Design disruptor Embello unveils second annual virtual showhouse, Living by Design

Chicago, IL (September 2023) – Embello, a marketing platform dedicated to the home and design industry, has revealed 12 top designers’ fantasy rooms for its second annual virtual showhouse, Living by Design

Los Angeles based, and Emmy-nominated TV host and designer, Bobby Berk wanted to create a room that felt modern, warm and cozy by bringing in sculptural furniture and accessories with curvy, organic shapes that contrasted linear elements like marble and wood paneling. The color palette is a mix of neutral tones like ivory, black, camel, and terracotta. He wanted to keep the space more muted since it is a central point in the home that connects the other spaces, but accented with striking furnishings. Bobby was inspired by the home’s traditional exterior, and brought in elements like the coffered ceilings, dramatic wood moldings, and custom parquet wood flooring. The dynamic modern elements were inspired by mid-century and 70’s modernism with references ranging from English manners to New York City brownstones. He wanted the great room to evoke a feeling of contrast: both excitement and relaxation filled with energy but also quiet and composed.

The anticipated showhouse, which is digitally set in a traditional new-build in Brentwood, CA, can be toured virtually by design professionals and enthusiasts – encouraging accessibility of a traditionally trade-centric event. The 12 strategic designers selected for the project planned, designed and thoughtfully curated each individual space that comprises the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath West Coast setting, complete with pool, outdoor dining and sunroom. 

Four time AD100 designer, LA-based Brigette Romanek wanted the primary bath to feel like a cozy spa experience with beautiful materials, soft colors and wallpaper. It is a harmonious space that makes you want to relax and exhale. For her, the primary bath is a place you can shut yourself off, reconnect with yourself in a surrounding that makes you feel truly good. Bridgette’s favorite moment is the tub which has a beautiful shape and design. It is modern and a bit unusual in the best way, one you could really lounge in. She wanted the space to evoke a journey of relaxation and calm by bringing in creams and celadon greens.
Four time AD100 designer, LA-based Brigette Romanek wanted the primary bath to feel like a cozy spa experience with beautiful materials, soft colors and wallpaper. It is a harmonious space that makes you want to relax and exhale. For her, the primary bath is a place you can shut yourself off, reconnect with yourself in a surrounding that makes you feel truly good. Bridgette’s favorite moment is the tub which has a beautiful shape and design. It is modern and a bit unusual in the best way, one you could really lounge in. She wanted the space to evoke a journey of relaxation and calm by bringing in creams and celadon greens. 

Ranging from household name Bobby Berk and AD100 designer Brigette Romanek, to top-tier designers and influencers, including Marie Flanigan, Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar, Dabito, Camille Styles, Paloma Contreras, Anne Sage, Carmeon Hamilton, Ariel Okin, Don Ricardo Massenburg, and MA Allen, they bring together a diverse array of design perspectives—and a combined 6.5M+ Instagram followers—to create an exciting shoppable showcase for consumers and industry insiders alike to experience. 

Houston based interior designer Marie Flanigan wanted to create a moody retreat and relaxing escape for the primary bedroom. She started with architectural detailing, then layered the room in bold pattern and rich saturated tones and created vignettes to emphasize a cocooned feeling rich with depth and materiality. Her inspiration and color palette were derived from the vintage hand-woven tapestry inset in architectural paneling covering the walls contrasted by more contemporary furnishings. The pattern and repetition that the paneling created throughout the space framed all the seating vignettes and brought color and interest offset by the bright lacquered ceiling.
Houston based interior designer Marie Flanigan wanted to create a moody retreat and relaxing escape for the primary bedroom. She started with architectural detailing, then layered the room in bold pattern and rich saturated tones and created vignettes to emphasize a cocooned feeling rich with depth and materiality. Her inspiration and color palette were derived from the vintage hand-woven tapestry inset in architectural paneling covering the walls contrasted by more contemporary furnishings. The pattern and repetition that the paneling created throughout the space framed all the seating vignettes and brought color and interest offset by the bright lacquered ceiling. 
Raleigh, NC based designer MA Allen immediately enveloped the kids bedroom suite in detail from tip to toe. She was inspired by 18th century French textiles and design which made a beautiful little girl’s dream space. In an effort to create drama and maximize usable space, she placed a custom bed centered along the rear wall unexpectedly running parallel. She designed the bath floor plan to maximize space, opting for a tub/shower combo allowing room for an L-shaped vanity and makeup counter – essentials for her later in life. MA wanted the space to be as custom as possible in every aspect by designing her own furniture, lighting, and elaborate drapery and detailed bedding to bring her whimsical and eye-catching dream to virtual life. Her favorite moment of the space is the over the top canopy bed and was drawn to a more period piece moving in the direction of a lit à la polonaise. MA sourced an antique Louis the 16th bed to be reupholstered. A custom shaped tester with matching panels was designed using a fabric of embroidered scales, lined in a French silk taffeta Directoire stripe from the 18th century. She took some of the traditional shapes of the lit à la polonaise and made it her own.

Embello CEO and showhouse founder, Laiza Cors notes, “It is fascinating to see it all come together again for a second time. Every space is so different and reflects the designers’ aesthetics flawlessly, yet each flows together harmoniously in this virtual environment. The outstanding expression we are able to show off in such a digital setting excites me – it’s thrilling to know so many people can access the house and shop these spaces on their own devices with a tap of a button.” 

The LBDSH lives on its own dedicated website which features an interactive home tour allowing consumers and designers to tour every space in detail. Brought to digital life by 3D visualization experts at YouSee Studio to bring the designers’ visions to virtual life. 

For the exterior spaces, New York based Will Taylor aimed for a Mediterranean meets Californian garden with layered plants, gravel and reclaimed brick mixing European inspired and laid-back California furnishings. He took his inspiration from his travels: ranging from Italian gardens of the Grand Villas in Ravello on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, to the much more rustic, pared back and understated beauty of the Spanish Balearic Islands, and his time spent in Montecito and Santa Barbara. He wanted the outdoors to evoke a breezy carefree feeling of being ensconced in a gorgeous garden of a private home while you are on vacation. The standout design element is the backyard outdoor shower - a show stopping moment.
For the exterior spaces, New York based Will Taylor aimed for a Mediterranean meets Californian garden with layered plants, gravel and reclaimed brick mixing European inspired and laid-back California furnishings. He took his inspiration from his travels: ranging from Italian gardens of the Grand Villas in Ravello on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, to the much more rustic, pared back and understated beauty of the Spanish Balearic Islands, and his time spent in Montecito and Santa Barbara. He wanted the outdoors to evoke a breezy carefree feeling of being ensconced in a gorgeous garden of a private home while you are on vacation. The standout design element is the backyard outdoor shower – a show stopping moment. 

Since the announcement in June, audiences have been able to follow along each designer’s process behind the scenes, as moodboards, renderings and sneak peeks were shared along the way. Consumers have the opportunity to explore and engage by purchasing sponsored products, shopping sought-after brands and learning more about trending designers. 

Houston based Paloma Contreras created a vibrant classic kitchen with a modern feminine spin that is both utilitarian and functional and also beautiful, meant to be versatile. She was inspired by the striking botanical wallpaper which evokes the outdoors - it became the emphasis for the rest of the design. kitchen is a classic and timeless space for the busy young family she imagined spending a lot of time here. The bold architectural steel doors and windows give it a sense of arrival and delineate the breakfast from the kitchen areas.
Houston based Paloma Contreras created a vibrant classic kitchen with a modern feminine spin that is both utilitarian and functional and also beautiful, meant to be versatile. She was inspired by the striking botanical wallpaper which evokes the outdoors – it became the emphasis for the rest of the design.

Returning Living by Design Showhouse designer, Emmy-nominated TV host, Bobby Berk who designed the home’s great room, notes, “In the digital environment, we had the opportunity to not limit our creativity and approach the architectural design without any boundaries.” 

Another view of Contreras' kitchen
kitchen is a classic and timeless space for the busy young family she imagined spending a lot of time here. The bold architectural steel doors and windows give it a sense of arrival and delineate the breakfast from the kitchen areas.

Houston designer Marie Flanigan notes of her fantastical and moody primary suite, “One of the luxuries of the Living by Design Showhouse is customizing even the smallest detail.” She chose a vintage hand-woven tapestry inset in architectural paneling that would have been a huge expense and undertaking in real life. But she notes, “these elevated finishes make the space feel beautiful, unique and lifelike.” 

Paloma Contreas notes: “Participating in a virtual showhouse opens up every possibility as you are not confined by anything other than your imagination.”

Sponsoring brands are highlighted throughout the home including California Closets (organization), Kohler (plumbing), Ann Sacks (tile), Dunn-Edwards DURA (paint), Minted (original and fine art), Lamps Plus (lighting), AHF (flooring) and Summer Classics (outdoor furniture). 

Reno based designer and influencer, Anne Sage wanted the mudroom to feel very welcoming and organized. Both the mudroom and laundry room include sleek minimalist storage packed with functionality. The highlight is the sculptural Ann Sacks tile, from the Kelly Wearstler collaboration, which adds geometry and dimension to the walls.
Reno based designer and influencer, Anne Sage wanted the mudroom to feel very welcoming and organized. Both the mudroom and laundry room include sleek minimalist storage packed with functionality. The highlight is the sculptural Ann Sacks tile, from the Kelly Wearstler collaboration, which adds geometry and dimension to the walls. 

To tour the showhouse, visit www.livingbydesignshowhouse.com on September 13th; virtual panel discussions with designer insight will go live on the website on launch day. To celebrate the opening, Embello is hosting a national sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000 to upgrade your home; to enter, visit www.livingbydesignshowhouse.com/sweepstakes

2023 Living by Design Showhouse Design Influencers 

Bobby Berk – Great Room 

Marie Flanigan – Primary Bedroom 

Will Taylor – Front Entry & Pool Surround 

Dabito – Guest Bedroom & Bath 

Camille Styles – Outdoor Dining 

Paloma Contreras – Kitchen & Pantry 

See Also

Anne Sage – Laundry Room & Mudroom 

Carmeon Hamilton – Dining Room 

Brigette Romanek – Primary Bath & Closet 

Ariel Okin – Sunroom 

Don Ricardo Massenburg – Office 

MA Allen – Kids’ Bedroom & Bath 

About Embello 

Embello is a high-touch influencer marketing agency built by and for the shelter category. Founded by design industry veteran Laiza Cors, Embello was established on the realization that no dedicated agency or platform existed to help home brands navigate the influencer space. Since its inception in 2018, Embello’s network has grown to include more than 10k influencers covering niche categories across home and lifestyle. For more information, please visit www.embello.com. 

About Living by Design Virtual Showhouse 

Founded by Embello, the preeminent influencer marketing platform for the home and design community, the Living by Design Virtual Showhouse calls on a group of celebrated interior designers and influencers to imagine a completely virtual design showcase. The experience is brought to life as a virtual tour with an expert 3D visualization studio by way of amalgamating renderings, floor plan schematics, and products selected by each designer. This first-of-its-kind digital design event allows consumers and designers to engage with a wide variety of home brands with direct path-to-purchase callouts for potential consumers to buy pieces to incorporate into their own design projects. During its impressive inaugural launch in 2022, the showhouse received over 2 million unique visitors. For more information, please visit www.livingbydesignshowhouse.com.

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