Elk-Blog-Image

Re-Defining Twine

Elk-Blog-Image

 Elk Lighting 15902/5 Pearce 5 Light Chandelier

As a proud planetary guardian of several indoor cats, I can with absolute certainty declare that the feline species has taught me many things no human could. One message in particular that stands out when viewing the new twist Elk has put on the Pearce Collection – is the importance of simplicity. Lighting manufacturers are heavily challenged to constantly produce new styles, so as to keep up with yearly fashion trends in home decor. In some years, there is definitely a flood of fresh new styles, which can often spark a home design buying frenzy. In other years, fixture designs can be ho-hum boring – as if we’re seeing the same old ‘same olds’, coated in different finishes or colors, in a weak effort to mask ‘designer’s block’.

Similar to the many times I’ve attempted to keep the household kitties entertained – some toys that I truly thought would entice them – completely bored them. Yet one year, when the funds for kitty entertainment was somewhat low, I took to finding things around the house. Feeling somewhat an incompetent fur nurturer, I tossed down some cut up toilet paper rolls and dribbly twine and tried to coax them to play. To my utter amazement, no coaxing was needed. The kitties entertained themselves for hours – winging the TP rolls up in the air and grabbing the twine by mouth and running about – which caused a trail of followers who dappled at the bouncing tail-end as if a live mouse were about. It’s as though my furry friends were telling me to nix the harmful plastic human creations and stick to the more ‘natural’ things in life – the simple stuff.

When I normally write for the company blog, I typically don’t interject personal experience into the pieces. But when I saw this twine-version fixture by Elk Lighting, I half wondered if the designer of that particular fixture had a cat. Sometimes, a little bit of rope can go along way. And though the fixture design itself might be something I’ve seen before – bravo to Elk for re-defining twine and coming up with something other than just another coating of color.

elk-image-blog

 

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Tips-for-Fixture-Trip-Ups

Fix Fixture Trip Ups – Part I

FIXTURE TRIP UP #1 – NOT KNOWING HOW E-COMMERCE WORKS

Sometimes a simple E-commerce purchase can turn into one’s worst nightmare.  Though millions have shifted their shopping habits to a cell phone and an Amazon account, most have never questioned the process of how the items they’ve ordered actually get from the e-brokers and the e-stores to their actual homes. This non-understanding of e-commerce processing often arises when confused customers try to orchestrate their way through a delivery problem. Despite lightning speed e-commerce technology, all hands at one end or the other, are still just human. Orders still need to be processed, items need to be pulled off of shelves, packed up, labeled and shipped via a carrier. And contrary to the brick and mortar stores, where one can waltz in with package in hand to dispute an item, dealing with an e-commerce store is a different ball game.

Tips-for-Fixture-Trip-Ups

TIP #1 – LEARN HOW E-COMMERCE STORES WORK               Crystorama 9045-CZ

1) Ordering: As soon as you order something, print out the online receipt and put it in a large white envelope. Store the envelope where you keep important office records. Be sure to read, and print the returns/refunds page as well. Make sure you have written down the store name and phone#. If you’ve ordered via email, create an email folder for each store that you order from and put the receipt in the folder.

2) Processing: Though Amazon and Ebay are open 24/7 – many e-stores that sell on them may be closed on the weekend. So if you ordered late on a Friday, and ordered expedited shipping, guess what? You order may not even get processed until Monday. Processing an order is different than shipping an order. Processing includes receiving the order in, preparing the item for shipment and entering the ship details for labeling, aside from releasing the product to a carrier for delivery. Processing can also sometimes mean that the e-store selling the item then e-sent the order to the manufacturer, and the manufacturer e-sent it to their packing dept. to prepare (fulfillment) for shipping the item. Not all e-stores carry their own inventory.  If you’re in a hurry and need the item overnight, find out first if the fulfillment time is included in an overnight promise. If you’re in a hurry – don’t order on a Friday night. Not all shipping companies deliver on weekends either!

3) Shipping and Tracking: Once the item is pulled and packed, it must be labeled and entered into the manufacturer’s delivery system, which is usually Fed Ex or UPS. But if the item is freight – it may have to be manually entered into a specific trucking company. And if it is a freight company – you MUST arrange to be home to receive your item. They will call you or email you to schedule the appointment. Freight companies won’t drop the goods at your door and run, like Fed Ex and UPS. So make sure your phone’s message box is not full and that you check your emails around the time that you ordered. If you do not receive tracking information via email within 3 days, call, chat or email the e-store and query about your order.

Regis_FR44305BNI_V_happyhinkleymodels

Fredrik Raymond – Regis Collection FR44305BNI

4) Delivery: Did the item arrived broken? Or did you just decide you don’t like it and want it to go back?  Keep in mind that if you purchased through a large e- broker, and there is a product issue, you must make an email request for response via your Amazon/Ebay etc., account. If it’s a customer remorse issue, you may have to pay shipping back and/or restocking fees, so if you didn’t research that before you purchased, go back online or call the e-store to find out exactly what you must do to return the item. Most e-stores have a chat center as well so that you don’t have to wait through an automated phone process. When you receive an item you’ve decided to keep – remember that large white envelope? Put your packing slip and any instructional or spec sheets in with the invoice and the next time you need to replace a part, a shade or a bulb – you’ll know exactly what to order.

5) Damaged Items: If the damaged box was left at your door, take pictures of the box and the item inside that appears damaged with your cell phone and immediately email them into the e-store customer service dept. State clearly in your email if you want a replacement item or a return & refund. This is an e-record that you immediately responded to the problem. It comes in real handy if you have a later dispute with an uncooperative e-store. If you do not receive an email instructional response within 24 hours, call the e-store or chat in. Human hands will help you through a replacement order, or will instruct you what to do. If the item is a freight item, you can make the driver wait while you inspect the item and you can refuse to accept it if damaged. You must sign an invoice stating you are rejecting it due to damage. The driver will also sign and give you a copy. If he doesn’t, insist that you receive a receipt that it is being refused due to damage – before he leaves your property.

6) Returns, ETC: Never, ever throw out or destroy the original box until you are sure you are going to keep the item. Many times, e-retailers will not accept items back without the original packaging. So be careful when opening the box. Don’t rip and tear things apart or throw away packaging in haste. That includes all the inner plastic wrapping, bubble wrap and Styrofoam pieces. Immediately email or call the e-store to receive instructions for return. It can be a relatively easy process when you are pro-active immediately. If a lighting item; and something appears wrong with the finish or a shade is broken – DO NOT INSTALL it! Once you install it – you can never return it! You may find that after you’ve installed it – the store is out of shades for another 60 days and it’s not so easy to ‘just get another’ shade. Always immediately contact the e-store and tell them your story…before you go ahead and try to fix the problem on your own.

7) Clearance Products: If you love the price of clearance items, just keep in mind that the item is slated for dis-continuance – that’s why it’s so cheap. That means there will be no replacement parts in the future either, so you may want to purchase an extra shade, an extra bulb or decorative crystal teardrop – to ward off future household accidents, which may happen.

8) Refunds: Most companies, excluding the enormously huge warehouse outlets, are restricted by a returns process dictated by the manufacturers. Since most e-commerce stores do not stock their own warehouses with items, most items ship direct from the manufacturers themselves. You have to receive your refund from the seller – but the manufacturer dictates the return policy. So sellers are bound by a process they must follow first, and that includes the item being received back into the warehouse and going through an inspection and notification process. This can take up to two weeks, because most items are shipped back, via ground shipping – which can take 3 – 7 days. There is no intent to steal or hold up your money. There is just ‘the process’, which is for the most part, is a well orchestrated and efficient one, considering the millions of items that pass through thousands of warehouses each and every day.

Confused customers can make matters much worse by unwittingly interfering in the process of a purchase issue, by simply not taking certain initiatory steps that would result in a satisfactory and quick resolve. Customer service reps are there to help you, whether on chat, email or by phone. But even they have limitations as to how they can assist you when you’ve unwittingly complicated your own situation – by not understanding how e-commerce generally works. When people understand the e-store processes, they can relax in the knowledge that indeed their problems will be resolved and that they will be taken care of by their e-sellers – who want their repeat business!

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rugs

Rug Matters

rugs

Sacred Cow Rugs  ~  Labryinth Rugs   ~  Ancient Egypt Rugs   ~   Earth Motif Rugs

When considering flooring, there are always rug matters to consider. Will the new room have a hardwood, cement, tile floor …or a carpet? For about a decade now, there has been a clean sweep on the carpet industry, as more and more homeowners have chucked the wall to wall rugs and picked up on the hardwood floor trend. There are a lot of advantages to bare wood floors. In terms of maintenance and allergy considerations alone, it’s not surprising that wood floors are here to stay. Wood floors are easy to sweep and clean. Wood floors can open up a room to make it appear larger than it is. Wood floors allow accent décor to become the focus point of a room. Wood floors don’t collect permanent citizens called allergens.

While many hardwoods can be absolutely beautiful in terms of color, layout and border design, there is still the issue of human warmth and comfort that comes into play. Human feet seek soft ground and sometimes, a rug is not just general floor covering; it can also offer an element of genuine human comfort into the décor equation.

Humans are highly visual and often people think according to only what they typically see – which at human eye level, is approximately 5 to 6 feet off the ground. In fact, so much time can be spent choosing the right lighting, the right window treatments, the right furniture and the right wall art that quite often, people tend to forget to look down, to address the floor. Today there are so many styles, shapes, colors and types of rugs that it can be daunting to try to match a rug up with the décor you’ve already chosen and purchased for your newly renovated room. There is no greater way to add pizzazz to a bland or neutral style room than to add a wild pop of color or fabulous printed pattern to the floor. One great area rug can significantly alter a room’s entire atmosphere and is a terrific way to ‘redecorate’ sans having to really do anything more to the room. It’s a wonderful way to keep the budget in check when keeping within budget, matters.

When thinking about re-decorating your next room, it might be a good thing to at least, mentally start from the ground up. Ancient Sanskrit teachings emphasize grounding the mind and soul into the physical body via Yoga. Painters use grounding compounds as an underlying support that will hold and bind their acrylic and oil paints to the canvas. Builders construct their buildings from the ground up. When all is said and done, perhaps after all…rug matters.

View Momeni Rugs    View Dynamic Rugs   View Anji Mountain Rugs  View Uttermost Rugs

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Livex Lighting

How To: Make Your Chandelier Your Own

WB1815DWZ-LED-LIVEX

By Lindsy Jacob

When we think about a chandelier, we think about an ornate fixture that becomes the focal point of a room all on its own; whether it is dripping in crystals, or has a one of a kind finish. This may be the case with some chandeliers, but definitely not all. The simplicity behind certain designs allows the consumer to truly customize their piece and take it to the next level, if they choose. There are many ways to do so and they can be quite inexpensive; we are living in a world where DIY-ing has really become the norm. I have an idea of something I’m looking for, but unfortunately I am unable to find the exact piece in any stores or even online. No biggie! I am able to turn on the TV for inspiration, browse Pinterest, or even watch some YouTube videos. Decorating your chandelier may sound taboo to some, but I use the word decorate loosely. By no means am I saying break out the popsicle sticks and finger paint, I am merely saying that there are tasteful ways to dress it up and really make it your own.

Chandelier shades can be a fast and easy way to accessorize your chandelier. The patterns, textures, colors, etc. are endless and always readily available. They are also very inexpensive, and if you’re crafty enough you can make your own. Livex Lighting offers various holiday/season themed shades which are a perfect and convenient addition to any chandelier.

Crystals allow you to add some bling to your chandelier in a tasteful manner. You can simply hang crystal strands from the arms, and body of the fixture to add something special. Crystals come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors and are also reasonably priced. You can also swap out some of the metal parts of the fixture and exchange them for crystal “body” parts. This is a very neat idea because it really can change the entire look and feel of your chandelier.

medallionsby-Livex

Ceiling medallions are probably my favorite way to dress up any chandelier because they can take the chandelier to a whole other level. You can get a simple solid steel medallion or ones with beautiful intricate detailing; it really is all up to you. They are an easy way to pull the room together, without having to do much to your chandelier. Again, these come in all sizes, colors, and even materials. Choosing the perfect fit is dependent on variables such as the size of the room along with the size of the fixture. If you are unsure, you can always find assistance at your local showroom or even look up guides online.

Dressing up your chandelier can be a gradual process, so do not get overwhelmed. Once you get a feel for your design style and have a solid vision, then these are things you can start thinking about. Be sure to check out the Livex Lighting selection that EliteFixtures.com carries, and if you decide to use any of my tips, please submit your pictures to our Facebook page!

Livex Lighting

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Shopping for a new home? Consider this….

ImagebyMaximLighting

Outdoor Fixtures by Maxim Lighting

Shopping for a new home? There are many things to consider when shopping for your new home. However, finding the right neighborhood is equally as important, if not more important, than finding the right home! Think of it this way; you can always update any part of your home, but you cannot remodel your community.  You are just a small component of what makes your community! Consider this….

  1. Homeowners Association (HOA)
    A homeowners association regulates the rules of the neighborhood, monitors crime and can be a great asset to your neighborhood.
  2. Neighborhood schools
    If you have children, it is critical to have good schools (elementary, middle and high schools) in your neighborhood.
  3. Surrounding amenities
    Does the neighborhood have a nice park? Is there a grocery store just a couple blocks away? What about a nearby gym or rec center? Does the community provide services and functions for everyone?  Good amenities can make a huge difference!
  4. Future development
    It’s important to check with your city planning office on the community’s plans for road expansion, property development and construction. Future construction can really add to or take away from your ideal setting.
  5. Good record
    Crime rates, school tests scores and diversity are all statistics that may help you decide on your next community.

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jeco-furniture

Consider All Weather Wicker

jeco-furniture

All Weather Wicker Conversation Set by Jeco

Every few years, and it goes without saying, a spring-time review of last year’s outdoor furniture often provokes a weary sigh. Did we forget to rinse down the pieces before storing them for the winter? Has the dirt and grime has now settled comfortably into every nook and cranny? Are the cushions faded or grimy enough to cause you to spontaneously burp to your guests, ‘Oops, let me wipe that quick, before you sit down’? Might we have left them out a bit too long and dead fall leaves made permanent imprints, that now won’t remove with even CLOROX? These are all signs directing you to go look for new furniture. But what should you buy?

jecochests

All Weather Wicker Patio Deck Box by Jeco

Consider all weather wicker. With durable, all-weather resin wicker over a powder-coated steel frame, this kind of product is built to withstand anything life throws your way. Unlike real wicker which dries out and cracks, resin wicker is flexible and fade-resistant, which means it stays like new season after season. What’s more, all-weather wicker doesn’t absorb water and also allows for air flow, making it the perfect choice for the poolside! All weather wicker is virtually maintenance-free and cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down with your garden hose or wiping it clean with a solution of mild dish soap and water. That makes it Eco-friendly too – because you’ll save on water, and won’t need to use caustic cleaning agents to get the mud and dirt off.

Jeco-chairs

Introducing the Over-sized Zero Gravity Recliner by Jeco

Additionally, if we segway off to the pool area, one might think about relaxing in an Over-sized Zero Gravity recliner. This chair has a shade built into it to protect you from the sun. The removable drink tray is great for keeping a beverage at hand. The locking mechanism allows for an infinite number of recline positions and a headrest is provided for additional comfort or use as a lumbar support. The recliner, made of high strength and durable powder coated steel frame, folds for easy storage and transportation. It comfortably supports up to 300 lbs of human weight. The fabric is made of textilene, a long lasting outdoor grade fabric. It comes in twelve exciting color combos.

The Spring and Summer seasons should be all about relaxation, family festivities, restoration and contemplation about life’s forward moving journey. Easing out of household duties, including the pesky after-winter yard work should be a pre-spring priority, so that by the time both seasons arrive – you’re already there.

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ElitefixturesFraudProtection

EliteFixtures Protects Customers Against Fraud!

NEW YORK (AP) — Credit card fraud is serious business. The new chip credit cards that shoppers are getting in their mailboxes may prevent criminals from stealing from stores, but many thieves are expected to move their operations online. Small businesses could be the most vulnerable.

ElitefixturesFraudProtection

Online fraud in the U.S. is expected to nearly double to $19 billion by 2018 from $10 billion in 2014, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a consulting company based in Pleasanton, California. In Britain, which began shifting to chip cards in 2001, online fraud rose 55 percent from 2005 to 2008, according to the UK Cards Association, an industry group. “It’s inevitable it will happen,” says Steve Platt, an executive vice president at Experian, the credit reporting company.

Banks and other card issuers are sending consumers the new cards because the chips embedded in them are harder to counterfeit than magnetic stripes. Issuers began sending replacement cards in the last year because, as of Oct. 1, merchants are responsible for financial losses from fraud committed with chip cards if they don’t use new equipment to process chip card payments.

Small businesses are likely to be most vulnerable because many can’t afford the sophisticated software big retailers use to quickly determine whether transactions are fraudulent. Banks no longer have the liability in such cases. And there’s another wrinkle that could make operating difficult for businesses that experience a lot of online fraud: Companies that exceed a limit on fraudulent transactions — usually 1 percent of their total transactions — may be barred from accepting credit cards. People attempting to commit fraud online buy card numbers and other information from hackers who invaded computers systems at companies such as Target Corp. and Home Depot Corp. Then they use the stolen card numbers to make online purchases.

To stop the criminals, Allen Walton examines orders at his surveillance equipment company, SpyGuy Security, one by one. “We manually scan all orders for anything suspicious, like fake names, requests for overnight delivery, and high-ticket orders,” says Walton, whose company is based in Dallas. He finds fraudulent orders several times a month.

The increase in online fraud is likely to happen over time, partly because the switch to chip cards is ongoing and expected to continue into 2016. “The crooks tend to go where there’s less security,” says Ken Paterson, a vice president at the consulting firm Mercator Advisory Group in Maynard, Massachusetts.

Technology can help companies root out fraud with software that analyzes a number of factors in a transaction: whether shipping and billing addresses match, whether the order is placed from an unfamiliar computer or device and whether the email address associated with the order is unfamiliar. A high number of transactions in a short time is another red flag, says Tom Donlea, director of e-commerce at Whitepages, a Seattle-based company whose services include address verification for online businesses. When several suspicious factors are present, the software flags a transaction so a retailer can investigate.

EliteFixtures.com, a retailer of lighting fixtures, plumbing and home decor products in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Elitefixtures protects customers against fraud. It has built a fraud detection system that it says has almost completely eliminated fraudulent transactions. “If someone is ordering a $10,000 chandelier and it’s going to a ZIP code where the median home price is $130,000,” says owner Steven Annese, “that doesn’t make sense.”

Courtesy of AP News: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/61273ab8ccd04c4a993c28339731f187/expect-more-online-fraud-new-credit-cards-arrive

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Crystorama

3 Reasons To Consider Green

Crystorama

Stunningly Beautiful Imagery and Product Lines by Crystorama

Today, we give you 3 reasons to consider green as an interior room or home decor color. Out of the full spectrum of colors available to mankind, the ones most soothing to the human soul are the blues and greens. What is it about these colors that calm the human spirit and are so unusually restorative?

Firstly, green and blue are two of Earth’s most abundant colors. The color green denotes life, nature and constant growth and renewal. In Sanskrit, the chakra center associated with green is the human heart chakra. There is even an unseen and cosmic life-force frequency of green light flowing through us that many of us may not see necessarily, but we all naturally feel.

Secondly, Earth has herself, a fundamental resonate frequency, (otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance), which is approximately seven and a half beats per second (7.5 hertz). Earth’s frequencies are intimately linked to human brainwaves, as well as the human system overall.  As everything is made of energy, we are far more dependent upon Earth’s rhythms than we are aware of.

The basic point here is that we are a fully organic species. Our organic body constitution is therefore, dependent upon many life force properties that Earth provides to us; such as green foods and blue water. As our natural affinity is to resonate with and be supported by Earth frequencies, the color green itself helps to remind our bodies that we are perpetually connected to the planet, despite the fact that we’ve blocked those supportive energies via the cement homes we build. Green has been used in hospitals and schools for centuries. That’s something to think about, even if you are a non-believer in what skeptic’s term it – pseudoscience.

hinkleylighting

Hinkley – Another Great Indoor / Outdoor Lighting Source

Thirdly, whether or not one believes in auras and chakras…most humans will readily admit that they feel far better outside in a warm and sunny atmosphere, than indoors, provided it’s not too hot out. Golfers won’t readily admit that they all convene on the green – not so much to network – but to escape the pressures of the everyday office and corporate rig-amoral. Who wouldn’t feel greatly relaxed on an expansive carpet of green surrounded by lush trees and occasional ponds? Who’s kidding who?

zuomodern

Zuo Modern – Contemporary and Bold Designs

There is another type of green, other than the more muted tones and hues of the color, that not only serves to invigorate, but can also instantly perk the human body into a feeling of regeneration. Those tend to be the more bright and lime colored greens, the brighter sea-foam greens and teal-blue-green hues, which reflect the brand new leaves of spring, blue skies and sunlight combined – to inspire a sense of youth.

Various shades of green have their effects on the human psyche whether some choose to label it something mystical or others poo-poo  any ‘healing’ validity whatsoever. The bottom line is that for many people, green does it’s thing on us no matter how we define it or question it. And that ‘thing’ is almost always 100% positive….unless of course we’re talking green mold. Consider green if you haven’t before and see how it affects you. You might just be surprised at how great you feel!

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Uttermost

Products for Pooches

Uttermost

Introducing a dog friendly company: Uttermost

Every human dog guardian knows that the word ‘family’ ABSOLUTELY includes the fur beings that co-habit with them. In keeping with home furnishing trends – and advancing human consciousness, we at Elitefixtures.com 100% advocate the idea of providing a few luxury products for pooches. It’s a way of showing not only an appreciation for the millions of moments of unconditional love all humans are bestowed by them; it also ensures that they know, that we know, that they should be acknowledged once in awhile for the great humanitarian work that they do.

UttermostProducts

Sku#  23624                  Sku#  23025              *Clearance Sku#  23212             Mac Cooper/Uttermost

There is indeed a huge difference between tossing a random ratty pillow or old used rug on the ground for ‘the dog’ and… going that one extra step to demonstrate to him or her that he or she is truly, a beloved family member; via a luxury bed! Dogs, cats and birds for that matter, have sensitivities we don’t always understand. Stopping for a moment or two to let your pet know it is a special member of the family, goes a long way in terms of its mental and emotional well being. And yes, your dog thinks and feels very deeply. Otherwise he or she could not LOVE YOU so intensely.

Providing your beloved with its very own, very special bed can do much to sooth a restless spirit,  a bored buddy or an elderly fuzzball that’s spent over a decade with you already. A ‘personal bed’ allows a dog to innately feel a sense of belonging, security and permanence. With humans coming and going all the time, laughing and talking right over their heads, including being overly obsessed with texting friends right in their silent presence; a dog can feel very lonely, even when surrounded by everyone in the family. We don’t always recognize how our human behavior affects those who exist in a living reality two or three feet below our own heads.

Sku#23626UttermostProduct

Sku# 23626

If you don’t want your dog on your bed sleeping with you every night, or on any of your precious furniture pieces; or if he or she seems to be exhibiting a sense of insecurity or restlessness of late – perhaps you’ll consider purchasing your dog a REAL bed! You might be amazed at how calm and stable he or she suddenly becomes. And your heart will feel good that your dog’s heart has been touched by genuine human thoughtfulness!

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Pablo Solomon Image by Jeb Thomas

Designers Define Inspirational Sourcing

Pablo Solomon Image by Jeb Thomas

We’ve asked some designers to define their inspirational sourcing. Here are their thoughts:

Inspiration is an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes you are literally inspired out of the clear blue sky, in the middle of the night; a concept just pops in your head out of nowhere. Other times you feel as if you must search out new vistas and new experiences to stimulate your creativity. After decades as an artist and designer, I have found that the real key is within you. You must maintain a positive, inquisitive and open mind.

The Japanese have a term –mind of no mind–this is concept that roughly translates as having an alert and open mind, but not a mind that expects or does expect, judges or does not judge–you are open to what the world around you reveals. I have found that everything and everyone I come in contact with can spark inspiration.

Of course the cliché walk in the woods, the visit to a museum, a vacation in a new culture, etc. can spark ideas. But so can things as mundane as a pattern on a fabric, a color on a street sign, the curves in a walkway and the list is endless. The key is that your mind is open and active and always processing the world around you. When something seems beautiful or balanced or proportional or interesting to the point that your mind has a response, you must be ready to try to understand why you saw beauty or got pleasure from that split second. Then you must allow your mind to come up with random thoughts and juxtapositions and combinations and mutations and blurring and sharpening and flowing and freezing–until you have something that you think will work. The next step is really what separates the true artist/designer from the dreamer–to actually take your idea and turn it into some sort of reality–a sketch, an object, a song, a dance, etc.

As far as staying on top of the latest trends, I often create trends. Some I have been instrumental in developing over the years–the resurgence of black and white in art and design, vertical greening, mid century modern, the seamless flow of interior and exterior design, etc. ( Currently I am guiding other designers in the rediscovery of the beauty and practicality of laminates ). Do not be afraid to be a design leader. But also, do not fail to recognize new directions that have merit.

While you should be aware of what is being promoted currently as a big deal, you should filter all that hype with your own experience and tastes. A good designer never allows his/her clients to go overboard with fads, but rather presents design based on balance, proportion, harmony, quality, ambiance, etc. Never lose track of that the secret to great design is not only how something looks, but rather the feeling that the object, room, landscape, etc. evokes. Great creativity is when your vision becomes a reality that projects a feeling which your client was hoping to have.

Pablo Solomon
Artist & Designer
www.pablosolomon.com
Pablo has been featured in 29 books, dozens of major magazines and newspapers, TV, radio and film. Beverly consults with clients on art as an investment, design for home and office, vintage collectibles and fashion.

PatriciaDavisBrownDesigns.com

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

Every project brings with it a new canvas, so each of my projects have their own unique design. I have no signature look, because if I did then it is my vision not my clients vision and they keep my designs fresh.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

With that said, I think it is important to attend industry shows and seek out artisans with unique looks. It is part of my job to find inspirations that I can pull from when a design calls for it. I just got back from Las Vegas, where I attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Builders Show and I expanded my mental library by seeing what is the latest in decor and technology for the home.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

My artisans are my secret weapon to creating something never seen before or applying a technique differently than how it was intended to be used. Sometimes I visit an artisan studio to get inspirations to apply to a wall, floor or an architectural object to create a wow factor.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

Many times it’s nature. I live on the inter-coastal waterway, in Florida, and one day while riding in our boat I noticed the uprooted trees on the spoil island. Their organic aesthetics intrigued me and I had a coffee table base designed and made with driftwood for a client, it was beautiful. Originally, I wanted to use it in a meditation room of a mansion I was doing on the ocean, but I couldn’t sell the idea to the owner. I wanted to take one of the giant root systems and apply it to the wall, which would have been awesome, maybe one day.

Patricia Davis Brown is an award-winning interior designer whose work has been featured in Florida Architecture, Traditional Homes & Design, Florida Design, Qualified Re-modeler Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas and The Kids Space Idea Book.

Patricia Davis Brown, ASID, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD
Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC.
professionalkitchenandbathplans.com
PDBHomeStore.com
digthisdesign.net

ImagebyAmbience.ca

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I read a lot, speak to design industry professionals and am always looking for new ideas and trends that allow me to keep my designs fresh and current.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

I do a lot of reading online and in design books as well as take interior design courses to keep up the latest trends and design advancements. Being on the cutting edge of sustainability and wellness of spaces is something we continue to strive for.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

We have a vast library of home decor products we can access and depending on the project and budget we also reach out to some talented artisans that can create something special for our clients based on our custom designs.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere. We believe in making space in your life for inspiration to flow, whether it be during a walk in nature or on vacation. Sometimes the best ideas come when we are not searching for the solution. When the inspiration strikes, I write it down and find a way to apply it to the space I am working on. At Ambience Design Group (ambience.ca) our process and philosophy is unique – we take a holistic view on design – we see the complete picture and ensure that all elements of your space are working cohesively together. We have developed our own proprietary design process, Ambience Living Spaces, that incorporates sustainability, wellness, and accessibility in custom spaces.

Josie Abate
Owner, Design Director
ambience.ca

ImagebyWaldronDesigns

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I have to give a lot of credit to my college professors back in the days of design school. They really weeded us out well. Half our class was cut at the 50% point of the program, and those who made it through did so because it was what we thrived on. We simply must design. For me, it’s not something I can burn out on. It’s something that I simply cannot live without. Design is a part of me. That said, I keep involved in the design community. I go to presentations given by manufacturers and craftspeople and their energy is contagious! Continuing education is not scarce. There are so many associations: NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association) as well as local groups. Whether or not a designer is a member, courses and presentations are available to the trade.

I also like to talk to the people I am working with and that my clients are working with. I show up at the job site and observe the tile installation so that I may learn from someone who is actually doing the work. I watch the cabinet maker build my cabinets and watch him mix and apply the stain.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

While the presentations generally cover the latest trends, I actually avoid a lot of them. I don’t care if white kitchens are the new thing. What is important to me is what will last and what moves the homeowner. Now, I do care about new products that allow me to create a better space, but trend predictions are rarely accurate. I think more important is watching the homeowners and seeing what the vast majority are interested in and attracted to in order to truly understand the trends. Product reps keep us up to date with presentations on their latest products and if I’m looking for something new, my reps are a great resource to rely on.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

I sometimes go to direct artisans. I live on an island full of artists and craftspeople, and I love and prefer to work locally and support small businesses. But, it ultimately depends on the homeowner and what they are looking for.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

Fantasy: I am strongly inspired by movies! I love set design and think that often dreams come from watching films and imagining ourselves there. I personally love the 80’s fantasy/adventure movies, like Labyrinth, The Never ending Story, Legend, and The Goonies. They bring out the child in me- the child with the limitless imagination!

Deterioration: I love the mystery of peeling wallpaper and rooms that are boarded up. Our innate desire to cross the line and explore, to see what is hidden inspires me to create little surprises in each space.

In regards to subject matter – I have recently begun offering “Lifestyle Design” with a Yoga instructor and a Home organizer! It sounds like an odd mix – but I think that when people are looking for a major life change, such as a remodel, they are truly looking for a lifestyle change.  The Yoga Instructor (Emily Herrick) and I also are recording a radio show that we expect to air this month!

Rachel Waldron, Interior Designer/Owner
new construction | remodel | furnishings, finishes, and fixtures
waldrondesigns.com

LindsayPennington.com

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I find that seeking out new experiences always keeps my design senses fresh.  I love to travel, and bring home new ideas each time I return from a trip, whether I’ve been wandering the halls of museums in Paris or soaking up the desert colors of Palm Springs.  Naturally, movies and art provide lots of visual stimulation and provoke new ideas, but even simply picking up a book can get your design juices flowing, because they require you to use your imagination to picture detailed backdrops for their characters and adventures.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

As a designer, I strive to think outside of the box and not necessarily follow trends!  But it’s so important for designers to be aware of new products, from fabrics to furnishings to fixtures, and to find innovative ways to integrate current market pieces into our clients’ homes.  I rely on digital and print publications (such as magazines and blogs) to keep up-to-date on the best and most interesting new products, but just being aware of the latest ideas for any aesthetic is crucial.  For example, for several years the interior design marketplace has been responding to customer demands for green products that incorporate recycled materials, and for products that rely on vegan or organic textiles,  to reduce environmental impact.  This trend gained a lot of momentum when the food industry started thinking about new ways to promote farm-to-table and organic ingredients in their menus.  Keeping current on what matters to our clients in all aspects of their lives is necessary to my design education.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

Absolutely.  Each client deserves a designed space that is personal and authentic.  So we reach out directly to artisans to help craft those one-of-a-kind pieces that separate a “catalog” look from a specific interior vision that really reflects the client.  This can be as simple as commissioning a painting or a picture from an artist that the client loves to as complex as designing a suite of furnishings for a client using bespoke fabrics that are made in a workroom precisely to the client’s specifications.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

I love to consider my client’s wardrobe when designing a home for them.  For example, a woman might gravitate to brighter colors and lots of jewelry, so her home should reflect a more layered, colorful, and bohemian point of view.  On the other hand, a man might wear a gray or navy suit to work everyday, and drive a sleek black sports car, so his home should similarly be a reflection of the way he chooses to present himself to the world everyday in his office and professional life.  Of course, I’ve had male clients that wear bright colors and jewelry and female clients who wear suits to work every day, but the fun of the job is tailoring each environment to my individual clients, no matter what they wear!

Lindsay Pennington
Designer, Owner
lindsaypenningtoninc.com

Again, we thank our participants for their insight and willingness to let the public peek into the ‘interior process’ that ultimately manifests into visually beautiful and functional environments for their clients.

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