Shape The Future of Black

Do you have what it takes to Shape the Future of design? DuPont Corian has established an international design competition that has been launched across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Participants are invited to conceive an interior design solution (such as furnishing, tables, seating, vanities, vertical cladding, etc…) for one of the following with the new DeepColour blacks:

• home environment (kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc…)

• public/commercial spaces (hotels, hospitals and medical facilities, shops, restaurants, bars, yachts, offices, airport  and train stations, museums, banks, shopping centers, theaters etc…)

The contest excludes flooring and ceiling applications, lighting equipment, accessories and small objects. Entry deadline is June 15th, 2014.

Corian DeepColour | KitchAnn Style
The result is to give architects, designers and fabricators the confidence to experiment with the material through all manner of volumetric or surface treatments. “The newness of this technology and the depth of these colors offers designers something to play with that they haven’t had before,” says Mark Woodman, lead design consultant for Corian.

Consider the work of the Giles Miller Studio. I saw their amazing tiles at the London Design Festival last fall.

When the LDF needed  a feature desk for the V&A entrance , the organizers approached Giles Miller for a solution that was the opposite of “off-the-shelf.” In response, Miller developed a system of intricately patterned, machine-cut panels that could be arranged volumetrically. The triangular panels, each uniquely grooved with a different surface treatment, were laid out in opposite directions, creating a dazzling effect of light and shadow.

Giles Miller Desk for VA | KitchAnn Style

Miller, who typically works with metals and other reflective materials was new to Corian, yet he was able to achieve the same, polished metal effect using only DeepColor solid surface. “Before we made the final desk, we laid the tiles out on the floor of our studio and saw the effect of the reflection,” recalls Miller. “We were blown away by the ability to make intricate profiles and have them all reflect light.”

For those who dare to use Corian as more than just sheet goods, you may have encountered “stretch marks” as you manipulated and formed the surface. DeepColor, however, now eliminates those unsightly lines and other imperfections, such as scratches, a constant issue with darker surfaces.

The new collection of solid surfaces is currently available in four dark, lustrous hues—Anthracite, Nocturne, Night Sky and Black Quartz. Still under wraps in DuPont’s labs, an extended palette of colors is about to be added to Corian family of colors.

Milan Design Week Corian | KitchAnn Style

Tent London and Superbrands

Saturday seemed to have snuck up on us on Blogtour. How did the time pass so fast?  With the morning free to do as we pleased, Corey Klassen and I hopped on the Tube and headed to Westminster Abbey. After waiting in the que for a while we had jus enough time to make a quick run through before we needed to meet up with the group. Too bad photos aren’t allowed to be taken inside.

Westminster Abbey is a treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artifacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation’s history are buried or commemorated.

My visit to Westminster Abbey | KitchAnn Style

We made our way to the Old Truman Brewery at 91 Brick Lane, Spitafields, where we were confidant we would be able to find good food for lunch. I selected Pad Thai and it was just what I needed after my breakfast on the go. Along the way we collected some photos of great graffiti work.

Graffiti Collage | KitchAnn Style

The Old Truman Brewery houses more than 200 small, creative businesses and a bar. It encompasses 19 buildings, linked by a series of alleyways and courtyards, but the main area – the Boiler House – is easily identified by its 160 foot chimney with ‘Truman’ written up the side.

We met our BlogTour group at Tent London and sister show Super Brands, part of the London Design Festival, in its seventh year at the Old Truman Brewery.

Tent London and Super Brands are often described as one of the most creative parts of the London Design Festival. It’s a place where you can see smaller one-off designers who are creators showing their best in contemporary design next to temporary showrooms for big names like Jacuzzi and Ligne Roset.

Super Design Gallery | KitchAnn Style

Tent London also contained smaller shows within the show itself such as 100% Norway, Super Design Gallery, Brink, Vernacular by The Crafts Council of Ireland and The Craft Market.

This is another show where I gravitated toward lighting  – especially the hand-made fixtures. A few show stand-outs included Welsh weave designer Louise Tucker‘s hand-woven lighting collection from sustainable veneer, Eco artist Sarah Turner who makes incredible lighting from recycled plastic bottles and Glass artist Péter Borkovics.

Tent London Lighting | KichAnn Style

Our design filled day was capped off with a quick walk to a Electra House, famed designer Lee Broom‘s first dedicated retail space. We were graciously welcomed to the showroom by Broom who shared his adjacent design studio with us. The design boards were incredible – especially the one for Christian Louboutin’s posh new boutique at Harrods.

Lee Broom | KitchAnn Style

During last year’s London Design Festival Lee Broom launched his Crystal Bulb Shop – a general store complete with a sawdust floor. This year the Crystal Bulb Collection includes a frosted version, a table lamp, and a cluster chandelier that features varying bulbs suspended at different heights. A new wooden pendant and table lamp are slated to launch soon.

“The shop is actually in my own studio and it’s become a tradition now to totally transform the space each year. The building’s called Electra House and it used to be an electro-plating factory where they used to do a lot of the Corbusier pieces.”

Lee Broom Crystal Bulb | KitchAnn Style

London and Architecture

The third day of BlogTour London started with a tour of the Waterloo Poggenpohl Showroom.  What a wonderful place for inspiration. No expense was spared on the materials used to create the beautiful showroom.

I talked a bit with Poggenpohl Waterloo’s Kevin Robertson about changes and trends he sees among their projects. He’s experiencing clients pulling away from the overly minimalistic kitchen designs. It’s safe to say Londoners still prefer clean kitchen design but the increased interest in wood countertops and architectural accents is a positive change.

Poggenpohl showroom via :Laurie Laizure | KitchAnn Style

Corey Klassen and I check out a custom stainless work top with integral sink and Blanco accessories

Poggenpohl was founded in 1892 and has remained a leader in the cabinetry industry for over a century. Poggenpohl prides itself in being at the forefront of the kitchen industry with trend-setting concepts. The minimalist lines and modern sensibility set them apart from the “many traditional cabinet makers offered in the U.S. and a new generation of homeowners are beginning to embrace this more transitional approach to design.”

An example of Poggenpohl’s commitment to innovation is their newest collection, +Artesio, designed by celebrated architect Hadi Teherani.

“The customizable +Artesio system includes not only cabinetry but also walls, floors, dining furniture and an independent ceiling with built-in ventilation, lighting and sound, delivering what Elmar Duffner, Poggenpohl’s chief executive, called a “room-in-room solution” that would be ideal for a high-ceilinged loft. A wide range of material choices for the cabinetry — including laminate, wood, glass and leather — allows for further personalization.”

After our visit to the showroom, Poggenpohl sponsored an architectural tour of the Southwark and South Bank area, led by architect Timothy Bruce-Dick.  I don’t have too many photos or notes because I decided looking up and walking and trying to capture tweets/photos/thoughts was not a good combination for me.

It was nice to walk for a while and just take things in. We’d walk through an area and take in the architecture and then  meet our bus and ride to the next stop.

Blogtour architecture tour | KitchAnn Style

Some areas that stood out for me was Lloyd’s Register of Shipping; the original facade was built in 1901, 65 Hopton St.; a bright yellow round building with stepped design,  Neo Bankside; a modern glass residential building with external bracing system, One America Square; a striking art deco building on a nondescript street and the Lloyd’s Building; home to Lloyd’s of London and sometimes called the inside-out building.

Tate Modern High Tea | KitchAnn Style

We concluded our tour outside St. Paul’s Cathedral and walked across the London Millennium Footbridge to the Tate Modern for High Tea. The view was incredible and as my first experience with High Tea, it will always be special to me.

After devouring all the sweets and finger sandwiches, we strolled back to the CitizenM. The evening’s plans were for a cocktail reception/launch party sponsored by Modenus. That night Veronika Miller unveiled the New Modenus website. If you haven’t been in a while you should visit it again. It is always evolving with new products, designer showcases, and blog posts.

I’m sure Veronika would way the evening had a few glitches but overall it was a huge success. Some of our group bought masks during the architecture tour and brought them to the party – they provided much entertainment.

New Modenus Laundch Party | KitchAnn Style

(Poggenpohl and Modenus are sponsors for BlogTour London 2013, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)

London Design Festival – Day 2 Continued

From the V&A Museum we headed to the nearby Brompton Design District. The Brompton Design District is a collaboration between leading design shops, exhibition spaces and institutions on and around the Brompton Road, London. Together with the major institutions of the V&A and the Royal College of Art & Design, the area has long been known for its contribution to art, design and education.

andrew_martin_elephantFirst stop: Andrew Martin

Interior design company Andrew Martin specializes in creating and supplying travel-inspired fabrics, wallpapers and designs using ideas sourced from cultures around the world.

Its ideology is to surprise, stimulate and entertain; its aim, to bring its multilayered, multicultural, easy living style to everybody who likes it.

Andrew Martin Collage | KitchAnn Style

A trip to the Walton Street showroom in London has been described as “like stepping in
to Aladdin’s Cave, with an almost bonkers mix of beautiful and enormous objects that
shouldn’t go together, yet somehow do.”

Andrew Martin Wallpapers | KitchAnn Style

The whole showroom seemed never-ending and the fabrics and wallpapers were most incredible. The staff was also super friendly and very knowledgeable. My favorite part was a fun little interactive art installation called Dandelion. It was created by YOKE, an interactive design company from Denmark, in collaboration with London-based design agency Sennep and was part of the exhibition Decode: Digital Design Sensations at the V&A in 2009.  I made a Vine but the sound is horrible so I’ve decided to share this video by Sennep.


de Le Cuona Logo | KitchAnn Style2nd Stop: de Le Cuona

After Andrew Martin we marched over to de Le Cuona to get an unveiling of the new fabrics by owner and creator Bernie de Le Cuona.

Hailing originally from South Africa, Bernie’s textile collections pair understated English elegance with sub Saharan accents. de Le Cuona works with European craftsmen to create exquisitely understated woven linens with beautiful textural finishes, soft wool paisleys , liquid velvets, and cashmere sheers.

de Le Cuona collage | KitchAnn Style

de Le Cuona is available worldwide via showrooms in London, New York and Moscow as well as online.

Fellow Blogtour companion and designer/blogger extraordinaire, Marilyn Russell, wrote a beautiful post on Bernie de Le Cuona back in May. It’s definitely worth a peek.  {Read it Here}

3rd Stop: 100% Design
Continuing on we next stopped at 100% Design held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in West London.

100% Design is still one of the largest and most comprehensive design destinations open during London Design Festival. This year the show focused on four industry sectors, each arranged around a central “hub” by different designers: Interiors by Talenthouse; Office by TILT; Kitchen & Bath by Aberrant Architecture; Eco Design & Build by Material Lab

At the center of the Kitchen and Bath hub, U.K. design studio Mette, in sponsorship with Gaggenau, set up the show’s restaurant and an inspiring Farm Kitchen exhibit which explored the integration of micro-agriculture within the kitchen experience.  For the exhibit, Mette brought together a variety of designers and manufacturers, including Bulbo, Back to the Roots, Flip and Tumble, Modern Sprout, ConcreteWall and Auxano,

farm kitchen exhibit 100% design | KitchAnn Style

I wandered the kitchen and bath hub – happy to be in my element – exploring products from Dornbracht, Porcelanosa, Corian, Interior iD, Amberth, deVOL, Pando and Rotpunkt. Brass was definitely trending in the kitchen displays and as expected the bathroom displays were very streamlined and minimal. After my feet and shoulders gave out, I joined my BlogTour in the Bloggers Lounge for a beer.

kitchen & bath hub 100% design | KitchAnn Style

4th Stop: Casa Brindisa

A short cab ride later we came to our final destination – dinner at Casa Brindisa. Casa Brindisa is a stylish Spanish Tapas restaurant located in South Kensington. This seemingly never-ending tapas dinner (I think we had 7 courses) was hosted by BlogTour sponsor Du Verre Hardware. I really enjoyed having co-founder Gina Lubin at my table and getting the opportunity to talk with her. I also have to note that the Rise pull made a really cute napkin ring.

Casa Brindisa Dinner | KitchAnn Style

We rolled ourselves into cabs at the conclusion of dinner and headed back to the citizenM Hotel where many of us gathered in the bar to discuss the events of the day. It was a long but fabulous day. Keep checking back for my next post on day 3.