Last week as I shared in my previous post, I was lucky enough to attend Design Camp in Atlanta; an information packed design seminar hosted by celebrity interior designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis. It turned out to be one of the most inspirational seminars I have attended. A full back to back line up of speakers who comprise some of the industries most respected designers, bloggers, photographers, social media experts and business specialists. It seems like we covered everything design related and the speakers were all so open with sharing advice that lead them to the success they enjoy today. Representatives from Houzz, HGTV, Duralee, Hansgrohe, Sub Zero Wolf, Ronda Rice Carmen, author of All The Best Blog, photographer Gerardo Jaconelli and many more shared so much information that I hardly got any sleep my entire time there. Not to mention being a little celebrity awestruck ( Barry Dixon, Kimberley Seldon, and Susanna Salk to name a few).
Many of the attendees wrote wonderful blog recaps of all the events including my friend Lisa Mende and also Paloma of La Dolce Vita, and you should definitely check them out. If you are like me though, you want to know specific details…what did they say? What did you learn?
So here are some of my biggest takeaways from Design Camp.
The first day began with Trends…who doesn’t love that topic? Our speaker was the quite colorful Bill Indursky of V and M (Vintage and Modern). V and M is an online source for unique vintage finds of furniture, jewelry, fashion and design.
Bill spoke about 4 trends going forward into 2013-2014
Raw Trend: weathered wood, rusting metal, oiled and pickled woods, patina, home made. Hotel look is out, stripped down Americana is in. The one surprise for me was (hang on to your fan decks color lovers) Beige is coming back! Yup, no sooner did I get home and see that the new House Beautiful and Architectural Digest both have Beige rooms on this months cover. Humm…this I have to think about.
Pattern Play: Ikats, tribal prints, lettering is everywhere, esp. popular are Roman Numerals, large rusted numerals and vintage signs.
Dramatic License: taking normal proportions and playing with it. Furniture with blocky and cartoonesk shapes…Bill called it “Flintstones furniture”. Shag carpeting is making a come back and we will see more rock patterns on fabric and over blown proportions…”the Gaga of furniture design”according to Bill.
The Ancients: classicism that is full of angelic themes, neoclassic, traditional murals. We have seen so much Moroccan influence but the newest trend is Egyptian Revival. It was quite a coincidence but Design Camp was held in the Fox Theater and the building is Egyptian Revival. Check out the carpet in the room we were in.
and look at this gorgeous wall sconce.
Barry Dixon was AMAZING! So down to earth and just the exact opposite of trendy. He creates timeless interiors that are as current today as they were 20 years ago. He was so generous in sharing his design philosophy and tips.
Barry gets most of his design inspiration from nature and the landscape that surrounds his farm (Estate) in Virginia. My biggest takeaways from Barry were:
The best ideas are the ones that come most quickly to us. Don’t belabor your design plans, your first gut instinct is almost always the best.
Quality always sells…and my absolute favorite:
“No matter what the client’s budget, spend only at the very top and the very bottom“. Never spend in the middle or you will have mediocre design. If needed Barry has no problem with layering high end Antiques, designer furniture and fabrics with low end accessories from Target.
Kimberley Seldon is a design guru who had the whole room captivated. She was one of the most entertaining speakers, and for me, one of the highlights of the event.
The woman is really amazing. Besides a hugely successful design business, she is an author, a TV personality, a well respected business coach with a huge following, and the publisher of Dabble magazine. She also has a family yet has figured out a way to make it all work on her terms…without being stressed out.
My biggest takeaways from Kimberley were:
most of us are not charging enough. Clearly evident by having all the attendees first stand up and then sit down as she quoted hourly rates.
Branding is hugely important!!! It’s no longer just about pretty interiors.
The best way to pre-qualify a client is by telling them your fee (I love that one).
Susanna Salk is an author who writes about design. Her latest book is Be Your Own Decorator and I must say, one of my favorite new design books. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good photo of Susanna but she is as gracious as she is beautiful.
My biggest takeaway from Susanna was:
Don’t Over Style your room photos. Editors are over the highly “staged” and “show house” styled rooms. They want to see a more authentic side of life. I have noticed these less than perfect rooms quite a bit lately; dogs, kids, hastily made beds and nowhere near perfect rooms are much more prevalent in many decor magazines. She had us all laughing when she said if an editor sees one more photo of an ottoman with a tray on it set for breakfast they will immediately throw it out.
Lastly, what would Camp be without a bunch of giveaways? The sponsors were unbelievably generous with free gifts but I must say the highlight was when Jason McNeely of Hansgrohe said he was giving away two high end shower heads only to change his mind and tell everyone in attendance they would be getting one. The entire crowd started to scream…you would have thought we were in Oprah’s audience and had just been gifted a new car…it was such fun! thank you Jason.
If you want to get inspired and get your business back on track this year I highly recommend you check out Design Camp. There are new sessions already posted including an upcoming one in Seattle May 1-3rd.
I hope you enjoyed my takeaways…did you learn anything? which one was your favorite?