Kohler’s 140th Anniversary

 

 

While I was in my Canada trip last March-April-May, the Kohler Company invited me to see their facilities in Chicago and Wisconsin. I also attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in New Orleans as their guest. During the trip I got to meet all the members of the Kohler family. The Kohler Company is one of those iconic American brands that is still privately owned. It is the oldest and largest privately held company in the United States.

 

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With Kohler’s Chairman & CEO Herbert V. Kohler Jr and wife Natalie at the Kohler company’s 140th anniversary party in Wisconsin. With me are Bea Ledesma of Philippine Star and Jen of Kohler.

 

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David Kohler, President and COO of Kohler Co. at the KBIS in New Orleans.

 

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I met Rachel Kohler, Group President of Kohler interiors, at a party she hosted in her beautiful Chicago home.

 

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Senior Vice President of Human Resources Laura Kohler initially pursued a career in theater. She is also the executive director of the Kohler Foundation.

 

Here are some highlights from the 140th anniversary celebration of Kohler in Wisconsin. There were over a hundered delegates from Asia Pacific at the event.

 

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The chairman.

 

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The party was held at the Kohler Design Center

 

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I remember how amazing these performers were. They played really cool acid jazz. There is also a Kohler subsidiary that makes the most awesome chocolates.

 

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The birthday cake

 

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At the basement of the Kohler Design Center is the museum. It was fascinating to see pieces from the late 1800’s.

 

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Look at the old toilet with a wooden water closet. And the great grandfather of all tubs.

 

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With Larry of Kohler Asia Pacific talking about the growth of Kohler in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

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Bea and I with Peter Oesch, Director of Marketing Communications in Asia Pacific

 

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The company invested in advertising at the turn of the century. By the 1920’s and 30’s, they introduced colour in the ads.

 

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Kohler ads from the 1920’s and 30’s were actual commissioned oil paintings that depicted cute rosy-cheeked kids in comfortable homes.

 

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These oil paintings from the 1920’s were similar to illustrations in vintage children’s books.

 

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By the 1940s’ and 50’s, Kohler Co. had to stop producing home and plumbing products to make way for war production efforts. They continued to urge the public to think of post-war home design.

 

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Post-war advertising were mainly water color paintings of scenes in a “perfect” American home.

 

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I loved seeing all the original works. Here’s another pastel watercolour from the 1950’s. By then coloured bathroom fixtures were cutting-edge. Kohler continues to produce coloured enamel cast iron and ceramic pieces for the bathroom and kitchen to this day.

 

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I love that lavatory with stainless steel legs. I’m obsessed with getting one for our downstairs bathroom. Kohler continues to make versions of this. Look at the pretty mom. Don’t we all look like her when we bathe our babies?

 

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More tender moments between mother and child.

 

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These remind me of the Dick and Jane books, which my kids still read to this day.

 

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Advertising from the 1960’s -more modern and “psychedelic”.

 

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I had no idea this class photo was taken. I must have been upstairs taking photos at the showrooms.

 

For photos of the Kohler bathroom and kitchen showrooms, click More.

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Kohler Waters Spa

 

 

On my last full day in Kohler Village, Wisconsin I was given a wonderful treat at the American Club’s Kohler Waters Spa, a recipient of the 2012 Forbes Five-Star award. There are only 31 spas worldwide with this Five-Star distinction.

 

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My treatment, the Hollycock Ritual, was a 3-hour pampering session that included full-body exfoliation, body wrap with foot and scalp massage, a 50-minute massage and pedicure.

 

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It started with gentle cleansing exfoliation with a KOHLER Custom Vichy hydro-massage. This was so relaxing. I need to experience this again.

 

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After my hydro-massage, I had a 20 minute relaxing bath in this KOHLER tub with jacuzzi bubbles. Notice the water source coming from the ceiling. Nice touch.

 

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Kohler Waters Spa uses the gently scented Hollycock products. The story behind hollycock dates back to decades before Kohler Waters Spa even opened. The scent of hollyhocks filled the Village of Kohler. In the 1920s, a garden society founded by Marie, Evangeline and Lillie Kohler chose the statuesque, colorful hollyhock as the official village flower. Each spring the society presented a packet of seeds to families throughout the village, beautifying neighborhoods with this stunning perennial. (Source, KOHLER Waters Spa menu).

 

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The warm relaxation pool separates the treatment rooms from the locker rooms.

 

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This is the lounge where I waited between my body treatments and nail treatment. It was my first time to be in a co-ed spa lounge.

 

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My therapist was kind enough to snap this photo before my wet treatments.

 

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I had the nicest and most gentle pedicure here. They used Deborah Lippmann nail products.

 

For more information, visit Kohler Waters Spa website. The Hollycock Ritual lasts 3 hours and costs $395.

SM Appliance Center

 

 

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I have written a few times about my dream kitchen. It took 10 years of living in our house before I renovated and got exactly what I wanted. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio, but I was in charge of how it looked and how it happened. I sourced most of the materials and appliances myself.

I started with photo inspirations from magazines and Pinterest. Then I assessed the condition of our old house — kitchen is on the second floor, practically on stilts above the garage. I wanted to maintain the character of the old “Bahay na Bato” but also needed the comforts of a farmhouse style kitchen. I ended up with exposed beams in my ceiling, wooden floor boards, white distressed cabinetry, cast iron sink, pendant lamps, and modern, technologically advanced fixtures and windows.

 

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The defining feature of my kitchen is the enamelled cast iron sink and goose-neck faucet which I had to import from the US from Kohler.

 

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My appliances were the first things I decided on because we had to measure the section where the gas range went. My Samsung fridge is so big we had to place it by its lonesome against one wall.

 

As the months and years went by (the kitchen is almost three years old), I would discover little things I needed – a new toaster oven, coffee machines, a juicer, a new water dispenser. I’m not really gung ho about buying kitchen gadgets because I like to keep my counters clear. I no longer use a microwave for reheating, instead I steam or broil. But there are things we cannot do without — appliances that we need to make our lives simpler.

Our usual first stop is SM Appliance Center for the simple reason that there is one conveniently located in a mall near our village. I like that no matter which branch I go to, I get similar level of service that ends with a convenient paying and efficient delivery system.

Check out the good deals in SM Appliance Center:

MOULINEX PANINI MAKER SANDWICH SM 1568

 

HANABISHI ELECTRIC KETTLE

 

SEVERIN MIXER HM 3822

 

There are 10 different payment methods: SM Gift Card, SODEXHO gift certificates, cheques, credit cards, debit cards, SM e-card, shopping card. AEON, Home Credit, or good old-fashioned cash.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

And because it is SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary, they have a promo giving 25% off for SMAC, BDO and Prestige members, plus a Frequent Shoppers Rewards Card.

 

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The Frequent Shoppers Card gives away shopping credits, Vikings vouchers and staycation to Taal Vista, Park Inn, or Radisson.

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For more information on SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Blowout, visit www.smappliance.com or SM Appliance Facebook.

 

 

The Terazi Spa at Discovery Primea

 

 

TERAZI SPA

 

Our long weekend staycation at Discovery Primea was even made more special because of our couples massage experience at Terazi Spa. We hardly ever have a couples massage because frankly, who has the time? And when we are staying in hotels, it’s usually logistically impossible because who will watch the kids? This time was different because my mom and dad also had their own Business Flat room just beside our Primea Suite. So they babysat the three girls for a couple of hours.

I have never been to Turkey so I don’t know what an authentic Turkish bath is like. But I’ve been to a 5-star, 5-diamond waters spa in the US. And I can imagine that in Istanbul, Turkish baths are more exotic. Patrick and I were in for a surprise when we stepped into the Terazi Spa on the 3rd floor of Discovery Primea. The decor was warm and modern. Lots of wood panels and indirect lighting. There was nothing ethnic or exotic, just a quiet elegance. Here’s a rundown of what we experienced.

 

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The lobby foyer of Terazi Spa.

 

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I filled out a few forms.

 

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They asked about our health situation. There are some medical conditions that contradict the treatments. So if you have some health concerns, please check with your physicians first as the Hammam involves steam and heat.

 

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After filling out the forms, we sat in a little lounge where we were given a really refreshing cold tamarind drink.

 

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Our shoes were taken away and we were given white rubber flip-flops.

 

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Upon entering our therapy room, I see my new Melissa slides in this basket. I love these slides they are perfect for the summer and for pedicure days. This is from the newest Take Me To Rio collection.

 

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And this is the Hammam. This traditional, marble-lined Turkish bath is the only one of its kind in Metro Manila.

 

The room was heated with steam. At one point I couldn’t see past my arms. Patrick and I were in opposite sides of the room. We were given cold citrus water and an ice pack in case we felt faint and dehydrated. We sat for 10 minutes soaking in all the steam. Then we were occasionally doused with water.

Then we were made to lie face down on the heated marble bed. Terazi’s therapist started us with a deep body exfoliation using a traditional ‘chess’ mitt and castile soap. This is where it gets TMI. But you have to just surrender. The therapist will scrub every nook and cranny of your body. (We kept our undies on, haha). And here is the most incredible part, when the therapist covers your body in a cloud of soap suds or bubbles to wash away dead skin cells. Imagine how that feels. The bubbles pop and slide down your skin. It’s a very gentle sensation. It was the most relaxed I’ve ever felt. I didn’t want it to end.

After the hammam we were escorted back to our massage room. They led us to the shower. And gave us another glass of cold drink.

 

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The shower area.

 

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And here is where we had our massages. There were three choices of oils. I chose the one with eucalyptus.

 

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It was an amazing massage. I sort of fell asleep but not deeply. I don’t want to actually sleep for fear of missing the massage sensation. Patrick on the other hand totally conked out. Again, the service and ability of the the therapists were excellent.

 

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After all the treatments, we sat at the little lounge up in front again. We were given another drink, warm ginger tea this time.

 

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It was just so, so, lovely. I miss it already. That hammam experience was incredible. It’s definitely something to try. I’m already thinking of when I can go again next. It was that good!

 

Our couples massage was sponsored by Discovery Primea in partnership with Melissa Philippines. Watch this space for a chance to win a weekend staycation at Discovery Primea.

For inquiries about the Hammam Treatment and other spa treatments at Terazi Spa, call Discovery Primea at +632 955-8888 local 7310, or email dp.rsvn@discovery.com.ph for reservations.

 

 

The homefront

 

 

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It’s been a while since I posted stories about my home and my family. I have to admit that this blog has taken on a different turn from what it used to be like. I remember when my blog was still Daphne’s Diary and only a handful of people were blogging, it was filled with random little nothings about my life. And you were all there to keep me company. As the blog grew, it somehow became a product of my “work” like part of the official brand DAPHNE®. Collaborations came in and with top retailers! The luxury bed linen line with SM Homeworld and Our Home, my furniture line that retailed in Rustan’s and Dimensione, and of course my pride and joy, the DAPHNE x Bench collaboration. I am so grateful and still floored that all that happened and continues to happen. Hint, hint.

Somewhere along the line I feel like I detached myself from the blog a bit too much though. Or am I over-analyzing? Maybe it was because Instagram became too accessible that all my little random diary entries went there instead of here. I didn’t find time to sit down and actually write. Heck, I even stopped using my micro four-thirds camera and DSLR. Today I am drowning in press kits, product samples, event invitations which I appreciate but I also feel like that’s not just what Daphne’s Diary is about. Yes, I talk about products, but I used to share more stories about things I’ve discovered or learned without any marketing or PR activity involved. All authentic stuff. I feel like I owe it to you and myself to get back to my roots. At the very least, all my marketing campaigns are identified. And I also have not partnered with nor supported any campaign that didn’t fit in with my aesthetic and principles. I have declined quite a few.

So I will attempt to balance — business and real life. And please let me know how you feel about it. This is not and never was a mommy blog. So I’m not going that direction. I’m also not an expert on food but admittedly, I am in the process of discovering my inner home-cook talents. Join me on that discovery process. Travel is also a big part of our lives now. Though my 10-week stay in Toronto last year almost went un-blogged. There’s so much I didn’t share about that trip because I was so busy living life at the present moment. Design is still in my vocabulary especially since we are working at doing more home tours. Health, wellness and spirituality make up a huge chunk of my new life now. I won’t preach, but I may tell stories from this journey. Then there will be little anecdotes about my daughters. When I started blogging, I had only one kid. I was pregnant with my second baby, Lily. Now these girls are growing into their own versions of themselves. I’d like to include some of their stories in my blog. Of course security and privacy is an issue, so I can only do so to a point that we are comfortable with.

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a lot of noise out there. I want this site to continue to be my happy place so I’m regrouping and things are going to change. You are always welcome here.

I just did a fun shoot at home with Xeng Zulueta as the makeup artist and Sandro Paredes as photographer. Xeng and I have worked with each other for a long time. She did some of my most amazing cover shoots. This was totally random and fun. We didn’t even have a hairstylist. I just washed and dried my hair myself. Sorry for the unkempt hair.

But this is what real life is like at home — minus the false lashes.

 

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This is the hallway where my girls’ little feet stomp all over. The house is never quiet when we are home. It is filled with voices, footsteps and laughter. All three daughters are wearing Gingersnaps. My dress is from Sfera, shoes are Repetto.

 

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My masterpiece. Haha. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio. He executed all the ideas I wanted and presented me with more options that I didn’t know existed. I’m loving my kitchen floors. These are treated wood from Matwood. Rafael stained them a certain way so they wouldn’t look too red. In real life they’re lighter. I’m particularly proud of my ceiling. I had this brilliant idea of knocking down the existing ceiling and exposing the roof and beams. But at the time, I didn’t know what lay beneath the ceiling lining. Surprise, surprise… a beautiful structural beam. Oops, it’s hardly in photo. I must show it to you at another occasion.

 

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My kitchen took forever to finish. The reason was because my sink had to be brought in from Kohler, Wisconsin. Yes, Kohler is not only a brand but also a place. It is beautiful. Here are stories from when I visited the Kohler sites in Kohler, Wisconsin. My sink is made of enamelled cast iron. I absolutely love it. P.S. We had to make adjustments to the cabinetry in order to make the sink fit. We initially didn’t know we could have this sink, until I had a “love affair” with the brand officially. My windows are pretty special too. It’s a huge treat to have new windows like this. These are tempered glass and PVC from a German brand called Veka from Fourlinq. As many of you know, the rest of the house has wooden capiz windows. Balance and irony. Haha. Oh, if you’d like to see the video of my kitchen renovation, click here. Top from Sfera, jeans from Uniqlo, shoes from Repetto.

 

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My throne. Seriously. Because every woman must be the queen of her home. Ha!

 

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This Raina chair was a special birthday gift to me by Vito Selma. He sent it to my house right after he showed it in Manila Fame, March of this year. It is, by far, the largest present I’ve ever received. Look at it going through our door on Instagram. I love it! And I adore Vito!  P.S. Dress is from Sfera.

 

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Oh dear, the kitchen beam is still not visible in this photo. Oh well. Here are my three bunnies. We purposely bought three un-matching stools. You can see a bit of a mess behind me. Proof that the kitchen is not “for show.” It’s a real working kitchen. Perhaps only Pinoys will know what I mean about that. Haha. So we dressed up a bit in this shot. I’m wearing a silk dress I bought in Bali from Magali Pascal. Sophia is wearing Rajito by Rajo Laurel. Lily and Stella are wearing Gingersnaps.

 

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The most photographed part of our house is the red door. Every time I have press people over they think they have the “money shot” with the red door. I have to disclose that it’s been done many times. I can actually do an entire series just filled with red door shots! Hmmm, that’s an idea. Future blog entry perhaps. Well, the story here is that the house is really old. It’s the house my husband grew up in. And when we got married, we wanted to give it a bit of a facelift, but slowly. So we began with paint. I wanted red from day one. We also played with colour inside the house — pink hallway, green living room. My advice is, if you don’t have much budget but you want to give your home a boost, start with paint. Don’t be afraid of colour.

 

All photos by Sandro Paredes.
Make up by Xeng Zulueta.