Congratulations and Applause

It is imperative to us that the furnishings we provide for our clients are excellent quality and beautiful. We rely on our vendors for top notch service, fresh, innovative design, and protection of the environment. There are still family owned and operated businesses that are high on our list. It is no surprise that one of these manufacturers, Century Furniture, is once again on the list of Pinnacle Awards Finalists.

This is the 19th year of the American Society of Furniture Designers annual competition. Finalists were announced during the Las Vegas Market and the winners will be presented with their awards on October 20th during the High Point Furniture Market.
Century is a finalist in FOUR categories:

– Major Collections: Mesa Collection by Chris Bergelin and Thad Bergelin

Mesa Collection

– Occasional Tables: Links Cocktail Table by Pride Sasser

Links Cocktail Table

– Stationary Upholstery: Beaufort Bamboo Chair & Ottoman by Charlotte Moss

Beaufort Bamboo Chair & Ottoman

– Lighting: Parisian Table Lamp by Pride Sasser, Grand Tour Collection

Parisian Table Lamp

I wonder if those Century finalists will arrive at the brand new Century Showroom due to open on October 1st in Washington, DC!

Carvers’ Guild, a favorite for mirrors, is also a finalist.
– Tempo 1 Contemporary Collection, by Carol Canner

Tempo I

 

 Carolin

PS I am looking forward to my visit to the High Point Furniture Market to see all the newest and best. October 18-23

“An I or an E?”

When that popped up in an email last week my immediate response was “Yes!”
Truthfully, I walk the line. I am sure that I am an introvert at heart but occasionally the extrovert breaks through. This email obviously needed to be opened and read.

The Alpha Business Coaching Newsletter (Yes, Lynda, I always read your newsletters.) was about a recent book by Susan Cain, “Quiet,The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”. Lynda went on to explain differences in the two distinct types. Introverts need quiet time to assess thoughts and ideas before sharing with others. Extroverts have no qualms about verbalizing an idea and then listen for reactions. As I read her thoughts and explanations, I understood myself better and also figured out how the extrovert made an appearance! Over time I have learned that some of the ideas that were in my mind and not heard in group meetings, would have been more beneficial than the ideas that were selected. Finally, in areas of my own expertise, particularly for someone else, the extrovert could appear and speak up!

Lynda has some great thoughts on how business leaders can get everyone’s ideas into the open in the workplace. She suggests providing opportunities for everyone to plan ahead and bring ideas to a group meeting so that those of us who need the quiet time gain the confidence to contribute. A good read. Sounds like the book is, too.

Carolin

PS Sometimes that extrovert actually shows up in MY defense! Balance is great.

Email for Lynda Hess with Alpha Business Coaching: Lchess@alphabizcoaching.com

Recent Reminder of Why We Chose the City of Fairfax

More than two decades ago we were searching for an office space to purchase for our interior design business. We had begun in Old Town Alexandria and later moved to Vienna. We had been renting in Vienna and now had the opportunity to buy. After looking at a dozen spaces in nearby Northern Virginia, we chose the condo in Fairfax Commons on Old Lee Highway, just a block or so off Main Street in Fairfax. Recently I was reminded why we had made that wise decision.

As I drove into the heart of Fairfax on my approach to our design studio on a Monday morning, the parking lots and the Kitty Pozer Garden were fenced off for construction. The “fencing”, created with a series of panels, tells the story of the preservation and restoration project as well as the upcoming events in the City. By December we will be “Walking through Time” in the new and improved Old Town Square. And, yes, there will still be parking.

The City is now, and was then, a destination – not a drive through. It has history and yet is part of today’s world. It welcomes singles, families (young and not so young), businesses and culture. Several wonderful restaurants are within walking distance of our office. Community events are frequent and well hosted. It is a beautiful and pleasant place to work, live and have a good time.

We made the right choice.

Carolin

 

PS I am going to try to make it to the next Rock the Block. I love music!

City of Fairfax Resources:

Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce 

Downtown Park Project 

Design Exchange Approved: A Few of Our Favorite “Fairfax” Things

 Le Mediterranean Bistro

Woody’s Ice Cream

Choices by Shawn 

Bollywood Bistro 

P.J. Skidoos

 

Trip Down Memory Lane with Favorite Clients

“Isn’t it Ironic?” to quote Alanis Morissette – or at least a coincidence – that clients from the past, who moved to Florida eleven years ago, called our studio in Northern Virginia with a question just two weeks before Kayla and I were heading to Florida on another client project? We were able to answer the question by phone and email, but that did not stop us from scheduling a dinner together during our trip.

We met at a wonderful restaurant in the beautiful city of St. Augustine about half way between their location and ours. Even more delightful was the time spent together. Conversation and laughter began the minute they entered the room and continued for over two hours. It was an evening with best friends, even for Kayla who has been with our firm for four years and had never met them before. She had heard some of the stories since they are still on our recently revised website but those stories sounded even better coming from the two of them. Kindness, appreciation and humor are gifts for all.

img-projects-unique

It was a joy to hear about the favorite “Paris” Chair from William Switzer Ltd. (I can appreciate that. Our living room features a pair of them!) And we were asked to say hello to Wayne and Alex at Soulie’s Interiors, the superb, to the trade workroom, that has fabricated and installed window treatments and bed linens for so many of our clients.

We strive, always, to do what is the ideal for each client. How great to have clients who tell us we did it.

Carolin

An Unusual and Beautiful Pedicure – Limited Edition Color

Yes, I have already written about the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014, Radiant Orchid. In case you don’t remember there is another one. Sherwin-Williams Paint named Exclusive Plum (SW6263) the 2014 Color of the Year. Recently, our SW representative, Amanda L. Adams visited our studio and dropped off gifts of their custom, SWP Cover the Earth nail polish in that same beautiful hue.

Yesterday afternoon, as I relaxed comfortably in the massage chair at Alexandre de Paris in Fairfax, Virginia, Sophie painted my toes with that elegant Exclusive Plum that will probably complement the many shades of purple in my wardrobe!

Talk about marketing, Sherwin Williams was also offering free manicures with Exclusive Plum last week in Chicago at NeoCon, the annual trade show for commercial furnishings. I wish there had been time in my schedule that day to take advantage of that.

Hope your day is full of beautiful color.

Carolin      (Sometimes known as the Purple Lady)

Our Colorful World

Every year we hear about the color of the year. Remember the 2014 Pantone color of the year? Radiant Orchid! There was quite a bit of orchid (and other shades of my favorite color – purple) at the High Point Furniture Market this year. However, it did not dominate the scene. In the past all one had to do to learn the “in” color of the season was go through two showrooms. The “in” color was in both and one knew that it would be visible everywhere. This spring was different. There was a variety of color displayed by national and international manufacturers.

The truth is there is almost no limit to color choice. Over the past decade we have all become more open to color in our homes. Furniture companies began offering a few color options for their fine wood pieces to test the market. This year the choices are vast. Some showrooms say any Benjamin Moore paint color, others say any Sherwin Williams paint color can be specified on their products.
Have you looked at a paint fan deck recently? You will see over three thousand hues. Today the real question is what is YOUR favorite color? You get to choose your favorite for the perfect accent piece.
Overwhelmed? One can always hire an interior designer to give some guidance.

Carolin

PS: Our Sherwin Williams rep came by last week and brought us beautiful nail polish in Exclusive Plum SW6263, their 2014 Color of the Year!

PPS: Let’s not forget how beautiful the colors of natural wood finishes are. They provide the perfect background for our lives and the rainbow of color around us.

Sorry for the Absence!

We’re extremely sorry for the absence. Things have been very crazy since High Point Market and getting back into the swing of things here in the office. While we prepare some more in depth posts on this year’s spring market, we will post a few highlights.

Today’s highlight: Decorative lamp shades!

So many of the lamps showcased in various showrooms, had a unique twist to shades this year. Patterns on the fabric, enhancements (gems, beads, etc), and so much more! It was fun to see how many showrooms had them. Here are just a few to enjoy.  🙂

High Point 2014 Spring 429(Group from Dimond Lighting)

High Point 2014 Spring 456

(From Dimond Lighting)

High Point 2014 Spring 1613

(From Cyan Design)

Kayla

Show and Tell – Meet Pebbles and Maggie!

While I’m anxiously waiting to see the beautiful images from Carolin’s trip, I decided to share some images of my own. These happen to also be the inspiration of our newest Pinterest board, For the Love of Dog. Meet Pebbles and Maggie!

Pebbles, who is about six years old, was adopted summer 2012, which was the same time I was studying for the NCIDQ exam – walking her was a great stress reliever! She’s had a few health issues in the last year, but has become a completely different girl – playful and energetic! Don’t get me wrong, she still knows how to sleep.

 

Pebbes

 

Last November, a family friend told us about a dog that needed to be adopted as her human mom had passed away and family couldn’t take her. We got a bit of information from the family, including pictures and discovered that she went to the same Vet as Pebbles. Our meet up with her and Pebbles went without a hitch. A quick chat with the Vet and a brief review of her medical records told us that she’s 14! But you’d never know if you just glanced at her. She easily keeps up with Pebbles and they have quickly become quite the pair. Hard to believe they haven’t grown up together.

 

Maggie

 

During Maggie’s first few weeks with us, she and Pebbles had the first opportunity to visit the beach while spending Thanksgiving in Florida with family. It was so much fun to watch them in the sand and water. Both loved to chase the birds and actually played around a bit in the water!

 Pebbles and Maggie on Beach

We are adding things to Pinterest often, so don’t forget to check out our boards, especially the ‘For the Love of Dog’ board! 

Our Pets and Our Homes

It’s not a secret to most that I’m a huge animal lover, especially dogs. Pets have always been in my life, and currently my heart belongs to two female beagle mixes. Like other pet owners, not only am I continually reading up on what’s new in pet care and what I should be doing to best care for them, but I’m also looking for various ways to keep my house from feeling like it’s completely run by the dogs in my life. To assist in keeping these new findings organized, and to share with our clients, friends and family, I’ve created a new Pinterest board, For the Love of Dog. Here, I’ll share new products, great accessories (for our pets and the home), and much more, including other pet related ideas to assist in keeping a home functional for ourselves and our pets. Here are few that I’ve come across recently:

 

Two-piece ceramic dachshund bookend set in glossy white:

Two-piece ceramic dachshund bookend set in glossy white

Luxury Dog Beds:

Luxury Dog Beds

Dog Pod:

Dog Pod

 

 

I apologize in advance if most pins revolve around dogs, but I will try to be fair in my posts. Please feel free sharing some of your favorite findings or if you have suggestions on something I should keep in mind as I research. Enjoy!

Kayla

High Point is 10 Days Away!

Preparing for Market can be quite the task, but it’s something that Carolin and I look forward to twice a year.

The Hotel room has been booked and confirmed, so now the fun can begin!  High Point Market sends out several books as a Market Preview. These include the showrooms that are participating in Market, provides a glance into the various new products and vendors, and even various networking and educational events. We scour the pages looking for anything that catches our eyes. Sometimes we spot items for a specific project or client, but sometimes it’s something that we have to see and keep in mind for future projects. There are many lines that we love to visit to see their showrooms and new additions at each market, but we’ve also found many new resources at Market that we may never have seen otherwise.

It’s true the internet has become a huge help in business and life, but there are things that just have to be seen in person, and for us that’s much of the items you put in your home and office. Fabrics, colors, textures, quality are all very important, but impossible to see on a screen. You may get a good idea, but there’s nothing like seeing the real thing. High Point Market and other trade shows give us this opportunity. It gives us confidence in pursuing something for a client, even if it’s a new vendor.

Kayla