I am looking forward to attending the 83rd MIDA event in Florence, Italy next month. I will be attending on behalf of Promo Firenze, Florence Chamber of Commerce, and the Italian Trade Agency.
The artisan fair features 600 exhibitors and represents fifty countries. As part of our visit we will be given a hosted tour of the fair.
During our two day tour we will be introduced to the local handi-craft through the “Meet the Artisans” program.
Now in it’s 83rd edition, the Florence International Artisan Fair has been completely renovated, reverting to its original purpose: a platform for featuring the finest Italian and international crafts.
During the fair, two major exhibitions will be focusing on Florentine and Tuscan crafts.
I am looking forward to my first trip to Florence, Italy next month and being a part of the “Meet The Artisans 2019” group!
This past week I had the opportunity to participate in a designer training program on behalf of Monogram Appliances at their design center located on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
As part of the two day event, we learned in depth about the Monogram line of products as well as got to experience them via cooking demos and our own hands-on cooking experiences. Pictured here with my cooking partner in crime, Anna Gibson.
A bar vignette showcases a minibar dishwasher to the left and refrigerator with ice maker to the right.
A full kitchen display featuring the built in oven Advantium with speed cook technology and a column refrigerator to the far right.
Just outside of the Merchandise Mart on a beautiful spring day is the Chicago River ...still a little green from St. Patrick’s Day.
Fun with friends and fellow designers Anna, Florence, me, and Gustavo - checking out The Bean in Millennium Park.
Thank you to Monogram Appliances and Chef Jon for hosting us!
Last month while in Vegas to attend KBIS, we got to stay at the very cool chic Philippe Starck designed hotel, SLS Las Vegas. It’s in a great location if you are in town to attend a tradeshow because it’s very close to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Compared to many of the other hotels on The Strip, it is slightly smaller in scale yet still offers many amenities. I actually prefer the smaller scale and the convenience to many of the restaurants and morning coffee stop. It has an outpost of some favorite LA eateries , including: Katsuya, Cleo, and the more casual 800° Pizza. I also liked that to get to many of these places you did not have to walk far or through a very smoky casino.
The room I stayed in certainly reflects the Philippe Starck style. The walls are lined with a graphic wallpaper, there are several mirrors around which also light up, and the TV is also mounted on a mirror.
The bathroom is cool, crisp, and bright with some standard whimsical Starck touches. Often seen in Starck designs is his Axor lavatory faucet, such as in this picture, a line designed by Starck.
Again keeping with the Starck touches is a creative whimsical printed shade for the window treatments. Beyond that was this view from my bed! (Below.)
It was so great being a part of the Designhounds group attending the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas last month. I’ve much to share and a recap / roundup coming shortly! If you’ve never attended KBIS, it just so happens to be the biggest kitchen and bath convention ever! There is so much to see and experience, including the latest and greatest in the industry! More highlights coming soon!
Over Labor Day weekend I attended The Taste LA at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. The studio Backlot couldn’t have been a more perfect setting for a food festival. With the ambience of a NYC street scene, lights strung between buildings, tents set up featuring fare from local restaurants, and great music - we sampled bites from Eataly, Border Grill, Trois Mec, Granville, Stella Artois, Pacific Dining Car, and many more.
The scene for The Taste LA encompassed several “streets” on the Backlot of Paramount Studios with some of the “sets” open to showcase bars and shops, such as a Los Angeles Times cafe featured on site for the event. It was fun having access to and exploring the various streets during the event - all the while eating and drinking!
Stella Artois had two great set ups for serving their Belgium beer - one a cafe, a smaller location and another larger walk in serving bites and full glasses of beer on tap. It was so good - we went back twice!
This year at The Taste LA honored a tribute to the Los Angeles Times own renowned food critic, Jonathan Gold.
Aperol Spritz had a super cute drink stand and these yummy drinks went down easy.
Drink Bai had a fun photo booth with GIF pics that we took pictures in.
As a designer, I love checking out well designed hotels and trendy boutique hotels with a fun design atmosphere. In the Fall of 2016 I stayed at a luxury boutique hotel in Madrid called Only You Hotels. It was a great stay - the hotel has an eclectic design aesthetic, several options for food and drinks, the rooms are modest yet comfortable, and the Madrid location is in a central neighborhood. I loved it so much that when planning a return visit to Madrid this past February while extending my Tile of Spain trip, I opted for Only You Hotels again. This time staying at their Atocha location.
The expansive entry level lobby of the hotel has several designated areas consisting of seating, check in, a cafe, restaurant / bar, and even a barber shop!
A cute little barber shop at the entry of the eclectic “industrial chic” boutique hotel.
Also in the lobby entry is a convenient small cafe for takeout or casual dining, our go to for coffee, pastries, and really good sandwiches.
The lobby elevators leading to the guest rooms. There is also a rooftop restaurant with an outdoor terrace, which overlooks the beautiful Atocha Railway Station.
The rooms are contemporary chic with an entry vestibule and built-in closets, a private bathroom, desk, and seating. Our room faced the main boulevard overlooking the Atocha train station.
A mid-century modern style desk with exposed brick in the guest rooms at Only You Atocha.
Really loved the bathroom and paid special attention to the tile, having just spent time at the Cevisama trade in Valencia, Spain on behalf of Tile of Spain.
A glimpse of art and the mirrored built-in closets at the entry of the hotel room.
Back in the hotel lobby, lounge areas with leather banquette seating wraparound bookcases filled with books.
A serving area in the restaurant section of the hotel lobby.
The hotel lobby check in with a very friendly helpful staff / concierge - and oh yeah, off to the left are goodies such as candy and champagne upon check in! I love Madrid, I love Spain, and I hope to be back at an Only You Hotels again soon!
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