Moving Day


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Occasionally some of my clients decide to leave me.  Not because they don’t love me anymore but because life has moved them in a different direction.   They sometimes move to a different home in a different state.  They almost always keep me with them in a small way.   Usually this means they take all their “stuff” with them.   So most of what we picked out together gets moved.  Art is hung on a different wall, window treatments are changed slightly to hang on the bigger/smaller window and book cases look a little different with the same things, but a few more added.   Sometimes I’ll go to the new home in a different state and help them get their “look” back, sometimes they send me a picture (thanks to the internet we can do a lot online now). Sometimes we facetime to tweek the look.

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It is crucial to pack up the window treatments correctly.   Most movers aren’t equipped to even know how to fold those pleats so that they will hang right when they come out of the box.

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It’s not like you just lay a 120″ panel on a curtain rod and put it in a box.  The pleats need to be carefully laid into place, and each panel needs to be tied up just so…

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But this client is going to be all set when she gets to her new place.   She won’t have a million wrinkles to get out of the fabric because a lot of care went into packing  it right.  It will stay in storage for a little bit, while the new home is still being built, but when it comes out, she’ll be able to hang them smoothly.

She’ll know where the tassels are…

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…and the roman shades will be all set to unwind…

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…and each room is ready to be unpacked and hung for a pretty fast complete look.

Then, she’ll call me and we’ll “tweek” a few things, and she’ll be HOME.

 

 

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Can you really take a cat for a walk?


ImageEvery once in a while, I see love of an owner of a pet go well beyond what I’m capable of…and this would have to be one of those times.   This cat walk would surely eliminate some of the issues involved in the care of a cat, but I’m not sure if I’d actually recommend a client to do this.  Actually, I know that I wouldn’t.   What do you think of this catwalk?

Dunes And Duchess meet the Queen


I travel all around and meet the most interesting people! On a trip to LA I met the lovely Stacey Kunstel and Michael Parenio, aka Dunes and Duchess, and became intrigued with some of their custom chandeliers. I’ve chatted with Stacey on several occasions at High Design in Atlanta’s America’s Mart, checking out their new creations. Seems Oprah liked them too! Their four arm Cadelabra “No Scurvy Lemon” is on the pages of Oprah!

Like what you see and want to place an order? Send me an email!

Congrats to Stacey and Michael!!

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Emerald Green is Pantone’s choice for 2013 “Color of the Year”.


Emerald green image“Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2013:
PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald

Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, as the Color of the Year for 2013.

The 2012 Color of the Year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited, reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.”

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Emerald for Fashion
The prevalence of green has been steadily rising for several seasons, especially in the fashion and couture markets, and even on the red carpet. Appropriate for every occasion, Emerald’s classic elegance makes for striking and irresistible women’s formal and everyday wear as well as accessories. Emerald also makes a strong statement in men’s sportswear, knitwear and ties. Fashion designers featured in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2013, including Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, Barbara Tfank, NAHM and Marimekko, are incorporating Emerald into their spring collections. Balanced yet sophisticated, Emerald enlivens all colors in the spectrum and will continue to make a statement beyond spring and summer into fall and winter.

Emerald for Beauty
Equally harmonious on the cosmetic color wheel, Emerald dramatizes all eye colors as it beautifully enhances green eyes, is compatible to blue eyes, emphasizes the green undertone in hazel eyes and intensifies brown eyes to make them appear deeper. Emerald is also a perfect complement to peaches, pinks, roses, ruby reds and aubergines – offering a variety of lipstick and blush options. For those who want to sparkle and stand out, Emerald is the perfect punctuation point in nail color because of its complementary nature.

Sephora and Pantone proudly announce the SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE™ 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection featuring PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, which will be available exclusively at Sephora in March 2013. Sharing a strong passion for how color can transform a face, mood or even an attitude, Sephora and Pantone continue to change how consumers wear, feel and think about color through the second annual radiant and modern Color of the Year beauty collection.

“At Sephora, we pride ourselves on giving our clients first access to what’s on trend – whether that’s a color, a formula or an ingredient story. With the 2013 Color of the Year collection, we achieve all of the above and we couldn’t have a better partner than Pantone,” said Margarita Arriagada, senior vice president of merchandising for Sephora.

The limited edition 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection features a variety of products in Emerald, including eye shadow, nail polish and accessories, and will be available at Sephora stores across the U.S., Sephora inside JCP and Sephora.com.

Emerald for Interiors
Enhance your sense of well-being at home by rejuvenating the interior with Emerald paint, accents and accessories. This jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study, and bring life to a living room as an accent wall. Add a splash of color to the kitchen and dining room areas with Emerald dinnerware, stemware and appliances.

Enliven your home with Pantone bedding, pillows, bath towels and accessories in Emerald available exclusively at jcpenney stores and on jcp.com beginning Feb. 1, 2013.

“As we re-energize our home department next spring, we are excited to partner with the leading authority on color to introduce the first-ever line of Pantone bedding and bath products,” said Paul Rutenis, jcpenney general merchandise manager for home. “The cheerful array of on-trend pieces will make it easy for customers to infuse the perfect color into any home décor.”

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Bridging the Generational Gap


Bridging the Generational Gap
Five Ways to Reach the Younger Consumer

By Cheryl Draa

A few years ago, I attended a seminar that reflected on the future of interior design. The speaker noted that most interior designers in that very audience were conducting their interior design businesses in an archaic manner. We had been working with our clients, who were of similar age, for quite awhile, doing things the same old way. This ensured we could keep that age bracket (40+) as a consumer. However, the speaker stressed, if we wanted to take our business to the next level, we would have to adapt to a new concept of communication in order to reach the younger generation. Some designers would learn the new technology that younger designers were already adept at—and some would not. The speaker warned that if we weren’t the ones adapting, we probably wouldn’t be in business five years from now.

I took this advice to heart. After 17 years in business (and approaching my late 40s in age), I began my quest to become more computer savvy. I bought a camera that would allow me to download photos onto my computer; my college-aged kids taught me how to attach files in an email; and (gasp) I opened a Facebook account. As I attracted younger clients, I had to adapt to the way they wanted to communicate with me. A few years later, 45 percent of my clients are under the age of 35, and I am surviving in the recession. Here’s five ways you can, too:

1. Facebook: Get On It
As soon as I sign a client, I add his or her email address to my contact list and send a friend request from Facebook. 90 percent of my clients now accept that invitation. It may take my clients who are older than 40 awhile to set up an account, but they are quickly getting the hang of it. Several clients have immediately contacted me after I sent out the friend request to say they needed my services now.

I asked one client in particular why she liked to use Facebook—she said there is something about having your designer as a “friend,” sharing bits of our lives together. This is key with the under-35 age group.

I also change my status update two or three times a month, just to keep my name in front of them. I ask questions to stimulate conversation—questions like “What is your favorite room in the house and why?” or “What is your favorite paint color?”

2. Network Through Organizations
When I’ve had downtime (due to the economy), I’ve joined organizations I had a passion for, not just to join and add my name to a roster. One such organization is the National Political Committee that agrees with my beliefs and attitudes and is always reaching out to get younger generations involved. There are several young lawyers who attend our monthly meetings. I also partnered with Must Ministries, an organization that works with disadvantaged families. This has allowed me to help the community, while giving me the opportunity to meet many young people who have also joined in the efforts.

Many of the younger members of these organizations feel “out of place” as they’re surrounded by older, more affluent people. I seek them out and say hello, introduce them to the other members and make sure they don’t feel left out. At our next meetings, they seek me out. And when they need design help, they call me or refer me. Through this kind of networking, I’ve become friends with people in the younger generation who have taught me new computer and messaging skills that have benefited my business.

3. Host Seminars and Luncheons
I volunteer to speak at luncheons for local subdivisions and civic groups of community clubs and homeowners associations. During these luncheons, I give a seminar and tell attendees a little about what I do, and then elaborate on a topic of interest to them. For instance, I speak on color, why and how to use window treatments, trims, etc., then adapt this to their age group. You have to know your audience. Each attendee leaves with my
business card and if they’re interested in further information, I take their contact information and follow up with them. In a group of 30 people, I can bet on at least one person contacting me for my services.

4. Stay Current on Trends
Staying current on trends in colors and how they affect the marketing of fashion, automobiles and, of course, interior design is key to looking “cool” in the eyes of the younger generation. We don’t have to go all out and dress like a teenager (it is important to act our age), but we shouldn’t look and act like an old, archaic person either. Rather than calling one of your younger clients to describe this great fabric you found, why not send them a picture message? Have a simple question about yardage? Text your younger client. This can speed up your sale considerably. However, always follow up in an email or message that can be printed for documentation. Case in point: You need to know your clients well enough to know what type of contact they will prefer. Sending text messages to clients who have never received a text message in their life will only confuse them, whereas a fluent text messager may appreciate the convenience.

5. Never Stop Learning
Continuing education is the final step toward reaching the younger generation. This “Google It” generation can quickly find for themselves the answers to almost anything. We need to know what they know, and more. For example, your younger clients may know that yellow or green are next year’s colors, but they don’t know why. You should have the answer. Take classes to learn about the current color trends, as predicted by the Color Marketing Group (CMG). Then, when you recommend a light yellow on the wall, for instance, you can tell them this was chosen by CMG to represent a feeling of opportunity for our future.

Then, immerse yourself in social networking. You can take college classes in interpersonal communications, or download lectures from teachers for no cost. But don’t just take the class, apply it to your life. (For more on social networking, revisit Melissa Galt’s article on social networking in the July/August issue of Vision.)

Cheryl Draa has been an interior designer for 17 years in the Atlanta, Ga., metroplex area. She recently won an award for 2009 Best of Marietta by the U.S. Commerce Association for achieving exceptional marketing success in the local community. Draa is a member of WFCA, NFIB, Cobb Chamber of Commerce, various local civic organizations and IFDA. She has two children—a son who is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida and a daughter who is a senior at Auburn. She credits her Facebook and internet skills to them.

CLOSER LOOK

Cheryl Draa Interior Designs
www.CherylDraaInteriorDesigns.com