Monthly Archives: February 2014

Resources, Relationships, Results

Remember when the 3 R’s were reading, riting and rithmetic? In today’s world we learn in business – as well as in friendships – that the three mentioned up top are just as important. Problems can occur when they are least expected and without the established relationships, they may not be easily solved.

Over many years our firm has searched out and found excellent resources for furnishings for our clients’ projects. We support them and they support us resulting in positive relationships. We are careful about our procedures, checking schedules, and planning carefully. Then sometimes the weather can turn everything upside down! Most of the time, a few days delay in a ship date is fine. Other times, that delay can be quite a problem. A phone call, to the wonderful rep, at the reputable resource and, “they should make the truck” became “The items are flagged as “hot!”. They made the truck, and the planned delivery. Results!

Last week, in a two day period, three reps came by to update our library with the newest fabric and wallpaper samples. They save us time and make sure that we have the best products at our finger tips. That is a benefit to us and it produces excellent results for us and our clients.

These resources, relationships, results lead to the 4th R – mutual Respect!!!


Design Exchange is on Pinterest!

So many of us use Pinterest in our daily lives, but not many of us truly know who is behind this phenomenal site. My eyes were opened last week during an education course on Pinterest and the Architecture/Design Community offered by our local Gunlocke/HBF showroom in DC.

Pinterest was created by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. Evan was studying architecture at the time, but began working with Ben and Paul on a site that would allow a pin board format for users to show collections of things. Originally it was thought to be a great resource for the design community, which it is, but it’s so much more. I don’t think the founders or most of the public ever thought that it would grow to what it is today. So how do you use Pinterest? Work, family, cooking tips?


P.S. Please follow Design Exchange, Inc on Pinterest here!

Our Just Rewards

Interior Designers work harder than most people realize, and much of that work involves time on the computer making sure that every detail for every order is just right. The parts that we enjoy include working with our clients and researching the perfect furnishings and accessories to enhance their environments.

This week, as part of our job description, we needed to make the trip to the Baltimore Convention center for the annual American Craft Council Show. Okay, I confess we wanted to go even more than we needed to go. This is one of our Rewards. Artisans from all over the country come every year to share their finest work. And every year, we are awed by the beauty and originality of their work.

We focus on the artists who feature items for residential and commercial interiors. We collected information from many of the participants.

The first that captured our attention was Kinzig Design from Pennsylvania. Karen’s hand blown glass lamps are dazzling. The shades are artistically shaped and custom made for each style. The colors and textures are beautiful. We are confident that we found the perfect lamps for a client’s master bedroom!


Sabra Richards has created stunning furnishings, art and sculptures of steel and kiln formed glass. The shapes and balance of her pieces is amazing. She has an incredible sense of color and texture. I fell in love with two of her console tables.


Can you imagine art hanging on a wall that is made of clay? Rick Epstein can. Take a look at his work on Clayworks. He creates gorgeous landscapes by grouping a series of tiles of clay to enhance an entire wall. The texture and dimension of his birch trees is amazing. When hung near a window, sunlight actually creates shadow in the wooded path. True genius!



What a beautiful day!


Back to Design School — But not as a Student

Starting this evening, I will be attending several sessions as a mentor to a senior class at Marymount University. It’s something that I was fortunate to experience in my senior class when I attended Marymount and I am enthusiastically anxious to pay it forward. I still remember those sessions, even after four years. I especially remember the mentors that came to our classes to help us with our final projects.

I’ve been back to Marymount several times since graduating. One was to participate in a grueling three day workshop to prepare for the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) exam. It had been two years since graduation but not much had changed. It was nice to walk to down memory lane, but I was also thinking about what had been available to recent graduates at other schools to enhance their education. Then in December, I was asked to speak to a new interior design class. Walking through the hall this time, it was apparent that much had changed. Offices and walls had moved. One of the drafting rooms had been updated with a computer lab, making it much easier to accomplish CAD work without competing for use of the other labs at the university. They even talked of getting a 3D printer, another plotter, and adding additional classes for CAD drafting.

I’m anxious to see how the current interior design seniors at Marymount have transitioned from where I was four years ago to today. And I look forward to continuing to support my alma mater and the students moving forward into the interior design profession.


Positive Color Vibes for 2014 and Beyond

A designer friend, Annette Phillips, ASID emailed me recently, saying that this must be my year. Pantone had just announced Radiant Orchid as the color of the year. Everyone who knows me is well aware that PURPLE in all its’ various, beautiful tints and shades, is my favorite hue. I enjoy seeing purple almost everywhere I go – not just at home. Look around and you will see purple everywhere. Now look again, what other colors do you see? There is a great variety of color in our world today.

Here is the true beauty about color this year, last year, and probably for years to come. We no longer have the mauve decade, the harvest gold and avocado green decade. Global communication opens our eyes to combinations of colors that intrigue us. We have almost any color we desire available to us all the time, every year. Manufacturers even provide fan decks from top paint companies for our own custom finish on case pieces. Fabric showrooms feature selections in every shade one can imagine. Fabric designers mix beautiful combinations into inspired, exciting patterns.

Color, your color, carefully planned and implemented, enhances your environment. Enjoy it.


PS – If you view our website, you will see purple in our logo and pages about us but you won’t see it in the images of client spaces. Their rooms are in their favorite colors!

Re-Launch at Last! Welcome to our Newly Updated Website.

We knew it was time. We also knew that we needed a team of talented experts to listen to us, understand our perspective, and guide us to the finish line. (Hmmmm. That is what we do for OUR clients.) Fortunately, we knew the people who could do that. Anne Taylor of Taylor Design and Photography (Eric Taylor is one of the photographers featured on our site) and Michael Drobnis of OptfinITy, our long time technology guru, each brought their specific talents and skills to the project. Thank you Anne and Mike for letting us be your clients. And thank you, Eric for your talents.

So take a look. There are several new projects on the site, kitchens, bathrooms (including an award winning master bath), powder rooms, and a variety of rooms for living graciously and entertaining. Commercial projects include office suites and a restaurant. If you have been to the site before, you will see a few familiar photos as good design can be timeless.

Our thanks also go out to every client who has let us show their projects on our site, given the wonderful comments that you can see on our Accolades page, and every contractor, architect, rep, vendor, fabricator and supplier that has made it possible to provide beautiful homes and businesses for our clients. Kudos, of course, to the talented photographers that captured the images for us to share.
Let us know what you think