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Friday, June 20, 2014

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Dann Foley Lifestyle

There's something about Designer Dann Foley. I felt like we hit it off as soon as we met at High Point Market this past Spring and that I had a friend for life.  His magnetic and energetic personality is compelling and any client would be lucky to work with him!  The world got a glimpse of his charisma and talent on the Nate Berkus' reality hit show American Dream Builder. He was awesome on the show and I got to hear some behind the scene stories from him too. Sorry,I don't kiss and tell....

Kim Salter of DesignThoughts, Dann Foley, Beau Stinnette 
and me at High Point Market 2014

World-renowned for residential and commercial/ hospitality design, Dann is unique and so are his collections: Phillips accessory collection, Loloi rug collection and Skyline Outdoor furniture collection are all fresh and sophisticated. 

Phillips collection Broken Egg wall art

Phillips Collection, a leading manufacturer of high end contemporary and creative furnishings launched Foley's broken Egg wall spheres. I right away fell in love with their organic form and craftsmanship. My face was almost inside the egg when Dann's marketing agent Christi came over to me and asked me if I liked the design? Embarrassed as I pulled away but I got to meet Dann! Each egg is different and makes a great focal wall for any space. 

Dann brought his modern eye to outdoor rugs for his Palm springs collection for Loloi, a family owned rug company. These striped patterns and bright colors are as dynamic as Dann's personality.

Skyline chair: Hancock Chair

Inspired by Southern California outdoor living, Dann designed a luxury outdoor furniture collection for Skyline design. I really liked his collection. The scale of the furniture is bigger than anything I have seen on the market. I can attest to its comfort as I sat in his Hancock chair. Designer Dann's message is clear which is to consciously choose to live well in comfort and sophistication.  

I'm excited to share an interview with Dann Foley today:


I am known for my use of color and layering of pattern.  My signature style is truly unique to each client.  I create interiors that are meant to look layered, collected & timeless, not decorated. 


I get jazzed by unique products.  They don't have to be the most expensive, they just have to speak to me.  As well as fabric, fabric, fabric!  I LOVE working with fabric!

Skyline: Hollywood Collection


I did not want to just lend my name to products.  I wanted to actually design them and I refused to allow anything that I didn't love go into production.

Loloi: Palm Spring Collection


Design is challenge.  I wanted to create products that I loved and wanted to have in my own home and at the same time, they still needed to be appealing to everyone.  I believe I found that sweet spot!


LOL where do I begin?  I loved my time on ADB and I would not trade the experience for the world!  I have not a single regret and I left inspired by my incredibly talented teammates.  Their individual abilities and expertise has made me a better designer and image some lifelong friends.

American Dream Builder -room designed by Foley


For me in my own design business, technology has the biggest impact.  From flat screen TV's to smart houses they have changed not only the way we live but, the way we decorate.

American Dream Builder - room designed by Foley


If I am to choose only one inspiration I would have to say that old movies are my greatest influence.  From rooms, to stylish living, to product development, I am constantly inspired by great old films from Hollywood's golden age.  With today's technology I can do research anywhere I have my tablet.  MGM films are my go-to pleasure and first choice for inspiration.


Do what I know to be right.  When I am under the gun or feeling stressed about any decision in a project, my business partner, Beau always says, "you know what's right, just do that."  That advice has never once failed me. 

Thank you Dann for the wonderful interview!

You can connect with Dann Foley on his

IMAGE CREDITS: Beau Stinnette + Christi Tasker 

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Trending Hardware with Acclaimed Designer Eric Cohler + Amerock

In collaboration with the hardware manufacturer Amerock, this is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Cohler sees the world through paintings 
(above Susan G. Komen Holiday house + Josef Albers via)

What an honor to meet Interior Designer Eric Cohler! Last week I was invited to an intimate luncheon at his beautiful Manhattan office where I had the favor of meeting him, the Amerock Hardware marketing team and six other well known design bloggers. Besides hearing him speak about his work, and upcoming trends and learning a ton about Amerock hardware and their latest partnership with Eric Cohler, I was able to get personal design advice from the "mix-master" himself.  I really appreciated speaking with him - he is impressive, personable, well spoken and  extremely knowledgeable. I walked away with the idea that I need to listen to what my client is not saying..... 

Mr. Cohler presented his work and I learned that he sees the world through paintings and translates his extensive education in art and architecture into a modern approach to interior design. He mixes contemporary materials in a classical way and dabbs a surprise of color like a brushstroke of an artist. Eric admits that sometimes his designs are also drawn from the subconcious - he layers his rooms like a Mark Rothko or Josef Albers painting and realizes the root of his inspiration after the room is done. See the Albers + Holiday house image above. Love it! 

Images of Cohler's designs using color blocking, and mixing of accessories from different centuries


His conference room was filled with Amerock hardware introducing his partnership with Amerock and allowing us to get hands on with their hardware. Amerock has an abundant collection and Cohler started his presentation by saying," Amerock can easily act as the consumers compass." To make it easy for the consumer to shop, Cohler broke them into categories from different regions of the country. Are you BiCoastal, NorthEastHome, CityBeat, PhoenixRising, LAExpereince, LondonUndone, or Lodge?  Its brilliant! Within each style, Eric showed us options for the consumer to mix and match for a coordinated look. For instance you can use copper hardware for the drawers and black hardware for the upper cabinets. 


Trends please....Cohler shared with the group that on his travels to the Maison et Objet trade show in Paris, the newest trend coming to the United States is copper, an organic metal because its almost like a living finish -the more you touch them, the more they change. The copper Amerock collections are gorgeous! You can easily mix them with macassar ebony or other warm toned woods. 

Eric also stated "Hardware makes great jewelry for a cabinet," which later translated into some fun DIY projects where we crafted some necklaces and mason jars with Amerock hardware after his presentation. So fun!

We all got a personal signed copy of Eric Cohler's new book Cohler on Design which I will treasure due to a wonderful experience. Thank you Eric Cohler and the Amerock team!

images credits: Amerock and all other images are mine

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Design For Life: Universal, Sustainable, Sensory + Health

Coverings Trade show: showing accessibility to shower volume control

As human beings, we have a universal desire to be well, and to live well. In my own work as an architect + designer, I believe that design has a powerful and direct connection with wellness. It's all about the experience in space - wherever we go in life, design in all forms should work for you, affect you and make your life easier. Good design puts the user at its central focus and ultimately generates positive experiences bringing you happiness and joy. Gail Zahtz, founder of SenseritDemand Design and top 1% influencer in Design, Health and Travel also sees the power of design and its connection to health.   With a true understanding of trying to find design solutions for her own life in and out of a wheelchair, she believes that you are not defined by your challenges and your home or built environment needs not create another barrier to a fulfilled life. Great design enables and she is trying to bring awareness that design and life is one field combining universal design, sustainability, sensory, and accessible design. Gail passionately doesn't understand why all these movements have been separated in design today. They all connect and overlap in some way and she wants to open the eyes of architects, designers and consumers to throw away the old ideas of design. Gail adds, "we all deserve beauty, dignity and independence regardless of age, ability and health." Good design can reflect your lifestyle, mixing in the sustainable, sensory and universal demand - Don't you think design for a six year old can also be design for a sixty six year old? You can honor great looking design for all ages! 

Coverings trade show: bathroom showing universal niche design. Lower niche used for a person requiring a shower bench can also be used for a child. Tile pops visually highlighting its contents.

Building out of her passion, Gail Zahtz is proving that there is a strong intersection between health + design. On Demand Design, she already has 50 high quality guests on online blogtalk radio ( MoD Design Guru was interviewed, yahoo!), has thousands of community relationships with international organizations and under the Senserit family (a media company at the intersection of health and design that produces television,  networks and events for the 70 million Baby Boomers),  Gail has launched Design for Lifeamazing platform for tech, media, events and communities for baby boomers and professionals alike. 

Hands Free Kitchen at KBIS

Under Design for Life she is working on some incredible projects like The Design for Life the App which will create a virtual reality environment that enables anyone to have fun dragging and dropping real products into auto measured spaces. Help donate! Become a part of the CROWD FUND  on Indiegogo to get a chance to be a part of the decision making and roll out the virtual capabilities!! There are many levels to contribute to show some community support!! Click here to get involved!

Linear Drains Systems in the shower used for style and accessibility

Another project is the Design for Life the show which is a makeover show with purpose backed by HGTV, Turner and other network makeover veterans. Each episode will show how to do small projects that make a difference, while introducing new products that work for everyone, supporting the idea of universal design. 

Sensory: Re-think your walls with Lego 

 GE Universal Kitchen design

The vision is huge! Lets all take a moment to think how we can help rebuild and redesign our world to include dignity, beautiful design and independence as we all grow old together. 

You can connect with Gail Zahtz on her DEMAND DESIGN WEBSITETWITTERFACEBOOK, SENSERIT WEBSITE, #CPHC tweet chat on Tuesdays reaching 6 million an hour.

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