#BlogTourNOLA – National Kitchen and Bath Association

Dear Diva Readers,

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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 3

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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 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!

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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.

BlogTourNOLA

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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