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!

Insider’s Tour!!! Tuesday, Jul 10 2018 

I first have to say how excited and humbled I am to have been selected to give an insider’s tour of High Point Market. It is so awe inspiring to have been recognized in the design field as a design influencer. So with that being said I want to tell you all about this amazing opportunity and what I am going to be doing at High Point Market.

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As many have heard me speak about High Point Market before you know that it is big and everything you could ever want for design and furnishings is there. It is has amazing educational events to help designers, retailers, builders and manufacturers grow their businesses. All of this can be a little intimidating. So for all of our first time market goers (or if you haven’t been in 4 markets)  you will have the opportunity to join me on a tour of the market. We will be going to my favorite showrooms to see the newest and hottest trends that you need to be incorporating into your designs, stores and businesses. We will be experiencing all that market has to offer but as insider’s. I have some amazing showrooms lined up and some of them even have gifts for our tour attendees!

So how do you get on this tour? It’s super easy! You are going to check out this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8376HLB where you can be walked through the whole process of how to sign up. You want to start early. As registration opens today! You will want to reserve your place on the tour but you also want to get working on your travel arrangements! And even better a concierge will contact you to help you make those travel arrangements once you have registered for the insider’s tour.

You can check out some more information about High Point Market and the Insider’s Tour at http://highpointmarket.org/insiders-tour

To give you and idea of some of the amazing things that you will see at High Point Market, here are some pictures from past trips that I have done.

So whether you have specific projects you are working on or if you are looking to stock your showroom with the best pieces I look forward to showing you my version of High Point Market! Don’t forget those model homes! Make sure your models have the newest trends and designs before they are released to the public!

Register today to get on the tour, the Insider’s Tour!

One Day Redesign Wednesday, Jun 13 2018 

So you have all the right main pieces in your home but yet you want some updating. So here are my thoughts on items that will give you that quick update and get done in one day.

First, how organized is your home? If your closets are not organized or you don’t have places to put your mail and other paper items you may be feeling stressed. So get those closets organized. Make sure you have places for your shoes. Add places for your belts and ties. Make sure you have a system for bags. Remember when organizing a closet you want to be able to see and easily grab items.

Map it out and plan your closets before you start. Don’t know where to start, consult a designer or organizer. Start making notes of how much hanging you need, how many pairs of shoes you have, what you want to spend on the project. These will direct you as to what is the best solution for your lifestyle.

The right entry or mud room storage can help you feel so much more organized. I personally hate paper. So if it were up to me I would through all mail away. But reality is we can’t do that but we can make sure that things are organized properly. Here are some of my favorite entry or mud room pieces that will make you feel so much more pulled together. No more hot mess express!

Don’t forget to refresh your bookshelves, family rooms and living rooms. To give a quick refresh regroup items on your bookshelves using great bookends. Remember to add decorative items in between the books to give some optical differences. Pick up some great boxes and magazine holders. Group items on pretty trays for decorative and functional looks. These are simple items but they add organization and a refresh to your home quickly. Here are some of my favorites.

 

So are you ready to give your home a one day refresh? Or if you just want the update without the work give us a call we would be so happy to help you to love the space you are in!

Modern Traditional Saturday, Feb 3 2018 

I can’t believe that it is February already! We have been super busy at Artful Conceptions getting homes ready for the new year. As many of you know the normal turnaround for a full home design is about 12 weeks if everything goes as planned. Well part of our super busy beginning of the year was to complete that task in 4 weeks. In fact this week we took a home from nothing Wednesday morning to completely furnished with all artwork and accessories by Friday afternoon. So here are some pictures of the project. (Some pictures are prior to finishing to keep the client identity confidential)

 

The home is a very traditional style and the client is not super traditional. So we created a modern traditional look with of course an amazing man cave. By combining antiques and modern pieces we were able to create a comfortable yet elegant design. The mixing of wood tones and textures adds depth to the space. Distressed and refined finishes can be great combinations. I love to mix shell inlays with painted distressed pieces. And yes go for the mixing of gold, silver, and bronze finishes. Life is not all in one color your home shouldn’t be either! Mix leather and fabric and don’t forget the pops of color. I know there has been so many images of the monochromatic farmhouse look but life is in color. Your home needs color as well! Don’t let the trend sway you as to what your personal style is. Keep your soul in your home!

Design Undefined – Farmhouse/Country Style Saturday, Jan 6 2018 

Have you ever wondered where style trends come from? There has been this huge push for farmhouse, country, and shabby chic interiors, but do we really know which style is which and where they come from? This was a topic we tackled at ABC’s Morning Blend in the recent Design Undefined segment.

For me I understand the craze to follow trends however the issue with following trends is that they will be out of style just as fast as they are in style. In fact we are now seeing that Joanna Gaines is now all about the coastal look. Those of us in Florida an in coastal communities have been about coastal for a long time because this is not a trend it is a way of life. So does this mean everyone who did their homes in a farmhouse style are going to be changing things out for a coastal look? Unfortunately that is probably a yes for some. But let’s talk about how to do these looks and make them timeless, classic, always in style.

First, the most important thing to work with are high quality products that use traditional designs. These can be updated designs but they have to have their start in history. These pieces will add iron when appropriate. And it will be solid iron not another metal stained to look like iron. They will have a feel to the finish that can only be achieved in a multi step process. Think like when you buy a real handbag verse the knockoff at half the price. It looks good on the outside but it doesn’t hang the same way or last the same way. So here are some of my favorite choices for dining rooms to create a classic look, whether you are going for farmhouse, shabby chic, coastal or country.

Because these pieces are classic in design they can go to any of the styles mentioned. They are not trendy where they will go out of style and depending on what accessories you put around them you will give them the right feeling. From this starting point you can create so many great looks. If we just start with the area rug we can create tons of looks. You can go for the updated traditional area rug such as the bold colors, or over-dyed antique, or the monochromatic patchwork. All of these create an updated country or shabby chic look. Or you can go for the more farmhouse/coastal style and work with textural pieces like jute rugs. Or really go for the traditional style with a truly classic design of a traditional area rug.

Can you see how each of these pieces would completely change the look? When you know where the styles come from you have the ability to create a look that has a real depth. When you just follow trends you run the risk of it all looking like you shopped at the discount rack at Home Goods.

To truly pull off these looks you have to incorporate true vintage and antique pieces. We search for our clients for the perfect ones to work in their homes. These are not pieces that you find at flea markets (as much as the network tv shows want you to think they are) these are ones that we get from companies and collectors all over the world. Here are just a few that we have worked with over the years.

Don’t forget that the lighting in the space has a huge impact as well. The right lighting can completely change the feel to the space.

So when you are looking to design your home, walk away from the big box stores, turn off the tv and look to history to see where the designs come from originally. Or hire a designer who will be able to draw upon their knowledge of design to create a classic, timeless look for you.

Design Undefined – Wall Decor Sunday, Dec 10 2017 

We all know that every room needs wall decor but we don’t always know the best pieces, how to hang them and in what combinations. We sat down with the Morning Blend to talk about wall decor.

The right wall decor will make the space. It can mean paintings, photos, metal work and many other options. With a background in painting and sculpture I am all for amazing artwork. To me it’s kinda like the right furniture. Go for pieces that you will love for a long time. The right pieces are worth the additional price tags. Don’t select paintings to match the sofa, select paintings that move your soul and then build around them. Artwork can be a juxtaposition to the room. A traditionally styled room can have a modern painting and a modern room can have a traditional painting. Framing, colors and wall textures can be what ties them together. I love to bring out paintings to my clients and hold them in the room to determine selections. There is nothing like a canvas piece that has yet to be stretched and framed in the space. It allows you to determine the feeling of the space. So I thought I would share some work by some artists that I regularly am placing in my clients homes.

Cecil K, Brent Forman, Seiko, Mia Stone and Craig Alan are just a few artists of our time that are making new pieces that evoke feelings for may of my clients. And while these pieces will make a statement you don’t have to purchase original pieces to get the right ones for your room.

With print on demand and the increased technology and quality of giclee everyone can own amazing art at any price range. These pieces can be limited additions or unlimited additions. How many are printed will determine the price, but it is all about the right piece not the price.

Wall decor does not have to be paintings. Some of the most interesting pieces are combinations of metal work, glass work, candle holders and wood pieces.

I am also in love with wall planters. These pieces add depth and touches of nature that truly create an amazing space.

So when you are thinking about your walls and how to finish off the room, remember the artwork is important. Don’t let it be a throw away item. Your wall decor should be planned out just as much as your furnishings. How you hang it and where you place it will determine how complete the room will look and feel.

Not sure how to complete your space, we would love to help. We custom all designs to our clients. And we bring the gallery to you!

Holiday Decorating Wednesday, Nov 22 2017 

I have found over the years that people either love to decorate their house, love to have it decorated but don’t want to do it or don’t do anything. Sometimes I think that the don’t do anything is because they just don’t know where to start. So I thought I would walk everyone through the process that we go through when decorating a client’s home for the holidays.

We first start by going through all that they have from previous years. Determine what still looks good, what they still like and what has meaning to them. Once we know what we have to start with we talk about what type of tree they would like if they don’t already have a tree. Many of my clients like to have a real tree. So we talk about how big the tree can be and how bushy do we want, and if there is a specific tree that they like. Fraser firs are very popular and tend to be the first choice. My father always liked blue spruces so every other year when growing up we got a blue spruce. We will get the tree for the client and put it up the day before we will be decorating so that it will fall out. This is really important, as you do not want to decorate the tree when all of the branches are still pointing upwards from being bundled up.

But before we even get to decorating the tree we need to finish getting all the the additional items for our clients, if this is the first time that we are decorating for them. This will include wall art, accessories for the tops of cabinets and tables, floral arrangements for counter tops and dining tables, and other holiday decor. I prefer to use great pieces that can be adjusted based on the season. For instance I love floor candle holders, these are great elements to any room and you can change the way that the feel in the room by changing the candles that are on top. I also love blanket ladders, as these are also a great piece that adds texture and comfort to a space that can be changed to fit with the season.

Once we have everything that we need it is time to get to decorating. For me it all starts with the tree. Make sure you have enough lights, in fact you can almost always use the rule of thumb that you can add one more strand of lights than you think you need. Add different elements to your tree like flowers and glitter streamers and tree picks. They will add so much to the look. I usually custom make all of the floral arrangements for my clients. I love to add candles to the dining table arrangements and some scents as well. So think either scented candles or the scent sticks that can make the silk floral arrangements feel real.

Here is a house that we did recently.

It is so important to have touches everywhere but not too much. We don’t want to see Santa and Frosty everywhere, but we do want to feel like everything is complete.

And since it is just the start of the season there is still time to get your house ready. We still have some available spots to get you ready for the holidays. Book your appointment today. It will be like magic.

 

Furniture Fashion Week Monday, Oct 30 2017 

As many of you know twice a year in High Point NC is our big event. Whether you call it Market of Furniture Fashion Week it is the time that we find new items for our clients and pick up new lines to better serve our clients. We had a great time and added a bunch of new lines.

Some of the great pieces that we purchased have already started showing up at the showroom. Everything from antiques to pillows and throws to accessories.

Come in and check out all of the amazing pieces or give us a call to schedule a design consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. Love the Space You’re In!

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