Fav Finds @ High Point Market ~ part 2

Day 2 during High Point Design Blogger Tour was met with equally impressive showrooms and merchandise.  It's a whirlwind of loveliness wherever you turn.

Century Furniture is another favorite "go to" resource for me.  Their breath and depth of offerings spans cultures, styles and time periods and their cadre of designers keep this family owned company fresh and fashion forward.  You had me at Aspen, part of their new collection.

But there was also my friend and fellow designer Susan Jamison of Bridget Beari Design's wallpaper collection prominently featured with just enough sparkle and shine to showcase the appeal of gold on gold on gold.  You can never have enough!

I  was very  impressed with Universal Furniture.  It is a line that I will welcome into my repertoire. Their MODERN by Universal collection is clean and simple, sophisticated, functional, and well priced; everything we look for in a whole home lifestyle brand.  I gravitated towards their Smartstuff for kids collection.  Universal's Axis collection can take a little one from "crib to college and beyond."  With the birth of our 1st grandchild, this especially interested me.  It exceeds all the safety standards and includes enough bells and whistles that make this a standout option for little ones and their parents with great taste.

Huntington House, family owned and made right in North Carolina offers an eclectic collection of fine quality upholstered furniture.  They offer a fully customizable program with wonderful fabrics culled from the world over.  Chenilles from Turkey, linens from Ireland, and velvets from Belgium showcase a diverse style, texture, and color spectrum.  Their very realistic room vignettes make you feel like you could move right in.

And we did just that.  After a working lunch we tested Huntington House's reclining chair selection. Again ~ it's research : )

A little gem in the market place that keeps getting better and better is Theodore Alexander!  I don't know where to begin because they capture such a diversity of styles and periods.  Their custom program allows every piece to become personal.  The caseloads in assorted colors were captivating and the cowhide inserts in the cerused wood pieces were right on trend.  Yes please!

Wesley Hall is another manufacturer that I am glad I took another look at.  Their unparalleled commitment to their employees and customers goes back 4 generations, with a high level of personal support, as well as a high end and fashion forward product.  This is the cornerstone of what I look for when sourcing products for clients.  Wesley Hall unveiled a "Green with Envy" theme at market.  This verdant "IT" color grounded in black is always chic, sophisticated, and happens to be my favorite color.

Fell hard for the Interlude Chair

Love the Hadley Console

Ambella Home was familiar to me as a bathroom and vanity resource.  I learned their 2 year old upholstery collection with a wide range of exclusive fabrics and leathers was quite impressive. Thought out details are not overlooked as the company continues to expand.

The Claudette LEATHER embossed swivel Chair was a standout.

Whew... That's a wrap!  I want to thank everyone at High Point Marketing, Esteem Media, and all the sponsors for making the tour as fun as it was educational.  I loved the experience!


Thanks and Giving

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."          ~ William Arthur Ward

When the kids were little, we used to go around the Thanksgiving table and everyone had to say what they were grateful for.  It was assumed that we all were grateful for family, friends, health, etc. so we had to dig a little deeper.  Often, it made room for more lively conversation.  At the time it did not occur to me that we should really be doing this everyday, not just on a holiday.

Expressing gratitude everyday, whether it be thru journaling, voicing it or meditating over it, is crucial to our state of well being.  The science is there.  It can literally be measured; heart rates lower as does blood pressure, depression can be reduced, the practice improves relationships and enriches deeper connections, encourages us to meet personal goals, and last but not least leads to a better night's sleep!

The more you practice gratitude, the longer the good vibes last, like "muscle memory" when we work out, we can train our brain to help us feel better longer.  I read somewhere that when we practice gratitude for as long as it takes us to brush our teeth we add 3 minutes to our lives.  I don't know if that's true but what do we have to lose?  What else are we doing while we brush our teeth?  I am going to make this a new practice!

Another of the many benefits of "the attitude of gratitude" is that feeling better leads to better interactions, thereby spreading the joy.  You are actually paying it forward in lots of small ways.  When someone is kind to you, you are more likely than not to be kind in return moving forward.  Hence ~ thanks and giving :  )

Fav Finds @ High Point Market -part 1

Aiden Acrylic Bed by Bernhardt ~ I NEED THIS

High Point Market, after all the parties and parades, concerts and cocktails, is at the heart BIG business.  Companies want to show you their new introductions for the following season.  Come as I show you what our sponsors were up to ~

Bernhardt brought everything I love together in their Domaine Blanc collection.  It is equal parts edgy, organic, classic, modern, adventurous, and chic.  With a nod to the 18th century as well as  geometry, it took a fresh approach, and there is something for everyone!  It was described as if "Thomas Sheraton and Alexander Wang had a baby."  Hmmm, interesting; Domaine Blanc checks every box!

Bianca Console

Eichholtz ~ This Dutch company radiates enough glitz and glamour to have made Liberace proud! Their innovative ideas and dynamic goals set them apart.  Jewelry for the home is how I would describe them with their designs rooted in the past.

Sofa La Perla

SHO Modern speaks to a fashion forward, modern clientele that wants to be "wowed".  Susan Hornbeak created a collection that has irresistible visual appeal.  Her pieces speak to those of us that like a little sparkle in our lives.

Stacked Coffee Table

The Raven Cabinet

Durable with its 180,000 sq. ft factory, now makes furniture that is as versatile and visually exciting as their fabric line that we in the industry have come to know and love.

Memphis Side Chair

Lee Industries is a go to resource for me.  For over 44 years, this family owned company has taken pride in their products, their people, and their community.  "Be honest, be respectful, be fair, and be accountable" are words they stand by.  Who can't get behind that?  Lee has a vast, eclectic assortment in each category displayed in their enormous showroom.  I zeroed in on these beauties, among many other things.

Horn Chandeliers

Crypton was on hand to demonstrate the remarkable difference their stain resistant technology has on the ability of fabrics to resist the wear and tear of everyday use.  With 20 plus years of experience and a commitment to environmentally responsible technology, their home fabric line has a feel you'd want for your home with the ability to "release and repel" stains for heavy duty use.  To prove it, we spilled soda all over a sleeper sofa and the spill just beaded and was blotted away.  That's why Crypton is considered the preeminent leader in the world of performance fabrics and is also why it is incorporated into many of the manufacturers textile lines that we saw as we toured market.
And in the name of research we ate candy and made a mess!

Castelle Luxury, an outdoor furniture lifestyle brand's motto is, "Create a space that inspires you." Outdoor as become equally as important as indoor when you think about designing a functional living, dining, entertaining space.  We want all the bells and whistles outside too.  Castelle helps us get there elegantly with their custom made to order pieces.  The 2017 collection marries sleek lines with contemporary design for today's modern lifestyle.

Fire and Ice Collection
Helios Collection

Ameriwood is a reasonably priced, ready to assemble furniture manufacturer than spans many categories.  Found mainly in big box stores, they make sure they keep their finger on the pulse of what's trending.  Creating and displaying extensive mood boards for inspiration helps inform their consumer base.  Their adjustable standing desk was a stand out, something to think about when your Apple watch tells you to stand throughout the day.

The Salon section of the trade show is where the hip and hot reside!  Temporary premiere showroom space is given to "rising" vendors in the furnishings, decor, or gift categories.  A colorful, happy corner was occupied by Joanie Design.  With a certain joie de vivre and an obsession for details, Joanie's furniture (and custom wallpaper) collection is not a secret only her clients are aware of; now it's accessible to everyone.

Katy Skelton's dream is to have her own factory one day, but in the meantime Brooklyn is home. Katy believes in transparency and employs a socially responsible work environment.  Her designs are beautiful, purposeful, functional, and slightly nostalgic. The description of her company, modern + nostalgic, fits perfectly.  The collection is quite beautiful, with each piece strong enough to be incorporated into a wide variety of spaces.  I fell hard for this steel bench!

Camp Bench 

Linear Lights and Wyeth Cabinet

My friend, the uber talented Michelle Workman collaborated with Pyar & Co to create a trim line worthy of the French court.  Feminine, flirty and extravagant, I can't wait to see what else they will dream up together.

Thayer Coggin rounds out the day, but look for an upcoming blog post on this family business with a rich history.

Whew, that's day 1, stay tuned for day 2!

My Life, My Musings

 I am so glad I met LuAnn Nigara at an event recently! After 30 years in the window treatment business LuAnn now has a really successful podcast.  She put her voice to work for her.  I explained to her what I was doing; combining coaching and interior design. With that, she invited me to be on her show.  LuAnn was masterful at conducting an interview that really felt more like an easy going, casual conversation.  I so enjoyed speaking with her.

Listen on iTunes 




Thank you LuAnn, talk soon!

A Pied- à -Teardown

I often write blog posts like the media is supposed to do, more factual than opinionated (unless I love something, then I always express that).  This time however, I am choosing to think of this as an opportunity to express my opinion, more like an op ed piece, because it aroused such strong feelings in me.  I was at the gym reading November's Elle Decor, when I got to page 149, the story about Emmy Rossum's New York apartment.  I was aware from social media that she bought a place and the talented Antonino Buzzetta designed it.  It constantly amazes me what one can learn on social media!  I admire his work and congratulate him on a job well done!  I think he is uber talented.  I admire Emmy's work as well.  She wowed me with her beautiful voice in Phantom of the Opera and I think she is brilliant as Fiona on Shameless.

I loved the way she described how she wanted her new apartment to look.  "Chic, European, the look of a modern girl who has inherited her grandmother's stuff."  That is a solid description and a good jumping off point for any designer.  Antonino got to work gut renovating the 800 sq. ft. apartment.  Walls came down, the ceiling was raised, the kitchen was opened up, a fireplace was imported from the Paris flea market.  Emmy brought in her grandmother's chandelier which helps give the space immediate authenticity.  The finished project is stunning!  It's the perfect balance of old world glamour, oozing with style, like an original but better!  She's one lucky girl!

Having said that ~ here's the rub, the article states Emily contacted Elle Decor for help with her new prewar, co-op on the East Side.  Elle presented her with a list of designers, that's how she met Antonino.  They then went a step further by getting "the best home furnishings manufacturers in the business to sponsor the transformation."  High end, heavy hitters like Kallista, Circa Lighting, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Ann Sacks tile, and Horchow donated products from "cabinetry and tile to chairs and hardware," as it was described.  REALLY?  It's like my pet peeve about swag bags during award season.  These actors and actresses can certainly afford to design their own places and pay for their own clothes and sunglasses and jewelry, vacations, plastic surgery and the like (you know those swag bags are worth a fortune, right?)  Those that can afford life's little luxuries are given so much. Sadly, because that is what our society values; entertainers, athletes, titans of business.  It felt like such an injustice!  I wish Elle Decor would have kept that piece of information to themselves or helped a needy family with the generous donations.  What did they think they would gain by telling us most of what was in this apartment was given to her?  This was all I could think about.  What do you think?

Elle Decor ~ I have been dreaming about, dying for, a pied- à- teardown for years!  Will you sponsor me?  I'll write about it ad nauseam!

Ph: Joshua McHugh for Elle Decor except bath Alison Gootee, Studio D

The Principal of Prioritizing

 I came home from High Point, NC after a whirlwind couple of days on the heels of a week long trip to San Diego.  While I had a ball and would not have changed a thing, I returned feeling so overwhelmed that I wasn't sure if I was coming or going.  There were blog posts to write and homes to decorate.  I committed to a coaching course and was leaving for Florida within 2 weeks.  I literally took to my bed for a day; feelings of exhaustion overtook me.  Laying in my bed I kept thinking, "How am I going to get everything done?"  "People are depending on me, I can't let them down." "Can I do this?"  "Do I have what it takes?"  My monkey mind was going a mile a minute.  No good ever comes from that!

The answer to all these questions is ~ " YOU GOT THIS!"

After I rested and regrouped, I realized all I needed to do was to simply prioritize.  Sometimes we forget the obvious.  What was most timely?  What REALLY needs to be done?  Sometimes it is not even necessary to do some of the things we believe we need to do.  Can we put it off?  Can we pass it off?  Part of being a perfectionist or people pleaser is taking on more than we need to.  Sound familiar?  You'd be surprised, if you really stopped to think about it, how often you really don't have to do something you think you must.  Our brain lies to us all the time.

Make a list of what needs to be done 1st, 2nd, 3rd.  Do that in order of importance.

What can you let go of?  Maybe it doesn't NEED to be done, or need to be done now.

Who can you ask to help you?  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.  Counterintuitively, it's a sign of strength.

Clarity came, I laid out all the things on my to do list, delegated what I could, and got to work on the most timely of tasks.

Instead of thinking, "There is so much to do in so little time," I turned my thoughts around and guess what I told myself over and over ?~


photos: Pinterest

A #lifecoach lesson