Chatti Patti Talks with CEO Veronika Miller about Modenus, BlogTour and Wine.


Veronika Headshsot

The Lovely Veronika Miller, the Mastermind and Creative Force behind the global Modenus Brand and the ever growing and popular BlogTour excursions for the on-line interior design community.

Veronika is the glue of that community.



CP. If for some reason, our readers don’t know what Modenus is, what would you tell them?

Modenus is a networking platform and resource catalog for the interior design community.  Design professionals and anyone else passionate about interior design can connect in our forums, find inspiration in our daily blogs, Before & After submissions and live event coverage.  Modenus is free to users and very easy to use.

CP. Explain what you do as C.E.O of Modenus – Chief Eternal Optimist – it seems very broad.

It’s all about the people. Modenus is a community of talented designers, design enthusiasts, manufacturers, trade show curators and more. Most of all, I bring them together, make connections, create the magic which happens when like minded people get together. I can often see where a brand and a designer or blogger would really be a great fit, they may not know each other or, if they do, they may not know that there is a potential opportunity to collaborate. Because I often get to hear about their needs and wants I can introduce them and then step back and let them develop something amazing. It’s a mixture of pied piper and ringmaster.

CP. What was your goal when you began Modenus?

 As professional designer I was able to explore running a large studio as well as working from home to be near my daughters. I loved the independence and lower overhead of working in a home studio but realized that I was missing the support and inspiration that comes with working with other creative people, and their networks. I wanted to recreate that, virtually, but on a much bigger scale.

CP. I would affirm that you have been successful with that!

Modenus.com, the website, sits at the heart of what we do with its curated product showcase and reviews, designer portfolios and blogs but it was always about going beyond the web. Using the site to expand the network to people I could have never met without social media and then making those connections tangible by meeting these people in real life, to me that’s what really build lasting relationships.”

CP.What does the name Modenus stand for or actually mean? I mean, really, I couldn’t find it in the dictionary and everyone says it differently (meaning no-one knows how to say it).

modenus type 2

Ha, no you wouldn’t. It was a play with words that came out of jumbling Modern, Design, Domus and suddenly there it was.! We knew it would be risky to use a name that didn’t have an apparent meaning  but it looked very beautiful when written and was nice and short which is good online. We just had to focus a lot of attention on branding to make sure people would get used to it.

CP. Ok, great. What inspired the first BlogTour? 

 Wine. rose-winesmall Seriously, wine may have been involved.    winepouringsm

But more than that it was the rich diversity of culture and creativity across the globe which I love and wanted to share, it was about the magic which happens when you bring on-line / social media friends together, face to face in the real world and the first BlogTour was to London, a city which I have always loved. ❤❤❤

London bridge

I had been to a dinner with a group of design bloggers in New York and was inspired by their passion and understanding of their local design scene, these guys knew everything design related in New York and surrounding areas and I kept thinking, oh I wonder what they’d say to London Design Festival. So…I invited them to come along.

Today we continue to push further and further into the local culture. We ask local bloggers to curate design tours for us since, again, they’re the ones that really have a sense of what’s happening in their hometown. They’re actually called MyCity tours.  Locals have the best knowledge and the tours are usually the most popular part of any BlogTour. This year we’ve seen amazing design shops in Amsterdam, New York and New Orleans. I think our bloggers got a lot out of those resources.

Street scene during BlogTourLdn

Street scene during BlogTourLdn

Picadilly Market - streets of London

Picadilly Market – streets of London

BlogTour isn’t about scratching the surface, we want to immerse our groups in all aspects of design and I, personally, love to stand back and watch the bloggers as they see the tour. You can walk 15 people down the same street and end up with 15 different perspectives. I love that.

CP.  I must admit, I really got a kick out of seeing the Tent London signage at the entrance to the venue.  They needed to clean the window, but it gave me a little thrill seeing the BlogTour name on it.

Entrance to Tent London at the London Design Festival September 2012

Entrance to Tent London at the London Design Festival September 2012

BlogTourLdn 2012 With Christopher Guy and Veronika Miller London Design Week, Decorex September 12 #BlogTourLdn

BlogTourLdn 2012
With Christopher Guy and Veronika Miller at Decorex during London Design Festival-#BlogTourLdn September 2012

CP. Not all our readers are familiar with BlogTour, (though I cannot imagine why) and  I wrote a post, What’s a BlogTour? that will shed some light on the topic. 

CP. What is the biggest take away from producing BlogTour?

I know I am repeating myself, but it really is all about the people. The group we brought from London to New York last year still gets together to share cocktails and burgers every so often. Many of our sponsors are still in touch with the bloggers we brought to our first tour in London. It’s all these lasting relationships that are so important in what we do.

I think BlogTour is a great example of a grass roots initiative. Yes, we have a big audience, over a million people per tour, so we’re very visible but I hate to hang my hat on numbers. It’s about what everyone gets out of it that is the real bottom line.

If bloggers end up with more traffic on their sites or perhaps with a job opportunity and if brands end up with lasting relationships with our team and a broader audience for their message, then we did our job.

CP. I see you even have a Best of BlogTour (BOB) Magazine – what a great idea. Where do you envision Modenus 10 years from now?

Modenus is always evolving, that’s the exciting part.

We are about to launch Modenus Germany at IMM Cologne. It will have a global perspective but a local focus. Design is wonderful in that it is global and local at the same time. Partnering with teams in key countries allows us to expand globally but still be of specific interest to the people in those countries. There is also the potential of using the Modenus model for other industries. And I am sure there will be surprises. No one would have anticipated the impact of social media and mobile technology over the last ten years but that’s what our success is predicated on. No one knows how things will develop, how they will change, but Modenus is agile enough to make the most of whatever comes along.

CP: How has Social media played into the evolution of blogtour?

“Well that’s a big question.  Twitter and other social media sites have helped grow Modenus to rank amongst the Top 100,000 sites globally in less than a year which is why we love using them.  When we talk on our social media channels we talk about life, the design industry and a wide variety of products — sometimes tongue in cheek, sometimes serious and because we make it fun and have lots to talk about, people tend to listen. 

CP. When will you write a book and what will it be about?

Now that’s an interesting idea. Probably not this afternoon. If I ever decide to do that it will be about sharing my experiences in media and design to help others along, sort of a “cut to the chase” concept since I’m all about saying it how it is.

CP. What is the one thing you would still like to accomplish?

One thing? I feel like I haven’t even started yet. On the business side I would love to see Modenus with a global presence and maybe BlogTour too, always digging deeper for more inspiration.

Personally, my life is all about my three daughters and seeing them growing up happy and fulfilling their potential.

CP. One of the biggest things our readers would like to know is;  How do you manage to maintain balance with so much travel, especially international travel and differing time zones?

You mean balance in my life? That’s easy. I’ve been a single mom for over seven years and early on in our new “arrangement” my daughters and I created a strategy. Eveyone had certain responsibilities in the household and I would involve them in the business as much as they wanted to be, so they wouldn’t “lose” mom in the process. Now I take them with me whenever possible and they help with various tasks around the office. We’re a team and I love that.

Time zones and long travel don’t bother me too much. That’s where first class and comfy hotel beds come in, in fact, sleep is probably the most important thing for me when it comes to my health.  So, plenty of rest and a great homelife is the answer.

Patti and Veronika Farewell dinner

CP. We love you Veronika!❤❤❤

Everything Design and the Kitchen Sink

One of the many incredible destinations of the London Design Fair in September 2012 was 100% Design.  Along with 13 other design bloggers from around the globe, I was honored to attend this design venue to view and appreciate the talent and creativity of so many new and emerging designers. This trip was made possible in part by Blanco, a sponsor of Blog Tour by Modenus.  A manufacturer of high quality sinks, faucets and accessories, which are themselves a depiction of 100% design, Blanco is a company you may already be familiar with.  Visit their website for more in-depth information about their products shown below.

100% Design

100% Design 2012, the UK’s leading and most visited contemporary design event is in its 18th year. It was set to be the most successful year ever staged. Last years event attracted over 18,000 visitors and this year with over 25,000 visitors, is officially the UK’s biggest design trade event.

 Mercedes-Benz greeted us with their new Concept Style Coupé, one of my favorite displays!


100% Design was simply that. Showcasing the breathtaking design of The Mercedes-Benz Model above, was great marketing. They even chauffeured us around in a Mercedes-Benz.

Above are just a few of the very inventive designs spotted at 100% Design. I really liked the concrete wall tiles in the center. Would be wonderful for an office or commercial application.

Blanco is all about 100% Design in addition to 100% quality~

“Family owned since 1925, BLANCO’s humble beginnings included making copper galvanized parts for cookers and hot water bottles with a team of 30 loyal employees. Today, our company has produced more than 40 million sinks, and is recognized as a world leader in quality, innovation and unsurpassed service.
Long gone are the times when a sink was merely used for function. These days, it can be the muse for a kitchen – or perhaps an entire home. Because of our dedication to quality, we ensure that every sink is inspected multiple times before earning the BLANCO name. It’s just a part of our commitment to our craft and our customers.”

 Let’s start with the Flow sink.

“More than a sink – it’s an architectural element.With revolutionary MicroEdge™ technology, our award-winning BLANCO FLOW features gleaming stainless steel that blends seamlessly with the countertop, creating the illusion of flushmounted installation. Only from the artisans at BLANCO STEELART®.

Thank you to all of the Blog Tour Sponsors who made Blog Tour London a huge success!

Thank you to our wonderful Blog Tour London 2012 Sponsors!

Thanks for stopping by Chatti Patti Talks Design. I hope you’ve enjoyed and learned from these sponsored blog posts about some amazing products and The London Design Fair in general. I have so many more pictures and events from  the London tour to share and will post about them in the future. Please come back and see what Chatti Patti will be talking about…

We Were Floored!

Expansive selections, innovative technologies and beautiful designs.

That’s what was on display at the AMTICO Flooring space during 100% Design last month. During BlogTour by Modenus, bloggers had an opportunity to examine and consider the samples up close. You may be thinking, why would I care about vinyl flooring? You may not be a designer who specifies commercial flooring, but I am certain you walk on some from time to time and it’s nice to know a little bit about the products being used. AMTICO is an environmentally friendly company that produces BOTH commercial and residential products that are manufactured in the USA! Is that as important to you as it is to me?

Yes, this is a vinyl flooring product! What a beautiful and creative floor design for a healthcare facility. Photo:AMTICO

Lovely and modern! Photo: AMTICO

Remodeling your bathroom? AMTICO has you covered! Photo: AMTICO

Even in the bedroom, it exudes a modern yet cozy ambiance! Easy to maintain.

Two lovelies, Raina Kattelson and Erin Tye resting from the tug-of-war with the intermittent WI-FI or lack thereof.~

Blog Tour pals Jennifer Mehditash and Christian May take a respite from the activites while enjoying refreshments courtesy of AMTICO.

Press was on hand to ask a few of the bloggers their opinion of AMTICO. This is Rashon Carraway, unrehearsed. Photo:Patti Johnson

Official permission to blog about this product! We’re also a fun group to follow on #Twitter!

Unique and fashion forward selections for all your flooring needs!
Photo:Patti Johnson

Igor Josif explains to the Press why designers find AMTICO products so innovative!
Photo: Patti Johnson

A sampling of flooring at the AMTICO Booth~ Photo: Patti Johnson

Education about the technologies behind the product is very important to me as a designer. It helps me to explain to a client WHY they should purchase a certain product for reasons other than just that it looks pretty. I’m Chatti Patti and that’s how I roll!

Thanks for stopping by and come back for a new series soon on REAL LIFE COUNTRY LIVING. It will be a series based on a husband and wife team who dreamed of building a farmhouse in northern Michigan in the shadows of the Mackinac Bridge and the road well travelled to achieve it!  Included will be interviews with the DIY, country living- loving couple, lots of photos of the process and the kitchen (which I advised on). I’m so excited about it!

Thank you to all the sponsors of the Blog Tour London 2012!

Thank you to our wonderful Blog Tour London 2012 Sponsors!