Veronika Miller is the founder and CEO of Modenus, the interior design resource that has become the essential hub for manufacturers, artisans and designers in the US and Europe. Veronika has built a community with social media at its heart and real life events such as the phenomenally successful BlogTour, turning digital media buzz into real world opportunities.
A successful interior designer for 10 years, Veronika provided creative design solutions for residential and contract clientele both in the US and Europe. She conceived the idea for Modenus from her own frustration at not finding a resource which curated only the best and most interesting products in a catalogue that was accessible and attractive.
Robin Baron: What led you to create Modenus?
Veronika Miller: I had been working as an interior designer with focus on kitchens and baths for over ten years and was frustrated with online resources and with the options that were given to manage the products I had found. I wanted to create a virtual space where designers could find beautiful resources, manage projects and meet peers and even new clients.
RB: What is your favorite part about the site?
VM: I love waking up to new products that one of our participating manufacturers or artisans has uploaded onto the site and I love the aesthetics of Modenus. The background is very dark and sumptuous and presents the products on the site very beautifully and I love that we’ve stayed away from banner ads and other disruptions and made the look and feel very clean. We want people to enjoy their time browsing Modenus.
RB: What do you love most about what you do?
VM: The people. I love great design in all its forms but what really matters to me most are the people I meet in my work. Because we’re very visible on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and even LinkedIn we have a broad reach and I get to meet people all the time in real life, after having connected with them virtually first.
Particularly since we’ve launched Modenus’ BlogTour I’ve been able to meet designers and design bloggers everywhere I go and it’s been a privilege to not just give them a chance to travel with us to international design destinations but to hear them tell us that through BlogTour their work has become more visible, they have been able to increase their site traffic and social media following or even been able to make new business connection.
When we hear that we’ve contributed to a designer finding a new client, a vendor selling product or bloggers being perceived as more and more valuable in today’s media world then we know we’ve done what we came to do.
RB: How would you describe your own home décor?
VM: Relaxed and generous. I love open floor plans and one of the first things I did when we bought our home over ten years ago was to start removing walls. It’s an 80’s ranch style house and had this atrocity of a fireplace wall, complete with cedar paneling and river rock which served as a divider between family room and dining room as well was a half wall with one of those pass-thru windows to the kitchen. Now the space is all one with the fireplace free standing and all areas flowing into one another.
I designed the kitchen about 9 years ago when espresso stained cabinetry hardly existed and it was a huge production to get the cabinet guys to commit to such a dark color, as where the 3” wide frames on the shaker doors – all of that became very stylish a few years later but as they say…”We want what we want, when we want it”.
RB: What do you love most about your home and why?
VM: The light. There are big windows and french doors everywhere, all without window treatments, that overlook the 3 acres of land we live on. No matter where I’m at in the house I always see lots of tropical foliage and live oak trees. It’s a comfortable, unpretentious and peaceful place that I love coming home to after a busy day.
RB: What is the one thing in your home that everyone comments on?
VM: The kitchen.
RB: What do you put on your shelves? On your dresser?
VM: I’m not an accessory person at all. I love vignettes that other people put together in their homes but it never works for me. Good art goes on the walls and my shelves are packed with books which I’m not giving up on no matter how much of a techie I am. And believe it or not, I don’t have a dresser. It’s all a built in wall in my closet.
RB: What does fabulous mean to you?
VM: Anything or anybody that makes me stop in my tracks and it’s not just about aesthetics. A piece or a person with a great story can be just as fab as a beautiful object.
I’ve included a few pieces from Modenus of my most recent “fab finds” which you’ll find to be very monochromatic and sculptural, my current love.
RB: Anything else really that you’d want to include about the company would be wonderful!
VM: Modenus is all about community and we love to hear from designers and design lovers. People can always get in touch to share a favorite find or to be considered for a guest post on Modenus. We regularly feature talented designers in our “Design Spotlight Series” and in “Before & After” and we hand the stage to designers, bloggers or shop owners in cities all over world to contribute to Modenus MyCity, which give our readers a chance to learn about local, and often hidden, gems and contributors benefit from being able to share their story or tell people about their work or business.