Tuesday, September 24, 2013

High Point Market Product Preview Twitter Chat

Product Preview Twitter Chat

High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina, is like the New York Fashion Week for interior design and home furnishings. Designers, retailers and media descend on the small town with big furniture clout, to the tune of nearly 80,000 from across the globe, to be the first to see the new goods and purchase them.Thibaut
Decor Mentor is kicking off the market countdown by sharing a preview of top home furnishings yet to be seen [ they are debuting at the October Fall market ] in an official partnership with The High Point Market. What will our team curate? Join Kati CurtisErica IslasElaine WilliamsonJennifer Brouwer Beth DotoloJames Saavedra  Lisa Kahn and Lisa Ferguson to find out what we are loving from High Point Market exhibitors. They moved around their photography schedules to make these photos available for the very special sneak peek. It is kind of like the pre-stylespotters!
Join the Decor Mentor and High Point Market teams for the global Market Preview Twitter Chat Wednesday, September 25th 6-7pmEST and use #HPmkt hashtag. We will be sharing images [ we have them pinned to secret pinterest boards! ], events and trends and it’s a great chance for you to connect and ask questions!
Our favourite way to chat?
  • We like to use http://tweetchat.com/room/HPmkt [ automatically adds the hashtag #HPmkt to your tweets and you can control the speed ].
  • You can also use twitter management apps like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and set up a column with the hashtag #HPmkt
—-We actually do both! Tweetchat for being in the conversation and another screen open in Hootsuite to watch our mentions and respond!
We hope you will join us!
RE-POST - original Post by Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Small Kitchen Made Big

Before Photo
This small, dated, and cramped kitchen nestled in the beautiful hills of Silverlake was in dire need of help. It was not functional, nor did it fit the style of rest of the home, a very cute mid century modern house.

So a renovation was in order.

Our goal was to make the kitchen appear bigger using same footprint by utilizing the space better and bringing in more light.

It's not always necessary to bust out a wall to make a kitchen bigger.

Utilizing vertical space it key in smaller spaces like this one.  In this case we had to remove the soffits.   Always do exploratory holes to see what is behind them before you go tearing anything out.  There was nothing behind our clients soffit's so out they went.

Taking out the soffit not only opens up the space and makes it feel bigger,  but it also allows you to take the cabinets higher, which draws your eye up , making space feel bigger.

The nature inspired color palette we chose here also helps space feel more open and welcoming. Connecting the indoor to the outdoor expands a space.
Design By: Erica Islas / EMI Interior Design, inc.  / photo credit : David Young-Wolff

Putting in a laminated glass door also helps bring more light into space, making space feel bigger too. 

photo of Renovation in progress..... Stripped to the studs...
Of course to get the kitchen looking good , we needed to start from scratch.....Same footprint , stripped to the studs, and everything new.
before photo


Counter depth refrigerators are also KEY in small spaces.
Cabinet above fridge opens up for easy accessibility.
Moved washer/dryer to this side of the kitchen next to pantry to keep all the tall, vertical cabinets on one side.

Progress photos of renovation. Opened up a little window on this back wall to draw in more light as well as add an architectural detail to space.
 BEFORE, obviously NOT functional .

Design by : EMI Interior Design, inc.
Materials : Custom Cherry Cabinets , Caesar Stone Quartz Reflection countertops, glass backsplash, Cork Floors
Photo Credit: David Young-Wolff

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Art on the Road - The Cadillac Ranch

Me tagging my name :)
I took an awesome family road trip this summer, ( Los Angeles, California to Amarillo, Texas ) stopping along some really fun spots, including driving on stretches of route 66 in Arizona and New Mexico too.  I posted photos along the way on INSTAGRAM....you should check them out....fun photos. 

Does this look familiar?  Well if you have seen Cars the Disney movie or been to Disney's California Adventure (New Cars Land - "Cadillac Range") you've seen the mountains that look like tailfins of Cadillacs, well this is where the Disney Imagineers got their inspiration from.   

Thank goodness my husband likes to do a lot of research before we take vacations....because this is one  spot I really would not have wanted to miss.  It was inspirational . As an artist, I really appreciated the crazy over the top idea of buried Cadillacs, I especially love the fact that this is now a public art installation.  This colorful sculpture installation is on an open field (property owned by Stanley Marsh 3) off the 1-40 Hwy (hard to really make out from afar , so it's a must you get out and walk up to see these up close). Visitors are encouraged to stop by bring their own spray paint cans and spray paint their own designs.  My kids had a blast too unleashing their inner artists....tagging on these Cadillacs .   If you are ever near Amarillo , Texas,  I would say it's worth your time to stop by and unleash your inner artist too.

Cadillac Ranch photo by : Erica Islas
walking up to the Cadillacs....you can smell the spray paint
Family Photo

Believe it or not, this avant-garde installation was originally done in 1974 by a group of architects a collective group called Ant Farm.  Since then , this sculpture has been repainted various colors for movies or special events and of course daily changes with visitors who come to do their own masterpieces.  Whether you are a car aficionado,  an artist, a Disney fanatic or simply love road trips , It is a fun little stop along historic route 66 with a great photo Op.

BE Inspired !

Monday, July 29, 2013

Scene in LA - Angeleno Magazine

Just a little mention + photo (with husband) in Angeleno magazine (July issue)
 p.109-Scene in L.A.

You might remember back in May I designed a carry-on (click here for info) for the Architecture + Design Museum Gala...Well that's what this lil' mention is about .

"THE PARTY : Design devotees gathered for Celebrate: The Journey, the Architecture + Design Museum's traveled themed gala and runway show featuring the greatest design feats in carry-on luggage."  it goes on to mention.....
"THE PLAYERS: David Hertz, Erica Islas, John Dale, Billy Rose, Jeff Kohl, Kim Mills......"  etc..... 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Poggenpohl - Timeless Beauties

What is it about these Dreamy Kitchens ! ?  
Ahhhh Poggenpohl ...no one does Modern Kitchens like this .

The new +EDITION collection from Poggenpohl combines classic details with modern appeal. This innovative kitchen design features natural walnut wood veneer along with white lacquer cabinetry, available in flat panel or thin frame detail door styles. New black glass upper wall cabinets include the same thin frame details with finished interiors and LED lighting.

When Friedemir Poggenpohl founded the company in 1892, he wanted "to make the kitchen better". 2012 marked the company's 120th anniversary, making it the world’s oldest kitchen brand. During this time the company set major milestones. In 1950, Poggenpohl was the first kitchen manufacturer to present the fitted kitchen. Driven by the power to innovate, it was in 1960 that the company launched the first solid-wood kitchen and in 1967 the kitchen "must": the kitchen island.

Poggenpohl now offers its customers the largest choice of colors and materials that has ever been available in the company’s history. This is where Poggenpohl places emphasis on wooden fronts that give the kitchen a warm and classy look. The new wooden fronts are available in framed and unframed natural walnut and natural ash heartwood. These wooden fronts cut a particularly attractive figure in combination with the latest color shades of "blossom white", "polar white", "sand", "pebble grey", "sand grey", "terra" or "black". The new color diversity is available in the form of direct coating as well as various lacquered finishes.

If you are looking for top of the line functional kitchen cabinets, these timeless beauties are for you.   They are innovative and ahead of their time.   But don't just take it from me, go to your local showroom and open every drawer , see the fabulous finishes, accessories and fine details yourself.  These Kitchens are worth the pretty penny.  There's a reason why Poggenpohl has been around for over 120 years! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Capital Cook -off at DOD

2nd Annual Dwell on Design Cookoff!

That's right I said cook-off and I'm one of the designers 'bout to take this fun challenge .  If you happen to be at the Dwell on Design show this weekend (
Saturday, June 22 – 2:00 p.m PST  )
 stop on by and cheer me on (&  my designer friends too) as we turn from designing kitchens to showing off our cooking skills !  I'll be at Capital Booth – #1331
For more info on the cook-off and who's turning up the heat...click here .  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Silestone by Cosentino - A KBIS 2013 Favorite

One of the best things about Modenus' Blogtournola is the connections you make and the products you are introduced to.  Sure I knew about Silestone (by Cosentino) and have used them several times on projects, But I didn't  really know them.  I was so impressed by this company.  There is so much to love about them.  For starters, they are a family owned business , who doesn't love that? They take SO much pride on their products and it shows as they are a world leader in quartz, natural stone, and recycled surfaces. 

Una de las mejores cosas de Modenus 'Blogtournola son las conexiones con las empresas de los productos que realice. Claro que sabía de Silestone (by Cosentino) y los he utilizado varias veces en los proyectos , pero ahora conosco mas de ellos que antes. Estoy muy impresionada por esta empresa. Para empezar, son una empresa familiar, quien no ama eso? Ellos toman mucho orgullo en sus productos y se nota, ya que es líder mundial en el cuarzo, piedra natural y superficies recicladas.

This year at KBIS, Cosentino introduced Silestone Suede finish, an exceptional matte finish with a distinctive design aesthetic that sets it apart from the traditional high‐gloss appearance of many natural stone surfaces. The elegant texture is smooth to the touch, giving the surface a softer appearance with little reflection.

Este año, en KBIS, Cosentino presento un acabado que se llama "Suede" parte de Silestone, un acabado mate excepcional con un diseño estético distintivo .  La textura es suave al tacto, dando a la superficie un aspecto más suave con poca reflexión.

With designer Kim Lewis at Cosentino Booth KBIS2013

Also Debuting was Nebula!  LOVE THIS new product.
También debut fue Nebula! Me encanta este nuevo producto.

Why We Designers LOVE Silestone! : 
Made of Natural Quartz, the 4th hardest mineral found in nature
The only countertop with built-in antimicrobial protection
Scratch-, stain- and scorch-resistant
Low maintenance - cleans with soap and water; never needs sealers
Offers 15-year manufacturer’s warranty

Hecho de cuarzo natural, el cuarto mineral más duro encontrar en la naturaleza
La única encimera con una función de protección antimicrobiana
Arañazos, manchas y quemaduras resistente
Bajo mantenimiento - limpia con agua y jabón, nunca necesita selladores
Ofrece la garantía del fabricante de 15 años

Cosentino also introduced four new colors of their Eco line which I LOVE!
Lastly , Cosentino previewed the highly anticipated new ultra-compact surface, Dekton by Cosentino, at KBIS for the first time in North America.  The revolutionary new product, which can be used for both indoor and outdoor architectural applications, is UV resistent, and comes in large format, extremely thin slabs and will officially launch in North America later this year.  I was not allowed to take photos of product , but let's just say.... it is pretty fabulous!  I was able to take picture of the key attributes :)

Por último, Cosentino enseño la nueva superficie muy esperado ultra-compacto, Dekton de Cosentino, en KBIS por primera vez en América del Norte. El nuevo y revolucionario producto, que puede ser utilizado para aplicaciones de arquitectura de interior y al aire libre, es resistente a UV, y viene en gran formato, placas muy finas y se lanzará oficialmente en América del Norte a finales de este año. No se permitió tomar fotos de producto, pero les puedo decir.... es bastante fabuloso! Solo tuve la oportunidad de tomar la foto de los atributos clave :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

TOTO - People .Planet. Water.

I Love TOTO!  They have always been one of my favorite companies for bathroom products and my plumbers LOVE when I specify it for renovations.  It's really a no brainer to use them.  Their product is innovative, functional and they have something for every design style.

At this years KBIS , I saw some amazing products, and TOTO was one of them.

Toto's Air injection technology is pretty amazing.  You can't feel too much of a difference with a regular shower head, BUT you can SEE the difference in how much water is saved with TOTO's air injection technology.  TOTO had a great display demonstrating just that.  Here (photo below) I am testing it out with the Modenus BlogtourNola team.

The TOTO Shower Systems’ overhead rain showerhead uses patented air injection technology to increase the volume of water in each droplet by innovatively drawing air in through the showerhead and pumping it into the water droplet – enlarging and increasing their volume. To further enhance the showering experience, the overhead water falls in short, pulsating intervals.

TOTO’s products, technological innovations, operations, and policies demonstrate a clear commitment to sustainability that dates back to its incorporation in 1917 when “environmental stewardship” was one of the company’s founding missions. Respect for the environment is embedded in the culture at TOTO. Whether it is engineering high-efficiency toilets, faucets, and showers or implementing a closed-loop paper-recycling system.

People. Planet. Water.

Water Conservation Advocacy
TOTO plays a significant role in leading the sustainability movement in the plumbing industry. In fact, its active role in advancing policy and leading certification organizations demonstrates how its products and practices to help ensure environmental responsibility:

  • TOTO USA is the only plumbing manufacturer to receive the EPA’s Water Efficiency Leader Award 
  • TOTO is the first plumbing products manufacturer to have employees become sustainability experts by gaining LEED Accredited Professional status 
  • TOTO is the first major plumbing products manufacturer to join the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and is a founding member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. 
  • TOTO partners with the EPA to help develop the language of the WaterSense program and to help establish the testing criteria to validate the integrity of the high-efficiency product performance.

Besides all the wonderful innovative features, TOTO offers really great looking products.  New this year at KBIS was this Wyeth suite.  It is timeless and a must have on my next project.

 AIMES Suite happens to be one of my Favs!  Can you see why ?

What's Your Favorite TOTO Suite?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bevolo Gas Lamps - A New Orleans Sight for Sore Eyes!

One of the things that left a lasting impressions of New Orleans for me was these beautiful gas lamps.  I'd never seen them before. 
Yes, These are gas lanterns on the porch ! Aren't they magical?
Imagine a whole city with these beauties.  What's so pretty about these is how the flame flickers. It's pretty magical .
Bevolo's gas burners were designed to provide a unique "bat-wing" shaped flame while offering the lowest BTU rating. They are only available on Bevolo fixtures and cost approximately $7-$8/month to operate. 
Cool right?

 It all began way back about 68 years ago.  Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights began in the French Quarter in 1945 when Andrew Bevolo Sr. revolutionized the production of gas lamps.  Utilizing a hand riveting technique , he created sustainable gas lights.  WAY before his time Right?  His master craftsmanship and artistic style paired up with the talents of renowned architect A. Hayes Town created what is now known as the French Quarter Lamp.  They are everywhere I tell you !  This family owned business continues growing strong , producing each and every piece by hand.  I had the pleasure of visiting the showroom and factory with Modenus & the BlogTourNOLA team and I got to see the production in person myself. 

 Bevolo lamps are sustainable.  Bevolo handcrafts their fixtures from the purest copper possible.  They pride themselves on fixtures that are lifetime products and will be in your family for generations to come.  To read more about this click here. and here for more reasons to LOVE and purchase Bevolo.

Don't you agree that these could be AMAZING everywhere ?  I REALLY want one now :)

Photos: by Erica Islas & some Courtesy of Bevolo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

WOW ! What color is that ? HGTV June 2013 Issue

Featured in New June Issue of HGTV Magazine 
It's all about COLOR
On Stands now.
Thanks for the shout out HGTV !

Featured on Page 56 in "WOW! What Color is that?" 

Turtle Lake By Dunn Edwards - Kitchen Design by Erica Islas 
This Seafoam color is sprinkled throughout kitchen , not only on upper cabinets, but also on glass knobs, kitchen table, and kitchen runner. Color was inspired by the decorative ceramic tile.
For more photos on this kitchen click here .