The Kohler Show
Barbara Barry and Clodagh headline at the bathroom giant's Wisconsin design center
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 1/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Open Since 1985, the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin, underwent a renovation last year, but one thing hasn't changed at the 36,000-square-foot facility. The faucet and fixture giant is still educating designers, builders, and consumers on its product offerings through not only practical displays but also elaborate room settings that highlight preselected items. Typically, three of 25 vignettes are revamped annually, and Barbara Barry and Clodagh are the latest to try their hand at these specially created suites on the center's mezzanine level.
Barbara Barry's art deco–inspired bath and powder room features classic elegance while emphasizing intimacy and relaxation. Dark-wood framed pieces from Barry's bathroom furniture collections for Baker with her accessories for Kallista (both divisions of Kohler) complement the rich mahogany tub surround and sink vanity. The wood is set against the white Carrara marble of the bathtub, which is the centerpiece of the suite. Natural light floods the greenhouse-like room, amplifying the tranquility. Rounding out the ensemble is a dressing table for him and a vanity for her, located on one side of the suite's entrance and complete with a petite basin, storage space, and mirror.
While Barry highlighted her own products, Clodagh showcased various Kohler lines according to principles of feng shui—a signature of her designs, be they spaces or products. Her stimulating yet minimalist "city spa" strikes a balance between warmth and coolness by juxtaposing such elements as crisp paper whites, neutral shades, steel mesh, stainless steel, and poured concrete. The bath's meditative viewing garden, nestled in a small space beyond the sink and medicine cabinet, features an 8-foot plate-glass waterfall, a bamboo screen, and peace lilies resting on a bed of river rocks. Mirrors open up the small space visually, amplify light, and—most important—are thought by practitioners of feng shui to "increase opportunities."