Not to belabor the point but sometimes the stars align. I’m working on an expansive landscape master plan and just presented the concept to my clients.  In that plan is a pool with twin covered  structures at one end of the enclosure. One will house an open air yet covered outdoor kitchen and the other will be a small poolhouse with a bathroom, shower and dressing room.


I would have never thought to suggest this as part of my purvue prior to attending KBIS. I have my interior design sisterhood to collaborate with on the details and some beautiful features to include that I would never have known about had I not gone to Las Vegas. On the kitchen side, there were some beautiful options as well.

So let’s talk toilets.  Wouldn’t it be nice to come in from a swim and sit on a heated seat? And wouldn’t it be nice not to have to worry about constantly cleaning it? The small space allotted for the WC in the poolhouse will also benefit from a wall hung unit.  As a guest of TOTO, I learned that all of this is possible. I won’t be doing the technical design in the space, but I will be asking that their products be specified. Why? Because they are super high qualtity, elegant, and innovative. That’s a no brainer.

My Hashtag Sisterhood

None of us work in a void. Sometimes when wrapped up in client projects and deadlines, those of us who have boutique design firms can feel like a vacuum is sucking us in and all that surrounds us is ourselves, our clients, and our own work. For a landscape designer in a four season environment, January is especially devoid of just about everything so when I was invited by Modenus-The Design Directory to join a group of interior designers in Las Vegas to speak about luxury outdoor kitchens I said yes. What happened next was so unexpected. What follows will be a wee bit off topic.

Those of you who know me personally usually see the gregarious and social me. I am what is called a social introvert. I need and spend lots of time alone, but when in social situations I am connected and present–even though that’s not my natural state. The prospect of meeting 24 women who were absolute strangers was daunting. Enter the sisterhood.

SW Steakhouse Sisters

Rather than my usual ‘Hi I’m Susan’ with extended hand routine I started off as of an observer. I wasn’t sure if I would be the proverbial square peg in a round hole–I’m a landscape designer not an interior designer. I wasn’t. These women–all interior designers, design bloggers and project managers- not only welcomed me but were just as curious about why I was there and what I did as I was about them.  For three days we shared incredible opportunities and experiences from a private tour of the Wynn resorts with its general manager to a beautiful luncheon with incredible food and wine sponsored by Thermador at the uber midmod Las Vegas  Country Club to a fun and lively dinner hosted by Toto.  We went by bus to see the new seamless indoor/outdoor Responsive Homes designed by Bobby Berk for Pardee Homes, who, afterwards, huddled with us under a patio heater in the chilly Nevada night. We visited the upscale, sustainable 2016 New American Home, built to showcase  green technologies, techniques and products. In between all of that we attended KBIS2016 to see the best in Kitchen and Bath Products. I found plenty to like for outdoor living.

Throughout the three days these designing women questioned, shared, learned about their design discipline and about each other. There was no bitchiness or jealousy or drama. Everyone showed up ready to be and give their best. They were authentic and enthusiastic and supportive of each other in every way. They will forever be my hashtag sisterhood. #designhounds #blogtourKBIS #KBIS2016 #KBISoutdoorliving