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Interior Design Spotlight: Suzy Kloner

 

The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts attracts designers, architects, manufacturers, and interior design enthusiasts alike. Each year members of the organization come together to produce a fully designed and renovated home. One designer/ design team is directed to renovate a single room or space in the chosen home. Typically, the home chosen is a home that has been standing for decades and that has an extensive square footage.

This year, designer Suzy Kloner, was offered the chance to renovate and re-design the “Nanny’s Bathroom”. To our delight, Suzy Kloner sat down with us to discuss her design inspiration and to give some tips for a successful renovation.

 

How did you get your start in the Interior Design Industry?

I am originally from Southern California and attended Loyola Marymount for my undergraduate degree in Fine Arts. After interning in the industry I moved on to receive my graduate certificate in Interior Design and Architecture from UCLA Extension. In 2008 I started my own firm, and have been designing full time ever since.

 

As a California native, had you been introduced to the Pasadena House of Design 2017 before?

I had! When I was younger, I actually volunteered for the Showcase and became enthralled by all of the different designers work and the way they transformed the home. That is when I really started to fall in love with interior design.

So, when I got the opportunity to actually be a part of the Showcase this year, it was like I’d reached a milestone in my professional life – everything came full circle.

 

How would you describe your design aesthetic?  

I draw much of my inspiration from the beautiful California landscape and architecture that surrounds us and the incredible culture and design I have experienced from my travels. I love creating peaceful interiors that are fresh and light-filled, dramatic yet balanced. I often incorporate textures, colors, patterns and pieces that are inspired by nature and the coast and also tell a story. I tailor my designs to best fit my clients’ aesthetic, lifestyle, and to create timeless and extraordinary spaces.

 

How did you merge the costal aesthetic in this particular space?

My experience with this house was actually really smooth. I was able to do renovations without any major issues – which was fantastic. Once we laid the foundation and corrected the foundational issues in the space, I was able to focus on the design. We used the colors salmon and teal to accompany the neutral tones in the space. This helped to give a relaxed and elegant feel to the bathroom. Other pieces like the countertops, window treatments, faucets and the clawfoot tub from Hydro Systems helped to reflect the history of the home with the updates we made.

 

That’s wonderful! How did you come upon the Hydro Systems Annette Freestanding Tub?

I was working with George’s Plumbing Supply in Pasadena and I told them exactly what I was looking for- something classic and elegant with historical accents, and they pointed me in the direction of the Annette. The house was built in 1916 and I wanted to reflect that in the details. Details like the claw-feet, the almost cast iron appearance, and the shape of the tub really accomplished that goal.  Overall, the tub fit my vision perfectly and working with Hydro Systems to get the tub helped to make this process really smooth.

 

After completing such an idyllic renovation, is there any advice you would give homeowners looking to do bathroom renovations of their own?

I would say that is very important to lay out a floor plan. Doing things like pre-planning and taping dimensions of the space before starting any work will help to alleviate potholes later in the renovation and design process. Also, if you are working with a contractor or design team, take the time to make sure everyone is on the same page about what is being done and how. Homeowners should take an active role in the renovation and design process.

We would like to thank Suzy Kloner for her inspired design work at the Pasadena Showcase House and her incorporation of the Hydro Systems Annette Freestanding Bathtub. We would also like to thank her for sitting down with us and discussing her process. For more information about Suzy and to view her astounding portfolio, please visit www.suzyklonerdesign.com and / or follow her on social media @suzyklonerdesign.

 

Photography Provided By: Allison Maginn @allisonmaginnlifestyle

How to De-stress Your Renovation

It’s renovation season and while this time of year usually ends beautifully, the journey to get to the end can, often times, be extremely stressful. This is where we at Hydro are stepping in. After speaking to experts, our customers, and comparing horror stories of our own, we have put together 7 effective ways to reduce your stress level while going through your own renovation expedition.

Make a Plan

We know it seems obvious, but a well thought out plan is truly priceless when starting a renovation. We suggest planning your renovation one room at a time and be realistic about what you (and your schedule) can handle. Keep in mind things like: budget, permits, time constraints, and all of the pre-work involved. You would be surprised how a well thought out plan pre-renovation helps to minimize stress during the renovation. Don’t forget, life doesn’t stop because you are knocking down walls.

Anticipate the Unexpected

When doing major renovations, you MUST add room in the budget and the timeframe for unexpected challenges. This is really helpful when renovating older homes. Homes built over two decades ago can have hidden issues that you won’t know about until the walls come tumbling down. It can be stressful enough to find out that there is a wiring issue in your home that you didn’t know about, but if you make room in the plan for unexpected complications beforehand,  it can help to save your sanity.

Don’t be a Cheapskate

Listen, we get it. Renovations are expensive, and finding ways to save costs is paramount. However, if you buy cheap materials, you will get cheap results. What you will find is that those headaches you thought you avoided by going the cheap route will come back to haunt you – causing more stress and increased costs. If you find yourself questioning materials, do some research and seek out advice from a trusted professional.

Stay true to your aesthetic

There is probably nothing more stress inducing than trying to be something you are not. The same goes for your home renovation. Don’t try to recreate something you think is trendy  at the cost of your own wants and needs. Renovations, after all, are about customizing your space to fit your needs. Never compromise this for what is popular. Find your style and stay true to it – after all, trends die.

Slow and steady wins the race

Before you go knocking down every wall in your house and tearing up every floor, prioritize your renovations. Make sure that you can still maintain a level of living during your renovations, our suggestion is to take it one room at a time. This will help you stay closer to budget, stay on schedule, and reduce redundancies.

Interview your contractor

The relationship between a homeowner and their contractor is a sacred thing. Your contractor should be someone you trust, someone you are comfortable having in your home, and someone you can easily communicate with. The internet is full of resources for checking references, comparing prices, and seeing past work. Schedule interviews and calls with potential contractors in order to gauge their responsiveness, their dependability, as well as their competency. Do not skimp on your research when it comes to your contractor. Far too many renovations have died mid-job in the hands of the wrong contractor.

Find some “me/us” time

Yes, this time in your life will be chaotic, it will be expensive, and it will be (a little stressful), but neglecting yourself won’t help change any of this. In fact, it will only exacerbate it.  We suggest fitting a long hot bubble bath in your Hydro Systems bathtub into your schedule. Other ideas include family day trips that take you away from the worksite, visiting your local spa, or staying at a hotel for one weekend. Whatever your choice, make sure to work in some time to woo-saw.

We hope these simple steps help make your home renovation projects more bearable, and we hope you think of Hydro Systems products when you get to the bathroom! Happy Designing!

3 Major Health Benefits of Taking Baths

It used to be that people made time for the little things, and they seemed happier. Taking walks during the day and literally smelling the roses, eating dinners with the whole family gathered at the table sans cell phones and tablets, and taking nice warm baths. Nowadays treadmills have taken the place of the great outdoors, TV dinners or fast food have removed our need for placemats, and standing only showers occupy all of the bathrooms in our homes.

This leaves one to wonder, were there any benefits to the “old” way or was the lack of advanced technology the only reason people did those things? What if we told you that there are, in fact, health benefits to doing things like taking a warm bath? Would that surprise you? It shouldn’t. The Turks, Romans and Greeks get it. The health benefits of water, steam and cleansing have been some of the benefits that these groups receive from their traditional bathing – and we at Hydro think it’s high time we joined in on the fun.

BATH HEAT CAN HELP TO ALLEVIATE MUSCLE PAIN

Probably the most obvious of all the benefits, a warm to hot bath has been known to help sooth aching muscles and minor pains. “The heat in your bath increases the temperature of aching muscles, blocking pain sensors and producing pain relief.”

Did you know, however, that athletes have been known to take cold baths in order to lower the levels of lactic acid in their bloodstream? This actually aids in their physical performance. Whichever fits your needs, it is clear there is a theme here – baths help your muscles.

 

WARM BATHS BEFORE BED CAN IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

There are countless health benefits for getting a good night’s sleep. Benefits like mental performance, immune system strength, and an increased metabolism are just a few. The New York Times has dedicated multiple articles to getting a good night’s rest (see links below).

What if we told you that a warm bath at night could help make all of these benefits a reality? It’s simple really. While bathing, your body temperature will decrease and start to produce a hormone named melatonin. This hormone, among other things, helps to induce sleep. Ultimately, your decrease in body temperature can last for 6-7 hours – talk about a good night’s rest!

 

BATHING RELIEVES MENTAL STRESS AND IMPROVES YOUR MOOD

Let’s not forget the mental benefits of bathing. It’s commonplace to envisage a warm bath and a glass of wine while in the midst of a stressful day. Well, we are here to tell you that this is a logical daydream. In fact, English studies show that a warm bath at the end of the day improved the optimism and mood of bathers. Reasons for these improvements range from body positioning, comfort, and isolation. Whatever the reason, we are just elated to know, for a fact, that there is a possible solution for the Monday blues!

 

Related articles:

New York Times – How to get a better night’s sleep

The Telegraph – In hot water? Have a bath and relax

Women’s Health – 5 Ways to ease sore muscles

The Hydro Systems, Inc. Interior Design Scholarship Contest: Hosted by FIDM, LA

For the first time, Hydro Systems, Inc. has partnered with the FIDM, LA Interior Design Department to host the Hydro Systems, Inc. Interior Design Scholarship Competition. This partnership involved working with the graduating class of FIDM’s Interior Design Department and granting them access to all Hydro Products in order to help them create dynamic designs for their final residential and commercial design projects. Each student utilized floor plans from Level Furnished Living in downtown Los Angeles, and from those floor plans developed well-rounded designs based on historic decorative art styles such as: Vintage, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Zen, Scandinavian, Industrial and more. Judging the presentations were executives from Hydro Systems, Inc., the owners of L2 Interior Designs and the Business Manager of Level Furnished Living.

We are so pleased to announce the winners of the scholarship competition and to show you their winning designs!

**For a full layout of the winner’s portfolios and details on the Hydro products that they used, please follow the links provided


The First Place winner was Katrina Dutra seamlessly integrated the characteristics of “California Vintage” style while maintaining an air of sophistication. Her ability to think beyond the obvious and elevate her designs to a point of luxury won her the first place prize.

Residential Theme: California Vintage

Hydro Systems Products Used: Andrea Freestanding Tub ; Prism Sink 

Commercial Theme: Modern Vintage

Hydro Systems Products Used: Prism Sink

 


In Second Place was Haleigh Pritchett, Haleigh went beyond simply matching color patterns and textiles from her theme and included furnishings that supported the cultural aspects of Moorish/ Moroccan living. Her attention to detail and expert digital skills won her the second place prize.

Residential Layout #1 Theme: Moroccan

Hydro Systems Products Used: Andrea Freestanding Tub ; Block 25 Sink

Residential Layout #2 Theme: Modern

Hydro Systems Products Used: Alamo Freestanding Tub ; Square Shower Pan ; Block 25 Sink ; Universal Shower Pan 

 


The Third Place award was given to Kate Killgore for her multi themed design. Kate designed multiple spaces all with drastically different themes and yet managed to maintain the individual integrity and traits of each decorative style.

Residential Layout #1 Theme: Art Nouveau

Hydro Systems Products Used: Liberty Freestanding Tub ; Block 25 Sink

Residential Layout #2 Theme: Scandinavian Modern

Hydro Systems Products Used: Gateway Freestanding Tub ; Ellipse Sink

Commercial Layout Theme: Neo-Classic

Hydro Systems Products Used: Casey Freestanding Tub ; Ellipse Sink

 


The Fourth Place prize went to Gabriella Falk based on her imaginative designs that included both the “French” design style and the “Art Noveau” theme. Ultimately, it was Gabriella’s willingness to push boundaries and design norms that won her the final prize of the evening.

Residential Layout #1 Theme: French

Hydro Systems Products Used: Donatello Freestanding Tub 

Residential Layout #2 Theme: Art Noveau

Hydro Systems Product Used: Picasso Freestanding Tub ; Arc Sink

The At-Home Spa Experience

Trust us, we recognize the functionality and beauty of a stand-alone shower, but there is something to be said about a bathtub and all that it provides. Can’t you just imagine it, having the opportunity to shut the world out and recline into a perfectly heated (98 degrees F) cocoon of luxury surrounded by candles and the sweet tantalizing vocals of Maxwell (or Yo-Yo Ma if that’s your thing) playing softly in the background. After a long hard day of “adulting”, there is almost nothing that can compare.

So, for all of the oh-so-lucky bathtub owners out there, here are some of the best bath salt/ bath enhancement recipes that are sure to add value to your “me” time with your bathtub.

What You Will Need

Mason Jar

Store your mixtures in glass jars in order to keep out moisture and preserve the aroma.

 

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When you are ready to use your enhancement, transfer all solid ingredients into a cheesecloth (or muslin), seal off the top with a tie, and drop directly into the bath.

This will stop the salts from clogging pipes and jets.

 

De-Stress Bath Recipe

2 Cups sea salt

3 Drops Lavender essential oil

3 Drops Rosewood essential oil

Mix oils with sea salt and store in a decorative glass or screw top container. To use, simply add a handful to your cheesecloth and drop into your bath.  Be sure to use all-natural essential oils, not synthetic or perfume oils which may contain petroleum products and can be toxic.

De-Stress Bath Example

Detox Bath Recipe

1 Cup sea salt

2 Cups baking soda

1 Cup Epsom Salt

1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin per bath

Combine sea salt, baking soda and Epsom Salt in a bowl. Stir to blend. Add glycerin to keep your skin from drying out and essential oils of choice. Store in a glass or screw-top container. In order to avoid damage to your Whirlpool or Thermal Air system, make a small pouch out of muslin or cheesecloth and fill it with your recipe ingredients.

Detox Bath Example

Try these recipes and leave us a comment letting us know how they improved your life. We are pretty confident that they will. Happy Soaking!

 

*Using any of these recipes should be followed by an immediate flushing of your Whirlpool and/or Thermal Air System in order to avoid clogging or buildup.