Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Picnic by Design 2015 Basket Designs and Winners


Vanessa Deleon Associates Picnic By Design 2015


I love the summer! One of my favorite events to participate in is Picnic by Design. It was an incredibly successful DIFFA event - collecting 40K in the fight against HIV /AIDS. Incredible baskets by uber talented designers to delicious food and drink from top restaurants and brands. The soiree had a nice vibe on a rooftop overlooking the Hudson river. 

photo credits: Erik Bardin

Kristen Ward Guerrero Picnic By Design 2015

Among the buzz, a panel of judges made up of design and hospitality industry taste makers were on hand to select the top three most impressive baskets. The jury includes: Cindy Allen, chairman of DIFFA and editor-in-chief of Interior Design; Louise Vongerichten, head of development at the acclaimed Chef's Club US; Christophe Rammant, president of EGE & Bolon; Stephanie Goto, principal of STEPHANIEGOTO and Barry Richards, principal and studio leader at Rockwell Group. 




And the top baskets were...... ARCHIVES id, Gensler, Nile Johnson and Michele Alfano /MODmade NY. Yes, my basket design tied for first with Gensler. When I heard my name I was in complete shock and glee! Thank you to the judges, I really appreciate the honor. InteriorDesign.net featured my basket design along the other winners!  Below is when Cindy Allen called out my name and congratulated me...I was beyond excited!









Big thanks to Tiago Fonseca, and Keith Karabec of Five Star Millwork who once again brought my idea to life. The picnic basket design transforms into headphones with speakers. Ya gotta vibe a bit at a picnic, right?



 more winners:

ARCHIVES ID

 Gensler

 Nile Johnson 


images from the event:


 Sponsor- STK (grilled octopus)

Sponsor Robert Allen 



Sponsor Poggenpohl



my peeps!


Cetra Ruddy



Hollymount




Bryon C. James-Rodriguez

Carl Lana for Clifton Dry



Cheryl Umbles



 Rixner Wright



Christina May Design


Kristen Ward Guerrero




 Mong: Torodova



Images credit: Erik Bardin.





To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on


Sunday, August 9, 2015

MoD Must Haves: SCALES Architectural Tiles


MoD Must Haves
stylish, tactile, novel 
for tile lovers





When I traveled to Spain with Tile of Spain, they took us to the Peronda Tile Factory. I was especially wowed by the Scales tile collection, a collaborative design project between Peronda and Studio MUT Design!  These architectural tiles are beautifully dimensional with a tapered look.  The varied thickness of each tile allows exposure to its neon colored tile edge. The pieces are hand painted on two sides, generating a neon light effect. It reproduces the vibrant movement transmitted by the scales or flakes of a fish. Just brilliant! 






The white body wall tile comes 12 x 12  in 8 different colors such as yellow, green, orange, red, pink, black, red, and blue.







These tiles are available in the United States!

Connect with Peronda on her WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTER, INSTAGRAM


To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on

Friday, July 31, 2015

MoD Must Haves: Home Staging Book Review of Tori Toth's Feel At Home

MoD Must Haves
stylish, tactile, novel 
for book lovers

This is my first design book review and I have to say that I enjoyed learning more about the psychology of home staging. Feel At Home - Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell by Tori Toth will be fresh on the market on August 4th.  I got a preview and really liked this book because it talks about how the homeowner can be inconvenienced both emotionally and physically and provides great tips on how to sell their house quickly and without emotion. She outlines step-by-step strategies on how to prepare and showcase your home and teaches us how home staging can also create a more beautiful living environment even if you are not preparing for a home sale. 

As a professional Tori is a professional home staging expert who has successfully prepped multi-million dollar homes to studio apartments, resulting in quicker sales and greater revenue for the sellers. 






Learn more about Tori Toth's new book. I'm so excited to share an interview with her today!



Tell us a little about your business, how it operates and who your clients are?

I opened up my NYC based home staging company in 2009 working with home sellers and real estate agent to prepare their homes for sale. We typically work on vacant spaces, so once we see the space and meet the client we put a proposal together. Upon acceptance we order rental furniture and choose accessories from our own inventory. We schedule everything to be delivered on the same day and set up the space and within a few hours the home looks completely transformed using the Feel at Home Process and ready to be viewed by buyers.

Over the past year, I’ve shifted my focus to offer a one-of-a-kind experience for do it yourself home sellers. I created the Stage 2 Sell Strategy, which is an online video course for home sellers to learn how to stage their own homes. This program is specifically for sellers who will be living in the home and using their furnishings while on the market. It’s a nine-module course that holds sellers accountable to complete the work, and we help them every step of the way whether near or far.




What is the difference between Home Staging and Interior Decorating?

Home staging focuses on what the potential buyer wants, rather than what the seller wants. When you’re selling a home you’re selling a lifestyle, but not necessarily your own. Staging is less taste specific than decorating so the space can entice a varying buyer pool to put in an offer.  




What does it take to run a successful home stager business?

In order to run a successful home staging business you have to be able to multi-task, roll with the punches, have an impeccable memory and be highly organized. You need to be creative, a bit of a psychologist or mediator, resourceful and constantly be growing your network.




In your new book Feel at Home you speak about the psychology behind home staging. How can home staging change emotions and habits and ultimately help close the sale?  

A home is a seller’s personal space where they’ve lived for years, memories are made, and families grow up so it can be emotional for many people when it comes time to sell. In some cases sellers may not want to leave, but they’re forced out because of a divorce or are unable to make payments. Serious sellers begin with the end in mind, they remove their own feelings and do what it takes to get the home sold. Someone who isn’t motivated to sell won’t keep the house clean, stay organized or make repairs. That’s why having a seller’s mindset during this process is so important because it’s not an easy task to get your home sold. Habits begin to change when sellers take responsibility for showing off their home by upkeeping the space. When a home is clean or repair-free it motivates you more to maintain that status, and as we all know after about a month of doing something a habit is formed.








What do you want your reader of your book to walk away remembering?

I want the reader of this book to remember that home staging is a tool that costs some money, but is invaluable to the selling process and can not only get you off the market quickly, but it can get more money in your pocket and provide the ideology to enhance your overall lifestyle for years to come. 


Thank you Tori for a great interview!

Connect with Tori on her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER



To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on