Now is the Time Wednesday, Aug 16 2017 

As many of you that have followed my blog over the years know we are coming up on Furniture Fashion Week. So, what does that mean to you? It means that there are some really great deals right now on items that will be cut from the current lines. So I thought I would share some of the amazing items that I am seeing at fantastic prices and won’t be around for long.

Ottomans and benches made from beautiful rugs. These are just a couple of the options.

Hand knotted rugs make great ottomans and benches.

Have been looking for poufs? There are tons of options for poufs that will not be available after October.

How about rugs? Everything from hand knotted to tufted to woven are available now at some amazing prices.

Accent,entry, and sofa tables are also making their ways onto the discontinued lists. But you have to act quickly as some of these are only available in small amounts.

Lighting options range from chandeliers to floor lamps to sconces and table lamps. You also may want to think about jumping on ones that are going away as the price may increase come October.

In fact, if you were thinking about changing up your furnishings now is the best time. You will be able to take advantage of the sale items and on new items you will get the lower prices before they get their market increases. And even better if you start now you can get it done for the holidays. Yes I said it, it’s August and if you want new furniture for the holidays it is time to order! 

High Point Market – Showrooms to See Tuesday, Apr 14 2015 

So we are now just days away from Furniture Fashion week so it is the time where we are planning on what vendors we will be seeing. Ok really most of the companies we have already booked our appointments with, so how about I give you a preview on a couple of the companies that we will be seeing at market. How about a great upholstery company that does beautiful bench made furniture right here in the USA?. Wesley Hall is one of my favorite companies they are a true American company that knows what true craftsmanship is. They still make everything by hand, no overseas product here. They have hundreds of items to choose from, thousands of fabrics and if there isn’t something that you absolutely love they will work with us to custom design the absolutely perfect piece.

Classic with a modern twist

Classic with a modern twist

Stately and refined with a little fun

Stately and refined with a little fun

Outdoor furniture is always an evolving is style and design. One of my favorites is Season Living, they not only offer furniture but great design and all the accent pieces that every space needs. So for outdoor furniture to outdoor lighting to outdoor accessories Seasonal Living gets my vote and my time at market.

From brightly colored ceramic tables to comfy modern seating it is all about Season Living.

From brightly colored ceramic tables to comfy modern seating it is all about Season Living.

Modern and functional

Modern and functional

Area rugs add the perfect place for that added touch. Whether it is a traditional hand knotted oriental rug, an over-dyed oushka, or modern geometric Surya has all the options. They have now also branched out to lighting, accessories and small furniture made with their beautiful rugs. They are always aware of the trends and are happy to be the trend setter. They always get my time at market.

Bohemian style with a modern twist.

Bohemian style with a modern twist.

All about the marshals!

All about the marsalas!

So are you as excited as I am? It will be fantastic to see how these amazing companies outdo what they did last year. All of the showrooms have a bit more fun at Spring market so it should be a colorful time.

Area Rug Construction and What it Means to You Monday, May 26 2014 

I know I have written about area rug construction before but I thought I would do it again as it has been awhile. Area rugs are constructed in five main ways. These construction methods are hand knotted, hand tufted, hand hooked, hand woven, and machine made. I am not going to talk about machine made.

The most desirable and valuable area rugs are hand knotted. These rugs last lifetimes, on average 100+ years depending on the knot count and the construction material. These rugs are usually made from wool and silk. They are constructed by tying a knot around a warp thread. There can be as many as a dozen artisans working on one hand knotted rug and they can take as long as a year to make. One of the major points people look to in determining quality are knots per square inch or kpsi. This can range from 15-2500 depending on the style and quality. For a Peshawar carpet 250 kpsi would be a very high count and be an extremely detailed rug. For a Nain Oriental carpet 250 kpsi would be a very low knot count as most are over 500 kpsi and usually range between 800-1250 kpsi. See below for a reference on how these rugs are made and the different styles if knots.

anatomy_rug

handknots

Oriental-Rug-Loom

Oriental-Rug-Structure

The next and the most common style of construction of area rugs are hand tufted. These are constructed by sketching a design on a piece of canvas and then threads are punched threw the canvas. Because there are no knots in this construction method there needs to be an additional backing added to these rugs. These rugs tend to be very plush and will last for years. They are also the rugs that tend to shed in the beginning and need to be vacuumed on a regular basis for the first month of use.

hand_tufting_tufting_gun

The next construction method is hand hooked. This is a very similar process to the hand tufted except the thread is pulled up in looped pile and not cut off like the tufted rugs. These do not shed as much as the tufted style but they are also not as plush and thick.

The last construction style of hand made rugs are hand woven. These rugs last almost as long as the hand knotted and are known for being reversible. These are also your tapestries and are many times used as wall hangings as well as carpets. These are thinner carpets and the main ones that you find are flat weaves or soumaks. These can be found made from wool or cotton.

flat_woven_illus2r

Area rugs are one of the most important elements to designing the perfect space. When you are selecting your area rugs you need to keep in mind ease of use, longevity, quality and touch. And of course there is always budget. Area rugs can range in price by thousands of dollars so before you purchase think about how you are going to use the rug and what you want to pay for one. If you are looking for a great piece of high quality that will last forever then you should be shopping hand knotted rugs. If you want something for a beach cottage that is going to be getting lots of use, sand and salt water then a hand woven is a better option for you. Still not sure what will work best for you? Ask a designer to help you select the right rug for your home or office.

Mother’s Day Ideas Wednesday, May 7 2014 

Mother’s day is just around the corner and I am sure that you are trying to think of new ideas for the mom’s in your life. You want the gift to be special and mean something, while celebrating the her contributions and of course be something that she wants. So I thought I would post some ideas that can be as simple as you want and as extravagant as you want. Mom’s are usually much a happier when their homes are in order so how about finishing off some of those areas for the mom in your life. It can be done simply with a great floral arrangement that will last for years. Or how about surprising mom with an accessory makeover; this can be done for one room or the whole house. Here are some great items that will bring a smile to the moms in your life, let her know how important she is to you and not break the bank.

birdofparadise

blue.vases

green.calla

mocha.dipped

orchids

purple.vase

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spring.wood.flowers

twigs

viburnum-in-blue-glass-vases

yellow.calla

And if you really want to surprise mom have a designer come in and do a refresh with your existing pieces while adding some of the above style pieces for a complete redo.

Have fun and put a smile on mom’s face this weekend!

High Point Spring Market 2014 Friday, Apr 11 2014 

First off I have to say that is was an insanely successful market. I found new brands that I love and was reminded way I love the lines that we carry. This market was definitely all about color. It was everywhere from traditional to contemporary, the neutral look is long gone! It was not only color but bright color. It was a feeling of rejoicing going on at market. A time of celebration not just because it was spring but because the industry seems to have gotten it’s feet back under itself. Gone was the elitist attitude that only large furniture stores were going to receive great deals and service. It was about highlighting what was going well in the industry and an acknowledgement that the designer was helping to change the image. There were concerts in the evening and an all around comradely with a focus on social media and how it was changing the independent showroom into a driving force. In fact I was even interviewed by the Winston-Salem Journal to talk about the how designers are influencing the furniture market. So with all of this in mind I thought I would share some of my favorites from the spring market.

Zuo Modern does a Moroccan outdoor wonderland.

Zuo Modern does a Moroccan outdoor wonderland.

A modern look from Younger.

A modern look from Younger.

Classic doesn't have to be boring.

Classic doesn’t have to be boring.

Beach meets fun in this colorful look from Wesley Hall.

Beach meets fun in this colorful look from Wesley Hall.

Great transitional look from Wesley Hall.

Great transitional look from Wesley Hall.

Wesley Hall reinventing traditional.

Wesley Hall reinventing traditional.

Bright yellow takes this traditional look up another step.

Bright yellow takes this traditional look up another step.

A classic Thibaut tearoom.

A classic Thibaut tearoom.

Glam, glam glam.

Glam, glam glam.

Who knew Magnussen could do entertainment.

Who knew Magnussen could do entertainment.

A great design oriented dining look from magnussen.

A great design oriented dining look from magnussen.

Magnussen stepping out with a more design oriented line.

Magnussen stepping out with a more design oriented line.

Lexington updated and adding color to the outdoor line.

Lexington updated and adding color to the outdoor line.

Traditional Lexington.

Traditional Lexington.

A touch of the old Tommy Bahama mixed with the new.

A touch of the old Tommy Bahama mixed with the new.

Lexington updated the beach look.

Lexington updated the beach look.

A great glam look.

A great glam look.

Feizy changed the outdoor rug arena with these great finds.

Feizy changed the outdoor rug arena with these great finds.

A bold new step in the machine made carpets.

A bold new step in the machine made carpets.

Feizy broke free of it's past and brought colors to the fore front.

Feizy broke free of it’s past and brought colors to the fore front.

Cyan design made a huge impact on the accessory market with it's bold showroom front window.

Cyan design made a huge impact on the accessory market with it’s bold showroom front window.

So what is your favorite? I love it all and can’t wait to show pictures of all the items that were purchased for the showroom!

Small Space Designing Thursday, Apr 3 2014 

Let’s be honest one of the hardest spaces to design for are small spaces. These spaces usually need to be multi use rooms and require special furniture to function properly. They also tend to be the spaces that end up cluttered and stuffed feeling. So I thought I would post some great furniture options that make small spaces function without felling cluttered and too tight.

Family room that doubles as bedroom with hidden storage bed.

Family room that doubles as bedroom with hidden storage bed.

Bookcase storage doubles as sofa table.

Bookcase storage doubles as sofa table.

Loft bed allows for desk and bookcases below.

Loft bed allows for desk and bookcases below.

Bunk bed with desk and drawers in stairs.

Bunk bed with desk and drawers in stairs.

Desk that can double as dining.

Desk that can double as dining.

Simply-small-bedroom-paint-ideas

small-room_office

Space-Saving-Furniture

Yellow-Furniture-for-Small-Room-Space

So as you can see once the right furniture is selected any space even small ones can have both function and form. Don’t know how to find these furniture pieces? We can help as we deal directly with the manufacturers and craftsman to create these great pieces.

Spring Market Preview Wednesday, Mar 19 2014 

So it is getting to that time of year where all we think about in the design industry is the upcoming market. The one and only, the original furniture fashion week, High Point Market! So I thought I would give my readers a bit of a preview as to where my mind is and what I am thinking about for my showroom and my clients. This year with the expansion of the showroom I am working to highlight a bunch of different home goods areas and to have lots of product that people can purchase and take home with them. So that means the focus for the showroom is going to be on furniture, accessories, artwork, and lamps. When I shop for clients at market I shop based on their style. So this can mean finding the absolute right rug or the perfect chandelier. Or sometimes it is finding the right items that create the perfect feeling for the client. So here are the inspirations and the design trends that are starting to leak out of the upcoming market.

Fantastic accent chest

Fantastic accent chest

Light bright and classic office

Light bright and classic office

Fun and colorful

Fun and colorful

Elegant traditional

Elegant traditional

Classic traditional

Classic traditional

Cyan Design a must stop for every market trip!

Cyan Design a must stop for every market trip!

Color mixed with traditional styles

Color mixed with traditional styles

Feizy - to die for rugs!

Feizy – to die for rugs!

Global Views - great accents and accessories

Global Views – great accents and accessories

Gloster a must for outdoor furniture in Florida

Gloster a must for outdoor furniture in Florida

Rustic modern - perfect for downtown lofts and beach homes

Rustic modern – perfect for downtown lofts and beach homes

Woven outdoor furniture - a Florida must have

Woven outdoor furniture – a Florida must have

Surya an absolute must stop and fill up on accessories and rugs

Surya an absolute must stop and fill up on accessories and rugs

Great new modern glam look

Great new modern glam look

Bedroom bliss

Bedroom bliss

This is just a small window into what one day at market will be like. It will be going from one world to another multiple times a day. It is fantastic, exciting, energizing and exhausting all at the same time. I can’t wait!

Designing for Your Lifestyle Monday, Mar 10 2014 

Over the years as a designer I have worked to create designs that make my clients lives easier. Part of being able to do this is to get to know my client and how they live. One of the most important thing is to be completely honest with your designer. For instance if your lifestyle is in need of organization make that perfectly clear to your designer. If you live a life that requires washable fabrics don’t be afraid to tell your designer. The last thing that I want to do as a designer is to create a design that will not work for your lifestyle.

The most common places that good design really comes in handy and is asked for on a regular basis are the kitchen, office, playroom and entry. So I thought I would post a few images of those areas and items for those areas that can function well in your home or office. I am also including some looks for rooms designed with slipcovers. These are great for families and those that thought they couldn’t have function and design when it comes to kids and pets.

Office designed for two.

Office designed for two.

Storage selves that can hold baskets or books for great function.

Storage selves that can hold baskets or books for great function.

Don't forget the walls when organizing your office.

Don’t forget the walls when organizing your office.

Your most used kitchen items right at your finger tips.

Your most used kitchen items right at your finger tips.

Library walls for offices.

Library walls for offices.

Multi-use drawers for kitchen items.

Multi-use drawers for kitchen items.

Great storage options for entries.

Great storage options for entries.

Have a place for the mail, bags and seating right at your entry.

Have a place for the mail, bags and seating right at your entry.

Pan drawers

Pan drawers

Playroom organization and comfort

Playroom organization and comfort

baskets and seating all in one.

baskets and seating all in one.

Classic and cleanable

Classic and cleanable

Elegant and functional with great cleanable fibers.

Elegant and functional with great cleanable fibers.

So the next time that you look around your home or office and realize that it isn’t functioning properly call a designer. Be honest. And see how functional and beautiful your home can be!

The New Face of Artful Conceptions Wednesday, Feb 26 2014 

As many of you have noticed I have been posting pictures of new product that I have been buying for the showroom. So I thought I would talk a bit about how we are growing and expanding here at Artful Conceptions. We are still a full service design firm. What we have done is double the space to our offices. This means that we now have the ability to have a showroom where all are welcome to come in and buy some of our favorite accessories, artwork, lamps and rugs right off the shelves. It also means that with the increase in size that we now have a designated fabric room. This means that not only do we have the ability to showcase all the great brands that we love in the fabric industry but also that it is accessible for all to come in, find fabrics, and order the ones that they love. We can then use those fabrics to make your window treatments, bedding, pillows or furniture. Or if you want to make your own you can simple purchase the fabric. We have also added a room with wallpaper. We have many sample books and swatches from our favorite wallpaper companies including the fantastic handmade wallpapers that I am in love with. We have one wall in the showroom that has been done in one of the wallpapers and there will be two more walls that will also showcase handmade wallpaper for all to see. So if you are considering wallpaper for your home come in and look at all the new options available. We will be happy to install them for you or if your would like to do your own you can simply purchase the papers from us.

In the showroom area we are adding a bedroom to showcase the beautiful handmade and designed headboards that we have made. We design these headboards and they are made locally at our workroom from any of the beautiful designer fabrics that we carry. We will also be adding some upholstered furniture for you to see and sit in so that you can love it as much as we do. All of the upholstered furniture that we carry is made here in North America and can be designed for your home or office. All of the these pieces will be able to be purchased right off the floor or we can make ones for you in your choice of fabric, leather and finish.

We are very excited about the growth and expansion of the firm and look forward to seeing everyone and showing off the new space. There are new pieces arriving every week and I will be doing another buying trip this April at High Point Market or Furniture Fashion Week as I like to call it. Once everything is done here the hours will be Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm and all other times by appointment. Come stop by and see us!

calla lilies

Dyelots – What are they and how do they effect me? Thursday, Oct 17 2013 

As a designer I am constantly talking about dyelots. They are something that we deal with on a daily basis and most of the time when we mention it to clients they look at us as if we are speaking in another language. So I thought I would discuss what a dyelot is and how it affects the designing of your home.

A dyelot is notated when something is fabricated. This is for just about everything that is made. In the interior design industry this applies to fabrics, tiles, wood, stone, carpets and wallpapers. So what this means is that when a batch of thread or fabric is dyed the group that was dyed together will be notated as a dyelot. For stone or wood it would be the group that was mined or milled together. For carpets it is similar to fabric when the thread/fibers are dyed. And for wallpapers is it for when they are created or printed. So why is this important? Dyelots are important because it is the only way to guarantee product matching. So for instance if I am ordering a fabric for a client and we are looking at a sample in a book it is a very good possibility that the current stock of that fabric is going to be from a completely different dyelot than what is in the book. That means that we need to expect up to a 10% variance from the sample in the book. So how do we handle something like that if there are multiple fabrics going into the same space? What we as interior designers do is contact the manufacturer to get a cutting of the current stock of the fabric so that we can hold a certain dyelot for our client. Once we have all of the samples of the current stock we can finalize orders and get things moving. This is the same process for stone, tile, carpet and wallpaper.

Do you really need to get cuttings ahead of time? I am asked this question on a regular basis. Along with isn’t that just going to slow down the process? Well the answer is yes it can slow down the process as it adds another step. However it also adds an additional protection as if the current stock is very different from the original sample you can select a different product without the wasted expense of unusable product. Also many times when we order product the current stock may be from multiple dyelots. We need to make sure that all of the dyelots match each other.

So a dyelot is the notation of when something was manufacturer or mined and is the needed information to know when that was and how much was done at the same time. It is also what tells us what the item is going to look like and if it will work with the other items in the space. So the next time you hear someone say we need to check the dyelot you will know that they are looking out for you to make sure that your project is going to come out right.

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