#BlogTourNOLA – National Kitchen and Bath Association

Dear Diva Readers,


top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>This is my month for attending awards shows! In my last blog post I was telling you about the Young Guns competition, today it’s NKBA – The National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual award ceremony.  While in New Orleans (in my mind you’re reading that with the appropriate southern drawl) as part of tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNOLA, my interior designer and design blog friends and I were lucky enough to be invited to attend the KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) when NKBA announces the winners for the Best Kitchen and the Best Bath during their annual NKBA Design Competition.

Given this was an event for interior designers DESIGNED by interior designers, you can imagine the venue was simply to die for – the coup de grace of the raw warehouse space of Republic was the clustering of crystal chandeliers hanging above center stage and just opposite our dedicated #BlogTourNOLA table in the gallery overlooking the stage.  We moved & shook with other design professionals and when the winner for the 2013 Best Kitchen design was announced to be Wendy F. Johnson our #BlogTourNOLA crowd erupted into a roar of applause.  A few days later some #BLogTourNOLA friends and I found ourselves dancing at the Spotted Cat with Wendy and I must tell you this girl dances with as much passion as she designs!  

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As a newbie to the world of Kitchen & Bath Design, I quizzed my friends about the NKBA. While I work with a lot of interior designers in my profession leading antiquing buying tours and offering buying services for interior designers and antique dealers (as well as non-trade, mere shopping mortals) I don’t know much about how the Kitchen and Bath Industry works.  While sitting at our table at the awards, I asked my friends (many of whom are NKBA certified as well as interior designers), “When you’re ready to remodel your kitchen or bath, don’t a lot of people just hire a contractor and hope for the best?”   My friends nodded, “Yep – and that explains a lot of the poor kitchen design we see.  What you should do is have your builder work together with a NKBA designer – the result will be the most beautiful and functional kitchen or bath for your home!”

When doing a kitchen or bath, always consult an expert. Choosing the right design professional is an important decision for your project’s success. By selecting an NKBA-certified designer, you will be working with a professional who has demonstrated comprehensive knowledge in kitchen and bath design, as well as construction, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.  These are designers who adheres to a strict code of professional conduct.  NKBA designers recognizes the importance of consumer health, safety, and welfare in kitchen and bath design – and best of all the NKBA provides training and tools specifically for their members so their designers can meet their clients needs and wants and creating designs that meet and exceed these requirements.

In fact the NKBA website has a great video which highlights why one should work with an NKBA designer.

I love pouring through Pinterest and getting inspiration – but for Kitchens & Baths I’ve discovered something better than Pinterest or Houzz!!  The NKBA website has a slew of kitchen p*rn!!  Hundreds of photos of dream kitchens designed by their own NKBA professionals.

NKBA Kitchen Design

NKBA KItchen Design

NKBA Kitchen Design

NKBA Kitchen Design

If you’re considering a Kitchen or Bath Remodel, why don’t you reach out to the NKBA using their online resource for finding an NKBA professional near you.

Ta Ta For Now,
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 4


Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>It’s all about KBIS today –  The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) being held in New Orleans this April 19-21, 2013 (Friday thru Sunday) at the Convention Center.  Because #BlogTourNola never does anything without creating a buzz, we’ll be kick starting the day with Beignets & Bubbly, a media get-together of epic proportions where over 200+ top designers, design writers and editors mingle while attempting NOT to get sprinkled with delicious white powdered sugar from the doughnuts!   We’ll also be taking a series of VIP media tours into some of our favorite vendors at the fair.


We’ll start the day with a media event at Wilsonart – one of America’s leading brands for countertops before meeting Danny Seo who will be talking about eco-friendly home remodeling.

Through his best-selling books, television programs, products, magazine columns and his how-to lifestyle lectures, Danny Seo continues to share the creative ideas that have made him America’s leading lifestyle authority on modern, eco-friendly living.

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Next up we get more time with toneusa.com/” target=”_blank”>Silestone after spending yesterday afternoon with their reps as we toured houses in the Make It Right foundation where Silestone is a key sponsor in donating materials for these incredible innovative rebuilds.  It is incredibly moving to see how this company gives back – truly investing in the future of New Orleans as they help residents rebuild their homes.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Silestone, they are the world leader in natural quartz surfaces for kitchens and  baths.

Fire Pizza Oven

For this next media tour with Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet I’m praying they will be giving samples….  Kalamazoo is bringing the pizzeria home with their Artisan Fire Pizza Oven. Then we’ll be heading over to Toto… TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer. They offer a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets, Air Baths and urinals

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After all this media buzz at KBIS we’ll have worked up an appetite.    But have no fear because our sponsors Poggenpohl/Blanco/Silestone are having us to their showroom for a special private dinner!!!

Today is going to be a day devoted to learning more about some of the key brands in the kitchen and bath industry.  While I personally don’t work in Kitchens & Baths, I love the opportunity to better understand the house as a whole so that I can learn how the whole house functions together in great design.

Warm Regards,
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 3


Dear Diva Readers,

When you imagine the flickering fantasy of New Orleans it’s the lanterns dotting the French Quarter that casts a romantic glow in your mind.  But did you realize that in a day and age of increasing globalization, this city’s iconic copper lanterns are still made locally by hand using old world techniques in a family-run business here in New Orleans?

Antiques Diva BlogTourNOLA

I’m delighted that this morning we’ll start our day out with tour” target=”_blank”>BlogTourNola getting to know the family who runs Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights  and having an opportunity to explore their factory.  This company was first founded in 1945 and revolutionized the gas lighting industry – 6 decades and 3 generations later they’re still going strong supplying not only locally but in 29 countries.

New Orleans

And speaking of strong, perhaps I should mention I like my coffee strong.  We’re heading out the door to tour their shop with #BlogTourNola at 7am, and rumor has it that Beignets and Coffee will be the olfactory pied piper should any of the Bloggers stay out too late the night before.  I must confess the first night on #BlogTour I joined a few friends on our roof-top terrace to dip our toes in the pool and continue chatting in a more intimate setting!

New Orleans

While #BlogTourNola involves a LOT of wining & dining,  it’s really all about design and in essence design is popular because it is through design that each makes our house a home, giving our homes a personal stamp.  But what if you didn’t have a home?  With the advent of new “news and natural disasters”, Hurricane Katrina may seem a long time ago – in fact, it was nearly 8 years ago – and yet New Orleans is far from being completely renovated and there are a lot of residents still displaced from the disaster.

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One of our #BlogTourNola sponsors – toneusa.com/?gclid=CN-miNGF0bYCFRRxnAodZB8Alw” target=”_blank”>Silestonehas been actively involved in the restoration efforts – they are a key partner in Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation.  Silestone will pick us up downtown and bring  us to Gentilly in the north of New Orleans – one of the hardest hit areas during hurricane Katrina  where many families lost everything they owned.

 Photo Credit: The Examiner

Three families are now able to move into their newly remodeled or rebuilt homes through the help of The Storehouse of Worldvision which supplies building materials to over 2 million people in need, annually. The Storehouse project is supported by many great corporate sponsors and manufacturers of building materials and home products, including BlogTour sponsors the NKBA and torehouse-of-world-vision-and-nkba-help-three-deserving-families-rebuild-homes-ahead-of-the-2013-national-kitchen-bath-industry-show-kbis-in-new-orleans/ ” target=”_blank”>KBIS.

We at #BlogTourNola are proud to be among the first to tour the completed homes and share more about this important project. We’ve been invited to do this, to spread the word that the work is not over yet Our# BlogTourNola community has a combined reach of 1 MILLION Twitter followers and we’re hoping to use the power in our tweets to make the world aware that there is more work – and help needed – here in New Orleans.

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Next up we’ll visit an amazing modern architectural project. With Hurricane Katrina, these new Modernist designs are the “new” New Orleans. Brad Pitt’s foundation has produced over 80 homes and involved many local architects in addition to industry icons like Frank Gehry.

As the afternoon gives way to evening, we’ll continue celebrating design, attending the NKBA Design Awards night and dinner.

Net, net – today is guaranteed to be another amazing day in New Orleans!!

Stay Tuned for more Blogs from Crescent City!
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 2


Dear Diva Readers,

Let’s face it – coming to New Orleans for design inspiration was only part of the story…I also came here to eat, New Orleans Style, from crayfish to beignets.

tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola sponsor KBIS knows the way to my heart.  While the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show at the New Orleans Convention Centre is still being set up behind the scenes with the official show running April 19-21, the show coordinators are taking me and the rest of the #BlogTourNola crew to breakfast this morning at Luke to whet our appetites for what’s to come later at the show.

Photo Credit: Travel Muse

Chef John Besh runs this famous grand old Franco-German brasserie Luke in the style of the famous New Orleans brasseries of yesteryear . Since opening in 2007, Luke has been hailed by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure for its “disarmingly home-spun culinary touches and broad-shouldered dishes that satisfy something more than just an appetite.”  While filling up on breakfast foods, er… I mean preparing ourselves for the hard-core work we’ll be doing later in the day, we’ll learn more about KBIS while discussing  innovative kitchen and bath designs and the new products we’ll find at the KBIS Show.


Then we’ll head out for a streetcar ride to tour the Garden District, Audoban Park and Zoo and Tulane University.  You’ll want to make sure to follow me on Facebook so you won’t miss one photo from #BlogTour Nola

Next up, Shaun Smith will be taking us on an antiquing & design tour in New Orleans, visiting the shops on and around Magazine Street!! For me this a real treat – normally I’m the one leading the antique shopping tour  and it will be such a pleasure to be able to sit back as the tour-ee for a change!!

Shaun Smith is a residential and commercial design firm and boutique based in New Orleans and they have a passion for creating, stylish, organic, and contemporary spaces utilizing a mixture of modern and rustic design components with simple and clean lines.  They truly capture New Orleans living in a way that rejuvenates, inspires, and encompasses the essence of living well.


Photo Credit: bywaterboo.blogspot.com 

Photo Credit: bywaterboo.blogspot.com  

Needless to say I cannot wait to see what insider NOLA décor shops they highlight on their tour today –  And don’t worry – I promise to share everything I learn with you.  No way I’m hiding this light under a bush, oh no! In fact,  if you are on Twitter, you can follow me @TheAntiquesDiva for live tweets or check out the hashtag #BlogTourNOLA so you can read not just my insights on our tour but my BlogTour companions insights as well!  We’ll finish our tour in the Shaun Smith Home Shop.

And just when I thought I’d died and gone to New Orleans, it gets even better.  After spending a fabulous afternoon doing my favorite pastime (and profession) – Antiquing – this evening we’ve got a date with  my design hero, Miles Redd, for cocktails at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art!

Miles Redd is an internationally acclaimed interior design sensation, known for his quirky brand of cozy glamour. An Atlanta, Georgia native turned New Yorker, his work has been published in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Vogue, House & Garden, Domino and W magazines…. And as of last fall, Redd’s fabulous “The Big Book of Chic” (published by Assouline), has hit the shelves.  This is an inspirational resource and compilation of all things chic, lavishly illustrated featuring a diverse selection of his unique interiors, a visual feast for anyone interested in spirited, eclectic design.

If you’re as smitten with Miles as I am you must take some time to listen to this interview with my fellow #BLogTourNola compatriot Linda Merrill of Surroundings – posted on her popular interior design podcast The Skirted RoundTable.

Miles Redd – Elle Décor

Miles Redd in Texas

Loaded down with a freshly signed design book… next up, it’s time for JAZZ!!! You CANNOT go to New Orleans and NOT listen to music! So we’ll skip out of the Ogden and over to Lafayette Square for Wednesday at the Square.  This is part of a series of twelve free outdoor concerts from early March through late May by well-known New Orleans and Louisiana artists. Tonight we’ll be listening to The Revivalists + Disco Demolition Knights.  Elevated above the crowd on a big sound stage, each week bands perform a wide variety of indigenous musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, swamp pop, Latin rhythms and more.

Photo Credit: tos/offbeatmagazine/7263820408/” target=”_blank”>Off Beat Magazine

Once our toes getting tapping, we’ll leave the muggy outdoors to get steamy INDOORS  ….  Get your mind out of the gutter.  We’re going to dinner courtesy of Mr. Steam!  You’ll remember that Mr. Steam is one of our #BlogTourNola Sponsors. 

Mr.Steam® makes the world’s most luxurious steam showers and steam baths for the home and for the spa  – not to mention diva worthy towel warmers!  They’re taking us to Bayona where Louisiana native Susan Spicer defines her cooking style as being  “New World”.  She’s known for her imaginative dishes on a constantly changing menu served in an early-19th-century Creole cottage that glows with flower arrangements, elegant photographs, and trompe l’oeil murals suggesting Mediterranean landscapes.   Rumor has it that this is the place to eat dessert first, lest you’re too full to eat dessert.  I’m having fantasies about that maple-semolina cake with golden-raisin compote and pomegranate sauce.

The only thing I love more than food, antiques and travel is taking time to go to the spa – unfortunately it’s something I don’t do nearly enough.  When I do go one of the first things I do is plan time in the steam room before the sauna and then an ICE SHOWER.    With Mr Steam, it’s now possible to have that Spa Experience at home, avoiding what #BlogTourCologne alumni Paul Anater calls “Being Naked in Public”.  One of the products we’ll be learning about is the iSteam, a new home steam shower experience that marks a new era in bathroom remodeling options. As easy to use as a smart phone, the beautiful graphics of the iSteam touch panel are unprecedented in steam controls. With a swipe of the finger, the iSteam’s intuitive touch screen navigation allows the user to seamlessly control temperature, time, aroma, chroma, audio entertainment, and overall steam system functionality.  You can even use iSteam’s accessory commands for optional chromatic lighting and aromatic infusers to transform your shower into a sensory spa.  Now this sounds like an experience fit for a diva.

In fact, this whole day is Diva Worthy! From Shaun Smith Home, to Miles Redd to Mr Dreamy, I mean, Mr Steam….  Today in New Orleans is Drop Dead Diva!

The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day One

Dear Diva Readers,

You’ll remember last March 2012 I had the incredible opportunity to attend #BlogTourNYC as part of a design initiative created by Veronika Miller, the brainchild behind the world’s best interior design resource catalog and networking platform Modenus.

Well, drum roll please… no wait… let’s pull out the full on orchestra!

This pic was taken this weekend at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival

#BlogTour is back… and this year I’m going to New Orleans, with tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola!

tour”>Antiques Diva BlogTourNOLA

In fact, I SHOULD sayI’m in NOLA” as I came to town a few days EARLY to warm up the crowds and get the party started early for the rest of the BlogTour crew!  When my editors at a UK publication heard I was going to be on this side of the pond, they sent me on assignment a little early so I’ve been doing a little antiquing, New  Orleans style, scouring the south to see whats chic for an upcoming print feature.

BlogTourNOLA  Antiques Diva

The Blog Tour New Orleans Crew –  tour-nola-meet-bloggers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Dec-a-porter+%28Dec-a-Porter%29″ target=”_blank”>Meet the Bloggers

Today – Tuesday, April 16 – I will meet up  with the Rest of the #BlogTourNola gang as they arrive in town to join me with Modenus for a full on 4 days of fun and festivities meeting sensational sponsors and expanding my design repertoire!  Together with the entire #BlogTourNola Team I will be covering NOLA’s design scene, antebellum architecture in the Garden District, Creole architecture in the French Quarter and a selection of very modernist developments in the parts of town that were most heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Antiques Diva

Shockingly, 8 years after Hurricane Katrina ,many of these areas are still not rebuilt and families were never able to return home. Hopefully the coverage from BlogTour will spark renewed interest into this situation – in fact, many people are simply unaware the problem remains and that the newly funded development could also mean jobs for many in the area.   Your support in helping #BlogTourNOLA share the message by retweeting and sharing the message on Facebook would be greatly appreciated for our initiative.

Last year, NYC was a crash course in interior design as we met some of the top movers and shakers in the Big Apple at the Architectural Digest Design Show.  This year in Crescent City we will be beating a different drum – we will be spending 2 days at KBISthe Kitchen and Bath Industry Show at the New Orleans Convention Centre.


This is the main event for the Kitchen & Bath industry and it is an inspiring, interactive showcase of everything new in the field, where the brightest and best designers and brands assemble to spot trends, experience product introductions and find the practical solutions and valuable connections that will take them into the future.  As you know for my antique buying tours in Europe we work with both tourist and the trade – antique dealers, interior designers and architects.  For my trade clients, this is one of the biggest shows they attend each year and I’m delighted I’ll be able to join several of my top clients this year in person at the show as we discuss how the trends impact their design needs.

Now…   you know me.  I LOVE FOOD and I’ve got to tell you New Orleans is a fabulous place to host a Kitchen show… because this is a serious Foodie town!  From poboys, jambalaya and gumbo to beignets and chicory coffee… this diva has some serious eating to do while she’s in the house.

We’ll kick off our #BlogTourNola events with a dip into our hotel bar tonight before walking through the French Quarter to Sobu Nola – a restaurant that Esquire Magazine voted one of the Best New Restaurants in America.

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Photo Credit: © tocredit_michael_kleinberg-jpg/” target=”_blank”>Michael Kleinberg

In addition to KBIS serving as a wonderful sponsor, our other sponsors for this week’s fabulous festivities include:

Blanco – For three generations, BLANCO has quietly and passionately elevated the standards for luxury sinks, faucets and decorative accessories.

Du Verre – Du Verre Cabinet Hardware and Bath Accessories, Du Verre has begun transforming its manufacturing process to reflect global concerns about sustainability

Mr. Steam – Mr.Steam® makes the world’s most luxurious steam showers and steam baths for the home and for the spa  – not mention diva worthy towel warmers!

NKBA – The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is an international non-profit trade association for kitchen and bath professionals. They provide resources for consumers and industry professionals and promotes professionalism and ethical business practices.

Poggenpohl –  Poggenpohl  is a time-honoured kitchen brand and one of the world’s best-known. The design and production of these exclusive kitchens is carried out in Herford, Germany with distribution to all continents. Complete kitchen solutions are sold to end-consumers through about 35 Group-owned stores in major cities, to independent kitchen stores and to business customers in the project market.

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toneusa.com/” target=”_blank”>Silestone Silestone is the world leader in natural quartz surfaces for kitchens and bath – its natural quartz surfaces are treated and created to decorate today´s kitchens and bathrooms in a range of attractive quartz colors and extraordinary quartz textures with top-quality performance. It is the only countertop with a bacteriostatic protection that guarantees maximum tops” href=”http://www.silestoneusa.com/hygiene/”>hygiene on its surfaces.

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totousa.com/WhyTOTO/AboutTOTO.aspx” target=”_blank”>Toto –  Toto was Dorthy’s dog in the Wizard of Oz… er, wait, That’st he Wrong Toto!! I mean Toto TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer.  They offer a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets and air baths.

This week as I report you LIVE from NEW ORLEANS  these SPONSORS will be key players in all we do!!!

Stay tuned for more #BlogTourNola coverage!!

Laissez les bonne temps roulez,

The Antiques Diva®

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