The Details :: Bookmatched Stone

Rewind to last week and I have a former client on the phone who is begging me to go to the stone yard with her. With a full schedule that only allowed for an occasional trip to refresh my coffee, I told her “I’m not taking on clients right now.” Her reply “Pleazzzzzz….I’ll even throw in a weekend at our beach house in Seaside.” Okay…I’m not that busy. So off we went in her brand new Porsche Panamera. By the time I shut the door, my mood had improved significantly, and when she handed me a gift bag with a Tory Burch logo on the front, I decided that I would spend as much time looking for marble as she needed. My former client has impeccable taste and would have made the perfect choice without my help, but as we all know it’s hard to make decisions without a second opinion. Plus she came bearing gifts.

I was feeling generous with my time, and this unexpected jaunt was turning out surprisingly in my favour. Making it a very good day for “The Ace of Space.” A few years ago I tried to talk her into using bookmatched marble in her kitchen. It was expensive, gorgeous and would have been perfect on a back-wall. They could afford it, but her husband decided they needed a boat more…which again worked in my favor considering I was invited onboard for quite a few sunset cruises. Even though it didn’t end up in her kitchen, she still dreams of it gracing the walls of at least one room in her Chateau (yes it’s a house that has a name, it’s that big-unlike Casa B.)

Bookmatched stone is something that we’ve seen trending over the past few years, but I think it’s a timeless look that will be around for a very long time. Even if you aren’t familiar with the term, you are more than likely familiar with the look. It’s dramatic without being overwhelming. The fluidity of pattern gives one the same visual sensation you may have when watching clouds drift by. It’s full of movement and striking vein patterns, even an occasional figure (think angels or birds with large wingspans). Although, I think I’ve seen more interesting objects in the bookmatched pieces…even without a glass of wine. It’s unrivaled beauty makes it popular in the upscale market. The cost is driven by the manufacturing process, taking me years to find the precise words to explain it to other people. So in simple terms it’s when slabs are next to each other but have been polished on opposite sides. When these slabs are placed side-by-side (the polished sides), they will be the mirror image of each other—the veining is usually matched by the fabricator creating one unbroken pattern. So there you have it.

The first picture is what we chose, but the others are some very fine examples of bookmatched by some of my favorite designers.

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This is the one….although I think I see a spaceship…my client saw a cat’s head. It’s all subjective…

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Designer/ Oliver Burns

This is all the artwork this room needs…slabs of bookmatched marble…

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 Via Architectural Digest

This has always been one of my favorite examples of bookmatching…stunning.

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Architect/Lee F. Mindel- Photographer/ Joshua McHugh

The angles, the beauty of this bathroom….

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 Designer/Beth Webb

One of Atlanta’s own. Beth Webb is one of the most gracious and talented designers that I have had the honour of meeting. This kitchen is one of my favorites…

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Designer/ Morgan K. Ofron

There aren’t any words to describe the beauty of this wall…

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 Designer/ Croma Design

This is the home of Style At Home’s, Editor-In-Chief, Erin McLaughlin. The bookmatched stone on the fireplace is both understated and dramatic…

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 Designer/ Lenny Kravitz

 Did you know that Musician-Lenny Kravitz has his own design firm? It’s obvious from that this man is multi-talented.

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 Credit/The Hotel Viceroy, Anguilla

I’m not sure that I would go to the beach if I could look at this bookmatched stone all day…

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via The Viceroy Hotel New York

If you are in New York this is a must see, although staying in this fabulous hotel is worth every pampered moment, and I have always been in love with the book-matched marble wall…

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via design files

Technically this isn’t bookmatched, but I love the strategic placement of the mirror that actually fools the eye into thinking it is…

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♠♠♠ Now one more thing….as many of you know, I put my career as a designer on hold to blog & write full-time, I travel, I interview industry movers & shakers, and attend industry events across the globe. So to be recognized for what you do is humbling. For the 3rd year, I’ve been chosen as a finalist for “The Hall of Fame Awards” at the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta. I have always been up against some truly talented Bloggers and that alone has been an incredible honour. So this is where my followers & supporters can help, this year we have been nominated in two categories-“Best Overall Design Blog” and “Best Writing On A Design Blog.” But, I need your votes! Here is the link where you can cast your vote for “The Ace of Space.”  design-bloggers-conference.com  Thanks to all for your incredible support -Vicki ♠♠♠

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Until next time,

BE INSPIRED. BE AMAZED.

The Best In Bath and Beyond

I’ve been missing for three days, and for good reason. I was traveling. Not for vacation (although there were R&R moments). I was in a state known for “cheeseheads,” lakes, and beer. What I was soon to find out, however, that there was a side to Wisconsin that took my breath away. Okay, it was cold (that explained a little breathlessness), and there was the scenery-endless trees displaying leaves in warm tones of fall lining the streets of a seemingly sleepy little town. One that bears the name of a brand that is a leader in the world of kitchen and bath fixtures, tubs, tile and bath furniture. Have you guessed it yet? If not…well it’s Kohler. Yes, this industry giant (the best in bath and beyond), has a thriving village of over 2,000 of the nicest “down-home” people that I have ever had the pleasure of shaking hands with. Kohler, Wisconsin was originally built in the early 1900’s for Kohler employees, complete with pockets of botanical gardens, art & memorable architecture. All master-planned by the Olmsted brothers (of Central Park fame, and Thompson Park in my hometown). The center-point is a century old factory defined by a symbolic smokestack rising up to meet the clear Wisconsin sky. I wasn’t sure if I was going to arrive in Allentown, PA or a sleepy little New England style town. But behind this picture perfect facade is where some of the most cutting edge product in the kitchen and bath world is not only being developed, but produced. Yes, the buzz words that designers crave….”Made In America.” My Tory Burch clad feet had touched down in a town that centers around a company that is the gold standard in the bath industry (www.kohler.com). But, don’t let the phrase “factory town” fool you because Kohler, Wisconsin is a destination complete with a historic hotel that went from a dormitory for migrant workers decades ago, to a swanky five-star resort complete with a world class championship golf course on the shores of Lake Michigan.

As part of Kohler’s Bloggers Conference 2014, we were treated to a peek inside a warm “family style” corporate culture, “The Beacon” building designed by renowned Chicago architecture firm of Gensler, and a “jaw-dropping” factory tour immersing us in the production of five star products. (Did I mention that Kohler is still a family owned company?). I’ll be sharing the sights of Kohler periodically over the next month starting with the Design Center featuring vignettes from some of the most iconic talent in the design industry. One of the many things that I walked away with was that the tub is not just a tub, and a toilet is not just a toilet- it’s a work of art (crafted with pride in Kohler, Wisconsin). So welcome to the world of Kohler, the best in bath and beyond. I’ll share some of my favorites from the Design Center…but as always there is inspiration in everything we see. All the images you see highlight Kohler products from their fabulous bath lines.

TRISTAN BUTTERFIELD

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 Photos/ Courtesy of Kohler

The hidden room (one of my favorites) was designed by Tristan Butterfield as homage to his years with the National Trust. Although, it’s hard to tell -the room is actually a fabulous shade of pale pink.

JONATHAN ADLER

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 Bottom photo courtesy of Kohler

Yes, I have always loved the eclectic & creative genius of Jonathan Adler, and his “Roccoco Bourdoir” is based on the 2001 Space Odyssey which inspired this surreal environment.

BUNNY WILLIAMS

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Photos/Courtesy of Vicki Gladle Bolick

I love Bunny Williams, and I had the honour of spending a few hours with her and John Roselli at Treillage in NYC this past Spring. She brought such warmth and English sensibility to her space aptly titled “Bath in A Garden Folly.” The bath space was inspired by 18th century Europe and layered in texture, from the marble to the textiles. Of note is the lattice wall treatment reflected in the mirror…

ERIC COHLER

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Top Photo courtesy of Kohler-Bottom photo-Vicki Gladle Bolick

This bathroom was FABULOUS. Pictures simply do not do it justice. This “spa tower” design was the brain child of Eric Cohler, featuring a 14′ castle like shower as an entryway. It was elegant and simply stunning. 

I do want to mention that all the vignettes showcase Kohler product, and I have no doubt that you will be inspired to create your very own dream bath or spa. While my travel expenses were paid courtesy of Kohler, all musings and opinions are as always uniquely my own. I’ll be featuring a few more posts in the next month highlighting my visit to Kohler, Wisconsin.

P.S. Check back tomorrow for the first installment in our new series called “Design Crushin’, ” featuring the incredibly talented and funny, Brian Patrick Flynn.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more design inspiration and happenings.

As always.

BE INSPIRED. BE AMAZING.

Operation :: Kohler Master Bathroom

Next week we begin the total gut of our soon to be utterly fabulous Kohler master bathroom. Our contractor called yesterday and gave me a hard date (next Thursday). So now I’m in panic mode, once the tile is installed there is no time for second guesses, or thirds. We have the tile selection picked out, well sort of. That was until Mr. B. decided that he may not want to go with my idea of a bathroom encased in Carrera. Say what? He’s actually interfering with my dream bath selections? Let’s face it men are in and out of bathrooms unless you are John Stamos, who looks like he spends a lot of quality time in front of the mirror perfecting his pouf. Not so much for Mr. B. for reasons I won’t go into on this post. So it was back to the tile showroom (this morning), I’ll budge on the flooring, but I absolutely will not on the walls and counter-top surfaces, for one thing Kohler supplied us with a positively gorgeous vanity top. Then combine that with the fact that I have dreamed of Carrera subway tile since I took my first baby steps, and you can understand my frustration. In all honesty I’m more concerned with the shower niche in the master bathroom than making any last minute material changes. Yes, I am agonizing over every detail, because unless we move out of state I’m going to be at Casa B. for quite a few more years. So I want it to be a space that I am going to enjoy spending a lot of quality time in…and I can’t wait.

I humoured Mr. B. by making the last and final trip to the tile showroom and with our time constraints I have a feeling that I am going to win this design battle. As most designers know there is a lot you can do with different size tile in the same material, in our case Carrera. So with Herringbone, 12″x24’s,” and subway, the latter of which is going to be an “offset joint” pattern giving the most timeless look, and Herringbone tile on the floor and in the shower niche (I think), I am back to making another flooring decision. In this case, I may have to keep him happy because I want a boat next year. Fair trade off wouldn’t you say? So these are some of the flooring options I’m willing to consider to make my boating dreams a reality in 2015. P.S. As of this moment I have made a decision for the master bathroom floor tile, it was between the two below and I went with honed limestone. Also, stay tuned because next Friday, I’ll give you sneak peek into our progress…

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Yes, I found the “one,” it was a difficult choice but instead of the herringbone Carrera, I decided on the limestone…the showroom lighting was not conducive to photos…

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via homedesignideas9.jpg

When I was considering Carrera this was one of my favorites, I was obsessed with the hexagonal tile…

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Source/desiretoinspire.com

Yes, this was almost a reality  including the tub deck encased in Carrera…

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Designer/ Steven Gambrel

If I had an unlimited budget, I would have flown in Mr. Gambrel on a private jet and given him free reign on the “Master-bath Project”…

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Source/ linenandlavender.net

After seeing the inspiration photos, I’m having second thoughts about the limestone…


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Finally, having a functional niche will be a dream come true. Top image-via Lisa Ferguson, Lower image-via decorpad.com

Next week I’ll be in Kohler, Wisconsin for their Bloggers Conference, and I’ll be reporting back on all the latest and greatest in product design from Kohler.

As always don’t forget to follow us on social media for more design inspiration…

Until then.

BE AMAZING. BE INSPIRED.

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