While 2013 was amazing, I am ready for even more surprises in 2014. At the office, Mekenzie and Bree have both hit an anniversary and I realize constantly just how lucky I am to have such professional women who not only know their jobs, but have my back. Maggie joined us not too long ago and each day I realize what a good decision that was. Carson, too, is all about the details, and Betsy, who I've known for about 15 years has taken the one thing I hated to do . . . the books . . . away from me (joy!) I have such an amazing team and I just want to take a minute to recognize them all and thank them for what they do for me each and every day.
Yesterday, Mekenzie shot a new picture for our new website. Just shortly after that shot, The Scout Guide came in. Chris Edwards, photographer and Hobby Sherman, editor, were there to shoot for the upcoming 2014 issue. I am such a fan of that publication, it's a great source for the Best in Charlotte, not to mention how beautiful it is, thanks to Chris's gorgeous photos. I can't wait to see ours ! It was a fun day. We created a back drop of amazing wall papers all in the color palate of the new showroom look. Working with rich, saturated plums, golds, olive, blacks and fuchsia, I pulled a few of my favorites from Scion, Trove, Calico, Clarke & Clark, Osborne & Little. Stark's Ikat rug, a Dune & Dutchess Floor Lamp I love and Pacific Green's white leather and wood chair were the finishing touches. Take a look at our finished pic, by Mekenzie (and yes, I am still short in 3" heels !!)
It turned out just as I had imagined. Love. Thanks Mekenzie and Jill at Sloan - for some really fab duds.
I am in the midst of a re-design at the showroom and now that the website is updated, this "contact" page is reflective of the new showroom colors. I fell in love with this palette when I saw these images of Ralph Lauren's Fall 2013 / Winter 2014 Runway Show. I want a rich, saturated look. Something enveloping, with a touch of whimsy that will always be a look I am drawn to. The showroom will have . . . in my mind . . . the feel of these designs. I was inspired by Mr. Lauren, but put my own spin on it.
So 2014 is a new year, I am excited to do some new things, create something I haven't done before, play with new color combinations - mix it up. I have several new jobs coming down the pike and creating something special and unique for each client is always the goal. I have always felt that if you hire a professional designer, you have made the decision that orchestrating all the details involved in creating something beautiful is hard to do if you don't do it on a regular basis, but more importantly you want something unique that isn't in every mail order catalog or Internet site. I hear all the time that finding special pieces isn't the problem but mixing those pieces in a whole room or home and pulling it all together is the problem. Designers, good ones, can see the whole picture and have the experience not to make those common mistakes that often happen with size and furniture quality. So do I think designer's are worth it, yep. We figure it out, order it (deal with damages on occasion) and install it. Voila. Remember this... those websites out may also have a piece your designer is proposing, but did that website put it all together for you . . .
Your home should express your personality and designing a space that you love to come home to can cure the worst . . or dullest of days. That doesn't mean it always has to be more expensive, more over the top, it just means unique and comfortable. I love the hunt as well as the re-purpose. Sure, it's easy to fill a room with expensive, cohesive pieces - all with similar lines, colors, textures and finishes, but in my opinion (and I emphasize this is just my opinion) it can be dull and lack your true personality. I really love the mix-up.
Isn't your home your refuge? I come home to relax and surround myself with things I love, things with history and sentimental value. Things I still, years later, love to look at.
When looking for help, do your homework. Look at a designer's portfolio, read referrals, spend some time together. This type of work is personal. I get a glimpse into peoples lives. I get to know their lifestyle, their routines, what their kids are like and even what their dogs are like. When I meet a new, prospective client I take a good, hard look at their existing space, and I pay attention to all the details. Most of my clients come to me for one of two reasons, they've hit a wall or just don't know what to do. They want direction, decisiveness, new ideas, they don't want to deal with all the ins and outs of making something happen. They want a creative eye.
I recently spoke with a new client about how hard it was for her to make a decision and how she appreciated and needed a professional who would take that anxiety away. I can be direct and opinionated, especially when it comes to design help, it's my job. I recently read a blog post by a, let's call her decorator, an inexperienced one clearly, talking about her indecisiveness. She wrote that she not only couldn't pick a restaurant, changed her clothes 3 times before leaving the house, looked at 52 houses before making a decision and now when designing her own new master bedroom couldn't decide on that. My first thought was this girl lacks experience, and putting a comment like that out there would be the one reason I wouldn't hire her. Hum... not sure I would feel at ease knowing I was putting my trust (and a lot of money) in someone that wasn't direct, wasn't solid in their design choices, and lacked much confidence. Do you your homework when looking for help.
We are a mess that's for sure... Mekenzie managed to capture the real us . . I am putting out some sort of text fire and getting everyone involved in it !! Keith looks totally bored and wants to leave, he has art to finish.
If you don't know us.. allow me to introduce . . so you can put a face to the voice.
moi (thinking . . . where am I supposed to be next ?)
Betsy - the $ girl
Maggie - my design assistant, great style, and go to when you can't get me on the phone.
Bree - all orders, all details, orchestrator, the one with (most of ) the answers !
Carson - runner, special projects, woman of many talents.
Mekenzie - my fab photographer in tow
So keep on the look out for The Scout Guide 2014 and I'll keep you posted on our showroom install!
Happy Snow Day !!!