A   D R E A M   C O M E   T R U E   |   A   Y E A R   I N   T H E   M A K I N G

It was a once-in-a-lifetime, year-in-the-making, deeply emotional project straight from heaven and we’re so thrilled to finally share all the glorious details with you!

R O U N D   O N E     |     T H E   N O M I N A T I O N   P R O C E S S

Every year, an open call for designers across the US and Canada is published by the DXV brand in collaboration with Modenus.  Once a designer is nominated, a panel of judges, which include Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus, and the American Standard, Lixil and DXV brands’ family of designers and marketing team, review hundreds of nominations and research each designer’s portfolio.  We were beyond honored this year to have been nominated by a very talented colleague and DXV Design Panel Alumni designer, Cheryl Nagle Kees Clendenon of In Detail Interiors (DXV Panel 2014). You can only imagine the ridiculously happy dance we did when we received news that we had been nominated, with a personal special note from Cheryl, “…no promises, but your hat’s in the ring, so go get ’em!”

Here’s an early concept sketch from our FIRST ROUND submission:

The final four designers are selected based on an extensive first round submission. This year, round one was inspired by PARIS, and from this submission, the designers are selected and each is assigned one of the FOUR DESIGN ERAS: Classic, Golden, Modern and Contemporary.  

Click HERE to learn more about the Design Panel 2018

R O U N D   T W O   |   I T ‘ S   O F F I C I A L 

Welp, what happened next was very VERY exciting.

Honestly, I will NEVER forget opening that unexpected email to read, “CONGRATULATIONS, you have been selected!” I collapsed instantly to my knees with excitement. I mean, what an honor to be charged with the mission to design a fantasy luxury space for the CONTEMPORARY COLLECTION of DXV products.  A designers DREAM; A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a clean fresh modern signature style design, to be built, photographed, and memorialized in a two year DXV national ad campaign.

Every year, an exciting THEME is chosen to ignite the inspiration within the designers, and this year the theme was ART: THE MASTERS.

Charged with a mission to provide the DXV and MODENUS marketing and design teams with a complete design and construction plan for a luxury kitchen or bath, within an approximate 12′ X 12′ area.

So there we were, starting from scratch again for the final round; armed with inspiration and fueled by expectation.  Here we go…


Inspired by the photography of Luisa Lambri (images below), a brilliant and intimate 21st century photographer who focuses on capturing the essence of minimalism, abstract movement, and physical and conceptual viewpoints.  We adapted this concept for our design model to celebrate the dynamics of light and shadow that black and white photography so magically illustrates.

O U R   C O N C E P T 

Points of Light: A Healing Space

Celebrating the relationship between light, shadow, and the human spirit.  The intimate, gentle, and powerful juxtaposition of light and shadow and the hypnotic power that it has to calm the mind. The ever-changing streams of light that play on clean confident planes, creating texture and dancing shapes.

Now, imagine being in a space that allows the mind to slow down and become one with the natural pace and movement of the light while soaking fireside, or waking to shower in the refreshing energy of the day’s first light.

Stirring. Restorative. Relaxing. Hypnotic. Peaceful.

Some of Luisa’s most valued work is through her photographs of exterior buildings and architectural interiors that focus on the viewer’s experience of the space, and the objects, textures and shapes.  Her photography is typically and magnificently displayed in minimal fashion to emphasize the complex simplicity of her emotional work.

O N   T H E   R O A D   A G A I N 

PRESENTATION DAY  |  Our design presentation and renderings were now complete and materials were selected and specified, so it was time to head to Minneapolis to present our final concept and design to the DXV and Modenus design, marketing and construction teams.

To say that the DXV dream spaces we had the privilege of working in inspires and ignites the creative spirit would be a MASSIVE understatement, (warehouse envy).

Once the tsunami of beautiful hugs and the generous (and overwhelmingly warm) welcomes were complete, the formal presentations began!

Presentations were given by the DXV team, which included an inspiring welcome by Vice President of Design for DXV and American Standard brands, Jean-Jacques Lhenaff.  The 2018 DXV Designers were up next and was followed by lunch and break-out meetings with the construction, marketing and photography teams.

Here’s a peek at our material and concept presentation.

A celebration of organic materials and layers of neutral texture including stunning custom lighting by Studio Endo; reclaimed teak flooring from Indoteak Design throughout; crisp white quartz by Cosentino; beautiful tile by Tilebar; elegant hardware by Schaub and Company; and of course the centerpiece of our design, the exquisite plumbing fixtures from the DXV Modulus Collection.

C O N S T R U C T I O N   D R A W I N G S   A N D   D E T A I L S 

Once the concept was approved, the final construction documents (plans, elevations, sections and details) were fine-tuned and delivered. Working with a construction team that was MILES from your home base requires VERY articulate  and extensive drawings and details.

Here’s a look at our final plan set.

E L E V A T I O N S 

Some of the unique details we designed for our space include retractable gas-infused skylights and windows which provide the space with bright sharp day and moon light texture; magical deep niches and heated hidden mirrors; walk-in shower with a seamless teak flooring and drainage system; and custom shaving station.


We designed a custom day bed for this space to provide a comfortable and durable lounging spot for restful meditation, restorative tea-time, or a late afternoon nap.

S E C T I O N S 

Details, details and more details;  Custom vanities, geometric dividers and skylights.

R E N D E R I N G S 

Now that the designs and construction documents were complete and delivered, the build-out began.  The stellar team of DXV contractors, builders, stagers, and a spectacular project management team took our drawings and built an incredibly detailed and stunning set.

O F F I C I A L   D E S I G N E R   R E V E A L  |  P H O T O   A N D   V I D E O   S H O O T 

From CONCEPT to REALITY, and after months of secret sneak peeks and countless texts, our space was finally ready for staging and the official photo and video shoot, so we hit the road again to see our designs come to life! We had not “seen” our space until the very moment of unveiling.  And ooohhh, that moment.  With paparazzi-like cell phones and cameras in position to capture the tears and joy, (like a red carpet moment at the Oscars) as they peeled away the black curtain to reveal our space, the first feeling was of absolute shock (in the best way!!!). I was speechless (if you know me, you KNOW how shocked I would have to be to be speechless…LOL).

What followed was a flood of tears, and overwhelming gratitude. To see the live space for the first time was truly mind-blowing perfection.

Working with the incredible video production team, Run With Scissors, who miraculously turned my weepy and nervous interview into a beautiful story, was an absolute honor.

F I N A L   A D   L A Y O U T   S E L E C T I O N S

Stunning Ad photography by Earl Kendall and Abe Holte. How glorious to collaborate with such talent; Perfectly capturing the challenging lighting details alone was true genius and dedication. Spectacular.

T H E   B I G   R E V E A L   P R E S S   E V E N T   I N   N Y C ! ! !   W O W    W O W    W O W ! ! !

It was overwhelming to believe that the BIG REVEAL was finally here and we were in New York City.  The preparations were finally complete and the BIG DXV EVENT at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea, New York was moments away.  A year in the making and it was now time for the design panel designers to present their glorious spaces to the prestigious press attendees, friends, and to the world; the excitement was buzzing and the nerves were high (especially mine).

T H E   V E N U E 

The all-white loft style gallery was glorious, transformed by oversized images of our DXV design work and the gorgeous DXV plumbing fixtures displayed as ART.  It was a genius design concept created by an extraordinary marketing team led by Leanne Wood, President of Flying Camel Advertising.  A perfect night, New York style.

What better way to CALM pre-presentation nerves then with a few poignant words from our fearless leader, Veronika, and of course, a broadway show tune or two.


And what better way to CELEBRATE a once-in-a-lifetime moment then with extraordinary friends who schlep (for HOURS) in the rain to cheer you on!!!  My most grateful and deepest thanks to these beautiful talented dear friends. [From left to right is Amy Wax, Linda Holt, Leslie Carothers, Deborah Von Donop, Pamela Copeman, Michele Alfano, and massively talented fellow design panelist, John Kelsey].

T H E   D X V   D E S I G N   P A N E L 

[From left to right > Jonathan Legate, Alan Tanksley, John and Sally Wilson and Veronika Miller].

Click HERE to see the full EVENT VIDEO


I N   C L O S I N G  

There really aren’t adequate words to describe my immeasurable and profound gratitude for this tremendous opportunity. Working with the BEST OF THE BEST has been indescribable; rich, challenging, exciting and life-changing.


Be on the look out for all the beautiful DXV 2018-2019 Ads in such prestigious shelter magazines as Architectural Digest, Metropolis, Hospitality Design, Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, LA Times, NY Times and so many more.

My very personal and special thanks to a few key DXV players who made this entire process truly magical; Debbie Drury, Jeannette LongNora DePalma, Kelly Hrank Kasper, and Jim Goulet (who brilliantly staged our entire set with respect, precision, and intuitive accuracy); and finally, my deepest heartfelt gratitude to Selena Salfen, our Project Manager extraordinaire, who was my eyes, ears, hands and heart on site during every single build-out moment, keeping me in the loop and maintaining the perfection in every single design detail from start to finish – I am forever grateful.

Click HERE to see our the complete DXV project image portfolio and all the glorious details

Click  HERE to learn more about the beautiful DXV MODULUS COLLECTION

If you have any questions about this project, or want to chat about YOUR next project, please give us a call.  We’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Veronica Vilora Solomon on

    I was awestruck when I first set eyes on this bathroom. For a moment I felt I had died and gone to heaven! But to see the details, how it all evolved, your extensive drawings and attention to detail takes it to a whole other level for me. So simple, yet so dramatic, and yes, hypnotic. I think it is my favorite bathroom of all time.

    • Laura Muller on

      WOW! Veronica!!! Your comment absolutely made my day! THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time out of your day to read our journey post…and I am beyond grateful for your beautiful words! XOX

  2. Leslie Carothers on

    Laura -from start to finish this post was so wonderful to read. Thank you for the incredible images of the process and accompanying explanations.

    It has been my JOY to be a part of your journey towards all of this and I am truly grateful for the profundity of your friendship.

    It gives me intense happiness to witness your talent so duly and beautifully recognized by a luxury brand like DXV.

    It truly does take a village and I am so glad you are part of mine.

    Here’s to your clients, current and future, realizing how extraordinarily blessed they are – or would be – to be working with you.

    • Laura Muller on

      Ah…Dear, wonderful, beautiful friend, THANK YOU for such beautiful comments. My heart is overflowing! It indeed was a dream come true project, and I am very grateful to have had your friendship, support, cheers and shoulder throughout the entire process! I love you dearly and always! XOX

    • Laura Muller on

      Thank you so much Lisa! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about the process…It truly was an amazing journey…and a DREAM project! XOX


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