Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Relationships with Designers + Clients

photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Every so often, I am asked to serve on a committee to assist in the promotion and marketing of an event. In September, one of those events was with the New England chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID NE). It was a two-part event that offered both a Distinguished Speaker presentation and then concluded with the Excellence in Design Awards. The event was hosted at a former Lamborghini showroom on the North Shore that is now used for catered events. It was the perfect venue for a group of designers who appreciate a unique space. 

photo credit: Andrew Swaine

With Katherine Hawkins, Amanda Greaves, Jill Janasiewicz, Lynda Onthank

Our committee meetings leading up to the event were so much fun! We were fortunate to have a busy group of designers involved who know how to get things done. Each of us had specific tasks (my job was event graphics) but all of us pitched in wherever needed to help make the event a success. During our meetings leading up to the event, we often shared stories about the design projects we were working on, and how we handled client needs. Since client relationships can determine how much fun one has on the job, we decided to have our guest speaker discuss this topic.

Mary Beth Haggerty and Jill with guest speaker Angela Merola

We selected professional speaker Angela Merola, a life-business-spiritual coach to present Client Magnetism: Tools to Attracting Clients. She was very engaging, encouraged audience interaction, and shared many valuable tips on how to find perfect clients and increase profits while doing so.

event florals for the evening were done by Laura Thomson Design
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Angela actually offers confidence-boosting presentations on her website. But if you are an ASID designer and need CEU credits before the year ends, you must purchase an actual DVD and then take an online test afterwards to receive the credits. It is definitely worth the commitment either way! Details here. 

I wrote a brief blog post for Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace highlighting some of the client relationship building tips that Angela shared with us back in September. Check it out here. For this post, the Designer Marketplace team chose some great photos from Williams-Sonoma. There is actually one in the post that looks a lot like how my coat closet for the Glen Magna Farms Designers Holiday Show House is going to look. How did they know??! Stay tuned for my own photos in a couple of weeks. Better yet, come visit me there! The mansion has been buzzing with designers and artists working their magic in preparation for the big reveal and we can’t wait to show it off! It opens December 1st. Ticket info here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Magic of Glen Magna ...

My next few weekends are devoted to pulling together my three rooms for the upcoming Glen Magna Farms Designers’ Holiday Show House. There will be a gallery space, a small powder room, and a former coat room that will be transformed into a glamorous walk-in-closet-type lounge. I have many people working with me to make this all happen by the gala preview party which is November 30th. The show will be open to the public from December 1–15th. There is a great group of designers involved in the transformation of this historic property that is used as a special events venue. Many of us, we discovered, have a special history with the estate. Here is a look back to how my relationship with Glen Magna Farms began ...

Friday, November 8, 2013

House Beautiful shout outs!

What does it mean when two people that I know are both noticed by House Beautiful within the same season?  #talentedfriends Laura meet Tami. Tami meet Laura.
Happy to know you both! 

– my go-to-pro for floral design –

– met on #BlogTourLA in October –

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stalking the Jet Set at Walker Zanger LA

#BlogTourLA paparazzi capturing the reveal of “Jet Set
the new mid-century modern collection from Walker Zanger

Even though I work at a bath showroom, I am discovering that there is still a lot for me to learn about designing with tile. There are so many great options out there beyond white subway and tumbled marble! While an invited guest on #BlogTourLA in early October, I was exposed to some of the latest collections released from the tile artisans at Walker Zanger. I was inspired!

The members of #BlogTourLA were invited for a showroom tour which began with the introduction of the Jet Set collection which is a nod to mid-century design. This modern day collection was influenced by the bold graphic patterns of the 1960s – an era when air miles were not accumulated for points, they were enjoyed en route to exotic (often times this meant domestic) destinations. Patterns from around the globe are present in this worldly collection that speaks to a time when traveling by air was indeed a luxury. After flying over 3,000 miles from the East Coast to enjoy being a part of #BlogTourLA, I felt a kindred spirit with the concept behind this collection.

Jet Set Collections from Walker Zanger

Below are some snapshots from our blogger’s tour of the beautiful Walker Zanger showroom ... 

Architectural Digest West Coast editor Mayer Rus welcoming
#BlogTourLA to Walker Zanger showroom on Melrose Avenue

A bit of brunch served at Walker Zanger showroom

Fabulous showroom moment: marble soaker tub with
Perrin + Rowe tub filler, Afina mirrors, mosaic tile

Tile love: subtle bubble backsplash

I am also loving: chevrons!

Moroccan style: a favorite for Cheryl Kees-Clendendon

Noteworthy: blogger Ronique Gibson posing with tile that poses as wood

On trend: rustic furnishings paired with sleek tiles in neutral colors

Recently discovered that these monogramed decanters (there is a W on one wooden orb and a Z on the other) are available via West Elm. They looked striking next to the mosaic wavy wall tile in the Walker Zanger showroom.

Thank you, Mindy Miles Greenberg, for taking this photo
of me with a favorite pattern from Walker Zanger: AnTeak

Stay tuned for some upcoming bath and kitchen tile projects inspired by Walker Zanger! For now, check out my #JetSet inspiration board on Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Comparing kitchens ...

A newly remodeled kitchen by Kristina Crestin Design
features super sized light fixtures, glass tile backsplash
bright green metal stools at the kitchen island.

An older kitchen that’s still on trend when outfitted
with industrial chic stools and black Viking hood.

A couple weeks ago I visited eight distinct kitchens that were on the 6th Annual Wenham Museum Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour. Check out what I discovered is trending in some of our neighbor’s kitchens via my post for Designer Bath. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

writers block ...

– image that will be in an upcoming post –

Maybe challenging myself to write a complete post everyday was too much to ask? I did work on a post today, composed about two dozen emails, and tweeted a number of times ... must check word count on all of those combined ...

For the aspiring novel writers out there, a twitter prompt is available for motivation – @NaNoWordSprints – encourages quick bursts of unedited prose. Just like runners who push themselves to go their fastest knowing it will only be for a brief time, writers are coached to come up with 1,000 words in just 30 minutes. Topics are provided and the goal is to get word count as close to 1K as possible. Perhaps there is something to be said for putting a time limit on the writing process? I will give it a try ... tomorrow.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Putting pen to paper ...

(bloggers = wine rings?)

I recently discovered that November is National Novel Writing Month. Across the country writers are being challenged to pen 50,000 words in 30 days, and are gathering together in person and online to encourage one another to write that novel that is inside them. I have always imagined writing a novel. These days, however, my story telling is strictly blog related. My son, who is just 11, loves reading and writing. He has been actively working on character studies and plot development for the past year or so. He just might be the real writer in the family.

#BlogTourLA designers/writers on our last night held at
the private rooftop club at boutique hotel Petit Emeritage

When I was in Los Angeles in early October with the dozen or so members of #BlogTourLA, we each discussed our blog writing schedules. Some of us were down to one post a week or month, while some still try to write every day. A lot of us write not just for our personal blogs, but for other online design destinations, so our own blogs sometimes get put on the back burner.

There was a time when many bloggers felt compelled to write multiple times a day. I remember enjoying morning, noon and night updates from some of my favorite bloggers (I was home with the kids back then, so it was a great way to connect with the outside world!) Today, there seems to be much less free time to write and enjoy posts. But the need to “tell a story is still there.

I am the first to admit that my blog posts tend to run long. I do a lot of research and try to fill each post with original photos and valuable links to learn more. This takes a lot of time. Sometimes I put off writing because I need a good chunk of undisturbed quiet time to finish a post. Even so, I am going to challenge myself to dedicate more time to writing this month – the posts may end up being shorter or less fine tuned – in order to share all the great design content I have experienced lately.

The aspiring authors participating in National Novel Writing Month set a goal of 1,667 words a day. I may not write that many, but I will try to pen something daily as an exercise in writers solidarity!

Today I am kind of cheating by sharing a post that went live this week on Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace where I explain the pros and cons of participating in a designer show house. Seems appropriate that this post came out the day that work began on the Danvers Historical Society Glen Magna Farms Designers’ Holiday Show House. I was there today doing some measuring and prepping ... stay tuned for updates (see, more content to write about!)

photo credit Eric Roth // interior design by Katherine Hawkins for Trio Design

{Read my 1,500+ word Designer Marketplace post here.}