The HGTV Urban Oasis 2014 :: Part 1

About a month ago I received an invitation from Scripps Networks to attend the Local media day for the HGTV Urban Oasis 2014 at the Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. Of course, I RSVP’d and left it up to the gods that day whether or not I would make it out of the house. As luck would have it the forecast called for rain, hmm….galoshes or Tory Burch wedges? Well, those of you who guessed the wedges know me so well. After changing several times, I wondered should I go? I’m late anyway (surprised?), but then I would miss an opportunity to see the Urban Oasis without having to fight the crowds. So did I make it? Yes, my dominant design gene kicked into hyper-overdrive (as did my car) and off I went into the sunset storm clouds. It was so worth it, I came back laden with over a hundred usable images taken in just less than 30 minutes, and an overwhelming desire to re-do our home in merchandise from All-Modern ( and you’ll soon see why. Let me give you a little background on the “Oasis.” First of all it’s located in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental ( in Atlanta; the name alone evokes an era where bellman held open polished brass doors, and white gloves epitomized a high standard of service conducive to sumptuous living. The Mandarin caters to the enjoyment of comfort and pleasure, and the lucky winner of this home will have 24-hour room service and concierge, and if that doesn’t entice you to win the sweepstakes then perhaps living in a $1.5 million 2000 square foot residence will. Located on the 37th level, you are greeted with sweeping vistas of Atlanta and impeccable design by Jack Thomasson, HGTV Urban Oasis Home Planner and Lindsay Pumpa, HGTV Urban Oasis Interior Designer.
Location, location, location. Right in the heart of Buckhead, but don’t let the address fool you because even though the Mandarin is nestled amongst Highrises, the location of the residence assures sweeping views of one of the greenest cities in the US. Fully furnished with pieces from AllModern the Urban Oasis combines the convenience of city living with modern and streamlined design. With privileged access to the residence with Jack and Lindsay as my tour guides, I was not only impressed with the views but the thoughtful design. From the completely hidden walk in pantry to the open concept floor plan this residence is perfectly equipped for entertaining at home or quiet evenings by the marble faced fireplace. This striking residence was designed to be a true “oasis” for the lucky winner. For contest details visit

Now for the pictures…P.S. We are now adding video so let me know if you like our newest addition to The Ace of Space Blog…since I visit a lot of show-homes, I thought it would be an easy way to give my readers a 360 view of the spaces. So enjoy…

For our video preview of HGTV Urban Oasis just hit play in the video above and enjoy the scenery!


Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Marble mosaics create a focal point, and the waterfall island sets the tone for this streamlined and modern space.

UA-kitchen5-1Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

A close-up…


Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Casual dining highlighted by a pair of hammered sconces…

UA-kitchen5 (2)Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

An open space concept with 11 foot ceilings, create a feeling of spaciousness in this sleek and sculptural space.


Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Rich textures against a neutral backdrop…

UA-kitchen8-1Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

The stunning tufted rug grounds this space highlighting the neutral palette. The sculptural elements and furnishings are from AllModern.

UA-kitchen5 (2)Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

Impressive views from the windows and hallway…

UA-kitchen10-1Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

If I were sitting on the sofa, (which I was) this would be the perfect spot to enjoy a fire, a glass of wine and toast to my incredible luck at winning this striking space (yes, I’m a dreamer).

Until tommorrow…I’ll share the rest of this luxurious Oasis.

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As always,



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The Ace Around Town-Tastemaker Series: Amy Vermillion

amyace1 Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we were all born with a “Designer’s Eye?” One which viewed the world in sophisticated colour palettes, tony tones and could transform even the most unappealing room into one that had timeless appeal. Or better yet could take a multi-million dollar private jet, and voila the interior becomes a deftly curated mix of fine leathers and baccarat crystal. That would be the world of our third “Tastemaker”-Amy Vermillion.

Relocating from Chicago to Charlotte in 1995 this “Windy City” transplant has made an indelible mark on the world of design. Her talent rivals that of some well-known Southern designers such as Suzanne Kasler or Barbara Howard. It’s that”eye” that separates the good from the great, designers from decorators, the rising stars from the “designer du jour.” I have seen many come and many go, and I have no doubt that this uber talent is going to be here for years to come.

I first became aware of Amy several years ago. My sister also lives in Charlotte, and one sleepless night I started reading a magazine that she had laying on a side table “Charlotte Urban Home Magazine,” Amy was highlighted in an article, and of course she stood out (way out).Then as with any evolution, I started following her Instagram feeds, and the rest is history (okay maybe I cyber-stalked just a tiny bit). As a decorator, I was envious of her talent and as a blogger I was in awe. I want to thank Amy for being so gracious, and being such a good sport on such short notice, (and then of all weeks we had technical difficulties in posting, or growing pains as I say. But, we are back).
logoforinterviewsHow would you describe your design aesthetic? AV- “My design aesthetic has been described as clean, tailored, and casually elegant.”

logoforinterviewsYou work on a large number of high-end interiors, do you mix high & low within a big budget? AV- “I am very fortunate that my clients have larger budgets and therefore I have a wider net of resources to choose from.  However, I think there is a misconception out there that just because someone has the money to spend that- they will.  My mother always told me that wealthy people don’t stay wealthy by throwing their money away and I agree with that.  There has to be perceived value in what clients will spend their money on.  Therefore, not every piece I choose is uber expensive.  I have been known to pair a Baccarat chandelier in a room with $40/yd fabric.  One of the private jets I designed has Crate & Barrel wine glasses that I picked out. Also, there is a lot of value based fabric divisions from top fabric houses today and I think combing local tag sales and thrift shops has yielded great pieces!”

logoforinterviewsWhat’s the easiest way to achieve the “Amy Vermillion look”? AV- “I like to keep my upholstery and my large pieces rather simple- in color and texture.  Layering with beautiful art, rugs and pillows provides a richness and an ease for the eyes.  I love linens mixed with velvet–I’m very attracted to opposites mixed together.  Also, editing is very important.  Getting rid of “”clutter-y”” decor helps you see what’s really there.”  As a side note: I do want to mention that Amy was flattered that I considered she had a “look,” but it’s true and I want to clarify my definition-Regardless of what style a designer is working within, the really great ones (like Amy) can transform any space into one of timeless appeal, while reflecting the personality and lifestyle of those who live there. It’s all layered with a subtle touch that I consider a unique “Designers Signature.” It’s that nuance that separates the “good from the great.” Amy falls into the latter without a doubt…


Favorite Colors? AV- “My favorite colors right now are blush (the inside of a seashell), warm stone, rich cream and “”gil-ver”” (not silver, not gold but a little bit of both).”


Do you have a “Design Idol?” AV- “I have current design idols– Alexa Hampton and Jan Showers are among the many.  But I am fascinated (slightly obsessed) with the work of Syrie Maugham and William Haines from the 1920′s-1940′s. The way we used to live is so different than presently and yet some of the lines and looks could be straight out of today’s top design magazines.”

If you could design anywhere in the world, where would it be?

AV- “What designer wouldn’t want to do a villa in Italy or a seaside cottage anywhere?  Actually I think an architecturally rich Moroccan palace would be a ton of fun, and I would really like to do a yacht now that I have tackled jets.  Air and sea I suppose.”


 Where will we see you in five years? AV- “In five years I hope to be doing what I do now–working with amazing clients who trust me and maybe even mentor a bit.  I have been honored to speak to interior design students and new designers in the past and I find that sharing what little bit of knowledge that I have scooped up along the years has been very rewarding.”

I want to thank Amy for spending time with us, it was an honour to have her in the “Tastemaker Series.” Now for a peek into the fabulous world of Amy Vermillion.

Designer/ Amy Vermillion
Chair envy…
Designer/ Amy Vermillion
Layers, and layers of sumptuous texture…
Designer/ Amy Vermillion
Pattern play, and THAT mirror….
Designer/ Amy Vermillion
Neutral tones paired with soothing blues…
Photo courtesy/ Amy Vermillion
Jetsetting…(and just wait…)
Designer/ Amy Vermillion
and this is the inside….I.DIE.
Designer/ Amy Vermillion
Artful displays…
Designer/ Amy Vermillion
and colorways…Luxury, timeless appeal, and gorgeous layers of texture=Amy Vermillion
Insider tips and words to live by...
Of course if you would like to see more of Amy’s portfolio visit or follow her on Instagram for the latest & greatest in the “World of Amy Vermillion.” See you back here on Tues., when I reveal next Friday’s “Tastemaker.” Fingers-crossed that he lets me photograph his new home.
Also, some really, really big news on the design front…we are partnering with Kohler for our Masterbath Re-do! They are providing everything except the tile, I designed the customizable dual vanity, and when everything is shipped and on it’s way, I will chronicle what is going to be a fabulous remodel (a total gut), it’s like Christmas here at Casa B. I want to give special thanks to Josh Schoenfelder (you are the best, and I really, really mean it!)- my guy at Sharp Communications for reaching out to us, it was perfect timing and a perfect partnership! More to come throughout the Summer…
As always,
Be Inspired. Be Amazing.


What Has Me “Singing In the Shower”? DXV

Now that I am back from an island, (it’s true) I can revisit the amazing moments of my recent trip to the “Big Apple” for #BlogTour NYC. I’m looking forward to actually publishing a post without traveling up and down a beach with my phone in one hand and my computer in another looking for three “bars”. For those of you who may think otherwise,  I mean’t “bars” on my phone (the other bars I didn’t have to look for).  If you didn’t know, your i-Phone can be a personal “Hotspot” and as soon as I found reception I was able to hit “send.” Just a little “techno tip” from someone who would climb a roof (and I have) to send out e-mails or blog posts…

I miss New York, and if I could re-do #BlogTour NYC I wouldn’t change a thing, (Veronika, maybe one little thing) that we could add a few more days to the trip, because I wasn’t ready for it to end. It was four non-stop days of learning, looking and listening, and I’m still on Day 2 in recaps. For those of you who are just joining the party, BlogTour is an exclusive group of bloggers chosen by Veronika Miller, CEO & Founder of Modenus ( to visit locations around the world and write about our experiences, it’s entirely sponsored by brands. Our amazing sponsors were DXV by American Standard, Miele, Rutt Cabinetry, Blanco, Prizer Hoods & WestEdge Design Fair. We also spent time with Tess Casey of Aisling Flowers, Michele Varian, Architectural Digest Show, DIFFA, Bunny Williams, McGuire & Neal Beckstedt.

After a morning with the magnificent Tess Casey, lunch with DXV at Eataly, we were whisked away in our private cars (yes, the only thing we lacked was the security detail) to the DXV Showroom in the Flatiron district, and immersed in four of the most influential design periods of the past 150 years (all in one mind-blowing afternoon). So are you ready for the answer to the burning question, “What has me singing in the shower?” It’s DXV by American Standard. Influenced by four major “Movements” in the companies fifteen year history-Classic, Golden, Modern & Contemporary each “Movement” contains one or two bathroom fixture suites including tubs, toilets, sinks & lavatories. Think furniture for the bath, combining both form & function. The details are breathtaking, the features unique to a company that has truly set the “standard” in the world of kitchen and bath. American Standard caters to everyone, even the most discriminating consumer. If you like a sink from the Classic Movement, a tub from the Golden Era, and a commode from the Modern Era, then mix it up, this harks back to my own personal philosophy which is “design should appear to evolve over time.” The brand has created product that will allow you to do just that. As stated by Margaret  Monteleone, Director of Luxury Product Marketing- “The product can be combined to create excitingly personal spaces in which timeless designs from disparate eras fall into an aesthetically stimulating dialogue” I invite you to visit  the DXV ( website, and see what all the buzz is about…you won’t be disappointed.


So while we tested out tubs (Typhanie), tried out faucets, and watched in awe as Debbie Drury, Director of Brand Communications showed us the features on the AT200 Smart Toilet, complete with hands-free flushing, automated lid opening & closing, seat heating and a nightlight (I believe I can speak for wives everywhere, a happy hubby could mean more time at the mall). I’m guessing it’s going to be a Christmas gift for Mr. B. (shh…..). So here are some moments and memories from the DXV Showroom, and a few P/R  photos to give you a glimpse into the unparalleled luxury of this exclusive brand.



 A lunch to remember…and a feast of cured meats and magnifico formaggio at Birreria located on the top floor of Eataly where we enjoyed  an “open air” concept in dining under glass panels…


From the Contemporary Movement.  Photo Courtesy of American Standard.


 Photo Courtesy of American Standard/ The Roycroft Suite from The Modern Movement.


From the The Golden Era. Photo courtesy of American Standard.


I love the seamless tailoring of the toilets.  Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog


Yes, these are some fixtures I would love to see in my home.  Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog


The St. George Freestanding Tub from the Classic Movement.  Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog


 A room with quite a view. Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog


 Freestanding Soaking Tub from the Lyndon Collection. Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

As A Design Blogger I am exposed to a large number of brands & manufacturers, it’s always been my goal to bring the most innovative and unique products to my readers. DXV by American Standard is “all that” and more. It was an honour to spend an afternoon with DXV in New York City, and be introduced to a “brand offering”  where luxury and unique design all intersect in a collection of unparalleled quality.

I’ll be bringing more of the “Best of the Best” of BlogTour NYC next week…but check back on Friday where I’ll be exploring the world of Novica (a National Geographic subsidiary). Also, next week I’ll be doing a doing a guest post for Alison Victoria of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers, (it was a promise I made over dinner & drinks) as soon as it’s up I’ll give you a link to her website. She is truly adorable by the way!

Until then…



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