A Thanksgiving Surprise Saturday, Dec 1 2018 

Over the years I have found that there are some clients that we end up getting to know more than others. As we get to know them life happens and that sometimes means great things and sometimes difficult things. This year I met an amazing family that I had the pleasure of designing their new home. During that process they experienced news that no parent ever wants to hear. They learned that their son had brain cancer. And while I cannot imagine what they are experiencing nor can I share their journey you can check out the journey on their blog at http://www.calebthesuperhero.blog What I did get to do was give them the home of their dreams for when they are here in the Tampa area. So little to their knowledge we completed the house with all of the furnishings and everything they would need to move into their dream home! And by the way they have amazing parents to make this surprise happen. 

Here are some before and afters:

We also had the amazing experience to have the process of the final installation days filmed along with the surprise reveal. So to get the real details of how we pulled it all off check out this video.

I love being able to create the perfect space for my clients. Spaces that they can feel like it gives them a big hug every time they walk through the door. The layering of textures, designs and materials makes all the difference. I hope you enjoyed the reveal as much as I have!

Final Thoughts on Fall High Point Market Wednesday, Nov 21 2018 

I can’t believe it is almost Thanksgiving which, means it has been more than a month since High Point Market. So I thought I would give one final post on the direction that I see design trends going and why as a designer High Point Market is a must.

An area that is growing in the design industry is the dorm room/starter apartment/first home segment. This area previously was always stuck with pieces that had very few options and not a whole lot of design to the options. DHP is changing that. They have partnered with Cosmo to create a trendy line as well as the Novogratz for style. The result is fun functional furniture at an amazing price. Their pieces are made for small living and the sofas are all actually futons. I have used this line for staging and they have a really great look!

 

Universal Furniture came out with the Coastal Living Collection which really hits home being based out of Florida. The collect is well curated with combinations that we would actually use in a coastal design. I fell in love with the textures and finishing touches that they added to the line. Check out this video to learn more about it.

Coastal Living by Universal

Aidan Gray introduced the Antiques Diva collection. This is a fantastic partnership that is redefining the look of antiques. I am in love with the uses of fabrics and lucite in this collection! It is pure opulence!

Stickley reminded us how absolutely beautiful wood can be. Sometimes I think we are swayed by the flashy and newest trend and forget that really amazing well thought out quality pieces will always be in style and last forever. Each piece is finished like glass a technique that will always amaze.

Bernhardt, Littman Brands, Modern History and EJ Victor brought us maximalism. Check out the previous post to get all the details. But just remember really big hardware and over the top finishes. Here are some pictures to remind you what I think is going to be the biggest trend that we will see in the coming months and years.

From my last post you read all about the California influence on many designers and styles. Here are some images that we saw from those looks from Norwalk, Four Hands, Surya and Cisco Brothers.

Thibaut reminded us about color and mixing of patterns while partnering with Crypton to make all those amazing fabrics functional in your home! They are one of the absolute bests at mixing patterns and bold colors and creating a style that is always recognized as truly Thibaut. Brings me back to my New England roots every time!

And last but not least you have outdoor furniture which will always have to give a nod to Lloyd Flanders as the originator of so many amazing designs and techniques. I personally fell in love with their swings! Check out their website for all of their amazing pieces and tons of options. Not to mention their fantastic history!

So at the end of the day, my final take away from fall High Point Market is that it really is all about the end user and what is best for them. There are so many options available, there is amazing history and there is a vibrancy that can only be experienced in person. I am so inspired to get back to designing new spaces for my clients and I hope that everyone got a little glimpse into what drives the design process.

California Influence on High Point Market Monday, Nov 12 2018 

One of the influences that I saw throughout High Point Market this year was the California Boho influence. We have been seeing this feeling and design style seep into so many lines over the past years but a few companies really pulled it off fantastically.

First is Norwalk having partners with Kim Salmela with the soft colors, the Crypton fabrics and the layering of natural fibers.

There is a softness with this style that brings to mind the style call hygge by the Danish. It is about comfort and texture.

Surya brought the style to mind with their Urban Traditionalist look. They mixed textures, materials and warm wood tones.

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Some of my favorite pieces that Surya came out with for this look are their tapestries, newly updated rugs and pillows.

Four Hands has been bringing this curated look to market for awhile and continued to impress this market with additional pieces that updated the California influenced style. They mixed materials, leather, stone, sheepskin, wool and wood to create a deep and inviting feeling.

The look at Four Hands is a bit more on the modern side and flows with an urban styling. I want to place every piece in either a loft or contemporary beach house.

Cisco Brothers was a huge influence on this style as well. It was my first time seeing their pieces and I could not get enough! The amazing fabrics many of which were Crypton were textural and natural. The down cushions and sink into style said comfort and design all at the same time. Even better they are a green company so I know when using their beautiful pieces they are thinking about the environment and future generations.

So if you aren’t into the over the top look that was popular this market this might be a more appealing look. Think hygge, texture, materials, layering and the California breeze.

Wow, Wow, Wow – Maximalism and High Point Market! Friday, Oct 19 2018 

It was amazing whirlwind of fantastic showrooms, great people and designs to inspire! Maximalist style was all over market this fall. This style included deep rich colors, inlays of metal, bone, shell, and marble along with big over-sized hardware. This is a response to the many seasons of minimalism that we have been seeing.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from Bernhardt, who did an amazing job of details and balance in each of their pieces.

The opulence that they were able to achieve is amazing. The Helios bed is radiating circles of Capiz that make it feel like a sunshine. The night stand is carved and wrapped in German silver! It truly is a “more is more” feeling and the detail says it all. Although the Orchid Chair that is pictured here is in their organic collection I find it also belongs in the maximalist style. It is cast metal with such detail and organic shape it just lends itself to the style. The Xandra entertainment credenza is just a true over the top delight. It is ribbons of German silver mixed with bone inlay, a true WOW!

EJ Victor brought the maximalism with the Bethan Gray line. These amazing pieces showcase such detail in the marquetry and metal overlays.

These pieces were inspired by travel and are made up of the highest craftsmanship. To create the marquetry Italian maple veneers are cut and dyed then inlaid while wet to create the pattern and design. They they overlay the metal, knock it back and brush finish it before applying the final protective coats on top.  Check out this video to see how these pieces are created.

The maximalist style was not only in furniture. Hudson Valley Lighting got into the game with the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection which featured detailed glass work and high contrast.

So if you are tired of the minimalist style and want something more there are some really great pieces that will soon be available. And these are just three of the fantastic companies that we saw at High Point Market. Check back and subscribe to see more from Furniture Fashion Week!

Almost Time! Friday, Oct 12 2018 

To say that I am excited for this High Point Market is and understatement. I can’t wait to be there, see the new trends and pieces, host a tour and participate in the design blogger’s tour! So let’s first talk about what has been going on at Artful Conceptions and what trends I am looking to see. As many of you know I have always called market Furniture Fashion Week. This is the time to see what will be new and innovative. This is the time to influence what the manufactures will be bringing to production. How items are received at market is what will be put into lines. Doesn’t do well at market, you’re not going to see it available for purchase. Does really well you will see sell out items that will change what everyone from builders, homeowners and designers are specifying.

For us at Artful Conceptions we have been working on lots of new construction projects. So many new beautiful homes that are being built and designed out of Artful Conceptions. For this aspect of our business the trends are so important so that when we are designing we are helping our builders to know what their future clients are going to want. We want to help them to make the right decisions on where to spend money and where they can save money. Knowing the direction that the market is going is vital for this. We also need to make sure that we are selecting the right trends to work with verse the ones that will be out of style faster than when they arrived. And we need to make sure that we know when a style is going away so that we can transition out clients into the newer styles and not ones that they will want to replace before we even finish the job. Taking inspiration from existing architecture, fashions and styles allows us to design for a long-lasting look.

It is these moments that lead to these designs.

This year will be a first for me in which I will be giving a tour at High Point Market! The Insider’s Tour is for first time attendees or for those that have not been in a while. I am so looking forward to showing everyone how I see market! We will have the opportunity to stop at my favorite places, see some new releases and of course have fun!

And for two of the days at market I will be participating in the Design Blogger’s Tour! This is a great opportunity to see new designs, new showrooms and meet some amazing people. I love the idea that I will be with other designers and bloggers spending time collaborating and being inspired.

Not to be forgotten there will be the time to find great pieces for my clients and my showroom. I can’t wait to be inspired, to find some new direction and to continue on the amazing path that design has taken me.

High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour! Saturday, Sep 15 2018 

I am so excited to announce that I have been selected for the Design Bloggers Tour!

Design_Bloggers_Tour_Logo_Fall_2018

There are some amazing companies that we will see on this tour. It will be a great time to see the newest designs that will be released and a great insight into the what the hottest trends will be.

We will be seeing so great showrooms. Here is some background on the companies that we will be seeing.

Aidan Gray Home, this is a company I have used for great accessories and farmhouse style pieces. I believe they will be releasing the Diane Keaton line at Market.

Check out more from them at http://www.aidangrayhome.com

Bernhardt, this is a furniture company that has a very large range. I have used them for commercial projects as they have a great commercial line. I will be excited to see their residential line.

To see more of their current line check them out at http://www.bernhardt.com

Cisco Brothers, this company will be a new one for me. They are a handmade furniture company out of Los Angeles.

 

Check them out at http://www.ciscobrothers.com

Crypton, these are great fabrics made for durability. These fabrics have been one of my go to lines for commercial spaces for the past 15 years.

Check out more about these amazing fabrics at http://www.crypton.com

Dorel Home, this is another new company for me. They seems to have lines for all stages, including kids and college dorms.

You can find out more about them at http://www.dhpfurniture.com

E J Victor, this is a company that I am super excited to see. They have connections with great designers and produce line for Ralph Lauren, Kelly Wearstler and Kate Spade to name a few.

Four Hands, this showroom is always amazing and the curated looks that are created are the latest trends and designs. They have furniture for every room.

Find out more about them at http://www.fourhands.com

Hudson Valley Lighting, I love this company for great lighting in new construction and remodel projects. They have a contemporary feel that works beautifully in a traditional home adding an updated feel.

Check out their website at http://www.hudsonvalleylighting.com

Lloyd Flanders, this has been a go to line for wicker and rattan pieces for years for me. They have added so many new additions to their product line I can’t wait to see what they will do next.

Check them out at http://www.lloydflanders.com

Modern History, this is another new company for me to check out. They have a great line of casegoods that range in design styles.

Have a look at more of their pieces at http://www.modernhistoryhome.com

Stickley, this company is one that I would consider as the grandfather of all current furniture companies. They were one of the innovators of the mission oak style. That style still flows through modern designs to this day.

Check out all of the history at http://www.stickley.com

Surya, has been on of my vendors for years. They have great rugs, indoor and outdoor, accessories and lighting.

Every market they release so many new things, see what has already been released at http://www.surya.com

Thibaut, this is what I think of as classic New England look. Thibaut makes fabrics, wallpaper, and furniture. Think quality and design.

Check out the whole collection at http://www.thibautdesign.com

Universal, although I have only used them for a few projects they have a wide variety of pieces. Everything from casegoods to upholstery. I am excited to see their showroom.

Check out there pieces at http://www.universalfurniture.com

The last company on the tour is Norwalk furniture. I have a long history to this company as I started my design career with them. They make upholstery in Norwalk Ohio, hundreds of styles with thousands of fabric and leather options.

You can see all of their pieces at http://www.norwalkfuniture.com

As you can see there are some amazing companies that we will be visiting at High Point Market. I am excited and ready to show you the newest pieces that they are working on creating the newest trends in home furnishings and design.

Let’s Talk Color! Thursday, Sep 6 2018 

So often recently we hear all about neutrals. And yes I love neutrals but they have a place, a whole home should not be neutrals from top to bottom. You can go with pops of color or go bold with some large pieces in color.

The right amount of color mixed with neutrals gives the space a huge impact. It’s not something to be afraid of. Go for color in a large piece then bring some of that color into pillows and rugs.

Add flowers for pops of color. Flowers remind us of the outdoors and make people smile. They also are a great place for you to change the feel of the space. Flowers can follows the seasons to change your home’s style as the seasons change.

Add color to rugs for a base for your design.

Give your fireplace some love. Pillows are great for additions of color.

Don’t forget artwork for you pops of color. Forget the traditional and go for a wow!

Go out there and add some color to your home!

New Introductions I love Thursday, Aug 16 2018 

As many of you know I shop High Point Market but that does not mean that there aren’t other markets that happen in other cities and states. What that also means is that there are new releases to product lines at times of the year other than October and April. While High Point is still the major release time for most furniture and accessory lines we love to see these in between introductions. So here are some of my favorite things that have recently been added to some of my vendors.

I am in love with these pieces as they can work in so many different styles. I love adding a touch of contemporary to a traditional home or adding just the right traditional piece into a contemporary home. Adding some contemporary touches to the traditional home keeps the design from feeling stale and out of touch. And when a touch of traditional is added to the contemporary style it adds a warmth that can be easily missing when everything is too modern.

Don’t forget to mix materials, textures and colors to create a beautiful living design. These pieces can flow and be your accent pieces or they can be the starting point for a great design. Each design should always be about the end user and it is our job to guide our clients with great design that is functional and current.

Getting Ready for High Point Market Thursday, Jul 19 2018 

I know it may seem a little early but I am getting ready for High Point Market that is happening in the middle of October (10/13-10/17) As I get ready I look back at last fall market and see what was released at my favorite showrooms. There was the big release from Barclay Butera at Lexington. We saw lots of beautiful clean coastal and contemporary pieces. This was a great addition to Lexington giving the company a whole new look.

We saw some great updates at Stanley Furniture including additions to the Havana Collection. We learned about their plans for future pieces and learned that they are planning their biggest release ever this coming fall market.

We worked on clients projects. This is probably one of the best places to be able to find great new pieces for our clients. And sometimes new means antique or vintage. This can be like a treasure hunt and when we find just the right piece everything comes together for the perfect design.

High Point Market is one of the biggest keys to our success as a design firm. It allows me to know what is coming, where the market is going and to touch and feel the pieces that I will be putting in my client’s homes. If you want to join me at market and see how I make it work for my business please check out the Insider’s Tour that I will be giving this fall market. Here is where you can apply to attend the tour:

http://highpointmarket.org/insiders-tour

The tour is free to buyers, it will be on Saturday the 13th (8:30am – 6:30pm) and you must register by September 10th. Not sure how to make arrangements High Point Market will provide a concierge to help you make those arrangements. I look forward to seeing you o the tour!

Seaside Crafts Wednesday, Jul 18 2018 

We have been on vacation this week which for us during the summer means fishing, shelling and water fun. And with that it means lots of shells that are beautiful but what do you do with them? Easy answer get a great bowl or container and display your finds.

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This can be great and pretty. And if you are all about coastal design this is perfect. But what if you want to do something a little more? How about a shadow box?

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I love these as they don’t have to be perfect and you can french mount them, put them on a console or hang them on the wall. They are perfect for all of the small shells you pick up, or in our case the ones the youngest kids pick up.

This time on vacation we got a bunch of conch shells so these are not good options for them. So here are some thoughts of what we will be doing with our conch shells.

I don’t get to do a lot of crafting because I am always working on clients projects, but I am so excited to take some time and create so pretty pieces. And the best part is that they will remind us of our fantastic vacation!

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