ICAA - 2019 John Staub Awards

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Texas Chapter (ICAA Texas) was founded in 2006 and quickly developed into a growing community of architects, interior designers, landscape architects, artisans, contractors, vendors, artists, and patrons of classical architecture. The ICAA Texas Chapter is guided by a Board of Directors that receives support, new ideas, and energy from steering committees in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

The Texas Chapter's John Staub Awards – celebrating architects, designers, and artisans whose projects work toward further building on the incredible legacy of Texas architect John Staub – are held on a biennial basis in the Fall, during which the statewide chapter membership convenes for a two day event.

This year’s award events will be held in Houston and begin with an ICAA members-only cocktail reception on Friday, October 11. This is going to be a FABULOUS evening. Tickets are limited so sign up soon!

Then on Saturday Afternoon, October 12, the 2019 John Staub Awards will be presented at the Julia Ideson Library in Houston. Limited tickets are available. Get your ticket today to see the winners of the Classical Projects in Texas. So impressive and inspiring! Don't miss this GREAT lunch event.

Three Beautiful Kitchens from Armac Martin

Looking for beautifully hand-crafted hardware for that special project? Elegant Additions is proud to offer luxurious and unique pieces by Armac Martin. Their recent blog post below highlights three gorgeous kitchens

Armac Martin has been designing and manufacturing luxury solid-brass cabinet hardware in Birmingham, England since 1929 for some of the world’s finest interiors. Every product is designed in-house, with meticulous attention given to every detail to ensure that our commitment to design and quality is met time and time again. Our extensive range is available in twenty-one plated and patinated finishes.

Three beautiful kitchens featuring our Cotswold collection….by Armac Martin

For many, the kitchen is truly the heart of the home. It’s where we cook, eat, entertain and socialize, so we believe that this space should be designed around our lifestyle, with each detail representing our personality, passions and priorities.   
We’ve chosen three of our favorite kitchens that we feel showcase our Cotswold collection in a beautiful and unique way, with each one designed and created by a range of interior specialists.

The Cotswold collection is a range of more traditional items, ideally suited to shaker style kitchens. With three styles of knobs, two styles of drawer pull, three options of catches and a cabinet pull, the collection offers plenty of diversity.

1. Thomas May Bespoke

As part of their Purbeck Farm project, premium joinery specialists, Thomas May Bespoke have handcrafted this shaker style kitchen. Full of the finest components and decorative finishing touches, this wonderful space will no doubt be enjoyed by its owners for years to come!


The precision-cut dovetail drawers paired with our burnished brass hardware sees traditional techniques meet contemporary design.


Contrast is a running theme throughout this kitchen, with the white stone slab work tops, dark cabinetry, light wood beams and hints of aged brass blending together beautifully.
The use of these complementary materials, colours and hardware adds a touch of luxury to this family kitchen.

2. Richard Burke Kitchens

This stunning and timeless design by Richard Burke Kitchens integrates the most exquisite details with the finest materials.


With its exposed brick fireplace, dark wood highlights and antique brass hardware throughout, this kitchen emits the perfect balance of aesthetics, functionality and quality.

Not only does this gorgeous kitchen boast an island bar that seats two, but the perfectly positioned dining table allows it to double as an enjoyable living and working space too.


The teal shaker cabinet in the corner of the room adds a pop of colour to this traditional kitchen, with the brass hardware contributing towards its classic feel. 


The grey marble work tops paired with the white slat walls is a prime example of how using neutral colours and textures can still create a striking statement.  


This fun family kitchen oozes personality, unparalleled quality and homely vibes!

3. Russell J Milligan

Through a tailored design, Russell J Milligan has created this stylish and elegant kitchen.


The bespoke joinery is fitted with our Cotswold collection drawer pulls and knobs. The burnished brass finish against the dramatic grey cabinetry gives a distinguished feel and proves that no detail has been overlooked.

With its shaker style cabinetry hand-painted in Manor House Grey, and the cook’s pantry in Downpipe (both by @farrowandball), this kitchen emits a fabulous mix of tones. The metro tiles at the back of the hob also add a new dimension to the room.

This effortless social space is proof that when positioned strategically, a large island can be utilised for storage as well as dining. The unusual arch set in the middle of the island further accentuates the clean and crisp lines found throughout the kitchen.

With any kitchen – especially a social one – it’s all about the seating details. The wooden stools add a layer of texture to the space, whilst inviting people to congregate.


We also love how this seat has been incorporated into the cabinetry!

(reposted from an article by Armac Martin, April 2019. You’ll find the Armac Martin collection of hardware at Elegant Additions - Houston and Dallas)

Duravit Advances Sustainable Design for World Water Day (reposted from Duravit newsletter, March 29, 2019)

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World Water Day occurs every year on March 22, advocating for a more conscientious and sustainable use of our freshwater supply. Since initiated by the UN in 1993, it seeks to raise awareness and promote solutions for effective management of the world's most vital resource.

The issue of water conservation has resonated with Duravit for decades. As bathrooms play a part in indoor water use, Duravit has stood out as a leader in sustainability, having been a WaterSense partner for over 10 years. 

Throughout their WaterSense partnership, Duravit has been able to save over 2.1 trillion gallons of water and over $40 billion in water + energy bills. All Duravit wall- and floor-mounted toilets are WaterSense approved, which means that they meet the EPA’s rigorous performance mandate for High Efficiency Toilets (HET) - which is 1.28 or fewer gallons per flush (gpf). 

Learn more about Duravit's impressive stance on energy-efficient, adaptable design

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Yes, It IS Easy To Be "GREEN" - And To Be Beautiful!

Once upon a time, the terms “green kitchen” or “sustainable bath” would have seemed impossible, maybe even laughable. With limited product offerings, designers and builders were left with little more than a typical, standard bath or kitchen.

But times have changed. Today, the idea of a “green” bath or kitchen may still seem uncertain to some builders, but it shouldn’t be. Just like any other part of the house, these spaces can be designed using eco-conscious ideas and products.


But what exactly constitutes a green or eco-friendly bathroom or kitchen? Simply put, it includes rooms and products that use less water, a home that saves energy, contains environmentally-friendly products and includes spaces that are thoughtfully constructed with resource-efficient materials. Thankfully, industry professionals who are inclined to design spaces with these characteristics can now do so because manufacturers have been working hard to make it possible.

One of these manufacturers is ROCKY MOUNTAIN HARDWARE.  Here is what they have to say about working in a “green” environment and creating products that are eco-friendly.  A great example of how you can be environmentally-friendly AND stylish and beautiful at the same time



”At Rocky Mountain Hardware, we believe that being environmentally responsible is part of our job.   As an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable business, we put our values into practice every day, from supporting numerous local charities to living greener, especially when it comes to manufacturing products. All sand used to cast molds is reconditioned on an hourly basis for reuse, resulting in zero waste. Bronze chips and grinding dust are also recycled with absolutely no byproduct. For us, living green is more than just an ideal -it truly is a way of life.



All Rocky Mountain Hardware products are cast of 100% art-grade recycled bronze. Our product is third party certified to contain a minimum of 90% recycled content, 50% of which is post-consumer.  Post-consumer waste is that which would typically go to a landfill.  Each piece is finished in our eco-friendly patina process to create the beautiful hues for which we are known. 


While our product is made from 100% recycled bronze, our certification is for 90% recycled content because it takes into account the lock mechanism and other non-recycled sub-assemblies. Our product can contribute towards earning up to 2 LEED® points.  All manufacturing facilities are in Idaho, USA.  Our corporate headquarters is LEED® Gold.  Our efforts to meet this standard will help mitigate the building's effect on the environment while providing a tangible example of our commitment to the environment.



Rocky Mountain Hardware is committed to community service and is dedicated to creating a better, greener environment.”

What's Trending for Showers and Shower Systems in 2019

by guest blogger and industry associate, Cynthia Carter, Partner with Next Generation Marketing

Water.  Water is essential to life and an element that has played an important role since the beginning of time and across numerous cultures.  It affects both our body and spirit. 

 From Roman baths to hot mineral springs, humans have utilized water through the centuries as a bathing ritual and there is evidence the therapeutic use of water has been practiced by numerous ancient civilizations.  Today we still enjoy the act of bathing, but since the early 1800s when the shower was invented, we have come to appreciate the convenience of showering.  Just as a bath can do more than provide personal hygiene, a shower can also accomplish more than washing away grime.  Consumers now want showers offering multiple functionalities so they can be used to not only clean but also relax, energize, and even heal; to provide overall bliss and healthness (health + wellness).  For this reason, the biggest shower trend in 2019 is the transformation of the shower into a private spa (sanus per aquam - health through water).



To design a personal home shower spa you need a variety of plumbing products that provide hydrotherapy with hot water and cold; all at different pressures and water shapes.


Some of the most advanced and exciting personal spa fittings are made by the luxury faucet manufacturer, Dornbracht, whose products are produced solely in Germany and are known for their design and plating excellence.  They use their knowledge of the effects of water as the starting point for product development in the fabrication of shower heads, pressurized sprays, affusion pipes, and completely digitized shower systems.  Their expertise and passion has led to their ability to transform water.



Hot water in the shower is nothing new and we know it lowers stress, alleviates pain, soothes and prepares us for sleep, elevates oxytocin levels, and reduces cold symptoms such as a stuffy nose.  However, you may be surprised to learn that cold water is equally beneficial.  Cold water treatments have been proven to increase circulation by drawing blood to our organs, diminish muscle soreness, relieve depression, and boost overall oxygen intake. 


Hot and cold water, regardless of how delivered over one’s body provides benefits, but the advantage is amplified with the change in water pattern and pressure.  Water that forms in huge, gently falling drops, mimicking rain, makes you feel as if you are showering in the open air.  Dornbracht studied in detail the nature of raindrops and learned they fall light as a feather, bursting softly on the body.  Dornbracht then developed shower heads and sprays imitating this exact effect.  With Dornbracht’s large ceiling mounted shower heads such as Rain Sky, Big Rain and Just Rain, the user experiences a pleasant tingling sensation as the water drops over their body. 



Additionally, Dornbracht’s new, 2018 Interior Design Best of Year winner, Rainmoon, provides a unique home spa experience.  It has two newly developed flow modes; the Tempest with large, soft droplets pouring down from every direction and the Aqua Circle delivering water in the shape of a gentle funnel; all under a domed moon light.  This results in the user having the feeling of infiniteness when gazing upwards. 


Water that flows in a cascade makes you feel as if you are underneath a natural waterfall.  Dornbracht offers three cascading shower heads:  Water Fall, generating a deluge of water pouring over you as if under a natural waterfall; Water Sheet, supplying an arc of gushing water from a wide, flat spout; and Water Fall Pearl Stream, delivering individual streamlets of water sluicing over the user.


A soft water jet provides a gentle and relaxing massage; whereas, a powerfully pulsating massage jet invigorates and deeply relaxes.  For a more intense massage, Dornbracht offers pressurized body sprays called Aqua Pressure Body Sprays.  These are not meant to lightly spritz like body sprays of the past; they actually generate a pressurized stream of water resulting in a deep water massage.  The Water Curve provides a powerful neck massage and the vertical and horizontal Water Fans supply a back massage.


Another personal spa shower system product offered by Dornbracht is the Kneipp Hose or Affusion Pipe.  These hoses provide only cold water and are used after a warm water shower to produce a hydrotherapy response.  With 1 to 60 second applications, temperature stimuli use the skin to trigger positive reactions in the body, such as the narrowing of blood vessels which promotes circulation and invigoration.



Lastly, the most advanced faucetry being selected for a personal spa shower, is complete digital systems.  Digitized showers that are programmed to run different scenarios by quickly changing the temperature and pressure of water from various shower heads and sprays in an orchestrated choreography.  This allows the user to stand in the shower or lay on a warmed stone bench and in 5 minutes receive a treatment that energizes, relaxes, or brings harmony to their body.  Dornbracht is in the forefront of this technology with their ATT (Ambient Tuning Technique) Vertical and Horizontal Showers.  This advance shower system operates by using individual computer chips in separate valves for each shower function allowing the faucets to magically perform a water cure.


With all of the specialized shower options available today and the importance of health and wellbeing during our busy lives, it is no wonder the biggest shower trend is to transform your home’s shower into a personalized spa.   Doing so will allow you to experience the benefits on a daily basis, at any time, all within the convenience and privacy of your own home.  Now doesn’t that sound like bliss?

Cynthia Carter, Partner with Next Generation Marketing - an Independent Manufacturer’s Representative in Texas, and Immediate Past President of the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association.  She is passionate about luxury residential and commercial plumbing and hardware products and is honored to represent well respected and industry leading manufacturers, including DORNBRACHT.



Pamper the most important person in the world…YOU!

Let’s make 2019 the year of taking care of yourself… What does that bring to mind?  

Days off?


A spa in the mountains?

Less screen time?

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I suggest for 2019 you have it bring to mind


Want something close by?

No reservations required?




Repeatable several times a week?


Like any of these? 

Picture yourself in one or more of these photos? 

We do!   (You will thank me later. )

Happy New Year - of relaxation and self-pampering




You can deck the kitchens and baths

in elegance and style !

We asked our own sales team what they think the perfect Holiday gifts would be from Elegant Additions. 

Here are some of their faves - things we think should be on your holiday “wish list”:

 SUTTON (Dallas Sales):

My perfect Christmas gift from Elegant Additions would be any Jason Tub featuring the MicroSilk System. First, Jason has mastered the art of hydrotherapy - when water is the healer. Soothing tired, aching muscles, improving blood circulation, even simple relaxation, hydrotherapy is so important when choosing a tub for yourself. Studies have shown users of hydrotherapy sleep better, feel more energized during the day, have reduced blood pressure, fewer headaches, and are generally less stressed. 

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Now, imagine paring hydrotherapy with the magic of MicroSilk. Don’t know what it is? To put it simply, it’s the Fountain of Youth. Literally. While relaxing in your Jason tub, you can turn on the MicroSilk function. Small bubbles will begin to pour in from the side of the tub. Eventually, the tub will turn into a milky color. No, it’s not milk. It is still just water! What is making it look milky are the bubbles. These bubbles are so incredibly tiny that they are actually penetrating the skin’s surface removing impurities, carry oxygen for improved metabolism, exfoliate, and improve hydration. All in just 20 minutes of soaking. You do absolutely nothing! I think that is the best part of it all.

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You’re probably also thinking “ok, 20 minutes…the water will not stay warm for that long.” Wrong! These miracle bubbles collapse under water, therefore keeping your bath warm the entire duration of your soak. Any other bath, bubbles rise to the surface and accelerate the release of heat back into the atmosphere, hence why your water won’t stay warm. Staying warm enhances the effects of both MicroSilk and hydrotherapy: absorbing moisture, improving circulation, opening pores to release toxins, and increase cardiovascular activity.


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It’s a facial for your body. You will get out of the tub feeling exfoliated, hydrated, moisturized, and totally relaxed. And for those who worry about the effects of aging or have skin conditions: worry no more. Wrinkles will begin to disappear. Bruises and cuts will begin to heal quicker. Dry, itchy, irritated skin will be soothed. You will literally look younger and be healthier. MicroSilk is truly a miracle for your body, and your body will thank you.

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 If you would like to try this miracle out for yourself, stop into our Dallas showroom. We have a Jason tub with MicroSilk on display and we would love to show you how truly incredible it is!

HENRI (Houston Sales):

My pick is the Vola Wall Mounted Round Shower Head. Excellent design, the finest materials and Danish craftsmanship.

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Manufactured from a solid 1322 pound rod 11” in diameter, they produce 43 round showers.

Each brass or stainless steel slice is polished by hand in Denmark.

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It’s an extraordinary shower head that no luxury home should be without. Available in 26 finishes.

Wall or ceiling mount. $5715 list price Exclusively at Elegant Additions.  


MALORIE (Houston Sales Assistant):

I think the perfect Christmas gift would be the Eternity Lighted Mirror from Electric Mirror.  

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What better way to light up the holidays than with a Lighted Mirror from Electric Mirror! Specifically the Eternity Lighted Mirror. The round illuminating glow it puts off will help you primp for the holiday parties or any festive function. If you opt to add the AVA technology to your dimmable mirror, you have a range of warm to cool lighting to choose from, all the way to a dim night light glow.

And here’s the best part….every time a mirror with the AVA technology is purchased, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to help find a cure for cancer. This warm gesture is in honor of a little girl named Ava, who is the younger sister of an employee at Electric Mirror, who is battling cancer. (See below.)

This beautiful mirror is available in 3 sizes, proudly made in the USA, and energy efficient to boot!

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 A little back story on the Ava Technology: Beautiful, confident, Ava.

The product name Ava was chosen to honor an Electric Mirror employee’s beautiful younger sister who is battling cancer. When we first met Ava, we were struck by her strength, confidence and beautiful smile. And because this innovative lighted mirror technology brings out every woman’s beauty and confidence, naming it after Ava just made sense.

Now every time a lighted mirror with Ava technology is produced, Electric Mirror employees will be reminded of beautiful, confident Ava. And every time a mirror with Ava technology is purchased, a portion of the proceeds will be donated in Ava’s honor to help find a cure for cancer.


Lauren (Dallas Sales):


DLV hardware, in my  opinion, is the sexiest hardware out there. It is designed and made in New York, which gives it such a beautiful “one-of-a-kind” feel.
The high quality, craftmanship, and deliberate design are just a few reasons why it is listed as my Fav! I think I became a brass believer after seeing their Satin Brass and Wenge Wood Tao pull. PERFECTION!  

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November 1st is gone already. The TV is promoting The Nutcracker and toys for kids. How did we get here already? I looked up last weekend, saw the date and panicked. I really wanted to update my own house before the family arrives for Christmas.

So where to better start than the plumbing and hardware. What could I do in time that would make things a little more 2018? I started with my loft room. It’s our fun room in the trees for Sunday coffee and sunset cocktails. Screen doors and decks extend the space. I went in and removed the wood bar sink and satin nickel faucet, polished aluminum cabinet hardware, and way too big coffee table. The wall light was satin nickel too and had to come down. Now here is what it is today.


The sink is now a flat bottom matt black ALAPE bar sink. And yes it IS too late to order that now in time for the holidays. But there are other things that could come in, in time. I paired it with a matt black bar fitting from DORNBRACHT. It is part of their new special finishes program. The DLV Cabinet Hardware is a combo of unlacquered brass and black and to die for. That wall lamp, well it’s now painted matt black. New art was added. A very large ottoman came in from the 1st floor. It holds a tray or just our feet. I bought two great mini martini tables for well, just that.

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But why stop there? The guest room needed a new fitting as the previous one looked dated. So THG came to the rescue with this perfect industrial looking fitting which coordinates with the existing legs of the console. And the mirror is from HASTINGS which was in stock in New York.


I wanted a pop of color to brighten things up so new pillows for the bed too from PERFECT QUILT in Houston. Carol is amazing!

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Then last weekend I decided to keep going and redo the powder room. On Sunday I stripped out the room, taking down the wall mount faucet, furniture, mirror, and more. I headed to the paint store, bought a very dark chocolate brown paint and got to work. You will see in the finished room the brown came from a one of a kind collage in that room created by MARLYS TOKERUD. We love it and it holds a special place in our hearts.


Off to the plater went the legs of the furniture and faucet. Voila, three days later my powder has unlacquered brass fittings with new accessories on the way.

And check out the gorgeous TURNSTYLE knobs that replaced the nickel square originals. Those are going to take a little longer.

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And as the Elle Décor prediction for 2019 bath trends says, incorporating a large fine art piece is hot. So of course, I did just that.

My last task is to replace the dining room chandelier. I headed over to our great client LADCO DESIGN CENTER and found the perfect thing in the lighting gallery. Thanks Lynn!

Now, I have a lot of rooms (great current rooms) to spread out the family and guests.

Thanksgiving and Christmas – bring it on. I’m ready!

The Fall of the British Isles...

The Fall of the British Isles…

I’m going to spend the fall showing and telling of many of our vendor friends in the UK. I’ve just returned from a marvelous fall trip to England and a visit to the WILLIAM HOLLAND factory.

We arrived in Bath, England to meet our host, who is a resident of Bath. How appropriate that William Holland Baths is located so close to the city of BATH. But first, a personal tour of the city.

Wouldn’t this make an incredible showroom?

Wouldn’t this make an incredible showroom?

The header over the door is perfect.

The header over the door is perfect.

Across the plaza is the Bath Cathedral with their very clever angels using ladders to get to heaven

Across the plaza is the Bath Cathedral with their very clever angels using ladders to get to heaven

Next morning off to WILLIAM HOLLAND in the Cotswolds. It is a picture book place.

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William Holland makes hand crafted baths, basins and more, and stores them all in these gorgeous buildings. The day we were there, a dairy cow came calling, right up to the front door.  Can you believe they are still using thatched roofs?

William Holland makes hand crafted baths, basins and more, and stores them all in these gorgeous buildings. The day we were there, a dairy cow came calling, right up to the front door.

Can you believe they are still using thatched roofs?

All the tubs are copper or brass based and do an amazing job of holding the heat. And they really are comfortable. Stop into one of OUR showrooms and check them out.

All the tubs are copper or brass based and do an amazing job of holding the heat. And they really are comfortable. Stop into one of OUR showrooms and check them out.

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I fell in love with this place before I even arrived.  And then I went inside their “showroom”

I fell in love with this place before I even arrived.

And then I went inside their “showroom”

I want this!!!

I want this!!!

And this !!!

And this !!!

Taking votes on this one…So many choices though. You can do any metal color out (including matt black) and ANY color inside! Pink anyone?  Watch the video of Elegant Additions at Wm. Holland Showroom  HERE

Taking votes on this one…So many choices though. You can do any metal color out (including matt black) and ANY color inside! Pink anyone?

Watch the video of Elegant Additions at Wm. Holland Showroom HERE

But I think I want this color?  If you’d like more information or a catalog, please contact us. And if you are ever in that part of England and would like to visit, please let us know. We’ll arrange it. Mark, one of the owners is a truly a lovely guy.

But I think I want this color?

If you’d like more information or a catalog, please contact us. And if you are ever in that part of England and would like to visit, please let us know. We’ll arrange it. Mark, one of the owners is a truly a lovely guy.

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Be back soon!