April 3rd, 2012
Must be Spring, the Architectural Digest Home Design show was in town last week. An annual rite since 2002, the AD show is a top-notch mix of ideas, trends, products and resources. Besides hundreds of booths, there are seminars, and free one to one consumer design consultations by appointment.
I love trade shows-for all the above reasons, as well as the crowds and the atmosphere. I get a quick read on the industry, and there is just something so uplifting about being in the presence of so much creativity. This is my fourth or fifth year going, always on the first day, to-the-trade only.
The crowd was nicely mixed: the expected haberdashery with horn-rimmed glasses, sweater sets with pearls, and everything in-between. Because of the unseasonably warm temps, many had their NYC requisite black-pants-and-white-linen-overshirt outfit ready to go, and there was quite an array of bejeweled and otherwise highly-decorated ballerina flats to be seen.
Also some whimsical touches-a gentleman with a permanently airborn necktie -a’la Dilbert, sculpted beards, even an Audrey Hepburn-esque character…all that was missing was the cigarette holder. (You’ll have to trust me on these, it would have been rude to try to get photos).
The show was happy, upbeat, and clever. (I am a big fan of clever). Colors were both clear and bright, and sophisticated neutrals. Lots of purple. (Big, big fan).
Most everything I saw was done well and with some fun, but nothing ostentatious or flashy. Craftsmanship was important. Not overly designed, but thoughtfully designed and completely finished.
Sexy-metallic-organic are still very big. But sexy was smart and sly, low key and quietly intimate. Outdoor lounges au deux were very big-literally and figuratively; textiles had great tactile appeal, and curves were everywhere. Metallic was muted-not shiny or glossy. Think minerals-bits of glimmer. Golden threads or high rayon content to add sheen, and burnished finishes on case goods and accessories.
Best of all, things with an organic, re-purposed or sustainable focus keep getting more fun and polished. This was also a favorite-Green River Stone Company works with actual fossils estimated to be 50 million years old, that they excavate from an ancient lake bed in Wyoming.
Painstakingly collected limestone slabs are brought to the lab in Utah, when the fossils are recovered and become one of a kind wall murals, backsplashes, tables and counters. Here’s a detail shot, but follow the link above to what their finished pieces look like.
There was a lot of traditional wall art (i.e. flat, and rectangular), but one really fun take were horizontal pieces that replicated a shelf of books and VCR cases. But not just “books”, there were themes-classics, kids, political, travel, you name it.
Painted and printed versions, books add real soul to a home; these were perfect for those struggling with the transition to e-readers, those short on space, or even just looking for big, fun art for a large empty space.
TOMORROW: Even more cool things from the AD show!
March 10th, 2012
We have so many words we can choose from.
The Word Of The Week series came about because sometimes it is just so effective to have a different or unexpected word to say, or to have a refreshed meaning breathed into an old favorite.
This week’s word is CONFIDENCE.
Regular readers know I’ve had a lot of changes going on in my life lately…some circumstances, some people, some thinking processes. It created some doubt and uncertainty.
Confidence is the result of experience. It is sure, but not boastful or arrogant. You own confidence. It is cellular, not topical. It is willing to ask, and to try.
Confidence knows what it can do, but keeps its eyes open as well. There is an element of peace and self-acceptance in confidence. It’s very personal, it knows it is the best it can be. Often I ‘discover’ I have become confident about something in my life after the fact, when I speak or act differently than I have in the past.
Furthermore, confidence cannot occupy the same space as fear or anxiety.
In recent weeks have found confidence is a lot quieter than I used to think it was.
In fact, I think the more you have it, the less you have to talk about it.
February 21st, 2012
“OK, You’re A Stager…What Do You Actually DO?”
Many professions bring more to the table than some snazzy ideas, or the completions of tasks. Home professionals in particular touch a chord in ways not easily understood, unless it’s your home, your space or your stuff.
Have been thinking a lot about some of my recent jobs, and what they were about besides picking the right paint color, or adding better light. Here are some examples of the jobs, and what came of them.
I am quick, quality decisions to investors, landlords and flippers who need to get in, then out of a property.
I am the fresh start that qualified renters and buyers are looking for.
I am time and money saved to those who need to purchase things, but haven’t shopped for years.
I am a facilitator of long-stilled hopes and dreams.
I am found time to REALTORS, and the cohesion between contractors.
I am simplicity, speed and clarity to those who want to get on with their lives.
I am relief to those who have so much stuff they don’t know where to start.
I am the voice of reason that keeps it from getting personal when frustrated couples can’t find common ground.
I am, sometimes, the common ground.
I am specific direction to those who can do it themselves, but aren’t quite sure what they should do.
I am a reasonable way the local small businesses and storefronts build their business.
I am new eyes to a buyer who can’t quite see potential in an outdated property.
I am a trusted friend and guide to sellers who are both overwhelmed by both tasks and emotions as they change stages in life.
I am clear-thinking, support and encouragement to families as they deal with loss, or change.
AND I am a great alternative to the dreaded best friend of the mother-in-law who has a knack!
If you have a property that no one is looking at, or making any offers on, there is a reason. Talk to me now, I help people make wise plans and good decisions about their space and their stuff. Let’s get your property sold/rented, so you can get on with your life.
January 15th, 2012
Each Word Of The Week looks at the extraordinary power of a familiar word, this week that word is TRUST.
Lot of bantering about this word lately. It’s a word that is so universally understood, yet hard to define, and with many manifestations.
It feels strong and established, sturdy and dependable…yet still fluid.
Trust is not a manufactured modular house, created quickly, and dispassionately in parts that are trucked to and assembled on site. No, it is a stick-built home, that starts with the foundation, and is built up, upon that foundation, piece by piece. As in our relationships, each new piece rests on the integrity of what went before.
I think that’s why trust betrayed is so hurtful, you question everything that went before. But like a physical structure, if a part does fail, repair can make it stronger, but timeliness is urgent, so damage doesn’t grow.
It is not a solitary pursuit, it’s always about a RELATIONSHIP…even if you can’ trust yourself’ with, say cheesecake in the house (!!), you create another, evil, cheescake-snarfing bad-twin, because your sane self would know, and behave better.
Trust requires open and authentic communications, so LISTENING is important. To be trusted, you need to know what is important to the other side.
Implied is a suspension of belief, so there is also RISK in Trust. It is taking LOGIC as far as you can, then letting go. Ernest Hemmingway once said the only way to know if you can trust someone, is to trust them.
Little known fact: Regan’s famous ‘Trust, but verify’ comment to his Soviet counterpart actually came from a Russian parable that Lenin himself used to quote.
I have a number of random thoughts about TRUST, but one thing I know for sure, TRUST cannot occupy the same space where HURT, ANGER or FEAR exists.