good night out...


Q. Finally, Amanda, have you seen the latest White range by Miele? (Isn't it gorgeous?!) If you got to do it all, again, are there other products from Miele that you would have bought? 



I like it! Well, you know my plans for the dishwasher, I'm not joking when I say my current one is driving me up the wall.  It seems to have a mind of it's own - maybe it knows the plan so it's rebelling by un-clipping the plate racks and side runners to leave me with a  a vast space that I don't know how to put back together! My kitchen has it's own personality, we work as a team and quite frankly this appliance is not in the same league as Miele.

 --------------------------

 Thank you so much for your time, Amanda - I think I speak for us both, when I say the Miele experience, has been a truly life enhancing one. Thank you Modenus for coming up with the brilliant concept that is BlogTour; it was such a delight to meet the people behind the brands. Above all, thank you Miele for making such wonderful products; you really do set the standard.

How about you, what kitchen appliances do you swear by? And, if you could buy them in a variety of colours, would you? (I would!)

#BlogTourNYC #BlogTour #MieleUSA
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