Kohler Bloggers Conference

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 At this time last week, I was in Kohler, Wisconsin for their Bloggers Conference. Kohler is a huge company employing over 30,000 people worldwide with a portfolio that also includes Baker furniture, Ann Sacks tile, and Kallista plumbing fixtures. Kohler frequently treats guests to a VIP experience on their property, but this was their first time hosting a group of bloggers and I was honored to be part of the small group they selected particularly because I often use Kohler products in my design projects and had always been impressed with the quality and level of customer service, so I was looking forward to learning more about the company.  During our two day conference, we were able to experience various facets of Kohler including their Design Center, proprietary American Club Resort which was designed in 1918 by the Olmsted Brothers who designed New York’s Central Park and includes a world-class golf course;  we indulged in spa treatments at the Kohler Waters Spa, enjoyed delicious multi-course meals including our farewell luncheon at the River Wildlife Lodge in a charming log cabin in the middle of the woods.

Aside from seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and experiencing the design, manufacturing, marketing, and hospitality arms of Kohler, my favorite part of the trip was getting to tour their incredible factory. Seeing craftsmen taking pride in making many of these products by hand gave me a new appreciation for the work that goes into making every faucet, toilet, and bath tub. Their cast-iron tubs are cast by hand, but the enamel is sprayed on by a robot. Seeing the fire-red, piping hot tubs going through the process was unbelievable! You could feel the heat emanating from them from yards away! Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a visual round-up of my time at Kohler.

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 The Kohler Design Center is a very impressive, three story building. The first floor features the history of Kohler with a museum-like gallery of plumbing fixtures from the last 100+ years. The second story includes displays of current product collections, and the third story features vignettes designed by top design talent using Kohler products. Kohler hosted our welcome reception here on the night that we arrived.

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 {Bunny Williams created a beautiful vignette featuring brass plumbing fixtures and her signature treillage.}

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 {Bunny Williams}

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{Jonathan Adler took a Modern-meets-Regency approach in his White and Olive Green Vignette}

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{I didn’t see the name of the designer for this vignette, but found it charming and quite fitting for the historic village of Kohler, Wisconsin}

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{This chic vignette is very reflective of the firm who designed it, McAlpine Tankersley}

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We were also given a tour of The Beacon, Kohler’s state-of-the-art communications building designed by Gensler. It boasts green technology and innovation throughout, an enviable design library, and a huge backlot reminiscent of a Hollywood set where they photograph and film all of their advertising and marketing materials.

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{A Chic Vignette at The Beacon}

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{Enjoying some Rest and Relaxation at the Kohler Waters Spa with Lisa Mende, Marisa Marcantonio of Stylebeat, and Nicole Cohen of Sketch 42}

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{Beautiful Fall Foliage}

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{The River Wildlife Cabin}

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{The Incredible Kohler Factory}

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And finally, Kohler recently debuted their new Tailored Vanity Collection and they very generously allowed me to design my own vanity which I had installed in my guest bathroom. I chose their Jacquard style and customized it to my liking to go with the new black and white Granada Tile we recently installed. The vanity is solid— made completely of wood and features multiple organization features through custom drawer configuration. The finishing touch was plumbing fixtures and hardware from Kohler’s timeless Pinstripe collection in Polished Nickel. We couldn’t be happier with the final result!

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Paloma Signature

{A huge thank you to Kohler for a wonderful experience at their conference as well as for our beautiful new vanity and fixtures. These items are sponsored, however all opinions are genuinely my own.}

9 thoughts on “Kohler Bloggers Conference

  1. Pingback: Design News / Kohler Bloggers Conference

  2. Just an FYI that Kohler is privately held, family company. Entire communities in South East Wisconsin consist of Kohler workers who are all profoundly thankful that the Kohler family has not gone public, does not have to answer to greedy hedge funders, shareholders, and the like, who would gut that company like a catfish. Kohler is one of the dwindling fabulous American companies that employ skilled American workers and provide them with better than a living wage and good benefits.

    • Amy, you are absolutely right! I was shocked and so pleasantly surprised to learn that they are still a privately held company. They do SO much for the community and have some amazing green and sanitation initiatives going on all over the world.

  3. So happy that you enjoyed this “somewhat secret” gem destination. Midwesterners have visited Kohler for their various special events for years…each one is so unique and the service/quality of the staff is unmatched. This resort shines in every season,even in the sub zero temps of winter…it is an incredibly romantic place for couples. I wish more people appreciated long standing integrity and quality over disposable trends. BTW- Who knew toilet displays could be so inspiring?

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