Designhounds NYC! Design for the Senses: Mind, Body & Soul.


I wasn't quite sure what to expect by joining this network of influence, The Designhounds, however a friend who was already a member invited me to a conference they were hosting while I was attending the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) earlier this year in Las Vegas. I thought "Why not?" and so this was the beginning of all the exciting goodness I am about to share with you now. That initial Designhounds Changemaker Conference truly surprised me in the most encouraging way, thrilled that I went and even happier now that I put myself forward to participate in this recent NYC trip. This "Design for the Senses" Tour did exactly that for me, elevate all of my senses. 

#DesignhoundsNYC Crew hosted by Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS Appliances)

This trip was very much about human connection for me, with the most sincere, authentic interactions that were built upon and multiplied daily.  From within our own group of talented Designhounds, to the people we met as the day continued at The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), to the teams that make up the brands sponsoring our tour who we were lucky to dine with every evening, I felt welcomed by all and learned so much from start to finish.  My knowledge goes beyond not only exciting brands and new products, but has been deepened for myself as an individual and design professional too.

My first sensory experience was all about touch and connectivity. I can admit that I need to have my phone with me when I'm out, I don't leave home without my cell and I want a full charge. There is actually a condition relatively unknown, called "Nomophobia" related to this fear of being "out of touch". It's  described as a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity.  Welcome FreePower for Countertop, an innovation that turns any surface into a wireless charging station to offer convenience and cordless aesthetics in staying connected.  A fantastic looking amenity and design solution that that I am excited to specify in my upcoming projects.

This relatively new company has been established since 2017 with 230 patents, officially launched wireless countertop technology at KBIS 2024 and had already caught my eye. Although, being able to meet Jake Slatnick, CEO and founder of FreePower personally allowed me to truly understand the vision and what is possible with this technology fully. This young entrepreneur pitched this innovative technology on Shark Tank in 2019, where a rare three-shark deal with Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec was secured. This rare accolade is a testament to how unique this tech product truly is.

 FreePower Wireless Charging

Embracing physical and mental relaxation at the spa to activate our senses of nose, eyes and touch was courtesy of Mr. Steam thank you!  For myself personally, a focus on well-being after recovering from an extended vertigo condition has topped my list of priorities in recent years. The benefits of steam therapy as someone who also suffers from asthma and allergies is one that I can speak to. Health-wise, steam showers shine by helping detoxify the body, boost circulation, and provide respiratory relief, all pinnacles for wellness. The warm moisture from steam helps in loosening mucus in the nasal passages, throat, and lungs, making it easier to breathe. The warm moisture from a steamy environment also works wonders for the skin by opening up the pores, significantly aiding to detoxify the skin. This not only helps in removing impurities but also significantly improves tone and texture. For individuals who lead active lifestyles or suffer from chronic muscle pain, the warmth generated by steam showers can also support their wellness routine. Designed for efficiency, steam showers fit most bathroom layouts when planning a build or renovation. This allows for a spa-like experience at home, affordably at your convenience.

Our Designhounds group enjoyed a private session at Aire Ancient Baths to experience the relaxation of what water therapy can do for you firsthand. My most restful sleep the entire trip hands down after the power of steam! Having specified Mr. Steam for showers in previous projects, I can say I'm a fan of their product that now offers an array of steam shower packages depending on preferences. There's great advancement with the integration of smart home systems: through voice commands or smartphone apps, users can start preheating the steam shower before they enter the bathroom, addition of music if desired as an option, ensuring the perfect environment awaits them. There is now also the addition of LED lights for chromotherapy and essential oils for aromatherapy as part of a Mr. Steam total wellness journey, bringing the home a full spa experience to your personal home on the daily. 

Mr. Steam iSteam-X Chroma Control   

Finally, as a foodie, one of the experiences that left me wanting to renovate my very own kitchen led by taste, sight and smell sensory was hosted by  SKS Appliances. We were fully immersed in learning, demo'ing, sipping and savouring, to truly take in their "True to Food" philosophy.  At parent company LG headquarters, we had a full tour of the building and the technological resources behind
SKS Appliances.  To learn more about the brand with the SKS team and move onto making our own fresh mozzarella with expert Vinnie 'Mootz' felt like perfection, yet it somehow got better when we were able to have interactive demo's of the full SKS product range. The cherry on top was the lunch created and served by renowned Chef Sakari Smithwick from Hell's Kitchen and Food Network fame. The 48-inch Dual- Fuel Pro Range Sous Vide, Induction with 4 Burners was one of the appliances used expertly and I'd love one for myself.  

I often use a sous vide at home, however, I do not have one conveniently integrated into my range and wow, did I love every feature that I saw firsthand and the taste that came along with it! It was a culinary feast for the eyes and my palette. My senses were totally heightened.

The technology at SKS Appliances truly blew me away. Take for example the newly introduced 30-inch Double Wall Oven: with advanced functionalities including an innovative built-in camera, home chefs can monitor their dishes in real-time, take snapshots and capture shareable time-lapse videos. The integration of the built-in camera with artificial intelligence propels the brand’s new “Gourmet AITM” food recognition technology. 

This innovative system identifies ingredients and effortlessly generates delicious recipe suggestions through the ThinQ® App, delivering a smart and intuitive cooking experience. This appliance promises versatility and convenience for home chefs with a variety of cooking modes including steam combi/sous vide modes and air frying. The InstaView® feature allows for a unique knock-twice function, enabling illuminated interior viewing and Speed-CleanTM that allows for an easy 10-minute clean-up cycle. Without a doubt, the technology to cook at home like a pro is now absolutely available with SKS Appliances which gets me SO excited. Calling all prospective client's - I know what appliance brand I'd like to recommend for our next kitchen re-model or build!!

SKS Appliances

#DaretoDesign with the #DesignhoundsNYC has been an incredible experience thanks to hosts Freepower, Mr. Steam & SKS Appliances.  Designhounds & ICFF I look forward to next year. Until next time NYC, you definitely have my heart, soul and all of my senses!! NM, Xx 


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