Kohler :: Design With A Vision

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I am a full-fledged interior designer (before I became a full-time design blogger). There were a lot of nights that I made the trek into Atlanta to attend the Atlanta College of Art before it became SCAD (six months shy of graduating before finishing at Vanguard). I can hand draft (and prefer too), read blueprints better than I can my handwriting, and I see the world in terms of balance, symmetry and scale. So when I have a chance to use my hard-earned education, I will. So let’s go back to Spring 2014, I received an e-mail from one of my favorite P/R firms out of NYC, Sharp Communications, and the team of Josh Schoenfelder (Lauren and Kate). Josh wanted to see if I would be interested in designing a vanity with Kohler and then installing it in our home. Well….I thought about it for less than an NY minute, and never looked back. (I do want to mention that one vanity morphed into an entire bath outfitted with fabulous product from Kohler). The opportunity to partner with the leader in kitchen and bath fixtures and furniture was a chance to not only flex my design muscle, but upgrade our builder grade bathroom with cutting edge product and luxury bath cabinets constructed from premium hardwoods. Collaborating with Kohler is a great honour, and with boxes of product filling our garage, I feel like an (overly) excited child eagerly waiting to open her much anticipated Christmas presents. We are a few weeks away from the demo, and have signed on a fabulous contractor, purchased our tile (our master is going to be swathed in Carrera marble, hexagonal tiles for the shower floor, 12″x24″s and subway for the shower walls). All of which will be upstaged by the Kohler vanity, fixtures and lighting. Yes, lighting. Kohler has included every last lavish detail in the Tailored Vanity Collection (you can view the product brochure here) http://kohler.dirxion.com/tailoredvanities/app.php?RelId= It’s an opportunity to choose your exterior, choose your interior, choose your top and coordinating components. They have made it easy to customize your bath from a stunning array of choices, for Mr. B and I the challenge was making a decision since we both had our vision of what the master would look like. Typical marital discord over design choices, sound familiar? In the end we chose a 72″ dual sink vanity from the Poplin Collection in Woolen Oak complete with custom drawer dividers, his and hers. Mine has a roll out appliance tray, make-up tray and drawer dividers. Mr. B. chose the side mount power strip and drawer dividers (we’ll share the appliance tray). From the inside to the outside we customized our vanity to reflect the way we live. Kohler has created a collection that is not only “thoughtfully designed”, but beautifully tailored. The vanity is topped with a Solid Expressions top (field trimmable) in white, which will pair beautifully with the Carrera. I love contrasts and the warm woods, paired with subtly veined white marble will transform our bath into a luxe and stunning sanctuary complete with custom features courtesy of Kohler. I want a bath that feels sleek and chic, and this pioneer in kitchen and bath fixture has afforded us an opportunity to create our dream bath including a designer commode, automated shower controls, towel racks, matching vanity mirrors and sophisticated lighting. Kohler’s Tailored Bath Collection truly has something for everyone from cottage style to urban chic, offering an array of choices.

If you followed my personal tour of HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2014  (www.urbanoasis) then you know that Kohler is a sponsor, the baths are resplendent in Kohler product http://www.us.kohler.com/us/Bathroom-Vanities-&-Console-Tables/category/1018351/429204.htm, and all are stunning. I’m so excited to have my readers be a part of this transformation from the demolition of our old master to the “afters.” I’ll be sharing the process from start to finish including tips on how you can build your dream sanctuary. We are even video taping the renovation to document our progress every step of the way and sharing it online. Now for the pictures showcasing some of the product we’ll be using in the transformation, I’m even biting the bullet and using wallpaper in the toilet area (if any of my former clients are reading this I know I’ve always said “no”to wallpaper in a bath, but it’s going to be in the separate toilet room). It’s time to make bold choices in our bath.


Our Vanity is from Kohler’s Poplin Collection, and we chose the finishes, the inside, sink and top allowing us to customize our choices…

KohlercollageA design concept board for our bathroom, showcasing our product from Koher. (1) Our tile choices, using hexagonal & rectangular Carrera & subway tile. (2) A Kohler Hydrorail Shower Column. (3) The focal point of our bath the Poplin Vanity (ours is dual) from The Tailored Vanity Collection from Kohler. (4) From the “Memoirs” Collection a comfort height toilet. I love the elegant architecture of this piece. (5) The wallpaper for our toilet room, “Mr. Blow in Atlantis” from Walnut Wallpaper (It’s a Blowfish, and I have been obsessed with this wallpaper for a very long time). (6) My plan called for three Puritan Sconces from Kohler, two flanking the mirror and one in the center.

I’ll be sharing more of our selections in the coming weeks as the Master-bath progresses…I want to give a huge thanks to Kohler for making all our Master-bath dreams come true…For more information about The Tailored Bath Collection visit http://kohler.dirxion.com/tailoredvanities/app.php?RelId=

As a side note: we received product as compensation for our collaboration and blog posts, but as always the musings and opinions are purely my own.

Until next time,



The Ace Around Town – “Tastemaker Series” :: Julie Couch




It rained harder than I’ve ever heard it last night in Georgia. I fully expected Noah’s Ark to float past our house, and wouldn’t have been surprised if our street turned into a shipping channel. A flotilla of vessels floating past Casa B. In fact, it was one of those nights that I was thankful that I didn’t succumb to true rural southern architecture and buy a house with a tin roof. However, it was the perfect night to put the finishing touches on this post, and introduce you to our latest “Taste-maker”. Did you think we stopped? Not a chance. Now that school is back in session, my “Tastemakers” are back creating great design. Combine that with the fact that I just can’t decide who to feature (because there are so many fabulous designers in the South), and you have a stalled series. Making decisions is not one of my strong suits, in fact before I walk out the door most days I will have changed my shoes a few times (or my outfit). Don’t even get me started about our living room, which goes through a full transformation at least once a month if not a complete change in the floor plan (Mr. B. thought he walked into the wrong house last week).

Fabulous design doesn’t happen overnight, although some designers are so talented that they probably could. Such is the case with my latest “Taste-maker.” Since I spend countless hours immersed in design, I first became aware of Julie when I stumbled upon an interior that she designed which featured occasional chairs in the most heavenly shade of blue, the seat-back in a Quatrefoil design. The image ended up on my Pinterest board, and Julie’s name in a mental note of someone I should watch. So when I started the Series mid-summer, there was no hesitation to include her, if she would agree (we were honoured when she did). Once you look at the pictures, I can imagine collective nods of appreciation throughout the ranks of my followers. Although, she and I never met and only corresponded via e-mail, I can imagine she eludes southern charm combined an obvious eye for the chic and stylish and you have a winning combination. Her interiors may hint at the traditional, but the result shows a flair for creating that sometimes elusive timeless feel, one she tailors precisely to the client’s wants and needs. A true talent who was born with a discerning eye that often escapes many in the industry. It marks the difference between the designer and decorator. There is no mistaking the sheer raw talent in our sixth “Tastemaker,” Designer-Julie Couch. So without further ado, and with a drumroll-I would like to introduce you to the latest subject of “The Ace Around Town Series.”

logoforinterviewsWhat made you chose design as your profession? Was there a defining moment?

JC- Even in High School I knew design was what I wanted to do. I went around in circles, had a sales job after college, and then returned to design school in my mid-twenties when I realized I just couldn’t be happier doing anything else.

logoforinterviewsYou run a successful design firm in Nashville, what advice would you give to someone else in the business who is just starting out?

JC- Simply do good work! Take any design job that comes your way. My first design job was for my best friend’s mom and paid $20. per hour. I was thrilled to do it, and did my best. I knew that to be a great designer I needed experience. So my advice would be to swallow your pride and do the work!

logoforinterviewsWhat designer (s) inspire you?

JC- I LOVE Windsor Smith, Nate Berkus, and Bobby McAlpine. Each are absolutely genius in their own right.

logoforinterviews Favorite design style? 

JC- If I have to choose just one style, I would choose minimal, impactful pieces that include lots of white upholstery, natural wood, and iron accents. Meaningful fine art is a must for any home.

logoforinterviewsHow would you describe your design aesthetic?


logoforinterviews What is your favourite piece of furniture in your home?

JC- A custom campaign style bed I had made almost a decade ago for my master bedroom. I never tire of the classic and graceful lines.

logoforinterviewsWhere will we see you in five years?

JC- Hopefully I’ll have more sweet babies and a few signature lines including lighting, rugs, and furniture collections.

logoforinterviews What is a little known fact about you, that you can share with my readers?

JC- My favorite time of the day is before 7AM while I’m cooking scrambled eggs for my little boy-Gus. All while he sips coconut milk and dances to the radio…

logoforinterviewsThanks so much, Julie and quite frankly if you designed my home, I would be dancing every day too…

Now are you ready? Because here are some portfolio pictures that need no further words…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

The perfect blend of pattern and the lamp…well…I DIE. 


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Serene, chic, Southern style…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Simply divine dining…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Put it in neutral…


Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Cheerful & oh so chic…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

This is THE picture that I first saw and when I fell in love with Julie’s designs…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

I know the “devil is in the details,” and Julie does it so well…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

I had to include a photo of Julie’s favorite piece of furniture. This stunning custom bed with a John Robshaw block print.

If you are visiting or reside in Nashville, and want to see her curated collection of merchandise visit her new shop at 1205 Linden Ave., they are open 10-5 Wednesday-Saturday. More of Julie’s fabulous portfolio can be seen at juliecouch.com and you can visit her blog at decoratorsdozen.com

This week we’ll be sharing our personal all access tour of HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2014 decorated by Lindsay Pumpa. As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for more design inspiration.

Until tomorrow,


 P.S. Pardon our dust as our blog is under construction. Some of our blog features are not fully operational (our apologies). We are excited for a whole new look and new features coming in October…so until then we’ll still be posting five days a week.

IKEA :: The “Ace” Picks The Good Stuff

As a design blogger I receive a lot of inquiries to review products, we may do some but we don’t do a lot. It’s a highly selective process, and if I do one, I feel obligated to do all. So when IKEA sent me an early preview catalog to look at, it sat on my desk for a little while (a few weeks that turned into a few months). I’m not an IKEA girl, although I will say that I know several high-end designers who have used some of the product, and the result has been flawless. I let you in on a secret- Ikea is a designer’s shortcut. Yes, some of the biggest names who have access to some of the fanciest stuff will mix in a little IKEA. I am a big fan of mixing high-end and low-end, so after hearing a little buzz in the design community about some of the new product introductions at IKEA, I did a little “browsing”…and I was fairly impressed. I know I can be a hard sell but after touring many custom design studios my reservations were mixed with a little old fashioned design snobbery. So this is where the “eating humble pie”moment happens. There is something about IKEA that frankly tugs at you a little, the store is downright cheerful. Since we do have a store in Atlanta, I have gone there on the rare occasion when designing kid spaces at the behest of my clients. Frankly, it’s a little on the fun side; a kid in a candy store moment combined with brilliant marketing (plus they have mouth-watering Swedish meatballs in the cafeteria). There are seemingly endless possibilities in mirrors, case-goods, rugs & accessories, even lighting. Oops..I forgot to mention that the chandeliers in my daughter’s bedroom came from the eponymous Swedish retailer, and they look pretty good. A secret that most designers won’t share is that given the opportunity we have and will use IKEA. In fact, I once saw a world-renowned designer in the frames section with her entourage in tow (she had 3 shopping carts full of RIBBA frames), and I literally tripped over a display in the store when I saw her. It was partially because she was in IKEA, and also just because I have a design crush.

So I thought I give my readers a short-cut to the good stuff, some of my picks that I have used (frames in the dozens) and others that I think have possibilities, one of the newest introductions is the storage from the PS2014 Urban Collection, the options are endless, and in a mudroom it’s virtually foolproof. On a side note:  I had a personal tour of the HGTV Urban Oasis Dream House in Atlanta yesterday, and it was fabulous. I have all fingers and toes crossed that I would be the lucky winner of this luxurious residence decorated by HGTV’s Lindsay Pumpa, who is great fun by the way. I’ll have several posts next week dedicated to some really great design and fabulous furnishings by AllModern. As part of the press, its always an incredible honour to see behind the scenes and share the design vision and personal photos with my readers. You’ll see the space firsthand before the show airs on HGTV mid-Sept.





Of course if you want to see the PS 2014 storage units in action, I’ve included a photo (below) showcasing this versatile grouping in action. Don’t you think the GADDIS baskets above are pretty swanky? I’m going to get a few for my office in black because I love them that much…


The PS2014 Storage from IKEA… 

and I’d like to end on a little design wisdom from Albert Hadley that I love, it’s all about mixing high-end with low-end. Even Albert did it.


Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday with another fabulous “Southern-Tastemaker”-Julie Couch…

Until then,


As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more design inspiration. Do you want “The Ace of Space Blog” delivered directly to your mailbox? Then subscribe today. (Our links in the sidebar).