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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Behind the scenes Minneapolis decor shopping experience with DXV

Minneapolis. Image Credit: Ray J. Nelson

Earlier in the year, I had an opportunity to go to Minneapolis to present my modern bathroom design to DXV, the luxury brand of American Standard for the DXV Design Panel 2017. I heard that Minneapolis was a VERY cold city and anticipated the weather with a fur lined coat, a hat and thick gloves; but I didn't foresee walking like a penguin down the ice-skate street conditions. No matter, I truly loved every minute!...I'll be honest, my experience was a bit of a whirlwind and was driven through most of the city but what I did notice was the different scaled neighborhoods. Uptown Minneapolis had lots of restaurants and bars that seemed to bustle with activity. I personally was more attracted to the Warehouse district and the Northeast Arts District because of its creative vibe. 

Sinclair Depot where Kendall Photographs makes 
the DXV Design Panel magic happens!

If I actually thought about leaving NYC and moving to Minneapolis, I would think about Loft Living in the NorthEast district. Loft living has that edgy feel with tall ceilings, and walls of glass like the Minneapolis Madison Loft location. Image below.

Credit: Abodo

I think that's why I felt at home when us designers on the #DXVDesignPanel 2017 had to give a presentation at the MPLSPhoto Center in the Northwind Lofts.  The center is located in the Hawthorne neighborhood just north of the Minneapolis Warehouse District. The concrete floors with exposed beams and brick/reclaimed wood combined walls had that industrial vibe that I love so much.

More fun was had in Minneapolis by shopping with DXV's talented stylist and set designer Jim Goulet, who took us to his fave spots in the city to style our DXV spaces. It exciting to see how our styling efforts turned out in the DXV AD which is now being featured in many of the design trade magazines like Vanity Fair, Architectural digest, Elle Decor, Interior Design Magazine, Metropolis and many more!  

Elle Decor DXV AD of the Hygge Modern bathroom - October 2017 

On our shopping adventure, Jim took me specifically to AlwaysMod where it was pure Scandinavian design heaven, a perfect fit for my Hygge inspired bathroom design.  Jim and I were successful with some great finds that ultimately landed in my space! See below:

Always Mod

Always Mod

Scandinavian mugs for the Vanity/Bar area and sea salt trays for the tub area were some of the finds.

Always Mod

This towel linen spoke to mean in the store and it ultimately was converted into a pillow for the space. Some pics in the space below:

Some other cool shops in Minneapolis we went to:

Witt + Bliss is an urban lifestyle boutique featuring home unique goods ranging from livable mix of homewares to unique items crafted by local artists. At Witt + Bliss, every piece has a story to share.

Martin Patrick artfully fuses classic and contemporary home décor with Mens apparel.

Ciel Loft and Home offers reclaimed wood furniture and reproduction industrial lighting.

I found this mirror below in Ciel which was the inspirational shape for the mirror in my DXV space. See below:

DXV Hygge - Modulus Vanity

The Citizenry had modern goods for the well traveled home. I loved these ethnically crafted baskets.

A real treat was dining in an old horse stable dating back to 1906. DXV took the DXV Design Panel to Spoon and Stable, a cool restaurant in the heart of the North Loop Neighborhood, where Chef Kaysen features food from the roots of the local culture. 

What a delicious meal and experience with the DXV team! 
As always, thankyou so much! 
All in all, an excellent time in Minneapolis!! 

Read more about my DXV design inspired by the city of Copenhagen where I translated the notion of Hygge into the space. 

Hygge is a word that means well being and happiness Click here: 

Minneapolis. Image Credit: Ray J. Nelson

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Design, Food and Charity all rolled up at DIFFA Picnic by Design 2017

Hygge Basket- Michele Alfano Design and Tiago Fonseca

Last Wednesday DIFFA -DesignIndustries Foundation Fighting AIDS hosted a fun filled Picnic By Design event celebrating creative expression while raising funds and engaging designers in DIFFA’s mission to further the fight against HIV/AIDS. This year $50,000 was raised to support DIFFA’s grants to HIV/AIDS direct service organizations and programs in New York City and across the country. Nearly 250 people filled the Stage 48 rooftop, to come see 22 leading designers who created and donated vibrant, themed picnic baskets filled with picnic treats and essentials for attendees to bid on and win in the Picnic By Design auction.

Hygge Basket- Michele Alfano Design and Tiago Fonseca
Credit Images: Erik Bardin

This year I entered the HYGGE Modern Basket, inspired by the Danish philosophy of Hygge, translating the elements of my DXV space into my Picnic by Design basket. Tiago Fonseca of course was my partner in crime again building with beautiful craftsmanship. 

Hygge Basket- Michele Alfano Design

Hygge is a feeling of happiness and well-being. To achieve a sense of Nordic coziness, I balanced light colored materials with geometric pattern,  a pop of color and nature.  To depict the landscape of Copenhagen, the angled lines of the basket works in concert with a customized wood coastline Pangea map of Copenhagen - which was customized specifically for the basket. Thank you Pangea maps!

All the senses are touched with elements representing earth, water, and fire. So, whether you are sipping wine, eating good food or enjoying yourself with good friends, the key to this sensorial picnic design is to elevate your picnic experience and heighten the simple pleasures of life. That is Hygge!

Thankyou to HORNE for the gorgeous flatware, and Robert Allen for the beautiful fabrics Artworld Indigo, Tessa Techtonic and Tessa Stitch blue.

Thankyou to Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief Interior Design Magazine who purchased my basket design!
Michele Alfano, Tiago Fonseca and Cindy Allen

Thanks to my friends and supporters of DIFFA Picnic by Design:

Having a blast with Lori Dolnick, Deborah Von Donop, Michele Alfano, 
Kristen Sawyer , Cory Berwanger, Tiago Fonseca, Tyler Wisler, Leanne Wood Newman

Michele Alfano and Michelle Radley of JM Lifestyles

Michele Alfano, Tiago Fonseca, Deborah Von Donop, Guy Tunnicliffe

Here are some of my fave baskets from the 2017 designers:

jesGORDON/properFUN x Dirt Cobain

NPZ Style & Décor

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

“DragCon Basket” styled by Tyler Wisler 

Vanessa Deleon Associates

Stillwell Events NYC with Elegant Affairs NYC

Scott Brogan Group

Antoinette Loupé, Canard Inc

Stacy Garcia Inc.

Ted Moudis Associates
Credit Images: Erik Bardin

Thank you to the sponsors: Blanco, Bolon, Design Lab @ Bell Works, DXV, DRS Associates, EGE, Flaneur, Innomark, Maya Romanoff, NTT Industries, New York Design Center, StudioTK, Robert Allen Duralee Group and The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dream Big: Michele Alfano Design for DXV Design Panel 2017

Photography credit: Vladimir Weinstein
Michele Alfano of Michele Alfano Design

DXV by American Standard is a portfolio of meticulously crafted fixtures and faucets. For the past four years, DXV has invited designers to create vignettes to re-imagine design movements of the past 150 years to feature their products and transport us back in time. I think I'm still dreaming cuz I was one of the four!

Being on the panel really is a designer's dream project giving each designer an opportunity to design without any restriction and to push the boundaries of unsolicited creativity. It was a very empowering experience. I wore a cloak of power and it felt good and it felt scary. I didn't know what to expect but I felt that DXV and Veronika Eagleson of Modenus believed in me and I was ready and confident to take on the challenge! 

It was a huge opportunity to showcase my Architectural eye on Interior Design and be a part of DXV's history in inspired design to elevate the experience of everyday living - which is in my core beliefs as a designer.

I decided to pick the city of Copenhagen as my city of inspiration to re-imagine the Modern movement. The Hygge Modern bathroom consummates a sensorial experience of well being integrating the Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. The angles and organic lines of the new DXV Modulus collection fit right into this feel good landscape. Whether you are immersed in water, mesmerized by fire and nature or sipping a warm cup of coffee overlooking the water, the key to this design is experiencing the good life on a day to day basis.

Thankyou very much to the sponsors who contributed their time and material: JM Lifestyles for the beautiful customized concrete wood tub platform, KJ Tiles for the Wood floor tile, Thermador for the Builtin Coffee Maker and Built in Warmng Drawer, Walker Zanger for the Kaza Concrete wall.


I loved the whole process from start to finish and wanted to take you a bit behind the scenes. It all started with the project being #DXVTOPSECRET! After the big announcement at KBIS in January, we had a few weeks to sketch and put together a presentation fitting  a 12' x 12' x 10' space. With nerves, I flew to Minneapolis to present my Copenhagen Modern design to DXV in February. All the designs were strong and there was a vibe of excitement in the air. It takes a village to build one of these sets. It was amazing for us designers to meet the marketing and pr team, stylist (Jim Goulet), videographer (Bret McQuinn) and the Photo Studio (Earl Kendall Studios) who ultimately built our ideas into reality. Over time, the studio director (Selena Salfen) would call with questions and send some sneek peeks along the way. The studio is impressive- their impeccable craftsmanship completed in such a short amount of time was mind-blowing! I especially loved working with Jim - so fun styling the space!

Lighting the fire was hysterical. The crew set the rocks on fire with rubber cement and ducked down so Earl could get the shot!! Thank god most of my material selections were concrete based!

Kelly Kasper of DXV was getting some closeups of the fire

Below are only some of the images from my presentation- floor plan and perspectives. Part of my architecture training is needing to know how things go together and if I don't know how to build it, then it doesn't go on paper. 

THE SUMMIT: The 2017 #WorldofDXV started off with the #DXVDesignPanel summit.. We all had fun listening to: a fascinating celebrity design panel (Vicente Wolf, Jonathan Adler,  Alex Papachristidis, Alessandra Branca) moderated by Stacy Bewkes of Quintessence Lifestyle blog,  to designer presentations to a sneak peek into the future of DXV product.

Alessandra Branca, Kati Curtis, Corey Damen Jenkins, Veronika Eagleson, Jonathan Adler,  Alex Papachristidis, Michele Alfano, Alison Hebermehl.

It was an honor to have chatted with these design celebrities and learn their insights about the design business.

Vicente Wolf, Jonathan Adler,  Alex Papachristidis, Alessandra Branca, 

Jonathan Adler, Lixil's Margaret Monteleone and Jean-Jacques Lhenaff  

THE LAUNCH: presenting my design was nerve-racking at first but when I started to express the story behind the inspiration, my speech naturally flowed..

:Everyone say HYGGE!

THE EVENT: the celebration for the #DXVDesignpanel launch party had lots of surprises: amazing dancers, beautiful music , wonderful food and drinks inspired by the four DXV international cities: Copenhagen, Florence, Toronto and CasaBlanca.

DXV Design Panel 2017  
Corey Damen Jenkins,Kati Curtis,  Veronika Eagleson,  Alison Hebermehl.and Michele Alfano

Michele Alfano and Vicente Wolf

Loved having my men there! xox Ivan, Steve and Cory

Loved seeing some of my pals:
Tina Ramchandani, Pamela Copeman, Lynne Byrne, Laurie Gorelick

Thank you Jeff Kudrick of JM Lifestyles! You rock!

DXV Design Panel Family 

Love me some SWAG!

See the highlights of the DXV event in the video below:

Photography credit: Vladimir Weinstein

Thankyou for everything DXV and Veronika Eagleson!

Veronika, thank you for your kind words, xoxoxol!

Working with Michele reminded me of every reason why homeowners should work with a pro. Michele's design for DXV was, from the start, a brilliant  combination of complex architecture and sophisticated materials that, together, created a balanced and serene yet edgy interior. In other words, she wowed us from day one and then managed to raise her own bar by submitting impeccable working drawings, material lists and really every minute detail to ensure that our production team could correctly interpret her vision. I guess you could say Michele made it easy for the rest of us to look good. 
~ Veronika Eagleson 

Michele Alfano of Michele Alfano Design