I geek out about a lot more things the older I get. Finding the best tongue-in-cheek Shakespeare quotes, blaring goose bump inducing symphonic movie soundtracks from my SUV speakers, welling up over moody contemporary dances. The older I get, the more I realize the “geeky” stuff from when we were kids is considered “sophistication” in the grown-up world. Win!
So on my 30th birthday a few weeks ago, I ended up in one of the most incredible places where I could geek out to the max… ahem… I mean, curate a sophisticated bathroom design in Chicago with Delta® Faucet for A Day of Inspired Design.
I really have no words for this view. Gasp!
We were told before arriving that we would have a “See, Do” theme. We would see inspirational locations throughout the city, ideas in the Delta flagship showroom, create an inspiration board based on the city’s features, and later do a kitchen or bathroom refresh in our own homes using our Chicago architecture-inspired designs.
A group of nine other bloggers and myself took a guided tour through the city in a trolley along with hosts Young House Love, SheShe, and Delta Faucet to explore some of Chicago’s most influential architectural spots. (How stinkin’ cute is this trolley?)
First, we stopped in at the newly renovated Delta showroom to chat about some upcoming trends and how water is such an essential part in design. John and Sherry from Young House Love talked about how they incorporate many water-inspired features in their own room designs because it invokes a calming mood, like hanging water-inspired art can have a soothing effect. Thinking about how you use water every day can influence how you layout your own design, like placing a kitchen sink in front of a window can make washing dishes more pleasant.
Seth from the Delta design team spoke to us about their own process to SEE and DO, like how they draw inspirations from fashion and architecture and art from all over the world to create their product lines. Their Cassidy™ faucets were designed around the idea of Victorian fashion, putting emphasis on the corseted female figure to create curvy, feminine lines. And while focusing on designing visually appealing features, they implement modern innovations like H2Okinetic® in shower heads to increase efforts in water conservation and their Touch2O® Technology in faucets to make peoples’ everyday interactions with water more convenient for them.
It was something I never really thought about before, but it was so eye-opening how often we interact with water every day and how important it is to make that interaction as effortless and streamlined as possible to keep day-to-day tasks enjoyable. (Because duh… if this mama can have a spa-like shower every morning, she’s a happy woman.)
After our little chat, we played with some of the fixtures in the showroom. The Cassidy® faucet is definitely my favorite.
And I’m all in with this Champagne Bronze finish on this Trinsic® faucet.
Chicago Cultural Center
For the rest of the morning, we stopped at the Chicago Cultural Center and kept an eye out for anything architectural that inspired us for designs in our own homes.
The glass Tiffany Dome stopped me dead in my tracks.
And I realized this one room in the Chicago Cultural Center was my spirit animal. All of that watery minty green mixed in with rich antique brass, geometric hexagon tile, and high contrast black windows with light marble walls had me weak in the knees.
This entire building encapsulated those gorgeous juxtaposed feminine/masculine features that balance any space so well, which Robert and I use in our own home all the time.
So it got me thinking about our own downstairs powder room at home that has had me feeling stumped.
I instantly knew I wanted to incorporate this watery, mint green color from this tile trim in some way.
We already have big, black windows that pop against our creamy, white walls in our living room, so carrying that idea into our powder room with a statement-making, black mirror only makes sense.
These hexagon tiles gave me an idea to use marble looking hexagon on our floor (likely in a cheaper alternative like marble-look porcelain).
And the brass that was highlighted all over the city made me feel daring enough to try brass in our own fixtures really soon. I was a child of the 90s, so brass nowadays seemed a tad dated to me. But I’m officially convinced that it needs to make a comeback.
After I drooled all over the place at the Chicago Cultural Center, our crew headed to Museum Campus alongside Lake Michigan to bask in the south side view of the skyline.
And you know… do what bloggers do; take pictures of evvvveryyyythiiiing.
Considering this was our view, can you blame us? My photo doesn’t do that gorgeous blue-green water any justice at all compared to how it looked in person.
Nichola J. Melas Centennial Fountain
We ended up at the Nichola J. Melas Centennial Fountain to oogle one more time. There’s something about that aqua river that flows between the sky-high buildings that seems to bring that urban-state-of-mind down to earth. All of those harsh, rigid lines seem to melt away in the ripples of waterscape.
And there it was again, that blue-green splashed against black and white.
Inspiration Board Challenge
After we filled up on eye candy, we headed back to the LondonHouse Hotel where we were staying to create inspiration boards using all of the ideas we gathered that day with Delta products and wallpaper designs by SheShe. And the winner of the See, Do inspiration board challenge would win a custom wallpaper design by SheShe. The creative hum in that room was so palpable as we all focused intently on our designs to spill it all out on paper and implement in our own homes.
My design “Aqua Meets Urban” was a concept for our powder room that I thought would be inviting for guests, and since it is a bathroom we use often ourselves as it’s the only bathroom on our first floor, it’s a design that balances feminine and masculine features well to suit Robert and me.
It’s calming yet striking, juxtaposing feminine and masculine, sophisticated but still playful, and it’s classic but with a modern twist… pretty much everything we’ve aimed for in this new house of ours.
Here’s a video with more about everything we saw in the day to pull our inspiration. It was really eye-opening how many of us walk past interesting architecture and pretty landscapes every day, but we often don’t take the time to really SEE it. It’s something, I think, we too often take for granted. Our surroundings are worth being celebrated.
At dinner, after the See, Do inspiration board challenge, they announced the winner, and unfortunately, I didn’t win, but the winners Yellow Brick Home and Dabito were the absolute perfect recipients since their styles are so fitting for SheShe‘s designs.
I still get to incorporate my design in our powder room though, so that is still a win in my book, don’t ya think? This entire trip was so humbling and fueled my creative soul. After I arrived home the next day to spend some quality time with Robert and Olivia, I felt like the luckiest birthday girl on the planet. I’m so thankful to Delta for such an incredible day.
I can’t wait to share our progress on our big powder room project very soon, which I’ll be documenting along the way.
Right now, this is our powder room’s current state of affairs… a great space but just not “us”.
Here’s to always saying “yes” to adventures, exploring new challenges, and letting every day inspire you, friends. And to geeking out. Embrace your inner-geek every chance you get.