Sunday, April 29

Part II: my thoughts and musings from Design On A Dime in NYC

I hope you read Part I of
my favorite rooms
taken from the kick-off party of this annual event
Now, here's Part II: 
Design On A Dime
my philosophical thoughts on it all...

 Evette Rios shopped dozens of Home Goods stores
to create this unique space: 
a cool, sophisticated pad in Soho for 
 Kate Middleton and Prince William,
complete with a custom designed office loft
(photograph compliments of Evette Rios)
I shot this photograph below from the the loft Evette designed -
a private space tucked above her dining and sitting room, stocked with Home Goods products
My philosophical thoughts on
 Design on A Dime:  
After reflecting upon the Design On A Dime event, I had a little epiphany about what events like this mean to the interior design industry, specifically here in New York City.  For as long as I've been involved in the design world (since 1990, ahem..this does expose my possible age, so please don't count) it's been a closed, exclusive world.  Straight from design school, I changed careers and immediately expected to take the interior design world by storm.  I very neatly typed up my resume and shortly thereafter started freelancing for a few high-end designers.  I quickly realized the industry was an exclusive world with lots of raised eyebrows (never ask questions because it is just assumed you will know where all the best passementerie is found), and basically there was an old world mentality that pervaded the entire field. Of course I followed suit, attended auctions, even working in a high end antique shop on Lexington Avenue for a stint, shopped the D&D, schlepped around the city and generally wore many hats.  Why am I digressing you ask?  Well, quite frankly it was a difficult industry to navigate. There have been many changes to the design world the last ten years, especially in New York City and some good for the industry, while others bad for designers and in general (but that is for another post at another time with much pontification), but events like Design On A Dime give designers the opportunity (without breaking the proverbial bank) to showcase their talent, allowing companies the rare opportunity to show their wares in a high style frame.  One example is this year's successful partnerships was Evette Rios designing a room with all Home Goods products. Evette shopped exclusively at many Home Good stores to bring this creative space together.  We all know and love Home Goods but let's be honest until now it has not been a company associated with high-end design projects.  The current design market gives us examples upon examples of ways in which to meld sophisticated, high end design with more cost efficient products.  The consumer is more sophisticated (I can hear the grumbling of like-minded designers at this sentence), but eventually it's a win-win situation.  Whether we are decorating our homes or donning fashion, consumers are more savvy than ever before.  With the Internet, blogs and the immediacy of our lives, this is only going to increase.  The general public's eye is honed, maybe some will say without the education to back it up, but either way we know what we like when we see it in a way like never before.  So, fasten your seat belts designers and enjoy the ride.  Design On A Dime, and events like this, are where we can shine as designers and companies alike. These partnerships set us apart from the old days when it was mostly about custom work.  That is not to say that custom design work has gone away, and to the contrary it is the primary way to show our best talent as a designer and company to bring something unique and with superb quality to the client, however to work in this industry even with the highest end clients today one must be prepared to pepper in your work with good quality store bought products
I guarantee it will happen and you will be sitting in a very exclusive showroom with your very fancy client, and they will whip out of their Birkin bag a clipping from a blog or magazine of a chic-looking bench covered in a punchy Ikat that looks straight out of a Parisian market, but it will be from a home store. And they will say -
"oh and by the way, I want to incorporate this in the den -
hope we can make it work, and I picked it up last weekend for only 100 bucks".  Your eyes will glaze over, you will reluctantly clench onto the frayed paper but you will see for yourself that yes indeed it will work within the space you have planned, glazed walls, custom curtains and rug.  High-Low or whatever you want to call it is here to stay with a vengeance, and clients with all budgets yearn to mix the two sensibilities like never before.  This Design On A Dime event allows you as a designer to think outside the box, plus show your clients the world of opportunities when creativity is front and center and budget is curtailed. In the end, events like this show the value of the designer like never before, and illustrates how important we designers are in the entire process.  It is wonderful that the proceeds go to help many people in need - it's a perfect storm of creativity and love.  
Thank you
Charlotte and James, Evette and Lara
for having a vision,
and bringing us back down to earth about what design is about.
You may have caught my Part I favorite designer spaces complete with shots of the designers in their rooms,
and now here are a few more snappy vignettes that caught my eye: 
earthy entertaining views
this fabric is quite moderne
Willey design creates a dramatic space -
gotta love that blue, brown and pink combination
fashion and home make a great partnership in this vibrant pink living room

beach side chill:  love all the natural elements here
Stop back next week for more interior design musings...

I'm off now to shop for ingredients
for our Culinary Dinner Group's
French Country evening.
 we will be cooking from this cookbook by Alexandra Leaf
about Van Gogh's musings and food
Did I mention Poggenpohl is generously hosting us in their NYC kitchen designed by chef Eric Ripert  
(read about the partnership between Eric and Poggenpohl here)
very exciting!
I'll be certain to post recipes and photographs.