Catch an Expeditious App and Put It In Your Pocket!

Geolocation is integrated into Fodor's City Guide apps.

Six cities have updated wanderlusting apps from Fodor’s Travel, who has announced the re-launch of their City Guide apps for iPhone and iPad (Nook and Android versions are in the works). The free apps now integrate partner functionality from Expedia, OpenTable and Ticketmaster, and are available for New York City, Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona and San Francisco. They offer geolocation features and interactive offline maps, which are powered by developer Red Foundry’s new Fusion Platform, the world’s first network uniting app developers and publishers with service providers.

Travelers can book hotels through the Expedia Affiliate Network, make dinner plans with OpenTable, and buy show and concert tickets through TicketsNow, Ticketmaster’s resale marketplace. The geolocation features allow sojourners to see what is nearby by interest—categories include what to see, what to eat, shopping, nightlife/arts, and where to stay.

Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is a trendsetter's alternative to Little Italy in Manhattan. Photo by Paul Clemence.

I decided to take the New York City app for a test drive on my iPad, and it nailed my location quickly. I agreed with many of the “what to see” listings it put up, several of which I would recommend for tourists visiting NYC who want more than the usual suspects of places to see. One of which was Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, which my pal and architectural photographer Paul Clemence has photographed so eloquently, as the above photo proves.

Fodor's City Guide Apps Offer OpenTable Reservations.

The “what to eat” suggestions were a bit all over the place but I did ask for the best recommendations in New York City without determining a culinary style, and the fact that they could narrow it down as tightly as they did impressed me! Shopping brought up everything from Betsey Johnson in SoHo to Beads of Paradise in the Flatiron District and the Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn, which I have frequented (and give the app a high five for referencing).

The oh-so-edgy tiki bar Painkiller wasn’t listed under “Nightlife & the Arts” (though I’ll admit, it would probably cause anyone who is less than an intrepid traveler to freak out when standing on the street in front of the bar’s address and see no discernable sign of a party until someone entering or exiting opened the graffiti panel serving as the venue’s door)-steamy! Pegu Club is there—excellent sourcing by featuring this mixology-driven venue, Fodor’s.

The Lower East Side has its own version of a hip, Parisian cafe for writers and filmmakers to hang.

Kudos to the travel experts for listing the Pink Pony on the Lower East Side. Any café with a mural of Arthur Rimbaud on the wall and a tagline like “Café Littéraire & Ciné Club” is high on my “kicky and quirky venues” list, which we locals pride ourselves in compiling for those times we want something out-of-the-ordinary. The Field Notes section is great—the perfect place for accumulating the lists you’d like to share with friends who will be visitng the same city or for resourcing your highlights the next time Hērmēs, the god of travel, wings you to the same town.

Sax in the City has only one request of the developers: I would like to have seen an easier search function for places by name. Those of us who travel frequently, especially travel journalists who are writing about cities, often go armed with recommendations for venues to experience. This app only allows search by previously determined categories unless it’s not obvious and if it’s not obvious to me someone using this level of technology for the first time wouldn’t likely find it. That said, these apps are definitely well worth the time it takes to download them. Off I go to Paris (if only)!


The Little Black Frame

It’s Sax in the City here. As I’ve roamed around The Village this afternoon thinking about the adroyt salon, a theme emerged and it has me thinking that a little black frame is to an interior what a little black dress is to a wardrobe. Maybe the iconic beauty in these inspired my musings, no? Might we say this is an Academy Award-winning bathroom? I posted this from my iPhone; isn’t blogging great? (Oh, don’t worry; I’ll be pelting you with another one of my essays soon!


Someone’s in the Kitchen (and Bath) Reverb

Here’s the second set of über-talented Kitchen and Bath designers I met during New York Fashion Week, when Brizo flew us in to attend Jason Wu’s runway show and to learn about the company’s incredible products. Known collectively as Blogger19, you can follow them all on Facebook here.

Laurie Burke

Laurie Burke has designed hundreds of kitchens and baths for clients throughout Southern California, unleashing her inimitable style from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs. As a native Californian, she has gleaned her aesthetic from Spanish Colonial architecture.

“There is a magic to these spaces that makes you want to stop and linger,” she says. “I live for working the vernacular’s simple and elegant details into my cabinetry.” Laurie formed her own company, Cabinetry Design Resources, earlier this year.

Follow her blog posts here.

A beautiful kitchen project by Laurie Burke

A beautiful kitchen project by Laurie Burke

Andie Day

Andie Day

Andie Day is an award-winning interior designer whose inventive solutions have been featured on NECN’s inspirational television series, Dream House, and in national and regional shelter magazines. Her firm, Andie Day LLC’s Design for Life™, espouses an approach to living healthfully and fully in a home whose singular purpose is to promote well-being. “Our designers work to create pleasing and nurturing environments that meet the unique needs of our clients,” she explains. Andie’s posts can be found here.

An inviting bathroom by Andie Day (photo by Richard Mandelkorn)

An inviting bathroom by Andie Day (photo by Richard Mandelkorn)

Sarah Lloyd

Sarah Lloyd is an independent kitchen and bath designer based in Los Altos, a community in the San Francisco Bay Area. “We all need a home that makes us happy,” she says. “My job and my pleasure is to make that happen.”

Whether the style is formal and elegant, casual and rustic or crisp and contemporary, Sarah is completely comfortable moving around stylistically. “I especially enjoy unique challenges and impossible spaces,” she remarks. “All I ask is no boring rooms, please!”

See the trailblazer’s posts on her blog here.

Aston Smith

Aston Smith has more than 20 year’s worth of experience in home furnishings and interior design, and has specialized in kitchen and bath design since 2002. “I have a passion for learning, and I love the opportunity to collaborate on projects of all sizes,” she says. “My strengths in the field begin with my design background, and the use of color and texture to bring interest to a room.”

Throw in her knowledge of spatial relationships, her organizational skills, her love of innovation, her decisiveness and her ability to carry out the most complex planning, and voila: magic! Aston is currently working in New York City, enjoying the fast pace of the constantly changing designscape and looking to incorporate green technology wherever she can!

Find her blog posts here.

Jamie Goldberg

Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS, designs kitchens and baths in San Diego, California, and Tampa, Florida. She also writes regularly about design for newspapers, magazines and web sites.

Her credits include Kitchen & Bath Ideas, BobVila.com, Signature Kitchens & Baths, Fine Homebuilding, and Kitchens.com among others. Rumor has it she’s working on a new book, which should make her fans extremely happy!

Visit her blog, Gold Notes, here.

Ann Porter

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design, Ann Porter, CKD, has focused her career on creating beautiful and functional kitchens and bathrooms. From traditional and contemporary kitchens to home theaters, she has marshaled all her talents to create Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc., as a tool for clients to solve the complex array of functional, technological, sustainable and aesthetic considerations that go into building or remodeling.

“As homeowners become more sophisticated and discriminating in their tastes, design possibilities increase and the old rules decrease,” says the designer. “In getting to know my clients, I am able to better understand their unique personalities and help them create a home that is a reflection of them.”

See her blog posts here.

Susan Serra

Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, is an award winning kitchen designer and has been the owner of Susan Serra Associates, Inc., for nearly 20 years. Susan’s design work has been featured in many national design publications. Susan is the official kitchen design blogger for Sears, guest blogs for Decorati.com among other notable blogs and is a go-to source for the media on topics relating to kitchen design. “If I were asked to describe the perfect fantasy kitchen, it would include healthful characteristics in materials; ‘living room’ quality artwork; technologically efficient appliances; and most importantly, big, cushy, comfortable seating for living life in the kitchen!” Her blog is online here

An elegant kitchen by Susan Serra

An elegant kitchen by Susan Serra

Another of our esteemed group is not a designer per se, but you wouldn’t know it by perusing her informative and insightful blog. Carmen Natschke, The Decorating Diva, recently gave me the honor of reviewing my book, Four Florida Moderns, on her esteemed site. Next month, I’ll be featuring her on Roaming by Design. She’s going to tell us what inspired her to create her fabulous Look Books that has everyone in the design world buzzing.


Someone’s in the Kitchen (and Bath)

When Brizo invited me to attend Jason Wu’s runway show during New York Fashion Week and to learn about the company’s avant-garde products, I jumped at the chance. I knew that Wu’s event would be an incredible experience but I didn’t expect my interactions with a group of talented and dynamic bloggers would be so rewarding. Many of us had known each other only through our avatars, tweets, Facebook posts and blog comment boxes, so having the opportunity to meet in person was highly stimulating. When I saw the breadth of talent represented by the group, now coalesced into #Blogger19 on Twitter and here on Facebook, I decided the best way to communicate the experience to you—the small slice of the design community following me—would be to present them in a blog post. Turns out, there’s so much to say I’m it splitting into two posts—one today and one tomorrow. Hello everyone, meet Blogger19!

Paul Anater

I guess you could call Paul Anater our fearless leader, as he served as our six-degrees-of-separation swami. With his dynamic presence on the internet, he had identified each of us at one time or another as someone worth following. We, of course, realized he was worth following back! Paul’s a freelance writer, and kitchen and bath designer based in St. Petersburg, Florida, who is committed to creating beautiful, efficient spaces and to publicizing creative genius wherever he finds it.

I asked Paul how social media has changed his world as a K&B designer. He answered, “Having a network of peers allows me to see other peoples’ work, especially how other designers tackle the obstacles that come with any project. At the same time, I have nearly instant feedback from a group of people who are scattered all over—people I’d never have met under other circumstances.” Self-expression is also uppermost on Anater’s mind, “Being a designer and a blogger allows me to expose my voice and my ideas to an audience that is several orders in magnitude larger that it would be in the absence of the blogosphere. Five years ago, the only people who heard me prattle on about authenticity or efficiency or the human scale were the clients I worked with. Now anybody armed with a Google search can hear me and that’s pretty cool.” Paul’s daily prattling (though we fans don’t call it that) can be found here.

Kelly Morisseau

Kelly Morisseau is a second-generation kitchen/bath designer, a certified master kitchen and bath designer (CMKBD), and a certified interior designer (CID) in northern California. Her parents set the tone for her strong worth ethic, insisting that if she didn’t know how one of her designs could be installed, she wasn’t allowed to design it. That said, she remarks, “I firmly believe there should be an element of fun to the whole process: life’s too short to have it any other way. If my clients and I can’t have fun, I’m taking my toys and going home. It’s been over 25 years, and I haven’t done so yet!” Kelly’s blog posts reside here.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon owns a boutique firm—In Detail: Kitchens, Baths, Interiors—in Pensacola, Florida. The self-described poster child for bossy divorced women who have found they needed to find gainful employment while being both Mom and Dad to rambunctious children is passionate about, well, just about everything. “My clients love me because I never take the easy route and just agree with them, even though my life would be simpler and I might get to go home earlier if I did,” says the NKBA design competition finalist. Follow Cheryl’s posts here.

Pamela Rodriguez

Pamela Rodriguez’s education was in interior architecture. She has also had a life-long interest in art, sociology and psychology because she believes the subjects relate to the appreciation of the built environment as art, particularly in the spaces people call home. “I am fascinated with technology as well,” she says, “which is why my focus has been geared toward kitchens and baths this past decade.” Roaming by Design has a scoop for you: the talented designer has recently chosen a fairy name—Faylinn Hogglewat—which I’m sure will stand her in good stead as she works her magic to transform kitchens and baths into the very hearts of her clients’ homes. Find her posts here.

Johnny Grey

For many of our team, one of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity to meet British kitchen designer Johnny Grey. He handled his status as the resident rock star pretty well—not a surprise considering what a highly honed wit he has. Having a conversation with him about turning expectation on its ear was one of my favorite memories of my time in New York.

Chuck Wheelock

But it is Grey’s talent, along with that of the company’s U.S. Design Director’s Chuck Wheelock, which had everyone so excited to meet them. The firm’s belief that design is a journey that leads every client to important discoveries along the way is a philosophy I truly admire. Follow their blog posts here.

A kitchen project by Johnny Grey and his talented team

Look for the other segment of the uber-talented Blooger19 tomorrow.


When Inspiration is a Breeze-o

Like Clockwork: Eric Freitas Tells Time

Like Clockwork: Eric Freitas Tells Time

One of the reasons I began this travel design blog is that I am itching to roam the world searching for inspiring subjects to bring home. During a recent trip to New York, I sat in on a stimulating presentation by the Brizo design team. What I liked the most about the several hours I spent with them was that I felt I’d been taught a culturally rich lesson due to the highly tuned psyches of the professionals who design Brizo’s products. It seems the spirited team has antennae that capture the subtlest of influences, many of which would likely slip past other designers. I asked several members of the team to illustrate how far their radars extend, and their answers as to what it is that has them jazzed are as broad and interesting as I thought they would be.

Judd Lord, Brizo’s director of design, has been instrumental in laying out the groundwork for the Brizo portfolio, personally designing several of the initial marquee product suites in the fashion-forward brand. In 2006, he was made director of industrial design and continues to oversee creative direction for both Brizo and Delta. What’s piquing his interest these days is “Form, Function and Materiality.” “I’m intrigued how common materials are increasingly able to conceal their identities, such as ceramics imitating wood,” he remarks. “You literally have to touch these products to tell the difference.” Lord sites ceramic tile by Mirage, which I was lucky enough to see in person at Cersaie in Bologna, Italy, last October, and agree that the products are deceptively delicious.

Proving my case that no design subject is too obscure for his notice, Lord jumps right into the drink! “Although gin is usually my vice of choice, I love what vodka manufacturers are doing with their bottles and packaging,” he explains. “Their designs are innovative and fresh, and hold great inspiration for forms within our portfolio. These are works of art to be displayed long after the spirit is gone.” Anthony (Tony) Spangler is Brizo’s senior industrial designer. He has worked at the Delta Faucet Company for over 30 years in capacities ranging from drafting to graphics and artwork preparation to industrial design. Responsible for hundreds of design patents over the course of his time at the company, Spangler is currently focusing on advanced water conservation technology. For our foray into inspiration, Spangler is switching gears, so to speak.

The designer is enamored with the clockwork art of Eric Freitas, who describes his world as a realm of dark mechanical curiosities and horological contradictions. “His pieces reflect ancient human history, conjuring a time when every object was worth owning on every level,” says Spangler. There’s plenty of Steampunk inspiration in the manufacture’s newest collection owing, it seems, to Spangler’s roving eye. “Why just arrive when one can arrive in style?” He asks, pointing to the Steampunk recumbent bike. “Getting there should be half the fun!”

In a moment of witty repartee, he quips about the Steampunk laptop, “It’s surely more than the sum of all its parts!” Celine Kwok, who was born and raised in Singapore, is an industrial designer at Brizo. She has been unleashing her refined take on design in the U.S. for the past eight years. With a background in graphic design and furniture design, her obsession of the moment is found objects updated with contemporary flair. “There’s something brilliant about finding a piece to connect with and giving it a new lease on life,” she explains, noting the repurposed objects. “It is so exciting when you are able to be involved with the transformation of a thing while adding a touch of your own personality to it.

It’s the historic aspects of this updated Indian-style cookware that captured Kwok’s attention. “The cultural connotations tell the story as to why the form looks the way it does,” she remarks. “The beauty of this particular design is that the use of new materials refreshes a piece of cookware that otherwise would have been forgotten.” Citing the work of the Bouroullec Brothers, Kwok celebrates more than just history repeating: “I have always liked the idea of how one small shape, when repeated, can be interpreted in so many different ways and can make such an impact on space.” Last but by no means least, Seth Fritz is all over do-it-yourself these days.

In his current role as a lead designer for Delta Faucet Company, Fritz’s strong background in consumer-friendly design, market research, and creative problem solving has lead to numerous successful products in the current Delta and Brizo catalogues. “Now more than ever we’re creating home décor styles from mix-and-match elements: new and old, high-end paired with salvage, and industrial era with shabby chic,” he notes. “Up is down and right is left: we can break the rules of home decorating because we have empowered ourselves to do so! I love it, and I can’t get enough of it!” Honing in on the designer’s inspirations is like playing a game of hopscotch. Get ready for the jump!

Noting the items in this great DIY post on b*spoke blog, he riffs not unlike a Beat Poet: “Spray-painted garage-sale frame holds chalkboard; found objects in jars, anthropology change holder with iPod nestled in it.” Delving into the psychology behind the design, he notes, “It’s funny how seeing the iPod evokes as much emotion as the rest of the scene, but there’s no story behind it; whereas you see the chalkboard and immediately want to know more.

Fritz perused Apartment Therapy for this slight-of-hand that transformed a wood magazine holder into a mélange of vivacious color. “Though the Viva Terra holder in an espresso finish is beautiful and sleek, it’s lifeless—referred to as ‘doctor’s office like,’” he remarks. “The colorful version, also from Viva Terra, is made from scrap wood and covered in random magazine pages. It’s full of life and heart, a statement piece and piece of art.” Lastly, our jaunt through the blogosphere takes us to POINTclickHOME, where Fritz spied mirrors made from reclaimed metal bicycle wheels. “This is a design easily made at home,” he said. “Even though it has its original rustic finish, the design evokes a sense of modern flair.”

With this design team, the exploration is never completed, and its members ask, “What inspires you?” They would love to hear your answers, as they value interaction with other highly creative beings. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. Look for a post later this week about a bevy of talented bloggers (now dubbed Blogger19) I met during my New York Fashion Week foray (which included a visit to Jason Wu’s runway show and was made possible by the generosity of Brizo). In the meantime, I’d love to know whether Roaming by Design is striking a chord with you. Sound off in the comment section of this or another post: I’m hungry for lively conversation!