Category Archives: Guest Host Bios

Involving Clients in the Creative Process

KBtribechat host Gloria Sollecito finds that the best projects are successful collaborations between clients and trade professionals. This includes ways to create kitchens that reflect not just a designer’s concept but a homeowner’s vision as well. Most of her clients, even if not DIYers, like to be involved in the evolution of the design. It is very much about collaboration, personalization, customization, flawless function, emotional and visual appeal. Join us for #KBtribechat on September 9th as we chat about collaboration and how clients are involved in the creative process.


Kitchen by Gloria Sollecito – Artful Kitchens

Gloria’s KBtribechat Questions:

1) What techniques do you use to engage the client in the first meeting?

2) How can we deliver the essence that a client is looking for while meeting their budget?

3) What do you do when you and your client do not share the same vision? Can you remedy this?

4) What are some of your favorite ways to personalize a space to reflect your client? Pics please!

5) What comes first, form or function?


Kitchen by Gloria Sollecito – Artful Kitchens

Gloria’s BIO
Gloria Sollecito is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She resides in Palm Beach County Florida and has served on both the South Florida and Treasure Coast NKBA Chapters’ Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as Florida Design Magazine, The Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated and is a proud member of both the Blanco Design Council and the Brizo “Blogger 19.” Gloria’s unique vision blends her work as a mixed media artist and avid world traveler with 20 years experience as a designer in the kitchen and bath industry. You can read about it on her blog plus find Gloria on TwitterFacebook, GooglePlus and Pinterest.

Join this Twitter Chat discussion

on Wednesday, September 9th

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here’s the transcript for this KBtribechat.


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August 19, 2015 at #KBtribechat: Designing for Alzheimer’s

Hosted by @MyFixItUpLife and @DesignAllz


Karen and Theresa

Their discussion questions:

1). Do you know someone who has Alzheimer’s?

2). What do you see as the top 3 design challenges for creating an environment for alzheimer’s patients and caregivers?

3). What are some design solutions that you have done (or seen)?

4). What products would you specify to make a safer or more comfortable environment?

5). Do you have any photos of projects that you have done, or of spaces you think have good design solutions?


About DesignAllz:

Theresa and Karen are designing for Alzheimer’s. It’s more than just creating a safer place to live. They are sharing easy design ideas and tips to create a happier and calmer home for families living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They’d love to hear your story of Alzheimer’s. Subscribe to their youtube channel, connect on Facebook or Twitter, or send a note at

Theresa Clement is a host at MyFixItUpLife,  the designer for Food Network’s ‘Save My Bakery’ and has designed for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and has contributed to multiple national television programs. She’s a published author with formal training in architecture and passion for creating beautiful projects. When she isn’t helping others with home improvement, she’s working on her 100-year-old house or out volunteering. She is a former competitive rower, recreational runner, and budding bass player.

Karen Salyer has over 20 years of experience in the design industry with a 17 year focus in kitchen and bath. She has collaborated on many media projects such as HGTV’s Dream Home Giveaway, HGTV’s Run My Makeover, and many more. Her work and collaborations have been published in Southern Living, Cooking with Paula Deen, and other publications. When she is not designing, Karen is gardening, cooking exotic recipes, or spending quality time with family, friends and fur babies.

Join this Twitter Chat discussion

on Wednesday, August 19th

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here’s the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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Material Health & Design

Material Health is a hot topic in commercial design, as the recent increase in third-party labels, assessments, and certifications indicate. How will trends and practices focused on material health shape residential design, if at all?


IceStone is hosting this KBtribechat.

Here are their discussion questions:

1. Do your clients raise health concerns regarding material choices? What are they?
2. What are some misconceptions in the design community about material impact on human health?
3.What are your go-to sources for sustainable products?
4. What certifications or labels do you look for when selecting sustainable products?
5. What does the future of healthy materials look like for the kitchen and bath industry?


About Our Sponsor
Made from recycled glass, cement, and non-toxic pigments, IceStone is a sustainable choice for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, cash wrap areas, and other common surface applications. IceStone is available in full, half, and vanity sizes. IceStone’s products and practices have garnered several awards and certifications, including Cradle to Cradle Certification.
Every IceStone slab is crafted in Brooklyn, NY;  IceStone products are available nationwide and in Canada.

Join this Twitter Chat discussion

on Wednesday, December 3rd

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.


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Planning Ahead for America’s 80 Million Boomers

Can Bathrooms Be Both Safe And Luxurious? With 1/5th of the US population projected to be 65 years of age and older within 15 years, 80 million people, what are the options for chic, yet safe #BoomerSmarts bathroom products & designs for today’s homeowners who don’t want to sacrifice beauty for safety, but need to plan for their evolving needs so they can stay in their homes as long as they would like? Bring your pictures, your Pinterest boards and your ideas and join us for this fun, exciting and relevant conversation on Wednesday, October 1st with our guest host, one of America’s top experts, #BoomerSmarts speaker, educator and author, Mitzi Beach, ASID, NCIDQ, CAPS. BoomerSmartBoomerPower ··· book cover ··· 13 10 14 E Here are Mitzi’s KBtribechat questions: 1. What current bathroom products are both #luxury + safe for 50+ homeowners? 2. What products should those 50+ avoid in bathrooms, for safety reasons? 3. Share pics of your fav *safefor50+ homeowners* #luxury bathroom! 4. What safe, luxury bathroom products will be exhibited at #KBIS2015 for 50+ homeowners? Mitzi Beach, ASID, NCIDQ, CAPS, is one of America’s top experts in the housing and interior design issues facing the USA’s 80 million baby boomers. A practicing interior designer in Wichita, Kansas for over 30 years with her Masters In Interior Design, she is also a national speaker, educator, and published author and an official 2014 #HPMkt Stylespotter. Her trademarked #BoomerSmarts seal of approval is sought after by brands wishing to use it on their own websites and blogs to align themselves with the consumer audience Mitzi has developed through her popular blog, her social media channels and her video channel on The Design Network. In addition to Mitzi’s 1 hour IDCEC approved CEU courses, her 4 hour IDCEC/NKBA approved CEU course: ” #BoomerSmarts: Designing For America’s Richest Generation ” gives the designers who take it, either online or in person, the ability to use her CERTIFIED LOCAL #BoomerSmarts EXPERT badge on their own websites and blogs, too. Mitzi’s own home in Wichita, KS, affectionately nicknamed Cypress, was designed by she and her husband, Bob, to be a living laboratory to demonstrate her #BoomerSmarts housing and design concepts. It’s a unique, one of a kind floor plan developed specifically so she and Bob can live in their own home as long as they would like. Mitzi can be reached through her website at or by email at You’re invited to please follow her on her social media channels below: and to subscribe to her popular video channel on The Design Network by clicking the link below:

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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Good Trends vs Bad Trends!

A design discussion hosted by Rose Dostal.

Recently we asked for topic ideas and Rose came up with one that everyone was excited about.  She has put together a KBtribechat discussion to get us thinking about trends on a deeper level.


A kitchen by Rose Dostal.

Here are her KBtribechat questions:

Q1.)  We have seen many sensor activated faucets in recent years come into the residential market. What are the pros and cons of this trend?

Q2.)  Tiled countertops…thoughts? Perhaps the worst trend ever? Or is it? Do you think it will ever make a comeback?

Q3.)  Do you think that end users should apply the color trend of the year to their cabinetry?

Q4.)  Bidets are _______.  Fill in the blank!

Q5.)  Do many global trends start in the USA?

Join our Twitter chat discussion on Wednesday, June 4th, from 2 to 3pm eastern time by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets.

Rose.Dostal.9735.low res

Rose Dostal

Rose Dostal is a registered Architect with a primary focus on interiors and interior architecture for the commercial and residential market. She finds inspiration in her travels, from friends, movies and her camera lens (follow her on Instagram!) Learn more about her work at:


Here’s the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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We’ve invited Leslie Carothers to be our host for our January 15th, 2014 KBTribeChat. Leslie is the founder and CEO of The Kaleidoscope Partnership, a well known social media PR, branding and strategy agency for top furniture and interior design brands.

Innovation In Design is this year’s theme for the Interior Design Society’s National Convention in Las Vegas, taking place January 23 – 25th in Las Vegas { 2 days before #LVmkt starts}.  Leslie has been invited by @IDSNational to be their keynote speaker at this convention and she would like our community’s feedback about groundbreaking innovations we’ve seen, or would like to see, in kitchen and bath design products as well as innovations in the collaborative social media marketing of kitchen and bath residential design services so she can incorporate the most interesting ideas into her keynote presentation.

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 10.37.53 AM

Leslie recognizes that those of you in this community are the leaders in kitchen and bath design and spend your days researching innovative and exciting new products, materials and technologies for your clients and that you’ve probably also seen technologies and materials from other industries and thought that, if applied to the kitchen and bath industry, they could be breakthrough, “disruptive to the status quo,  innovations. She also knows that many of you have worked together, collaboratively, to build business opportunities with and for each other.

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 11.07.18 AM

Below are the questions for this chat:

1. What K&B product wins your award for MOST INNOVATIVE, and why?

2. What innovative, collaborative social media marketing initiatives are taking place to help K&B designers gain new clients or exposure?

3. DREAM BIG: no budget: what is MOST innovative way K&B brands can work with you, to gain exposure for them & clients for you?

4.  DREAM BIG! What innovation, from any industry, that, if adopted by K&B brands, could be key to industry’s future?

Please help us spread the word about this chat, hosted by our guest host, @tkpleslie, on Wednesday, January 15th at 11 PT, 12 MT, 1 CT and 2 ET. International guests are welcomed, too! Use‘s time zone converter to find the proper time zone for you.

If you would like more information on Leslie’s company, The Kaleidoscope Partnership, a social media stragey, branding, PR and marketing agency for furniture and interior design brands, please visit her Facebook Page at, see her Linked In profile at,  follow her on G+ at, follow her on Twitter at and read her *Retail Ideas* blog for, the largest weekly international print and digital news magazine for the furniture industry in the world. Leslie has been writing this trade focused blog for them for the past 9 years.Leslie also delivers online, LIVE, social media webinars for interior designers and if you’d like more information on attending one of these, please email her at’s 2nd business,, selling inspiration & hope themed gifts, e-cards, art and music exclusively created for the site, where 20% of her profits will be donated to the charity of the customer’s choice each month, will go live in 2014.If you would like more information on the Interior Design Society, please visit their website at and the specific website for the conference is: where Mark Brunetz is their celebrity guest of honor for this year’s convention. The official hashtag for the Interior Design Society’s National Convention is: #IDSConf2014.


Leslie Carothers, CEO of The Kaleidoscope Partnership

Leslie Carothers founded her company, The Kaleidoscope Partnership, 11 years ago. Her social media agency advises and develops social media strategy and branding concepts for furniture and interior design brands , and also provides social media content execution services across platforms, executes blogger relations programs, and delivers online social media webinars for individual interior designers.

She has been involved in the furniture and interior design industry for the past 31 years and The Kaleidoscope Partnership has devised the social media strategy for and executed daily on the social media campaigns of many well known international and national brands, including Olioboard, The New Traditionalists, Cargill’s BiOH Polyols division [ Cargill is the largest privately held company in the United States ] , The Curtain Exchange, Hadley Court and many others.

For the past nine years, Leslie has also been the writer of Furniture Today’s *Retail Ideas* blog and, in 2012, her own microblog was named as one of Decorex’s Top 100 Interior Design blogs in the world.

Leslie is also a well known keynote speaker and a moderator for many interior design events across the country. In 2014, she will deliver the keynote presentation for the Interior Design Society’s National Convention in Las Vegas. In 2013, she spoke at the Design Bloggers Conference and at High Point Market and was the fall afternoon keynote presenter for the Houston Design Center’s Fall Market.

Prior to that, she keynoted the first Social Media Symposium at High Point University and has spoken many more times at major industry conferences as well as been a speaker for Ashley Furniture’s national and regional marketing meetings as well as on behalf of other furniture brands.

Today, Leslie is a volunteer on the board of directors of the Bienenstock Furniture Library and, in the past, served for 3 years as a volunteer on the board of, where she served as the volunteer VP of Education, chairing the Leadership Development Conference in 2007 and 2008 and serving as National Membership Chair in 2009.

In 2009, Leslie received WITHIT’s President’s Award for her volunteer service to Women In The Home Industries Today and to her industry.

In her spare time, she’s developing her 2nd business,, which will go live in 2014 as a way to give back 20% of her profits to the charities her site’s customers care most about.

She lives in Houston, Texas and is an avid lover of fine culture and music, a book collector, a reader, an amateur photographer and writer, a Mom to Pounce and Big Boy, a mentor, a daughter, a sister and an Aunt to her 3 wonderful nephews. You can occasionally catch her walking a labyrinth, too!

Here is the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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2014 Kitchen Trends

There is nothing more exciting than starting off a new year. Fresh and full of possibilities, it is always fun to see what is emerging, especially in the world of design. And with KBIS 2014 just around the corner, what better way to start the year then with a discussion on ….Trends in Kitchen Design!


Join us on January 8 to contribute your expertise and observations. We want to know what YOU are seeing in the marketplace and at industry shows. What new features, colors and materials are trending this year? Which ones are destined to become classics? Which ones will your clients actually live with? What in the kitchen marketplace are you lusting after?

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

  1. What trends are you seeing in kitchen cabinetry? New design options, materials, finishes, hardware?
  2. What countertop materials/colors are most popular?
  3. What color palettes and design elements are trending?
  4. What’s new in kitchen appliances and fixtures?
  5. What’s exciting in other kitchen products like lighting or flooring?
  6. Is “aging-in-place” playing a role in kitchen design trends?
  7. How important is luxury in 2014 kitchen design?
  8. What is your personal favorite kitchen trend and why?

P.S. I know an hour is not enough time to talk trends, but we’ll do our best to squeeze it all in!

As a little food for thought, here are some forecast trends from a few in the industry:

Elle Décor: Bejeweled Kitchens and lighter woods

Huff Post Homes reports the 3 biggest trends are black countertops, open shelving and dark paints:

This survey by Houzz in October 2013 highlights what’s trending in actual kitchen remodels.

**If you’ve done a blog post on 2014 trends, tweet links to share them with the group! Use the hashtag #kbtribechat.

**Also, join us on Pinterest with our #kbtribechat board: trends/ Share examples of kitchen trends that will be popular in 2014.

Susie Feia, Feia Construction, LLC

Susie Feia is the host for this week’s chat. Susie is owner of Feia Construction, LLC, an award-winning design/build firm in Waukesha, WI. Together with her husband, this family team has been delighting clients for 28 years. Originally specializing in historic restoration, they have evolved into a full-service remodeling firm where they handle projects from design concept to completion and also occasionally build high-end custom homes. Whether a single room (like a kitchen) or an entire home renovation, they are known for their creative design solutions, very personal, collaborative relationships, and the highest quality craftsmanship. Their philosophy is to enhance the client’s unique lifestyle with functional, timeless designs, while capturing the client’s personality with style.

Passionate about what she does, Susie stays on the cutting edge of what’s new in design and remodeling. She is a board member of Milwaukee NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), founder of a women’s networking group, and is a member of Powerhouse Smart, a regional organization for the luxury market. She also volunteers her time with local community chambers, the Salvation Army and Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee. Susie is a speaker at KBIS2014 and other industry events, a frequent contributor to the press and radio programs, and is active on social media. Find her at Twitter, Pinterest , Facebook , G+ and LinkedIn.

Here’s the transcript for this chat.

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The Holiday Kitchen

The kitchen plays an integral role in our holiday celebrations.

Franke Fireclay sink, Franke faucet, Grothouse Lumber countertop and Woodmode cabinetry

This will be the focus of our December 18th Kbtribechat sponsored and hosted by Franke Kitchen Systems– Luxury Products Group (@FrankeLuxuryUSA).
What are your favorite holiday traditions involving the kitchen? Do you make adjustments to accommodate family and friends in the kitchen this time of year?  What holiday decorating tips do you have for the kitchen?
Your sink and faucet is a HIGH use area in the kitchen – especially during meal prep! What tips do you have for this area to be ready for the big day?

Many want to update their homes in time for the holidays.  We are sure Kbtribe have stories to tell about remodeling kitchens in time for the holidays! We want to hear those stories and see pictures of your work.

Franke has started a Pinterest board for this discussion and we will be pinning images shared at Kbtribechat.

Join us on Twitter ~ Wednesday, 12/18 from 2 to 3pm eastern time ~ for a fun hour of holiday conversation!

Krista Rivers

Krista Rivers

Krista Rivers is the Social Media Manager for Franke Kitchen Systems in the US. Franke has a highly reputable presence on FacebookTwitterPinterest and a Blog. Krista has worked in the kitchen and bath industry for over 10 years and is excited for the opportunity to host KBTRIBECHAT on Franke’s behalf to be able to continue to connect and listen to people in the industry through social media.

About Franke
Franke is the world’s largest manufacturer of kitchen sinks and is a privately held company specializing in the design and engineering of luxury systems for the management of air, water and waste. With sales of $2+ billion, the Switzerland-based Franke Group is also the global market leader in Foodservice Systems; manufactures Washroom and Beverage systems; and conducts industrial engineering operations at 66 companies in 40 countries. Franke Kitchen Systems product lines are marketed in North America by Franke Luxury Products Group. For more information visit or call 1-800-626-5771.
Here’s the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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Putting Projects in the Right Light

Lighting technology is changing more rapidly today than at any time in history, presenting new options for lighting kitchens and baths. But with change comes confusion about making appropriate selections, educating clients and determining the best solutions available as a project comes together.

Laura Van Zeyl will be leading our kbtribechat discussion on Lighting.

Wednesday, September 11th

at #kbtribechat on Twitter

from 2 to 3pm eastern time.

Host Laura Van Zeyl

Host Laura Van Zeyl

Laura Van Zeyl is the Publisher and Editorial Director of Residential Lighting (@reslightingmag) and Home Fashion Forecast (@TotalHomeView) magazines and has been covering the lighting industry for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Alliance for Audited Media, American Lighting Association, ART – The Creative Home Furnishings Network, Sustainable Furnishings Council and an Affiliate member of the International Association of Lighting Designers. She has served as a judge in the prestigious Lighting for Tomorrow competition recognizing energy-efficient lighting products. In addition to an active Twitter presence, her publications connect with readers via Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+.


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Recently, at an Interior Design Community (IDC) G+ hangout entitled “How Can We Help?” James Bedell, Susan Serra and Laurie Laizure explored ways the design community can help make the world a better place.  They decided to have a hangout dedicated to the topic of sustainability.  James dug into his Rolodex and came up with a panel of experts on the subject.  As a result, the first ever IDC Sustainability Summit will take place at Goggle+ on Thursday, September 5th.
How does kbtribechat come in?
We are excited to announce that James Bedell
is going to lead us in a discussion on Sustainability
for our September 4th kbtribechat
….as an adjunct to the IDC G+ event the next day.

Join us from 2 to 3pm eastern time at #kbtribechat on Twitter to be a part of this important conversation.


Bedell’s career has spanned everything from NYC theater to flagship retail for Abercrombie and Fitch. In addition to high-end residences in NYC, he’s designed editorial and marketing events for Wired Magazine, Diet Coke, Google, and Joseph Abboud. In 2011 he wrote Losing Edison: Beautiful Sustainable Lighting at Home and in 2012 he produced and designed Discover Color, an exploration of the power of color to effect our perception.

As of September 2013, Bedell joined Stan Deutsch Associates, representing 30 different manufacturers here in the NYC metro area. His focus will be to work with clients to increase the beauty, efficiency and sustainability of their spaces through lighting retrofit and redesign.


For more on Bedell head to


Here is the transcript for this kbtribechat.

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