Category Archives: Education

Robin Kent Captures the Beauty in Antarctica

Robin Kent continues to travel the world and capture the life and beauty of each locale with his amazing photography. Last Tuesday evening, he shared his latest adventure in Antarctica with an audience of fans and photographers at the Cherrydale Branch Library in Arlington. He explained how he shoots a number of shots of the same landscape and then merges them together into one, broad image. He spoke not only of the scenery and the timing of the photos, but also of how he planned for the trip.

He shared an image of the cameras, lenses, batteries, etc. that made it into the bag at fifteen pounds – the maximum carry-on weight. He followed with an image of his wife Laurie’s photography equipment – her cell phone!

Check out his Antarctica portfolio. Two of our favorite images are 1) the mountains and 2) the whale fin in full view. (We also enjoyed Laurie’s video of the lively and talkative penguins.) His photos will be on exhibit until November 2nd.

A wonderful presentation, a wonderful couple. And they are wonderful clients as well!

The Design Exchange Team

Our ASID Emerging Professional wins Chapter Leadership Award

Kayla Weiner, ASID, CID is a talented  young designer with her eyes wide open and  her head on straight .  She is an asset to Design Exchange, Inc., our clients and to the American Society of Interiors Designers.  Interestingly enough the ASID Emerging Professional program was initiated a few years ago to help designers  who were just entering the profession after design school.  The program provides conferences and opportunities to meet other professionals and industry resources, to make connections and become involved in this dynamic industry.

You might say that she returned the favor.  As co-chair (with Shavonne Maclin) of the Washington Metro Chapter Emerging Professionals,  Kayla not only supported the other young designers in our area, she created a series of social, entertaining , and educational events that benefited new and experienced designers, showrooms, industry partners, and local artisans.

All of that, and still, client projects proceeded  on schedule, beautifully.  A true professional!

The Milo Hoots, Jr. ASID Leadership Award
Honors an individual who has made outstanding leadership contributions to ASID and the Washington Metro chapter. All Washington Metro chapter Professional, Allied, Associate, Industry Partner and Student members in good standing are eligible candidates. The awardee’s leadership achievements demonstrate exemplary dedication to the Society and to the chapter.

 Carolin

Congratulations to Carolin!

It was a week ago tomorrow that Carolin and I were heading in to the ASID Washington Metro Chapter’s annual meeting and awards celebration. Sitting there with Carolin, I just couldn’t help feeling so thankful that she’d introduced me to this wonderful group and chapter four years ago. How things had changed since my first annual meeting with Carolin introducing me to just about everyone in attendance. This time, it was me who was helping her remember members she’d met a few times in the past or introducing her to those in attendance that I’ve come to know well during my tenure as the Co-Chair for the Emerging Professionals in our chapter.

The meeting began and was just as entertaining as the networking and conversations, especially as I’ve come to know many of those being honored or mentioned. Then came the awards. A section I was nervous about, mostly because I had hoped Carolin would win a very special award and honor within our chapter. As the awards were announced and winners called, the award I was waiting for came up and the winner’s name was announced: The Sarah Boyer Jenkins, FASID APEX Award.

The Sarah Boyer Jenkins, FASID APEX Award

Honors a chapter member for a lifetime of outstanding and significant contributions to the chapter, the Society and the profession of interior design. Eligible nominees are Washington Metro chapter practitioners who have been ASID members for at least 25 years. Candidates can be currently employed within the interior design profession or retired. Consideration is given to the individual’s service to the chapter and the profession. These contributions may be a combination of, but are not limited to, serving as a chapter officer and/or on a chapter board, chairing numerous committees, a genuine commitment to advancing the goals of the strategic plan of the chapter or significantly contributing to chapter projects such as community service, trade shows, showhouses, etc. Other honors and awards received by the candidate are also considered.

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Carolin M. Schebish, ASID, CID was the winner of The Sarah Boyer Jenkins, FASID APEX Award for the 2013-2014 year. And although I know I’m partial, I think this award could not have gone to a better chapter member or person. Here are just a few of the reasons that Carolin was nominated and why she won:

Carolin has been a member of ASID since the beginning of her career, late 1970s and has even been a past chapter president (1992-1993). She’s always looking for ways to help the chapter, many times donating time and money to help support various events and activities the chapter is sponsoring or providing to their members. She ensures that all designers she has employed over the years, at Design Exchange, be a part of a professional association, suggesting ASID if they are not already a member of an association. She has assisted the chapter office with several office relocations and has participated almost yearly in the Spring Spruce Up fundraiser.

She is very passionate about supporting and assisting in the education of student designers, providing a work environment for students to intern in her business. She provides support, advice, and mentors all members: from students to emerging professionals to seasoned designers.

Carolin is a very strong member of the design community. She insists and strives on having the most current/up-to-date education for herself and her employees – and attends various events and educational seminars provided by the chapter. She is very passionate about educating others on the strength that ASID has given to the profession and is always willing to support ASID for any new strategic move – especially as the industry and world continue to change over time. If she needs a source for a product or service and does not have a source she’s used before, she always references an ASID Industry Partner or will contact another ASID member for advice and recommendations. ASID is not just a resource for her and her business, but an asset she appreciates and highly respects.

She has been given many awards from the chapter over the years, including:

Presidential Citation in 1994

First Place Design Award 2002

Honorable Mention Design Award 2002

Medalist Award 2007

First Place Design Award 2013

As you can see, Carolin has been an inspiration and mentor to so many over the years. I am not only blessed to know her as a person and designer, but I am honored to be employed at her Design Firm. She has taught me so much already – and I look forward to continuing my journey in the Design field with her as my mentor, employer, and family.

 Kayla 

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)

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

Resources and Relationships – Again

Last night was one more reminder of how important our resources and relationships are in our professional lives and in our personal lives.  As a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), I was invited to attend the State of the Society Event hosted by the Duralee Showroom at the Washington Design Center.

Surrounded by friends – designers, industry representatives, showroom staff – in a beautiful showroom – we listened to our CEO Randy Fiser speak about where the society is and where we are heading. It is obvious to all that Randy is exactly the leader we need in this changing world.

ASID is always there to help us in our design careers, whether we are emerging professionals or experienced designers. Right now our society is heading up studies on improving the lives of those with autism and dementia. Continuing education courses are available on sustainability, safety and well being for clients, and everything else that relates to improving the design services we offer.

Everything the Society does for us and with us helps us to do more for our clients.

Thank you, Randy!

Carolin

PS: My husband was my invited guest. He was IMPRESSED.

 

ROI – Return on Investment

Starting a business is the dream of many talented individuals. They know they have a skill that can be shared and appreciated. Perhaps that skill is preparing unusual and delicious food and the ambition is to open a restaurant! Maybe they have worked in a restaurant, been a chef and love it. They know how the kitchen works – but do they have all the other skills they need?

We dine out often, and love finding a new place. Sometimes it is disappointing. Recently we entered a new restaurant and could hear people in the bar, but there was only one couple in the dining room. We were greeted and taken to a table along the banquette – my favorite place to sit – usually. Not this time. I’m short, my husband is tall. He let me have his chair and he was going to sit on the banquette. No way. We both sat in chairs on one side of the table. That was just one problem.

The space felt like a painted basement and had patched areas. The glossy painted floor will be slippery when wet from something spilled. The paper atop the table cloths slid part way off the table when the hostess laid down the menus and when we sat down. The Southern American food mentioned in the ad was actually closer to Cajun.

Imagine the money that was invested in opening this restaurant, the equipment, the permits, the rent, the staff, and on and on. The chef’s skill is in the food. The chef also needed the skills of others to make the dream come true.

Imagine if some of those dollars were spent with a business consultant, a graphic designer to co-ordinate the message sent to the media, and even a brief consultation with a professional Interior Designer. Then the guests would know the menu, get excellent service, have a safe, comfortable place to dine, and the chef’s story would be visible all around them while they enjoyed the wonderful food.

They would come back – again and again. They would tell others. The chef’s dream could come true. There would be a Return on Investment – not just financially!

Carolin

Learn, Unlearn, Relearn

Last week, I attended an educational seminar hosted by CADD Microsystems. Most of the event discussed the future of CAD (computer aided design), the updates of current programs, and where the design industry standard is heading. During the keynote speech, the speaker shared a famous quote by American writer Alvin Toffler that has stuck with me for the past week. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Mr. Toffler makes a very true point. How much have I had to learn, unlearn, and relearn so far in my life? How much have others around me had to learn, unlearn, and relearn?

As Carolin and I were travelling to an appointment last week, I brought this quote up to her. We talked about how true it was just in the last few months for both of us. Not just in our work life, but also in our personal lives. Sometimes we had not realized that we were doing it until we both reflected on recent events. Technology is constantly changing around us and most of us have had to learn, unlearn, and relearn each time we upgrade a device or purchase a new computer, mobile phone, appliance, or vehicle, just to name a few. I truly believe that much of this happens subconsciously, but I think as the world continues to drive advancement in all aspects of our daily life, we will be forced to unlearn and relearn things regularly to fully reap the benefits offered to us.

What have you had to learn, unlearn, and relearn in your life? Recently or over time?

Kayla 

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?

Kayla

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

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.

Kayla