Author Archives: April Weiner

Celebrating World Interiors Day

Airport Tour 2

This past Saturday, May 30, was World Interiors Day, a day to educate others about the influence design has on daily life. The event is headed by the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) and has been adopted by ASID as a day to urge designers to share how they give back to the communities they serve.

With that in mind, we’d like to share our community involvement. Each year, we participate in the ASID Washington Metro Chapter’s Spruce Up. The Spruce Up allows individuals or businesses to hire an ASID interior designer for one or two hours at a special rate, with all the proceeds benefitting ASID’s educational efforts. This project allows community members to learn what interior designers do and obtain consultation from highly qualified interior designers that they might not have otherwise been able to afford. Due to high demand, Kayla helped three and Carolin helped four Spruce Up clients.

Furthermore, our active membership in the ASID Washington Metro Chapter has led to our continued support of the ASID Foundation. The ASID Foundation’s mission is to “support endeavors that capture and disseminate knowledge, encourage innovation, and benefit the health, safety and welfare of the public through interior design research, scholarships and education.” The Foundation accomplishes this through numerous programs, all of which can be read about here.

We most recently supported the foundation with ASID Washington Metro Chapter’s benefit: a tour of the Washington Reagan National Airport last Friday. Naturally we were excited to support the Foundation, but just as excited to get a tour of our region’s busiest airport! The tour was centered on the 30 pieces of art commissioned specially for the airport and the integration of the city’s landscape into its design. The group photo seen above is of “Foliated Trellis”, a piece by Kent Bloomer and located in Ticketing Level South.

What’s funny is that as we were touring the airport, we actually ran into two of our clients and Carolin’s close friends on their way out of town! It’s always great to run into our wonderful clients and friends, even if we didn’t get to take a trip ourselves!

The Design Exchange Team

Earth Day Every Day at Design Exchange

Earth Day QuoteLast Wednesday was Earth Day and #EarthDayEveryDay was trending on Twitter. This is a statement we try to embody here at Design Exchange.

As a business, we try to minimize our carbon impact by recycling everything we can: discarded paper, old magazines, cardboard packaging, empty ink cartridges, just to name a few. Additionally, we donate all of our out-of-date samples to local interior design schools. To save paper, we utilize auto bill pay options and submit orders via email when we can.

When we renovated the office, we installed a filter for water to eliminate the use of bottled water. For our appointments outside of the office, we always fill up a reusable bottle and Kayla has even started using her own cup for those afternoon Starbucks pick-me-ups!

For projects, we source from local vendors whenever possible, since decreased travel mileage reduces carbon footprint. We always select quality materials for our designs that are more durable and reduce waste because they don’t need to be replaced as frequently. Plus, many of our vendors incorporate recycled materials and other sustainable practices into their business as well, which cuts the environmental impact even more!

We continue to educate ourselves and our clients about sustainable design and follow LEED procedures when possible. And we are proud to share that Irina is working towards obtaining LEED Associate credentials from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

We’re constantly looking for new ways to lessen our environmental impact and make Earth Day Every Day.

What steps do you take to reduce your carbon footprint?

The Design Exchange Team

Meet our Assistant Designer, Irina!

This has been a long time coming, but we are happy to officially introduce the newest designer at Design Exchange, our Assistant Interior Designer, Irina Ivanova, Allied member of ASID.

Irina joined Design Exchange as an intern in October 2013. She became our Assistant Interior Designer in July 2014, and has since graduated Northern Virginia Community College with her Associate of Applied Science degree in Interior Design.

Kayla and Carolin are thrilled to bring Irina into the design team, as they continue to help emerging designers, like Irina, get started in the design industry, especially in the DC Metro area. Irina brings great energy, appreciation for all design, attention to detail, additional CAD skills, and innovative design ideas to the Design Exchange team. We look forward to what Irina can continue to bring to our team and to each project.

You can read Irina’s complete bio on our website here.

Please join us in welcoming Irina to Design Exchange!

The Design Exchange Team

American Craft Council 2015: Frank Seckler Gallery

As spring nears, we look forward to gaining inspiration from the unique handcrafted pieces at the American Craft Council show. We pride ourselves on incorporating distinctive details into our designs and especially enjoy supporting American artists when possible, so attending the ACC show has become an annual tradition of ours to scout one-of-a-kind pieces for our projects.  Last Wednesday, the entire Design Exchange team attended the wholesale show opening day in Baltimore.

We had to deviate from our original plans a bit, thanks to the snow the DC area had received the day before, but we weren’t going to miss the ACC show, so we made it work! We started the day at an early morning appointment in Alexandria, followed by a visit to the Washington Design Center for research before finally making the trek to Baltimore. Irina, Carolin, and I were very excited to see what was new at the show this year.

The first change was that the show had been moved to a different part of the convention center, which took a bit of wandering to finally find! Once we found it though, we were ready! We started walking through the booths, looking for the home accessories area, when we stumbled upon a booth that just wowed us.

Frank Seckler Booth

Frank Seckler’s booth (Frank Seckler Gallery) caught all of our eyes. Our first impression of the booth was from the side, which was adorned by three mirrors (as seen in the picture above). As we rounded the entrance, we saw that the mirrors were just the tip of the iceberg. The booth displayed accent tables, coffee tables, console tables, and other art. Carolin immediately struck up a conversation with the artist, Frank, who showed us his portfolio, which included quite a few additional furniture pieces, mirror shapes, and assorted custom projects! Frank’s gallery is located in Taos, New Mexico and he specializes in metal.

Here are just a few pieces from Frank’s booth that caught our attention.

Frank Seckler Table 1

Frank Seckler Table 2

Frank Seckler Table 3

 

Let us know if you’re interested in learning more about Frank’s work or if you’d like to incorporate one of his pieces into a project of your own.

Kayla

 

 

 

Kayla Elected to ASID Washington Metro Chapter Board!

I’m excited to announce that I was recently elected to the ASID Washington Metro Chapter’s Board as Communications Director, beginning in October!

The role includes overseeing the chapter’s newsletter, website, public relations/media outreach, directories, and other internal and external communications. What I’m most looking forward to is another opportunity to give back to the chapter since it has served me well so far in my career.

Since Carolin is my mentor, when she suggested I get involved in the chapter upon graduation, naturally I followed her advice. She served as the chapter president in the past and speaks highly of the opportunities it provided her during the start of her career, as well as now.

I credit much of where I am today in my career to the education, support, and network of resources I’ve gained from my involvement in the chapter. After serving as co-chair of the chapter’s Emerging Professionals committee for a year and a half, I am eager for this next opportunity to serve the chapter.

Kayla

Vendor Spotlight: Marblex, Winner of Three 2014 NARI Contractor of the Year Awards!

Design Exchange, Inc. has collaborated with Marblex for client projects for over 25 years, almost since Marblex’s inception in 1987. It’s easy to see why. In addition to providing high quality natural stone and quartz products, their team is extremely knowledgeable, very gracious, and always willing to go the extra mile for us and our clients.

We always enjoy working with them and visiting their beautiful showroom in Fairfax that features a digital production facility right on the premises with state-of-the-art equipment. As a family-owned business, we marvel that we can never tell which employees are related and which are not. They all seem like family!

Naturally, we were delighted to learn this week that Marblex won three Contractor of the Year Awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for 2014! No surprise!  Just last week, one of our clients stopped by our office and raved again about the Marblex team’s expertise and coordination from selection to fabrication to installation of the beautiful kitchen counters.

Marblex’s award-winning designs can be seen here. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Marblex and seeing what’s to come from them in 2015!

The Design Exchange Team