browsing IDC Profile

STYLE AT HOME: from Maximalism to Rustic Vogue

In 2021 design movements continue to follow the “comfort at home” theme, making popular the things that make our homes that much more livable and functional. Outdoor spaces and theater rooms remain in demand as we entertain more in our spaces, and textured, layered materials create that comforting feeling we all want to be able to enjoy at home. The professionals at the Drapery Street showroom located at the Indiana Design Center report that the following design styles and features are taking prominence in the industry.

Mixing Texture & Pattern

Overall, a mixture of texture and pattern that evokes a much more eclectic design trend is becoming more prominent.  It manifests in some very opposite design outcomes, however.  The maximalist movement mixes bright colors and patterns in a bold way, represented by the vibrant Iris Apfel collection with Fabricut, while the rustic vogue trend calmly combines neutrals, warm colors and woods.

“Our designer clients are combining neutrals like black and white with warm woods in a 70s minimalist vibe,” says Caryn O’Sullivan, owner of Drapery Street.

Bright color and pattern personify designer icon Iris Apfel’s collection for Fabricut.

Enjoying The Outdoors

The seasons are no longer an obstacle when it comes to relaxing in your outdoor spaces. Strategic placement of retractable outdoor shades can protect from dirt, debris, bugs and harsh sunlight in the warm months, and in combination with outdoor fireplaces and heaters, can retain heat and create an inviting space nearly year-round.

Says O’Sullivan, “People have really gravitated to their outdoor spaces during the pandemic, and outdoor shades can extend the usage of that porch or patio.” Best of all, when the shades aren’t needed they can be placed in the raised position and they virtually disappear.

Retractable outdoor shades provide protection and sun control that extend the enjoyment of outdoor living spaces.

Pass the Popcorn

With cinemas and movie theaters largely closed during the height of the pandemic, many people craved that “at the movies” feeling. With streaming technology, most homes have the capability to view the newest releases, but lack the full theater experience. Adding a large format screen and comfortable, upholstered furniture further enhances the screening, but a thick, plush velvet drapery to block out light elevates a theater room to a full cinematic experience.

“Velvet drapes are popular for their natural ability to block light, but they also add an extravagant feel to a theater room, making an at-home movie feel special,” O’Sullivan says.

Home theatre technology complimented by lush textures and drapery make for a cinematic experience.

To learn more about these styles and how to update your windowcoverings, contact the professionals at Drapery Street. | 317-942-3796

Entertain with Ease in the Great Outdoors

As the days get longer and the weather warms, outdoor entertaining beckons homeowners to their backyards to indulge. As glorious as a warm, breezy evening can be, there are many upgrades that can make any outdoor affair more enjoyable. Showrooms at the Indiana Design Center have many options to choose from to enhance your outdoor living experience this spring and summer.

Made for Shade

After a long winter, the feeling of light and warmth is luxurious. Perhaps even more luxurious than spring sunlight is the ability to dim it when it gets too intense. Retractable shades provide the option to shield your guests from insects and glare. Design professionals at Drapery Street can customize shades to the specifications of your home, offering various opacities and fabrics, UV protection and options to motorize.

“Adding shades to sunrooms and patios can transform the room while still preserving the view,” says Erika Reimer of Drapery Street.

Outdoor shades from Hunter Douglas can be adjusted for the desired function (sun, wind and bug protection) while maintaining a great view. Photo: Hunter Douglas.

Just Add Ambience

Music is a central component of any gathering, and quality integrated speakers are essential to a backyard setup. Strategically placing speakers contributes to your overall home aesthetic by blending into the scenery, and homeowners can create a soothing ambience for their guests by automating the technology to control volume and music selection.

“We have a large selection of speakers to choose from, as well as the technology to operate them seamlessly,” says Jason Barth of The Premier Group.

Outdoor sound systems from the Sonance Landscape series are elegantly placed throughout the area for premium sound coverage and minimal visibility. Photo: submitted by The Premier Group.

For the Grill Master

Creating an inviting outdoor event always involves food. A luxury outdoor kitchen is the ultimate level of comfort, offering powerful cooking ability, refrigeration and ventilation in addition to extensive prep space. Freestanding grills are another high-end option that is convenient in a multi-use environment as well.

“An outdoor kitchen or grill is just like an indoor kitchen; guests tend to gather where the host is getting food ready. We offer lots of options to create that environment,” says Brian Adams of Godby Hearth & Home.

The luxury and conveniences of an indoor kitchen can also be enjoyed outdoors, as in this kitchen with the pictured 42” Twin Eagles grill. Photo: Twin Eagles.

IDC showroom professionals can bring you up to speed on the latest outdoor entertainment offerings and professionals like those at Surroundings by Natureworks+ have the design expertise to help you design an incredible outdoor living space.

2021 Luxe Kitchen + Bath Upgrades

The past year has brought in a new era of living well at home. Even those of us with newer or well-appointed homes have discovered places where we might be able to improve the design or functionality. Because of this, remodeling and redecorating is at an all-time high. We have seen increased traffic at the Indiana Design Center (IDC) from industry professionals and homeowners alike, looking for ways to create a more efficient or luxurious home. Kitchens and bathrooms are always first on the list for makeovers, so Natalie Gertiser of Ferguson offers her take on the top trends in kitchen and bath that help promote your home to the highest level.

Mixed Textures

Mixed metal tones on hardware and fixtures continues to be popular, both in kitchens and in bathrooms, but building on that trend are mixed textures. Favorite fixtures pair sleek, shiny marble and onyx with tactile knurled metals to create a striking contrast.

“Consumers have really embraced the mixed metal trend, and mixing textures is the next logical step to really elevate a space,” says Gertiser.

Creating that juxtaposition between the high vs. low or the luxury vs. utilitarian creates more tension and interest in the design of a room.

Mod faucet from Graff featuring polished nickel with storm black marble body.

Royal Flush

A small addition to create a spa-like bathroom experience is a bidet. Long considered an essential in Europe, bidets have only recently become more commonplace in American homes with the innovation of the in-seat bidet.

Consumers can add a new seat to virtually any toilet, easily upgrading their bathroom to luxury status. Gertiser says, “Being able to add such a feature without expensive plumbing or labor costs is a relatively easy way to enhance the bathroom.”

Kohler C3-155 bidet paired with the Kohler Sans Souci one-piece toilet.

Oversized Light Fixtures

Another somewhat simple way to add a big visual element to a room is an oversized light fixture. These have been trending for the past few years, but have continued to stay popular and have become more of a mainstay in kitchen design.

Says Gertiser, “A set of three substantial pendants over a large kitchen island makes a formidable visual impact, while rounding out the style of the room.” Light fixtures in an array of finishes and styles are on display at the Ferguson showroom.

To learn more, contact the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery showroom at the IDC: 317-705-0794. Appointments are required for showroom visits and consultations.

Oversized light fixtures make a dramatic impact in the Ferguson showroom and come in a variety of styles.


Fox 59 Showcases Bedroom Makeover for a Hoosier Healthcare Hero

Thank you to Fox 59 and news reporter Alexa Green for sharing IDC’s Bedroom Makeover story on the station’s Pay it Forward series. This summer, Indiana Design Center partners and Kit magazine conducted a call for nominations of a healthcare hero working on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nurse Christa Havel from New Palestine was nominated by a friend and won the contest, which included a brand new mattress, bed, bedding, wall/trim paint, night stands, ceiling fan, recliner chair, custom drapery, accessories, a Sonos wireless music player and more.

Christa is a surgery center nurse with Community Health and when the pandemic hit this spring, she and her team quickly switched gears to care for patients in the ICU. In July, Christa was diagnosed with breast cancer and she is now undergoing treatments. We know this newly refreshed bedroom will aid in Christa’s road to recovery and can be a bright spot in her journey. Watch the full bedroom reveal on Fox 59’s website and stay tuned for the January/February 2021 issue of Kit Magazine where we’ll share more details about the room design and everyone involved.

Many thanks to the industry partners and sponsors.

Embrace Your Space this Winter

Most times when we speak about getting a home ready for winter that means doing the things to prepare your house to survive the cold months or doing those last few projects outside that you won’t be able to do during winter like lawn care, cleaning and repairs.

In 2020, preparing for winter takes on a new meaning. Not only are we fortifying the outside of our homes, but we are getting ready for several months of dedicated home time. Shop for seasonal décor and holiday gifts ahead of time, re-think how you entertain for larger gatherings and tackle that project you would like to get done. The winter months can be an enjoyable respite with some thoughtful consideration.

Create Comfort

Settling into the weather changing has most people dreaming of soft, warm textiles, comforting scents and getting cozy. Candles and accent pillows are great gifts for the holidays, and rugs and throws are perfect for updating your cold-weather décor. Rusted Window offers a curated variety. Holder Mattress can help customize your perfect mattress; the ultimate in creating a truly comfortable and relaxing sleep space.

Rugs and textiles selections on display at Rusted Window, suite 120b.

Cozy it Up

Entertaining in the winter months may look different this year as we move many of our celebrations outdoors or into bigger spaces. Firepits and fire features are very popular with homeowners hoping to warm up a gathering in both indoor and outdoor spaces, many of these hearth models are sold by Godby Hearth & Home. Spacing out seating arrangements to safely share a meal may mean that a bigger dining table is in order. There are many to choose from and customize to your own family specifications at PAIR’D Furnishings.

Dining room set in PAIR’D Furnishings, suite 107. Artwork by Marco Querin.

Connect with a Pro

With fewer events this winter and perhaps a lighter social calendar, it might be time to plan that home project that you have been putting off. The showrooms at the IDC offer inspiration and materials to do that project, whether it be choosing a new paint color with a designer, tiling a backsplash with the professionals at Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs or selecting custom draperies with Drapery Street. Showrooms have professionals on hand to guide you through the process and you can always browse a list of design professionals on the IDC website who can help you along the way.

Rugs and textiles selections on display at Rusted Window, suite 120b.

Glass House Gallery to Open at the IDC

Local business owners Cori and Scott Brown are set to open a new showroom on the first floor of the Indiana Design Center (IDC) called Glass House Gallery, combining their two companies, Franklin Window and Door and Lorenzo Finestre, into one location. The showroom will open in September and be a showcase for the product lines carried by both businesses, including Marvin Windows and European lines like Oikos and MHB Steel. The combined showroom will be in a prominent spot on the first floor of the IDC where visitors and industry professionals will be greeted by a gallery of carefully-curated architectural building products for residential and commercial spaces.

Scott & Cori Brown

Lorenzo Finestre offers a unique selection of European doors, windows, panel systems and architectural products exclusive to the company in the US marketplace. The company was originally set to open a showroom on the second floor of the IDC, but when the larger, ground floor space became available, the owners decided to merge the two businesses under one roof, rebranded as the Glass House Gallery. The new showroom will feature all the best from both companies, in a single stop for building professionals and homeowners to design and make selections.

“We are passionate about sourcing the very best products that are able to transform the look and feel of a home, and with both of our companies’ lines all being in the same space, it will be that much easier to offer the best experience and service to our clients,” says Cori Brown, CEO of Lorenzo Finestre and Franklin Window and Door.

The addition of this new showroom is on the heels of the June opening of PAIR’D Furnishings and several showrooms that underwent recent showroom remodels and new floor sets.

“We cannot wait for Glass House Gallery to debut within the center and marketplace. It will be an enticing addition to our first floor retail showrooms and fulfill a niche that fits perfectly within the IDC,” says Melissa Averitt, Pedcor Companies senior vice president for sales and marketing.

Pivot Door by Oikos

MHB Steel Windows

PAIR’D Furnishings Now Open at the IDC

PAIR’D Furnishings, a family-owned furniture manufacturer founded over 25 years ago, has opened a brand new showroom on the first floor of the Indiana Design Center. The retail furnishings showroom offers a selection of styles, from modern, clean-lined pieces to original classics. PAIR’D works with trade designers and retail clients to offer unique furniture pieces that can be customized; allowing each piece to bring personal, unique design to every space.  The flagship location is the first and only location in Indiana; the company is headquartered in Bangladesh.

The owners of PAIR’D – Amer and Muniza Karim – have designed bespoke collections that cannot be found anywhere else in the area. Because they design and manufacture the furniture, there is no middleman, making it easier to create just the piece a customer has in mind. Stephanie Riwitis, the showroom director, is excited to be open to the public and to trade clients. “We are eager to meet and work with designers and retail customers to help design their ideal space. Being at the IDC helps us offer a full-service experience.” Currently the showroom is open by appointment only Monday through Friday, call 317-740-0318 or email [email protected] to schedule a time.

PAIR’D designs feature luxurious fabrics and high-end finishes.

PAIR’D carries its own furniture lines in addition to unique accessories.

The showroom features work by local artists like Marco Querin featured here.

Vibrant color modernizes a traditional office vignette.

Intricate pieces like this credenza can be a beautiful focal point in a home.

SPOTLIGHT: Celebrating 10 Years with Julie O’Brien Design Group

As the 10-year anniversary of the Indiana Design Center is upon us, we wanted to speak with our resident showroom owners and leaders – the tastemakers and forward-thinking innovators in our local design landscape. Julie O’Brien, the owner and principal designer at Julie O’Brien Design Group, has been a part of our community since we opened in 2010. Here she shares her thoughts on inspiration and the importance of good design.

Design isn’t just a job for Julie O’Brien. It is her life. She sees beauty and the importance of good design in everything that she does. She knows that luxurious, elegant living is directly correlated with good design, and she is happy that it is her job to design homes in order for people to live effortlessly. Being able to help people design their best lives is the thing that she most enjoys.

Says Julie, “It’s a chance to bring what they love into focus and reflect it in their surroundings. Their happiness in feeling that and finding comfort and substance to their environment is the best reward.”

From the portfolio of Julie O’Brien Design Group.

Comfort in your environment is now more important than ever, and Julie feels honored to provide her expertise in this way. Though comfort and smart home design are of prime importance these days, Julie is also looking forward to the rest of 2020, as she launches a new program called Prix Fixe Design. It is a concept for smaller spaces – like condos, apartments, getaway cottages, even Airbnbs. The service has a predetermined set price that includes design services, consultations and visits, colorwork, furnishings and shipping in eight different design package selections (such as Coastal, Mid-Century Modern, Transitional, International, etc.).

“It streamlines the design process for the client, keeping the cost predictable without sacrificing real design and quality,” said Julie.

Each package has its own mood board, furniture selection and set price available upfront, so the client has a clear picture of the design from the outset. Clients can also add on to the package, including pillows, lighting and accessories, as requested.

As Julie continues to innovate in her business, she enjoys being a part of the community at the IDC. “The IDC has become the epicenter for design in Indiana. It is where we as design professionals can congregate, learn and be inspired by each other,” she says.

She also sees the value for clients who come to the building, noting that not only can she use the resources provided by the other showrooms in the building, but that clients can also be inspired and supported by these fellow design businesses. The IDC has always been open to the public, which helps to inspire anyone with a dream to make their spaces more luxurious and effortless, which is Julie’s philosophy.

From the portfolio of Julie O’Brien Design Group.

Julie O’Brien Design Group
Indiana Design Center
200 South Rangeline Road, Suite 228
Carmel, IN 46032

Julie O’Brien, Principal Designer, Allied Member, ASID
317.706.0772 P
317.706.0771 F
[email protected]

Tips to Hang Artwork + Gallery Walls

Are you ready to deck your walls with some artwork or framed photography? A little downtime at home is a great opportunity to hang or re-arrange artwork which is a small change with big impact. Designer and Coats Wright Art & Design gallery co-owner Dianne Wright shares several great tips to help you in the process.

  1. Gather all framed pieces that you have and stack against a wall.
  2. Categorize your artwork by subject (nature, abstract, photography).
  3. Categorize the artwork by color.
  4. Hang your favorite pieces in the most impactful wall locations.
  5. For a Gallery Wall, start with the largest piece and build around it.
  6. Use painters tape or cut-outs sized to your pieces to map out on the wall before you hang.
  7. And, the unbiased and professional eye of a designer is always a great idea!

Coats Wright Art & Design is located in suite 122 of the Indiana Design Center. Contact Dianne Wright to learn more [email protected]

Dianne Wright

Dianne Wright, designer and gallery co-owner.

SPOTLIGHT: Valuing Design + Pushing for More with Jimmy Dulin

As the 10-year anniversary of the Indiana Design Center approaches, we wanted to speak with our resident showroom owners and leaders – the tastemakers and forward-thinking innovators in our local design landscape. Jimmy Dulin, broker/owner of RE/MAX Ability Plus, shares what he values in being a part of the design community and how he leads his team.

Jimmy Dulin, RE/MAX Ability Plus Owner

Jimmy has been in real estate for almost 30 years, and is the largest franchise owner in Indiana for RE/MAX, with 4 offices in addition to other real estate-affiliated ventures. Suffice it to say, he knows his stuff. A design center may not seem like the obvious choice for a real estate office, but for Jimmy and for the IDC, it has been a valuable alliance. For seven years RE/MAX Ability Plus has made a home at the Indiana Design Center and is a unique and integral partner.

“I’m very appreciative of design,” says Jimmy. “Being in an environment that stimulates my design senses helps as I run my organization and design our path to success. I appreciate that the showroom windows provide visual stimulation which can lead to creativity in all aspects. Good design inspires people to push for more, and the IDC is the center of that in Indiana.”

Ability Plus agents and partners enjoy collaborative working space. The office also serves as an entertainment venue for agents and clients.

Running a successful business requires a team who is always pushing for more, and that team requires a leader who knows how to motivate. As Jimmy has built his business over the decades, he has learned how to lead a team. Real estate can often feel like an individual pursuit, but he has refined his method to bring a feeling of success to the entire organization. To most effectively lead a team, Jimmy says, “Set a direction, put that direction in writing through Mission, Vision and Values, and then find people who support that direction. When you find this team, let them work independently in the direction you set and encourage them to try without fear of failure.”In recent years his business has diversified, leading to complementary ventures like Ability Plus Title and Caring Transitions, but he always comes back to why he loves real estate, and that is the story. Working with people in many different aspects always goes back to their story.

“Sometimes it is the first-time buyer who has worked and saved forever, sometimes it is the estate client who has stories of how they created the resources to buy the estate and everything in between. This industry provides countless stories, aspirations and opportunities and it has space for anyone willing to work hard!”

SPOTLIGHT: Custom Made Community with Eric Reynolds

As the 10-year anniversary of the Indiana Design Center approaches, we wanted to speak with our resident showroom owners and leaders – the tastemakers and forward-thinking innovators in our local design landscape. Eric Reynolds, owner of Outré Furniture, shares his take on working in a family-owned business, and how he values working with small, locally-owned businesses in the IDC community.

Eric Reynolds is a third-generation member of a furniture-making family. His father and grandfather have run a manufacturing business since the early seventies, primarily making furniture for RVs and mobile homes. All of the furniture they make is fabricated in their factory in northern Indiana. When Eric graduated from Butler University he decided to join the family business but went his own direction, opening Outré, a custom furniture builder and designer for both residential and commercial design. One of the IDC’s original tenants, Eric knows that relationships – family and otherwise – are a key component to a successful small business.

Eric Reynolds (right) and his dad, Clif Reynolds, in their family-owned factory in northern Indiana.

Family businesses lend a personal touch, and that is something that Eric and his family don’t take lightly.

He says, “I feel like all of the pieces that we design and manufacture for our clients allow us to become part of their stories and traditions. I take the furniture design and build process very personally and our team works very hard to get it right, the first time. To me it is not just furniture and upholstery, but a part of my family’s legacy that I get to share with others.”

It is also important to Eric that his family business continues to make a product that that is made, not only in the USA, but in Indiana. For him, it is especially gratifying to see a design project go from concept to finished product using businesses that are all locally-based. That is a major benefit to being at the IDC, says Eric.

Commercial installation pictured is one of many custom furniture collaborations between Outré and IDC neighbor, Mitsch Design.

“What I think really sets the IDC apart from other design centers is our concentration of locally-owned businesses and tradespeople. Most of the spaces in the IDC are leased by businesses that work, design, build and install in Indiana. We don’t have a lot of national showrooms here at the IDC, which I think is unique.”

That familiarity and community-minded philosophy is obvious when you come to the Outré showroom. Eric is the owner and he’s the one that you work with directly. “If someone comes to the IDC they are going to likely meet with the owner of the showroom and work with people who live and work in their community. Watching a job come together that so many of the people in the IDC have worked hard to create is really special, and it’s fun to share that experience.”

Outré outdoor furniture, custom designed for maximum style and durability.

Looking forward to 2020, Eric and his team plan to utilize more of their pieces in outdoor applications. “I really love working with outdoor spaces and concepts and introducing our furniture into the design. We worked really hard to develop an outdoor line with all of the right components to withstand the elements, and I believe that we achieved that without compromising the style of our pieces.”

When Eric isn’t teaming up to make furniture creations come to life, you can find him spending time with family and enjoying travel, golfing and cheering on the Butler Bulldogs.

Eric with his wife Emily and two children Hayden and Emerson.

SPOTLIGHT: A Collaborative Design Approach with Randy Sorrell

As the 10-year anniversary of the Indiana Design Center approaches, we wanted to speak with our resident showroom owners and leaders – the tastemakers and forward-thinking innovators in our local design landscape. Randy Sorrell, owner of Surroundings by Natureworks+, shares his take on working in the design industry for over 26 years, and how the IDC community has made a difference in his business.

A Calling for Collaboration + Design

You may know Randy Sorrell. You may have seen him around Carmel, at various community events with his wife, Kim. You may be in the Rotary Club or OneZone with him, or you may have met him while supporting an Actors Theatre of Indiana event. You may even read his design column in the Current in Carmel. He is an essential part of the communities he inhabits – not only in Carmel, but in the Indiana Design Center as well.

Randy has enjoyed a stimulating and creative entrepreneurial career as a design professional for 26 years. His love of helping homeowners update their spaces speaks to his unique ability of creating community and improving lives. Says Randy, “Being a design professional is incredibly uplifting and quite fulfilling. Working directly with homeowners is very rewarding and after many years, I’m still thrilled to call this my livelihood.”

About 3 years ago, Surroundings by Natureworks+ moved into the IDC. He shares, “The positive energy and collaboration here is exhilarating. It’s an honor to have our studio in the IDC rubbing elbows, and brains, with some of the nation’s brightest talent. We often brainstorm over project solutions and materials. We share projects and marketing ideas. We have fun together. On a bad day…I still get to go to work in the IDC.”

Randy conducting Surroundings by Natureworks+ Ribbon Cutting in November 2016 at IDC.

As a designer and entrepreneur, it is fundamental to know what the current trends are and what might be the next sought-after thing – be it materials, styles or techniques. In general, Randy sees technology playing a bigger role in both interiors and exteriors. He has observed that color is still popular in interior applications like appliances and tile, coupled with innovative storage solutions and hidden LED lighting. In exteriors, advanced deck and patio materials are popular, as well as elevated grill stations and privacy and shade solutions that improve and extend outdoor living, even into the cooler months. Being able to create a livable, lovely home for clients is the ultimate goal for most designers.

Surroundings by Natureworks

An outdoor grill station, pergola and patio area created by Randy and his team.

Randy leading one of several outdoor living and kitchen and bath seminars within the IDC workshop series.

He says, “Perhaps the most compelling trend is that we are beginning to appreciate how well-planned, beautiful spaces can positively impact how we live and communicate.”

Designer and IDC tenant, Adam Gibson, enlisted the diverse skills of Surroundings for this comprehensive and modern kitchen renovation. Adam’s sophisticated design called for demolition, rescuing / repurposing the 1930’s glass tile backsplash and precise installation of Ferguson supplied cabinetry and Santarossa quartz counters.

Randy and his wife Kim have 2 grown daughters and one grandchild. They love travel, bucket list concerts and creative pursuits, such as painting and jewelry making. To learn more about Randy and Surrounding by Natureworks+, email [email protected].

Randy with his wife Kim, daughters Sydney and Shelby, and son-in-law Jacob.

Holiday Shopping Guide + Tips to Be Ready

With the holidays upon us, we perused the IDC showrooms to provide a quick preview of the IDC holiday gift guide and ways to have your home ready for guests and holiday entertaining. It’s never too early to get started on your wish list and shopping for others.

Check out the stylish ideas below from within the Indiana Design Center showrooms and join us for special shopping events on Small Business Saturday and Holiday in the District.

Shaken or stirred? Dress your bar cart or gift your friends with fun glassware and accessories from Holder Mattress.

Treat your guests with the gift of good sleep. A top-quality, handmade mattress from Holder Mattress paired with a well-dressed bed from Rusted Window’s bedding collection will upgrade your guest retreat.

Master jewelry designer Marc Aronstam of Aronstam Fine Jewelers curates elegant jewelry and gifts and can help you dream up the ultimate custom piece.

Don’t forget the finishing touches on your home decor. Order custom draperies from Drapery Street by November 15 to have them installed by Christmas. Interior design by Everything Home.

Candles are a great go-to gift. Rusted Window has a variety in stock for everyone from your hostess to teachers.

The Frasier Fir candle from Rusted Window is a holiday favorite with its notes of fresh holiday greenery. There are also scented lotions and hand soaps.

PAIR’d Furnishings is featuring the work of 6 local artists and Coats Wright Art & Design has an eclectic mix of artists from across the world. Art can be a very special gift to last a lifetime.

Looking for more ways to be ready for the holiday season? Check out this blog post with tips from The Baer Minimalist and Drapery Street on how to have a chic and organized holiday season.

SPOTLIGHT: Art & Design with Dianne Wright

As the 10-year anniversary of the Indiana Design Center approaches, we wanted to speak with our resident showroom owners and leaders – the tastemakers and forward-thinking innovators in our local design landscape. Enjoy learning from Dianne Wright about her design philosophy and talent for combining both art and design.

Walking into Coats Wright Art & Design at the Indiana Design Center is an inviting experience.

Dianne Wright

Dianne Wright

Before even crossing the threshold, you can see the huge colorful canvases hung tastefully in the space through the clean glass storefront. Works by Hunt Slonem figure prominently (he was here for an art show and the IDC Luxe event earlier in the year), and his vibrant birds and bunnies are the thing that pulls you in. But as you enter you begin to see that the gallery is not just art, it is an experience. The simple, subdued French antiques and tasteful furnishings are lovely and the soothing music is playing at the just the right volume. Fresh and simple flower arrangements stand tall and bring in a green, leafy natural element. The juxtaposition between the old and the new and the sleek and the organic is charming, inviting you to peruse the artwork or just have a conversation with the designer and gallery director, Dianne Wright.

The Coats Wright gallery and Wright’s design business has been based at the IDC since 2011, a majority of the decade the Design Center has been open. Wright opened the gallery with her business partner and friend of nearly 30 years, Jane Coats Eckert, who also owns a gallery in Kent, CT called Eckert Fine Art. Wright is a valuable part of the life and culture at the IDC. Not only does artwork from the gallery hang all over the building, she also is a vital participant in hosting design seminars, offering her interior design expertise in conjunction with her art curator’s eye. She started in the art world, working with artists and dealers, and hosting shows in her home. Inviting people into her space, the retreat that she designed and created, organically evolved into the design work that now makes up most of her business.

Patrons enjoy the Coats Wright Gallery opening event featuring the work of Hunt Slonem.

Jane Coats Eckert, Hunt Slonem and Dianne Wright gather for a picture after moderating an artist chat with Slonem for LUXE 2019.

Being at the IDC is important to Dianne – the nearness to resources based in the building has been an asset.

“Time is money, and design work becomes much easier when I can run upstairs to look at fabric or go down the hall to bounce an idea off another designer, or even to get lunch. Being at the IDC has made a world of difference to my business,” says Wright.

She has learned that running a design business means that she needs to be available at unconventional times, but working with people that trust her skill and aesthetic makes it easy to form great working relationships with her clients. Making service a priority is easier when client and designer work well together. Wright would recommend that taking time out for yourself is important, however. “You need to make time to recharge, to find personal inspiration, which in turn, reinvigorates your work,” says Wright. When Dianne takes time out to reinvigorate, she is often with the people that matter most: her family. Dianne and her husband Tim have three daughters and 10 grandchildren, and they all have sustained an appreciation of the arts and an eye for beauty since before they can remember.

Being in the same space with so many other designers has also helped Wright in ways she never thought possible.

“Having other creative minds so close and available has helped me grow so much as a designer. It is invaluable to have so many points of view in such close proximity. It is a huge benefit of being at the IDC,” says Wright.

Dianne Wright and kitchen designer Rob Klein, whose firm is also at the IDC, collaborate on a client project.

Wright believes that in creating a personal haven, where you can recharge and feel at peace, can be done simply by considering a few things.

  1. Start with art: She believes in starting with artwork, or something beloved, and building around that valuable piece, be it an incredible painting, piece of sculpture or even rustic pottery. Color and texture can go a long way in dictating the feel of your space.
  2. How does the room make you feel?: Thinking about this is something that also helps guide the decision-making process. Textures, sounds, smells, light – considering all of the senses is essential to creating a relaxing and peaceful home.
  3. Live with what you love: Artwork, family heirlooms, décor that speaks to your true style – are all things that will make you happy when used and displayed in your home, not following trends dictated by someone else.

Contemplate these things when creating a space, but then keep the background quiet and neutral and layer in texture and color with furniture, textiles, lighting and natural elements. To learn more, visit the gallery in suite 122 of the Indiana Design Center or contact Dianne Wright at [email protected].

French antiques from Beauchamp Antiques playfully paired with original artwork by Hunt Slonem.

Outdoor Living: Beyond the Back Door

The showrooms and professionals at the Indiana Design Center are abuzz with outdoor living projects as residents enjoy entertaining, relaxing and everything in between in their outdoor spaces. Professionals like Randy Sorrell, owner of Surroundings by Natureworks+, make it their business to be in the know on the latest outdoor living products, design movements and techniques to create incredible outdoor living spaces.

“We’ve listened closely to our clients over the years and have learned that most have similar goals for their outdoor living spaces, which are shade, privacy, style and low-maintenance living,” says Sorrell.

While the execution of each project is different, Sorrell taps into his network within the IDC showrooms to bring each design vision to life.

Trex Transcend deck in spiced rum and vintage lantern decking with gazebo and Trex outdoor lighting.


Advancements in the textiles industry have propelled the design capabilities of outdoor furniture and fabrics. Outdoor fabrics must be resistant to sun fading, water damage and mildew growth, as well as durable and easy to clean. Fashion houses like Trina Turk have created outdoor fabric collections with luxury textile companies like Schumacher to bring high-design to the outdoors. “Fashion wasn’t always a top priority in design selections, because options were limited, but it’s now at the forefront of our clients’ minds. We can also offer furniture options that are as comfortable and stylish as indoor options like the line manufactured by Outré located here at the IDC,” says Sorrell. The Drapery Street and The Trade Resource showrooms at the IDC always have the latest outdoor textile offerings.

Brown Jordan fire pit available through Godby Hearth & Home at the IDC.


Home automation extends outside the home as Sorrell’s clients seek to seamlessly control outdoor living features like sound systems, weather-resistant TVs, screen shades and gas fireplaces. Each component is part of the ambiance and can be controlled remotely. The Premier Group showroom features how integrated technology can ease your ability to change a living space from tranquil to entertainment-mode with the tap of a button on a smart device.

“We also recommend combining the earth’s elements in the design of a space by including a water or fire feature. Our friends at Godby Hearth & Home help us to determine the right offering for each client’s set-up,” says Sorrell.

Outdoor dining and lounge space designed by Everything Home with the use of a motorized sun and bug shade system from Drapery Street at the IDC.


Sorrell wants to ensure that his clients spend more time enjoying their outdoor living spaces than tending to them. Material selections, landscaping choices and design features help to achieve a low-maintenance space. Caryn O’Sullivan, owner of Drapery Street, promotes outdoor sun shades and bug screens that are highly functional design options and says, “The benefits of bug screens are great, as they prevent the build-up of dust and pollen on furniture, block pesky bugs and shield against rain and wind.”

Companies like Trex offer composite decking which is very easy to care for and does not require the upkeep of a timber deck like seasonal staining, painting and sealing. A composite deck will also never rot, warp or splinter.

“While the investment of a line like Trex is greater than that of using raw materials, I’ve never had a client regret going that route. The color options are stunning and keep their depth,” says Sorrell.


To create shade and privacy outdoors, Sorrell recommends using a combination of solutions that work together. “We always employ a multi-prong approach to this goal and it’s often a mix of cantilever umbrellas with structural features like a pergola with climbing greenery and, of course, trees and shrubbery at appropriate heights and widths,” says Sorrell.

Through Sorrell’s expertise, it is clear that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a stylish and functional outdoor living space. With ever-changing technology and product offerings, there is great potential for spaces of all sizes when paired with the right design vision and completion plan. The professionals at Surroundings by Natureworks+ recommend approaching this type of project with a “master plan” that can be achieved in one season or over the course of a few years.


To learn more, contact Randy Sorrell to set up an appointment to discuss your outdoor living space: 317-575-0482 | [email protected] |

Custom Furniture from Sketch to Completion

Murrin Woodworking Studio is an artisan woodworking studio located on the south side of Indianapolis, specializing in creating unique pieces of furniture, architectural installations and built-in cabinetry. Not all furniture can be bought or ordered from a store – some pieces require a truly dedicated artist to visualize and fabricate a custom piece.

In this blog post, Pat Murrin, owner of Murrin Woodworking, shows the process of creating a custom piece of furniture to show what goes into it, from sketch to completion. This piece was an 8’ diameter round table commissioned for the Indiana Pacers Player’s Lounge in the new practice facility that took nearly 300 hours to complete. You can see more furniture pieces custom made by Murrin Woodworking Studio at their portfolio page here.

Conceptual sketch of table.

Marquetry pieces illustrating the Pacers’ logo to go into the top of the table.

Finished product, ready to be delivered to the Pacers Player’s Lounge.

You can view the entire custom process through the step-by-step gallery below.




The Luxury of Good Sleep with a Holder Mattress


Lauren Taylor

Sleep is important. We need it to rest, to recharge and heal ourselves each night. Quality sleep has become a luxury of sorts, made much easier if the bed you are sleeping in is the right one for you. The Holder Mattress Company, located in suite 119 at the Indiana Design Center, has made it their business to make the best, most comfortable bed for their customers for over 70 years. Pride in construction, attention to detail and excellent customer service are the key factors that make Holder Mattress the place to get the finest mattress set, customized to your specifications.


Skilled Craftsmanship & Quality Materials

All Holder mattresses are made by hand by skilled craftsmen in its Kokomo, Indiana factory. A rarity in the industry, all of the raw materials (foam, thread, springs, etc.) used to make a Holder mattress are made in the USA. Because of this careful sourcing, Holder can control the materials and quality of its mattresses, ensuring the safest and healthiest product.

“Natural materials like wool have benefits of being temperature-neutral while upholding industry standards of flame retardancy which are all too often met by using harsh chemicals,” says third-generation president and owner of Holder Mattress, Lauren Taylor.

holder mattress

Careful attention to detail, fine craftsmanship and responsible sourcing of products ensure a quality mattress.

Tailored to You

Each customer that comes in to Holder Mattress works closely with a sales associate to determine what they are looking for and what fits best with their lifestyle. This practical information is the most important part of selecting the right mattress. Key considerations include: Will this bed be in a master bedroom or a guest bedroom? Does the person most often sleeping in this bed have any allergies or medical conditions? How long do you plan to have this mattress? Once the customer’s needs have been determined, the two-sided mattress is made to order, tailored to their way of life, and built to last.

Custom mattress shown with headboard, nightstand and accessories, tailored to your specifications, all available at Holder Mattress Co.


Tips for Restful Sleep

Beyond the perfect bed, there’s much you can do to achieve good sleep through your daily habits and sleep environment.

“Establish a bedtime routine that you look forward to and that promotes healthy sleep. Your pre-sleep mindset and what you eat or drink before bed can really affect your rest,” says Taylor.

Also, minimizing exposure to light with room darkening shades and avoiding exposure to blue light often emitted by cell phones or cable units (blue light signals “daytime” to your brain) is helpful.

Layered pillows in a variety of fabrics add luxurious comfort.


Consistent, restful sleep is an indulgence that is easy to have if you look in the right place. “I want every customer to be a customer for life,” says Taylor.

The New Way to Work

Mitsch Design, located in suite 226 of the IDC, has been in the business of revolutionizing office spaces for 29 years. Their showroom features everything from ergonomic seating options to fun, colorful occasional pieces. Their fully integrated design and furniture procurement process results in creating inspiring spaces you want to work in.

As open concept offices gain popularity, creating effective meeting spaces presents a challenge. Furniture based modular meeting spaces are versatile, portable, and a fraction of the cost of building a conference room. These modern pieces can create a semi-private meeting space anywhere without building a wall. What’s more, it’s an investment you can take with you.

Co-Op Stations are semi-private meeting enclaves that can be positioned anywhere and do not require elaborate construction. These canopy-style structures create a custom, built-in feel with minimal effort and footprint.

Visors create opportunities for seclusion in open areas, which means that a meeting can take place virtually anywhere.

These pieces are available in many different upholstery colorways, giving businesses the opportunity to align their furniture to their specific style and brand.

Challenges in your office space? Mitsch can help. Contact Alex Cain: [email protected].

Santarossa welcomes Eric Santarossa as showroom manager

Erica Santarossa, showroom manager

Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. is pleased to introduce Eric Santarossa as the new showroom manager for its Indiana Design Center location. Eric is a 4th generation leader in the company and a great-grandson of Domenic M. Santarossa who founded Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. in 1924. Prior to the showroom manager role, his experience over the last 14 years includes installation, estimating and project management. A Carmel-native and Indiana University graduate, he brings with him an abundance of industry knowledge–a real estate license, steeped family heritage and the well-honed 94-year-old family art of applying a personal touch to every residential and commercial project.

“I’m grateful to work in an industry that I love and carry on a family tradition with those I admire most,” says Santarossa.

Standing inside of the showroom, one finds a wonderment of impossible beauty. Marble, onyx, tile, terrazzo, ceramics, decorative tile, limestone and slate are just a few of the items which dazzle the eye. Showroom associates are available on site to help and introduce you to an offering of 4,000 slabs of natural material, thousands of tile selections and a plethora of design ideas. The company takes its clients through the product selection process all the way through to quality installation.

The Santarossa showroom is open Monday through Saturday at the Indiana Design Center in suite 117 on the first floor.

Santarossa Mosaic & Tile showroom in suite 117 of the Indiana Design Center.

Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.

Custom natural stone sinks in the Santarossa showroom.

Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.

Custom limestone tub in the Santarossa showroom.

3 Benefits to Automating Your Motorized Shades

The IDC welcomes Jamie Sangar, director of business development for The Premier Group, to the blog for a guest post about automating motorized shades.

Jamie Sangar, The Premier Group

Motorized shades are often thought of as a luxury item. However, when compared to traditional window treatments, there are quite a number of compelling reasons why you should consider them for your home. They are offered in endless colors, patterns, and fabrics for both decorative and blackout shades. They can also be installed in a number of different ways depending on the end look that you are trying to achieve. Motorized shades can be hardwired for new construction, or retrofitted wirelessly into your existing home.

The icing on the cake is that they can be automated to match your lifestyle and the time of day, whether you’re home or away.

Beyond style and convenience, here are three key benefits to installing motorized shades.

1. Security

We all want our homes to be a place of feeling safe and secure. Motorized shades provide an element of privacy, whether it’s for a bedroom, bathroom, or common area. Automating your shades to operate around your morning and evening routines adds ease and comfort to your everyday lifestyle. Using an astronomical clock, shades can be programmed to raise at sunrise and to lower after dusk—or be programmed to your specific lifestyle and routine. Lowering all the shades from a single button press when leaving the house for an evening out, or for an extended family vacation, helps protect your privacy.

2. Sun Damage

Your home is your most valuable investment, so protecting the finishes should be of utmost importance. Over time, sun exposure is known to discolor hardwood flooring, fade fabrics, and even distress furniture, however, automated shades can help protect your investment. You can either manually choose the time to press a button and lower the shades, or create a standard automated scene to lower the shades during the daytime while you’re at work. An ambient light sensor can trigger to raise or lower shades automatically depending on the time of day and the amount of light in the room. Motorized shades keep your finishes looking pristine and in their original condition, while automating them keeps you from having to remember on your own.

3. Sun Glare

We use an astronomical clock for programming scenes to happen at specific times in the day, meaning your smart home knows the sun’s location based on your geographic coordinates. If sun glare on your television is an issue at a specific time of the day, your automated shades can lower and raise accordingly to reduce glare. In addition, reducing glare helps keep the sun from heating up the house on a bright or warm day, while shades can also provide an additional layer of insulation from the cold emanating from the windows on a chilly night.

For additional information on technology integration for your home, visit for ideas and inspiration. You may also set up a private consultation in our showroom at the Indiana Design Center to experience some of these brilliant scenes for yourself.

Motorized shades provide privacy in a bathroom when desired. Project team: Gary Nance Design, Brandy Ketterer Design Co., Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. and The Premier Group.

Fully raised shades allow for natural light and full enjoyment of a window’s view. Project team: Gary Nance Design, Brandy Ketterer Design Co., Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. and The Premier Group.

Spring Renewal Ideas for Your Home

With the winter doldrums behind us, spring is the perfect time to brighten and breathe new life into your home. Whether you want to make a design statement or renew an underutilized space, showrooms and designers at the Indiana Design Center (IDC) can help you to refresh your home with style and design functionality.

Outdoor Oasis

Creating an outdoor living space to enjoy in the spring, summer and fall months can be a wonderful investment and spending time outdoors is a great way to unwind from the day. As technologies have developed, the amenities that we enjoy inside our home can be extended to your “outdoor room”. For the perfect lounge area, Indiana furniture manufacturer, Outré, developed an outdoor furniture line as comfortable and stylish as indoor furniture.

If you love to entertain, outdoor kitchens outfitted with grills, sinks, stovetops, warming drawers, prep space, cabinetry and refrigeration allow you to gather with guests while cooking your entire meal outdoors.

High-tech grills allow the grill master to perform multiple cooking tasks at once. Hestan grill from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting, suite 101.

Outdoor furniture designed and manufactured by Outre, suite 215, has the look and comfort of indoor seating.

 Let it Shine

Replacing a light fixture in a room is one of the most simple and effective ways to dramatically set a new tone for a space. Design trends are showing a mix of traditional and modern design elements and a modern light fixture over a dining room table or a series of pendant lights above an island can transform the feel of a room. The Ferguson showroom features hundreds of lighting options on the showroom floor. From clean lines to a dramatic scale, or matte black to rose gold finishes, the design possibilities are endless.

Endless lighting options and styles from the Ferguson showroom.

Finishing Touches

If you’re craving an update but not ready for an overhaul, consider switching out your accessories and trying bold patterns on less permanent items like throw pillows. The Drapery Street showroom reports that vibrant tropical prints are trending and there’s no better time to embrace them than spring and summer.

Give your space a tropical vibe with fabric and trimming designs from Drapery Street, suite 109.

Ready to spring into design action? Visit the Indiana Design Center Monday through Saturday, or call the concierge at 317-569-5975 to set up your personal tour. The IDC is open to the public and located at 200 S. Rangeline Road in Carmel.

This article was originally written by the IDC for Active Life Magazine.

DOC Wrap-Up: Simplify Your Life with a Smarter Home

Jason Barth, president and CEO of The Premier Group, kicked off the IDC Fall DOC Workshop Series with an informative presentation on how to improve your quality of life with a smarter home. Smart Home Technology streamlines and simplifies all the technology in your home, offering the ultimate lifestyle of comfort and convenience. With platforms like Control4, the simple act of touching a screen leads to turning on lights, playing music, arming security systems, securing locks, operating blinds, enabling cameras and more.

Control4 simple touch screen panel.

Amazon’s Alexa is one of the powering technologies behind the accessibility of home automation. The easily obtainable and affordable Dot and Echo devices can sync and control household actions like never before. Even if you’re not a tech guru, this easy-to-use technology is reliable and can make day-to-day life more enjoyable.

Jason Barth, owner and CEO of The Premier Group, demonstrates the Alexa home automation system.

GAFA, an acronym for “Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple”, is commonly referred to by newspapers, blogs, and TV personalities. The GAFA tech giants are among the most powerful companies in the world and dominate almost every facet of our lives. Amazon’s already-established, cloud-based software and voice recognition technology allows us to fully integrate our home automation account and connect to our Amazon account using the Alexa device. Despite Alexa’s popularity and mass appeal, the platform is not perfect…yet.

Pro Tip: Barth shared that the Alexa platform is password protected and more secure than using an unprotected wifi-based automation like Nest or Ring.

Improving Alexa’s ability to interpret voice commands is the key to making it work flawlessly. For example, a voice command must be said verbatim of how it was originally entered into the Alexa tool (i.e., if the scripted voice command is “Alexa, dim lights to 50%”, then “Alexa, lights down 50%” will not trigger the action). Recent advances will allow for artificial intelligence to play a role so that key words can be assimilated for the desired result without having to recite the exact scripted command.

When using home presets, Barth recommends creating “scenes” like morning, evening, bedtime, and entertaining. A morning scene would consist of: opening the blinds, turning on the lights, turning off the security system and unlocking the doors. The entertaining scene might look like: dimming kitchen and family room lights, turning on music and turning off the TV. 

If you are looking to up the intelligence of your home, contact The Premier Group located in the Indiana Design Center, Suite 118.





Premier Home Electronics
200 South Rangeline Road, Suite 118
Carmel, IN 46032
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 10 am – 6 pm  |  Sat. 10 am – 4 pm

317.580.1032 P
317.580.1033 F
[email protected]


“Mod Abode” Style Blogger Jamie Sangar Explores the Ferguson Showroom

Modern style maven, Jamie Sangar, is the creator of Mod Abode, an online design haven curated by Jamie’s discerning eye for design. In this blog series, Jamie visits the IDC showrooms to photograph and tell us what inspires her and why.

“Daydream Meets Reality at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery”

Jamie Sangar

Some women get lost in a daydream in their favorite shoe store. I, on the other hand, felt like I was walking in the clouds when I stepped into the two-story Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery showroom at the Indiana Design Center. It’s filled with the prettiest and shiniest bath and kitchen hardware, the coolest and funkiest pendant lighting, and top-of-the-line kitchen appliances. I’m honored that the Indiana Design Center has invited me to frequent their building and photograph anything that catches my eye. What I quickly realized, was that I’m going to need a lot more time there. Everywhere I turned, I found myself picking up my jaw. I am already looking forward to my next visit! Take a look at a handful of my favorite products at the Ferguson showroom.

1. Appliances

As you can imagine, this was the first thing that caught my eye. The glossy red lacquer refrigerator freezer by Thermador was a definite show-stopper.

Red lacquer Thermador refrigerator

Red lacquer Thermador refrigerator at Ferugson, suite 101 at IDC.

Thermador refrigerator

Modern profile of the Thermador refrigerator at Ferugson, suite 101 at IDC.

I also love this display of Wolf ovens.

Wolf ovens and appliances

Wolf oven and appliance display at Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

Wolf appliances at Ferguson

Wolf appliances at Ferguson, suite 101 at the IDC.

Not only are their products top-notch, but they offer a sleek and minimal design, and their customer service is unbeatable. Can you believe this Wolf built-in coffee system?  

Wolf built-in espresso machine

Wolf built-in esperesso machine at Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

It can brew two roasts at a time, it can handle whole bean or ground coffee, you can control the strength from extra-mild to extra-strong, and its durable and intuitive design makes for manageable cleaning.

2. Lighting

“Less is more” is almost always my motto when it comes to design. Especially when referring to lighting. I love a big, bold statement pendant, and here are just a few that I happen to love.

Black and gold pendant lighting

Black and gold pendant lighting from Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

3-D geometric pattern pendant lighting from Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

3-D geometric pattern pendant lighting from Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

Modern statement lighting from Ferguson

Modern statement lighting from Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

modern lighting from Ferguson

Bold and modern lighting from Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

3. Faucets & Showerheads

I have a strong appreciation for clean lines when it comes to bath and kitchen fixtures. A few of the brands that I gravitate towards are Delta, Brizo and Dornbracht because, well, just look at their beautiful products below!

Delta faucets at Ferguson

Delta faucets at Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

Brizo "gilded" showerhead at Ferguson

Brizo “gilded” showerhead at Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

Modern faucets at Ferguson

Modern faucets at Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

Dornbracht kitchen faucets at Ferguson

Dornbracht kitchen faucets at Ferguson, suite 101 at IDC.

If you have not visited the Ferguson showroom recently, I highly recommend you plan a little field trip. Your eyes will appreciate it, and you’ll leave inspired. This place is oozing with style!

About Mod Abode by Jamie Sangar:

Mod Abode
was started out of a passion for three things; photography, architecture and design. A photographer by trade, I figured, what the heck–why 
not combine all of my passions into one. Thus, Mod Abode was born! For as long as I can remember, I have loved design. I’ve always been particularly drawn to modern design. It has always been a favorite pastime to pick up the latest issue of Dwell Magazine and gawk over the stunning modern architecture and clean, minimalist interiors. And every store catalog I receive in the mail containing simple yet bold interior accessories, has a rather long shelf life in my home, because I love to study the featured rooms photographed so beautifully inside the issue. Since starting my photography business in 2006, I’ve had many opportunities to photograph our travels, our home, and lots and lots of happy moments in peoples’ lives. After being a general contractor on the build of our own modern home here in Indianapolis, Indiana, I gained an even stronger appreciation of modern craftsmanship and functional homes built with form in mind. So here you have it, Mod Abode is a broad range of things that interest me, related to modern homes, for modern enthusiasts. 

WORKSHOP RECAP: 5 Countertop Options to Know


Lonna Heshelman, Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.

Looking for the right natural stone countertop choice for your home remodeling or building project? With so many choices available, the best advice is to start with an introspective approach. Kicking off this year’s spring Designer On Call workshop series, ‘Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. showroom manager, Lonna Heshelman, offered valuable tips on choosing a natural stone product that fits with your lifestyle and your personality. Yes, your personality is a great indicator of how you will tolerate living with certain natural stone surfaces in terms of their look and performance on a daily basis. There are also many alternatives to natural stone that offer pros and cons for your consideration.

“Are you a perfectionist who enjoys uniformity with little room for error? If you answered ‘yes’, then you are a perfect candidate for granite, terrazzo and quartzite. And marble it probably not for you,” said Heshelman.


Currently the most popular natural stone in the industry, granite is one of the hardest and most durable stones. It is available in a wide range of colors and can be honed, polished or given a leather finish. As a bonus, this versatile stone has little maintenance associated with it. Granite sealers have great longevity and last 20 to 25 years.

Granite countertops

Granite countertops by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.


Terrazzo is a man-made material consisting of an aggregate and a base material to bind it together. Aggregates can range from marble chips, glass, recycled materials or mother-of-pearl. Once the aggregates are chosen, they are combined with an epoxy base. This results in an extremely durable, sustainable and completely customizable material. Terrazzo can be formed and used in flooring, countertops, sinks, showers, bathtubs and more.

terrazzo floor

Terrazzo is a completely customizable surface and among the most durable options, which is why you often see it in flooring and commercial applications.


Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock originating from sandstone. Newer to the market (within the past 4 years), quartzite is very dense and has a marble-like appearance. It is a high performer in kitchen applications because of its durability, heat, scratch and stain resistance. Quartzite has natural veining making it an ideal candidate for those who love the look of marble, but demand higher performance. {Of note: quartzite is not the same as quartz. Quartz is actually a synthetic material that combines stone chips, resins and pigments and quartzite is a natual stone.}

Quartzite countertop with waterfall edge by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.


A softer stone, marble is naturally prone to staining, etching and scratching. A great choice if you enjoy a patina. Marble has a classic appeal and can be honed (dull) or polished according to your preference.

“If you are not ‘Type A’, and can appreciate the look of a natural patina achieved over time, then you are a great match for marble or soapstone. These surfaces have defining characteristics for those who appreciate a timeless look”.

White marble countertop and backsplash by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.


Soapstone has a timeless look and tends to be darker in color, smooth and soft to the touch. Remember those chemistry lab tables in high school? That was soapstone and it has re-emerged as a beautiful option. Soapstone is acid-resistant and develops a natural patina over time. It can also be oiled for added protection – but it will scratch. Oiling the stone will darken the overall appearance. Soapstone blends nicely with other natural materials making it a great choice for those who want variety in their design.

Classic soapstone with white veining by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.

Tip: Mix Your Materials

Lonna also shared the very latest ‘on trend’ looks in the workshop. Designers are mixing and playing with multiple textures (honed with polished surfaces, for example). Also gaining popularity are bolder colors or pops of color. Green has emerged as the color of the moment and we’re seeing more color start to win out over the ever-popular grays and whites that have dominated design projects for the past few years.

Stones and surfaces can be mixed in a space to create a beautiful and unique look. This kitchen by Santarossa shows quartzite on the island and granite on the perimeter counter and wall.

To learn more, stop into the Santarossa showroom on the first floor of the Indiana Design Center (suite 117) Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm. To schedule an appointment, call 317-580-1924.