Sarasota Magazine asks - What we Love Right Now

Click here to see recent article about what we love in Sarasota Magazine

What an honor to be gracing the pages of Sarasota Magazine for my professional insight and experience.  A heart felt thank you to Sarasota Magazine for including me in the October 2015 Issue! (click on the magazine picture above to read the article)

After speaking with Sarasota Magazine I found myself thinking more about what I love and thought I would share a bit more with you here.  There are so many I could go on forever.

As an interior designer and a kitchen and bath specialist I love all things kitchen.  Show me a good appliance or some beautiful vintage dishes and you have my full attention.  I can spend hours in an antique store admiring dishware and antique kitchen tools of days gone by.  My mother recently gave me a hand mixer circa 1970ish with a wonderful avocado green handle.  And not a plug in type mixer but an actual hand held, hand powered mixer used to whip up some great scrambled eggs maybe or perhaps a good homemade whip cream.  Something I will treasure for years to come. 

In light of my love for vintage I also have a total and complete fascination with modern day appliances and one of my favorite appliances in my kitchen is my Brew Express coffee maker.

It is recessed into the wall and frees up valuable counter space.  It not only fits into the wall but it also has a direct water connection, so all I have to do is add the coffee and push the start button.

When it comes to major appliances there are some great options a few I particularly love are as follows:

GE’s French Door Wall Oven

…what I love about this besides that is bakes so wonderfully and is also a convection oven, is the way the doors swing open to allow you to be closer to what you are cooking and in my opinion have easier access.

AGA Cast Iron Range
…it is a more traditional looking range with amazing versatility. 

Sub-Zero Refrigerator

…hands down my all-time favorite appliance that has been around for ages but is the leader in food preservation in my opinion.  Sub-Zero, they know what they are doing and are the best at it.  A brand new product from Sub-Zero is their new integrated refrigerator and freezer columns, sure to open up amazing design possibilities.

For me I am often inspired by nature.  I feel as though nature provides us with true, real and most importantly natural colors.  And the remarkable thing those colors change and evolve with the changing of seasons much the same way design evolves and changes in our homes over the years. 
I find myself recently inspired by more muted color tones, Color that is strong but not so loud.  Benjamin Moore’s affinity color collection is a perfect example of this.
When it comes to cabinetry or furniture I tend to lean a bit more to the contemporary side of things with a splash of traditional.  I love when the styles are mixed.  A few examples…

The Paper Table by Studio Job from Moooi
…it has a very traditional style but comes in very contemporary painted finishes.

Aurora outdoor chair from Made Goods
…very traditional Elizabethan shape but a very stylized contemporary feel.

Brizo’s Artesso kitchen faucet
…it is has the traditional style of the bridged faucet but is a bit more sleek than its inspiration and it gives it a more modern feel and most especially in the polished chrome finish. 

Like I said, I could go on forever.  I hope you have enjoyed what I have shared here, feel free to leave a comment below and thank you again to Sarasota Magazine for such a wonderful article.

Aquademie Here I come | Hansgrohe USA Headquarters

I am headed to "Aquademie" 

I can’t help but be excited...

Next week I will be traveling to Hansgrohe's U.S. location just north of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia.  Hansgrohe's US facility is home to a state of the art interactive product center “Aquademie”, Showerworld and a world class manufacturing facility.
Hansgrohe USA Headquarters (photo via

A view of Schitach via

Originating in Schitach, Germany, a small town in Germany's Black forest, Hansgrohe has been a leader in innovation and trends in bathroom solutions since 1901.  

Hansgrohe factory 1909 (photo via
Founder Otto Johannes, known as Hans Grohe, was a true pioneer of his time.  The invention of the first handshower in 1928,  is just one of the many inventions and innovations in the over 100 year Hansgrohe history.
Otto Johannes, known as Hans Grohe (photo via

To learn more you can click here to find Hansgrohe’s innovation history – milestones in craftsmanship. 

I am looking forward to learning all there is to know about Hansgrohe during the two days I will spend at the Aquademie training facility in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Aquademie Training Center (photo via
In addition to the face to face training with Hansgrohe experts I will be touring their manufacturing facility.  I am confident that this up close and personal experience is sure to be informative and will most certainly demonstrate the luxury, quality, design innovation and attention to detail that Hansgrohe is known for.

Hansgrohe production (photo via

I think I am most exited about the opportunity to personally test out the Hansgrohe and Axor luxury shower products in their famous Showerworld.

Axor Display at Aqaudemie Training Center (photo via

Located within the Aquademie training facility, Hansgrohe's Showerworld is a luxury shower testing area with more than thirty of their shower products set up and ready to try out.

Showerworld Hansgrohe USA (photo via

What better way to learn and understand the Hansgrohe brand than to give it a little test drive... so a big thank you in advance to Hansgrohe for providing me with this opportunity, it is sure to be educational and enjoyable!

The Gourmet Camp Kitchen

camping dinner table photos via pinterest
Whether you are cooking on an open fire, a portable grill or you have a full kitchen in your rig/tent/camper/rv, preparing a meal while camping doesn’t have to be any less gourmet than meals you would cook at home. 

There are loads of cooking options available that allow you to have the same luxuries in your Camp Kitchen as you have in your home Kitchen.  There are so many portable appliances, grills, ovens, cooktops and even multi-purpose appliances available that allow you to cook in your camp kitchen just like you do at home.

camp kitchen photos via pinterest

I have to admit the whole glamping phenomenon has taken gourmet camping to a whole new level.  Gone are the days of the same ole burnt hotdogs, cereal out of a box and soggy sandwiches. 

glamping photos via pinterest
Glamping or as I like to call it Gourmet Comfort Camping allows you to fully enjoy the outdoors and have all the comforts of home. 

No matter what type of camper you are, the common goal is to be in nature and enjoy the outdoors, it is time to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.  It is perfect time to try out a new recipe or cook up your favorite meal.  So why not let your camp kitchen be gourmet central during your time in the outdoors?

photos via carmen christensen

Whether your rig comes with a kitchen or you have a portable kitchen, cooking outdoors while camping is all about planning, preparing and improvising when necessary.

phots via

There are many types of portable camp kitchens to keep you organized and store all your kitchen essentials.  Everyone has a different way of cooking at home it only makes sense that everyone would have their own way of cooking while camping. 

photos via
(upper left) The Outdoorsmen from
(lower left) Deluxe Campers Kitchen from
(right) The Field Kitchen from

So plan ahead, whether you are going for overnight, a long weekend or a week, plan your meals ahead.  The more you plan the more time you will have to enjoy other camp activities. 

photos via carmen christensen

By planning ahead you won’t have to worry about figuring it out once you get to your destination and you won’t be stressed searching for a grocery store.  And since you will know what you will be cooking, you will know what to bring with you to cook on or in.  Also it helps to not lug things along that you won’t be using.

Once you have made plan set, done your shopping the next most important thing is food storage.  Whether you have a refrigerator or you are camping with coolers get yourself organized.  I find it helps to repackage food, ziploc bags are a great and take some extras with you for left overs.  
photos via pinterest

Make the most of your space.  If you have a camper where you cook inside you will probably store your pantry items indoors.  But if that is not an option using some type of bins with lids is a great alternative and makes transporting your supplies easier.  (Don’t forget if you are in bear country be sure to take appropriate steps for storing food.)

camping food storage photo via pinterest

What about what you eat on?  Paper plates? Plastic silverware?  Bring along real plates and silverware and if you want to get fancy add in a table cloth, maybe a vase to put wildflowers in and stow away a few candles for your evening meals.  Why not make the most of your camping experience and treat yourself?  The sky is the limit.
camping table photos via pinterest

The most important thing in your gourmet camp kitchen is to be yourself, cook how you cook and enjoy your outdoor adventures! 

photo via carmen christensen "My Campsite"