Steam Showers and Spring Flowers

I didn’t even need a seasonal calendar this year. My yellow vehicle gave it away.  Pollen + Contacts + Allergies = a convincing story for a Steam Shower purchase! Confession: I once joined a gym for the steam shower. (I’m a total Eucalyptus junkie!)

The good news: You don’t have to join a gym to get steam shower access! All you need is a 3′ x 3′ x 7′ space in your home. (Check!)

My husband is a firm believer in all technology man-toys, so if it has a touch screen or sound waves, it’s probably going in our house. In fact, he found Mr. Steam long before they became one of our BlogTourVegas KBIS sponsors.

iSteam: Hightech meets high touch with the iSteam home steam shower control. As easy to use as a smartphone, the highly intuitive LCD touch screen features beautiful graphics and high-performance in wet environments.

  • Swipe-touch simplicity controls temperature, duration, aromatherapy (healing scents), chromatherapy (therapeutic colored lighting) and music, turning your steam shower into a sensory spa.
  • The iSteam’s Auto-fading display incorporates a real-time clock, individual user preference settings, and screen dimming technology.
  • The iSteam is capable of full water immersion of up to three feet.
  • iSteam employs an exclusive three-tiered safety system with passcode protection, temperature limit and time-out features.
  • An optional Bluetooth® Audio Streaming System, iSteam, pairs up to eight devices and four in-shower speakers.
  • Available in black and white touch panels.
  • The 1/8″ display screen is nearly flush with the wall when installed.

It’s funny how things work. I haven’t had any kitchen or bath renovation requests in a few years, so when Modenus invited me on the Vegas Blog Tour for the Kitchen & Bath Show, I was thinking it would be good information for the future. As it turns out, my phone started ringing before the plane landed. So, if I’ve talked you into a new steam shower, you’ll need to decide how it will look. Here are some options I’ve pulled for clients:

I love how my friend Denise McGaha continued the bold stripes from the wall into the shower.

I’m not really a fan of the horizontal contrasting shower band/border. This look can be dated if not done properly. Of course, there is always the exception! The shower below is classy and the patterns aren’t too busy.

Square marble tiles installed with the pattern running in the same direction:


Limestone for the floors and walls:


Here’s a little cheat sheet for flooring, kitchen backsplash & other tile patterns:


Rectangular marble tile laid in a brick bond pattern with a pin dot mosaic floor. **Note the scale of the tile.** If you’re using more than one pattern, the scale should be different. (Think small, medium, large.)


Notice how they continued the white subway tile onto the remaining bathroom walls. The floors are a lot darker than the walls, but this works because both patterns read “solid”.


Black porcelain tile walls with pebble flooring. The seat is granite, but I would have probably used the same wall tile for the seat. Because of the stark contrast of the walls and granite, your eye is going to the lightest thing, which in this case, makes the granite seat the focal point.


Using the same 1″ x 1″ glass mosaics on the floor and walls:


Herringbone pattern in natural stone for the shower:


Wow! Look at the details in this shower. The stone “chair rail” is cut on a bevel to mimic wood paneling:


I love the graphic pattern of this black and white shower, but would have chosen something with cleaner lines (that don’t read so traditional) for the flooring:


The “Stack Bond” tile pattern gives a clean, contemporary look:


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Not Ya Mommas Formica



I’ve had all things vintage on my brain a lot lately. Maybe because of the access to so many interior design products on the internet and the desire for something not mass produced, or maybe a desire to slow down in this fast paced information age. Just back to simplicity. Back to the basics. (Even Formica adds knew how easy livin’ was back then 😉 Secretly, I love hurricanes. Of course, I don’t love the devastation of storms, but when the electricity is down in the whole city for a week, no one expects their sofa to ship or a paint color to be selected on a 2-hour notice. I guess it’s a little like the ice storms up north that we get to bypass down here.

In case you didn’t know…I have extreme personality conflicts. Couture meets hippie. Beverly Hills Mansion meets Airstream camper.  I know, it doesn’t seem plausible. But just look at this lil’ guy! I would love to own trick out a vintage camper. (Now, it may have Kelly Wearstler or DVF fabric in it, nonetheless.)

Vintage Formica patterns:

As you can see, laminate, or Formica as we all know it, has come a long way. What a gorgeous wall installation with Petrified Wood!

And for all you creatives: Formica Envision™ is a completely custom laminate that allows you to create a totally unique surface on high performance laminate. Use the art you dream up – your design, photography, logo, illustration or painting.

Sushi Table Art:

Custom Furniture:

Custom Lockers:

So, Formica…for the record, and the next KBIS show…I’m nominating myself as the Creative Director. We will have an Airstream for our booth and will win Best of Show! Just sayin’.

Until then…

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Walker Zanger

Do you ever wonder how designers come up with new patterns for fabric, wallpaper or even decorative tile? I’m always amazed how other creatives get their inspiration and how they reinterpret the world around them.

Tangent Merge, a new Walker Zanger pattern, was inspired by an ornate art nouveau metal grill!

Final result: This gorgeous marble & limestone mosaic tile:

Another collection, Jet Set, was inspired by mid century glamour of the 60’s when the rich and famous hop scotched around the globe.

Isn’t it fascinating how the carving of metal hardware from ancient mosques in Cairo inspired this Fatima pattern from the Duquesa collection!?

Detail of this hand painted collection:

The Tracciato collection blurs the lines between decoration and fine art:

Thank you, thank you, thank you Walker Zanger! You get the Best Swag Award! You’ve seriously created a monster…Now I want to create decorative trays with all of your mosaic patterns!

Are you inspired yet?

See more of the new collections on my Pinterest board.


Dekton – The “New” Solid Surface Countertop

When designing our outdoor kitchen a few months ago, I had my heart set on a white quartz countertop that could withstand mustard, BBQ, and other man sauces”.

Upon further research, I found out that although the natural materials used in quartz solid surfaces are extremely durable, the resins used to hold the product together is not. Quartz solid surface is not recommended for outdoor use, and hot pots can burn the resin and crack the surface because of thermal shock. The resin can also yellow and break down from direct sunlight. We ended up choosing a black matte granite, but in the future, I’ll have my eye on this new product called Dekton!

Application for the walls, floors, countertops & furniture:

Cosentino, the creator of Silestone, introduced a new solid surface countertop made from a sophisticated blend of the raw materials used to produce the very latest in glass and porcelain as well as the highest quality quartz work surfaces. The new technology in Dekton, one of our BlogTourVegas sponsors, fuses the raw materials together using high pressure and heat instead of fillers. The result:

  • High UV Resistant
  • High Resistance to Fire and Heat (up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Resistance to Ice & Thawing
  • Highly Scratch Resistant
  • Non-Porus & Highly Stain Resistant
  • Color Stablility
  • Large slabs available 56″ x 126″ for flooring & vertical commercial applications
  • Flexural Strength

With over 5 times the flexural strength of granite, Dekton can be installed in thinner material over greater spans allowing for up to a 12-inch unsupported overhang on countertops, islands and bartops.


I live for tradeshows like KBIS because I get to see the latest technology and trends before they ever hit the market.

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Accessories Are Necessities

If you think men’s fashion is boring, think again! I found this amazing bespoke clothing store, Stitched, in The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas. Now, if we could only get the straight guys excited enough to rock this attire!

Ahhhhh, did I share my french knot obsession?

Blanco, one of our BlogTourVegas sponsors, introduced the BLANCO ONE collection at this year’s KBIS Kitchen & Bath Show. Just like in fashion, you can personalize your kitchen workspace accessories to accommodate your lifestyle. A large family down South will have different kitchen needs than, say, a New York city bachelor.

Here is a sampling of BLANCO ONE kitchen sink accessory options: Stainless steel grids to protect your sink finish, cutting boards, and workstations to organize your utensils and cleaning supplies.

Thank you for a lovely dinner Blanco! How did you know seared tuna was my favorite!?


Wood-Mode Kitchens, Cabinets & Closets

Not many companies can pull off an array of design styles, but Wood-Mode is the exception. They are known for their totally customizable cabinets as well as their beautiful closets.






Back painted glass is another way to achieve a high gloss look. Wood-Mode has a variety of color options, but if you still can’t find one you love, just ask…there’s hardly a thing they won’t do!

Closet inserts, dividers & organizers are a must!



Entertainment Centers: Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your electronics too with customized cabinetry. Fo’ Real!

View Wood-Mode’s picture gallery by room or follow my Pinterest boards for more kitchen, bath & closet inspiration.

Thank you Wood-Mode for sponsoring BlogTourVegas!


What is your design style? Contemporary, traditional, or somewhere in-between?