Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A look at The Look

Today I spent the day at the Boston Design Center catching up with friends and colleagues at The Look.  Every fall, the BDC puts together an informative day of seminars, presentations, lunches and cocktails to update and educate my trade on the latest trends and products being released for the following year.  The day began with a wonderful breakfast in their new 342 Designer's Club.  This is a huge addition to the building - Finally, I will have a place to take a client to unwind and sift through materials that were collected during the day!  Here, we were greeted by a number of local bloggers and social media personnel, including Leslie Fine of Leslie Fine Interiors and Julieann Covino of Jace Interiors/CreateGirl blogs.  I personally was very happy to see that Cassandra Lavalle of Coco+Kelley ( came all the way from Seattle just to join in.

After breakfast, we headed up to the seminar room to hear Julie Rogowski, Vice President/GM of the BDC, give her Trend Report for 2013.  The presentation was broken into three categories; color, pattern, and style.  We were told that yellow will become the new neutral.  True blues and mushrooms will work well together while shades of red will make big statements in small doses.  For pattern, updated geometrics will get reworked into new colorways.  Floral prints will return (and yes, that does include chintz).  Stripes will overlap, and animals prints and figures will bring a bit of whimsy into any design.  Lastly, style trends will continue to follow the latest fashion runways with feminine shapes, easy elegant forms, personal detailing, and a return to classic, timeless design (remember, Audrey Hepburn has never gone out of style).

The rest of the day was spent listening in on a number of smaller presentations.  Notably, Lee Jofa introduced their Malika Collection; Kravet discussed their new Jonathan Adler line; and Michael Lee showcased his photography at M-Geough.  We ate lunch while learning about photo-styling secrets, and heard about why every project should ideally have not only an architect, but an interior designer and landscape architect on the team before the ball gets rolling (with a special thanks to Kristen Rivoli for representing our gang:)).

And, although I left the event early in the afternoon to get back to pressing Show House deadlines, book signings and giveaways were still going on.  I was sorry to miss the announcement of the 2012 inductees into The New England Design Hall of Fame.  The lobby was dressed in fresh flowers for the occasion, and I'm sure that it was a great end to the day...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bridging the gap

After playing the "technologically challenged" card for years, last fall, I finally joined Twitter.  It was slow going at first, especially getting used to conversations that only fit into a handful of characters.  Knowing that many of my peers across the country were using Twitter to help them grow their businesses, I started to follow other people in design.  This led to following other resources in design, including trades-people, products, vendors, manufacturers, and even editors, stylists, publications, and industry events.  At first, I felt like a stalker, following people who I didn't know and who didn't know me.  But, the great thing about Twitter is that it is actually reciprocal (most of the time), and soon enough I had a number of followers and was making friends with people from all over the country.  Twitter has become my business rolodex...

When the world was first diving into the digital age, there were a lot of naysayers preaching about how the computer would cause less interaction between people.  Maybe at first this was true, but being social is part of who we are, and now with social media, I think that having a computer (or any PDA) is actually encouraging us to interact more.  Obviously it's been a big hit in the dating scene, but for business, it's had huge success in bridging industry with end-users.  Blogging, tweeting, and even yelping, have done more to promote business than any form of traditional advertising ever has, and because it has had such an impact, companies are now looking to use social media as a back-end form of advertising. 

Lucky for me, the businesses who believe in social media sponsor fun events where I get to get together with other bloggers, learn about great products, and spend some time actually socializing in real life.  Tomorrow I am fortunate to be included in the first-ever #instyletour event here in Boston.  This incredible evening includes dinner at Villa Francesco coupled with a presentation from Blanco America, an award winning, family-owned business that specializes in kitchen sinks and faucets.  Following dinner, we will visit renown artist, Giovanni DeCunto's gallery in North Boston where we will see his latest collection and have the chance to win one of his pieces.  And yes, this all came from joining Twitter...

Below, please find attached the press release for the event...

First #INSTYLETOUR Celebrates Sinks, Art and Tweeps  

Twitter-inspired social media gathering attracts national sponsorship, interior design bloggers and original artwork

Boston, MA:  What began as a desire to bring regional design bloggers together in real life has morphed into a celebration of inspiration and excellence in art and design for over twenty-five interior designers from the Boston area and beyond.  The two-part event on Tuesday, October 2nd, sponsored by Blanco America and internationally-acclaimed artist Giovanni DeCunto, is being held at north-end restaurant Villa Franceso then moving to DeCunto’s studio for a special viewing. Highlights of the event will be an interactive presentation from Blanco representatives and a draw for an original piece of Giovanni DeCunto’s art.

The idea for this event, labeled with hashtag #instyletour on twitter, was born at a July 2012 tweetup hosted by local interior designer Andie Day and Vermont-based builder- turned-social-media-specialist Todd Vendituoli. “Art, interior design and fashion continue to overlap as today’s technology-infused lifestyle evolves,” explains, Andie Day. “We know that bloggers play an important role in communicating trends to consumers. We wanted to continue to push that envelope by exposing designers to manufacturers with beautiful, functional pieces for the home and unique styles of fine art. We’re excited about our first #instyletour evening.”

 “Blanco America embraced the concept right away,” adds Vendituoli.  “They see the value in harnessing the power of design blogs and talking about their beautifully-crafted sinks and faucets to such a targeted audience. Exposing their product to an audience so heavily immersed in communicating good design is invaluable.”

 Day and Vendituoli hope to roll out the #instyletour concept to other design-centric markets such as Miami and San Francisco.  The goal is to provide venues for those who have met via twitter to meet face to face and interact with brands that provide products to the design industry. “Face to face connections are still incredibly important,” says Vendituoil. “We all ‘talk’ virtually all the time, but now we’ll be in the same location learning more about design and art, and making our connections even stronger.”

The dinner and Blanco presentation at Villa Francesco, 150 Richmond Street, North Boston is from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Immediately following, guests will move to Giovanni DeCunto’s gallery at 15 Lewis Street, North Boston for the viewing and raffle.