Archive | bathrooms RSS feed for this section

Interview :: Interior Designer Meredith Heron

She’s beautiful, witty and a fabulous interior designer. I had the pleasure of meeting Canada’s Meredith Heron while touring KBIS with BlogTour earlier this year and liked her from hello. I also became an instant fan of her classic design style with a modern unexpected twist. Meredith has an amazing eye for combining color, pattern and textures. She makes it look effortlessly. Each space is inviting, unique and fresh. In addition to being a great person and having an impressive design portfolio, Meredith has regularly been featured as guest host and design expert on national television programs such as Restaurant Makeover, which has been seen by audiences all over the world. What can this woman not do?!

I’m thrilled to be interviewing Meredith today!

meredith heron interview - simplified bee

Simplified Bee: Your signature designs are fresh, colorful and bold.  When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?

Meredith Heron: I wanted to be a designer when I was 9 going on 10. My parents had split, I lived with my dad and he was working with an interior decorator. Her office was beside my hairdressers. I loved wallpaper. The selection process was so much fun and I never tired of flipping through the books. I wanted my dad to marry her. He didn’t. It was probably the worst mistake of his life. My stepmother isn’t nearly as cool. Heck, she’s not even nice. I put that aside however until my early 20s when, as an elementary school teacher I realized I had made a huge mistake choosing that as my career path. At this point, design was a hobby. I was poor as teachers are terribly underpaid or were back then when they first started out. I took a job making paint at Home Depot and became an in-demand associate. After too many requests to come to people’s homes I decided to go back to school part time for design which I did over the next 3.5 yrs. I made the leap in 2002 to leave teaching  just shy of my 30th birthday. I haven’t looked back since.

modern traditional breakfast nook - meredith heron design


SB:  How would you describe your personal style and how has it evolved over the years?

MH:  I’ve always had good taste but MAN OH MAN did I ever do some really ugly work early on. I focused too much on keeping the prices down and budget DIY decorating. It’s why I rail so much against it now. It really doesn’t pay in the long run and promotes a disposable lifestyle which is completely against what I believe in. I love pattern and colour and with experience I would say that I find myself extremely skilled in combining both to achieve dramatic effects. I see myself as a story teller. Clients hire me to write their biographies but instead of words, I use fabrics, furniture, architectural elements and of course personal items to them. I blend the new with the sentimental, the heirlooms to weave the clients through their decor to create a home. This can’t be about the look for less or budget decorating, yet it doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. It’s really a mind set. Invest in things you love. Hold on to those things that have meaning or remind you of someone you love or a time you cherish. Use these as your foundation and layer. I see my relationship with my clients as one that is not finite but rather is ongoing. We just peel back another layer each time. I now tell people that I am a Modern Traditionalist. That feels right.


interior design quote - meredith heron interivew - simplified beeblue dining room - meredith heron design
SB:  What type of architecture are you drawn to?
MH:  Georgian, Edwardian to a degree and Greek Revival. I think that I am a Southern Women with Parisian ancestors trapped in a Canadian’s body. I am a classicist. I love strong bones. I love my architecture to have symmetry so that I can be asymmetrical. I love a good paradox. Irony amuses me even in design. I prefer a more is more approach.


living room - art gallery wall - meredith heron design


SB: Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?

MH:  I’m totally freezing up here and feeling like I have to choose and this choice will forever determine I am not sure what but let’s give it a whirl. I would love to collaborate with Tory Burch on something fabulous I am not sure what but I think that our sense of pattern play would make us a great combination. From the design side of things I would love to work with Steve Gambrel whom I adore.

marble designer bathroom - Meredith Heron Design

SB:  I love that you don’t shy away from bold use of color. Do you have “go to” paint colors? If so, which ones?

MH:  I have a reputation for using bold colours but I tend to keep my crazy colour moments to just that moments and I usually express them with fabrics rather than paint. I love white walls, but I love blue/black walls equally as much. Living in Canada we have a much cooler light that is not forgiving to bright colours like you find in the islands or more tropical climates. My go to paint colours – Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur. It’s my standard issue I want a navy kitchen blue/black. We sometimes vary that with it’s lighter counterpart Anchor Gray.  C2 Paints has an in between version of the perfect shade of indigo called Mistral. It is my mistress. We use Pratt and Lambert’s Seed Pearl as the perfect white it’s not too yellow and plays nicely with greys and rich blues. Benjamin Moore’s Feather Grey and Whitestone are our go to mauve meets periwinkles. I tend to prefer cooler tints on the walls it’s easier to add a splash of a warmer or more saturated bright in fabric. If I had a formula I would say I go cooler on the walls, I will add a warm pastel on occasion to the ceiling but I let my fabric stories warm things up or incorporate bold and dramatic art.

open shelves - kitchen - meredith heron design

SB:  Which of today’s interior design trends are here to stay and which ones will we see fade away?

MH:  I want to give an invisible throat punch to the whole “Abandoned, burned to the ground Belgian Farmhouse with an Industrial Hoarder Complex” look that seems to still be hanging around. Restaurants seem to all wear a similar uniform these days. Paint the walls black, use some splintered wood and tetanus causing metal for furniture and then add a chandelier and call it Industrial Chic… I’m OVVVVVVAHHHH it. I seriously designed restaurants almost ten years ago now that had that look. Let’s agree to move on.  I would love to see the return to traditional and layered luxe pick up more steam than the Steampunked to death… ya know? Brass I predicted well over three years ago was making a return and I’m thrilled to see how much it has been embraced so I think that it will continue to make it’s home in the industry.

gray sofa - living room - meredith heron design

SB:  Where do you recommend clients splurge versus save?

MH:  Buy the best sofa you can afford. TRUST ME on this one. I’m currently awaiting my new sofa from Wesley Hall and I literally cannot wait.  I have a pretty settee in my living room now but it is SO not comfortable. If you are on a tight budget, use 4×4 white ceramic tiles and offset them in a brick pattern. Add black grout. You can dress it up with brass or crystal or dress it down and make it feel cozy and casual. Silk drapery is often cheaper than cotton or linen. Invest in quality area rugs – Persians are so forgiving we put one by our front door and encourage people to walk in with muddy boots or snowy footwear. Let the mess dry and vacuum it up and it looks fabulous.

lacquered blue bookcase - library - meredith heron design

SB:  Facebook or Pinterest?
MH: I am a social media whore. It’s true. I love chatting with friends on Facebook, but I use Pinterest for work. It’s design porn and I’m addicted. I swear my blood pressure drops when I open my Pinterest Tab and refresh. Until I find something I lust after and must own.

heron chair - meredith heron design

SB: What is your advice to other interior designers who are timid about trying social media marketing outlets?

MH:  It really depends on your personality. I could talk paint off of a wall so I’m really good at being myself and just letting it all hang out on the more chattier outlets. I also have a plethora of pictures to share including my process and what my husband has made me for lunch or dinner so Instagram is a great connecting point for me. If you are shy I would suggest Instagram as the SM to hone first. You can share your Instagram to twitter and Facebook so you can kill three birds with one stone. Blogs aren’t for everyone but a Tumblr esque blog where you can share inspiration is often as impactful as those who are more verbose. Authenticity is thrown around as a buzz word but it’s true. Find the medium that is the best reflection of who you are and allows you to speak in the best voice possible.

SB:  You had an exciting collaboration for DXV American Standard earlier this year. Can you tell us more about that and what’s next for Meredith Heron Design?

MH:  Thank you! Working with DXV and the team from American Standard has been exceptional. I have been working on a new line of wool and silk bespoke area rugs for my own collection which we should receive our first shipment of over the summer which is incredibly exciting. I also have a very big and exciting collaboration that I will be sharing in the relatively near future but have to stay Mum on the subject for just now. I am a terrible tease yes but I promise the wait will be worth it!!! Building a brand is very much like birthing a baby and raising them into a child and beyond. It’s rewarding, frustrating, isolating, scary and exhilarating often within the same day. I wouldn’t have it any other way!


*all images provided by Meredith Heron Design

Pin It
Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Read full story By on June 10, 2014 in Bathroom, bathrooms, brass, Features, interior design, Interiors, interview, Interviews, Kitchen, Living Room, wallpaper

Bathroom Vanity Ideas

Last week my own home project got underway. In need of some extra space, we are adding a master suite onto our existing house. I’m most excited about having a new bathroom and am in the process of narrowing down tile, lighting and plumbing fixtures. The vanity has proven to be more difficult for me to design. We want to have the most storage we can get out of it, while not having it feel too heavy. So most recently I’ve been on been on the lookout for smart bathroom vanity ideas. Here are a few beautiful custom vanities that have caught my eye.

bathroom vanity with tower cabinet

Love the extra storage that this vanity with cabinet combo provides!

mirrored bathroom vanity

Although a little too glam for my taste, I think this vanity, marble counter and lucite mirror pairing is fabulous.

gray and white bathroom vanity

This vanity looks like an antique chest of drawers which I love, but is too petite for our space. But, isn’t the tile outstanding as well?

bathroom vanity with lucite pulls

This is a beautiful vanity in a traditional style, but with a contemporary lucite pull. Love the grasscloth here too!

glam bathroom with layered mirrors - Suzane Kasler

I love the this vanity that feels like a vanities may look like freestanding pieces of furniture. The beautiful layered mirrors  also caught my attention.

bathroom vanity with leather pulls

The extend countertop and leather pulls had me loving this modern bathroom vanity.

light gray vanity with double sinks - bathroom

The open shelving separating the sinks on this vanity had me taking a second look.

blue bathroom vanity - Jamie Drake

This vanity in glossy powder blue with opening shelving is a fave. Love the charming cutout pulls. Paired with teal grasscloth, gold fixtures and neutral tile floor, this bathroom is a stunner.

I’ve pinned so many more inspiring bathroom designs on my Designer Bathrooms Pinterest board and am having a hard time narrowing down what I want!

Also, if you are looking to update your bathroom soon, check out Joss & Main’s bath sale – they have some great tile, vanities and facets on sale!

happy decorating,


* image sources from top to bottom: houzz, Elizabeth Bauer Designs, Pinterest, DecorPad, Architectural Digest, Pinterest, New England Home, Phillip Jefferies

Pin It
Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Read full story By on March 24, 2014 in Bathroom, bathrooms, interior design, Interiors, pinterest

Introducing Dekton by Cosentino :: Revolutionary New Surface

Dekton kitchen countertop

One of the highlights of touring KBIS with #BlogTourVegas last month was discovering new and innovative products. One such product is Cosentino’s newly launched ultra-compact surface called Dekton. Cosentino, an industry leader in quartz, natural stone and architectural surfaces may be best known for their popular Silestone products, but was buzzing about their new revolutionary product. Dekton is a highly innovative surface that can be used both indoors and out. By leveraging a proprietary technology that mimics the metamorphic change that rocks and stone undergo in nature over thousands of years, Dekton embodies extreme strength and durability. Dekton’s advanced technical properties provide UV and thermal shock resistance, superior strength, high resistance to impact, scratches and abrasion and low water absorption. This product is really ground breaking and can be used in so many applications beyond kitchens and bathrooms – imagine Dekton used for high-traffic flooring, exterior facades and pool surrounds to name a few.

Dekton surfaces - outdoor pool and patio

Produced in large format slabs, measuring approximately 12″ x 56″ inches and three thicknesses (1.2 cm, 2 cm and 3 cm), Dekton allows flexibility for large-scale applications as seen in the poolside patio and the building facade below.

Dekton - exterior facade on buildingDekton advanced technology surfaces - colors

Currently, Dekton is available in three collections – Solid, Natural and Tech – with thirteen white, grey, black and natural stone hues and in three polished, matte, wood and slate finishes. In the future, the collection will expand to include a wide range of innovative aesthetics including rust, concrete and oxidized metal as well as a variety of textures, such as rippled, leather, denim, brushed and coated. Stay tuned!

happy decorating,


*disclosure: this post was sponsored by Dekton by Cosentino through BlogTouralthough all opinions are my own.

Pin It
Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Read full story By on March 7, 2014 in Bathroom, bathrooms, interior design, Interiors, Kitchen, kitchens, Uncategorized

Water Saving Tips, TOTO High Efficiency Products & Giveaway

The severe drought here in California has us all concerned. Regulations and emergency assistance at the state and national level are being put in place to aid where needed and regulate water usage. As a result of the drought, it’s predicted that nearly a dozen communities may run out of water, produce will cost more and people will loss their jobs.

TOTO handheld shower

At this time, all Californians have been asked to voluntarily conserve water usage. Mandatory reductions are already taking place in many cities and counties. To help educate, I’m sharing a few easy water saving tips found at Water Use It Wisely:

1.  When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.

2.  Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.

3.  When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.

4. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.

5. In your yard, plant species native to your region.

6.  Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5″ to 2″. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.

7. Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.

8. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.

9.  Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

10. Upgrade older toilets with water-saving WaterSense® labeled models.

This last water saving tip can make a huge difference in both residential and commercial water usage. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense labeled models, the average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent—an annual water savings of nearly 13,000 gallons!

TOTO Aquia wall-hung toilet

(saving space and water – TOTO’s Aquia wall-hung toilet via Houzz)

This is where TOTO comes in. As the winner of numerous domestic and international awards and recognitions, TOTO is the only plumbing manufacturer honored as Water Efficiency Leader by the U.S. EPA. TOTO’s quality assurance standards and rigorous testing procedures – unparalleled in the industry — have earned its products the highest performance ratings, including certification by the EPA’s WaterSense Labeling Program, which requires independent third-party testing to ensure that tested products meet the WaterSense specification that includes all applicable plumbing codes (ANSI/ASME). Here’s a complete list of all of TOTO’s WaterSense certified toilets.

TOTO NeoRest 750H #watersense #toilets

While touring KBIS with #BlogTourVegas, I saw TOTO’s two new ultra high-efficiency Neorest performance model toilets: Neorest 700H and 550H. These are TOTO’s top of the line toilets and combine elegant design with luxurious, next-generation features. I never thought a toilet would impress me so much! But it wasn’t the hands-free automatic flush, auto open and close, heated seat or the ability to save up to two user settings on the new sleek, wall-mounted remote that had me excited. It was the remarkable ecological features.

Both the 700H and 550H models offer an ultra high-efficiency Cyclone dual-flush technology, which consumes a modest one-gallon of water per flush (GPF) for the full flush, and 0.8 GPF for the light flush. Like TOTO’s top-selling Washlets, these new Neorests leverage TOTO’s eWater+ technology which keeps the bowl cleaner longer and reduces the need for harsh cleaning products. Using the incoming water supply, a pre-mist wets the bowl’s surface preventing waste’s adherence 80% better than a dry bowl. After each flush, eWater+ mists the bowl with electrolysed water, which has a slightly acidic pH value, keeping the bowl fresh and clean longer. NEOREST’s bowl is glazed with TOTO’s HYDROTECT titanium dioxide coating and zirconium, giving it a lovely iridescent, mother-of-pearl sensibility. Extremely hydrophilic, HYDROTECT makes it nearly impossible for organic substances to adhere to the bowl’s surface, enabling waste, lime scale and mold to wash away easily. Further, when combined with sunlight, HYDROTECT triggers a photocatalytic process in which organic substances are broken down. To achieve this, TOTO integrated a UV light in the seat lid that is activated when the lid is closed. Once the UV light hits the HYDROTECT’s titanium dioxide coating on the toilet’s bowl, photocatalysis occurs, accelerating the ecomposition of all organic substances in the bowl. Isn’t this incredible? I’m predicting that we will see this type of UV light technology infused in more and more kitchen and bath products.

TOTO Washlet Giveaway Contest

It’s giveaway time! TOTO’s Washlet S350e offers a new way to be cleaner and more refreshed every day by making personal hygiene better and more ecological. What’s a Washlet? Simply, it’s a toilet seat that’s easily installed on most any toilet. With every flush, its uses TOTO’s eWater+ technology making your toilet fresher and easier to clean. eWater+ reduces the need for harsh cleaning products, which saves time, money and is better for the planet. TOTO is giving away a Washlet S350e valued $1,700… here’s where to enter!

good luck!


*disclosure: this post was sponsored by TOTO through BlogTouralthough all opinions are my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It
Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Read full story By on February 24, 2014 in Bathroom, bathrooms, Features, Giveaways, green design, healthy home, Interiors, water saving tips