I just returned from the trip of a lifetime to Napa Valley, CA and I'm so excited to share a recap of the entire experience with you! Back in 2021 I was one of 15 recipients of the Designhounds 2021 Changemakers Award. The prize was this fabulously decadent one week trip to the Signature Kitchen Suite “Experience & Design Center” along with 32 of my design colleagues aka: Designhounds.
"Designhounds" is a powerful network of over 500 influencers in the areas of interior, kitchen and bath design. As subject matter experts, authoritative design professionals with actual, real-life design projects, we count on them to keep us ahead of the trends and help us to understand the true needs of the market.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN NAPA VALLEY & OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION
First things first, I have to share the beautiful 850 sq. ft Grand One-Bedroom Suite on the fourth floor that was my home-away-from home for a week! What an absolute treat. It was huge and had sweeping views of the vineyards. When I arrived I had wine and a little swag bag waiting for me in the room. What a welcome!
Let's get this party started! Night one started with a Meet & Greet mixer and dinner in the Meritage Resort Estate Cave. We may have overindulged just a tad but the energy was so high and we were so excited to be all together for this adventure!
DAY 2: SIGNATURE KITCHEN SUITE EXPERIENCE & DESIGN CENTER IMMERSION DAY
SKS opened a first-of-its-kind facility designed to bring to life the built-in luxury Signature Kitchen Suite in unique culinary, design and technology experiences for designers. They call it their “Experience & Design Center” and it features nearly 200 LG and SKS home appliances and serves as a brand epicenter exploring the intersection between technology and culinary innovation.
Product experts and Chef Nick provided a hands-on training that brings the Technicurean lifestyle to life, in partnership with local wineries and produce farms as suppliers, providing a world-class culinary counterpart to the award-winning cooking technology being demonstrated within various kitchen vignettes.
We definitely didn't starve during this trip! I loved that we got to have a hands-on experience with the appliances and got to experience the different cooking techniques.
Sequoia GroveWine Pairing
After a long day of product education and cooking, Oscar, from Sequoia Grove stopped in to educate us on how to taste and experience wine since we were going to be doing a whole lot of wine tasting this week!
DAY 3: SIGNATURE KITCHEN SUITE EXPERIENCE & DESIGN CENTER IMMERSION DAY (PART II)
Ready, Set, Refresh! The LG Laundry Experience
We were excited to head to the SKS Experience & Design Center to focus on the laundry lifestyle vignettes with LG SIGNATURE, LG STUDIO and LG Brand home appliances. We even got to test out the LG Styler by adding articles of our own to be steam cleaned. These are really the only luxury washer and dryers that I will specify for my clients.
Modenus Media CEO and Designhounds founder Veronika Miller-Eagleson gave us the most inspiring talk about being creatives and encouraged us to walk the path of an artist, which was a pre-curser of what she and the team had in store for us later that afternoon! She gifted each of us with a swag bag of sketch pencils, a sketch pad and a copy of the book, The Artist's Way.
Show Your Story by Jane Dagmi
Capture The Moment by Linda Holt
Delicious Chef's Lunch...
Sonoma Inspiration Adventure
In the afternoon, we headed on an Inspiration adventure to tour Cornerstone Gardens.
And then we stopped into Sonoma Antiques for some shopping and a private sketching experience. And once again, champagne and nibbles appeared out of nowhere!
Our final destination before dinner was to meet Florian Roeper at Studio Roeper for a behind the scenes look at how he crafts his luxury artisan tables. His designs are so luxury that they are found in Christian Dior stores globally! Florian and his parents were such gracious hosts and Florian inspired us with his passion for his craft!
Dinner in Napa Valley at Bottega...
We ended the day with dinner at Bottega! The food was exceptional and there may have been a little karaoke on the tour bus back to the hotel!
DAY 4: TRUE TO FOOD NAPA EXPERIENCE
By this day I'm seriously pinching myself. We started out the morning with a Vineyard Yoga Hike. It was so picturesque, I just kept saying, "is this real life?" to myself.
TOUR TO YOUNTVILLE:
hope & grace winery
We travelled to Yountville to visit hope & grace for a private wine blending class with their winemaker. It was so much fun experimenting and sampling our custom wine blends! And Bouchon graciously provided us with delicious nibbles!
Sensory Chocolate Tasting at Kollar Chocolates
Kollar Chocolates is an award-winning artisan chocolate shop in the heart of Yountville in the Napa Valley. We had the most amazing sensory tasting experience with the founder. Best day ever!
Wine Tasting at Bouchaine Vineyards
Bouchaine Vineyards for an Interior Designer, is absolute heaven! Originally planted in the 1880’s, it's the oldest continuously operating winery in the southern tip of Napa Valley called Carneros. The architecture of the main building is absolutely breathtaking and we took a ton of photos here! The wine was absolutely amazing too!
Final Dinner at Angèle
For our final dinner, we dined at Angèle, a restaurant located in downtown Napa. Angèle brings the warm hospitality of the French countryside to the Napa Valley. Located in the historic Hatt Building along the Napa River, where we were able to dine in the outdoor waterfront space.
DAY 5: DEPARTURE DAY & SEQUOIA GROVE WINERY
All good things must come to an end! Fortunately, my shuttle wasn't leaving for the airport until 3pm which gave me just enough time for one more wine tasting! When in Napa, amiright? A few of my new friends and I headed to Sequoia Grove Winery, which was the first winery that came to give us a wine pairing lesson. So happy that we got to see Oscar again.
Back to San Diego!
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS
to the Signature Kitchen Suite team for this incredible Napa Valley experience!
If you are not familiar with the name Signature Kitchen Suite, it may be because you haven't been in the market for modern luxury appliances in the past five years. They are the new modern luxury appliance brand for the Technicurian and they have already made quite a splash in the industry and have won several awards.
I love presenting my clients with the latest and greatest but ultimately it is their decision. Although this incredible trip was sponsored by Signature Kitchen Suite, all opinions about the brand and their products mine. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you so much for stopping by! If you have an upcoming design project you'd like to discuss, head to the Contact Tab, fill out the form and I'll get in touch with your shortly to set up an Introductory Call so that we can get to know each other, discuss your project scope and timeline and if it sounds like a good fit, we'll schedule your initial Design Consultation to get the ball rolling.
Out of the Box Interior Design Every Time,
- Rachel Moriarty
Rachel Moriarty Interiors is a subsidiary of House of Moriarty Inc